Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Handbook on the Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Elgar original reference

Edited by Albert N. Link and Nicholas S. Vonortas

As this volume demonstrates, a wide variety of methodologies exist to evaluate particularly the objectives and outcomes of research and development programs. These include surveys, statistical and econometric estimations, patent analyses, bibliometrics, scientometrics, network analyses, case studies, and historical tracings. Contributors divide these and other methods and applications into four categories – economic, non-economic, hybrid and data-driven – in order to discuss the many factors that affect the utility of each technique and how that impacts the technological, economic and societal forecasts of the programs in question.

Chapter 3: Micro-econometric approaches to the evaluation of technology-oriented public programmes: a non-technical review of the state of the art

Spyros Arvanitis

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, public sector economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Most OECD countries use large amounts of public funds to support activities that are intended to enhance innovation in the business sector. These funds are often used to provide direct support for private sector research and innovation. A further way of supporting private investment in innovation is through tax incentives for R & D expenditures (see Jaumotte and Pain, 2005 for a survey of the main fiscal policies to support innovation; Mohnen and Lokshin, 2009 provide a brief survey of studies evaluating R & D tax incentives). The underlying justification for public policies to support innovation is provided by the standard economic argument that otherwise the private sector would invest less in innovative activities than is socially desirable because of the public good characteristics of the R & D activity and subsequent lack of private full appropriability of R & D outcomes (Arrow, 1962; Nelson, 1959).

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