Title: Estimating the heterogeneous impact of the EU cohesion policy across regions
Authors: Elena Calegari - Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Italy)
Marzia Freo - University of Bologna (Italy) [presenting]
Aura Reggiani - University of Bologna (Italy)
Abstract: The Cohesion Policy (CP) represents the main territorial policy of the European Union, aiming to reduce disparities among regions. To address this aim, the largest majority of the funds are devoted to the poorest regions, called Objective 1 regions. During the last years, in response to the debate on the effectiveness of the CP, a broad empirical literature on the impact evaluation of the EU funds has flourished. In the debate, some consensus on the effectiveness of the EU transfers emerges, but with additional distinctions; for instance, various researches focus on the heterogeneity of the effect of CP funds across European regions. A further contribution to this strand of literature is provided by estimating the different quantiles of the effect of CP on regions. More specifically, the impact of the CP on the regional per capita GDP growth is analysed. The applied methodology allows to estimate the counterfactual distribution of the regional GDP growth that Objective 1 regions would have attained in absence of the CP funds. By comparing this estimated distribution with the observed one, it is possible to obtain the whole distribution of the policy impact. The results, related to the programming period 2007-2013, confirm the positive impact of CP on regional economic growth with a larger impact on less performing regions.