nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2007‒06‒23
29 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Is the Euro Sustainable? By Wickens, Michael R
  2. Transition from Work to Retirement in EU25 By Michael Fuchs; Mattia Makovec; Asghar Zaidi
  3. A two-pillar strategy to keep inflation expectations at bay: A basic theoretical framework. By Meixing DAI
  4. Who Leads Financial Markets? By Weber, Enzo
  5. Academic Patenting in Europe: New Evidence from the KEINS Database. By Francesco Lissoni; Patrick Llerena; Maureen McKelvey; Bulat Sanditov
  6. Grandparents Caring for Their Grandchildren: Findings from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe By Karsten Hank; Isabella Buber
  7. Competition in European Telecom Markets By BISMUT, Sophie
  8. Markets Susceptible to ex ante Regulation : Methodology and Commission Recommendation By STUMPF, Ulrich
  9. Flexibility, but for whom? : A new approach to examining labour market flexibility across Europe using company level data By Chung, Heejung
  10. e-Communications: Investment and the Regulatory Framework By JONES, Siôn; SALSAS, Pau
  11. Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries By Benno Torglor
  12. Systematic Mispricing in European Equity Prices? By Marian Berneburg
  13. Pension Fund Regulation and Risk Management: Results from an ALM Optimisation Exercise By Sandra Blome; Kai Fachinger; Dorothee Franzen; Gerhard Scheuenstuhl; Juan Yermo
  14. Why labour market regulation may pay off: Worker motivation, co-ordination and productivity growth By Servaas Storm; C.W.M. Nastepaad
  15. Coping with Spain's Aging: Retirement Rules and Incentives By Mario Catalán; Jaime Guajardo; Alexander W. Hoffmaister
  16. Budget Rigidity and Expenditure Efficiency in Slovenia By Todd D. Mattina; Victoria Gunnarsson
  17. Why has Swedish Inflation been Persistently Low? By Felix Hüfner
  18. Locational determinants of the ICT sector across Italy By A. Lasagni; F. Sforzi
  19. From Science to License: An exploratory analysis of the value of academic patents By Eleftherios Sapsalis
  20. Employment and Unemployment Transitions in Spain from 1996 to 2005 By Sáez Fernández, Felipe; Sánchez-Romero, Miguel; Vera Grijalba, Joaquín
  21. Using the British Household Panel Survey to explore changes in housing tenure in England By Tom Sefton
  22. Modelling Vulnerability in the UK By Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay; Frank A Cowell
  23. The Swedish Housing Market: Better Allocation via Less Regulation By Felix Hüfner; Jens Lundsgaard
  24. Does Housework Lower Wages and Why? Evidence for Britain By Mark L. Bryan; Almudena Sevilla Sanz
  25. France in the Global Economy: A Structural Approximate Dynamic Factor Model Analysis By Alain N. Kabundi; Francisco Nadal De Simone
  26. The winding road to industrial safety. Evidence on the effects of environmental liability on accident prevention in Germany. By Onno Hoffmeister; Reimund Schwarze
  27. Labour market entry of migrants in Germany : does cultural diversity matter? By Haas, Anette; Damelang, Andreas
  28. Analysis of Place and Role of SME’s in the new Member States of the European Union By Anghel, Laurentiu-Dan; Filip, Alina
  29. Impact on Intra-European Trade Agreements, 1990-2005: Policy Implications for the Western Balkans and Ukraine By Zhaogang Qiao; Han Herderschee

  1. By: Wickens, Michael R
    Abstract: It is widely recognised that the "one-size-fits-all" monetary policy of the euro-zone is a potential problem. How much of a problem has not been much investigated. It is argued in this paper that it may result in the euro not being sustainable in the longer term without drastic changes to other aspects of the EU and, in particular, to fiscal policy. The problem is not the fault of the ECB, but is due to having a single nominal interest rate. As a result, the evidence reveals that national price levels are diverging over time which is leading to a permanent and unsustainable loss of competitiveness. A formal theory of inflation in the euro-zone based on an open-economy version of the New Keynesian model is used to analyse the problem. Although the euro system has automatic stabilising mechanisms arising from the changes in competitiveness and from absorbtion effects, these are shown to be not strong enough. The model is then modified to allow for fiscal transfers between countries and the size of the transfers required to produce a euro that may be sustainable are derived. It is shown that, in effect, this is an inflation tax, requiring high inflation countries to make transfers to low inflation countries as often happens within a single country in the form of unemployed benefits to low activity regions. Ultimately, the choice may lie between closer political union and a break-up of the euro-zone.
