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Accounting for Heterogeneity, Diversity and General Equilibrium in Evaluating Social Programmes

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  • Heckman, James

Abstract

This paper considers the merits and limitations of alternative criteria proposed to evaluate social programmes in the modern welfare state and the information required to implement them when individual responses to programmes are heterogeneous. Participation in programmes is based, in part, on this heterogeneity and the programmes have general equilibrium impacts on the economy. Particular attention is devoted to the voting criterion used in modern positive political economy and the ranking of alternative social states based on anonymity postulates. Evidence on heterogeneity is presented. Conflicts among the criteria are revealed in two empirical studies. Partial equilibrium approaches are shown to be misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • Heckman, James, 2001. "Accounting for Heterogeneity, Diversity and General Equilibrium in Evaluating Social Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages 654-699, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:111:y:2001:i:475:p:f654-99
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2003. "Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 235-322.
    2. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    3. Venetoklis, Takis, 2002. "Public Policy Evaluation: Introduction to Quantitative Methodologies," Research Reports 90, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Venetoklis, Takis & Kangasharju, Aki, 2002. "Business Subsidies and Employment of Firms: Overall Evaluation and Regional Extension," Discussion Papers 268, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Basu, Anirban, 2015. "Welfare implications of learning through solicitation versus diversification in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-173.
    6. Basu Anirban, 2013. "Personalized Medicine in the Context of Comparative Effectiveness Research," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 107-120, June.
    7. Bruno, VAN DER LINDEN, 2005. "Equilibrium Evaluation of Active Labor Market Programmes Enhancing Matching Effectiveness," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005007, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    8. Kling, Jeffrey & Liebman, Jeffrey, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Paper Series rwp04-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Jacob Arendt, 2013. "The effect of public financial aid on dropout from and completion of university education: evidence from a student grant reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1545-1562, June.
    10. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2002. "What is the Tradeoff Between Smaller Classes and Teacher Quality?," NBER Working Papers 9205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01tq57nr02d is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Youth Criminal Behavior in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Working Papers 6, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Markus Gangl & Thomas A. DiPrete, 2004. "Kausalanalyse durch Matchingverfahren," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 401, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01m613mx58m is not listed on IDEAS
    15. David J. Vanness & John Mullahy, 2012. "Moving Beyond Mean-based Evaluation of Health Care," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 52 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Anirban Basu, 2012. "Estimating Person-Centered Treatment (PeT) Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Working Papers 18056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. John Mullahy, 2017. "Individual Results May Vary: Elementary Analytics of Inequality-Probability Bounds, with Applications to Health-Outcome Treatment Effects," NBER Working Papers 23603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Roberto Burlando & Francesco Guala, 2002. "Overcontribution and decay in public goods experiments: a test of the heterogeneous agents hypothesis," CEEL Working Papers 0213, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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