Abstract: The talk will consider issues in field experiments in labor economics and the economics of education in the developed world. These issues include threats to internal and external validity, using experimental data to examine treatment effect heterogeneity and using experimental data to learn about the performance of non-experimental evaluation methods.
Bio: Jeffrey Smith is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996. From 1994 to 2001 he was on the faculty at the University of Western Ontario and from 2001 to 2005 he was on the faculty at the University of Maryland. His research centers on experimental and non-experimental methods for the evaluation of interventions, with particular application to social and educational programs. He has also written papers examining the labor market effects of university quality and the use of statistical treatment rules to assign persons to government programs. Important publications include “Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective than the Services Themselves?” (with Dan Black, Mark Berger and Brett Noel) in the American Economic Review (2003), “The Economics and Econometrics of Active Labor Market Programmes” (with James Heckman and Robert LaLonde) in the Handbook of Labor Economics, Volume 3A (1999), “The Pre-Programme Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Programme: Implications for Simple Programme Evaluation Strategies” (with James Heckman), Economic Journal (1999) (winner of Royal Economic Society prize for article in the Economic Journal in 1999), “Does Matching Overcome LaLonde’s Critique of Nonexperimental Methods?” (with Petra Todd), Journal of Econometrics (2005) and “Heterogeneous Program Impacts: Experimental Evidence from the PROGRESA Program” (with Habiba Djebbari), Journal of Econometrics (2008). He has consulted to governments in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia on evaluation issues.