Since 1970 the United States government has spent over half a billion dollars on social experiments intended to assess the effect of potential tax policies, health insurance plans, housing subsidies, and other programs. Was it worth it? Was anything learned from these experiments that could not have been learned by other, and cheaper, means? Could the experiments have been better designed or analyzed? These are some of the questions addressed by the contributors to this volume, the result of a conference on social experimentation sponsored in 1981 by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The first section of the book looks at four types of experiments and what each accomplished. Frank P. Stafford examines the negative income tax experiments, Dennis J. Aigner considers the experiments with electricity pricing based on time of use, Harvey S. Rosen evaluates housing allowance experiments, and Jeffrey E. Harris reports on health experiments. In the second section, addressing experimental design and analysis, Jerry A. Hausman and David A. Wise highlight the absence of random selection of participants in social experiments, Frederick Mosteller and Milton C. Weinstein look specifically at the design of medical experiments, and Ernst W. Stromsdorfer examines the effects of experiments on policy. Each chapter is followed by the commentary of one or more distinguished economists.
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2 Housing Behavior and the Experimental HousingAllowance Program What Have We Learned?
3 IncomeMaintenance Policy and Work Effort Learning from Experiments and LaborMarket Studies
4 Macroexperiments versus Microexperiments for Health Policy
5 Technical Problems in Social Experimentation Cost versus Ease of Analysis
6 Toward Evaluating the CostEffectiveness of Medical and Social Experiments
7 The Use of Information in the Policy Process Are SocialPolicy Experiments Worthwhile?
8 Social Science Analysis and the Formulation of Public Policy Illustrations of What the President Knows and How He Comes to Know It
List of Contributors
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additional allowances analysis approach assess assignment assumed assumptions average behavior benefits better changes choice conclusions consider consumption costs customers decision demand depends developed difficult discussion economic effects effort elasticity electricity endogenous equation estimates evaluation example exist expected experimental factors families findings function given Hausman households housing important income increase individual Institute interest intervention issues Journal labor supply lead less limited macroexperiments measure ment methods observations parameters participation payments peak percent period population possible potential predict present problems procedure projects question random rates reason reduced response risk sample selection simple social experiments specific statistical structural studies subjects suggest survey theory tion treatment trial unemployment units University utility variables variation wage welfare
Page 188 - Five-year findings of the hypertension detection and follow-up program. I. Reduction in mortality of persons with high blood pressure, including mild hypertension.
Page 192 - Professor of Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and research associate. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Page 253 - CHALMERS. 1966. The present status of shunts for portal hypertension in cirrhosis.
Page 99 - An Explicit Model of Intra Metropolitan Mobility." Land Economics (November):41 1-428. (1979). "The Dynamics of the Housing Market: A Stock Adjustment Model of Housing Consumption." Journal of Urban Economics (January):90-lll. - ( 1981 ). "Complex Public Subsidies and Complex Household Behavior: Consumption Aspects of Housing Allowances." In K. Bradbury and A. Downs (eds.). Do Housing Allowances Work? Washington. DC: The Brookings Institution. Kain. JF. and JM Quigley (1975), Housing Markets and...
Page 150 - Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Page 226 - This research was supported in part by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Center for the Analysis of Health Practices and by National Science Foundation grant SES-75-15702.
Page 289 - Department of Biostatistics Harvard School of Public Health 677 Huntington Avenue Boston, Massachusetts 02115 Subcommittee on Research Needs for Carbon Monoxide Dr.
Page 90 - HALL. RE and HAUSMAN, JA (1974), "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models", Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, 653-665. BURTLESS. G. and HAUSMAN, J. (1978), "The Effect of Taxes on Labor Supply: Evaluating the Gary NIT Experiment ", Journal of Political Economy.