Michael Sexton reviews 'Randomistas: How radical researchers changed our world' by Andrew Leigh

Michael Sexton reviews 'Randomistas: How radical researchers changed our world' by Andrew Leigh

Randomistas: How radical researchers changed our world

by Andrew Leigh

La Trobe University Press, $29.99 pb, 279 pp, 9781863959711

Michael Sexton

Michael Sexton

Michael Sexton SC is a graduate of the law schools of the universities of Melbourne and Virginia, and spent some years as an academic

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Unusual for a federal parliamentarian, Andrew Leigh is a former academic economist and author of several serious books, these being distinguished from the vapid and self-serving memoirs published in recent times by many current and former politicians.

Leigh’s latest book, Randomistas, is an argument for the utility of randomised tests as one of the most valuable means of obtaining evidence on which to base effective public policy programs. Such tests are, of course, used extensively in marketing products by the private sector, and the book spends some time on these kinds of exercises. But its chief concern is to explain how these tests can improve the delivery of services by governments in developed and undeveloped countries.

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