The paper reports an evaluation exercise led on behalf of the Regione of Lombardy during the years 2009-2011. Authors evaluated a set of regional programs (le "doti", lite- rally "dowries") aimed at the employment of various categories of disadvantaged individuals. Treated subjects would receive a voucher, by which they could access a set of employment-oriented services by a set of providers, both public and private, certified by the Regione. The evaluation exercise was aimed at ranking the service providers on the basis of their effectiveness. First, the paper describes the data provided to the evaluation group, and a set of problems related to the program design. Then, the statistical models are presented: two version of a multilevel random effect models, and a model of analysis of the productive efficiency frontier (DEA). Finally, the paper explains why the ranking provided by the models cannot be used operationally, and what can be done to overcome the problems and get a satisfying evaluation of important public policies such as the one considered.
Keywords: Policy evaluation, employment policies, multilevel models, DEA models.
Gabriele Ballarino, Daniele Checchi, Carlo Fiorio, Stefano Iacus, Marco Leonardi, Giuseppe Porro, in "RIV Rassegna Italiana di Valutazione" 49/2011, pp. 39-76, DOI:10.3280/RIV2011-049004