Are We Spending Too Much to Grow? The Case of Structural Funds

29 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2018

See all articles by Augusto Cerqua

Augusto Cerqua

University of Westminster

Guido Pellegrini

University of Rome I

Date Written: June 2018


We evaluate whether the impact of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds (EUF) on Member States’ regional economic growth depends on the intensity of treatment, measured by the normalized amount of funds distributed in each region. We use an original data set that covers all the main sources of EUF and extend the regression discontinuity design to the case of continuous treatment. The results suggest an average positive effect on regional growth. The estimated conditional intensity‐growth function is concave and presents a maximum value. Therefore, the exceeding funds could have been allocated to other lagging regions without reducing the effect on growth.

Keywords: continuous regression discontinuity design, EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, intensity of treatment

Suggested Citation

Cerqua, Augusto and Pellegrini, Guido, Are We Spending Too Much to Grow? The Case of Structural Funds (June 2018). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 58, Issue 3, pp. 535-563, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Augusto Cerqua (Contact Author)

University of Westminster ( email )

35 Marylebone Road
London, NW1 5LS
United Kingdom

Guido Pellegrini

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185

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