Keywords: Complexity Theory; Structural Change; Policy Analysis and Evaluation; Human Development; Convergence-Divergence Models; European Cohesion Policy.
Traditional approaches to policy analysis and evaluation of structural change center on impact assessment through econometric simulations and macroeconomic models at different levels of data aggregation. This article seeks to go beyond the traditional micro and macro approaches to policy analysis and evaluation to develop a dynamic meso-centered framework. Drawing upon complexity theory, this article critically reviews traditional macroeconomic models as well as microeconomic analyses of the European Cohesion Policy. This article claims that focusing policy analysis and evaluation on the meso-level has the potential to gain relevant cognitive insights on both micro and macro units of analysis. In other terms, the meso-level founds both the micro and the macro dimensions of structural change through micro processes of institutional emergence, adaptation, and retention, and through macro processes of coordination.