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Distributive politics and intergovernmental transfers: The local allocation of European Union structural funds

Author

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  • Lisa Maria Dellmuth
  • Michael F Stoffel

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Abstract

The European Union budget is distributed primarily in the form of intergovernmental grants to sub-state governments, which invest the grants in local projects. Transfers are allocated under the auspices of the European structural funds. This article assesses the causal links between electoral incentives on the recipient side, European funding goals, and local grant allocation. Tobit regressions of the allocation patterns in 419 local districts in Germany for the period 2000–6 suggest the following: although recipient sub-state governments enjoy substantial discretion in selecting projects, their distributive choices are largely in accord with European goals. As theoretically predicted, however, there is robust evidence that sub-state governments’ electoral concerns distort the local allocation of structural funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Maria Dellmuth & Michael F Stoffel, 2012. "Distributive politics and intergovernmental transfers: The local allocation of European Union structural funds," European Union Politics, , vol. 13(3), pages 413-433, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:eeupol:v:13:y:2012:i:3:p:413-433
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:275-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Muraközy, Balázs & Telegdy, Álmos, 2016. "Political incentives and state subsidy allocation: Evidence from Hungarian municipalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 324-344.
    3. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:78-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Levoshko, Tamila, 2017. ""Pork-Barrel"-Politik und das regionale Wirtschaftswachstum. Empirische Evidenz für die Ukraine und Polen," Working Papers 0642, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    5. Jenny Simon & Justin Mattias Valasek, 2013. "Centralized Fiscal Spending by Supranational Unions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4321, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Dettmer, Bianka & Sauer, Thomas, 2016. "Implementation of European cohesion policy at the sub-national level: Evidence from beneficiary data in Eastern Germany," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2016/1, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    7. Jörg Döpke & Andreas Knabe & Cornelia Lang & Philip Maschke, 2017. "Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 1026-1044, September.
    8. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Julie Courty, 2018. "Regional lobbying and structural funds. Do regional representation offices in Brussels deliver?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1809, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2018.
    9. repec:aio:fpvfcf:v:1:y:2017:i:19:p:19-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jale Tosun, 2014. "Absorption of Regional Funds: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 371-387, March.

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