Administrative Data for Randomized experiments

Figure 1. This line graph shows the percentage of scholarly articles which use administrative data between the years 1980 to 2010. The x-axis shows the publication year, while the y-axis shows the percentage of the articles that use administrative data. Each color represents a different peer-reviewed journal (Chetty, 2012).
Figure 2. This histogram shows the per year percentage of impact evaluations by DIME which uses administrative data. The x-axis shows the evaluation’s start year while the y-axis shows the percentage for each bin. The number of eligible impact evaluations respectively from 2014 to 2019 per year are 21, 36, 20, 17, 20, 11 (Legovini, & Jones, 2020).
  1. Understanding the value of the administrative data is required to incorporate it more effectively into impact evaluation. Raising awareness is highly important to break the stigma around using administrative data over survey data for faster and frugal results. Besides, collaborating with the administrative data holders will help the researchers identify which questions need to be answered and which interventions can be performed using administrative data. For example, since there was not a comprehensive database on patient safety in Kenya, the World Health Organization partnered with the Kenyan Ministry of Health to conduct a situation analysis in 2008 (World Health Organization, 2014). In 2010, the strategic plan for patient safety was outlined by the WHO (World Health Organization, 2010). Then later, the Kenyan Ministry of Health partnered with the World Bank’s DIME team to run a randomized experiment to understand how inspections can be utilized to improve patient safety. Based on the evidence, that inspection increases patient safety by 15 percent, the government is currently scaling up the intervention to the country level (Das, 2021). This is an example of how developing data systems that are integrated with the government can help to test, monitor, and implement policies on the country level.
  2. It is also important to incorporate the privately collected administrative data to fill the data gaps for public policy research. For example, the World Bank’s IeConnect for impact program aims to generate evidence to inform transport investments (Development Impact Evaluation, 2021). Specifically in Kenya, IeConnect digitized and combined the paper incident reports from National Police Service (NPS) with the administrative data from Uber and Waze. Combining the data enabled the researchers to identify the 200 deadliest crash sites which can be used for a randomized control trial to test possible infrastructure projects or other types of policy implementations (Legovini, & Jones, 2020).
  3. Lastly, promoting well-designed randomized experiments that use administrative data is required to create a portfolio of useful applications and advocate for administrative data use. Therefore, I will end this chapter with a list of case studies and publicly available administrative databases.



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Berfin Karaman

Berfin Karaman

Berfin is a senior at Minerva Schools at KGI with a double major in Economics and Data Science.