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It pays to be ignorant: A simple political economy of rigorous program evaluation

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Author Info

  • Lant Pritchett

Abstract

This paper attempts to explain the scarcity of rigorous evaluations of public policy. I build a positive model to explain the "stylized fact" that there is under investment in the creation of reliable empirical knowledge about the impacts of public sector actions. The model shows how "advocates" of particular issues or solutions - the public action equivalent of entrepreneurs - have incentives to under invest in knowledge creation because having credible estimates of the impact of their preferred program may undermine their ability to mobilize political (budgetary) support.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1384128032000096832
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 251-269

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:5:y:2002:i:4:p:251-269

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Related research

Keywords: Program Evaluation; Bureaucracy; Issue Advocates;

References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Filmer, Deon & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Pritchett, Lant H, 2000. "Weak Links in the Chain: A Diagnosis of Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 199-224, August.
  2. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  3. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2001. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Development that Works: One Laptop per Child revisited
    by Pablo Ibarrarán in Eval Central on 2012-06-18 10:59:46
  2. Revisitando Una Laptop por Niño
    by Pablo Ibarrarán in Hacia el desarrollo efectivo on 2012-06-18 20:31:27
  3. Lant Pritchett v the Randomistas on the nature of evidence – is a wonkwar brewing?
    by Duncan in From Poverty to Power on 2012-11-21 08:00:30
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6582, January.
  2. Christopher Robert & Richard Zeckhauser, 2011. "The methodology of normative policy analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 613-643, Summer.
  3. Barrientos, Armando & Villa, Juan M., 2013. "Evaluating antipoverty transfer programmes in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa: Better policies? Better politics?," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Miguel Szekely, . "Toward Results-Based Social Policy Design and Implementation - Working Paper 249," Working Papers 249, Center for Global Development.
  5. Copestake, James, 2007. "Mainstreaming Microfinance: Social Performance Management or Mission Drift?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1721-1738, October.
  6. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey Hammer, 2012. "It‘s All About MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ('e') to Crawl the Design Space," Working Papers 1399, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  7. Michael Bamberger & Vijayendra Rao & Michael Woolcock, 2009. "Using Mixed Methods in Monitoring and Evaluation: Experiences from International Development’," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 10709, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  8. Lorenzo Moreno & Larissa Campuzano & Dan Levy & Randall Blair, 2009. "Hacia el Cierre de la Brecha en la Evaluación: Lecciones sobre Tres Recientes Evaluaciones de Impacto de Programas Sociales en América Latina y el Caribe," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6606, Mathematica Policy Research.

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