    Keywords: ECB; euro; inflation; monetary policy
    JEL: E5 E6
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Michael Fuchs; Mattia Makovec; Asghar Zaidi
    Abstract: The policy agenda of extending working lives requires a holistic understanding of factors underlying the decision of older workers to withdraw from work and to retire. This brief paper presents employment patterns and trends of older people across EU Member States and identifies policy initiatives that would encourage more flexible and later retirement. The descriptive empirical evidence (from the EU Labour Force Survey) indicates that there are a broad range of experiences in EU countries with respect to the employment of older workers (those aged 50 and over). Strikingly, in the majority of EU15 countries, close to one-half of those of 50 and over are either unemployed or inactive, with reliance either on early retirement pensions or on social assistance benefits. The recent pension reforms in a number of these countries have increased the retirement age and this is likely to induce older workers to work longer. There is already some evidence that the effective retirement age is on the increase. Results suggest that the increase in older workers' employment is stronger for women than for men, and also for more highly educated. In most instances older workers either tend to be in full-time employment or inactive with very few occupying intermediate positions. Although there is some evidence of a gradual transition towards retirement, there is still a relatively minor proportion of the work force taking advantage of this, as well over 70% of men and around 55% of women in employment in their early 60s worked 35 hours a week or more. The policy aim should therefore be to encourage 'flexible and later retirement'. Additional incentives need to be provided so that people are not only able to move between jobs in later working life but also able to work part-time, without losing their entitlement to benefits (such as early retirement pensions). Such policy incentives will enable workers to avoid the phenomenon of a 'cliff-edge' fall into retirement that many of them often face.
    Keywords: Retirement, Retirement Policies, Labour Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    JEL: J26 J21
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Meixing DAI
    Abstract: Using a simple macro-economic model, this study shows how a two-pillar monetary strategy as practiced by the European central bank (ECB) can be conceived to guarantee dynamic macro-economic stability and the credibility of monetary policy. This strategy can be interpreted as a combination of inflation targeting and monetary base targeting. A commitment to a long-run monetary base growth rate (monetary targeting) corresponding to inflation target could reinforce the credibility of central bank announcements and the role of inflation target as strong and credible nominal anchor for private inflation expectations. However, achieving price stability under inflationtargeting regime associated with Friedman’s money supply rule can generate dynamic instability in output, inflation and money demand. Alternative stabilizing monetary targeting rules, of which the design depends on economic structure and central bank preferences, are discussed relative to their capability to warrant dynamic macroeconomic stability.
    Keywords: two-pillar monetary strategy, inflation targeting, monetary targeting, macroeconomic stability.
    JEL: E44 E52 E58
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Weber, Enzo
    Abstract: The present paper embarks on an analysis of interactions between the US and Euroland in the capital, foreign exchange, money and stock markets from 1994 until 2006. Estimating multivariate EGARCH processes for the structural financial innovations determines causality-in-variance effects and provides a solution to the simultaneity problem of identifying the contemporaneous impacts between the daily variables. Structural mean equations can therefore give answers to the question of financial markets leadership: Generally speaking, the US effects on Europe still dominate, but the special econometric methodology is able to uncover otherwise neglected spillovers in the reverse direction.
    Keywords: Structural EGARCH; Financial Markets; United States; Euro Zone
    JEL: G15 C32
    Date: 2007–04
  5. By: Francesco Lissoni (University of Brescia, Brescia and Cespri - Bocconi University, Milano, Italy.); Patrick Llerena (BETA - Université L.Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.); Maureen McKelvey (RIDE-IMIT - Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden.); Bulat Sanditov (Cespri - Bocconi University, Milano, Italy and MERIT - Maastricht University, The Netherlands.)
    Abstract: The paper provides summary statistics from the KEINS database on academic patenting in France, Italy, and Sweden. It shows that academic scientists in those countries have signed many more patents than previously estimated. This re?evaluation of academic patenting comes by considering all patents signed by academic scientists active in 2004, both those assigned to universities and the many more held by business companies, governmental organizations, and public laboratories. Specific institutional features of the university and research systems in the three countries contribute to explain these ownership patterns, which are remarkably different from those observed in the US. In the light of these new data, European universities’ contribution to domestic patenting appears not to be much less intense than that of their US counterparts.
    Keywords: Technology transfer, University patents, Academic inventors.
