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Publié le
Mardi 03 Décembre 2019
Performing ex-ante socioeconomic assessments of public investments is a legal obligation in France for public civil investment project sponsors. Article 17 of Act no.2012-1558 of 31 December 2012 created the obligation for prior socioeconomic evaluation of civil investment projects funded by the State, its public institutions, public health institutions or health cooperation structures, all sectors included.
Les nouvelles frontières de l’évaluation socioéconomique

SBCA European Conference 2019
Toulouse School of Economics
Session 16
Evaluation of public investments in France[1]
November 27, 2019

Chair: Roger Guesnerie
Professor emeritus at Collège de France and chairman of the French Committee of experts on methods for socioeconomic evaluation of public investment

Decree no.2013-1211 of 23 December 2013 specifies that this obligation concerns projects for which funding provided by the State and its public institutions exceeds 20 million euros. For the largest projects, i.e. those for whose funding by the State and its public institutions exceeds 100 million euros, the General secretariat for investment (GSFI)[2] oversees an independent counter-expert assessment of the ex-ante socioeconomic evaluation carried out by the project sponsor. To coordinate this counter-expert assessment, the GSFI mandates a group of independent experts for a period of one to four months; its composition varies depending on the projects in question. The experts concerned have proven professional experience and present sufficient guarantees of independence with respect to the project sponsor.

Furthermore, since Act no.82-1153 of 30 December 1982 bearing on guidelines for internal transport, ex-post assessment is compulsory in the transport sector five years at the latest after infrastructures have been put into service, in particular for the largest-scale projects, i.e. those whose cost exceeds 83 million euros. Although each sector has its own specificities, the methodology for evaluation must still rely on common principles. The main purpose is to determine the real impacts of an investment once it is completed, compare these impacts to forecasts, and analyse the differences between forecasts and achievements. Apart from the transport sector, in which ex-post assessments have been compulsory since twenty years, generalisation to all sectors of public investments of such a virtuous feedback practice, comparing an investment’s actual results to its objectives, should be facilitated by the existence of harmonised guidelines to socioeconomic evaluation.

First, a report on the socioeconomic evaluation of public investments was published by France Stratégie under the supervision of Émile Quinet[3]. The Committee of Experts on Methods for Socioeconomic Evaluation of Public Investment was set up in January 2017 by the GSFI and France Stratégie in order to specify the socioeconomic calculation rules for each sector, based on the general methodology. To do this, the Committee of Experts guides discussions on the methodologies of socioeconomic evaluation and their sectorial application, in particular by setting up working groups involving figures from the academic world and stakeholders from the sector in question. The Committee of Experts on Methods for Socioeconomic Evaluation of Public Investment is chaired by Roger Guesnerie, professor at the Collège de France and Honorary President of the Paris School of Economics, Vice-Chairman is Jean-Paul Ourliac, and Secretary-General is professor Luc Baumstark. Among its members: Dominique Bureau, Jean Michel Charpin, Joel Maurice, Emile Quinet, Lise Rochaix.

The session was focused on the works of the Committee of Experts and organized as follows:

The PPT files of these four presentations are published on the site of the France Stratégie.

The session took place in the amphitheatre of Toulouse School of Economics. It was well received and successful with amphitheatre largely full. The questions were interesting with listeners confronted with similar themes in their countries and we had many positive comments on how useful it was to better understand what is done in France.


[2] In French : Secrétariat Général Pour l’Investissement (SGPI)

[3] L'évaluation socioéconomique des investissements publics, France Stratégie, report published under the supervision of Émile Quinet, 2013.


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