nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2009‒03‒14
24 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. The monetary policy rules in EU-15: before and after the euro By Borek Vasicek
  2. Business Cycle Synchronization Across the Euro-Area: a Wavelet Analysis By Luís Francisco Aguiar; Maria Joana Soares
  3. Predicting European Union recessions in the euro era: The yield curve as a forecasting tool of economic activity By Gogas, Periklis; Chionis, Dionisios; Pragkidis, Ioannis
  4. Common and Spatial Drivers in Regional Business Cycles By Artis, Michael J; Dreger, Christian; Kholodilin, Konstantin
  5. EMU Effects on Stock Markets: From Home Bias to Euro Bias By Giofré, Maela/M.
  6. Assessing Long-Term Fiscal Developments: a New Approach By António Afonso; Luca Agnello; Davide Furceri; Ricardo M. Sousa
  7. Which European model for elderly care? Equity and cost-effectiveness in home based care in three European countries By Francesca Bettio; Giovanni Solinas
  8. What does the stork bring to women's working career? By Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
  9. Empirical evidencies for the budget deficits co-integration in the old European Union members: Are there any interlinkages in fiscal policies? By Talpos, Ioan; Dima, Bogdan; Mutascu, Mihai; Enache, Cosmin
  10. Women’s Perceptions of Consequences of Career Interruption due to Childcare in Central and Eastern Europe By Zhelyazkova, Nevena; Valentova, Marie
  11. Quantifying the Effect of Financial Conditions in the Euro Area, Japan, United Kingdom and United States By Stéphanie Guichard; David Haugh; David Turner
  12. Competitive conditions in the Central and Eastern European banking systems By Delis, Manthos D
  13. The Spanish economy in EMU: The first ten years By Ángel Estrada; Juan Francisco Jimeno; José Luis Malo de Molina
  14. Permanent and Transitory Dynamics in House Prices and Consumption: Cross-Country Evidence By Fabio C. Bagliano; Claudio Morana
  15. Fiscal Convergence, Business Cycle Volatility and Growth By Davide Furceri
  16. Does family ownership impact positively on firm value? Empirical evidence from Western Europe By Pindado, Julio; Requejo, Ignacio; Torre, Chabela de la
  17. Activation Policies in Norway By Nicola Duell; Shruti Singh; Peter Tergeist
  18. Employment generation by small firms in Spain By Paloma López-García; Sergio Puente; Ángel Luis Gómez
  19. Revisiting the Party Paradox of Finance Capitalism: Evidence from Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands By Gerhard Schnyder
  20. The motivations, organisation and outcomes of university-industry interaction in the Netherlands By Isabel Maria Bodas Freitas; Bart Verspagen
  21. What should be done about rising unemployment in the UK? By Bell, David N. F.; Blanchflower, David G.
  22. Environmental Regulation and Investment: Evidence from European Industries By Andrea M. Leiter; Arno Parolini; Hannes Winner
  23. Health care utilization and immigration in Spain By Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael; Antón, José-Ignacio
  24. Out of reach? Convergence to an inflation target in the Central Bank of Iceland’s macroeconomic model By Baldursson, Fridrik M.; Hall, Axel

  1. By: Borek Vasicek (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to identify empirically the logic behind short-term interest rates setting of: 1) the monetary authorities of the 15 EU countries before the launch of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and 2) the European Central Bank (ECB) and the central banks of the non-EMU participants since 1999. We find that the Taylor rule, based on the response to inflation and to the output gap, is a reasonable description of the interest rate setting for only a few economies. In addition, the foreign interest rate and the long-term interest rate are often crucial to explain short-term interest rate developments. On the contrary, the impact of other variables often proposed in the literature (exchange rates, monetary growth and asset prices) is negligible. The application of singleequation analysis to Euro area aggregate data to identify the ECB.
