Meta Analysis of RCT Interventions

Date of Graduation

Winter 12-11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Peter Lorentzen

Second Advisor

Bruce Wydick


External validity of an RCT intervention enables understanding of where interventions are successful.

Meta-analysis allows for more generalized statements to be made on the effectiveness of RCTs across countries of different geographic and national income profiles. By comparing the findings from similar studies carried out in different settings I seek to describe whether RCTs in certain sectors are more sensitive to high GDP growth or higher levels of GDP. I consider 402 health, education, and industry development RCT studies done between 1980 and 2015 in 201 countries compiled by development non-profit Aidgrade. I find no significant effect of income level on efficacy of enterprise or education RCTs. I find some small significance when looking at intervention efficacy and GDP growth on health and education interventions. This research aims to broaden the perspective of the relationship between development practitioners, NGOs, and macro policymakers.

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