Can Regional Transfers Buy Public Support? Evidence from EU Structural Policy

42 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2011

See all articles by Steffen Osterloh

Steffen Osterloh

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW)

Date Written: February 1, 2011


Regional transfers are assumed to have an impact on the public opinion towards the benefactor, but empirical evidence is still scarce. In this paper we test this hypothesis for the structural funds of the European Union (EU) by combining detailed data on regional transfers with public opinion surveys. A positive impact of transfers on public support for the EU can be confirmed. Moreover, we scrutinize the role of awareness of being a recipient of funds in this process. In particular, we find that the impact of the amount of transfers on the individual’s awareness is heterogenous and particularly depends on education. Finally, we show that the type of information source which arouses the citizen’s awareness of the transfers affects the impact on his opinion.

Keywords: Regional Policy, Vote Purchasing, Public Opinion, European Union

JEL Classification: D72, F59, H73

Suggested Citation

Osterloh, Steffen, Can Regional Transfers Buy Public Support? Evidence from EU Structural Policy (February 1, 2011). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 11-011, Available at SSRN: or

Steffen Osterloh (Contact Author)

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034

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