Pitfalls and Opportunities in the Evaluation of Social Service Programs

26 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2003

Date Written: November 17, 2003


The outcomes of most social-service programs are complex and subject to conflicting ethical, utilitarian, and political assessments. As a result, different elements of private and public benefits will not be recognized or weighted equally by all providers and funders. Once agreement on the intended outcome has been reached, evaluation focuses on the optimal method and provider for obtaining it. This article considers econometric and experimental designs for determining the relative effectiveness of alternative treatments or providers, including designs proposed in other contributions to this symposium.

Keywords: Faith-Based Organizations, social services, econometric program evaluation, experimental methods

JEL Classification: D1, C9, H4, D6

Suggested Citation

von Furstenberg, George M., Pitfalls and Opportunities in the Evaluation of Social Service Programs (November 17, 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=472244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.472244

George M. Von Furstenberg (Contact Author)

Indiana University ( email )

Department of Economics
Wylie Hall, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405-6620
United States
812-856-1382 (Phone)
812-855-3736 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mypage.iu.edu/~vonfurst/

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