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A survey of impact evaluations of infrastructure projects, programs and policies

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  • Antonio Estache

Abstract

This paper surveys the main lessons from impact evaluations of infrastructure projects, programs and policies relevant to policymakers. In the process, however, it also reveals some major research gaps of relevance to academics. After a brief discussion of the motivation for the explosion of the demand for impact evaluations, it starts with some sometimes underestimated lessons for infrastructure specialists from theoretical experiment. The main focus of the paper is, however, the impact evaluations derived from experimental and quasi-experimental techniques. It covers energy, water and sanitation as well as the various transport subsectors (ports, railways, rural roads and highways). The main value added of the survey may be to show that despite the relatively modest number of published evaluations concluded in infrastructure as compared to health or education for instance, there is a growing coverage of the sector in evaluation efforts. The survey also offers an opportunity to get a sense of the creativity of researchers conducting these evaluations. It summarizes the main questions asked, the main techniques used and when available the results available. It concludes with a discussion of some of the limitations of evaluations in the context of infrastructure interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Estache, 2010. "A survey of impact evaluations of infrastructure projects, programs and policies," Working Papers ECARES 2010_005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2010_005
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Estache & Caroline Philippe, 2012. "The Impact of Private Participation in Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Taking Stock of about 20 Years of Experience," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-043, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Kiyoyasu Tanaka & Kenmei Tsubota, 2013. "Does Aid for Roads Attract Foreign or Domestic Firms? Evidence from Cambodia," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(4), pages 388-401, December.
    3. Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2015. "The Impacts of Infrastructure in Development: A Selective Survey," ADBI Working Papers 511, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    4. Barham, Tania & Lipscomb, Molly & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2011. "Development Effects of Electrification: Evidence from the Geologic Placement of Hydropower Plants in Brazil," CEPR Discussion Papers 8427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. repec:wbk:wbpubs:15790 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Atif Ansar & Bent Flyvbjerg & Alexander Budzier & Daniel Lunn, 2016. "Does infrastructure investment lead to economic growth or economic fragility? Evidence from China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 360-390.

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