6: Sample size and power calculations

This presentation explores methods for identifying the right sample size for randomized evaluations so that results are defendable.

This is the sixth in a series of lectures produced by the Poverty Action Lab and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The resource provides the user with a video of the lecture presented by Ben Olken and includes the lecture slides.


  • I. Hypothesis testing
  • II. Type I and Type II Errors
  • III. Standard errors and significance 
  • IV. Power
  • V. Effect size
  • VI. Factors that influence power


Olken, B (2009) 6: Sample Size and Power Calculations, Abdul Latif Jameel,  Poverty Action Lab Executive Training: Evaluating Social Programs Lecture Notes,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Retrieved from https://live-qa.ocw.mit.edu/courses/res-14-001-abdul-latif-jameel-poverty-action-lab-executive-training-evaluating-social-programs-2009-spring-2009/resources/6-sample-size-and-power-calculations/

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) https://ocw.mit.edu/

Poverty Action Lab (PAL) http://www.povertyactionlab.org/

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