Can external claims of randomised evaluations used in Developmental Economics be considered knowledge, in light of the problem of induction?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The usage of Randomised Evaluations(REs) in social inquiry has been recent and responses to them have been wide ranging.RE seek to make predictions on the impact of an intervention, when it is attempted in a new situation. REs work by first determining the impact of the intervention. Subsequently, for the new situation it is expected that the impact would be similar. The problem of induction poses one of the most serious challenges to the epistemological status of RE claims as the value of REs themselve stem from their predictive validity. If the problem of induction is not solved or evaded then belief in projections based on REs is undermined. In this paper, I argue that the unique methodology of REs used in Social Sciences allows itself to evade the problem the successfully, warranting belief that future interventions would have similar impact.
|Keywords||randomized evaluations social science problem of induction developmental economics probability law of large numbers economics|
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