This study investigates whether there is a link between the successful implementation of European cohesion policy and the
voters' attitudes towards the EU. Using the French presidential elections in 2017 as a case study, we do not solely consider
regional funds expenditures but also its induced effects in a region as further potential determinant of pro-European or eurosceptic
voting behaviour. In order to measure the effectiveness of EU structural funds and Cohesion Fund assignment, firm-level employment
effects in French NUTS-2 regions stemming from project allocation during the multi-financial framework 2007-2013 are estimated.
The obtained average treatment effects are, in a next step, used together with other regional characteristics to capture the
citizens' perceived exposure to the EU in an empirical voting model for the French presidential election in 2017. The estimation
results reveal a significant negative relationship between the effectiveness of EU funds allocation and the vote share of
the eurosceptic candidate Marine Le Pen.
Research group:Structural Change and Regional Development