NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Aleksey Tetenov

Geneva School of Economics and Management
University of Geneva
Uni Mail
Boulevard du Pont-d’Arve 40
Geneva 1211
Switzerland

E-Mail: aleksey.tetenov@unige.ch
Institutional Affiliation: University of Geneva

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Statistical Decision Properties of Imprecise Trials Assessing COVID-19 Drugs
with Charles F. Manski: w27293
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, researchers are reporting findings of randomized trials comparing standard care with care augmented by experimental drugs. The trials have small sample sizes, so estimates of treatment effects are imprecise. Seeing imprecision, clinicians reading research articles may find it difficult to decide when to treat patients with experimental drugs. Whatever decision criterion one uses, there is always some probability that random variation in trial outcomes will lead to prescribing sub-optimal treatments. A conventional practice when comparing standard care and an innovation is to choose the innovation only if the estimated treatment effect is positive and statistically significant. This practice defers to standard care as the status quo. To evaluate decision...
 
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