    Keywords: monetary policy, Taylor rule, European Monetary Union, panel data
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Luís Francisco Aguiar (Universidade do Minho - NIPE); Maria Joana Soares (Universidade do Minho - Departamento de Matemática)
    Abstract: We use wavelets, cross-wavelets, wavelet-phase analysis, wavelet-clustering and multidimensional mapping to study business cycle synchronization across countries that are part of the Euro12 Area. Based on the wavelet spectra, we propose a metric to measure business cycle disynchronicity. We identify Germany, France, Spain, Austria and the Benelux countries as the core of the Euroland and another group with a less synchronous business cycle and ask whether these latter countries are converging to the Euroland core, and, if so, at what frequencies. With the exception of Portugal,all countries are converging to the Euro core. This convergence is particularly strong in the case of Ireland and Italy.
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Gogas, Periklis; Chionis, Dionisios; Pragkidis, Ioannis
    Abstract: Several studies have established the predictive power of the yield curve, ie: the difference between long and short term bond rates, in terms of real economic activity, for the U.S. and various European countries. In this paper we use data from the European Union (EU15), ranging from 1994:Q1 to 2008:Q3. The seasonally adjusted real GDP is used to extract the long run trend and the cyclical component of the European output, while the European Central Bank’s euro area government benchmark bonds of various maturities are used for the calculation of the yield spreads. We also augment the models tested with non monetary policy variables: the unemployment and a composite European stock price index constructed from the indices of the three major European stock markets of London, Frankfurt and Paris. The methodology employed in the effort to forecast recessions, is a probit model of the inverse cumulative distribution function of the standard distribution, using several formal forecasting evaluation tests. The results show that the yield curve augmented with the composite stock index has significant forecasting power in terms of the EU15 real output.
    Keywords: forecasting; yield spread; recession; probit; term structure; monetary policy; real growth.
    JEL: E43 E32 E37
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Artis, Michael J; Dreger, Christian; Kholodilin, Konstantin
    Abstract: We examine real business cycle convergence for 41 euro area regions and 48 US states. Results obtained by a panel model with spatial correlation indicate that the relevance of common business cycle factors is rather stable over the past two decades in the euro area and the US. Ongoing business cycle convergence often detected in cross-country data is not confirmed at the regional level. The degree of synchronization across the euro area is similar to that to be found for the US states. Thus, the lack of convergence does not seem to be an impediment to a common monetary policy.
    Keywords: Business cycle convergence; Spatial correlation; spatial panel model
    JEL: C51 E32 E37
    Date: 2009–03
  5. By: Giofré, Maela/M.
    Abstract: The shift of perspective from a national basis to a Euro area basis, inevitably induced by EMU, has led member countries to a parallel shift from equity home bias to equity Euro bias. We interpret this evidence by means of a standard mean-variance portfolio selection model modified in order to include information asymmetries, considering the effect of the EMU integration process on equity markets through informational channels, real and financial. We find a stronger informational impact of the financial channel relative to the real channel in shaping EMU countries' equity portfolios after integration.
    Keywords: financial integration; portfolio choice; home bias; information asymmetries
    JEL: G11 G15 F21 F36
    Date: 2008–05
  6. By: António Afonso (European Central Bank and ISEG/TULisbon); Luca Agnello (University of Palermo); Davide Furceri (OECD and University of Palermo); Ricardo M. Sousa (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: We use a new approach to assess long-term fiscal developments. By analyzing the time-varying behaviour of the two components of government spending and revenue – responsiveness and persistence – we are able to infer about the sources of fiscal behaviour. Drawing on quarterly data we estimate recursively these components within a system of government revenue and spending equations using a Three-Stage Least Square method. In this way we track fiscal developments, i.e. possible fiscal deteriorations and/or improvements for eight European Union countries plus the US. Results suggest that positions have not significantly changed for Finland, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the US, whilst they have improved for Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands.
    Keywords: Fiscal Deterioration, Fiscal Sustainability.
