Macroeconomic aspects of S/T programme evaluation
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Understanding the macroeconomic aspects of S/T programme evaluation exercises must be anchored in exploring S/T and its impact in the context of the modern competitive economy, starting at the level of the firm and moving up to the country and EU regional level. Whereas monitoring focuses on the continuous managerial review of project operations, evaluation is concerned with what is being achieved, with maximizing the programme's impact, and with providing guidelines for new ones. The economic context and the placement of S/T in it, in crucial in both ex-ante evaluation, setting goals and projecting evolution corridors, as well as ex-post evaluation of proximity to targets, and/or assessment/updating of projected technological and economic paths followed. The paper will briefly draw this connection and then proceed to explore the multi-level interface between S/T and the economic context, whose characteristics should inform ex-ante and ex-post evaluation efforts. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of S/T — and hence in evaluating S/T programmes — visa-vis the effects of S/T on market structure, sustainability and EU cohesion. S/T will be viewed in terms of its projected effects on the viability of monopolistic/oligopolistic arrangements, and on the incontestability of markets, namely the ability of incumbents to deter entry by new challengers. It will be also argued that S/T is, and should be, the bridge linking growth and sustainability, the two towering preoccupations that are often deemed to be at odds. Finally, and most immediately critical for the EU, the vicissitudes of cohesion in the EU will be explored, and the role of S/T in alleviating them will be underscored. Successful and properly evaluated S/T programmes can help steer the EU away from the tensions generated by asymmetric shocks to liberalizing, integrating economies, specializing on the basis of comparative advantage.
KeywordsRegional Level Managerial Review Comparative Advantage Programme Evaluation Market Structure
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