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Complex research fails in complex ways. This is what I have learned from the new book by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel published in October 2016. “Failing in the Field: What we can learn when field research goes wrong,” gathers stories about field research that did not turn out as expected and, in particular, research conducted using randomized controlled trials (RCT), a scientific research procedure created to test drugs, which was adapted for the study of the social and economic sciences.

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