From 1993 to 1996, researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, carried out a study to systematically examine the relationship between social experiments and public policymaking.
Researchers conducted detailed case studies of six social experiments:
- The RAND Health Insurance Experiment.
- The Nursing Home Incentive Reimbursement Experiment.
- The Florida site of the Program for Prepaid Managed Health Care.
- Income Maintenance Experiments.
- Welfare-to-Work Experiments.
- Unemployment Insurance Bonus/Incentive Experiments.
Social experiments rarely have direct and decisive effects on policymaking; subtle effects are far more common.
Timing, dissemination of results, and policymaker preferences influence the impact of social experiments. The most useful social experiments are those that cover issues that are still important when results become available.