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

Kai Gehring, Stephan A. Schneider
2016 Social Science Research Network  
We analyze whether the nationalities of EU Commissioners influence budget allocation decisions in favor of their country of origin. This is inherently difficult as no country related data on budget allocations for individual Commissioners are published by the EU. We are the first to propose a solution to this problem by using data on EU funds allocation and focusing on the Commissioners for Agriculture, who are exclusively responsible for a specific fund that accounts for the largest share of
more » ... e overall EU budget. On average, providing the Commissioner is associated with increases in a country's share of the overall EU budget of about one percentage point, which corresponds to half a billion Euro per year. We consider alternative explanations using flexible country-specific time trends in addition to country and time fixed-effects and examining pre-and post-treatment effects. There are no signs of selection bias in terms of significant differences in trend behavior both before and after providing the Commissioner. The results are not driven by any individual country and selection-on-unobservables would have to be implausibly high to account for the estimated coefficient.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2742607 fatcat:ob6eoxukzfbxtkylhokqyslofq