    JEL: E62 H50
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Francesca Bettio; Giovanni Solinas
    Abstract: Long term care for the elderly is growing apace in developed economies. As growth is forcing change in existing production and delivery systems of elderly care services, the question arises as to how different systems compare in terms of cost-effectiveness, equity or quality. Based on an in depth survey carried out in Denmark, Ireland and Italy – the GALCA survey - this articles compares prevailing arrangements of home based long-term care in these three countries, focussing on the overall cost-effectiveness of the provisions as well as on employment equity for the care workers. The first set of comparisons is between alternative types of provisions within each country, and the results suggests that home based care is generally, although not consistently, more cost-effective than care within institutions. The second set of comparisons is between the average provision package in the different countries and suggests that, whereas the Italian and the Danish systems are the most cost effective, the Danish system is more equitable, overall. The results for cost-effectiveness for Italy are partly explained by progressive replacement of unpaid family carers with low cost immigrant workers directly employed by the families and often cohabiting with the elderly (the immigrant-in the family-model). This new model of long term care is spreading across Southern Europe and raises complex issues of equity and sustainability from an employment perspective.
    Keywords: ederly care, cost-effectiveness, migration, welfare
    JEL: I12 I39 J14
    Date: 2009–03
  8. By: Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
    Abstract: Many studies have been devoted to analyse the effect of maternity on working mothers; they mostly refer to countries where female participation is high. Fewer studies consider Southern European countries. This paper aims at filling the gap analysing the effects of motherhood on women’s working career in Italy, a neat example of Southern European country where female participation is increasing but still low and where the decrease in trade unions’ power increased wage disparities. Our results show that conditional average wages of mothers become significantly lower than those of non-mothers after childbirth, showing no sign of a closing gap 5 years afterward. However, this penalty does not emerge for mothers moving to a part-time job; hence - differently from the existing literature - we highlight the potential role of part-time jobs in mitigating the "reduced effort" effect of childrearing. Furthermore, we estimate a significant increase in the probability of transition from employment to non-employment for new mothers. The probability is higher the lower the pre-childbirth wage. However, this penalty is reduced by the availability of part-time jobs in mothers’ relevant labour market. Hence again it emerges the potential role of part-time jobs in mitigating the negative effect of childbirth on women’s labour market participation. the support for flexibility among the least productive employed workers. The model described provides some new insights on the comparative dynamics of labor market institutions in the U.S. and in Europe over the last few decades, shedding some new light both on the reasons for the original build-up of "Eurosclerosis," and for its the persistence up to the present day.
    Keywords: motherhood, part-time jobs, wage penalty, career.
    JEL: J13 J31
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Talpos, Ioan; Dima, Bogdan; Mutascu, Mihai; Enache, Cosmin
    Abstract: In the last years, the fiscal harmonization among the European Union members has become a pillar of economic integration and of fiscal and financial stability in the European area. The institutional changes, the semi-failure of the “old” Stability and Growth Pact as well as the recent waves of enlargements all these were put a greater emphasis on this issue inducing a higher pressure for fiscal discipline. In this context, the objective of the paper is to examines recent empirical evidences for bilateral and multilateral integration between fiscal policies, as this are synthesised by budget deficits, of old European Union members in the framework of the Johansen cointegration procedure with a preliminary appliance of the principal component analysis. The study finds that the dynamic of European fiscal policies takes place under the impact of some common driving forces which leads to a differentiate behaviour of two sub regional-groups individualized by the budget deficit series evolutionary patterns. Overall, it concludes that there could be find empirical evidences to support the thesis that a process of fiscal integration is currently running at least at the level of old European Union countries.
