nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2007‒01‒28
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Term structure of interest rate. european financial integration. By Hortènsia Fontanals; Elisabet Ruiz; Catalina Bolancé
  2. Sustainability of EU fiscal policies, a panel test By Peter Claeys
  3. Active Labour Market Policy Effects for Women in Europe - A Survey By Bergemann, Annette; van den Berg, Gerard J
  4. The Geography of Asset Trade and the Euro: Insiders and Outsiders By Coeurdacier, Nicolas; Martin, Philippe
  5. Gasoline and Diesel Demand in Europe: New Insights By Pock, Markus
  6. Welfare in Europe and the Unites States By Gérard Cornilleau
  7. Regulatory Competition Puzzle: the European Design By Vahagn Movsesyan
  8. International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals By Huizinga, Harry; Laeven, Luc
  9. Why Do European Governments Favor Religion? By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Angel Solano
  10. The Evolution of the French Public Poliy to Promote Biotech Innovation : The Case of Genomics By Anne Branciard; Vincent Mangematin
  11. Competitiveness and export market shares in high tech industries in the US and the EMU countries: a comparative study By Sarah Guillou
  12. Emerging Hubs in Central-Eastern Europe, Trade Blocs and Supply Chain Restructuring By Giuseppe Tattara
  13. State Aid to Attract FDI and the European Competition Policy: Should Variable Cost Aid Be Banned? By Mario Mariniello
  14. Activation Strategies and the Performance of Employment Services in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom By Peter Tergeist; David Grubb
  15. Pushing the limit: long-term trends in late fertility in Sweden By Francesco C. Billari; Hans-Peter Kohler; Gunnar Andersson; Hans Lundström
  16. The macroeconomic effects of exogenous fiscal policy shocks in Germany: a disaggregated SVAR analysis By Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H.; Tenhofen, Jörn; Wolff, Guntram B.
  17. Multicultural Diversity and Migrant Entrepreneurship: The Case of the Netherlands By Sahin, Mediha; Nijkamp, Peter; Baycan-Levent, Tuzin
  18. The Productivity Paradox and the New Economy: The Spanish Case By Jesús Rodríguez López; Diego Martínez López; José Luis Torres Chacón
  19. A fitness model for the Italian Interbank Money Market By Giulia de Masi; Giulia Iori; Guido Caldarelli
  20. Research networks and scientific production in Economics, The recent Spanish Experience. By Raul Ramos; Vicente Royuela; Juan Carlos Duque

  1. By: Hortènsia Fontanals (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.); Elisabet Ruiz (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.); Catalina Bolancé (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate, analyze and compare the term structures of interest rate in six different countries, during the period 1992-2004. We apply Nelson and Siegel model to obtain them with a weekly frequency. Four European Monetary Union countries, Spain, France, Germany and Italy are included. UK is also included as a European country, but not integrated in the Monetary Union. Finally US completes the analysis. The goal is to determine the differences in the shape of curves between these countries. Likewise, we can determinate the most usual term structure shapes that appear in every country.
    Keywords: Term structure of interest rate, parsimonious models, level parameter, slope parameter, European interest rate.
    JEL: C14 C51 C82 E43 G15
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Peter Claeys (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: The fiscal policy rule implicit in the Stability and Growth Pact, has been rationalised as a way to ensure that national fiscal policies remain sustainable within the EU, thereby endorsing the independence of the ECB. We empirically examine the sustainability of European fiscal policies over the period 1970-2001. The intertemporal government budget constraint provides a test based on the cointegration relation between government revenues, expenditures and interest payments. Sustainability is analysed at both the national level and for a European panel. Results show that European fiscal policy has been sustainable overall, yet national experiences differ considerably.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, debt sustainability, panel unit root test, panel cointegration test, EMU.
    JEL: E61 E63 H63
    Date: 2007–01
  3. By: Bergemann, Annette; van den Berg, Gerard J
    Abstract: We survey the recent literature on the effects of active labour market policies on individual labour market outcomes like employment and income, for adult female individuals without work in European countries. We consider skill-training programs, monitoring and sanctions, job search assistance, and employment subsidies. The results are remarkably uniform across studies. We relate the results to the relevant level of female labour force participation.
