Towards the Greater Good? EU Commissioners’ Nationality and Budget Allocation in the European Union

Zürich CIS Working Paper No. 86

46 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016 Last revised: 18 Apr 2019

See all articles by Kai Gehring

Kai Gehring

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy; Heidelberg University; CESifo

Stephan A. Schneider

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 23, 2016

Abstract

We demonstrate that the nationalities of EU Commissioners influence budget allocation decisions in favor of their country of origin. Our focus is on the Commissioners for Agriculture, who are exclusive responsible for a specific fund that accounts for the largest share of the overall EU budget. On average, providing the Commissioner causes a one percentage point increase in a country’s share of the overall EU budget, which corresponds to 850 million Euros per year. The are no different pretreatment trends and the magnitude of the bias from selection-on-unobservables would have to be implausibly high to account for the estimated coefficient.

Keywords: Favoritism, Fiscal Federalism, Political Economy, Budget Allocation, European Union, EU Commission, EU Commissioners, National Origin

JEL Classification: D7, H3, H7, F5, F6

Suggested Citation

Gehring, Kai and Schneider, Stephan A., Towards the Greater Good? EU Commissioners’ Nationality and Budget Allocation in the European Union (February 23, 2016). Zürich CIS Working Paper No. 86, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742607 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2742607

Kai Gehring (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy ( email )

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Heidelberg University ( email )

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CESifo ( email )

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Stephan A. Schneider

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Switzerland

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