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Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies


  • Besley, Timothy
  • Case, Anne


There are numerous empirical studies that exploit variation in policies over space and time in the U.S. federal system. If state policy making is purposeful action responsive to economic and political conditions within the state then it is necessary to identify and control for the forces that lead to these policy changes. This paper investigates the implications of policy endogeneity for a specific policy context--workers' compensation benefits. We contrast different methods of estimation and their pros and cons in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages 672-694, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:467:p:f672-94

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Piggott, John & Whalley, John, 1996. "The Tax Unit and Household Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 398-418, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy


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