Eastern Enlargement of the EU: A Comprehensive Welfare Assessment

31 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2004

See all articles by Wilhelm Kohler

Wilhelm Kohler

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: 2004


This paper takes a welfare-view on eastern enlargement of the EU, focusing on incumbent countries. Enlargement is decomposed into three elements: Single-market integration on commodity markets, budgetary costs from EU-expenditure policies, and singlemarket-induced migration from new to present member countries. I first use an analytical model to derive a welfare equation that identifies the principle channels for incumbent country welfare gains and losses from enlargement, including product differentiation, capital accumulation, and unemployment due to search-costs. I then propose a method that allows to extend welfare results obtained from a detailed calibrated version of this model for Germany to other incumbent countries. The approach relies on model elasticities extracted from the German model which are then applied to other countries' idiosyncratic enlargement-shocks. Constructing detailed indices for such country specific enlargement-shocks, I arrive at characteristic inter-country pattern of enlargement-induced welfare effects for all EU15 countries. Aggregating these across countries reveals enlargement to be beneficial for the union as a whole, although several countries stand to suffer welfare losses.

Keywords: EU enlargement, economic integration, commercial policy, migration

JEL Classification: F02, F12, F13, F15, F22

Suggested Citation

Kohler, Wilhelm K., Eastern Enlargement of the EU: A Comprehensive Welfare Assessment (2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=502403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.502403

Wilhelm K. Kohler (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen - Department of Economics ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

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