Document Type


Publication Date



This Article describes an ambitious Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in the area of consumer debt collection. Randomized trials are the same kind of evaluation that the law requires (or at least strongly encourages) before new drugs and medical devices may be sold to the public. Although they have not yet gained widespread popularity in the evaluation of legal systems, randomized trials are uniquely effective ways of assessing whether any benefits observed after implementation of legal or educational assistance programs are really due to those programs as compared to other factors, such as unusual levels of competence or motivation of program participants or changes in the overall economy. In other words, they are the best way that we know of to ensure that at the end of a well-designed study one can say with some certainty that the evaluated treatment caused the observed outcome.

Publication Title

Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy



Article Number


First Page