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Can Propensity-Score Methods Match the Findings from a Random Assignment Evaluation of Mandatory Welfare-to-Work Programs?
Publisher: Journals Gateway
The Review of Economics and Statistics (2004) 86 (1): 156–179.
Published: 01 February 2004
AbstractView article PDF
This paper assesses nonexperimental estimators using results from a six-state random assignment study of mandatory welfare-to-work programs. The assessment addresses two questions: which nonexperimental methods provide the most accurate estimates; and do the best methods work well enough to replace random assignment? Three tentative conclusions emerge. Nonexperimental bias was larger in the medium run than in the short run. In-state comparison groups produced less average bias than out-of-state comparison groups. Statistical adjustments did not consistently reduce bias, although some methods reduced the estimated bias in some circumstances and propensity-score methods provided a specification check that eliminated some large biases.