    JEL: I23 O31 O34
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Karsten Hank; Isabella Buber (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Introducing findings from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), this research complements the large number of recent U.S. studies on the role of grandparents in caring for their grandchildren. For 10 continental European countries, we investigate cross-national variations in grandparent provided child care as well as differences in characteristics of the providers and recipients of care. While we find a strong involvement of grandparents in their grandchildren’s care across all countries, we also identify significant variations in the prevalence and intensity of care along the geographic lines of different child care and (maternal/female) employment regimes in Europe. Rooted in long-standing family cultures, the observed patterns suggest a complex interaction between welfare-state provided services and intergenerational family support in shaping the work-family nexus for younger parents. We conclude with a brief discussion of possible consequences of grandmothers’ increasing labor force participation for child care arrangements.
    Date: 2007–06–16
  7. By: BISMUT, Sophie
    Abstract: In recent years, the European telecommunications market has witnessed major developments, with rapid expansion in access to telecommunications networks and a surge in the number of available services and applications. While many factors have contributed to the transformation of the telecommunications industry, competition has played a key role in driving telecom players to invest in new technologies, to innovate and to offer new services. Increased competitive pressure is being felt across all market segments, even though significant differences remain across services and countries. Broadband roll-out has allowed operators to offer multiple-play services, thereby transforming traditional segment boundaries and competitive market structures.
    Keywords: competition; access; convergence; multiple-play; fixed telephony; mobile services; broadband; VoIP; MVNO.
    JEL: L51 L40 L50 L41 K23 L96 L33 L94
    Date: 2006–12
  8. By: STUMPF, Ulrich
    Abstract: The EU regulatory framework for electronic communications services distinguishes between markets that are susceptible to ex ante regulation and those that are subject to competition law alone. The paper lays out the methodology for identifying relevant markets that may be considered for ex ante regulation. It also provides a summary of the relevant markets that should be susceptible to ex ante regulation based on an analysis of conditions likely to prevail in a ‘representative" member state. The paper finally addresses the role of the European Commission, and in particular its Relevant Markets Recommendation, as a means of providing guidance to NRAs.
    Keywords: EU regulatory framework; susceptibility to ex ante regulation; 3-criteria test; Relevant Markets Recommendation; market definition and modified Greenfield approach.
    JEL: K29 L51 L50 D82 K21 K23 L96
    Date: 2006–12
  9. By: Chung, Heejung
    Abstract: Labour market flexibility continues to be one of the key issues in the reform of labour markets in welfare states. The way in which various countries adapt to this need differs according to their institutions and prevailing strategies. Despite the vast numbers of studies addressing this issue, labour market flexibility has been examined predominantly by concentrating on the arrangements that firms adopt to adjust to market fluctuations. Thus flexibility arrangements are perceived to exist only to facilitate employers’ or companies’ needs. However, flexibility in the labour market also enables individuals to accommodate various needs that occur throughout their life course and to facilitate one’s work-life balance. As companies adapt to business cycles with labour market flexibility, workers adapt to life cycles with it. Based on this definition, flexibility practices of companies can be measured two dimensionally, on one side its overall level and another to whom it is (more) geared towards, workers or the company. In addition, this study examines flexibility at the establishment level, in contrast to previous studies of flexibility which focus on the institutional/regulatory level or the individual behavioural level. The aims of this project are three-fold: firstly to examine the various practices of flexibility in companies to see if flexibility can indeed be partitioned as described above; secondly through aggregating company data to the country level, see whether there are cross-national variances in the degree and focus of flexibility practices; and lastly to investigate the relationship between the use of flexibility options for employers and those for employees. The data used to answer these questions is the European Survey of Working-Time and Work-life Balance, a survey based on the establishment level covering 21 EU member states for the year 2004/2005. The outcomes show that based on the practices of companies, flexibility can indeed be distinguished depending on whose flexibility it accommodates. Moreover, they show that countries where the average company has more flexibility arrangements for employers it provides more arrangements for employees as well, and there seems to be more variation in the provision of the latter than the former.
    Keywords: labour market flexibility; flexibility arrangements; company level; European Survey of Working-Time and Work-life Balance; ESWT; worker's flexibility; company's flexibility; working time; work-life balance; cross-national comparative study
    JEL: P00 J01
    Date: 2006
  10. By: JONES, Siôn; SALSAS, Pau
    Abstract: The EU regulatory framework for e-communications was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2002, and became applicable from 2003. It has three primary objectives: (1) to promote competition; (2) to develop the single market; and (3) to promote citizens' rights. The European Commission's DG Information Society commissioned London Economics to estimate the level of e-communications investment in the EU and to examine its main drivers as part of a contributio to the Commission's 2006 review of the e-communications framework. This paper outlines some of the findings of that study. The paper provides a description of the process of collecting data on investment in physical infrastructure in the e-communciations sector by country and by sub-sector. It also presents the collected data, showing a decline in overall investment between 2001 and 2003 and a subsequent upturn in 2004. An econometric analysis of the drivers of investment over the period is undertaken, which suggests that better performing regulatory regimes, as measured by an OECD regulatory index, can contribute to higher levels of investment in the sector.
