December 9, 2021


Only The Finest Women

On the effectiveness of the Next Generation EU funds

The Up coming Era EU (NGEU) funds1 – a deal of programmes which, by a blend of grants and financial loans, intends to assistance the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and foster investments main to a greener, digital economic climate – were being launched on 21 July 2020 and since then have been at the centre of the policy discussion. The most significant instrument in the bundle, the Restoration and Resilience Facility (RRF), has been particularly created to aid the recovery by developing work opportunities and favouring the changeover to sectors and things to do with much larger strategic potential. The anticipated fiscal expansion is big. The total budget for 2021-2027 quantities to 13% and the RRF about 5.5% of EU gross national earnings (GNI). Whilst anticipations are optimistic, the huge prices and the uncertain advantages of the proposed programmes, and the diverse nature of the recent economic circumstance, simply call for caution and care in pondering about the economic penalties of the planned fiscal growth. 

Structural resources are not new applications the EU has been distributing grants to European locations for over 30 years with the aim of supporting task creation, business enterprise competitiveness, financial development, sustainable improvement, and to strengthen the top quality of existence. To reach these goals and to get into account the heterogeneous levels of growth of unique regions, a portion of the EU price range has been set aside for the so-identified as Cohesion coverage. For example, for the 2014-2020 cycle, the Cohesion coverage programme was endowed with around €355 billion, pretty much a 3rd of the complete. The European Structural and Investment decision cash, the principal equipment to obtain Cohesion coverage targets, include things like four different programs: the European Regional Enhancement Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Social Fund (ESF), and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Progress (EAFRD).2 The ERDF fund handles above 40% of the total funds, the EAFRD funds over 20%, and ESF and CF fund less than 20% each and every. 

In a latest paper (Canova and Pappa 2021), we deliver evidence on the regional dynamic macroeconomic results of structural cash that the EU granted to member states more than the previous 30 yrs. We assemble a novel database of regional funds, exploit the information contained in the main regional macroeconomic aggregates of 279 European NUTS2 units, and offer an historic perspective to evaluate the chance of the success of NGEU. To gather info about the possible penalties of the planned fiscal expansion, we concentration on the production, employment, productiveness, investment decision, and actual wage outcomes of the grants provided by the ERDF (the aim of which is to foster investments in innovation and exploration, to favour the electronic agenda, and to support little and medium-sized enterprises) and the ESF (the goal of which is to guidance investments in schooling and overall health, and to battle poverty).

Table 1 Regular cumulative multipliers from ERDF and ESF structural funds

Note: Regular glitches are in parenthesis
Supply: Canova and Pappa (2021).

Desk 1 studies the one particular-, two- and three-12 months cumulative regular multipliers for the 5 regional macroeconomic variables, individually for ERDF and ESF grants. ERDF has a statistically considerable and economically relevant ordinary beneficial small-phrase impact on all regional macroeconomic variables, creating it most likely beneficial for countercyclical applications. These funds quickly enhance productiveness and lead to an enlargement of work, compensation, investments, and output. However, the constructive affect dies out swiftly and the gains dissipate almost solely in 3 years. ESF has unfavorable (despite the fact that generally insignificant) effects implications, but it exercise routines positive ordinary effects on all regional variables following 2–3 yrs, suggesting that it could be a superior instrument to realize medium-time period transformation objectives. These money briefly influence labour markets, growing payment and reducing several hours labored. The improve in labour efficiency they make, induces good and economically suitable medium run results on investments, employment, and production.

As the conventional errors noted in Desk 1 indicate, there is substantial heterogeneity in regional outcomes. In our paper, we cluster estimates applying a number of indicators and uncover that place, membership to the euro space, tenure in the EU, and national borders make any difference. For occasion, in southern regions, ERDF has favourable medium-expression cumulative advancement effects, even though these consequences are unfavorable in northern regions and ESF has much larger and far more substantial medium-term repercussions. Equally, for locations belonging to more mature EU member nations, ERDF generates fewer detrimental and ESF extra positive medium-term progress outcomes. The degree of progress is also significant. Determine 1 offers the profile of the regular GVA multipliers, individually for ERDF and ESF, when per capita GDP is applied to classify regions into quartiles.

Areas in the central portion of the revenue distribution benefit most from ERDF: their GVA cumulative multipliers are all beneficial in the medium expression. Because the cumulative multipliers for these variables in areas belonging to the top quartile are negative, capture up close to some widespread prolonged-operate price in reaction to ERDF shocks would seem to get spot. However, regions belonging to the to start with quartile attribute beneficial GVA multipliers which turn unfavorable at the 3-calendar year horizon. For ESF a equivalent final result obtains. As a result, ERDF and ESF tends to twist the regional income distribution together the adjustment path, favouring locations in the central portion of the distribution and go away inadequate locations at the rear of. Their uneven consequences may perhaps as a result direct to an enhance in polarisation and regional inequality (see Canova 2004 for an before evaluation of money polarisation in the EU). 

