The use of counterfactual scenarios as a means to assess policy deadweight: an Irish case study

Helena Lenihan, Mark Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The evaluation of industrial policy interventions has attracted increasing policy and academic attention in recent years. Despite the widespread consensus regarding the need for evaluation, the issue of how to evaluate, and the associated methodological considerations, continue to be issues of considerable debate. The authors develop an approach to estimate the net additionality of financial assistance from Enterprise Ireland to indigenously owned firms in Ireland for the period 2000 to 2002. With a sample of Enterprise Ireland assisted firms, an innovative, self-assessment, in-depth, face-to-face, interview methodology was adopted. The authors also explore a way of incorporating the indirect benefits of assistance into derived deadweight estimate issue which is seldom discussed in the context of deadweight estimates. They conclude by reflecting on the key methodological lessons learned from the evaluation process, and highlight some pertinent evaluation issues which should form the focus of much future discussion in this field of research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-839
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironment and Planning C
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • industrial policy interventions
  • estimate
  • net additionality
  • financial assistance
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • Ireland
  • assisted firms
  • indirect benefits of assistance
  • derived deadweight estimation
  • deadweight estimates


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