    Keywords: e-communications; investment; regulation
    JEL: L97 L50 D82 K29 L51 D74 K23 L96 L90 L43
    Date: 2006–12
  11. By: Benno Torglor
    Abstract: The paper investigates the relationship between pro-social norms and its implications for improved environmental outcomes, an area which has been neglected in the environmental economics literature. We provide empirical evidence, demonstrating a strong link between perceived environmental cooperation (reduced public littering) and increased voluntary environmental morale, using European Values Survey (EVS) data for 30 Western and Eastern European countries. The robust results suggest that environmental morale and perceived environmental cooperation, as well as identifying the factors that strengthen these relationships, potentially bring about better environmental outcomes.
    Keywords: environmental preferences, environmental morale, conditional cooperation, pro-social behavior
    JEL: H26 H73 D64
    Date: 2007–06–01
  12. By: Marian Berneburg
    Abstract: One empirical argument that has been around for some time and that clearly contra- dicts equity market efficiency is that market prices seem too volatile to be optimal estimates of the present value of future discounted cash flows. Based on this, it is deduced that systematic pricing errors occur in equity markets which hence can not be efficient in the Effcient Market Hypothesis sense. The paper tries to show that this so-called excess volatility is to a large extend the result of the underlying assumptions, which are being employed to estimate the present value of cash flows. Using monthly data for three investment style indices from an integrated European Equity market, all usual assumptions are dropped. This is achieved by employing the Gordon Growth Model and using an estimation process for the dividend growth rate that was suggested by Barsky and De Long. In extension to Barsky and De Long, the discount rate is not assumed at some arbitrary level, but it is estimated from the data. In this manner, the empirical results do not rely on the prerequisites of sta- tionary dividends, constant dividend growth rates as well as non-variable discount rates. It is shown that indeed volatility declines considerably, but is not eliminated. Furthermore, it can be seen that the resulting discount factors for the three in- vestment style indices can not be considered equal, which, on a risk-adjusted basis, indicates performance differences in the investment strategies and hence stands in contradiction to an efficient market. Finally, the estimated discount rates under- went a plausibility check, by comparing their general movement to a market based interest rate. Besides the most recent data, the estimated discount rates match the movements of market interest rates fairly well.
    Keywords: Equity Market Efficiency; Discounted Cashflow; Excess Volatility; Variance Bound Test, Rational Expectations
    JEL: G12 G14
    Date: 2007–06
  13. By: Sandra Blome; Kai Fachinger; Dorothee Franzen; Gerhard Scheuenstuhl; Juan Yermo
    Abstract: This paper provides a stylised assessment of the impact of investment-relevant pension fund regulations and accounting rules on contribution and investment strategies within the context of an asset-liability model (ALM) specifically designed for this purpose. The analysis identifies a substantial impact of regulations which, in a simplified way, resemble those in place in Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. The ALM model shows that regulations affect funding costs primarily through the choice of investment strategy. Strict funding regulations may force sponsors to make up funding shortfalls in bad economic times and lead them to invest more conservatively, which ultimately raises net funding costs. The paper also shows that fairvalue accounting standards (with immediate recognition of actuarial gains and losses) can contribute to higher funding levels than required by regulators. <P>Réglementation des organismes de retraite et gestion des risques : Résultats d'un exercice d'optimisation fondé sur un modèle de GAP <BR>Nous présentons dans cette étude une évaluation simplifiée de l'impact qu'ont les règles comptables et les dispositions réglementaires applicables aux organismes de retraite en matière de placements sur les stratégies de cotisation et d'investissement, dans le cadre d'un modèle de gestion actif-passif (GAP) spécialement élaboré à cet effet. Nous mettons en évidence l'existence d'un impact sensible des dispositions réglementaires qui, pour simplifier, ressemblent à celles qui sont en vigueur en Allemagne, aux États-Unis, au Japon, aux Pays-Bas et au Royaume-Uni. Le modèle de GAP montre que l'influence exercée par les dispositions réglementaires sur le coût des capitaux passe essentiellement par le choix de la stratégie d'investissement. Une réglementation stricte en matière de financement peut contraindre les promoteurs de plans de retraite à combler les déficits de financement en période de conjoncture économique défavorable, et les amener à investir avec davantage de prudence, ce qui entraîne à terme une augmentation du coût net des capitaux. Nous montrons également dans cette étude que les normes de comptabilisation à la juste valeur (impliquant la prise en compte immédiate des gains et pertes actuariels) peuvent contribuer à des niveaux de financement plus élevés que ceux requis par les autorités de réglementation.
