Want Healthier Eating? Evidence Shows Limiting Choice Works

The federal government runs two programs to help poorer Americans feed their families. Evidence shows that if getting poor households to eat more healthy foods is a major policy goal, we should seriously consider limiting choice in food assistance.-

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When Is Randomization Right for Evaluation?

I advocate using randomized experiments because they provide a high level of confidence in the results. But they aren't always possible or appropriate. So what criteria should researchers use to decide when to use them?

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The Ethics of Experimental Evaluations, Things You Can Learn From Randomized Experiments, and More

Abt evaluation experts Stephen Bell and Laura Peck examine concerns about social experiments and provide ways to avoid common pitfalls.

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Performance Measurement? Proceed with Caution

A theme of the "New Management" is to better measure government performance and, in particular, the performance of individual workers. However, one must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of performance measurement.

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Internal versus External Validity in Rigorous Policy Impact Evaluations: Do We Have to Choose?

Can researchers give policymakers the right information about what is and is not working for the nation as a whole, especially when research is limited to select pockets of the country? This is not as impossible as it sounds.

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Black Boxes, the Counterfactual, and Bringing Order to RCTs

Abt evaluation experts are engaged in discussions to advance the leading edge of evaluation methods. Recently, Laura Peck and Allan Porowski shared insights on the American Evaluation Association blog AEA365.

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Getting Meaningful Technical Assistance from Webinars: We Can Evaluate That

The field of technical assistance is changing rapidly. Many organizations that provide national and local technical assistance have moved toward the use of "virtual" TA. How can TA providers evaluate webinar-based TA?

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Is Poverty Falling Over the Long Run?

While overall poverty has decreased recently, trends in the last decades differ widely across age groups. For an explanation, look to welfare reform and Social Security.

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Are Voters More Polarized? The Answer is Complicated

As we head into what seems to be one of the most vitriolic presidential elections in recent history, we need to ask ourselves a central question: Is the American electorate now more deeply divided than before, even polarized beyond repair?

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Using Behavioral Nudges to Increase the Use of Government Services

The idea of using behavioral theory - and especially low-cost "nudges" informed by behavioral science - to influence individuals' decisions has been attracting a lot of interest lately.

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