Can regional transfers buy public support? Evidence from EU structural policy
Regional transfers are assumed to have an impact on the public opinion towards the benefactor, but empirical evidence is still scarce. In this paper we test this hypothesis for the structural funds of the European Union (EU) by combining detailed data on regional transfers with public opinion surveys. A positive impact of transfers on public support for the EU can be confirmed. Moreover, we scrutinize the role of awareness of being a recipient of funds in this process. In particular, we find that the impact of the amount of transfers on the individual's awareness is heterogenous and particularly depends on education. Finally, we show that the type of information source which arouses the citizen's awareness of the transfers affects the impact on his opinion.
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