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Scale versus heterogeneity: how the economy affects public support for the EU


  • Marco Montanari



This paper proposes a simple political economic model of public opinion support for the EU, drawing on the recent economic literature on integration processes. The basic element is the existence of a trade-off between the benefits of centralisation and the costs of harmonising policies in the presence of heterogeneous preferences among countries. Subsequently we test the model with panel data on the EU member countries. The findings broadly confirm that economic benefits and costs do consistently shape citizens’ attitude towards EU membership. Our analysis may thus shed some light also on the awkward process of ratification of the European Constitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Montanari, 2006. "Scale versus heterogeneity: how the economy affects public support for the EU," Department of Economics 0530, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:depeco:0530

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    More about this item


    Economic integration; European Union; Panel Data; Political Economy; Public Opinion;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism


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