Did the governance of EU funds help Italian regional labour markets during the Great Recession?

Roberta Arbolino, Paolo Di Caro, Ugo Marani

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European and national policy‐makers have highlighted the role of the cohesion policy in smoothing the effects of the crisis during the programme period 2007–13. To support these claims, however, specific evidence is needed. This article studied the relations between the absorption of the EU funds and regional labour markets in Italian regions during the Great Recession. By applying different panel data models to new data on cohesion policy, three main results were achieved. We found that the cohesion policy made a contribution to the resilience of Italian regional labour markets. Yet the short‐term consequences of the cohesion policy on regional economies were conditional on the heterogeneous quality of regional institutions. We also found that the policy changes introduced in Italy during the crisis increased the effectiveness of the cohesion policy. The analysis was controlled for endogeneity issues and alternative specifications.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Early online date16 Jul 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 16 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • regional labour markets
  • EU cohesion policy
  • resilience
  • great recession


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