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Research utilization in policymaking: A tale of two series (of social experiments)

Listed author(s):
  • David H. Greenberg

    (Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Marvin B. Mandell

    (Associate Professor in the Policy Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

This paper is an exploratory attempt to view the role that social experiments in general, and the income maintenance experiments and work|welfare demonstrations in particular, have played in the policy process through the lens provided by the knowledge utilization literature. In addition to suggesting that the decision to conduct a social experiment is rarely, if ever, made according to an essentially rational paradigm, this framework helps highlight the range of uses to which findings from social experiments can be put and the circumstances under which various types of uses are more or less likely. Specifically, the knowledge utilization literature suggests that rather than having the dramatic, decisive effects on policy choices that their promoters have often envisioned, social experiments are more likely to affect policy in a variety of subtle ways.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 10 (1991)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 633-656

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:10:y:1991:i:4:p:633-656
DOI: 10.2307/3324989
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Henry Mintzberg, 1971. "Managerial Work: Analysis from Observation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(2), pages 97-110, October.
  2. David H. Greenberg & Philip K. Robins, 1986. "The changing role of social experiments in policy analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 340-362.
  3. Henry J. Aaron & Edward M. Gramlich & Eric A. Hanushek & James J. Heckman & Aaron Wildavsky, 1990. "Review: Social Science Research and Policy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 275-311.
  4. Laura C. Leviton & Edward F.X. Hughes, 1981. "Research On the Utilization of Evaluations," Evaluation Review, , vol. 5(4), pages 525-548, August.
  5. Erica B. Baum, 1991. "When the witch doctors agree: The family support act and social science research," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 603-615.
  6. Richard F. Elmore, 1986. "A political scientist's view of the income maintenance experiments," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 206-217.
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