    Keywords: investment, investissement, accounting, comptabilité, pension fund
    JEL: G23 J32
    Date: 2007–05
  14. By: Servaas Storm (Department of Economics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.); C.W.M. Nastepaad
    Abstract: The impact of labour market regulation on labour productivity growth is ambiguous: on the one hand, regulation raises labour adjustment costs, which negatively affects productivity; but on the other hand, regulation may (for various reasons) raise worker motivation and commitment and (by means of wage bargaining co-ordination) stimulate labour-saving technological progress, thus raising productivity. We present empirical evidence for a cross-section of 20 OECD countries (1984-1997) that relatively rigid (i.e. regulated and co-ordinated) labour markets promote long-run labour productivity growth. This conclusion is reinforced when we differentiate between (three) categories of labour markets in the OECD countries and test for differences in productivity performance.
    Keywords: labour productivity, employment security, labour flexibility, measurement, OECD countries
  15. By: Mario Catalán; Jaime Guajardo; Alexander W. Hoffmaister
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the macroeconomic and welfare effects of extending the averaging period used to calculate pension benefits in a pay-as-you-go system. It also examines the complementarities between reforms extending the averaging period and those increasing the retirement age under alternative tax policies. The analysis is based on a model in the Auerbach-Kotlikoff tradition applied to the Spanish economy. Without reforms, the simulations suggest that aging-related spending as a share of output will increase 16 percentage points by 2050, which are twice as much as in European Commission (2006) projections due to general equilibrium effects. Also, reforms extending the averaging period to the entire work life limit expenditure pressures at the peak of the demographic shock as much as increasing the retirement age in line with life expectancy (4 percentage points of GDP). These reforms and prefunding the demographic shock mitigate the adverse macroeconomic effects of aging and improve welfare.
    Date: 2007–05–24
  16. By: Todd D. Mattina; Victoria Gunnarsson
    Abstract: This paper assesses the relative efficiency and flexibility of public spending in Slovenia compared to the advanced and new EU member states. Spending on health care, education, and social protection is relatively high in Slovenia without achieving correspondingly better outcomes. Inefficiencies appear to stem from the financing mechanisms for social services, institutional arrangements, and the weak targeting of social benefits. In addition, the composition of spending appears to be strongly tilted towards nondiscretionary items that reduce the fiscal room for maneuver. Greater flexibility is needed to facilitate the reallocation of relatively inefficient expenditure into higher priorities. In this manner, medium-term expenditure rationalization can focus on reducing inefficient outlays rather than restraining traditionally flexible components of the budget, such as public investment.
    Date: 2007–06–08
  17. By: Felix Hüfner
    Abstract: Average inflation in Sweden has been one of the lowest among European countries since the mid- 1990s. Three supply-side factors help to explain this phenomenon, all related in some sense to increased global integration. First, a shift towards imports from low-cost producing countries has resulted in falling import prices. Second, deregulation and increased product market competition with foreign companies entering the market has led to price falls in some sectors, notably in retailing. Third, wage growth has lagged productivity and kept unit labour costs down. This paper reviews these factors and analyzes the policy options for the central bank. This paper relates to the OECD Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 ( <P>Pourquoi l'inflation suédoise est-elle restée obstinément faible ? <BR>Depuis le milieu des années 90, la Suède affiche un des taux moyens d'inflation les plus faibles d'Europe. Ce phénomène s'explique en partie par trois facteurs relevant de l'offre, tous liés d'une certaine manière à l'intégration croissante de l'économie mondiale. Premièrement, un glissement vers les importations des pays à bas coûts de production s'est traduit par une baisse des prix des importations. Deuxièmement, la déréglementation et le renforcement de la concurrence avec les entreprises étrangères sur les marchés de produits ont entraîné une diminution des prix dans certains secteurs, notamment dans le commerce de détail. Troisièmement, la croissance des salaires a été plus lente que celle de la productivité, ce qui a maintenu les coûts unitaires de main d'oeuvre à un bas niveau. Ce document passe en revue ces facteurs et analyse les options politiques pour la banque centrale. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Suède 2007 (
    Keywords: Sweden, Suède, monetary policy, politique monétaire, inflation target, cible d'inflation, inflation, inflation, core inflation, Riksbank, Riksbank, socle d'inflation
    Date: 2007–06–11
  18. By: A. Lasagni; F. Sforzi
