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Beyond the SUTVA: how policy evaluations change when we allow for interactions among firms


  • Augusto Cerqua

    (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome)

  • Guido Pellegrini

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome)


The shortage of studies on spatial spillovers of industrial policies is rather surprising considering that such policies are usually designed for generating spatial externalities. In this paper we propose a new framework that partially relaxes the SUTVA and allows contrasting the positive agglomeration effects with the negative cross-sectional substitution and the crowding-out effect. The global evaluation of the ATT and the spillover parameters shifts the spotlight from the policy effect on subsidised firms to the global effect of the industrial policy on the targeted territory. Analysing a capital subsidy policy in Italy we find a positive and large effect of the policy on subsidised firms in terms of investment, turnover, and employment; however, the employment growth is in part determined to the detriment of affected untreated firms located in the very proximity of one or more treated firms that belong to the same sector of activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Augusto Cerqua & Guido Pellegrini, 2014. "Beyond the SUTVA: how policy evaluations change when we allow for interactions among firms," Working Papers 2/14, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
  • Handle: RePEc:saq:wpaper:2/14

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Gennaro, Daniele & Pellegrini, Guido, 2016. "Evaluating direct and indirect treatment effects in Italian R&D expenditures," MPRA Paper 76467, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Jan 2017.
    2. Cazzuffi, Chiara & Pereira-López, Mariana & Soloaga, Isidro, 2017. "Local poverty reduction in Chile and Mexico: The role of food manufacturing growth," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 160-185.
    3. Roberto Gabriele & Enrico Tundis, 2015. "Contesto regionale, struttura economica e impatto delle politiche regionali: il caso degli alberghi in Trentino," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3 Suppl.), pages 37-59.
    4. Roberto Gabriele, & Enrico Tundis, & Enrico Zaninotto, 2015. "Public Subsidies and Development of Hotel Industry: Evidence from a Place-based Policy," DEM Discussion Papers 2015/10, Department of Economics and Management.
    5. Daniele Di Gennaro & Guido Pellegrini, 2016. "Policy Evaluation In Presence Of Interferences: A Spatial Multilevel Did Approach," Working Papers 0416, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2016.

    More about this item


    SUTVA; spillovers; policy evaluation; public subsidies; business support policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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