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How Does Sub-National Autonomy Affect the Effectiveness of Structural Funds?

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  • Cornelius Baehr

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Abstract

Economic and social cohesion between the EU Member States is one of the explicitly stated goals in the Treaty on European Union. The EU’s Structural Funds as a part of the Union’s regional policies are a mechanism of conditional grants that provides co-financing for growth enhancing investments. Evidence on the effectiveness of the Structural Funds is mixed. While Boldrin and Canova (2001) find no sign of a catch-up effect of regions receiving aid for the period of 1980-1996, Beugelsdijk and Eijffinger (2005) find a positive relationship between (lagged) Structural Funds expenditure and GDP growth at the national level covering 1995-2001. De La Fuente (2002) points to the fact that the inclusion of conditioning variables might also play a crucial role for the results. Ederveen, deGroot and Nahuis (2002) find that Structural Funds themselves have a negative impact on growth. However, the impact turns out to be significantly positive, when interacting variables measuring institutional quality are taken into account. Similarly, Esposti (2005) shows that additional policy measures (spending on CAP) can have significant counter-effects on the effectiveness of Structural Funds expenditure. So far the federal structure of the EU Member States did not attract much attention when the effectiveness of the Structural Funds is considered. Although the EU Commission requires the inclusion of regional authorities and stakeholders in the planning and implementation procedure of programs funded by Structural Funds, one should expect that the performance is better, where the sub-national authorities are more accustomed to pursuing economic policy and implementing programs. This should be the case in states with a higher degree of sub-national autonomy. Using panel-data for a sample of 13 EU Member States from 1960-1995 the effects of Structural Funds on growth are analysed. Then a decentralization index by Stegarescu (2004) is introduced as an interacting variable in order to measure the degree of sub-national autonomy. This paper shows that increasing sub-national autonomy has a significantly positive impact on the effectiveness of the Union’s Structural Funds expenditure.

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  • Cornelius Baehr, 2006. "How Does Sub-National Autonomy Affect the Effectiveness of Structural Funds?," ERSA conference papers ersa06p470, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p470
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohl, Philipp & Hagen, Tobias, 2008. "Does EU Cohesion Policy Promote Growth? Evidence from Regional Data and Alternative Econometric Approaches," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-086, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Tobias Hagen & Philipp Mohl, 2011. "Econometric Evaluation of EU Cohesion Policy: A Survey," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Gruševaja, Marina & Pusch, Toralf, 2011. "How does Institutional Setting Affect the Impact of EU Structural Funds on Economic Cohesion? New Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe," IWH Discussion Papers 17/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Hagen, Tobias & Mohl, Philipp, 2009. "How does EU cohesion policy work? Evaluating its effects on fiscal outcome variables," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-051, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Susanne Lechner & Renate Ohr, 2011. "The right of withdrawal in the treaty of Lisbon: a game theoretic reflection on different decision processes in the EU," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 357-375, December.
    6. Marco Di Cataldo, 2016. "Gaining and losing EU Objective 1 funds: Regional development in Britain and the prospect of Brexit," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 120, European Institute, LSE.
    7. repec:got:cegedp:77 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ivo Bischoff & Frédéric Blaeschke, 2013. "Incentives and Influence Activities in the Public Sector: the Trade-off in Performance Budgeting and Conditional Grants," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201320, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Riccardo Crescenzi & Mara Giua, 2016. "Eu Cohesion Policy In Context: Does A Bottom-Up Approach Work In All Regions?," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0206, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    10. Ivo Bischoff & Frédéric Blaeschke, 2012. "Window-Dressing and Lobbying in Performance-Budgeting: a Model for the Public Sector," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201212, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. 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.
    12. Mohl, P. & Hagen, T., 2010. "Do EU structural funds promote regional growth? New evidence from various panel data approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 353-365, September.
    13. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Additionality and regional development: are EU Structural Funds complements or substitutes of national Public Finance?," Working Papers 201101, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
    14. Sacchi, Agnese & Salotti, Simone, 2014. "The asymmetric nature of fiscal decentralization: theory and practice," MPRA Paper 54506, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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