Prediction is fundamental to policy analysis; the task is to determine what the consequences of a given program will be. Even evaluative studies have some predictive component. Based on a study that evaluates the Scared Straight crime prevention program, for example, one would likely predict that a similar implementation of the program would be equally ineffective. Alternatively, one could redesign a similar program without the same pitfalls as determined by the evaluative study. These policy decisions all rely on implicit assumptions about the predictive ability of the original statistical study.

A prediction study, generally, is a statistical model that one uses to predict future behavior based on current and prior behavior as well as immutable characteristics. One can use any statistical model to predict future ...

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