Celebrating a decade of the AEA RCT registry

Since 2013, the AEA RCT registry, a collaborative project between the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the American Economic Association (AEA), has served as a central repository for information on planned, ongoing, completed or withdrawn randomised control trials (RCTs) in the social sciences. By 2023, the registry contained over 7,400 entries from approximately 7,700 principal investigators for trials in over 100 countries.


By the age of ten Mozart famously had already composed a symphony. While by its tenth birthday last year the American Economic Association (AEA)’s Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) Registry hadn't quite done that, it did contain over 7,400 registrations from approximately 7,700 PIs and took a major step forward in the ongoing march for greater transparency and credibility in the social sciences; we might be biased, but we think that's equally deserving of prodigy status.

The AEA RCT Registry was founded in 2013 as a collaborative project between J-PAL and the American Economic Association. The Registry serves as a central repository for information on planned, ongoing, completed, or withdrawn randomized trials in the social sciences. Though the primary goals of the Registry are to i) combat publication bias and increase transparency in the social sciences and ii) facilitate meta-analyses (see more in our trial registration research resource), a database of thousands of social science trials can be a fantastic tool for looking into broad trends in social science experimental research.

Today, we celebrate the Registry’s tenth anniversary by doing just that—using the wealth of data (updated every month in the AEA Registry Dataverse) from ten years of registrations to draw out ten new insights from the Registry.