OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) develops evidence-based policy advice on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Policy Papers cover a broad range of topics, including industry and globalisation, innovation and entrepreneurship, scientific R&D and emerging technologies. These reports are officially declassified by an OECD Committee.


Making policy evaluation work

The case of regional development policy

The paper presents a critical discussion of ex-post impact evaluation of policies that affect regional economic development, with a particular emphasis on drawing useful implications for policy making. In particular, it discusses the importance of setting clear and measurable objectives in designing policies and the need for equally clear policy levers; it highlights the main advantages of “counterfactual” evaluation; it analyses the methodological specificities of the evaluation of programmes that have a regional or urban dimension; and it provides a survey of some of the most relevant examples in the empirical economics literature.

The ultimate goal is to “bridge” the perceived distance between policy discussions on the one side, and academic debates on the other. Some specific recommendations conclude the report.


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