U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dealing With Design Failures in Randomized Field Experiments: Analytic Issues Regarding the Evaluation of Treatment Effects

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 32 Issue: 4 Dated: (November 1995) Pages: 425-445
Date Published
21 pages
With an increasing number of criminal justice scholars conducting randomized field experiments, several analytical issues are related to such experiments that the criminal justice field must begin to address more systematically.
For example, treatment dilution and treatment migration are common forms of randomization implementation failure in field experiments, and a review of the criminological literature on experiments reveals a lack of consensus on how these problems should be handled when evaluating treatment effects. In addition, issues related to statistical power and desired sample size remain unresolved. Given the relatively long history of dealing with these analytical issues in medicine, literature from that field is reviewed to provide additional insights on the dilemmas created by various design failures in randomized field experiments. The impact of design failures on experimental evaluations is considered to be potentially significant, and the author suggests that the way in which social policy experiments are conducted needs to be critically examined. 34 references

Date Published: January 1, 1995