Understanding and misunderstanding randomized controlled trials.

  title={Understanding and misunderstanding randomized controlled trials.},
  author={Angus Deaton and Nancy Cartwright},
  journal={Social science & medicine},
Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are increasingly popular in the social sciences, not only in medicine. We argue that the lay public, and sometimes researchers, put too much trust in RCTs over other methods of investigation. Contrary to frequent claims in the applied literature, randomization does not equalize everything other than the treatment in the treatment and control groups, it does not automatically deliver a precise estimate of the average treatment effect (ATE), and it does not… CONTINUE READING
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