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In Praise of Moderation: Suggestions for the Scope and Use of Pre-Analysis Plans for RCTs in Economics

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Amy Finkelstein, Lawrence F. Katz, Benjamin A. Olken, Anja Sautmann

NBER Working Paper No. 26993
Issued in April 2020

---- Acknowledgments ----

The authors thank Madison Cann, Elizabeth Cao, Laura Feeney, Sarah Gault, Kalila Jackson-Spieker, James Turitto, and Keesler Welch for their support in writing this article, and Mary Ann Bates, Shawn Cole, Jeremy Magruder, Edward Miguel, William Parienté, and the J-PAL Board for helpful comments on an earlier draft. Two of the authors of this piece, Esther Duflo and Lawrence Katz, were on the AEA committee that created the Registry and are on the committee that currently provides oversight for the Registry. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

---- Disclosure of Financial Relationships for Lawrence F. Katz ----

For the sake, of full disclosure, I list my positions as an officer, director, or board member of non-profit organizations:

(a) Editor, Quarterly Journal of Economics

(b) Board of Directors, MDRC

(c) Advisory Board, Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of

Minneapolis

(d) Co-Scientific Director, J-PAL North America

---- Disclosure of Financial Relationships for Anja Sautmann ----

Anja Sautmann is overseeing the operation and maintenance of the AEA RCT registry as part of her role at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

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