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It’s not about the money: EU funds, local opportunities, and Euroscepticism

Crescenzi, Riccardo ORCID: 0000-0003-0465-9796, Di Cataldo, Marco and Giua, Mara (2020) It’s not about the money: EU funds, local opportunities, and Euroscepticism. Regional Science and Urban Economics. ISSN 0166-0462 (In Press)

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Growing Euroscepticism across the European Union (EU) leaves open ques- tions as to what citizens expect to gain from EU Membership and what influ- ences their dissent for EU integration. This paper looks at the EU Structural Funds, one of the largest and most visible expenditure items in the EU bud- get, to test their impact on electoral support for the EU. By leveraging the Referendum on Brexit held in the United Kingdom, a spatial RDD analysis offers causal evidence that EU money does not influence citizens’ support for the EU. Conversely, the analysis shows that EU funds mitigate Euroscepti- cism only where they are coupled by tangible improvements in local labour market conditions, the ultimate objective of this form of EU intervention. Money cannot buy love for the EU, but its capacity to generate new local opportunities certainly can.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 17:03
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 08:21

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