I love 538.

It gives many insights about issues through data analysis.

Some time ago, I came across a post about welfare reform effects.

The post wisely ends saying that the effect of welfare reform is difficult to measure and probably not known.

Ah…the sadness of programs and policies…we rarely know the effect…

Because…well, the world is too complicated. Also, we can’t do experiments like in Nazi Germany or Soviet Union for very good reasons.

So how do we measure effectiveness of programs?

First, we have to design a good program and also think about measuring its effect.

Second, if possible, we should try to have varied programs at different times and areas to better gauge the effect (repeating programs in other environments).

Sounds complicated right…

But the good news is that we have good researchers working on designing and measuring program policy effectiveness.

So do visit J-PAL, poverty action lab, to see how researchers are making progress in making policies more effective 😀

Thank You Jesus for the great researchers 😀