The European Union (EU) provides grants to disadvantaged regions of member states to allow them to catch up with the EU average. Under the Objective 1 scheme, NUTS2 regions with a per capita GDP level below 75% of the EU average qualify for structural funds transfers from the central EU budget. This rule gives rise to a regression-discontinuity design that exploits the discrete jump in the probability of EU transfer receipt at the 75% threshold for identification of causal effects of Objective 1 treatment on outcome such as economic growth of EU regions. We find positive per capita GDP growth effects of Objective 1 transfers, but no employment growth effects.
- Quasi-randomized experiment
- Regional growth
- Regression-discontinuity design
- Structural funds