Tim Harford gives his stamp of approval to randomized trials:
What is missing is the political demand for tests of what really works. Too many policies on education, welfare and criminal justice are just so much homeopathy: cute-sounding stories about what works leaning more on faith than on evidence. Politicians and civil servants, faced with some fancy new idea, should get into the habit of asking for a proper randomised trial. And we, as citizens, should be equally demanding….
We’ve had FairTrade coffee – what about FairTest policies? Most voters don’t know much about randomisation or trial protocols, but they’ll know when they see the FairTest logo that a policy has had a proper, scientific test to see if it works.