45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In the process of decentralisation of regional policy, the European Union is delegating greater responsibility to Regional Governments in the promotion of regional economic growth and development. Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) would play a significant role as public agencies coordinating economic growth, promotion and development strategies in their respective territorial areas. In recent years, regional policy evaluation has been a theme under much debate internationally much of which has been spurred on through the significant EU Structural Funds transfers from the 1990s. Despite this, there are still few well-established methodologies to aid the evaluation process, the measure of efficiency and this remains a serious issue with which researchers in this field continue to grapple. In this way, an important question, in any evaluation, regarding the effectiveness of RDAs, is about what would have happened in the absence of financial assistance. This paper develops a methodology to evaluate the impact of RDAs in comparison with the total increase in regional economic growth and changes. So, we are interested in measure how much of the global changes in regional development, during a period, is due to the direct contribution of RDAs activity. In this way, it must be considered four main issues, specific of agencies performance, as the creation of SMEs, internationalization firms, R+D+i expenses and, finally competitiveness effects.