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Absorptive Capacity and the Growth and Investment Effects of Regional Transfers: A Regression Discontinuity Design with Heterogeneous Treatment Effects

Absorptive Capacity and the Growth and Investment Effects of Regional Transfers: A Regression Discontinuity Design with Heterogeneous Treatment Effects

89/2012 Sascha O. Becker, Peter H. Egger and Maximilian von Ehrlich
working papers,economic history
American Economic Journal
http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/pol.5.4.29

89/2012 Sascha O. Becker, Peter H. Egger and Maximilian von Ehrlich

Researchers often estimate average treatment effects of programs without investigating heterogeneity across units. Yet, individuals, rms, regions, or countries vary in their ability, e.g., to utilize transfers. We analyse Objective 1 Structural Funds transfers of the European Commission to regions of EU member states below a certain income level by way of a regression discontinuity design with systematically heterogeneous treatment effects. Only about 30% and 21% of the regions - those with sufficient human capital and good-enough institutions - are able to turn transfers into faster per-capita income growth and per-capita investment. In general, the variance of the treatment effect is much bigger than its mean.

Economic History

American Economic Journal

http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/pol.5.4.29