    Abstract: Is the rapid growth of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) activities shaping new local specialization and industrial concentration? Does the analysis of local economic conditions help to explain the formation of “places” specialized in ICT? We use 2001 Census data by Local Labour Systems (LLS) to investigate the characteristics of ICT specialization in Italy. Our investigation is based on a cross-sectional regression model using data for 686 LLS in which the dependent variable is an index of ICT local employment concentration. The measure of concentration we adopted is the location quotient (LQ) index. The LLS specialized in ICT activities in Italy account for 7.3% of total LLS. They are distributed all over the country, although those with highest LQ values are mainly in North-west and Central-south Italy. Our regression analysis provides the following results. The general econometric specification, i.e. that applied to all LLS, supports a positive and significant relationship between LLS specialized in some manufacturing industries (machinery, equipment and instruments; petrochemicals, rubber and plastic products; transport equipment; and paper, publishing and printing) or business services and relatively high localization of ICT employment. Besides, the model indicates that for LLS characterized by manufacturing SMEs there is a low probability of attaining a greater-than-the-national-average ICT employment specialization. These econometric results are in line with the general opinion that product specialization of Italian industries (the so-called “Made in Italy”) and SMEs are less likely to be involved in ICT diffusion to business. Nevertheless, this pattern of results does not justify the interpretation that the industrial districts (where SMEs employment has the largest share) are at the origin of inadequate ICT diffusion to business in Italy. In fact, when the analysis is focused on industrial districts the results are slightly different. In particular, the variable SMEs does not produce a significant coefficient, while textile and clothing industries show a positive association with ICT, even though significant only at 10% level. What is the main policy implication of these empirical findings? National government’s policy makers should become aware that industrial districts are an appropriate instrument to promote the development of the ICT sector, although so far they have been neglected. "
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies, Local Labour Systems, geographical concentration, local specialization
    JEL: L60 O14 R12 O52
    Date: 2007
  19. By: Eleftherios Sapsalis (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the industrial and entrepreneurial value of 334 patent families applied for by six major Belgian universities. It identifies the value determinants underlying the patent documents and highlights the positive and significant impact of collaboration and tacit scientific knowledge of the inventors’ team on the probability to get licensed. It also shows that there are technological differences between patents licensed to existing companies and the ones licensed to spin-offs. It suggests that existing companies are more likely to license technologies to be cited by academia when spin-offs exploit academic patents that are cited by the industry. These results advocate that existing companies and start-ups are two different valorisation patterns to commercialise different types of academic technologies. The paper stresses also the importance of collaboration between public and corporate research teams in order to get patent licensed. It pleads for a better management and valorisation sheme of patents co-applied for by many academic assignees and draws attention on the need to focus on academic researchers with a high scientific profile in terms of publications in order to crystallize their tacit knowledge into valuable patents.
    Keywords: Patent value, patent indicators, knowledge sources, license, spin-off.
    JEL: L24 M13 O33 O34
    Date: 2007–06
  20. By: Sáez Fernández, Felipe (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.); Sánchez-Romero, Miguel (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.); Vera Grijalba, Joaquín (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)
    Abstract: In this paper, we have studied the employment and nonemployment transitions in Spain from 1996 to 2005. To do so, we have used a multi-state multiepisode duration model and a censured continuous-time Markovian matrix. By using the censured Markovian matrix, we have been able to balance the negative effect that censure has on the estimated parameters. The results obtained suggest that women have a probability of employment six percent lower than men. In addition, we have been able to show that Spanish employees experience three different stages of employment during their first decade in the labor market.
    Keywords: Employment and Nonemployment Transitions; Multi-state Multi-episode Duration Model; Hazard Rate; Censured Continuous-time Markovian Matrix
    JEL: C41 J64
    Date: 2007–06
  21. By: Tom Sefton
    Abstract: Very little information exists about households' longer-term movements between tenures. Some cross-section datasets include information on length of stay in any residence but we have no systematic study of movement over time. This study uses the British Household Panel Study to examine movements by households over a ten-year period - 1994/5 and 2004/5. Changes in tenure are related to key life events - leaving home, marriage, having children, widowhood and retirement. The great majority of owner-occupiers remained in that tenure. This was somewhat less for those experiencing divorce or unemployment. Most public housing tenants remained in that tenure over the ten-year period especially the elderly and the unemployed or those outside the labour market. About a quarter moved into owner-occupation and half of those through the right to buy their dwelling. The analysis looks at the associations between moving into work and residential mobility, in particular the slower rate at which social tenants move back into employment.
