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Removing the Veil of Ignorance in Assessing the Distributional Impacts of Social Policies

Pedro Carneiro (), Karsten T. Hansen () and James Heckman
Additional contact information
Karsten T. Hansen: Northwestern University

No 453, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper summarizes our recent research on evaluating the distributional consequences of social programs. This research advances the economic policy evaluation literature beyond estimating assorted mean impacts to estimate distributions of outcomes generated by different policies and determine how those policies shift persons across the distributions of potential outcomes produced by them. Our approach enables analysts to evaluate the distributional effects of social programs without invoking the “Veil of Ignorance” assumption often used in the literature in applied welfare economics. Our methods determine which persons are affected by a given policy, where they come from in the ex-ante outcome distribution and what their gains are. We apply our methods to analyze two proposed policy reforms in American education. These reforms benefit the middle class and not the poor.

Keywords: Policy Evaluation; Distributional Effects; Social programs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D33 H43 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe
Date: 2002-03
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Published in: Swedish Policy Review, 2001, 8 (2), 273-301

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Related works:
Working Paper: Removing the veil of ignorance in assessing the distributional impacts of social policies (2002) Downloads
Working Paper: Removing the Veil of Ignorance in Assessing the Distributional Impacts of Social Policies (2002) Downloads
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