    Keywords: female labor supply; job search; monitoring; participation; schooling; training; unemployment; wages
    JEL: J16 J21 J22 J64 J68 J82
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Coeurdacier, Nicolas; Martin, Philippe
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of cross-border asset trade on cross-country data and a Swedish data set. We focus our analysis on the effect of the euro for the determinants of bond trade, equity and banking assets. With the help of a theoretical model, we attempt to disentangle the different effects that the euro may have had on asset holdings for both euro zone countries and countries outside of the euro zone such as Sweden. We find evidence that the euro has implied 1) a unilateral financial liberalization which makes it cheaper for all countries to buy euro zone assets. For bonds and equity holdings, this would translate into approximately 14% and 17% decrease in transaction costs. Using Swedish data, we find that this effect of the euro is larger for flows than for stocks. 2) a preferential financial liberalization which on top of the previous effect has decreased transaction costs inside the euro zone by approximately 17% and 10% for bonds and equity respectively. 3) a diversion effect due to the fact that lower transaction costs inside the euro zone have led euro countries to purchase less equity from outside the euro zone. Our empirical analysis also suggests that the elasticity of substitution between bonds inside the euro zone is higher than between bonds denominated in different currencies. We illustrate this effect for transaction costs generated by the difference in the legal system.
    Keywords: euro; gravity equation; international asset trade
    JEL: F30 F36 F41 G11
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: Pock, Markus (Department of Economics and Finance, HealthEcon, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: This study utilizes a panel data set from 14 European countries over the period 1990-2004 to estimate a dynamic model specification for gasoline and diesel demand. Previous studies estimating gasoline consumption per total passenger cars ignore the recent increase in the number of diesel cars in most European countries leading to biased elasticity estimates. We apply several common dynamic panel estimators to our small sample. Results show that specifications neglecting the share of diesel cars overestimate short-run income, price and car ownership elasticities. It appears that the results of standard pooled estimators are more reliable than common IV/GMM estimators applied to our small data set.
    Keywords: Dynamic panel data, Gasoline demand, Error components, Omitted variable
    JEL: C23 Q41
    Date: 2007–01
  6. By: Gérard Cornilleau (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
  7. By: Vahagn Movsesyan
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the inconclusive debate on regulatory competition in the Europe. We demonstrate that the recent expansion in the EU company law has created archetypal underpinning for formation of regulatory competition: the ground-breaking “triptych” of the ECJ on Centros, Überseering, and Inspire Art, on the top of previously infamous cases, has paved a way to a regulatory arbitrage throughout the EU, and a petite migration of companies abroad is already an evidence. We elucidate that few European states are putting into practice some facilitation in company registration procedure, including a significant cut in the minimum capital requirements, aiming to keep up with foreign options. This is the very process called regulatory competition, though it is not for charters and not for re-incorporations, but for capital requirements and for start-ups. Our idea is that these actions are only some, but promising, first steps en route to expansion towards regulatory competition in Europe also for large companies and for their reincorporation options. Hitherto, we reject the existence of an “EU Delaware”, though we demonstrate that few EU and EEA Member States have potential to take the lead in forthcoming chartermongering activities and are preparing for that: we claim for the appearance of more then one “European Delawares” in Europe at least for the time being. The then competition result will largely depend on the further advancements in the EC programs on this field, and/or on another “spectacular crusade” of the ECJ in particular, be it a reality. Thus, it is still soon to conclude the competition and prize the winner, but considerable network externality effects that drive a path dependent evolution suggests that it is likely to see a state that will become the “basin of attraction” for most of the companies later on. As a focal point, in the EU it is implausible to see a regulatory competition without Brussels meddling down from the top, which affects such developments negatively, unfortunately.
    Keywords: Freedom of establishment, Regulatory arbitrage, Regulatory competition, Company law, (Re)incorporations, EU, EEA
    Date: 2006–12–31
  8. By: Huizinga, Harry; Laeven, Luc
    Abstract: The conduct of business activities in two or more countries creates opportunities for international profit shifting, while international tax rate differences create incentives. Using detailed information on both multinational firm structure and the international tax system, this paper examines the extent of intra-European profit shifting by European multinationals. Firm-level estimates of profit shifting can be aggregated to arrive at macro measures of international profit shifting. On average, we find a macro semi-elasticity of reported profits with respect to the top statutory tax rate of 1.43 in Europe, while shifting costs are estimated to be 1.6 percent of the tax base. International profit shifting leads to a substantial redistribution of national corporate tax revenues. Many European nations appear to gain revenues from intra-European profit shifting by multinationals largely at the expense of Germany.
    Keywords: corporate taxation; international profit shifting
    JEL: F23 H25
    Date: 2007–01
  9. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada); Angel Solano (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada)
    Abstract: This paper explores a highly controversial issue: while most European countries are undergoing a clear and well-documented process of secularization, the governments of these countries widely support religious institutions. The arguments put forward by the median voter seem insufficient to explain the data. We show that if political parties are allowed to take an ideological position with respect to religion, the observed deviations from the most preferred policy by the median voter could be explained. The assumptions of our model are tested using European data. We observe that citizens are concerned about secularization, but that there are differences between religious and non-religious citizens as we assume. In addition, and in consonance with our assumptions, the percentage of religious-averse inhabitants is very small.
