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BOOK LAUNCH: Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development: A Critical Perspective

Have RCTs really “dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice”? Which sorts of questions are they able to address and which do they fail to answer? Is causal explanation the only way to understand poverty, and do RCTs systematically manage to provide causal explanations? Are RCTs really a gold standard? What are the dangers in their misuse? Is the supremacy of experimentation in development economics, as commended by the Nobel jury, scientifically legitimate and politically desirable? This webinar to launch the book "Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development: A Critical Perspective" presents a discussion with five representatives of the editors and authors.

Online
10th December, 2020
Event City: 
Event State/Province: 
Event cost: 
Free
Event type: 
Webinar

Event blurb

"In October 2019, the 51st Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to three of the main proponents of Randomized Control Trials (RCTs). Yet there is reason to question the validity and repercussions of the elevation of this design to the so-called “gold standard” for impact evaluation.

Have RCTs really “dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice”? Which sorts of questions are they able to address and which do they fail to answer? Is causal explanation the only way to understand poverty, and do RCTs systematically manage to provide causal explanations? Are RCTs really a gold standard? What are the dangers in their misuse? Is the supremacy of experimentation in development economics, as commended by the Nobel jury, scientifically legitimate and politically desirable?

Bringing together 26 leading specialists in the field (including two Nobel Prize winning economists) from a range of backgrounds and disciplines (economics, econometrics, mathematics, statistics, political economy, socioeconomics, anthropology, philosophy, global health, epidemiology, and medicine), this authoritative book presents a full and coherent picture of the main strengths and weaknesses of RCTs in the field of development - how they work, what they can achieve, why they sometimes fail, how they can be improved, and why other methods are both useful and necessary."

Time: 9.00-10.30 am EST / 3.00-4.30 pm CET / 4.00-5.30 pm CAT / 11.00 pm-12.30 am SGT
(EST – Eastern Standard Time, CET – Central European Time, CAT – Central Africa Time, SGT – Singapore Standard Time)

Presenters

Author: James Heckman
Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development, University of Chicago; Nobel Prize in Economics

Author: Ariane Szafarz
Full professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Co-Director of the Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi)

Author: Lant Pritchett
RISE Research Director, Oxford Blavatnik School of Government

Editor: Isabelle Guérin
Senior Research Fellow, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development

Editor: François Roubaud
Senior Research Fellow, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development

Moderator:Zenda Ofir
Independent Evaluator and Vice-President, International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS)"

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