Statistical Tools for Program Evaluation: Introduction and Overview

  • Jean-Michel Josselin
  • Benoît Le Maux


Program evaluation intends to grasp the impact of collective projects on citizens, their economic, social and environmental consequences on individual and community welfare. The task is challenging as it is not so easy to put a value on items such as health, education or changes in environment. This chapter provides an overview of the program evaluation methodology, and offers an introduction to the present book. Program evaluation is defined as a process that consists in collecting, analyzing, and using information to assess the relevance of a policy, its effectiveness and its efficiency (Sect. 1.1). The approach usually starts with a context analysis which first relies on descriptive and inferential statistical tools to point out issues that must be addressed, then measures welfare changes associated with the program (Sect. 1.2). Afterwards, an ex ante evaluation can be conducted to set up solutions and to select a particular strategy among the competing ones (Sect. 1.3). Once the selected strategy has been implemented, ex post evaluation techniques assess the extent to which planned outcomes have been achieved as a result of the program, ceteris paribus (Sect. 1.4). The last section of this chapter finally offers a brief description of how to use the book (Sect. 1.5).


Public program Context analysis Ex ante evaluation Ex post evaluation Efficiency Effectiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Michel Josselin
    • 1
  • Benoît Le Maux
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of Rennes 1RennesFrance

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