The assignment on experimental design delves into the intricacies of experimental designs in social science research, focusing on the distinctions between randomized controlled experiments (RCTs) and quasi-experiments. It explores their applications, advantages, and limitations, using real-world scenarios to illustrate each concept.
- Randomized Controlled Experiment vs. Quasi-Experiment:
- Overview: Highlighting the core disparities between RCTs and quasi-experiments, emphasizing randomization, control over variables, establishment of causality, and generalizability.
- Summary: Concluding that while RCTs are the gold standard for causal relationships, quasi-experiments offer utility in situations where randomization is impractical or unethical.
- Experimental Design: Outlining steps for a randomized controlled trial to assess learning effects in a multi-age, multi-grade classroom setting, emphasizing the importance of randomization.
- Threats to Validity: Identifying potential internal and external validity threats, proposing mitigation strategies, and underlining the significance of replication for external validity.
- Research Question: Exploring the impact of minimum wage increases on employment levels in the fast-food industry, particularly in New Jersey compared to Pennsylvania.
- Methodology: Detailing the natural experiment approach using a difference-in-differences (DD) estimation, including control group selection and robustness checks.
- Quasi-Experimental Nature: Emphasizing that the study is a quasi-experiment due to the absence of random assignment, utilizing the natural experiment of wage changes in two neighboring states.
- DD Estimation Technique: Clarifying the use of DD estimation as a quasi-experimental method to estimate causal effects when a randomized controlled trial is unfeasible.
- Key Results: Summarizing the study's major findings that challenge traditional economic theories on minimum wage increases, revealing positive effects on wages without negative impacts on employment.
- Robustness Checks: Highlighting the validity of findings through robustness checks, exploring effects on different worker subgroups and restaurant types.
- Overall Implications: Concluding that the study suggests a nuanced relationship between minimum wage increases and employment levels, challenging conventional economic wisdom.
By restructuring the content, the assignment becomes more digestible, providing a clearer understanding of the research concepts and their practical applications in social science experimentation.