Keywords: Industrial Policy, Policy Evaluation, Export Processing Zones
The purpose of this article is twofold: on the one hand, we stimulate a debate on the diffusion of an evaluative culture in developing countries at different levels (national, local and international); on the other hand, we suggest some perspectives for the analysis of export processing zones (EPZ) that are widely used by developing countries as a means to attract investment and promote exports. The paper offers a brief overview of the international debate on evaluation in developing countries and export processing zones and, through a preliminary study carried out in Egypt, it suggests a conceptual framework to analyse the effects of export processing zones on firms' production costs. The findings deal with issues of counterfactual estimation, choice of the evaluation question and relevant variables to consider in evaluating EPZs. Furthermore they confirm the feasibility of expanding the study at reasonable costs on bigger samples by using the same methodology.