Choosing among alternative nonexperimental methods for estimating the impact of social programs: The case of manpower training

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The recent literature on evaluating manpower training programs demonstrates that alternative nonexperimental estimators of the same program produce an array of estimates of program impact. These findings have led to the call for experiments to be used to perform credible program evaluations. Missing in all of the recent pessimistic analyses of nonexperimental methods is any systematic discussion of how to choose among competing estimators. This article explores the value of simple specification tests in selecting an appropriate nonexperimental estimator. A reanalysis of the National Supported Work Demonstration data previously analyzed by proponents of social experiments reveals that a simple testing procedure eliminates the range of nonexperimental estimators at variance with the experimental estimates of program impact. © 1989 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Heckman, JJ; Hotz, VJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 408

Start / End Page

  • 862 - 874

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-274X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0162-1459

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/01621459.1989.10478848

Citation Source

  • Scopus