Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs
This paper makes three contributions to the literature on program evaluation. First, we construct a model that is well-suited to conduct equilibrium policy experiments and we illustrate effectiveness of general equilibrium models as tools for the evaluation of social programs. Second, we demonstrate the usefulness of social experiments as tools to evaluate models. In this respect, our paper serves as the equilibrium analogue to LaLonde (1986) and others, where experiments are used as a benchmark against which to assess the performance of non-experimental estimators. Third, we apply our model to the study of the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP), an experiment providing generous financial incentives to exit welfare and obtain stable employment. The model incorporates the main features of many unemployment insurance and welfare programs, including eligibility criteria and time-limited benefits, as well as the wage determination process. We first calibrate our model to data on the control group and simulate the experiment within the model. The model matches the welfare-to-work transition of the treatment group, providing support for our model in this context. We then undertake an equilibrium evaluation of the SSP. Our results highlight important feedback effects of the policy change, including displacement of unemployed individuals, lower wages for workers receiving supplement payments and higher wages for those not directly treated by the program. The results also highlight the incentives of individuals to delay exit from welfare in order to qualify for the program. Together, the feedback effects change the cost-benefit conclusions implied by the partial equilibrium experimental evaluation substantially.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6|
Phone: (613) 533-2250
Fax: (613) 533-6668
Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A, 1993.
"The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 575-605, October.
- Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1990. "The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 90-02, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, . "The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles cdsaw1993, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2006.
"Evaluating Search and Matching Models Using Experimental Data,"
1074, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2015. "Evaluating search and matching models using experimental data," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-35, December.
- 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).
- Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003.
"Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?,"
University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers
20035, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
- A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
- Connolly, Helen & Gottschalk, Peter T., 2004. "Do Earnings Subsidies Affect Job Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 1322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Albrecht, James & van den Berg, Gerard J & Vroman, Susan, 2004.
"The knowledge lift: The Swedish adult education program that aimed to eliminate low worker skill levels,"
Working Paper Series
2004:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- Albrecht, James & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Vroman, Susan, 2005. "The Knowledge Lift: The Swedish Adult Education Program That Aimed to Eliminate Low Worker Skill Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 1503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- James Albrecht (Georgetown University), Gerard J. van den Berg (Free University Amsterdam), and Susan Vroman (Georgetown University), 2005. "The Knowledge Lift: The Swedish Adult Education Program that Aimed to Eliminate Low Worker Skill Levels," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-08, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
- David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2005.
"Estimating the Effects of a Time-Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare-Leavers,"
Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1723-1770, November.
- David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2004. "Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 10647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990.
"Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations,"
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics
24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-50, June.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
- Card, D. & Michalopoulos, C. & Robins, P.K., 2001. "Measuring Wage Growth Among Former Welfare Recipients," Papers 2001-5, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
- Christensen, Bent Jesper & Mortensen, Dale & Neumann, George R. & Werwatz, Axel, 2000.
"On the job search and the wage distribution,"
SFB 373 Discussion Papers
2000,108, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
- Bruno, VAN DER LINDEN, 2005.
"Equilibrium Evaluation of Active Labor Market Programmes Enhancing Matching Effectiveness,"
Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques)
2005007, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
- Van der Linden, Bruno, 2005. "Equilibrium Evaluation of Active Labor Market Programmes Enhancing Matching Effectiveness," IZA Discussion Papers 1526, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998.
"General Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
6426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-86, May.
- Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
- Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
- Garry F. Barrett & Michael I. Cragg, 1998. "An Untold Story: The Characteristics of Welfare Use in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 165-188, February.
- W. Erwin Diewert, 1988. "On Tax Reform," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(1), pages 1-40, February.
- Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1996. "The Empirical Foundations of Calibration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 87-104, Winter.
- Pissarides, C A, 1984. "Efficient Job Rejection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 97-108, Supplemen.
- Lin, Zhengxi, 1998. "Employment Insurance in Canada: Recent Trends and Policy Changes," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998125e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1012. 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: (Mark Babcock)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.