DP17045 Improving government quality in the regions of the EU and its system-wide benefits for Cohesion policy

Author(s): Javier Barbero Jiménez, Martin Christensen, Andrea Conte, Patrizio Lecca, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Simone Salotti
Publication Date: February 2022
Keyword(s): cohesion, Economic Growth, EU, Government quality, Public investment, regions
JEL(s): C68, O17, R13, R15
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=17045

We quantify the general equilibrium effects on economic growth of improving the quality of institutions at the regional level in the context of the implementation of the European Cohesion Policy for the European Union and the UK. The direct impact of changes in the quality of government is integrated in a general equilibrium model to analyse the system-wide economic effects resulting from additional endogenous mechanisms and feedback effects. The results reveal a significant direct effect as well as considerable system-wide benefits from improved government quality on economic growth. A small 5% increase in government quality across European Union regions increases the impact of Cohesion investment by up to 7% in the short run and 3% in the long run. The exact magnitude of the gains depends on various local factors, including the initial endowments of public capital, the level of government quality, and the degree of persistence over time.