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Evaluating anti-poverty programs, Volume 1
Author:Ravallion, Martin; Country:World;
Date Stored:2008/01/24Document Date:2005/06/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Poverty Monitoring & Analysis; Scientific Research & Science Parks; Rural Poverty Reduction; Science Education; Poverty Impact Evaluation
Language:EnglishRegion:The World Region
Report Number:WPS3625Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 3625
Volume No:1  

Summary: The author critically reviews the methods available for the ex-post counterfactual analysis of programs that are assigned exclusively to individuals, households, or locations. The discussion covers both experimental and non-experimental methods (including propensity-score matching, discontinuity designs, double and triple differences, and instrumental variables). Two main lessons emerge. First, despite the claims of advocates, no single method dominates; rigorous, policy-relevant evaluations should be open-minded about methodology. Second, future efforts to draw more useful lessons from evaluations will call for more policy-relevant measures and deeper explanations of measured impacts than are possible from the classic ("black box") assessment of mean impact.

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