Randomization Bias in Field Trials to Evaluate Targeting Methods

by   Eric Potash, et al.
The University of Chicago

This paper studies the evaluation of methods for targeting the allocation of limited resources to a high-risk subpopulation. We consider a randomized controlled trial to measure the difference in efficiency between two targeting methods and show that it is biased. An alternative, survey-based design is shown to be unbiased. Both designs are simulated for the evaluation of a policy to target food safety inspections using a predictive model. Our work anticipates further developments in economics that will be important as predictive modeling becomes an increasingly common policy tool.


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