EU Transfers and Euroscepticism: Can't Buy Me Love?

University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 289

42 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2018

Date Written: June 1, 2018

Abstract

This paper investigates whether EU redistributive policies improved the public attitude toward European integration, both in terms of public opinion and in terms of political preferences. We build a new dataset combining data from the European Social Survey, different data sources for political parties’ stances and transfer records from EU institutions. We focus on the regional Cohesion Policy, within which the Convergence Objective program offers a quasi-experimental framework that allows us to single out these effects by means of a regression discontinuity approach. Results show that EU transfers have mitigated the rise of Eurosceptic attitudes and reduced the political consensus for anti-EU parties in long-time recipient regions. We estimate that increasing the regional per capita EU transfers by 1000€ over the 2000-2014 period reduces the share of Eurosceptic individuals by about 8 percentage points and voters’ support for anti-EU parties by 10 percentage points. The effects are homogeneous across different socio-economic groups, including the most disadvantaged ones. Other attitudes that are often associated with Euroscepticism (i.e. anti-trade and anti-immigration stances) are not substantially affected by EU regional transfers.

Keywords: Euroscepticism; EU transfers; EU crisis; Cohesion Policy; voting; regression discontinuity, redistributive politics

JEL Classification: D72, F14, H11, I38

Suggested Citation

Borin, Alessandro and Macchi, Elisa and Mancini, Michele, EU Transfers and Euroscepticism: Can't Buy Me Love? (June 1, 2018). University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 289, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3194471 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3194471

Alessandro Borin (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Elisa Macchi

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Michele Mancini

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
80
Abstract Views
620
rank
421,481
PlumX Metrics