EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Generalization in the Tropics – Development Policy, Randomized Controlled Trials, and External Validity

Jörg Peters (), Jörg Langbein and Gareth Roberts

World Bank Research Observer, 2018, vol. 33, issue 1, 34-64

Abstract: When properly implemented, Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) achieve a high degree of internal validity. Yet, if an RCT is to inform policy, it is critical to establish external validity. This paper systematically reviews all RCTs conducted in developing countries and published in leading economic journals between 2009 and 2014 with respect to how they deal with external validity. Following Duflo, Glennerster, and Kremer (2008), we scrutinize the following hazards to external validity: Hawthorne effects, general equilibrium effects, specific sample problems, and special care in treatment provision. Based on a set of objective indicators, we find that the majority of published RCTs does not discuss these hazards and many do not provide the necessary information to assess potential problems. The paper calls for including external validity dimensions in a more systematic reporting on the results of RCTs. This may create incentives to avoid overgeneralizing findings and help policy makers to interpret results appropriately.

Date: 2018
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wbro/lkx005 (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: Generalization in the Tropics: Development policy, randomized controlled trials, and external validity (2017) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:33:y:2018:i:1:p:34-64.

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

Access Statistics for this article

World Bank Research Observer is currently edited by Shantayanan Devarajan

More articles in World Bank Research Observer from World Bank Group Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

 
Page updated 2020-07-18
Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:33:y:2018:i:1:p:34-64.