Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude

36 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010

See all articles by Charles F. Manski

Charles F. Manski

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

Analyses of public policy regularly express certitude about the consequences of alternative policy choices. Yet policy predictions often are fragile, with conclusions resting on critical unsupported assumptions. Then the certitude of policy analysis is not credible. This paper develops a typology of incredible analytical practices and gives illustrative cases. I call these practices conventional certitudes, dueling certitudes, conflating science and advocacy, and wishful extrapolation. I contrast these practices with my vision for credible policy analysis.

Suggested Citation

Manski, Charles F., Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude (July 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16207, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648007

Charles F. Manski (Contact Author)

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