Evidence-based Policymaking in the United States

Author Name TSUDA Hirokazu (Consulting Fellow, RIETI) / OZAKI Kohei (Cabinet Office, and Nomura Securities Co.,Ltd)
Creation Date/NO. November 2018 18-P-016
Research Project Promoting Evidence-based Policy in Japan
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In the aim of drawing lessons for Japanese policymakers and practitioners, this paper deeply analyzes the Evidence-based Policymaking (EBPM) of the US, which is the front-runner in this field. In the US, Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking (CEP), established by a bipartisan call, released its final report in September 2017. It made the following recommendations: 1. Improving secure, private, and confidential data access; 2. Improving privacy protection and transparency on data usage; 3. Modernizing data infrastructure; and 4. Strengthening federal evidence-building capacity.

In this paper, we review the brief history of the US EBPM and the background of the establishment of the CEP. Concerning the federal capacity building, we focus on the case of the Department of Labor (DOL) which became the hallmark of EBPM with the leadership of Chief Evaluation Office. Since the details of evidence building and utilization vary depending on policy areas, scales, etc., we also explore cases of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education in addition to DOL with brief introduction of their advanced approaches using tiered grant, pay for success, and behavioral economics. Through the CEP final report and cases above, we explore implications on the promotion of Japanese EBPM, in particular in the central and local governments.