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Accumulation of public capital and performance of the private sector in the European Union: A proposal to study the productivity of the structural and cohesion funds of the last three decades

12nd National Competition for Economic Research Grants

International economics

Senior Researcher : Manuel León Navarro

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Research Centre or Institution : Colegio Universitario Cardenal Cisneros. Madrid


The purpose of this research is to evaluate one of the most important issues behind the construction of the European Union (EU): the structural and cohesion funds. The economic cohesion is one of the three pillars of the EU according to the Treaty on European Union (1992). This priority is reflected in the european budget, being the regional development policy the second item of expenditure in the European Union, behind the Common Agricultural Policy. After a long process of massive budgetary allocations through the instruments of European regional policy, it is necessary to analyze and to evaluate the macroeconomic effects of these current and capital transfers has had in each of the member states concerned. This study can help to discuss the new funds distribution of new budgetary framework from 2014 to 2020 (2014-2020).

Those current and capital transfers can be observed like positive shocks in the european countries. Those shocks could increase the production, employment, public and private capital. If resources are used efficiently, then it is expected that the increase in welfare be greater than if they are used inefficiently.

The comparative analysis between the EU countries, help to understand how productive have been the resource transfers and their effects on convergence.

We are going to analyze the empirical relationships between public capital and private sector variables (production, employment and capital stock) in EU countries so we can estimate the effects of public capital on the member countries.

The methodology used in this study is proposed in Flores, Gracia and Pérez (1998) and, Pereira and Flores (1999). Those papers present a multi-equation framework that allows public capital affects, not only directly, but also indirectly, through its effects on other variables.

The most important contribution of this research is the inclusion of the variables of the other countries of the EU, not just the own country variables, allowing the existence of spillover effects of public capital. This allows to evaluate the effects of European policies in a more appropriate way and take into account not only the national effects but also the supranational effects, the last usually forgotten.

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