    Keywords: Fiscal policies in E.U.; budget deficits; co-integration; Johansen Test
    JEL: F15 H00 H61
    Date: 2009–01–13
  10. By: Zhelyazkova, Nevena (PhD fellow at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, The Netherlands); Valentova, Marie (researcher at CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg)
    Abstract: The paper aims to examine the effect of the transition from a socialist regime to democracy and liberal economy on women’s perceptions of the consequences of breaks in labour market participation due to childcare on their further careers in seven post-socialist countries. More precisely, it investigates whether women in Central and Eastern Europe who gave birth to at least one child after 1987 were more likely to experience negative consequences for their further professional life as a result of career interruptions due to childcare than women who had their children during the socialist era. The analysis is conducted in two steps. In the first step, the effect of the political transition is examined in the Central European region as a whole, thus on the pooled data including all the seven countries. In the second step, the paper tests whether the effect of the transition varies significantly from country to country, and if yes, in which countries it had the biggest impact. In both steps, the effect of the transition is examined while controlling for selected individual characteristics that are mentioned in the literature as possible predictors of subjective evaluation of consequences of career breaks on women’s further professional development. In the paper we use data from the 2004 European Social Survey.
    Keywords: female emloyement; labour market inactivity ; child care ; subjective indicators
    Date: 2009–01
  11. By: Stéphanie Guichard; David Haugh; David Turner
    Abstract: This paper constructs a broad measure of financial conditions for the United States, Japan, the Euro Area and the United Kingdom, by extending monetary condition indices which are traditionally used to gauge the impact of monetary policy on the economy. In addition to changes in the exchange rate and short and long interest rates, the change in credit availability, corporate bond spreads and household wealth are taken into account to gauge the evolution of financial conditions. Since the onset of the financial crisis, financial conditions have tightened by an unprecedented degree in the four countries/regions and this is evaluated to exert a major drag on activity.<P>Quantifier l’impact des conditions financières dans la Zone Euro, le Japon, le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis<BR>Ce document propose une mesure des conditions financières au sens large pour les États-Unis, le Japon, la Zone Euro et le Royaume-Uni, en étendant les indices des conditions monétaires traditionnellement employés pour mesurer l’impact de la politique monétaire sur l’économie. En plus des variations du taux de change et des taux d’intérêt à court et long terme, l’évolution de la disponibilité du crédit, des primes de risques sur les obligations des sociétés et de la richesse des ménages sont prises en considération pour apprécier l’évolution des conditions financières. Depuis le début de la crise financière, le resserrement des conditions financières a attient un degré sans précédent dans les quatre pays/régions et ceci devrait peser fortement sur l’activité.
    Keywords: wealth effects, effet de richesse, financial conditions index, interest rate spreads, credit crunch, credit channel, macro-financial linkages, indice des conditions financières, écarts de taux d’intérêt, contraction du crédit, canal du crédit, relations macro-financières, monetary conditions index, indice des conditions monétaires
    JEL: E32 E44 E47 E51
    Date: 2009–03–09
  12. By: Delis, Manthos D
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to conduct a large-scale empirical analysis of the competitive conditions in the banking systems of Central and Eastern European countries. The well-known model of Panzar and Rosse (1987) is implemented on bank-level data over the period 1999-2006. The estimates based on the separate country panels suggest a wide variation in the competitive conditions of the banking systems examined, with some being characterized as (monopolistically) competitive and other as non-competitive. Finally, the results from the full sample indicate that bank revenue is substantially influenced by structural and macroeconomic conditions.
    Keywords: Market power; Central and Eastern European banks; Panzar-Rosse model
    JEL: D20 C33 G21
    Date: 2008–12–31
  13. By: Ángel Estrada (Banco de España); Juan Francisco Jimeno (Banco de España); José Luis Malo de Molina (Banco de España)
    Abstract: This paper has been prepared to mark the tenth anniversary of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It seeks to give an overview of the Spanish economy’s experience in this new institutional setting. It should be viewed as the result of a joint effort by a sizeable group of researchers from the Banco de España Directorate General Economics, Statistics and Research to rationalise the implications of a structural change on this scale. To do this, the paper firstly defines the starting conditions of the Spanish economy, at the time when there was only a commitment to join the Monetary Union as a founding member; in this connection, it sets out the advantages of belonging to the euro area versus the possibility of having remained outside it. Next, it describes the main transformations made in converting this commitment into reality. Further, it reviews developments in the economic variables that best document the main events of the past decade, focusing both on the factors underpinning the expansion and the headway in convergence, and on the imbalances that triggered the start of the adjustment, and assesses the scope of these imbalances. Finally, it describes the basic features of the process of adjustment towards a new path of sustained economic growth, emphasising the difficulties added by the superimposition of the international financial crisis.
