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NCJ Number: 50689 Find in a Library
Title: TOWARD THE BENEFIT/COST EVALUATION OF US GOVERNMENT APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS, AND THE MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY OF THEIR COMPONENTS, 1965-1975
Author(s): C C ABT
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 47
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
Sale Source: Abt Associates, Inc
55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH, POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, INCLUDING RESEARCH AND PROGRAMS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FIELD, ARE ASSESSED.
Abstract: ADVOCATES OF APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH ARGUE THAT IT IS THE ONLY RATIONAL APPROACH TO BETTER SOCIAL POLICY AND PROGRAM DECISIONS. THE DERIVATION OF POLICY-RELATED INFORMATION FROM RESEARCH RESULTS, HOWEVER, INVOLVES MAJOR THEORETICAL AND DATA PROBLEMS. THESE PROBLEMS ARE FURTHER COMPOUNDED BY THE MANY RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL EXPENDITURES AND COST-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS. THE BASIC LOGIC OF COST-BENEFIT ESTIMATION IS THAT DIFFERENT PHASES IN THE CONDUCT OF APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH, THE FORMULATION OF SOCIAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, AND THE ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL IMPACTS GENERATE MEASURABLE COSTS AND BENEFITS. DATA USED IN THE ANALYSIS OF COSTS AND BENEFITS FOR THE 10-YEAR PERIOD BETWEEN 1965 AND 1975 WERE DRAWN FROM GOVERNMENT BUDGETS, LEGISLATION, CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS, INTERVIEWS WITH DECISIONMAKERS, EVALUATION RESEARCH, SOCIAL INDICATORS, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH STUDIES, AND METAEVALUATIONS. DURING THE DECADE, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENT APPROXIMATELY $7.4 BILLION ON APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH. THE LARGEST AMOUNT WAS SPENT ON POLICY-ORIENTED SOCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN HEALTH, ANTIPOVERTY, EDUCATION, AND ENVIRONMENT. FOR SOCIAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, MOST EXPENDITURES WENT TO WELFARE AND INCOME SECURITY CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMS. IN THE AREA OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, THERE WAS VERY LITTLE APPARENT IMPACT RESULTING FROM THE MONEY SPENT ON CRIME RATES. THE NUMBER OF VIOLENT CRIMES, PROPERTY CRIMES, AND PEOPLE AFRAID TO WALK OUT AT NIGHT IN CITIES ROSE STEADILY OVER THE 10-YEAR PERIOD. THE QUALITATIVE CONCLUSION OF THE ANALYSIS IS THAT BENEFITS OF APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND OF SOCIAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS EXCEED THEIR COSTS. AREAS FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION ARE THE ATTRIBUTION/IMPUTATION OF PROGRAM DECISIONS AND SOCIAL IMPACTS, THE PRICING OF BENEFITS, DISTRIBUTIONAL EFFECTS OF SOCIAL POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, AND MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITIES OF SOCIAL RESEARCH AND ACTION PROGRAMS AT THE SUBFIELD LEVEL OF ANALYSIS. SUPPORTING DATA AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE PROVIDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Behavioral science research; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Costs; Federal government; Policy; Programs
Note: PAPER PRESENTED TO THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE ON 'ECONOMETRIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO PUBLIC POLICY,' URBINO, ITALY, SEPT 2-8, 1976
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50689

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