Retrospective analyses, regulatory performance measures and scorecards have been used for assessing the quality of impact assessments. However, these methods neglect the actual scientific knowledge available at the time of conducting a specific policy appraisal and do not enable to capture the extent of diachronic learning related to a specific regulatory reform. By focusing on the EU rail liberalisation, the aim of this paper is to assess the quality of economic analyses within impact assessments vis-à-vis the quality of scientific knowledge. The research design is straightforward. A review of the economic literature traces the progress in the scientific methods for evaluating the economic impact of rail liberalisation. By matching such scientific knowledge with the knowledge expressed in the practice of impact assessment, the main hypothesis to test is whether economic models are fully exploited by policy evaluators. The contribution of the paper is two-fold: on the one hand, it enhances the methodology for regulatory policy evaluation and, on the other hand, it contributes to the literature of the use of scientific knowledge in policy making.
- European Commission
- rail liberalisation
- quality of impact assessments
- retrospective analyses