Removing the Veil of Ignorance in Assessing the Distributional Impacts of Social Policies
AbstractThis paper summarizes our recent research on evaluating the distributional consequences of social programs. This research advances the economic policy evaluation literature beyond estimating assorted mean impacts to estimate distributions of outcomes generated by different policies and determine how those policies shift persons across the distributions of potential outcomes produced by them. Our approach enables analysts to evaluate the distributional effects of social programs without invoking the “Veil of Ignorance” assumption often used in the literature in applied welfare economics. Our methods determine which persons are affected by a given policy, where they come from in the ex-ante outcome distribution and what their gains are. We apply our methods to analyze two proposed policy reforms in American education. These reforms benefit the middle class and not the poor.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 453.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Swedish Policy Review, 2001, 8 (2), 273-301
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Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T & Heckman, James J, 2002. "Removing the veil of ignorance in assessing the distributional impacts of social policies," Working Paper Series 2002:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2002. "Removing the Veil of Ignorance in Assessing the Distributional Impacts of Social Policies," NBER Working Papers 8840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
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