Figure 1 Cumulative multipliers for unique income quartiles 

Resource: Canova and Pappa (2021)

To give a structural interpretation to the system generated by the funds, we prolong a typical workhorse New Keynesian design of a financial union to let for endogenous growth as a result of two different channels: R&D and human money accumulation.3 ERDF improvements, which are modelled as federal R&D shocks, transform the productivity of labour and the generation possibility frontier. ESF innovations, which are modelled as shocks impacting the accumulation of human funds, alter as a substitute the labour/leisure/schooling margins. The model can replicate many stylised points current in the data and account for some of regional asymmetries EU locations exhibit.

Federal R&D shelling out affects labour productivity and/or component accumulation creating an externality on the aggregate level of these companies. That’s why, temporary R&D shelling out shocks deliver persistent dynamics, even without having agglomeration outcomes: they raise combination demand, due to the fact government absorption of products and providers raises and they change the aggregate source, because aspect productivity increases. The relative value of these two effects determines the time profile of cumulative multipliers. Boosts in federal human money paying out lower employment and output and maximize actual wages on impression, as workers consider benefit of the cash to modify their time allocation and purchase improved skills. Because human funds enhances helpful labour productiveness, financial investment demand from customers boosts and persistent second round consequences on production and work are generated.

Structural capabilities and public administration properties may perhaps reveal the observed asymmetries. For case in point, in the circumstance of R&D shelling out, when the improve in labour productivity is non permanent and reversed, multipliers might change adverse at lengthier horizons a hump shaped cumulative multiplier profile can be produced when there are gestation lags at last, an escalating profile of cumulative multipliers is obtained for small values of the externality of federal R&D expending in labour productiveness. So, variants in the institutional capabilities of countries are shown to be vital determinants of the governance of Recovery and Resilience Programmes (see also Buti and Polli 2021).

1 distinguished attribute of the RRF is that it provides a mix of grants and financial loans in almost equivalent proportions. On the other hand, loans will need to be repaid by specific international locations and will enter the national stock of personal debt by 2023. We also review federal assistance coming in the type of grants and financial loans. Specified what Italy and Greece have pledged to do, we suppose that 50% of the federal assist is in the kind of loans and that distorting labour taxation is employed to repay them. Determine 2 experiences the profile of cumulative theoretical multipliers when only grants are used to finance government paying out (constant traces) and when grants and financial loans are utilized (dashed traces). The profile of the multipliers is generally lessen in the latter situation mainly because distortionary taxes have detrimental effects on the labour offer and cash accumulation. Hence, nations around the world that only hire the grant part of the RRF are in greater posture to get better, for the reason that multipliers are much larger and government personal debt will not jeopardise the recovery at some long run day.

Figure 2 Theoretical cumulative GVA multipliers for grants or grants and loans 

Be aware: The determine compares cumulative multipliers for federal  R&D spending shocks (still left panel) and federal human money shelling out shocks  (appropriate panel) when grants or  loans and grants finance the spending.
Resource: Canova and Pappa (2021)

To conclude, EU grants can have a helpful job in counteracting the COVID-19 recession and in boosting job generation and investments that may perhaps direct to financial transformation. Hence, the generation of NGEU funds is a fantastic plan and the choice of borrowing to finance them appears to be appropriate, mainly because we are likely to make gains that can sustain the price tag of borrowing and avoid persistent accumulation of personal debt. Nonetheless, for the reason that EU resources benefit some areas much more than others, and the less fortuitous transform out to be poorest, peripheral, and non-euro areas or not long ago extra nations, the adjustment and transformation process will be unequal. 

There are no noticeable corrections that steer clear of increases in regional inequalities. Nonetheless, there are illustrations of EU areas, which managed to escape the poverty entice and be a part of the wealthy club. Researching in detail what has made a distinction would be instructive to prevent repeating errors made in the past. In typical, administrative and structural reforms, effectiveness checks and, perhaps, generational variations could support to spread the gains more uniformly across EU regions (Leino-Sandberg and Vihriälä 2021 provide much more recommendations along these lines).


Buti M and O Polli (2021), “Veto player concept and the governance of the Recovery and Resilience Facility,”, 11 February.

Canova, F. & Pappa, E. (2021), “What are the probable macroeconomic outcomes of the EU Recovery program?”, CEPR Performing Paper, forthcoming. 

Canova, F. (2004), “Testing for converge golf equipment in money for every-capita: a predictive density method,” Global Economic Evaluate 45: 49–77. 

Leino-Sandberg, P. and V Vihriälä (2021), “The rising fiscal union requires a strong foundation,”, 31 May well.

Géraldine M, P Pfeiffer, J Varga and J in ‘t Veld (2021) “A stylised quantitative assessment of Following Technology EU investment,”, 4 August

Verwey, M, S Langedijk and R Kuenzel (2020), “Next Technology EU: A restoration strategy for Europe”,, 9 June.


1 Verwey (2021) provide a quick overview of the financial rationale for collective action and an evaluation of the anticipated impact of the recovery strategy.

2 In the most modern spending plan cycle, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) has been extra.

3 To assess the macroeconomic influence of NGEU funds in a theoretical framework Géraldine et al. (2021) lengthen the QUEST product with a loaded trade framework. Modeling NGEU expenditure as financial commitment in infrastructure, they emphasize its substantial progress outcomes.