Japan has systems to promote the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle of policies, e.g., the Policy Evaluation (Seisaku Hyoka) and the Public Projects Review (Gyosei Jigyo Review). Yet, most methodologies used in Japan rely disproportionately on qualitative methodologies. Even the limited cases in which quantitative methodologies are used involve issues since the adopted methodologies barely contain control groups with which the government can compare treatment groups. Moreover, systems to reflect evidence on policies and budgets are not effective.
On the other hand, other countries, in particular, the United Kingdom and the United States, made progress in utilizing evidence in making policies and budgets, which resulted in improved cost effectiveness in various policy areas.
As Japan faces pressing challenges such as a rapidly aging society, shrinking population, and the accumulated government deficit far beyond 200% of its gross domestic product (GDP), this research project works on evidence-based policies from the following perspectives: 1) analysis of other countries' evidence-based policies; 2) analysis of the reasons behind the lack of progress in making evidence-based policies in Japan; 3) sharing new experiences utilizing rigorous evaluations such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in Japan; 4) designing new experiments in Japan that are similar to the past experiments that showed positive results in other countries; and 5) consideration on designing a system to promote utilization of evidence-based policies in Japan.
February 6, 2017 - January 31, 2019
Major Research Results
RIETI Discussion Papers
"Effectiveness of Provision of Energy-Saving Performance Information in Selection of Air Conditioners: Evidence from an Online Randomized Controlled Trial" (HIRAI Yusuke, KOBAYASHI Yohei, YOKOO Hidefumi, TAKAHASHI Kei, TAKEDA Masahiro and YOSHIKAWA Yasuhiro)
"Effectiveness of Business Classification Evaluation System on Energy Conservation" (YOSHIKAWA Yasuhiro, KOBAYASHI Yohei, YOKOO Hidefumi, FUKAI Akio and TAGUCHI Sosuke)
"Are there ethical issues with randomized controlled trials by economists? Evidence from two online surveys in Japan" (YOKOO Hidefumi)
"Three Issues in the Use of RCT and Their Solutions―Precision, noncompliance, and truncation-by-death" (YAMAGUCHI Kazuo)