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Can Propensity-Score Methods Match the Findings from a Random Assignment Evaluation of Mandatory Welfare-to-Work Programs?

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Author Info

  • Charles Michalopoulos

    (MDRC)

  • Howard S. Bloom

    (MDRC)

  • Carolyn J. Hill

    (Georgetown Public Policy Institute)

Abstract

This paper assesses nonexperimental estimators using results from a six-state random assignment study of mandatory welfare-to-work programs. The assessment addresses two questions: which nonexperimental methods provide the most accurate estimates; and do the best methods work well enough to replace random assignment? Three tentative conclusions emerge. Nonexperimental bias was larger in the medium run than in the short run. In-state comparison groups produced less average bias than out-of-state comparison groups. Statistical adjustments did not consistently reduce bias, although some methods reduced the estimated bias in some circumstances and propensity-score methods provided a specification check that eliminated some large biases. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 156-179

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:156-179

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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