Data-Linking and Impact Evaluation in Northern Ireland
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This study tracked 480 firms (253 Invest NI clients and 227 non-assisted firms) for which annual GVA, turnover and data were available. The goal was to estimate the impact of assistance using counterfactuals. This was not straightforward, since supported firms can be quite different to non-supported firms (making it more difficult to find similar "matches").
However, the following tentative conclusions were reached:
- There was a significant positive impact on GVA and turnover.
- Impact on employment was not statistically significant, but positive at around 2% per annum. Over the period 2001-2007, employment in non-assisted manufacturing firms fell by 3.9% per annum - for assisted firms the drop was only 1.9%. There was a similar boost in the business service sector, where non-assisted firms grew by about 4.9% per annum, while assisted firms grew by 6.9%.
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