Augusto Cerqua Guido Pellegrini

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Firm Subsidies in Lagging-Behind Areas: The Italian Job

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Since the late 1990s, Italian scholars have produced numerous studies in the field of regional policy evaluation, especially ones that have investigated the impact of financial incentives aimed at supporting the accumulation of private capital in underdeveloped areas. The number and innovativeness of these studies make it possible to define the presence of an Italian school for evaluating regional policies. This paper testifies to the importance and methodological advances of this school, putting it at the frontier of policy evaluation analyses. The presentation of the studies moves in two directions, historical and methodological, identifying the main themes and techniques addressed in recent years: the evaluation of Law 488 and negotiated programming policies, on the one hand, the advance in policy evaluation techniques in the presence of interactions and continuous treatment, on the other. The paper does not claim to be an exhaustive review; rather, it should be considered an overview of the historical path and the future prospects of what we call «the Italian school of regional policy evaluation».


  • firm subsidies
  • regional policy evaluation
  • Italy


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