Social experimentation [electronic resource] /
edited by Jerry A. Hausman and David A. Wise.
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985.
viii, 292 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0226319407 :
More Details
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985.
0226319407 :
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Papers presented at a conference held in 1981 sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographies and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1985-11:
The 1970s social experiments on time-of-use electricity pricing, housing allowances, income maintainance, and health care are the topics of concern in this 1981 NBER conference report. The primary question addressed is whether the half billion dollars in public funds expended on these experiments successfully improved estimates of the effects of government policies relative to nonexperimental methods such as surveys and econometric modeling. For the most part, the authors are less than sanguine about the usefulness of the research results accumulated from these experiments. Poor experimental design or the inherent limitations of experimentation in the social sciences seem to be a common malady. The exposition is lucid. An extensive bibliography and commentaries are provided for each of the papers. This book represents a valuable contribution to discussions of the public policy process. It should be useful to any social scientist concerned with experimental design, and is highly recommended for graduate collections.-R.A. Kelly, Fairfield University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1985
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Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
The Residential Electricity Time-of-Use Pricing Experiments: What Have We Learned?
Housing Behavior and the Experimental Housing-Allowance Program: What Have We Learned?
Income-Maintenance Policy and Work Effort: Learning from Experiments and Labor-Market Studies
Macroexperiments versus Microexperiments for Health Policy
Technical Problems in Social Experimentation: Cost versus Ease of Analysis
Toward Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Medical and Social Experiments
The Use of Information in the Policy Process: Are Social-Policy Experiments Worthwhile?
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
Author Index
Subject Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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