Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Internal and External Validity of the Regression Discontinuity Design: A Meta-Analysis of 15 Within-Study-Comparisons | JPAM Featured Article

Regression discontinuity (RD) is generally acknowledged as the most rigorous non-experimental method for obtaining internally valid impact estimates. The study tests the efficacy of RD by comparing RD causal estimates at the treatment cutoff to those from Randomized Control Trials also estimated at this same cutoff. The study identifies 15 previously completed within-study-comparisons that explicitly examined this issue by assuming the RCT results are unbiased and comparing them to RD results.


The Performance of Performance-based Contracting in Human Services: A Quasi-experiment

August 5, 2014 10:00 AM

Performance-based contracting (PBC) is an increasingly attractive practice to public human service agencies. By attaching contract compensation to a contractor's performance achievement, PBC encourages quality services, better outcomes, and less monitoring. However, current empirical evidence on PBC's effectiveness is limited and mixed. In The Performance of Performance-based Contracting in Human Services: A Quasi-experiment, author Jiahuan Lu from the University of Maryland, uses a case study of the Indiana vocational rehabilitation program to evaluate the effectiveness of PBC on individual employment outcomes. Lu employs a quasi-experimental design over a five year period and uses a Michigan program as a control.

After using propensity score matching and difference-in-differences regressions to control for the imbalances between the two states, Lu found that PBC is significantly effective in promoting better employment results and shorter time-to-employment. The author suggests introducing relational contracting as a supplement when using PBC in the purchase of human services.

Download the full paper from APPAM's Online Paper Collection.


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