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Tag Archives: RCTs

The Counter-Revolution of Development Economics: Hayek vs. Duflo

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI. F.A. Hayek, well known as a critic of central planning, also criticized what he called “scientism,” a blind commitment to the methods of the physical sciences beyond their realm of applicability. In The Counter-Revolution of Science, Hayek opposed to “scientism” the genuine spirit of[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , , 24 Comments

Michael Clemens won’t let up on the Millennium Villages + bonus links

It’s nice to see scholars bringing attention to the critical need for evaluation and informed public dialogue (not just “success stories” or short-term impact evaluation) for the Millennium Villages Project, which we have also covered on this blog. Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development is currently carrying on a very revealing dialogue with[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Badvocacy and celebs, Maps, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , 4 Comments

Undercover Economist goes public for randomized controlled trials

Tim Harford column in today’s FT (VERY strong endorsement of RCTs)

Posted in In the news, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged 2 Comments

The coming age of accountability

There was such a great audience yesterday at the Brookings event on What Works in Development. (If you are a glutton for punishment, the full length audio of the event is available on the Brookings web site.) In the end, what struck me was the passion for just having SOME way to KNOW that aid is benefiting the[…..]

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged 18 Comments

“What works in development” is available again

After my whining in a previous post that the great publication “What works in development: Thinking Big and Thinking Small” was not easily available, it is once again available on Amazon. Let me repeat the previous sales pitch: although I am one of the editors, this is not about self-promotion.  The main contribution of the book[…..]

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | 1 Comment

A balanced reaction to “The Civil War in Development Economics”

Aid Watch received the following very thoughtful comment. The author wishes to remain anonymous: The debate in the academic world sounds fascinating!  And it mirrors in some ways the ongoing debates I have within the international development practitioner community, where I work.  Due to my background and current job, I’m the resident RCT “expert” of[…..]

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | 8 Comments

The Civil War in Development Economics

Few people outside academia realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists for and against. My little debate with Sachs seems like gentle whispers by comparison. Want to understand what’s got some so upset and others true believers? A conference volume has just come out from Brookings. At first glance, this is your[…..]

Posted in Academic research, Books and book reviews, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged 21 Comments

Development Experiments: Ethical? Feasible? Useful?

A new kind of development research in recent years involves experiments: there is a “treatment group” that gets an aid intervention (such as a de-worming drug for school children), and a “control group” that does not. People are assigned randomly to the two groups, so there is no systematic difference between the two groups except[…..]

Posted in Data and statistics, Metrics and evaluation | 23 Comments
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

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