nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2008‒04‒21
thirteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Labour force participation of women with children: disparities and developments in Europe since the 1990s By Olivier Thévenon
  2. Les dynamiques de transmission des taux directeurs sur les taux bancaires en Europe By Raphaël Jeudy
  3. The Effects of Social and Labour Market Policies of EU-countries on the Socio-Economic Integration of First and Second Generation Immigrants from Different Countries of Origin By Fenella Fleischmann; Jaap Dronkers
  4. Studying Abroad and the Effect on International Labor Market Mobility: Evidence from the Introduction of ERASMUS By Parey, Matthias; Waldinger, Fabian
  5. Term Structure and the Estimated Monetary Policy Rule in the Eurozone. By Ramón María-Dolores; Jesús Vázquez
  6. Agglomerative Magnets and Informal Regulatory Networks: Electricity Market Design Convergence in the USA and Continental Europe By Jens Weinmann
  7. Strategic Partitioning of Emissions Allowances. Under the EU Emission Trading Scheme By Christoph Böhringer and Knut Einar Rosendahl
  8. Occupational Structures across 25 EU Countries: The Importance of Industry Structure and Technology in Old and New EU Countries By Cörvers Frank; Meriküll Jaanika
  9. Catching up, forging ahead or falling behind? Central & Eastern European development in 1990-2005 By Marek Tiits; Rainer Kattel; Tarmo Kalvet; Dorel Tamm
  10. Regulatory Agencies, the State and Markets: A Franco-British Comparison By Mark Thatcher
  11. Public Sector Pay Gaps and Skill Levels: a Cross-Country Comparison By Paolo Ghinetti; Claudio Lucifora
  12. A challenge to triumphant optimists? A new index for the Paris stock exchange (1854-2007) By David Le Bris; Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur
  13. Do UK Institutional Shareholders Monitor their Investee Firms? By Goergen, M.; Renneboog, L.D.R.; Zhang, C.

  1. By: Olivier Thévenon
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify how specific the increase of female labour market participation observed over the last fifteen years were to particular family statuses: mothers versus childless women, households with young children versus households with older children, mothers who had children early versus those who had children later. The analysis is based on European Union Labour Force Surveys (EU LFS) for the period from 1992 to 2005 and draws on the data available for some countries on household composition, and observes different cohorts of women across the different years of the survey. The labour market situations of women are modelled in order to identify trends in behaviour for given individual and family characteristics. The results are used to discuss the variety of changes in female labour market behaviour in group of countries that were considered as relatively similar at the beginning of the 90s. We find that changes were mainly favourable to mothers in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK. Some similarities and differences between countries identified in previous comparative research are reaffirmed, confirming the relative heterogeneity of the models of female employment in relation to standard welfare state typologies. Major differences and trends specific to certain countries were nevertheless identified. Some of these differences concern the relative importance of the number of children and of the age of the youngest on female labour market behaviour. But differences also relate to the variable impact of the age at which women have their first child. It suggests that varieties in macro-institutional contexts shape different opportunity for women to manage labour market commitment with family formation over their life-cycle.
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Raphaël Jeudy
    Abstract: Analyses of the transmission of money market rates to retail interest rates are a way to appreciate some effects of the monetary policy. The main question since Euro is the convergence of this transmission in the Euro zone. The aim of this study is to find likeness in evolutions and dynamics of transmission to confirm or to reject the convergence hypothesis. In this way, estimates of the pass-through have been conducted with rolling regressions between 1990 and 2004 on 11 countries (Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Finland and Greece) and on several retail interest rates (N2, N3, N4, N5 and N8). This pass-through approach is a way to study transmission’s dynamics between interest rates. Finally, we made the same approach with threshold models to underline asymmetric dynamics.
