We use a conditional–convergence econometric model to investigate whether cohesion policy affects European economies. Its main contribution is to consider both spatial and temporal dynamics in assessing the impact of European cohesion policy. Econometric estimations rely on a dataset of 143 EU-14-NUTS-1/NUTS-2 regions from 1980 to 2005. The results suggest that Objective 1 programmes have a direct effect on regional gross domestic product per capita growth rates, whereas total Structural Funds do not. Moreover, consideration of the spatial dimension of the panel brings to light a still significant, but less important, impact of Structural Funds.

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