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The Adequacy of Comparison Group Designs for Evaluations of Employment-Related Programs

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  • Thomas Fraker
  • Rebecca Maynard

Abstract

This study investigates empirically the strengths and limitations of using experimental versus nonexperimental designs for evaluating employment and training programs. The assessment involves comparing results from an experimental-design study-the National Supported Work Demonstration-with the estimated impacts of Supported Work based on analyses using comparison groups constructed from the Current Population Surveys. The results indicate that nonexperimental designs cannot be relied on to estimate the effectiveness of employment programs. Impact estimates tend to be sensitive both to the comparison group construction methodology and to the analytic model used. There is currently no way a priori to ensure that the results of comparison group studies will be valid indicators of the program impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Fraker & Rebecca Maynard, 1987. "The Adequacy of Comparison Group Designs for Evaluations of Employment-Related Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 194-227.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:22:y:1987:i:2:p:194-227
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Banerjee, Biswajit, 1984. "Information flow, expectations and job search : Rural-to-urban migration process in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 239-257.
    2. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 173-178.
    3. Just, Richard E. & Pope, Rulon D., 1978. "Stochastic specification of production functions and economic implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 67-86, February.
    4. B Waldorf, 1996. "The Internal Dynamic of International Migration Systems," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 28(4), pages 631-650, April.
    5. Nancy H. Chau, 1995. "The Pattern of Migration with Variable Migration Cost," Urban/Regional 9511001, EconWPA.
    6. Stark, Oded & Levhari, David, 1982. "On Migration and Risk in LDCs," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 191-196, October.
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