IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp10108.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Viewpoint: Estimating the Causal Effects of Policies and Programs

Author

Listed:
  • Smith, Jeffrey A.

    () (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Sweetman, Arthur

    () (McMaster University)

Abstract

Estimation, inference and interpretation of the causal effects of programs and policies have all advanced dramatically over the past 25 years. We highlight three particularly important intellectual trends: an improved appreciation of the substantive importance of heterogeneous responses and of their methodological implications, a stronger focus on internal validity brought about by the "credibility revolution," and the scientific value that follows from grounding estimation and interpretation in economic theory. We discuss a menu of commonly employed partial equilibrium approaches to the identification of causal effects, emphasizing that the researcher's central intellectual contribution always consists of making an explicit case for a specific causal interpretation given the relevant economic theory, the data, the institutional context and the economic question of interest. We also touch on the importance of general equilibrium effects and full cost-benefit analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Jeffrey A. & Sweetman, Arthur, 2016. "Viewpoint: Estimating the Causal Effects of Policies and Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 10108, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10108
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10108.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:3:p:279-288 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jhecon:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:16-29 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    causal effects; heterogeneous treatment effects; partial equilibrium identification;

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10108. 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: (Holger Hinte). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.