Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development

A Critical Perspective

Edited by Florent Bédécarrats, Isabelle Guérin, and François Roubau, 2020

In October 2019, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer jointly won the 51st Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” But what is the exact scope of their experimental method, known as randomized control trials (RCTs) ? Which sorts of questions are RCTs able to address and which do they fail to answer ? The first
of its kind, Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development : A Critical Perspective provides answers to
these questions, explaining how RCTs work, what they can achieve, why they sometimes fail, how they can be
improved and why other methods are both useful and necessary.