Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program
AbstractSocial experiments are powerful sources of information about the effectiveness of interventions. In practice, initial randomization plans are almost always compromised. Multiple hypotheses are frequently tested. "Significant" effects are often reported with p-values that do not account for preliminary screening from a large candidate pool of possible effects. This paper develops tools for analyzing data from experiments as they are actually implemented. We apply these tools to analyze the influential HighScope Perry Preschool Program. The Perry program was a social experiment that provided preschool education and home visits to disadvantaged children during their preschool years. It was evaluated by the method of random assignment. Both treatments and controls have been followed from age 3 through age 40. Previous analyses of the Perry data assume that the planned randomization protocol was implemented. In fact, as in many social experiments, the intended randomization protocol was compromised. Accounting for compromised randomization, multiple-hypothesis testing, and small sample sizes, we find statistically significant and economically important program effects for both males and females. We also examine the representativeness of the Perry study.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5095.
Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Quantitative Economics, 2010, 1 (1), 1-46
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Other versions of this item:
- James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07.
- James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Working Papers 201034, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," NBER Working Papers 16238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-08-06 (All new papers)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Analysing Social Experiments - Heckman
by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-08-11 15:42:00
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