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Fenella Fleischmann; Jaap Dronkers
    Abstract: In this article, we analyse four different dimensions of socio-economic integration of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants into the labour markets of 13 EU countries and we assess, taking into account a number of individual characteristics, the effects of the countries of origin and the countries of destination on this integration. We find that participation in the labour market, unemployment, occupational status and the chances of reaching the upper middle-class are different, although inter-related, dimensions of the socio-economic integration of immigrants and they work differently for men and women. In the countries of destination, the level of employment protection legislation and the conservative welfare regime affect this integration negatively. Most indicators of national policies aimed at the integration of immigrants have no effects on the socio-economic integration of immigrants. Furthermore, we find a number of origin effects which continue to have an impact on 2nd generation immigrants. Political stability and political freedom in origin countries have positive and negative effects on socio-economic integration. The emigration rate of the origin countries has a negative effect. The higher levels of socio-economic integration amongst immigrants from other EU-countries demonstrates the functioning of the European Union as an integrated labour market .Controlling for individual religious affiliation turns out to be very useful, since we find a number of negative effects of being a Muslim, among both men and women. While individual education is an important predictor of immigrants' labour market outcomes, our findings indicate lower returns on this education in terms of occupational status, indicating a ceiling effect for highly-educated 2nd generation immigrants who cannot translate their qualifications into high-status jobs to the same extent as their native peers.
    Keywords: immigration, integration, labour market, European Union, social policy
    Date: 2007–05–25
  4. By: Parey, Matthias (University College London); Waldinger, Fabian (CEP, London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of studying abroad on international labor market mobility later in life for university graduates. As a source of identifying variation, we exploit the introduction and expansion of the European ERASMUS student exchange program, which significantly increases a student’s probability of studying abroad. Using an Instrument Variable approach we control for unobserved heterogeneity between individuals who studied abroad and those who did not. Our results indicate that student exchange mobility is an important determinant of later international labor market mobility: We find that studying abroad increases an individual’s probability of working in a foreign country by about 15 to 20 percentage points, suggesting that study abroad spells are an important channel to later migration. We investigate heterogeneity in returns and find that studying abroad has a stronger effect for credit constrained students. Furthermore, we suggest mechanisms through which the effect of studying abroad may operate. Our results are robust to a number of specification checks.
    Keywords: international mobility, migration, student exchange, education
    JEL: J61 I2 F22
    Date: 2008–04
  5. By: Ramón María-Dolores (Bank of Spain, Universidad de Murcia); Jesús Vázquez (The University of the Basque Country)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate a standard version of the New Keynesian Monetary (NKM) model augmented with term structure in order to analyze two issues. First, we analyze the effect of introducing an explicit term structure channel in the NKM model on the estimated parameter values of the model, with special emphasis on the interest rate smoothing parameter using data for the Eurozone. Second, we study the ability of the model to reproduce some stylized facts such as highly persistent dynamics, the weak comovement between economic activity and inflation, and the positive, strong comovement between interest rates observed in actual Eurozone data. The estimation procedure implemented is a classical structural method based on the indirect inference principle.
    Keywords: NKM model, term structure, policy rule, indirect inference
    JEL: C32 E30 E52
    Date: 2008–04–08
  6. By: Jens Weinmann
    Abstract: The absence of one broadly accepted design template for liberalised electricity markets induces regulatory competition and institutional diversity. Focussing on continental Europe and the USA, this analysis explores how agents and structures accelerate or impede the move to one standard market design in the electricity sector. It reveals that market design convergence in Europe is driven by the 'Florence Consensus,' a tripartite coalition between the European Commission fostering European integration and the internal market, informal regulatory networks between grid operators, standardisation authorities and regulators, who have been coordinating their actions in the 'Florence Forum,' and epistemic communities exemplified in the Florence School of Regulation. In contrast, the United States' Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks support among politicians, many states' public utility commissions, the neo-liberal intelligentsia and even industrial lobbying groups to effectively push for a standardised market design. However, design convergence in the USA may be induced by the gradual expansion of multi-state markets operated by regional transmission organisations.
