Edward Miguel, 29 March 2019

Randomised controlled trials have revolutionised development policy. But do the interventions that work in the short run have a benefit 10 or 20 years later? Ted Miguel tells Tim Phillips how he and his colleagues aim to find out.

Alison Booth, Xin Meng, 25 March 2019

The literature examining the effect of conflict on trust and trustworthiness has reached contradictory conclusions. This column studies the long-term behavioural impact of the Cultural Revolution in China, which was a major in-group conflict. It finds that the children and grandchildren of those who were mentally or physically abused during the Revolution are less trusting, less trustworthy, and less likely to be competitively inclined relative to peers whose parents/grandparents experienced the Cultural Revolution but were not directly mistreated. 

Angus Deaton, Nancy Cartwright, 09 November 2016

In recent years, the use of randomised controlled trials has spread from labour market and welfare programme evaluation to other areas of economics, and to other social sciences, perhaps most prominently in development and health economics. This column argues that some of the popularity of such trials rests on misunderstandings about what they are capable of accomplishing, and cautions against simple extrapolations from trials to other contexts.

Alexander Cappelen, Bertil Tungodden, 02 June 2016

Are criminals lacking in moral motivation? In this video, Alexander Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden conduct an experiment in order to understand if prisoners differ from other people when it comes to sharing money. On average, prisoners share as much as others when confronted to the same situations. Their study has implications for the reintegration of criminals into society. This video was recorded at the Choice Lab, Norwegian School of Economics, in Bergen.

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.

Gerd Muehlheusser, Andreas Roider, Niklas Wallmeier, 16 February 2015

Many nations and corporations strive to raise female membership in decision-making bodies. This column discusses new experimental evidence suggesting that there is more lying (and more extreme lying) in male groups and mixed-gender groups than in female groups. Moreover, group decision-making exacerbates men’s tendency to lie while the opposite is true for women. This suggests that the gender composition of decision-making bodies is important when the goal is to limit the scope of unethical behaviour.

Ghazala Azmat, Barbara Petrongolo, 07 June 2014

There are considerable gender differences in pay and employment levels, and in the type of labour-market activities. This column reviews experimental studies that address different aspects of these problems. Three channels are explored: gender discrimination on the labour market, differences in individual and group preferences, and productivity. Despite recent experimental advances, gender differences in labour-market success have only been partially explained.


CEPR Policy Research