© Daniel Miller, IDRF 2010


Field experiment methodologies, particularly in the disciplines of economics, political science, and psychology, have grown in relevance because they are viewed as powerful tools for social understanding and explanation, as well as for improving lives and livelihoods in policy contexts.  However, both the enthusiasm and the controversy surrounding field experiments have obscured what we consider to be a more substantial and perhaps more important matter: when and how does deep knowledge of the “field” enrich or challenge the results of field experiments?

This study group is comprised of scholars across a range of fields, including economics, political science, psychology, and anthropology, who are actively engaged in field experimentation and/or are committed to research that generates deeper contextual understanding. The purpose of this project is to provide a platform through which to facilitate connections across disciplines that could make the inclusion of cultural and other context more accessible for field experimentation work. Ultimately, participants will leverage this collaborative dialogue to create a toolbox, set of teaching modules, or other training intervention that can be utilized by those wishing to enhance their methodological approach with contextual knowledge.

Current Participants:

Joshua Carpenter (University of Alabama), Ryan Enos (Harvard University), Varun Gauri (The World Bank), Drew Gerkey (Oregon State University), Karla Hoff (The World Bank), Betsy Levy Paluck (Princeton University) and Dimitris Xygalatas (University of Connecticut).