    Keywords: Spanish economy, EMU, international financial crisis
    JEL: E58 E66 F33
    Date: 2009–02
  14. By: Fabio C. Bagliano (Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino); Claudio Morana (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Eastern Piedmont)
    Abstract: In this paper a small-scale macroeconomic system is estimated in the framework of a common trends model, in order to explore the dynamic interactions between real house prices, consumption expenditure and output in the US and major European economies. The results point to important differences across countries, with long-run house price effects on consumption only for France, Germany and the US. However, some interactions between house prices and consumption are detected in all countries at shorter horizons. Evidence of international comovements in the common trend component of house price dynamics is also found.
    Keywords: house prices, consumption, common trends
    JEL: C32 E21
    Date: 2008–12
  15. By: Davide Furceri
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of fiscal convergence on business cycle volatility and growth. Using a panel 21 OECD countries (including 11 EMU countries) and 40 years of data, we find that countries with similar government budget positions tend to have smoother business cycles. That is, fiscal convergence (in the form of persistently similar ratios of government surplus/deficit to GDP) is systematically associated with smoother business cycles. We also find evidence that reduced business cycle volatility through higher fiscal convergence stimulates growth. Our empirical results are economically and statistically significant and robust.<P>Convergence budgétaire, volatilité des cycles économiques et croissance<BR>Ce document analyse les effets de la convergence budgétaire sur la volatilité des cycles économiques et la croissance. En utilisant un échantillon de 21 pays de l’OCDE (incluant 11 pays de la zone euro) sur 40 ans, nous trouvons que les pays qui ont des positions budgétaires similaires tendent à avoir des cycles plus lisses. Cela signifie que la convergence budgétaire (sous la forme de ratios de déficit en point de PIB constamment similaires) est systématiquement associée à des cycles économiques plus lisses. Nous trouvons également qu’une volatilité des cycles économiques réduite grâce à une convergence budgétaire stimule la croissance. Nos résultats empiriques sont économiquement et statistiquement significatifs et robustes.
    Keywords: croissance économique, economic growth, business cycle volatility, volatilité des cycles économiques, fiscal convergence, convergence budgétaire
    JEL: E44 G20 G21 G28 R21
    Date: 2009–02–25
  16. By: Pindado, Julio (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca); Requejo, Ignacio (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca); Torre, Chabela de la (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca)
    Abstract: Given the importance of family firms all over the world, our main objective is to study whether ownership concentration in the hands of family owners contributes to increase the market value of the firm. Additionally, we analyze whether family firms outperform nonfamily corporations. The estimation of our models by using the Generalized Method of Moments provides interesting results. We find that family ownership positively impacts on firm value. Nevertheless, when ownership concentration in the hands of the family is too high, firm value decreases; thus giving rise to a non-linear relation between family ownership concentration and firm value. Moreover, our results show that young family firms perform better than old ones. Finally, we find that family firms are superior performers to non-family ones, even when nonlinearities are taken into account; but the better performance is primarily due to young family corporations. Overall, the empirical evidence provided supports a positive impact of family ownership on firm value, supporting the idea that family control may be beneficial to minority shareholders
    Keywords: family firm, ownership concentration, firm value.
