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12:30 - 13:45 11 June 2012

Dealing with randomisation bias in a social experiment: the case of ERA


IFS Seminar Room | Institute for Fiscal Studies (link Map)
7 Ridgmount Street | London | WC1E 7AE |

Open to: Academic | Student
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Barbara Sianesi, IFS

The UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) programme has been evaluated by a large-scale randomised experiment. It has however emerged that due to the experimental set-up over one quarter of the eligible population was not represented in the experiment: some eligibles actively refused to be randomly assigned, while some were somehow not even offered the possibility to participate in random assignment and hence in ERA. The fact that ERA was a study and involved random assignment has significantly altered how the intake as a whole was handled, as well as the nature of the adviser/individual interaction in a way that would not have been the case had ERA been normal policy. The pool of participants has been both reduced and altered, which is likely to have led to some randomisation bias or, alternatively, to some loss in external validity in the experimental estimate for the effect on the eligible population.


Institute for Fiscal Studies
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