Our approach

Our research centred around a methodological review of evidence from two sources:
  • provided by our research partners (almost 100 items forming an evidence library, listed below)
  • found through a systematic review by the researchers (to be added at a later date - NM 09/06/2015)


Through the methodological review, analysis has been undertaken into the types of evidence that was provided by the research partners. This is for two purposes:
  • to understand what evidence exists on spillovers and what the typologies of evidence mean in terms of methodological recommendations;
  • to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of our approach.

Types of study in the evidence library


The evidence library contains studies from across Europe. Seventeen different European countries feature as the prime country discussed, eight studies look at the EU as a whole, 14 studies feature countries from the EU and rest of the world (seen in Figure 2 as ‘multiple’), two look at Scandinavia and one is geographically focused on Eastern Europe. Twenty-nine studies, by far the largest number, mainly relate to the UK and its constituent countries. There are eight focused on Norway, six each on Finland and Germany. No other country has more than five studies.

Given the nature of the way that the library was built up through partners submitting evidence it is difficult to draw many conclusions from the geographic spread of the evidence. The partners recognise that there is a large geographic area not represented in this review. At the beginning of the process, effort was made to contact and engage partners across Central and Eastern Europe. Although this was to limited effect, any future research will continue to make attempts to engage researchers and organisations in these areas.
However some observations can be made at this stage. The library reflects the research interests of partners involved in assembling the research. The dominance of studies focused on the UK is an example of the degree to which the UK has led the field in cultural evaluation and creative industries policy formulation. It also suggests that the terminology is still to gain currency in non-English-speaking countries and that language barriers persist.
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Methodological approaches

The evidence library consists of a wide range of different types of study. Almost half of all the documents in the evidence library are based on a mixture of methods including multidisciplinary methods, followed by quantitative analysis, literature reviews, surveys case studies, write-ups of seminars. Experimental studies – which set out to prove a hypothesis are only represented by the studies in the Library from Nesta in the UK examining creative credits and impacts on wages and productivity.
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Terminology use

Just over a quarter of the documents (28) use the term spillovers - the other most common language used is ‘added value’, followed by ‘induced impacts’ and ‘induced effects’. This represents the nature of the studies in the library and their own frameworks and the linguistic and analysis traditions in which they have been written. It does show that the term ‘Spillover’ has some currency, but not that there is agreement on definitions.
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The evidence library

Below, you can find links (where available) to all items of evidence that are publicly available. You can see who wrote the item, where it is focused and what methodologies are used in the report.

  • The list contains reports included by research partners for consideration through the evidence review, and does not suggest a promotion or endorsement of the listed evidence.
  • The reports listed are either publicly available (in which case links are provided to PDFs/webspages where you can source the evidence) or not publically available (where we may either give a link where you can buy a report or where you can find out more, or where we cannot provide a link for more information). Please let us know if you spot any errors.

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