    JEL: G32
    Date: 2008–04
  17. By: Nicola Duell; Shruti Singh; Peter Tergeist
    Abstract: This report examines the performance of the Public Employment Service (PES) and the effectiveness of activation strategies in Norway. It covers the role of the key actors in labour market policies, the placement function of the PES, the structure of benefits for the working-age population out of work and the related incentives and disincentives for taking up work, and provides an overview of the different active labour market programmes. Over the past few years, labour market conditions in Norway have been better than in most OECD countries, reflecting strong economic and productivity growth. The global financial and economic crisis and the significant decline in oil and gas prices observed since the second half of 2008 are affecting the short-term economic prospect, with some deterioration in labour market conditions. Despite its relatively strong labour market performance, the main challenge for Norway is to mobilise underutilised labour, as nearly a fifth of the working-age population is out of work and receiving health-related benefits. In contrast, the take-up of unemployment benefits has been limited despite their generosity – both in terms of duration and net replacement rates – by strict eligibility criteria and the implementation of mobility and other mutual obligation requirements in Norway. The Norwegian Government has put forward several major policy reforms to contain benefit dependency and to prevent people from leaving the labour market too early or on a long-term or permanent basis. In 2006, a new institution – NAV – was launched, merging the State PES and the National Insurance Administration, and bringing them together in front-line offices with municipal services providing coordinated services for all clients. Several other changes to activation strategies are also underway. The new NAV employment services are systematising their early intervention and follow-up strategies for all jobseekers. Greater incentives have also been built into labour market programmes in particularly for social assistance clients. In spite of these important reforms, there remain a number of challenges to counteract sickness absence. It is now widely recognised that long-term sick leave is the initial step to disability benefit in many OECD countries. Early intervention in the form of case-by-case monitoring of sickness absence in Norway – which requires collaboration between employees, employers and NAV – has so far not been successful in delivering the desired outcomes. Finally, vocationally disabled people represent the largest group of participants in labour market programmes. Half of them engage in lengthy retraining in mainstream education and training courses. But further efforts have to be made to tailor active programmes to the needs of this group as well as other jobseekers such as older workers and immigrants.<BR>Ce rapport examine la performance du Service public de l’emploi (SPE) et l’efficacité des stratégies d’activation en Norvège. Il analyse le rôle des acteurs clés des politiques du marché du travail, la fonction de placement du SPE, les dispositifs d’indemnisation de la population d’âge actif qui ne travaille pas et leurs effets sur la motivation de reprendre une activité ; il fournit un aperçu des différents programmes. Au cours des années récentes, les conditions du marché du travail ont été plus favorables en Norvège que dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE, signe d’une forte croissance économique. La crise financière et économique généralisée et la chute importante des prix du pétrole et du gaz depuis la seconde moitié de l’année 2008 ont un effet sur les perspectives économiques à court terme, entraînant de fait une détérioration des conditions du marché du travail. Malgré un marché du travail relativement performant, réduire la sous-utilisation de la main-d’oeuvre reste le principal défit de la Norvège : presqu’un cinquième de la population d’âge actif qui ne travaille pas perçoit des prestations liées à l’état de santé. En dépit d’un régime généreux d’allocations de chômage – tant dans leur durée et qu’en termes de taux nets de remplacement – des critères d’éligibilité très stricts ainsi que la mise en place d’une exigence à la mobilité et autres obligations réciproques en ont limité l’usage en Norvège. Le gouvernement Norvégien a entrepris d’importantes réformes afin de restreindre la dépendance aux prestations liées à l’état de santé et éviter qu’un grand nombre de personnes ne quittent trop rapidement le marché du travail, à long terme ou de définitivement. En 2006, une nouvelle institution (NAV) a été créée, fusionnant le Service public de l’emploi et l’Administration nationale de la sécurité sociale norvégiens, et rassemblant les services sociaux des municipalités afin d’offrir à tous les clients un accès aisé et coordonné à l’ensemble des services. Plusieurs autres changements relatifs aux stratégies d’activation sont en cours. La nouvelle institution NAV développe une approche plus systématique d’intervention précoce et de suivi des demandeurs d’emploi. Pour une plus grande activation des bénéficiaires de l’aide sociale, de nouveaux programmes du marché du travail ont été mis en place avec des mesures plus incitatives. Malgré ces réformes importantes, un nombre de défis restent à relever pour endiguer l’absence pour raison de maladie. Dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE, le fait est que les longs congés de maladie représentent le premier pas vers les prestations d’invalidité. L’intervention précoce dans le cadre d’un suivi de l’absence pour raison de maladie au cas par cas, qui requiert une coopération étroite entre employés, employeurs et la NAV, n’a pas abouti aux résultats attendus. Enfin, les bénéficiaires des prestations de réinsertion professionnelle représentent la majorité des participants aux programmes du marché du travail. La moitié d’entre eux participent à des formations de reconversion au sein de l’enseignement ordinaire. Plus d’efforts doivent être entrepris pour mieux adapter les programmes du marché du travail aux besoins spécifiques de ce groupe ainsi que d’autres groupes de demandeurs d’emploi tels que les travailleurs âgés et les immigrés.
