Published on Development Impact

Weekly links March 11: Defining a large effect size, helping job-seekers, a field research guide, Papua New Guineans, and more…

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  • What is a large effect size? In the Huffington Post, Robert Slavin educational research and finds average effect sizes differ depending on whether the sample size is small or large, and non-experimental (matching) or randomized – and comes up with the table below. The average effect size for a randomized evaluation on a large sample is 0.11 S.D. compared to 0.32 S.D. for a matching-based evaluation on a small sample. He suggests effect sizes therefore need to be “graded on a curve”, with what constitutes big depending on the method of evaluation and the size of the sample.(Although also recall our posts on the problems of using S.D. to compare effect sizes in the first place).



David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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