Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are an integral part of modern science, but what role should they play in economics? Development economics research in particular has relied on RCTs recently as a tool to measure the impact of a particular program. However, a new article in AEPP challenges that assumption.
Authors Christopher Barrett and Michael Carter argue that RCTs suffer from "important and underappreciated pitfalls". They stress the need for researchers to to integrate RCTs with other research methods, particularly behavioral field experiments.
In the latest AEPP podcast, you can hear Barrett and Carter discuss the findings in their article. If you'd like to read the full text of the article, AAEA members can login to the My Account section and click on the link for AEPP.