    JEL: H53 H83 I38 J08 J63 J65 J68
    Date: 2009–03–02
  18. By: Paloma López-García (Banco de España); Sergio Puente (Banco de España); Ángel Luis Gómez (Banco de España)
    Abstract: Despite the relevance in terms of policy, we still know little in Spain about where and by whom jobs are created, and how that is affecting the size distribution of firms. The main innovation of this paper is to use a rich database that overcomes the problems encountered by other firm-level studies to shed some light on the employment generation of small firms in Spain. We find that small firms contribute to employment disproportionately across all sectors of the economy although the difference between their employment and job creation share is largest in the manufacturing sector. The job creators in that sector are both new and established firms whereas only new small firms outperform their larger counterparts in the service sector. The large annual job creation of the small firm size class is shifting the firm size distribution towards the very small production units, although not uniformly across industries of different technology intensity.
    Keywords: Firm-level data, employment creation and destruction, and firm size distribution
    JEL: L11 L53 J21
    Date: 2009–03
  19. By: Gerhard Schnyder
    Abstract: The 'party paradox' thesis claims that centre-left parties have a genuine interest in pro-shareholder corporate governance reforms, while centre-right parties oppose such reforms. Based on case studies of Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, I test the accuracy of this thesis and find that it does not apply to either of these cases: in Switzerland pro-shareholder reforms were made possible by centre-right not centre-left support; In Sweden and the Netherlands pro-shareholder reforms were marginal, because a broad coalition uniting centre-right and centre-left opposed them. My findings show therefore that the 'party paradox' is not a universal phenomenon and that most micro-level explanations of this phenomenon are inaccurate. In order to explain in which cases a party paradox will emerge, we need to add the nature of relations between employees and employers (cooperative vs. confrontational) as a determinant of centre-left preferences.
    Keywords: Corporate governance, legal reform, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands
    JEL: P52 K22
    Date: 2008–12
  20. By: Isabel Maria Bodas Freitas (Grenoble Ecole de Management); Bart Verspagen (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: This paper aims at analysing the impact of institutional and organizational factors on bridging industrial and university motivations for collaboration, as well as on the content, management and outcome of this relationship, in the Netherlands. In particular, we explore which type of projects, set up under specific industrial and university motivations, are more likely to face institutional barriers related to technology, market and organisational incentives frameworks. Moreover, we analyse the impact of technology transfer offices, research sponsoring, part-time professorships, and patenting on aligning university and industry motivations towards collaboration. To proceed empirically, thirty in-depth cases of successful university-industry knowledge transfer are analysed.
