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Towards the Greater Good? EU Commissioners’ Nationality and Budget Allocation in the European Union

Gehring, Kai ; Schneider, Stephan A.

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We analyse whether there is a relationship between EU Commissioners’ national origin and political outcomes. For this purpose, we argue that examining the Commissioner for Agriculture allows the most precise empirical identification: there is a specific budget for agriculture which accounts for the largest share of the overall EU budget and gives significant leeway to the Commissioner. On average, providing the Commissioners is associated with increases in the share of the overall EU budget that is allocated to their country of origin of about one percentage point. This increase corresponds to half a billion Euro per year, a significant change in particular for smaller member states. Alternative explanations are considered using country-specific time trends, examining pre- and post-treatment trends and modeling endogenous treatment-selection. There are no significant differences in trend behavior between treated and non-treated countries both before and after providing the Commissioner. We demonstrate that our results are not driven by individual countries and show that selection-on-unobservables would have to be implausibly high to account for the estimated coefficient.

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Discussion Paper Series, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
Volume: 0596
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 13:17
Date: June 2015
Number of Pages: 38
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fiscal Federalism, Political Economy, Budget Allocation, European Union, EU Commission, EU Commissioners, National Origin
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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