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Too much of a good thing? On the growth effects of the EU's regional policy

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Author Info

  • Becker, Sascha O.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Egger, Peter H.

    (ETH Zurich)

  • Von Ehrlich, Maximilian

    (ETH Zurich)

Abstract

The European Union (EU) provides grants to disadvantaged regions of member states from two pools, the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. The main goal of the associated transfers is to facilitate convergence of poor regions (in terms of per-capita income) to the EU average. We use data at the NUTS3 level from the last two EU budgetary periods (1994-99 and 2000-06) and generalized propensity score estimation to analyze to which extent the goal of fostering growth in the target regions was achieved with the funds provided and whether or not more transfers generated stronger growth effects. We find that, overall, EU transfers enable faster growth in the recipient regions as intended, but we estimate that in 36% of the recipient regions the transfer intensity exceeds the aggregate effciency maximizing level and in 18% of the regions a reduction of transfers would not even reduce their growth. We conclude that some reallocation of the funds across target regions would lead to higher aggregate growth in the EU and could generate even faster convergence than the current scheme does.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 70.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:70

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Keywords: EU regional policy; Regional growth; Generalized; propensity score estimation; Quasi-randomized experiment;

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References

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  1. Widgrén, Mika, 2008. "The Impact of Council Voting Rules on EU Decision-Making," Discussion Papers 1162, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Martin, Philippe, 1998. "Public Policies, Regional Inequalities and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Scholarly Articles 3606235, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  5. Kosuke Imai & David A. van Dyk, 2004. "Causal Inference With General Treatment Regimes: Generalizing the Propensity Score," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 99, pages 854-866, January.
  6. J. Hirshleifer, 1958. "On the Theory of Optimal Investment Decision," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 329.
  7. Sascha O. Becker & Peter Egger & Maximilian Von Ehrlich & Robert Fenge, 2008. "Going NUTS: The Effect of EU Structural Funds on Regional Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 2495, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Becker Sascha O & Muendler Marc-Andreas, 2008. "The Effect of FDI on Job Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-46, April.
  9. Author-Name: Jeffrey D. Sachs & John W. McArthur & Guido Schmidt-Traub & Margaret Kruk & Chandrika Bahadur & Michael Faye & Gordon McCord, 2004. "Ending Africa's Poverty Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 117-240.
  10. Mohl, Philipp & Hagen, Tobias, 2008. "Which is the Right Dose of EU Cohesion Policy for Economic Growth?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-104, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter H. Egger & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Douglas R. Nelson, 2012. "Migration and Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 216-241, 02.
  2. Cheng-te Lee & Chen Fang & Kuo-hsing Kuo, 2014. "Common Market and Equilibrium Growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 480-493.
  3. Vinko Mu?tra & Lena Male?eviæ Peroviæ & Silvia Golem, 2013. "Social attitudes and regional inequalities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p678, European Regional Science Association.
  4. d'Artis Kancs & Boriss Siliverstovs, 2012. "R&D and Non-Linear Productivity Growth of Heterogeneous Firms," JRC-IPTS Working Papers JRC77247, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre, revised Dec 2012.
  5. Benjamin Furlan & Harald Oberhofer & Hannes Winner, 2014. "A Note on Merger and Acquisition Evaluation," WIFO Working Papers 462, WIFO.
  6. David Neumark & Helen Simpson, 2014. "Place-Based Policies," NBER Working Papers 20049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), Berlin (ed.), 2013. "Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2013," Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany: Report, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI), volume 127, number 2013e.
  8. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina & Cavicchioli, Daniele & Vigani, Mauro, 2011. "Does Common Agricultural Policy Reduce Farm Labour Migration? A Panel Data Analysis Across EU Regions," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114597, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  9. Emiliano Magrini & Pierluigi Montalbano & Silvia Nenci, 2013. "Are the EU trade preferences really effective? A Generalized Propensity Score evaluation of the Southern Mediterranean Countries' case in agriculture and fishery," Working Papers 2/13, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
  10. Philipp Breidenbach & Timo Mitze & Christoph Schmidt, 2011. "Evaluating EU Regional Policy: Many Empirical Specifications, One (Unpleasant) Result," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1144, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Augusto Cerqua & Guido Pellegrini, 2014. "Beyond the SUTVA: how policy evaluations change when we allow for interactions among firms," Working Papers 2/14, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
  12. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina & Cavicchioli, Daniele & Vigani, Mauro, . "Reallocation of Agricultural Labor and Farm Subsidies: Evidence From the EU Regions," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126645, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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