The role of randomized field trials in social science research: a perspective from evaluations of reforms of social welfare programs
One of the areas of policy research where randomized field trials have been utilized most intensively is welfare reform. Starting in the late 1960s with experimental tests of a negative income tax and continuing through current experimental tests of recent welfare reforms, randomized evaluations have played a strong and increasing role in informing policy. This paper reviews the record of these experiments and assesses the implications of that record for the use of randomization. The review demonstrates that, while randomized field trials in the area of welfare reform have been professionally conducted and well-run, and have yielded much valuable and credible information, their usefulness has been limited by a number of weaknesses, some of which are inherent in the method and some of which result from constraints imposed by the political process. The conclusion is that randomized field trials have an important but limited role to play in future welfare reform evaluations, and that it is essential that they be supplemented by nonexperimental research.
|Date of creation:||01 Dec 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary Burtless, 1986. "The work response to a guaranteed income: a survey of experimental evidence," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 22-59.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2000.
"The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program,"
NBER Working Papers
8007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Jacob A. Klerman, 2001. "The Long-Term Gains from GAIN: A Re-Analysis of the Impacts of the California GAIN Program," Working Papers 01-03, RAND Corporation.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Mark W. Plant, 1990.
"Non-Parametric Estimates of the Labor Supply Effects of Negative Income Tax Programs,"
639, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Ashenfelter, Orley & Plant, Mark W, 1990. "Nonparametric Estimates of the Labor-Supply Effects of Negative Income Tax Programs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S396-415, January.
- Robert A. Moffitt, 1996. "The effect of employment and training programs on entry and exit from the welfare caseload," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 32-50.
- David Card & Philip K. Robins & Winston Lin, 1998. "Would Financial Incentives for Leaving Welfare Lead Some People to Stay on Welfare Longer? An Experimental Evaluation of 'Entry Effects' in the SSP," NBER Working Papers 6449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1987.
"Lessons from the income maintenance experiments: an overview,"
New England Economic Review,
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 32-45.
- Alicia H. Munnell, 1986. "Lessons from the income maintenance experiments: an overview," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 1-21.
- repec:fth:prinin:380 is not listed on IDEAS
- Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
- Michael J. Camasso & Radha Jagannathan & Carol Harvey & Mark Killingsworth, 2003. "The use of client surveys to gauge the threat of contamination in welfare reform experiments," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 207-223.
- James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:23/02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Hyman)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.