During the European Week of Regions and Cities (http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/regions-and-cities/2017/index.cfm), organized by the DG-Regio, and within the strand “Sharing knowledge to deliver results” some seminars are organized to enhance the dissemination of academic results to regional policy makers. This year the theme of the event was ‘Regions and Cities working for a better future’ and the DG chose, among other themes candidated by ERSA (the European Regional Science Association), to organise a workshop on impact evaluation.
ERSA was the leading technical organiser, while Marco Mariani (Irpet Toscana) and Elena Ragazzi (CNR-Ircres, chair) were the scientific promoters of the session on “Counterfactual Methods for Regional and Urban Policy Evaluation”
Counterfactual impact evaluation (CIE) is increasingly regarded as an essential tool for public decision-making, in that it allows to establish whether a public program works. At the same time, it is also the object of cutting-edge methodological and empirical research by statisticians, economists and political scientists.
CIE relies on a set of statistical techniques that allow to establish to which extent the outcomes achieved by those individuals, firms or areas that have benefited from a public program are ascribable to the program itself, rather than to other factors that might affect these outcomes but are unrelated to the policy. Since one can only observe the outcome achieved by the units that participate in the program, these techniques are basically aimed at providing the most credible guess of what the outcome for these units would be without the program, and compare it to the former.
The number of studies that take this approach to evaluate economic and social programs is on the rise, with a sizeable empirical evidence related to the effectiveness of regional and urban policies already available. Focusing on three themes of contemporary regional and urban policy that are object of compelling debate – Structural Funds, local welfare for the inclusion of immigrants, and urban vehicle access regulations – the workshop highlights the policy lessons that can be drawn from existing counterfactual evaluations and, with the help of the practitioners from the audience, outlines the main opportunities and challenges ahead.
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Promoting the integration of immigrants: Lessons from a policy providing free child care. Nina Drange, Statistics Norway
The effects of the European Structural Funds: What have we learned from counterfactual evaluations?. Guido Pellegrini, Sapienza, University of Roma and AISRe
Counterfactual Methods for Regional and Urban Policy Evaluation SESSION – UNIV11C105. Elena Ragazzi, Ircres-CNR, Italy
The effects of urban tolls, low emission zones (and so on). Lionel Védrine CESAER, AgroSup, INRA, U. Bourgogne Franche-Comté
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