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How much do countries benefit from membership in the European Union?

Campos, F. N., Coricelli, F. & Moretti, L. (2014) “How much do countries benefit from membership in the European Union?”, VoxEU Organisation, 09 Απριλίου.


In the wake of the recent crisis, the debate about the economic benefits from EU membership has intensified. This column presents new results about the benefits countries derive from becoming EU members, using data from the 1980s and 2004 enlargements. There are substantial positive pay-offs, with a gain in per capita GDP of approximately 12%. Despite differences across countries, the evidence shows that the benefits of EU membership outweighed the costs for most countries – except for Greece. An important research question would be to identify factors that allow countries to better exploit EU entry.

The process of economic integration in Europe is more than half a century old. WWII provided impetus and, even if from the outset it was driven much by politics, considerations about economic benefits have always been paramount (Martin et al. 2012.) Integration has since deepened and broadened, with slowdowns but without major reversals.


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