Policy innovation and implementation can be improved by systematic ex post evaluation of new programmes, new policy instruments, and changes to implementation procedures. Good evaluation requires appropriate application of research methods, to deal with problems such as specifying the appropriate counterfactual, selection bias in programme participation, distinguishing average and marginal impacts, dealing with interactions among impacts of multiple policies, allowing for long-term effects, and keeping track of impacts and outcomes that are present but not quantifiable. In many cases, these problems can be dealt with more satisfactorily if the data needs for the anticipated evaluation are built into the implementation of the new policy or programme from the very beginning.
Adam B. Jaffe joined Motu as Director effective May 2013. Jaffe comes to Motu from Brandeis University in the U.S.A. where he is the Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics, and previously Chair of Economics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He served as Senior Staff Economist at the President's Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush. Jaffe was a co-founder of the Innovation Policy and the Economy group of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the organizer, with Ben Jones of Northwestern University of a conference: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, to be held in August 2013. Jaffe's research focuses on technological innovation and technology diffusion, particularly as it affects environmental and energy technologies, and on science and technology policy.
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