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The EU Structural Funds and trust in politicians: another unwanted outcome?

Ivana Tomankova ()
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Ivana Tomankova: University of Economics

Empirica, 2022, vol. 49, issue 2, No 7, 439-460

Abstract: Abstract Amidst concerns about the effectiveness of the EU Structural Funds and discoveries of their unintended effects, could it be that they also undermine trust in politicians in the recipient regions? To find out, this paper estimates regression discontinuities at the two per-capita GDP thresholds, which determine regions’ eligibility for the convergence objective and phasing-out transitional support. Data used for estimation pertain to the NUTS 2 regions of the EU-15 Member States and the 2007–2013 programming period. Receipt of the EU Structural Funds leaves the share of citizens expressing trust in politicians unaffected but increases the share of those expressing distrust. In the phasing-out regions, this increase amounts to eight percentage points on average. The causal distrust-increasing effect of EU resources is driven by the regions of Greece, which experienced severe economic turmoil during the period under investigation.

Keywords: Trust in politicians; EU Structural Funds; Regression discontinuity; Convergence objective (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 H27 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10663-021-09524-7

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