Evaluating Community and Economic Development Programs

Research Report

Evaluating Community and Economic Development Programs

A Literature Review to Inform Evaluation of the New Markets Tax Credit Program

Abstract

Numerous programs administered by scores of federal, state and local government entities have supported community and economic development through grants, loans, loan guarantees, tax credits, and other means. The most recent such federal program involves New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), which encourage private capital investment in low-income communities that are, or are perceived to be, high investment risks. In preparation for designing an evaluation of NMTCs, this document reviews the broad literature on community and economic development programs to identify key evaluation concepts, questions, methods and measures, as well as to highlight significant challenges inherent in evaluating these programs.

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