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The Use of Counterfactual Scenarios as a Means to Assess Policy Deadweight: An Irish Case Study


  • Helena Lenihan

    (Department of Economics, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland)

  • Mark Hart

    (Small Business Research Centre, Kingston Hill, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB, England)


The evaluation of industrial policy interventions has attracted increasing policy and academic attention in recent years. Despite the widespread consensus regarding the need for evaluation, the issue of how to evaluate, and the associated methodological considerations, continue to be issues of considerable debate. The authors develop an approach to estimate the net additionally of financial assistance from Enterprise Ireland to indigenously owned firms in Ireland for the period 2000 to 2002. With a sample of Enterprise Ireland assisted firms, an innovative, self-assessment, in-depth, face-to-face, interview methodology was adopted. The authors also explore a way of incorporating the indirect benefits of assistance into derived deadweight estimates—an issue which is seldom discussed in the context of deadweight estimates. They conclude by reflecting on the key methodological lessons learned from the evaluation process, and highlight some pertinent evaluation issues which should form the focus of much future discussion in this field of research.

Suggested Citation

  • Helena Lenihan & Mark Hart, 2004. "The Use of Counterfactual Scenarios as a Means to Assess Policy Deadweight: An Irish Case Study," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 22(6), pages 817-839, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:22:y:2004:i:6:p:817-839

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    Cited by:

    1. Duch, Néstor & Montolio, Daniel & Mediavilla , Mauro, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of public subsidies on a firm’s performance: a two-stage quasi-experimental approach," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 16, pages 143-165.
    2. David Bailey & Helena Lenihan & Ajit Singh, 2009. "Lessons for African Economies from Irish and East Asian Industrial Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 357-382, December.
    3. Frantisek TURNOVEC, "undated". "Council, Commission and European Parliament Influence in European Union Decision Making," EcoMod2009 21500089, EcoMod.
    4. Bailey, David & Lenihan, Helena & Singh, Ajit, 2008. "Tiger, tiger, burning bright? industrial policy lessons from Ireland and East Asia for small African economies," MPRA Paper 53356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Greene, Francis, 2012. "Should the focus of publicly provided small business assistance be on start-ups or growth businesses?," Occasional Papers 12/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

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