Assignment #5 [due by 11:55pm Weds Nov 7] Description of a selected RCT

This assignment asks you to find a development intervention that interests you, and that was evaluated using a randomized control trial (RCT).  The assignment asks you to find the underlying research paper. Drawing on that paper, you are to write a brief [less than 2 pages] summary of the structure of the trial and one of its key findings, and to think about threats to internal validity.

There are many ways to locate an interesting RCT. Three very good sources are [1] Banerjee and Duflo chapters 1-4, [2] the JPAL website (www.jpal.org), and [3] the website of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (http://www.3ieimpact.org/). These sources point to a large number of RCTs; your job is to choose one of these and then find the working paper or article that reports the underlying research in detail. If you your source does not provide a direct link to the paper you are looking for, try the Econlit database in Tripod, and/or use Google Scholar, searching by the authors’ name(s) and/or by keywords in the title.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Write a brief [less than 2 pages] summary that describes (1) the intervention being assessed, (2) the outcome(s) of interest to the researcher, (3) the target population for the assessment, (4) the unit of data observation (individuals? households? villages? municipalities?), (5) the randomization design (over individuals? neighborhoods? municipalities?), and (6) the size of the treatment and control groups for the main impact assessment. Then (7) report one key finding from the study (in terms of the size of some impact) and briefly indicate whether you think there are any major threats to the internal validity of that finding. Recall that internal validity refers to the validity of the estimated impact within the target population. Items (1)-(7) can all be bullet points. Finally (8) make sure that you provide a full bibliographic reference to the working paper or article you are using, with author name(s), publication date, title of paper, and journal or series in which it was published.