Using Place-Based Random Assignment and Comparative Interrupted Time-Series Analysis to Evaluate the Jobs-Plus Employment Program for Public Housing Residents
This paper describes a place-based demonstration program to promote and sustain employment among residents of selected public housing developments in six U.S. cities. Because all eligible residents of the participating developments were free to take part in the program, it was not possible to study its impacts in a classical experiment, with random assignment of individual residents to the program or a control group. Instead, the impact analysis is based on a design that selected matched groups of two or three public housing developments in each participating city and randomly assigned one to the program and the other(s) to a control group. To strengthen this place-based random assignment design, an 11-year comparative interrupted time-series analysis is also being conducted. Preliminary analyses of baseline data suggest that this two-pronged approach will yield credible estimates of the program’s impacts.