    Keywords: Electricity, Deregulation, Regulatory Competition, Policy Diffusion
    JEL: K23 L16 L43 L51 L94 Q48
    Date: 2007–04–04
  7. By: Christoph Böhringer and Knut Einar Rosendahl (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: The EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is breaking new ground in the experience with emission trading regimes across multiple jurisdictions. Since the EU ETS covers only some industries, it implies a hybrid emission control scheme where EU member states must apply complementary domestic emissions regulation for the non-trading sectors of their economies in order to comply with their national emission reduction targets. The EU ETS thus opens up for strategic partitioning of national emissions budgets by the member states between trading and non-trading sectors. In this paper we examine the potential effects of such strategic behavior on compliance cost and emissions prices. We show that concerns on efficiency losses from strategic partitioning are misplaced if all the member states behave in a Nash-Cournot manner. However, if a single country takes the official partitioning of the other countries as a reference point, there is substantial scope for exploiting market power.
    Keywords: Emissions Trading; Allocation of Quotas; Strategic Behavior
    JEL: C61 C72 Q25
    Date: 2008–04
  8. By: Cörvers Frank; Meriküll Jaanika (ROA rm)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the occupational structures of 25 European Union countries during the period 2000-2004. Shift-share analyses have been used to decompose cross-country differences in occupational structure into within industry and between industry effects. The static analysis for 2004 shows that the new Member States employ a lower share of skilled workers because their industry structure is biased towards less skill-intensive industries and because they use fewer skills within industries. The differences in the shares of (high-skilled) non-production workers are dominated by the between (industrial) effect. In contrast, the dynamic analysis of 2000-2004 shows that changes in the share of high-skilled non-production workers are mostly driven by within industry changes, which are probably related to skill-biased technological change. The results indicate the weakening of this process, at least for non-production workers. The diffusion of the increased demand for skills within sectors is witnessed for the higher income EU12 country group, but less strongly for the EU25 country group.
    Keywords: education, training and the labour market;
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Marek Tiits (Institute of Baltic Studies); Rainer Kattel; Tarmo Kalvet; Dorel Tamm
    Abstract: This paper aims to assess the economic development and development policies in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in 1990-2005, from the collapse of the USSR to the enlargement of the European Union. A great number of authors have generally seen the transition as a very positive process. They have concluded that the reform policies focusing on macroeconomic and price stability have been the key to success for CEE economies. A reliable economic environment is, of course, instrumental for longer-term economic success, as exemplified by the prolonged crisis in most of the former Soviet Union. Our analysis of the economic development and competitive advantages in the region, however, leads to the conclusion that the specific approach to transition that the Central and Eastern European countries followed came at a rather high cost. Comparative neglect and weakness of a set of policies crucial for longer-term development, such as science, technology and innovation policies, has led to deterioration in the last decade rather than the strengthening of the competitive advantages of Central and Eastern European economies. Furthermore, we argue that, in most cases, CEE countries have unfortunately overlooked or misjudged a number of development challenges, and have thus implemented policies that have generated growth at the cost of rapidly increasing risks. This is how the financial fragility of several Central and Eastern European countries has recently increased drastically, and the region seems to have virtually arrived at the brink of economic collapse. Since the CEE countries joined the European Union, the CEE governments have gradually moved towards acquiring a more active role in economic development. These policies need, however, to be strengthened considerably and reinforced by macroeconomic policies that curb current excessive dependence on foreign-financed growth
    Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe; industrial dynamics; innovation policy; financial fragility
    JEL: F15 F36 F4 O32 O52
    Date: 2008–01–06
  10. By: Mark Thatcher
    Abstract: The article examines whether and how independent regulatory agencies (IRAs) have altered the strategies, relationships and power of French policy makers in markets and whether they led to convergence with Britain in state-market relations. It relates these questions to broader debates about the extent to which previous policy-making systems have been transformed, whether Europe has one regulatory state or several, whether France has become a form of 'liberal market economy' and the power of the state after reform of markets. It argues that although, as in Britain, France has established IRAs with responsibilities for ensuring competition in key economic domains, French state strategies remained very different from British ones and markets operate very differently in the two countries. Moreover, the break with the past has been limited: public policy makers continue to have significant capacities to mould markets and delegation to IRAs has often reinforced the power of existing elites and aided the adaptation of traditional French industrial strategies to new conditions. Thus even if France has adopted the formal institutions of competitive markets, it has not converged with a liberal market economy such as Britain in terms of strategies and behaviour. State forms and instruments may have altered, but an activist French industrial policy is alive and well.
