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Failing in the FieldWhat We Can Learn When Field Research Goes Wrong$
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Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183138

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183138.001.0001

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Inappropriate Research Setting

Inappropriate Research Setting

(p.19) Chapter 1 Inappropriate Research Setting
Failing in the Field

Dean Karlan

Jacob Appel

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses inappropriate research setting. In practice, choosing a setting is often a complex process. It takes time and effort, judgment, and a theory that describes how the underlying context will interact with the treatment to be tested. Problems often arise when researchers try to shoehorn a fit. A few common pitfalls worth mentioning include poorly timed studies; technically infeasible interventions; immature products; and researchers not knowing when to walk away. Ultimately, this is about risk management. As such, researchers must look at physical, social, and political features of the setting. First, these should fit the intervention and the theory that underlies it. Second, context must permit delivery of the intervention. Finally, data collection needs to be possible, whether through survey or administrative data.

Keywords:   research setting, researchers, intervention, theory, data collection, survey, administrative data

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