Evaluating Environmental Programs: The Perspective of Modern Evaluation Research

29 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2002

See all articles by Manuel Frondel

Manuel Frondel

RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ; Ruhr University Bochum (RUB)

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen); Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: November 15, 2001

Abstract

Large-scale environmental programs generally commit substantial societal resources, making the evaluation of their actual effects on the relevant outcomes imperative. As the example of the subsidization of energy-saving appliances illustrates, much of the applied environmental economics literature has yet to confront the problem of proper attribution of effects to underlying causes on a convincing methodological basis. This paper argues that recent results in the econometrics and statistics literature on program evaluation could be utilized to advance considerably in this context. In particular, the construction of a credible counterfactual situation is at the heart of the formal statistical evaluation problem. Even when controlled experiments are not a viable option, appropriate approaches might succeed where traditional empirical strategies fail to uncover the effects of environmental interventions.

Keywords: Environmental policy, energy-conservation programs, experiments, observational studies, counterfactual

JEL Classification: H43, C40, C90

Suggested Citation

Frondel, Manuel and Schmidt, Christoph M., Evaluating Environmental Programs: The Perspective of Modern Evaluation Research (November 15, 2001). ZEW Discussion Paper No. 01-59. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=328000 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.328000

Manuel Frondel (Contact Author)

RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
45128 Essen
Germany

Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) ( email )

Universitätsstraße 150
Bochum, NRW 44780
Germany

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstraße 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany
++49 201 8149-227 (Phone)
++49 201 8149-236 (Fax)

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

GC 2/150
Universitätsstr. 150
D-44780 Bochum
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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