    Keywords: housing tenure, residential mobility, social housing
    JEL: R31
    Date: 2007–02
  22. By: Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay; Frank A Cowell
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the concept of "vulnerability" (Townsend 1994) within thecontext of income mobility of the poor. We test for the dynamics of vulnerablehouseholds in the UK using Waves 1 - 12 of the British Household Panel Survey andfind that, of three different types of risks that we test for, household-specific shocksand economy-wide aggregate shocks have the greatest impact on consumption, incomparison to shocks to the income stream. Quantile-specific estimates revealspecific quantiles, particularly those around the poverty line which are mostsusceptible to be vulnerable to shocks to the income stream. The estimates are foundto be robust to household composition and year-specific shocks.
    Keywords: income variability, vulnerability, income dynamics, BHPS
    JEL: D1 D31 I32
    Date: 2007–02
  23. By: Felix Hüfner; Jens Lundsgaard
    Abstract: While several sectors in the economy have been deregulated, the Swedish housing market remains distorted, hindering an optimal matching of supply and demand. In the rental market the rent setting framework with its focus on cost-based rents in the public sector prevents a price response, leading to long queues in some regions and vacancies in others. Many Swedes that would have preferred otherwise are driven into the owner-occupied segment, where prices are increasing strongly, and rising above an estimated fundamental value. The supply of new dwellings is made more difficult by an uncompetitive construction industry, coupled with cumbersome planning regulations and few incentives for municipalities to issue more land. On the fiscal side, real estate taxes are below neutral levels, implying an indirect subsidy to housing. This paper presents a review of the recent steps to abolish real estate taxes and also proposes comprehensive reform of regulations in the rental housing sector. This paper relates to the OECD Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 ( <P>Le marché du logement suédois : Moins réglementer pour obtenir une meilleure allocation des ressources <BR>Alors que plusieurs secteurs de l’économie ont été déréglementés, le marché suédois du logement reste soumis à de fortes distorsions qui entravent un rapprochement optimal de l’offre et de la demande. Sur le marché locatif, les loyers sont essentiellement fonction de ceux que pratique le secteur public dans l’optique des coûts, ce qui empêche une réaction normale des prix et crée de longues files d’attente dans certaines régions, tandis que des logements restent vacants dans d’autres. Un grand nombre de Suédois sont contraints malgré eux d’accéder à la propriété, avec des prix en forte hausse, et augmentant au dessus d’une valeur fondamentale estimée. L’offre de logements neufs subit les effets négatifs d’un manque de concurrence dans le secteur de la construction, se doublant de très strictes règles d’urbanisme et d’une faible incitation des communes à classer de nouveaux terrains en zone constructible. Sur le plan fiscal, l’impôt foncier est déjà inférieur au niveau de neutralité, ce qui veut dire que le logement est indirectement subventionné. Ce document passe en revue de manière critique les récentes étapes pour supprimer les taxes foncières et propose également une réforme compréhensive des réglementations du secteur locatif. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Suède 2007 (
    Keywords: Sweden, Suède, house prices, prix des logements, housing taxation, impôt foncier, rent regulation, réglementation du secteur locatif, rental housing, marché locatif, housing supply, offre de logements
    JEL: D12 D61 H11 H21 H31
    Date: 2007–06–11
  24. By: Mark L. Bryan; Almudena Sevilla Sanz
    Abstract: Women working full-time in the UK earn on average about 18% per hour less than men (EOC, 2005). Traditional labour economics has focussed on gender differences in human capital to explain the gender wage gap. Although differences in male and female human capital are recognized to derive from different household responsibilities over the life cycle, there is also a lesser-studied and more direct effect of household activities on wages. In a broad economic sense, household activities require effort, which decreases labour market productivity and thus wages. This paper first documents the relationship between housework and wages in Britain and applies a variety of econometric techniques to pin down the effect of housework on wages. It further explores what dimensions of housework are at the root of the relationship between housework and wages. After controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, we find a negative effect of housework on wages for married female workers, but not for single workers or married male workers. This differential effect across marital status suggests that the factors behind the relationship between housework and wages are the type and timing of housework activities as much as the actual time devoted to housework.
