In this paper, the author argues in favor of increased federal funding of large-scale long-term social science research projects, citing some benefits gained from the Rand Health Insurance Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The former illustrates some advantages of a well done experiment: (1) one can be relatively confident about the findings; (2) one can study certain issues that cannot be studied by analyzing existing data; and (3) all parties debating an issue will have a better understanding of it. The author suggests that the social sciences should have the same tradition of trials as the biomedical sciences do.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
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