Riccardo Crescenzi, Mara Giua, 26 November 2019

Despite the European Commission’s claims that its Cohesion Policy has had a positive impact on beneficiary regions, some member states argue that it is not fit for purpose and have called for a renationalisation of the policy. This column suggests that while there have been some positive effects on regional growth and jobs across the EU as a whole, these have been concentrated in the beneficiary regions of Germany and the UK, and structural problems in the South of Europe remain largely untouched. This uneven distribution of regional impacts along national lines suggests that individual member states have significant responsibilities for the local success (or failure) of the policy.

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Tobias Ketterer, 18 November 2019

Institutions are an important ingredient for economic growth. Using data from European regions for the period 1999-2013, this column shows that government quality matters for regional growth, and that relative improvements in the quality of government are a powerful driver of development. One-size-fits-all policies for lagging regions are not the solution. Government quality improvements are essential for low-growth regions, and in low-income regions, basic endowment shortages are still the main barrier to development. 

Naomitsu Yashiro, Konstantins Benkovskis, Olegs Tkacevs, 06 May 2019

EU cohesion policy aims to narrow gaps in economic development through large regional support funds. This column presents new research on the impact of such funds on firms’ performance, focusing on the experience of Latvia, one of the largest recipients relative to its size. The findings indicate that larger and more productive firms are more likely to receive support funds, but it is not clear if their productivity improves as a result. Access to such funds must be facilitated to allow smaller and less productive firms, which have a great need for investment and a larger room for productivity catch-up, to be included in the pool of potential recipients.

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