Clinically noise, randomized experiments can be expensive and challenging to run. But there's an alternative: It turns out that particular real-life scenarios can likewise create useful scientific data. The trick is finding them.
In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman (), we look at how events beyond our control can produce opportunities for so-called natural or unexpected experiments
The organizers of a brave airlift transferring thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel broke the record for the flight with the most guests. It was 1994, and the clock was ticking for Israeli intelligence personnel and leaders of the Ethiopian Jewish community as they worked to transfer as many individuals as possible before the civil war surrounded Addis Ababa. This desperate effort, called Operation Solomon, would alter the lives of the Ethiopian Jews in unexpected and unexpected methods..
Stephen Spector () is a teacher of faiths and culture and medieval English at Stony Brook University. He's likewise the author of Operation Solomon: The Bold Rescue of the Ethiopian Jews. ().
Solomon Ezra is an active member of the Ethiopian and Jewish neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, and was a ground operations leader throughout Operation Solomon..
Donna Rosenthal is the author of The Israelis: Ordinary Individuals in a Remarkable Land ().
Next, Katy talks to Steven Levitt about how to identify natural experiments and why they can provide such distinct info about human behavior.
Steven Levitt () is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Teacher of Economics at the University of Chicago (), co-author of the bestselling book Freakonomics (), and the host of a Freakonomics Radio podcast called Individuals I Primarily Appreciate ().
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