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How can we know if EU cohesion policy is successful? Integrating micro and macro approaches to the evaluation of Structural Funds

Authors
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Philosophy

Abstract

In this paper we describe an integrated approach for assessing the general economic effectiveness, efficiency and impact of public policy actions for large investment programs of the kind implemented over the past fifteen years in EU-aided Structural Fund programmes. Far from being rigid, our modelling philosophy includes both formal tools designed to assess all relevant effects, as well as informal (intuitive) elements to allow for flexible policy design and evaluation. When setting up an integrated micro-macro (IMM) model we are trying to over-come two major shortcomings in actual policy design and analysis: Firstly, to bridge the gap between the scientific requirements of model-based decision making and evaluation and the practical requirement for flexible and easy to use decision support tools that are well suited for day-to-day application. Secondly, to address the observed discrepancy in policy analysis between programme monitoring and evaluation realized at a highly aggregate level using quantitative macromodels (the so called “top down” approach) and the highly disaggregated approach to project evaluation, marked as micro- or “bottom up”-approaches.

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