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Parachutes, apples and the overstated limits to generalisability

The Nobel prize-winning economist, Angus Deaton, has criticised the development impact community’s insistence on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as the only source of credible evidence for interventions, declaring: we don’t need an RCT to know we’d rather be wearing a parachute when jumping out of plane. In fact, some years earlier a tongue in cheek systematic review had been published in the British Medical Journal on the effectiveness of parachutes in preventing injury.
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