Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs

74 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2005

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2005


The paper 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 nonexperimental methods (including propensity-score matching, discontinuity designs, double and triple differences and instrumental variables). Two main lessons emerge: Firstly, despite the claims of advocates, no single method dominates; rigorous, policy-relevant evaluations should be open-minded about methodology. Secondly, 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.

Suggested Citation

Ravallion, Martin, Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs (June 2005). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3625, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=756831

Martin Ravallion (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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