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It's not about the money. EU funds, local opportunities, and Euroscepticism

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  • Crescenzi, Riccardo
  • Di Cataldo, Marco
  • Giua, Mara

Abstract

Growing Euroscepticism across the European Union (EU) leaves open questions as to what citizens expect to gain from EU Membership and what influences their dissent for EU integration. This paper looks at the EU Structural Funds, one of the largest and most visible expenditure items in the EU budget, to test their impact on electoral support for the EU. By leveraging the Referendum on Brexit held in the United Kingdom, a spatial RDD analysis offers causal evidence that EU money does not influence citizens’ support for the EU. Conversely, the analysis shows that EU funds mitigate Euroscepticism only where they are coupled with tangible improvements in local labour market conditions, the ultimate objective of this form of EU intervention. Money cannot buy love for the EU, but its capacity to generate new local opportunities certainly can.

Suggested Citation

  • Crescenzi, Riccardo & Di Cataldo, Marco & Giua, Mara, 2020. "It's not about the money. EU funds, local opportunities, and Euroscepticism," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105813, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:105813
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Brexit; Cohesion policy; EU funds; Euroscepticism; Regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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