Evaluation Methods for Non-Experimental Data


  • The authors thank Costas Meghir, Barbara Sianesi, John Van Reenen, the editor and a referee for helpful comments. This review was originally prepared for the Department for Education and Employment and is also part of the programme of research of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Fiscal Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Co-funding from the Leverhulme Trust is gratefully acknowledged. The second author acknowledges financial support from Sub-Programa Ciência e Tecnologia do Segundo Quadro Comunitário de Apoio, grant number PRAXIS XXI/BD/11413/97. The usual disclaimer applies.


This paper presents a review of non-experimental methods for the evaluation of social programmes. We consider matching and selection methods and analyse each for cross-section, repeated cross-section and longitudinal data. The methods are assessed drawing on evidence from labour market programmes in the UK and in the US.