Author Archives: Benjamin DK Wood

Benjamin DK Wood

Benjamin helps manage 3ie’s Replication Programme at the Washington, D.C. office, providing oversight of contracted replications of impact evaluations. He also conducts replications for the programme.
Read more

Requiring fuel gauges: A pitch for justifying impact evaluation sample size assumptions

and | October 17, 2014

We expect researchers to defend their assumptions when they write papers or present at seminars. Well, we expect them to defend most of their assumptions. However, the assumptions behind their sample size, determined by their power calculations, are rarely discussed. Sample sizes and power calculations matter. Power calculations determine sample size requirements, which match budget
Read more…

When is an error not an error?

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin (HAP) in their now famous replication study of Reinhart and Rogoff’s (R&R) seminal article on public debt and economic growth use the word “error” 45 times. The study sparked a tense debate, summarized by the Financial Times (FT) between HAP and R&R about which differences in HAP’s analysis
Read more…

Placing economics on the science spectrum

| April 20, 2013

Where does economics fit on the spectrum of sciences? ‘Hard scientists’ argue that the subjectivity of economics research differentiates it from biology, chemistry, or other disciplines that require strict laboratory experimentation. Meanwhile, many economists try to separate their field from the ‘social sciences’ by lumping sociology, psychology, and the like into a quasi-mathematical abyss reserved
Read more…