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Social Experimentation and Economic Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Ferber,Robert
  • Hirsch,Werner Z.

Abstract

Social experimentation is a tool that enables economists and policy makers to test proposed economic policies in the real world. Instead of testing policies by analytical methods or by laboratory simulation, the policies are tested on people who would be affected were these policies implemented. The authors describe how such social experiments are set up and carried out, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of social experimentation relative to other means of evaluating economic and social policies. The main part of the book is a review and a critical evaluation of the principal social experiments in economics that have been carried out in the United States, where this method has been used most extensively. The authors examine in detail the first large-scale experiment in the United States (the New Jersey Income Maintenance Experiment) and subsequent experiments with the labour force, electricity rates, and cash housing allowances. A consideration of the social utility of social experimentation follows, and the book closes with a set of recommendations on the conditions under which social experimentation might best be used in evaluating economic and social policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferber,Robert & Hirsch,Werner Z., 1982. "Social Experimentation and Economic Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521285070, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521285070
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    Cited by:

    1. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    2. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. repec:iab:iabmit:v:25:i:3:p:381-405 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Zonna, Davide, 2016. "Sprechi di cibo e tentativi di riduzione. Un caso sperimentale
      [Avoiding food waste. A field experiment]
      ," MPRA Paper 76097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Blaschke, Dieter & Plath, Hans-Eberhard & Nagel, Elisabeth, 1992. "Konzepte und Probleme der Evaluation aktiver Arbeitsmarktpolitik am Beispiel Fortbildung und Umschulung," Mitteilungen aus der Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 25(3), pages 381-405.
    7. Yefimov, Vladimir, 2004. "On pragmatist institutional economics," MPRA Paper 49016, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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