Recently the importance of a comprehensive policy evaluation has been increasingly recognized by international organizations, e.g. the World Bank, OECD and FAO as well as especially by the EU. In particular, for agricultural policies of the second pillar a comprehensive evaluation is obligatory. However, presently applied evaluation techniques are clearly lagging behind the ambiguous evaluation targets set by the EU Commission. Given the fact that a comprehensive policy evaluation is a very complex methodological challenge this discrepancy is not really surprising. Thus, nowadays it is still fair to conclude that adequate evaluation tools applicable to EU rural development policies do not exist yet. In this context this paper derives microeconometric evaluation techniques which have been developed within the EU research project ADVANCED-EVAL to evaluate RD policy programmes. In particular, the methodological shortcomings of simple evaluation techniques currently applied to evaluate EU RD policy programmes are demonstrated via a comparison of empirical evaluation results of SAPARD policies in Slovakia derived from these simple EU techniques with evaluation results derived from advanced microeconometric methods, i.e. propensity score matching.


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