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The Elusive Quest for the Holy Grail of an Impact of EU Funds on Regional Growth

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  • Jan Fidrmuc
  • Martin Hulényi
  • Olga Zajkowska

Abstract

We analyze the impact of EU structural and cohesion funds on economic growth of European regions, using 2SLS to tackle the potential problem of endogeneity, and estimating a spatial model to account for inter-regional spillovers. We use the presence of environmentally protected areas (under the European Union’s Natura 2000 program) as instruments for the receipts of funds from the EU Cohesion Policy. We find that the European funds have a significant and positive effect on regional economic growth in the EU. The inter-regional spillovers in the effect of Cohesion Policy on regional growth are found to be important: most of the effect takes place outside of the recipient region rather than inside. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in the effect of Cohesion Policy across individual EU member states: the effect is stronger in the new member states, and weak or negative in the countries hit by the recent austerity measures. Finally, our results confirm the positive impact of institutional quality: improvements in economic development across the EU do not necessarily require only redistribution: institutional reform can also help boost growth performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Fidrmuc & Martin Hulényi & Olga Zajkowska, 2019. "The Elusive Quest for the Holy Grail of an Impact of EU Funds on Regional Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 7989, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7989
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    regional aid; growth; environmental conservation; 2SLS; spatial model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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