EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Optimal data collection for randomized control trials

Pedro Carneiro (), Sokbae (Simon) Lee () and Daniel Wilhelm

No CWP15/17, CeMMAP working papers from Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Abstract: In a randomized control trial, the precision of an average treatment effect estimator and the power of the corresponding t-test can be improved either by collecting data on additional individuals, or by collecting additional covariates that predict the outcome variable. We propose the use of pre-experimental data such as other similar studies, a census, or a household survey, to inform the choice of both the sample size and the covariates to be collected. Our proce-dure seeks to minimize the resulting average treatment effect estimator’s mean squared error or the corresponding t-test’s power, subject to the researcher’s budget constraint. We rely on a modi?cation of an orthogonal greedy algorithm that is conceptually simple and easy to implement in the presence of a large number of potential covariates, and does not require any tuning parameters. In two empirical applications, we show that our procedure can lead to reductions of up to 58% in the costs of data collection, or improvements of the same magnitude in the precision of the treatment effect estimator.

Keywords: randomized control trials; big data; data collection; optimal survey design; orthogonal greedy algorithm; survey costs. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-exp and nep-pay
Date: 2017-03-27
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/cemmap/wps/CWP151717.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Optimal data collection for randomized control trials (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal Data Collection for Randomized Control Trials (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal data collection for randomized control trials (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Optimal Data Collection for Randomized Control Trials (2016) 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:ifs:cemmap:15/17

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CeMMAP working papers from Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Emma Hyman ().

 
Page updated 2019-09-15
Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:15/17