One of the most important things while designing an intervention is to try to ensure that your study will have enough statistical power to test the hypotheses you're interested in. Picking a large enough sample is one of a variety of things to increase power. Another is block stratified randomization, of which paired randomization is the extreme.
I’m currently attending this large conference in lovely Toronto and trying to pack-in as many sessions as possible. A handful of papers have stood out to me – two evaluations of on-going pay-for-performance schemes in health and two methodological papers related to the economics of obesity.
Much of the debate about the effects of immigration on native workers focuses on possible negative consequences for wages or employment. However, a series of recent papers highlights a big positive effect – having immigrants as cleaners, nannies, and home-care assistants allows high-skilled women to work more.
Given the massive debate in the U.S. about government health insurance, the just released results of a new experiment are justly making headlines. In 2004, the state of Oregon, due to budgetary shortfalls, closed its public health insurance program for low-income people. In early 2008, the state decided it had enough budget to fund 10,000 new spots. Given that it expected demand for these new slots to far exceed supply, the state Government opened up a sign-up window, getting 90,000 people to sign-up for a waitlist, and then used random lottery draws to select people from the waitlist.
Last year the British Medical Journal published the results of an impact evaluation of local immunization campaigns with and without incentives in rural India. Full immunization rates were very low in the study area (2%) and the researchers wanted to test two nested approaches to improving participation in immunization campaigns.
Happy 4th of July. Believe it or not, there is a recent paper which aims to estimate the impact of celebrating this holiday. Here’s the abstract: “Do childhood events shape adult political views and behavior? This paper investigates the impact of Fourth of July celebrations in the US during childhood on partisanship and participation later in life.