Evaluating Restructuring Aid: a Case Study Approach
When a firm in difficulty has no remaining market options to attempt restructuring and regaining viability, there is the possibility that a government chooses to intervene by means of a rescue and/or a restructuring aid. While this is clearly considered to constitute one of the most distortive types of State aid, rescue and restructuring aid can be allowed in very specific circumstances. At EU level, those circumstances are set out in guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty. Building upon, among others, insights and results gained throughout the conduct of a study for the European Commission (DG Competition), this article evaluates restructuring aid decisions (excluding the financial sector) from 2003 until 2012 by means of a case study approach. The contribution of this study is twofold. First, the results of the article shed light on the effectiveness and efficiency of restructuring aid procedures and outcomes. Second, we report on the advantages and limitations of the qualitative methodology used, which constitutes a crucial complement to econometric analyses and forms an essential part of any proper ex-post aid evaluation.
Keywords: Restructuring Aid; Ex-post Evaluation; Case Studies.