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Presidential Address: Will This Policy Work for You? Predicting Effectiveness Better: How Philosophy Helps

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


There is a takeover movement fast gaining influence in development economics, a movement that demands that predictions about development outcomes be based on randomized controlled trials. The problem it takes up—of using evidence of efficacy from good studies to predict whether a policy will be effective if we implement it—is a general one, and affects us all. My discussion is the result of a long struggle to develop the right concepts to deal with the problem of warranting effectiveness predictions. Whether I have it right or not, these are questions of vast social importance that philosophers of science can, and should, help answer.

Presidential Address
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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