The differential impact of evidence types in policy decisions: comparing evidence priorities in employment and education ministries

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Evidence-based policy-making has received increasing attention among governments in recent decades. However, comparative research examining patterns of evidence impact and administrative priorities for different forms of evidence remains scarce. In response, this article investigates the impact of different evidence types in two Danish ministries – the Ministry of Employment and the Ministry of Children and Education – characterized by similar analytical capacities but different strategies and criteria for prioritizing and using evidence. Applying a novel document matching method to analyze 1159 research publications and policy decisions from 2015–2021 about Danish active labor market policies and public school policies, the article shows how causal effect evidence has to a greater extent influenced policy decisions in the Ministry of Employment than in the Ministry of Children and Education. The article proposes that the observed variation between the policy domains can be attributed to ministerial evidence strategies, shaping administrative perceptions of the relevance and usefulness of different types of evidence. Based on the results, the article discusses the implications of prioritizing particular evidence types in ministries, considering variations between study designs and their appropriateness for different policy needs and purposes.
TidsskriftPolicy Studies
Vol/bindLatest articles
Antal sider28
StatusUdgivet - 21 maj 2024


  • Evidence-based policy-making
  • evidence impact
  • evidence strategy
  • ministries
  • education policy
  • employment policy
  • Denmark

Citer dette