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Can Economic Development Programs be Evaluated?

In: Dilemmas of Urban Economic Development

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Abstract

The question addressed in this paper seems simple: Can economic development programs be evaluated? But the answer is not simple because of the nature of evaluation. To determine a program's effectiveness requires a sophisticated evaluation because it requires the evaluator to distinguish changes due to the program from changes due to nonprogram factors. The evaluator must focus on the outcomes caused by the program rather than the program's procedures. Evaluations can be divided into two categories process or formative evaluations and outcome, impact, or summative evaluations. Process evaluations focus on how a program is delivered. Impact evaluations focus on the program's results. Although process evaluations are important, the focus of this chapter is on program outcomes thus the concern with impact evaluations; however, both types of evaluations need to be defined.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: Richard D. Bingham & Robert Mier (ed.) Dilemmas of Urban Economic Development, Sage, pages 246-290, 1997.

This item is provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers with number tjbrdb1997.

Handle: RePEc:upj:uchaps:tjbrdb1997

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Keywords: economic development; urban; regional; evaluation; incentives;

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References

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  1. Leslie E. Papke, 1994. "Tax Policy and Urban Development: Evidence From The Indiana Enterprise Zone Program," NBER Working Papers 3945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
  3. Harry J. Holzer & Richard Block & Marcus Cheatham & Jack H. Knott, 1993. "Are training subsidies for firms effective? The Michigan experience," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 625-636, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Orso, Cristina, 2011. "Microcredit and poverty. An overview of the principal statistical methods used to measure the program net impacts," POLIS Working Papers 154, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  2. Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "Evaluating the Impacts of Local Economic Development Policies On Local Economic Outcomes: What Has Been Done and What is Doable?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 03-89, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Bondonio, Daniele & Engberg, John, 2000. "Enterprise zones and local employment: evidence from the states' programs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 519-549, September.
  4. Daniele Bondonio, 2003. "Do Tax Incentives Affect Local Economic Growth? What Mean Impacts Miss in the Analysis of Enterprise Zone Policies," Working Papers 03-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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