Understanding and Misunderstanding Randomized Controlled Trials
NBER Working Paper No. 22595
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We acknowledge helpful discussions with many people over the several years this paper has been in preparation. We would particularly like to note comments from seminar participants at Princeton, Columbia, and Chicago, the CHESS research group at Durham, as well as discussions with Orley Ashenfelter, Anne Case, Nick Cowen, Hank Farber, Jim Heckman, Bo Honoré, Chuck Manski, and Julian Reiss. Ulrich Mueller had a major influence on shaping Section 1. We have benefited from generous comments on an earlier version by Christopher Adams, Tim Besley, Chris Blattman, Sylvain Chassang, Jishnu Das, Jean Drèze, William Easterly, Jonathan Fuller, Lars Hansen, Jeff Hammer, Glenn Harrison, Macartan Humphreys, Michal Kolesár, Helen Milner, Tamlyn Munslow, Suresh Naidu, Lant Pritchett, Dani Rodrik, Burt Singer, Richard Williams, Richard Zeckhauser, and Steve Ziliak. Cartwright’s research for this paper has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 667526 K4U), the Spencer Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (award 1632471). Deaton acknowledges financial support from the National Institute on Aging through the National Bureau of Economic Research, Grants 5R01AG040629-02 and P01AG05842-14 and through Princeton University’s Roybal Center, Grant P30 AG024928. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.