Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 September 2020
Al-Ubaydli et al. set out a valuable prospectus, but they operate with too simple a view of the policymaking process. Politicians and bureaucrats have additional objectives to that of maximizing human welfare: the former wish to endorse policies that get them re-elected; the latter need to manage complex bureaucracies and advance their careers. Both need to be persuaded that trials are in their long-term interests to adopt. Because Al-Ubaydli et al.'s proposals may increase the costs of doing trials, the demand for robust evidence might reduce rather than increase.