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Methodological Frontiers of Public Finance Field Experiments

  • Jeffrey R. Kling

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how a rich array of methods can be applied to increase the relevance of field experiments in public economics. Two cross-cutting themes are important in multiple phases of the research. First, greater statistical sophistication can draw more value from a field experiment without obscuring the simple and compelling information from the differences in average outcomes of intervention and control groups. Second, the methodological frontier is interdisciplinary, drawing on knowledge and techniques developed in psychology, anthropology, and sociology that can be adapted in order to make public finance field experiments more useful.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12931.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12931.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Publication status: published as Revised and published in the National Tax Journal, 60:1 (March 2007), 109-127.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12931
Note: CH ED LS PE
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  1. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
  2. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Lise, Jeremy & Seitz, Shannon & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2005. "Evaluating Search and Matching Models Using Experimental Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
  7. Jens Ludwig & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2007. "Is Crime Contagious?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 491-518.
  8. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lisa Sanbonmatsu & Jeffrey R. Kling & Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2006. "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," NBER Working Papers 11909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Peter Z. Schochet & Sheena McConnell & John Burghardt, 2003. "National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 9da2c5a07ad046419448e94e1, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "The role of randomized field trials in social science research: a perspective from evaluations of reforms of social welfare programs," CeMMAP working papers CWP23/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2006. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions in the Field: Evidence from a Non-Secular Charity," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-44, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  14. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  16. David Greenberg & Mark Shroder & Matthew Onstott, 1999. "The Social Experiment Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 157-172, Summer.
  17. Esther Duflo & William Gale & Jeffrey Liebman & Peter Orszag & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Saving incentives for low- and middle-income families: Evidence from a field experiment with h&r block," Framed Field Experiments 00234, The Field Experiments Website.
  18. Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20032, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  19. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
  20. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
  21. Rivlin, Alice M, 1974. "How Can Experiments Be More Useful?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 346-54, May.
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