Evaluating the impact of public interventions: methods and case studies


Research Project supported by the Italian Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, 2005

Projects | 1997 | 1999 | 2001 | 2003 | 2005 


The distinctive feature of this research proposal lies in keeping together 

  1. a common methodological framework centered on policy analysis, with emphasis on impact evaluation;
  2. a special attention devoted to gathering data information which is appropriate to the analysis of the case-studies discussed;
  3. the analysis of selected policies in three broad fields: human capital and labour market, welfare, support to firms.

The research project consists of four main themes, largely complementary and closely related to each other: 

  1. methodological issues related to programme evaluation, with particular emphasis given to cost-benefit analysis and to microsimulation models; 
  2. selected case-studies from three broad fields:
    (B1) human capital and labour market policies, 
    (B2) policies providing incentives to firms,
    (B3) welfare policies.

We plan to exploit – and, whenever it is necessary, to improve – information from several microdata sources: 

  1. the longitudinal panel from the INPS archive for the years 1985-1999, developed by the RU in Turin (further improvements and up-date will take place in the next two years);
  2. the firms and workers INPS archive for the all population of the Veneto and Tuscany regions, 1974-2000;
  3. the Netlabor archive resulting from the administrative operation of the Labour Exchange for the Veneto region, 1995-2003 (previously run by the State and now by the Region);
  4. several cross-sections as well as linked panel samples from the Italian Labour Force Survey and from the Survey on Households Income and Wealth (Bank of Italy); 
  5. the files from a longitudinal survey on Italian firms carried out by Capitalia; 
  6. administrative files from some Italian universities on scolarships issued to undergraduate students;
  7. the files from a longitudinal survey on Italian firms carried out by Mediocredito Centrale;
  8. some ‘ad hoc’ files resulting from the implementation of the labour market policies we focus on in this proposal.

We aim at obtaining the following results: 

  1. some methodological improvements in the tools we shall use to evaluate the programmes impact; 
  2. a deeper understanding of the functioning of the policies we focus on and of their impact on individual conditions and behaviour;
  3. the development of new data-bases to share with the research community.


Systematic interchanges between the RUs will be promoted by organising meetings of the research group as well as open workshops on a regular basis. It is also worth stressing that the composition of the research team – including statisticians, economists and sociologists – is such that it will enhance the opportunity of interactions among researchers with a significantly different background.

Finally, we expect that the evidence on the effects of Italian policies obtained within this research project will play an important role in the public debate on their reform. This is of particular value bearing in mind (i) possible cuts to future EU funding as a consequence of the enlargement of the European Community, and (ii) the shift of the burden of designing and implementing active policies in the three fields we consider from central government to regional administrations.





Info: anna.giraldo@unipd.it