Over the past two decades, there has been growing academic debate about the validity and usefulness of random assignment in experiments in the field of development. This article is based on the recent publication (in open access, in English and in French) of a book combining the analyses of the main protagonists in this scientific controversy. It underlines the main points of contention between supporters and detractors of the experimental method: epistemological and methodological differences, but also the very meaning of development and researchers’ ethical responsibility toward the people they study.
JEL Codes: A14, D04, C83, C93, O10
- aid effectiveness
- research methods