Impact Evaluation of a Cluster Program: An Application of Synthetic Control Methods

Sep 2017
This paper analyzes the impact of a cluster tourism policy in the region of Colonia, Uruguay. The policy was implemented as part of an IDB-supported program. The study conducted a comparative analysis of Colonia vs. other tourism regions of the country applying a synthetic control method. This method of identifying the counterfactual is especially useful in comparative case studies where there are a limited number of control units. This is the first time that the synthetic control method hasbeen applied to a cluster policy. The estimations show a positive impact of the cluster program on the inflow of international tourists to Colonia of 30 percent in the period 2008–2015; however, no significant impact on total expenditure was found.