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State Aid and Partisan Government in the European Union


  • *Direct correspondence to Nikolaos Zahariadis, Department of Government, 410 HHB, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35294 〈〉. Data and coding information are available from the author for replication purposes. Earlier versions of the article were presented at the 2007 Annual Politics Conference of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece, and the 2008 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, San Francisco, CA. The author thanks the panelists in those conferences and the reviewers and editor of SSQ for valuable comments and suggestions.


Objective. I explore the effects of the partisan composition of government on industrial aid disbursement in 14 EU member states during the period 1992–2004.

Methods. Predictions are tested controlling for the impact of international economic integration, the European Commission, domestic institutions, and macroeconomic conditions, using Prais-Winsten coefficients with panel-corrected standard errors, a random effects specification, and two-stage least squares analysis with GLS random effects.

Results. Contrary to conventional wisdom, right-wing governments systematically give out more total and sectoral aid than left-wing governments.

Conclusion. Partisan politics tempers national enthusiasm for a single European market, exposing market reforms to a range of restraining domestic political issues.