Economics Webinar


Incorporating Social Welfare in Program-Evaluation and Treatment Choice

5:00pm - 6:30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 968 790 9998 (password 10756430)

The econometric literature on program-evaluation and optimal treatment-choice takes functionals of outcome-distributions as ‘social-welfare’ and ignores program-impacts on unobserved utilities, whereas the utility-based welfare-analysis tradition in public-finance ignores unobserved heterogeneity in individual preferences. This paper reconciles the econometric and public-finance approaches to welfare-analysis in the practically important setting of discrete-choice. We show that under unrestricted preference-heterogeneity and income-effects, the distribution of individual indirect-utility is nonparametrically identified from average demand. This enables cost-benefit analysis of non-marginal policy-interventions and their optimal targeting based on planners’ redistributional preferences. Our methods are illustrated via empirical analyses of an experimental and an observational dataset.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Debopam Bhattacharya
Cambridge University

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
PG students
Department of Economics

Julie Wong by email:


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