IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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 self-reliant was implemented on an experimental basis. The Self-Sufficiency Entry Effects Demonstration randomly selected a sample of 4,134 single parents who had applied for welfare between January 1994 and March 1995. It turned out only 3,315 took part in the experiment despite a 50% chance of receiving a generous, time-limited, earnings supplement conditional on finding a full-time jobs and leaving income assistance within a year. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a non-response rate as high as 20% is likely to bias the measurement of the treatment effect. We compare the estimated impact of the program using experimental data only to that obtained using additional data on individuals not taking part in the experiment. We write the likelihood of various sets of information and obtain relevant estimates of program impact on welfare spell durations. We find strong evidence of non-response bias in the data. When we correct for the bias, we find that estimates that rely on experimental data only significantly underestimate 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," Cahiers de recherche 0336, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0336

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    2. Steve Ambler & Alain Guay & Louis Phaneuf, 2003. "Labor Market Imperfections and the Dynamics of Postwar Business Cycles," Cahiers de recherche 0319, CIRPEE.
    3. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
    4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    5. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 2003. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 1-30, February.
    6. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
    7. L.J. Christiano & C.J. Gust, 1999. "Taylor Rules in a Limited Participation Model," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 33, Netherlands Central Bank.
    8. Ali Dib, 2003. "An estimated Canadian DSGE model with nominal and real rigidities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 949-972, November.
    9. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-748, September.
    10. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
    11. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1991. "The welfare costs of moderate inflations," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 483-518.
    12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    14. Ireland, Peter N., 2001. "Sticky-price models of the business cycle: Specification and stability," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-18, February.
    15. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Priors from General Equilibrium Models for VARS," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-673, May.
    16. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
    17. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    18. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    19. Gomme, Paul, 1993. "Money and growth revisited : Measuring the costs of inflation in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-77, August.
    20. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "A small, structural, quarterly model for monetary policy evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 83-108, December.
    21. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P.A., 2005. "Permanent and transitory policy shocks in an empirical macro model with asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1985-2015, November.
    22. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Term structure views of monetary policy under alternative models of agent expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 149-184, January.
    23. Dotsey, Michael & Ireland, Peter, 1996. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-47, February.
    24. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
    25. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    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 J, 2004. "Survey non-response and unemployment duration," Working Paper Series 2004:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

    More about this item


    Social experiment; non-response bias; duration model; social assistance;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:lvl:lacicr:0336. 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: (Manuel Paradis). General contact details of provider: .

    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.