    Date: 2009–03
  21. By: Bell, David N. F.; Blanchflower, David G.
    Abstract: This paper considers the issue of unemployment one of the most pressing issues facing the UK and other governments, as the current recessions deepens. It begins by trying to accurately date the beginning of the current downturn in the British economy, arguing that it is clear that the recession commenced in the 2nd quarter of 2008. It then examines whether this recession is substantively different from past downturns in the UK and argues that, although the extreme rationing up of credit marks the current recession as different, some of the labour market consequences, such as the concentration of unemployment among the young and other disadvantaged groups, is typical of past experience. The paper reviews past literature on the causes of unemployment, arguing that the origin of the present difficulties lies with a collapse in demand rather than with frictions in the labour market caused by institutional inflexibilities. There is a large literature on the negative impact of unemployment both on society and on individuals. The adverse societal consequences are reviewed in the next section, while we discuss some of our own research on the adverse consequences on the individual in Section 6. Just as in previous recessions, it is becoming clear that some groups will suffer a much higher incidence of unemployment during this downturn and therefore suffer to a greater than average extent the adverse individual effects that we discussed in Section 6. The evidence on the composition of these groups is reviewed and presented along with some of our own research on this issue in the following section. One of the key groups who are likely to be affected by the recession is the young. In Section 8, we review the particular difficulties faced by them in trying to secure a footing in the labour market. In the last two decades many governments have introduced policies (collectively described as Active Labour Market Policies or ALMPs) for direct intervention in the labour market to improve outcomes for particular groups and for the young in particular. The next section reviews the evidence on the success of these policies. The final section discusses some policy proposals which we offer to alleviate what we believe will be the very serious adverse consequences of the likely increase in unemployment in the UK over the short to medium term.
    Keywords: youth unemployment; recession; fiscal intervention; ALMP
    Date: 2009–02
  22. By: Andrea M. Leiter; Arno Parolini; Hannes Winner
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the empirical literature on the relationship between environmental regulation and firm behavior. In particular, we ask whether and how strongly investment decisions of firms respond to stringency in environmental regulation. Environmental stringency is measured as (i) an industry's total current expenditure on environmental protection, and (ii) a country's revenue from environmental taxes. Focusing on European industry level data between 1995 and 2005, we estimate the differential impact of environmental stringency on four types of investment: gross investment in tangible goods, in new buildings, in machinery, and in `productive' investment (investment in tangible goods minus investment in abatement technologies). Both environmental variables enter positively, and their quadratic terms exhibit significantly negative parameter estimates. This, in turn, indicates a positive but diminishing impact of environmental regulation on investment.
    Keywords: Investment, environmental regulation, pollution abatement costs
    JEL: D92 H23 Q52
    Date: 2009–03
  23. By: Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael; Antón, José-Ignacio
    Abstract: The aim of this work is to analyze the use of health care services by immigrants in Spain. Using a nationally representative health survey from 2006-2007 that allows overcoming problems present in previous studies and negative binomial and hurdle models, it is found that there is no statistically significant difference in the patterns of visits to physicians and hospital stays between migrants and natives in Spain. However, immigrants have a lower access to specialists and visit emergency rooms with higher frequency than nationals.
    Keywords: health care; immigration; Spain; access; equity.
    JEL: F22 I10
    Date: 2009–03–01
  24. By: Baldursson, Fridrik M.; Hall, Axel
    Abstract: Inflation scenarios in forecasts of the Central Bank of Iceland (CBI) appear to converge to the inflation target (2.5%) in 8-9 quarters. We ask whether this is a coincidence or an inherent property of the CBI’s model, QMM. We formulate a sub-model, containing equations for inflation, inflation expectations, wages, exchange rate and the policy interest rate. We find that rapid convergence toward the inflation target is a property of the QMM when a Taylor-rule is included in the model. Underlying is an inflation expectations equation which assumes a high degree of credibility of the CBI. This equation, however, lacks empirical underpinnings. When we replace the QMM expectations equation with an estimated equation, a more realistic picture emerges where the Central Bank has to raise the policy rate considerably higher than in QMM scenarios and it takes much longer to reach the inflation target.
    Keywords: Inflation targeting; inflation forecasts; inflation expectations; macroeconomic models; credibility
    JEL: E27 E58 E52 E44
    Date: 2008–09

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