    Keywords: religiosity, favoritism, voting, political economics.
    JEL: Z12 D72 H59
    Date: 2007–01–19
  10. By: Anne Branciard (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II]); Vincent Mangematin
    Abstract: European Biotechnology companies and public policy-makers face to a number of crucial problems related to the development of Biotechnology in Europe : European industrial competitiveness, the relative under-exploitation of the European science base in Biotechnology, poor technology transfer mechanisms and difficulties in starting 'spin-off' firms. <br />The aim of this paper on innovation in genomics and biomedical related biotechnologies is to study the relative impact of the different public policy in France compared to the action of the private non for profit sector. Public policies in favour of biotech have changed during the last ten years from a support of research in large firms to a support of SME's creation in biotech. At the same time, large non-for profit organisations such as CEPH (Human Polymorphism Research Center) and AFM (French Organisation Against Myopaty) create a new dynamic by initiating path breaking scientific and technical programmes. This new scientific space has been complementary to the public policy, but only to a certain extend. <br />By studying the co-ordination mechanisms between the different organisations (non for profit organisations, public authorities, public sector research, Biotech SMEs and large firms, especially in the biomedical sector), this paper shows that the existing contradiction between the different tools to encourage biotech economic development can explain the poor development of biotech sector in France in the last few years. It also shows that the situation is getting better the last two years, especially in terms of firms' creation.
    Keywords: Public Policy; Research Policy; Biotechnology; Innovation; R&D; SME
    Date: 2007–01–19
  11. By: Sarah Guillou (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
  12. By: Giuseppe Tattara (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Ca’ Foscari)
    Abstract: Many European countries have faced the erosion of the competitive advantage in the international market with a mixed strategy of productivity increase at home and labour cost reduction abroad, through the international fragmentation of production and subcontracting in low wage countries. Italy in particular, has delocalized segments of its industrial production in Eastern Europe. The advantage of delocalization abroad – with particular reference to East European countries – is due to the low cost of labour, depends from the capability to transmit information efficiently and the availability of a complete supply-type blueprint in the receiving country.The paper discusses the prospects open to Italia apparel firms and presents a case study dealing with the development of outsourcing by the Benetton group in the last decades.
    Keywords: Vertical Integration, Global Organization of Production, Macroeconomics
    JEL: F23 L16 L22 L23
    Date: 2006
  13. By: Mario Mariniello
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the European Commission's approach to state aid for foreign direct investment in a competition policy framework. The Commission shows to consider variable cost aid (VCA) to be more distortive than start-up or fixed cost aid (FCA). This paper addresses that issue and checks whether allowing FCA while banning VCA is a first-best strategy for a rational Authority maximizing welfare. The model shows that a rational forward-looking government maximizing domestic welfare always prefers VCA to FCA if both the incumbent and the entrant are foreign firms and if granting VCA does not cause to the incumbent firm to exit the market. On the other hand, a VCA which causes the incumbent firm to be crowded out by the entrant never occurs at the equilibrium. The model shows that the Commission's approach may lead to sub-optimal equilibria where market competition and consumers.welfare are not maximized.
    Keywords: state aid, competition policy, start-up aid, variable cost aid
    JEL: L11 L13 L40 L53
    Date: 2006
  14. By: Peter Tergeist; David Grubb
    Abstract: Strategies to ?activate? the unemployed with the help of high-quality employment services have continuously gained importance in the policy debate. The purpose of this report is to examine how activation strategies and the performance of employment services are addressed in three countries which have undertaken considerable reforms in recent years, namely Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. All three review countries have implemented a ?mutual obligations? approach, under which benefit recipients are expected to engage in active job search and improve... <BR>La question des stratégies pour « activer » les chômeurs avec l?aide de services de l?emploi compétents a continuellement pris de l?importance dans le débat politique. L?objet de ce rapport est d?examiner comment les stratégies d?activation et la performance des services de l?emploi sont formulées dans trois pays qui ont entrepris des réformes considérables ces dernières années : l?Allemagne, les Pays-Bas et le Royaume-Uni. Les trois pays examinés ont mis en place une approche dite « d?obligation mutuelle » selon laquelle les personnes recevant des prestations...
