Policy analysis with incredible certitude

Charles F. Manski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Analyses of public policy regularly express certitude about the consequences of alternative policy choices. Yet policy predictions often are fragile, with conclusions resting on critical unsupported assumptions or leaps of logic. Then the certitude of policy analysis is not credible. I develop a typology of incredible analytical practices and give illustrative cases. I call these practices conventional certitude, duelling certitudes, conflating science and advocacy, wishful extrapolation, illogical certitude and media overreach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F261-F289
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number554
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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