Quantitative Impacts of the ESI Funds and their Predecessors in Austria: A Cross-fund Analysis for the Entire Impact Period

For the first time, the study offers an integrated cross-fund analysis of the quantitative effects of the ESI funds and their predecessors for their entire period of operation in Austria (1995-2017). It is based on a new, comprehensive database on the disbursements of the EU Structural Funds and the associated national public co-financing at the regional level, built up within the framework of the project. The study examines the regional disbursement structures of the funds and the resulting effects on the Länder, labour market districts and municipalities in Austria, using descriptive statistical methods, econometric estimation methods and simulations with the multiregional model of WIFO. The hypothesis that the interventions of the ESI funds have triggered positive development impulses in the assisted regions is largely supported by our results and the robustness checks carried out for this purpose. Together with clear results on the "accuracy" of the allocation of the funds in favour of rural, economically disadvantaged regions, this speaks for a positive and relevant contribution of the ESIF initiatives to regional cohesion in Austria.