Seemingly parallel to the increase in the evaluation of labour market policies runs the politically motivated desire for evaluation of policies in the environmental field. While, however, a host of studies works to elaborate adequate concepts as regards, for example, labour market research, the empirical evaluation of environmental policies is lacking in substance. Seldomly are the conclusions which draw towards the two core referential mainstays of policy evaluation, i.e., ecological efficacy and economic efficiency, backed by empirical evidence. Serving instead as means of discovery and argumentation are theoretical model considerations as well as the experiential values of the respective expert practitioners involved in implementation of the measure.

Only recently has the evaluation of policy measures guided by (quasi-)experimental methodology been more soberly established, yet almost exclusively in other fields such as labour market, rather than environmental economics. With the internally funded project "Evaluation of Environmental Measures and Instruments: Concepts and Experiments" the research department Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management at the ZEW aims to build such a necessary contribution to the methodology of evaluation research in the field of environmental and energy policy.

Thereby statistical and econometric methods, which have already found a wide range of application in the field of labour market policies, are specified in order to properly isolate the causal impact of environmental interventions such as energy saving measures. In the investigation it is sought to make out which of these methods may be most appropriate for evaluation strategies pertaining to environmental policy. This includes the description of (i) the according data requrements, (ii) the assumptions involved with the identification of the effect as well as (iii) the potential measurement conflicts arising from violations of the respective assumptive groundwork. As an outcome of the research effort, empirically vested cost-efficacy comparisons of alternative policy measures should, ideally, become realisable.