at Broerstraat 2, Groningen, 9712CP Netherlands
In this summer school we will discuss important aspects of experimental design in the context of development projects.
Until recently, empirical testing of the impact of development projects was extremely weak, and controversial. Most research on the impact of development projects suffered from severe methodological problems: almost none of the available empirical studies appropriately addressed problems related to self-selection bias and/or programme placement bias. Fortunately, in the last few years, we have seen several new empirical analyses using rigorous methodologies on the impact of microcredit. These new analyses are often based on so-called randomized controlled trials. In a randomized controlled trial the impact of development projects is studied by randomly assigning different households to treatment and control groups. In this summer school we will discuss important aspects of experimental design in the context of development projects. Special attention will be given to microfinance projects. The aim is to provide a better understanding of the theory and practice of field experiments in developing countries. Students will learn how to design randomized experiments, quasi-experiments and so-called lab-in-the-field games. We will also explain how to analyse the data and interpret the findings.
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