Distributive Politics, Electoral Institutions, and European Structural and Investment Funding: Evidence from Italy and France

Forthcoming in Journal of Common Market Studies

35 Pages Posted: 18 May 2016

See all articles by Lisa Maria Dellmuth

Lisa Maria Dellmuth

Stockholm University

Dominik Schraff

University of St. Gallen - Department of Political Science; ETH Zürich - Center for Comparative and International Studies

Michael Stoffel

University of Konstanz

Date Written: May 18, 2016

Abstract

Extensive research suggests that political factors bias the domestic allocation of the European Union (EU) Structural and Investment Funds (SIF) in ways that may not be in line with EU goals. This paper offers the first systematic and comparative analysis of the role of domestic electoral institutions in shaping politicians' incentives to use European funds to buy votes. Drawing on theories of distributive politics and SIF implementation, the paper argues that electoral institutions provide politicians with incentives to use at least a part of the SIF to buy votes, and that the vote-seeking behavior of national governments is relatively unconstrained by the bargaining power of the European Commission or regions. The empirical results from a statistical analysis of SIF allocations within Italian and French NUTS3-level regions endorse the argument, with implications for the effectiveness of the SIF in promoting sustainable and inclusive development in European regions.

Keywords: Distributive politics, electoral institutions, European Union Structural and Investment Funding

JEL Classification: D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Dellmuth, Lisa Maria and Schraff, Dominik and Stoffel, Michael, Distributive Politics, Electoral Institutions, and European Structural and Investment Funding: Evidence from Italy and France (May 18, 2016). Forthcoming in Journal of Common Market Studies, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2781476

Lisa Maria Dellmuth (Contact Author)

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.lisadellmuth.se

Dominik Schraff

University of St. Gallen - Department of Political Science ( email )

Rosenbergstrasse 51
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

ETH Zürich - Center for Comparative and International Studies ( email )

Haldeneggsteig 4
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Michael Stoffel

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

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