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East Wind, West Wind:

An Analysis of the Differences in State Aid Allocations Between Old and New Member States

Marco Schito


Keywords: Central Eastern European Countries, CEEC, comparative capitalism, statistical analysis, State aid politics

Scholars have long wondered whether, following the increasing degree of institutionalisation of State aid control, State aid policies are converging towards a common European model. The issue of convergence has come to the forefront in particular following the Eastern enlargement, which welcomed several countries with a very different historical legacy. The present article thus looks at the differences in State aid allocations between old and new Member States to understand whether, in the over fifteen years since the enlargement, such differences have been overcome. By means of statistical analysis, it argues that differences in aid levels between the two blocs persist both in terms of overall allocations and in expenditures by objectives. Drawing from the literature on comparative political economy, it further explores a potential explanation as to why intra-bloc differences among Central Eastern European countries also continue to this day.
Keywords: Central Eastern European Countries; CEEC; comparative capitalism; statistical analysis; State aid politics.

Marco Schito is a recent PhD graduate at the Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Grateful thanks go to Caroline Buts, Markéta Odlová, Audrey Plan, Oguzhan Turkoglu and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. For correspondence: <>.


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