RCTs as “Gold Standard”?

Earlier this year I read Tim Ogden’s book entitled, “Experimental Conversations: Perspectives on Randomized Trials in Development Economics“*. Including interviews from the “randomistas” (e.g. Michael Kremer, Ester Duflo, Abijit Bannerjee, Dean Karlan), “skeptics” (e.g. Angus Deaton), and folks not typically associated with RCTs (e.g. Tyler Cowen), it was an interesting book to read. One of…

Two better ways to improve outcomes of small businesses (in Togo and Nigeria)

Two recent and excellent studies offer some important insights into how best to help improve the outcomes of small business owners in developing countries. Both studies evaluate programs motivated by the perception that the traditional way business skills training programs operate could be improved. (For more on this idea, read McKenzie and Woodruff (2013).) The…