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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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Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Bartik & Richard D. Bingham, 1997. "Can Economic Development Programs be Evaluated?," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Richard D. Bingham & Robert Mier (ed.), Dilemmas of Urban Economic Development, pages 246-290 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:uchaps:tjbrdb1997
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy J. Bartik, "undated". "Who Benefits from Local Job Growth: Migrants or Original Residents?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles tjb1993rs, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    2. Papke, Leslie E., 1994. "Tax policy and urban development : Evidence from the Indiana enterprise zone program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 37-49, May.
    3. 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, November.
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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, 2004. "Evaluating the Impacts of Local Economic Development Policies on Local Economic Outcomes: What Has Been Done and What Is Doable?," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Evaluating Local Economic and Employment Development: How to Access Waht Works Among Programmes and Policies, pages 113-142 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic development; urban; regional; evaluation; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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