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Going beyond simple sample size calculations: a practitioner's guide

Brendon McConnell and Marcos Vera-Hernandez

No W15/17, IFS Working Papers from Institute for Fiscal Studies

Abstract: Basic methods to compute required sample sizes are well understood and supported by widely available software. However, the sophistication of the methods commonly used has not kept pace with the complexity of commonly employed experimental designs. We compile available methods for sample size calculations for continuous and binary outcomes with and without covariates, for both clustered and non-clustered RCTs. Formulae for both panel data and unbalanced designs are provided. Extensions include methods to: (1) optimise the sample when costs constraints are binding, (2) compute the power of a complex design by simulation, and (3) adjust calculations for multiple testing. View accompanying sample size calculators for this paper.

Keywords: Power analysis; Sample size calculations; Randomised Control Trials; Cluster Randomised Control Trial; Covariates; Cost Minimisation; Multiple outcomes; Simulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C8 C9 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-09-28
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm
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