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Explaining Infrastructure Investment Decisions at the European Investment Bank 1958-2004

Abstract: From its origins in 1958, the European Investment Bank (EIB) was characterized by internal tensions as regards its mission in helping finance infrastructure projects around Europe. On the one hand, Italy had pushed for a social fund that would support less developed regions, whilst Germany promoted a not-for-profit bank that would borrow on international capital markets to lend to viable projects. This paper uses primary data on EIB loans to infrastructure across 1958 to 2004 to reveal how these different interests were played out in practice. Examining EIB infrastructure finance at the country level reveals the bank lent more to those countries most needing finance, thus fulfilling its social role. On the other hand, an analysis of its finance by sector and country shows how the bank changed its priorities, particularly from the 1980s, towards a closer alignment with market interests, as finance becomes increasingly linked to those key services that were being liberalized by the European Commission. Finally, an "enlargement" logic behind EIB finance can be detected, whereby finance prioritized newly acceding member states during the first few years of their membership of the union.

 Fuente: Working Paper n. 2013-06

Editorial: Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano

 Año de publicación: 2013

Nº de páginas: 41

Tipo de publicación: Documento de trabajo