The Nobel Memorial prize in Economic Sciences awarded this year to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer has focused attention on how an experimental-based approach, which they have popularized in the field of development economics, is helping to fight poverty in developing countries. But the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is not limited to the developing world. There is an ever-expanding list of their application in the United States, where the experimental methods are being used to tackle poverty and other social issues. Researchers are relying on RCTs to address questions such as how to improve the effectiveness of education, how to increase access to healthcare and ways to reduce encounters with the criminal justice system, among many others.
A Nobel Way to Fight Poverty in the United States