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Assessing the Impact of Non-Response on the Treatment Effect in the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Experiment


  • Thierry Kamionka


  • Guy Lacroix



In Canada, a policy aiming at helping single parents on social assistance become selfreliantwas implemented on an experimental basis. The Self-Sufficiency Entry Effects Demonstrationrandomly selected a sample of 4,134 single parents who had applied for welfare betweenJanuary 1994 and March 1995. It turned out only 3,315 took part in the experimentdespite a 50receiving a generous, time-limited, earnings supplement conditional on finding afull-time job and leaving income assistance within a year.The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a non-response rate as high as 20treatmenteffect. We compare the estimated impact of the program using experimental data only tothat obtained using additional data on individuals not taking part in the experiment. We writethe likelihood of various sets of information and obtain relevant estimates of program impacton welfare spell durations. We find strong evidence of non-response bias in the data. Whenwe correct for the bias, we find that estimates that rely on experimental data only significantlyunderestimate the true impact of the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Kamionka & Guy Lacroix, 2003. "Assessing the Impact of Non-Response on the Treatment Effect in the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Experiment," Working Papers 2003-37, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2003-37

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feichtinger, Gustav & Hartl, Richard, 1985. "Optimal pricing and production in an inventory model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 45-56, January.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/360 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Bitler, Marianne P. & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Hoynes, Hilary W., 2008. "Distributional impacts of the Self-Sufficiency Project," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 748-765, April.
    2. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Chris Ryan & Robert Breunig, 2006. "A Couples-Based Approach to the Problem of Workless Families," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(259), pages 428-444, December.
    3. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Dolton, Peter, 2004. "Survey Non-Response and Unemployment Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 1303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies


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