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Methods applied in evaluating business subsidy programs: A survey


  • Takis Venetoklis


This paper surveys evaluation studies of business subsidy programs conducted in Finland and abroad. The aim is to assess the evaluation methods applied and then recommend the most appropriate ones applicable in Finland. In the paper twenty seven studies are analysed; eighteen using Finnish data and the rest, data from other countries. In the study, evaluation methods are divided into two types: ones which gather data and others which analyse them. We found that the evaluation methods utilised are associated with the results produced. Interestingly, also the commissioner of the evaluations seems to play a role in the results reported. The study recommends among others, that estimations on the impacts of business subsidy programs should not be based on primary data (from interviews or questionnaires of recipient firms) but rather on secondary data (from financial statements of firms). In addition, ex post evaluations, utilising both descriptive and econometric methods of analysis, should be the main focus of evaluation activities in the ministries and agencies distributing these business subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Takis Venetoklis, 2000. "Methods applied in evaluating business subsidy programs: A survey," Discussion Papers 236, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:236

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee, Jong-Wha, 1996. "Government Interventions and Productivity Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 391-414, September.
    2. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Henri Capron, 1997. "Public support to business R&D: a survey and some new quantitative evidence," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6283, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Takis Venetoklis, 2000. "Impact of Business Subsidies on Growth of Firms - Preliminary Evidence from Finnish Panel Data," Discussion Papers 220, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    4. Takis Venetoklis, 1999. "Process Evaluation of Business Subsidies in Finland. A Quantitative Approach," Research Reports 58, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    5. Levy, David M., 1990. "Estimating the impact of government R&D," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 169-173, February.
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    More about this item


    Evaluation methods; business subsidy programs;

    JEL classification:

    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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