Robert French, Philip Oreopoulos, 05 December 2016

Behavioural economics has been playing an increasingly important role in public policy the world over, and Canada is no exception. This column outlines the steps Canada is taking towards incorporating insights from the literature into its policies. It also highlights the emphasis that many agencies in Canada are placing on testing their prospective behavioural interventions through randomised control trials.

Esther Duflo, 23 May 2016

Randomised controlled trials create comparable groups which are subject to different treatments. The results of the trial allow us to understand the impact of a particular intervention. In this video, Esther Duflo discusses how randomised controlled trials can be used to inform policymakers. Experimenting with policies under different contexts could help build more effective policies, especially in developing countries. This video was recorded in March 2016 during the Royal Economic Society’s Annual Conference held at the University of Sussex.

Anders Olofsgård, 13 October 2012

The recent focus on impact evaluation within development economics has led to increased pressure on aid agencies to provide evidence from randomised controlled trials. This column argues this reinforces a political bias towards immediately verifiable and media-packaged results at the expense of more long-term and complex processes such as institutional development.

Pieter Gautier, Paul Muller, Bas van der Klaauw, 21 September 2012

One recent trend in economics has been the use of randomised control trials, where policies are trialled on a sample of the population and the effects compared with a control group. But this column look at a policy in Denmark aimed at helping people find jobs and argues that success on a small scale doesn’t necessarily transfer once the policy is rolled out – especially when there are spillover effects.

Karen Macours, Patrick Premand, Renos Vakis, 12 September 2012

Droughts in the US, India, and the Sahel are making headlines, with the farmers themselves often the first to lose out. This column presents findings from a randomised control trial exploring whether providing households with training and capital to diversify their incomes can cushion the shock of severe weather.