2009 Conference Video Information

Experimental and Non-Experimental Approaches to Development Policy

(Richard Blundell (UCL), Esther Duflo (MIT), Mark Rosenzweig (Yale), Orazio Attanasio (UCL))


This special session brought together some of the finest minds in development economics: Esther Duflo (MIT), Mark Rosenzweig (Yale) and Orazio Attanasio (UCL). Esther and Mark presented their views, and Orazio was the lead discussant. The session was chaired by Richard Blundell (UCL and IFS).

The session reflected the recent explosion of Randomized Controlled Trials in Development Economics. These have become highly influential in policy evaluation and, when well designed, can be used to identify some key policy parameters. The presenters provided some major examples where experiments have been useful in development policy but also recognized their intrinsic limits.

A good deal of agreement was reached between the presenters on the pros and cons of experiments and anyone interested in the debate on the use of randomised experiments in economic policy analysis cannot afford to miss the presentations and discussion in this session.

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