Outstanding evaluation.  Red pen on evaluation, with "outstanding" checked.

Good Programs Destroyed by Bad Evaluations

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Catherine Searle Renault, Principal and Owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, and Research Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, where she specializes in evaluation research. 

Who can argue with the importance of understanding whether or not taxpayer dollars are being used effectively to meet agreed upon policy goals like economic growth? Across the country, the concept of regularly evaluating economic development incentives, including those implemented as tax credits, is broadly accepted. The devil, however, is in the details. The best evaluations follow recognized policy evaluation and data analysis methodologies and principles.

In Oklahoma and Maryland, the statutory evaluation is in the hands of evaluation professionals in the economic development agencies, rather than being delegated to a watchdog or audit organization, as is proposed in some states. This ensures that the evaluations are credible and professionally done, and actually answer the questions that the legislatures and the public have. Continue reading

C2ER Blog Post 5.06.15 Picture

New State Business Incentives Glossary

Users of the C2ER State Business Incentives Database have a new resource for understanding some of the tricky terminology used to describe state business incentives. The Database now features a full Glossary with information on every term utilized in the Database.

The Glossary provides information on the most commonly used terms used to describe state business incentives. Researchers can turn to this resource to find more information about different types of incentives, the various business needs fulfilled by incentives, and the statutory and fiscal background of programs. The Glossary also gives more insight into how C2ER researchers decide which incentive programs to include in the Database. Continue reading