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David McKenzie's blog

A curated list of our postings on Measurement and Survey Design

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This list is a companion to our curated list on technical topics. It puts together our posts on issues of measurement, survey design, sampling, survey checks, managing survey teams, reducing attrition, and all the behind-the-scenes work needed to get the data needed for impact evaluations.
Measurement

A Curated List of Our Postings on Technical Topics – Your One-Stop Shop for Methodology

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This is a curated list of our technical postings, to serve as a one-stop shop for your technical reading. I’ve focused here on our posts on methodological issues in impact evaluation – we also have a whole lot of posts on how to conduct surveys and measure certain concepts that I’ll leave for another time. Updated August 20, 2015.
Random Assignment

Weekly links August 14: reducing the costs to formalize has no effect again, don’t trust the Mechanical Turk, and more…

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Weekly links July 31: Household surveys in crisis, Doing Business, machine learning, and more…

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  • Household surveys in crisis – Bruce Meyer and co-authors in a new NBER working paper highlight the many issues due to declining cooperation of respondents in the U.S.:
    • Unit nonresponse: Households have become increasingly less likely to answer surveys at all: nonresponse rates for major U.S. surveys like the CPS, SIPP, and GSS now exceed 20 percent

From my mailbox: should I work with only a subsample of my control group if I have big take-up problems?

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Over the past month I’ve received several versions of the same question, so thought it might be useful to post about it.
 
Here’s one version:
I have a question about an experiment in which we had a very big problem getting the individuals in the treatment group to take-up the treatment. Therefore we now have a treatment much smaller than the control. For efficiency reasons does it still make sense to survey all the control group, or should we take a random draw in order to have an equal number of treated and control?
 
And another version

Allocating Treatment and Control with Multiple Applications per Applicant and Ranked Choices

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This came up in the context of work with Ganesh Seshan designing an evaluation for a computer training program for migrants. The training program was to be taught in one 3 hour class per week for several months. Classes were taught Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-8 pm, and then there were four separate slots on Friday, the first day of the weekend. So in total there were 7 possible sessions people could potentially attend. However, most migrants would prefer to go on the weekend, and many would not be able to attend on particular days of the week.

Weekly links: preventing coups through free trade?, why don’t Indians eat more? And more…

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Weekly links June 26: hurting power, banning bottled water, the case against training, and more…

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