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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
One or Many Cohesion Policies of the European Union? On the Diverging Impacts of Cohesion Policy across Member States
Riccardo Crescenzi and Mara Giua February 2018
Paper No' SERCDP0230:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: O18; R11; R58

Tags: cohesion policy; european union; regions; growth; employment

Do regions in all Member States (MSs) of the European Union (EU) benefit from Cohesion Policy? Are regional impacts persistently diversified across countries? In order to answer these questions this paper explores how the impact of the EU Cohesion Policy on growth and employment varies across countries. A spatial Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) makes it possible estimate distinct but fully comparable impacts for each individual MS both before the Great Recession and during recovery. The results show that Cohesion Policy has exerted a positive and significant EU-wide impact on both regional economic growth and employment. However, regional impacts are not evenly distributed across MSs. Large part of the regional growth bonus generated by Cohesion Policy is concentrated in Germany. Conversely, impacts on regional employment are confined to the United Kingdom. The picture for beneficiary regions in Southern European Member States is less rosy with positive impacts on employment in Italy until the Great Recession and on economic growth in the recovery period in Spain.