    Keywords: regulation, independent regulatory agencies, electricity, 3G mobiles
    Date: 2007–05–21
  11. By: Paolo Ghinetti; Claudio Lucifora (SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont)
    Abstract: In this study, we investigate public-private pay determination using French, British and Italian micro data from the 2001 ECHP. We document that the distribution of wages is very different between public and private workers. As a result, the public pay premium varies as one moves up or down in the wage distribution. In France, Great Britain and Italy the public sector wage premium is higher for low skilled public sector workers, whilst the opposite happens for high skilled workers. These effects are more pronounced in the service sector. Additional results suggest that if a worker with certain characteristics was exogenously moved from the public to the private sector, he suffered a welfare (wage) loss, which is higher for the low skilled, who are the most protected in the public sector. In the light of the privatisation process of formerly public service, this process may in general impose some cost to involved public employees. Moreover, such costs are decreasing with the level of wages. Finally, the magnitude of these costs depend on the country considered, and, hence on the associated institutional setting.
    Keywords: Wage differentials, Public sector, Quantile regression
    JEL: J31 J45 C14
    Date: 2008–04
  12. By: David Le Bris; Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur
    Abstract: Most empirical knowledge on the long term performance of financial investments is derived from the behaviour of the most successful markets. Recent research has tried to broaden the sample of markets studied towards European ones, many of which were among the worlds most developed up to World War One and again weight substantially in today's global portfolio. The synthesis by Dimson, Marsh and Staunton (2001) proposes data on the 20th century for 16 countries, and ends up with an optimistic tone, although a less enthusiastic one than most of the American literature. They argue that even in the worst case - Belgium - the stock market long term performance remained positive (2.5% yearly real return on the 20th century), and superior to that of other investments. The results of this paper suggest that most of the continental European results may be wrong, since they may significantly overestimate the performance of investments in stocks during the 20th century. We concentrate on the French case, but we argue that similar calculations on other European countries may well give similar results. This paper describes and analyzes a new homogeneous stock index for the French stock market from 1854 to 1998, and compares it to those of some other countries. The paper first describes the index's methodology (a weighted, yearly adjusted index comparable to Euronext's CAC40). It then provides some major results. First, investment in French stocks provided a positive real return during the 19th century, but a negative one - because of inflation - in the 20th . After 1914, hoarding gold or investing in real estate provided better returns than stocks. The equity premium was low and consistent with standard models of risk aversion. These results contrast no only with those observed on the US market, but also with older studies of the French market, which were based on un-weighted large indices suffering survivor bias. They are more consistent with the history of the French financial markets and economic policy regimes in the 19th and 20th centuries.
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Goergen, M.; Renneboog, L.D.R.; Zhang, C. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: As institutional investors are the largest shareholders in most listed UK firms, one expects them to monitor the firms they invest in. However, there is mounting empirical evidence which suggests that they do not perform any monitoring. This paper provides a new test on whether UK institutional investors engage in monitoring. The test consists of an event study on directors? trades. If institutional shareholders act as monitors, their monitoring activities convey new information about a firm?s future value to other outside shareholders and reduce the informational asymmetry between the managers and the market. As a result, directors? trades convey less information to the market, and the stock price reaction is weaker. However, our results show that institutional shareholders do not have any significant impact on the stock price reaction which stands in marked contrast with the impact that families, individuals and other firms have on stock prices.
    Keywords: Insider trading;institutional investor monitoring;shareholder activism;corporate governance;ownership and control
    JEL: G14 G39
    Date: 2008

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