    Keywords: Housework, Wages, Marriage, Gender Wage Gap
    JEL: J12 J16 J31
    Date: 2007
  25. By: Alain N. Kabundi; Francisco Nadal De Simone
    Abstract: This study identifies the main shocks that cause fluctuations in French output and their channels of transmission. It uses a large-dimensional structural approximate dynamic factor model. There are three main findings. First, common shocks, especially demand shocks, which seem to originate from the U.S., play an important role in explaining French economic activity. While international trade, relative prices, and FDI flows are the main channels of transmission, the stock market, consumer confidence, and interest rates also matter. Second, France's integration with the rest of the world has increased over time. Third, there is some tentative evidence of regional components in explaining French output fluctuations; countryspecific components also contribute. The predominance of exogenous factors affecting French output, the asymmetry in the transmission of shocks, and France's participation in a currency area, argue for making French goods, services, and labor markets as flexible as possible.
    Date: 2007–06–08
  26. By: Onno Hoffmeister; Reimund Schwarze
    Abstract: The German Environmental Liability Law (ELL) of 1991 has introduced far-reaching civil liability for environmental damages with the aim to increase firms’ efforts to prevent accidents. Previous studies find poor evidence that this goal has actually been achieved. One and a half decades after the introduction of that law, we undertake a new attempt to investigate the impact of the ELL on accident prevention. Our analysis is based on annual data on the number of environmental accidents per year, reported to the monitoring agency ZEMA, and the risk premium imposed by a large German insurer on environmental liability insurance (ELI). As reliable accident reporting has begun only after the implementation of the new law into practice, pre- and post-reform levels of accident prevention cannot be directly compared. However, the time series of ELI premiums cuts across these two periods. Once we examine the relationship between the ELI premium and accident prevention and observe the effect of the reform impulse on the former, we are able to model the dynamics of the adjustment process induced by the ELL. According to our results, the average number of environmental accidents per year has decreased from 29 before to 17 and a half after the reform. Our dynamic analysis reveals an overshooting of the insurance premiums in the first years after the reform and a successive decrease from 1997 onwards. The premiums and firms’ prevention efforts achieved a new equilibrium in 2000.
    Keywords: Environmental liability, accident prevention, empirical analysis, Germany.
    JEL: K32 K13 Q58
    Date: 2007–06
  27. By: Haas, Anette (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Damelang, Andreas (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper provides an analysis of the labour market entry of migrant youth in Germany after completion of an apprenticeship. We are particularly interested in the impact of local cultural diversity on a successful career start. Focusing on the cohort of people completing apprenticeships in 2000, we distinguish between Turks, citizens of former Yugoslavia, EU15 migrants and other migrants compared with Germans as the reference group. A multinomial probit model reveals that Turkish apprentices and those from the other migrant groups have a significantly lower probability of transition into the primary labour market, whereas EU15 migrants do not differ from Germans in this respect. In addition to controlling for individual and firm characteristics as well as occupation, we explicitly include regional characteristics. Our results show that if there is a high level of cultural diversity, young migrants will find employment more easily. In contrast to other studies which emphasize the impact of friends and family ties, we conclude that networks and information flows which are not restricted to an individual's own ethnic group increase the likelihood of finding a job." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: ausländische Jugendliche, betriebliche Berufsausbildung, Ausbildungsabsolventen, Berufseinmündung, kulturelle Identität, zweite Schwelle, Migranten, regionaler Arbeitsmarkt, Arbeitsmarktchancen, Westdeutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: F22 J61 J62 R23
    Date: 2007–06–14
  28. By: Anghel, Laurentiu-Dan; Filip, Alina
    Abstract: Günter Verheugen said: “Europe is good for SME’s and SME’s are good for Europe” and this is the main reason for writing this paper. Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the European economy, and the best potential source of jobs and growth. The paper presents how SME’s are defined in the EU and also a short comparison of their position in old and new member of the European Union.
    Keywords: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s); SME’s Definition; New Member States of the European Union.
    JEL: M21
    Date: 2007–04–20
  29. By: Zhaogang Qiao; Han Herderschee
    Abstract: The paper provides quantitative estimates of the impact of the European trade agreements on trade flows. It applies both static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. The results are useful to policymakers because new intra-European trade agreements are being negotiated. In the absence of a further expansion of the European Union, estimates of alternative policies may help to clarify the policy debate. The paper also illustrates that the performance of individual countries under the trade agreements can be explained in terms of their macroeconomic environment. The conclusions are likely to be relevant to the western Balkan countries and Ukraine.
    Date: 2007–05–31

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