High quality original research papers are invited for this special issue, which aims to explore and bring together theoretical and applied contributions concerning various methodological aspects of counterfactual impact evaluation.
This call originates from the consideration that European institutions increasingly demand that the Member States investigate the net effect (impact) of their programmes using counterfactual methods. Such requests come from the increasing awareness that this method is the most credible way to establish causality between an observed outcome and the intervention that is presumed to have generated that outcome.
At the same time, it must be openly acknowledged that counterfactual methods suffer from many limitations, both in their applicability and in the credibility of results they generate. For example, the most credible results come from randomised experiments, which are the least applicable counterfactual methods, at least in the context of structural funds. Moreover, many related issues need further clarification, especially in quasi-experimental settings, concerning the identification of proper comparison groups, the reorganisation of administrative databases into micro-data suited for impact evaluation, the correction of selection bias due to the presence of unobservable factors, and many other issues which deserve a clearer understanding.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Strategies and methodologies for comparison group selection
- Corrections for selection bias
- Alternative estimates and validation
- Computational topics related to data sources
- Data management suited for evaluation problems
- Theoretical models for impact evaluation
- Econometric estimators for impact evaluation
- Applied policy evaluation
- Software development for counterfactual statistical analysis
Submission of full manuscript: 31 August, 2016