Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment
This paper considers the interpretation of evidence from social experiments when persons randomized out of a program being evaluated have good substitutes for it, and when persons randomized into a program drop out to pursue better alternatives. Using data from an experimental evaluation of a classroom training program, we document the empirical importance of control group substitution and treatment group dropping out. Evidence that one program is ineffective relative to close substitutes is not evidence that the type of service provided by all of the programs is ineffective, although that is the way experimental evidence is often interpreted.
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|Date of creation:||1998|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2|
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- James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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