IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does EU Cohesion Policy Promote Growth? Evidence from Regional Data and Alternative Econometric Approaches


  • Mohl, Philipp
  • Hagen, Tobias


This paper analyses the growth e®ects of EU structural funds using a new panel dataset of 124 NUTS-1 / NUTS-2 regions over the time period 1995-2005. We extend the current literature with regard to at least three aspects: First of all, we extend the time period of investigation, using structural funds payments of the last Financial Perspective 2000{2006 that have not been analysed before. Second, we use more precise measures of structural funds by distinguishing between Objective 1, 2 and 3 payments and by investigating the impact of time lags more carefully. Third, we examine the robustness of our results by comparing different econometric approaches highlighting specific methodological problems. Apart from \classical" panel data methods like system GMM, we apply spatial panel econometric techniques. The empirical evidence indicates that the Objective 1 payments in particular have a positive and significant impact on growth, whereas Objective 2 and 3 payments negatively affect the regions' growth rates. Furthermore, our results show that the growth impact occurs with a time lag of approximately two to three years.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7428

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Doménech, 2006. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, March.
    2. Cornelius Bähr, 2008. "How does Sub-National Autonomy Affect the Effectiveness of Structural Funds?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 3-18, February.
    3. Sjef Ederveen & Henri L . F. Groot & Richard Nahuis, 2006. "Fertile Soil for Structural Funds?A Panel Data Analysis of the Conditional Effectiveness of European Cohesion Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 17-42, February.
    4. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    6. LE GALLO, Julie & ERTUR, Cem, 2000. "Exploratory spatial data analysis of the distribution of regional per capita GDP in Europe, 1980-1995," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2000-09, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.
    7. Andres RodrIguez-Pose & Ugo Fratesi†, 2004. "Between Development and Social Policies: The Impact of European Structural Funds in Objective 1 Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 97-113.
    8. Sandy Dall'erba & Julie Le Gallo, 2008. "Regional convergence and the impact of European structural funds over 1989-1999: A spatial econometric analysis," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 219-244, June.
    9. Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2006. "Regional disparities in the European Union and the enlargement process: an exploratory spatial data analysis, 1995–2000," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 40(4), pages 723-765, December.
    10. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-380, December.
    11. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Therese McGuire, 2001. "Do Interregional Transfers Improve the Economic Performance of Poor Regions? The Case of Spain," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(3), pages 281-296, May.
    12. Sjed Ederveen & Joeri Gorter & Ruud de Mooij & Richard Nahuis, 2003. "Funds and Games: The Economics of European Cohesion Policy," Occasional Papers 03, European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes.
    13. Elias Soukiazis & Micaela Antunes, 2006. "Two Speed Regional Convergence In Portugal And the Importance of Structural Funds on Growth," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 9(2), pages 222-241, Winter.
    14. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
    15. Aadne Cappelen & Fulvio Castellacci & Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2003. "The Impact of EU Regional Support on Growth and Convergence in the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41, pages 621-644, September.
    16. Maaike Beugelsdijk & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger, 2005. "The Effectiveness of Structural Policy in the European Union: An Empirical Analysis for the EU-15 in 1995-2001," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 37-51, March.
    17. Marco PERCOCO, 2005. "The Impact Of Structural Funds On The Italian Mezzogiorno, 1994-1999," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 21, pages 141-153.
    18. Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "A finite sample correction for the variance of linear efficient two-step GMM estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 25-51, May.
    19. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Annekatrin Niebuhr & Nadia Granato & Anette Haas & Silke Hamann, 2012. "Does Labour Mobility Reduce Disparities between Regional Labour Markets in Germany?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 841-858, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Fürst, Dietrich & Hirschfeld, Markus & Jung, Hans-Ulrich & Lammers, Konrad & Nischwitz, Guido & Salow, Sven-Olaf & Sempell, Guido & Skubowius, Alexander, 2012. "Ausgestaltung der EU-Strukturpolitik der Förderperiode 2007 - 2013 in den nordwestdeutschen Bundesländern," Arbeitsmaterial der ARL, Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften, volume 127, number 358, April.
    5. Dettmer, Bianka & Sauer, Thomas, 2016. "Implementation of European cohesion policy at the sub-national level: Evidence from beneficiary data in Eastern Germany," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2016/1, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    6. 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.
    7. Riccardo Crescenzi & Mara Giua, 2014. "The EU Cohesion policy in context: regional growth and the influence of agricultural and rural development policies," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 85, European Institute, LSE.

    More about this item


    EU structural funds; economic growth; spatial econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7428. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.