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Assessing the Impact of Non-Response on the Treatment Effect in the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Experiment

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  • Thierry Kamionka
  • Guy Lacroix

Abstract

In Canada, a policy aiming at helping single parents on social assistance become self-reliant was implemented on an experimental basis. The Self-Sufficiency Entry Effects Demonstration randomly selected a sample of 4,134 single parents who had applied for welfare between January 1994 and March 1995. It turned out only 3,315 took part in the experiment despite a 50% chance of receiving a generous, time-limited, earnings supplement conditional on finding a full-time jobs and leaving income assistance within a year. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a non-response rate as high as 20% is likely to bias the measurement of the treatment effect. We compare the estimated impact of the program using experimental data only to that obtained using additional data on individuals not taking part in the experiment. We write the likelihood of various sets of information and obtain relevant estimates of program impact on welfare spell durations. We find strong evidence of non-response bias in the data. When we correct for the bias, we find that estimates that rely on experimental data only significantly underestimate the true impact of the program.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0336.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0336

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Related research

Keywords: Social experiment; non-response bias; duration model; social assistance;

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Cited by:
  1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2005. "Distributional Impacts of the Self-Sufficiency Project," NBER Working Papers 11626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J & Lindeboom, Maarten & Dolton, Peter J, 2004. "Survey non-response and unemployment duration," Working Paper Series 2004:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Ryan, Chris & Breunig, Robert, 2003. "A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families," IZA Discussion Papers 864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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