    JEL: J20 J60 J63 J64 J68
    Date: 2006–12–08
  15. By: Francesco C. Billari (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hans-Peter Kohler (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gunnar Andersson (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hans Lundström
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss trends in the limits to late childbearing, their determinants and potential implications from an empirical long-term perspective. Although the high levels observed in non-contracepting populations have not been reached, fertility in Europe at ages 40+ and 45+ has increased substantially in recent years. This trend received considerable attention, especially in combination with the emergence of new reproductive technologies and often low levels of general fertility. Nevertheless, physiological studies agree on the fact that age limits to childbearing, at least for women, have not shifted to later ages. Our empirical analyses of high-quality long-term data from Sweden document an increase in the absolute and relative number of births at ages 40+ and 45+, together with an increase in first birth occurrence-exposure rates at ages close to 40. While extreme age at birth seems to move upwards, evidence for a rectangularization of the transition to motherhood is still weak.
    Keywords: Sweden, fertility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2007–01
  16. By: Heppke-Falk, Kirsten H.; Tenhofen, Jörn; Wolff, Guntram B.
    Abstract: We investigate the short-term effects of fiscal policy shocks on the German economy following the SVAR approach by Blanchard and Perotti (2002). We find that direct government expenditure shocks increase output and private consumption on impact with low statistical significance, while they decrease private investment, though insignificantly. For the sub-category government investment – in contrast to government consumption – a positive output effect is found, which is statistically significant until 12 quarters ahead. Allowing for anticipation effects of fiscal policy does not change the sign of the positive consumption response. Anticipated expenditure shocks have significant effects on output when the shock is realized, but not in the period of anticipation. In sum, effects of expenditure shocks are only short-lived. Government net revenue shocks do not affect output with statistical significance. However, when splitting up this aggregate, direct taxes lower output significantly, while small indirect tax revenue shocks have little effects. Compensation of public employees is equally not effective in stimulating the economy.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, government spending, net revenue, policy anticipation, structural vector autoregression
    JEL: E62 H30
    Date: 2006
  17. By: Sahin, Mediha (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter; Baycan-Levent, Tuzin
    Abstract: With the advent of the era of mass migration in Europe, the issue of cultural diversity (CD ) has gained increasing social and political interest. There is a changing and often contradictory relationship between immigration, the increasing CD as a result of migration, and the development of global cities as desirable places to live and to work. Of special interest here are the SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), which are often owned by migrants. Native and migrant entrepreneurs tend to differ in terms of their commercial opportunities, their business features, management styles, networks and associations, and market niches obtained in cities. The aim of this paper is to explore and review differences in entrepreneurial attitude both between natives and migrants and within migrant groups, and to explain these differences by means of distinct social and cultural indicators (derived from the cultural backgrounds of the entrepreneurs concerned) on the basis of a sample in the Netherlands.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Cultural diversity; Netherlands
    JEL: M13
    Date: 2006
  18. By: Jesús Rodríguez López (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Diego Martínez López (Centro de Estudios Andaluces y Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); José Luis Torres Chacón (Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica, Universidad de Málaga)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the information and communication technologies (ICT) on economic growth in Spain using a dynamic general equilibrium approach. Contrary to previous works, we use a production function with six different capital inputs, three of them corresponding to ICT assets. Calibration of the model suggests that the contribution of ICT to Spanish productivity growth is very relevant, whereas the contribution of non-ICT capital has been even negative. Additionally, over the sample period 1995-2002, we find a negative TFP and productivity growth. These results together aim at the hypothesis that the Spanish economy could be placed within the productivity paradox.
    Keywords: New economy, information and communication technologies, technological change, productivity paradox.
    JEL: E22 O30 O40
    Date: 2007–01
  19. By: Giulia de Masi; Giulia Iori (Department of Economics, City University, London); Guido Caldarelli
    Abstract: We use the theory of complex networks in order to quantitatively characterise the formation of communities in a particular financial market. The system is composed by different banks exchanging on a daily basis loans and debts of liquidity. Through topological analysis and by means of a model of network growth we can determine the formation of different group of banks characterized by different business strategy. The model based on Pareto's Law makes no use of growth or preferential attachment and it reproduces correctly all the various statistical properties of the system. We believe that this network modelling of the market could be an efficient way to evaluate the impact of different policies in the market of liquidity.
    Date: 2006–10
  20. By: Raul Ramos (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.); Vicente Royuela (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona.); Juan Carlos Duque (Regional Analysis Laboratory (REGAL). San Diego State University.)
    Abstract: This paper studies Spanish scientific production in Economics from 1994 to 2004. It focuses on aspects that have received little attention in other bibliometric studies, such as the impact of research and the role of scientific collaborations in the publications produced by Spanish universities. Our results show that national research networks have played a fundamental role in the increase in Spanish scientific production in this discipline.
    Keywords: Bibliometric techniques, scientific production in Economics, research networks.
    Date: 2007–01

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