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Grants-in-aid and election outcomes in recipient jurisdictions: The impact of EU funds on mayoral elections in Poland

Monika Banaszewska and Ivo Bischoff ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 68, issue C

Abstract: We analyze the impact of EU funds on the outcomes of Polish mayoral elections in 2010 and 2014. We employ an instrumental variable approach to account for the endogeneity of EU funds. Our instruments approximate the availability of EU funds. The first instrument builds on the alignment of the local electorate with the regional donor government. The second instrument uses the funds spent in municipalities in the same sub-region dropped from the sample because the mayors do not run again. We do not find convincing empirical evidence in favor of the notion that EU funds increase the vote shares of mayors. We go on to test whether the electoral effect of EU funds is conditional on the attitude towards the donor institution among the population in the recipient population. This conditional factor is under-researched and politically virulent – given citizens’ skepticism towards the EU that Krastev (2017) describes for Central and Eastern European EU members. Our results are affirmative. EU funds increase the vote shares of mayors in municipalities where Krastev (2017) predicts the degree of EU skepticism to be low while they are not found to do so in municipalities where EU skepticism is predicted to be widespread. These results suggest that citizens’ attitudes towards the donor of vertical grants determine the political gains of recipients from using them.

Keywords: Grants-in-aid; EU; Poland; Mayoral elections; Local public finance; Instrumental variable regressions; EU skepticism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101993

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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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