Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik
Francis J. Greene and David J. Storey Introduction Enterprise policy is predicated on the basis that it is possible to alter the behaviour of people. Prior to such interventions, some people may be unaware of their entrepreneurial potential, shy of their entrepreneurial capability or feel intimidated by their inability to fund their entrepreneurial ambitions. Enterprise policy, if successful, should resolve some or all of these limitations. Unfortunately, while enterprise policy is widespread across developed economies there is little evaluation of impact. Even where there has been evaluation (e.g. Lerner, 1999 and Wallsten, 2000 (US’s SBIR programme); and del Monte and Scalera, 2001 (Italy’s Law 44 programme); Riding and Haines, 2001 (loan guarantee schemes); Wren and Storey, 2002 (consultancy support); and Chrisman, 1989, 1999; Chrisman and Katrishen, 1994; and Chrisman and McMullan, 2000, 2004 (US Small Business Development Centers)), we still often don’t know what does work and what does not (Lundström and Stevenson, 2001). This chapter begins by discussing some of the issues faced in evaluating enterprise programmes. It suggests that the optimal evaluation techniques, if we wish to accurately specify the additionality of programmes, is to use matched samples of the ‘treated’ and the ‘unwashed’ and then subsequently use econometric techniques to account for their observable and unobservable characteristics (e.g. Heckman, 1979; Heckman and Smith, 1996), so as to accurately measure policy impact. The discussion then moves on to suggesting that besides the comfort of knowing that our hard-earned euros, dollars or pounds are well accounted for, programme...
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