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Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude

  • Charles F. Manski

Analyses of public policy regularly express certitude about the consequences of alternative policy choices. Yet policy predictions often are fragile, with conclusions resting on critical unsupported assumptions. Then the certitude of policy analysis is not credible. This paper develops a typology of incredible analytical practices and gives illustrative cases. I call these practices conventional certitudes, dueling certitudes, conflating science and advocacy, and wishful extrapolation. I contrast these practices with my vision for credible policy analysis.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16207.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16207.

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Date of creation: Jul 2010
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Publication status: published as Charles F. Manski, 2011. "Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages F261-F289, 08.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16207
Note: PE POL
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