nep-eec New Economics Papers
on European Economics
Issue of 2009‒07‒03
28 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Taxes in Europe Database By European Commission ? DG TAXUD
  2. Between Enlargement-led Europeanisation and Balkan Exceptionalism: an appraisal of Bulgaria’s and Romania’s entry into the European Union By Dimitris Papadimitriou & Eli Gateva
  3. One Money and Fifteen Needs Inflation and Output Convergence in the European Monetary Union By Van Poeck A.
  4. Intraday Price Discovery in Emerging European Stock Markets By Jan Hanousek; Evzen Kocenda
  5. Taxation trends in the European Union: 2009 edition By Florian Woehlbier; Marco Fantini; Tatjana Lapunova; Beata Heimann; Gaetan Nicodeme; Katri Kosonen; Doris Prammer; Maya Hristova; Milan Pein; Thomas Hemmelgarn; Werner Vanborren; Alessandro Lupi; Monika Wozowczyk
  7. Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement By Kahanec, Martin; Zaiceva, Anzelika; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  8. Euro-Mediterranean Integration and Cooperation: Prospects and Challenges By Katia Adamo; Paolo Garonna
  9. Energy efficiency in Europe: trends, convergence and policy effectiveness By Arigoni Ortiz, Ramon; Bastianin, Andrea; Bigano, Andrea; Cattaneo, Cristina; Lanza, Alessandro; Manera, Matteo; Markandya, Anil; Plotegher, Michele; Sferra, Fabio
  10. Productivity Dynamics across European Regions: the Impact of Structural and Cohesion Funds By Davide Fiaschi, Andrea Mario Lavezzi and Angela Parenti
  11. Does it pay to have the euro? Italy’s politics and financial markets under the lira and the euro. By Marcel Fratzscher; Livio Stracca
  12. Does Private Equity Investment Spur Innovation? Evidence from Europe. By Alexander Popov; Peter Roosenboom
  13. The European used-car market at a glance: Hedonic resale price valuation in automotive leasing industry By Sylvain Prado
  14. Activation in integrated sevices?. Bridging social and employment services in European countries By Minas, Renate
  15. Understanding labour income share dynamics in Europe By Arpaia, Alfonso; Pérez, Esther; Pichelmann, Karl
  16. Job Search Assistance Programs in Europe: Evaluation Methods and Recent Empirical Findings By Stephan Thomsen
  17. The Impact of the EU Emissions Trading System on CO2 Intensity in Electricity Generation By Widerberg, Anna; Wråke, Markus
  18. Survey Data as Coicident or Leading Indicators By Cecilia Frale; Massimiliano Marcellino; Gian Luigi Mazzi; Tommaso Proietti
  19. What do we know about banks securitisation? the spanish experience By Clara Cardone Riportella; Reyes Samaniego Medina; Antonio Trujillo Ponce
  20. The role of fiscal instruments in environmental policy By Katri Kosonen; Gaëtan Nicodème
  21. Scientists on the move: tracing scientists’ mobility and its spatial distribution By Ernest Miguélez; Rosina Moreno; Jordi Suriñach
  22. Owner Identity and Firm Performance: Evidence from European Companies By Marco Cucculelli
  23. The Effect of Pension Generosity on Early Retirement: A Microdata Analysis for Europe from 1967 to 2004. By Fischer, Justina AV; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  24. Opting for Opting-in? An Evaluation of the Commission’s Proposals for Reforming VAT for Financial Services By Rita de la Feria; Ben Lockwood
  25. Transition Fatigue? Cross-Country Evidence from Micro Data By Rovelli, Riccardo; Zaiceva, Anzelika
  26. "It's not that I'm a racist, it's that they are Roma": Roma Discrimination and Returns to Education in South Eastern Europe By O'Higgins, Niall
  27. The Doha Round and Market Access for LDCs: Scenarios for the EU and US Markets By Carrère, Céline; de Melo, Jaime
  28. A Value-Added Based Measure of Health System Output and Estimating the Efficiency of OECD Health Systems By Dennis Petrie; Kam Ki Tang; D.S. Prasada Rao

  1. By: European Commission ? DG TAXUD
    Abstract: The "Taxes in Europe" database is the European Commission's on-line information tool covering the main taxes in force in the EU Member States. Access is free for all users. The system contains information on around 650 taxes, as provided to the European Commission by the national authorities. The "Taxes in Europe" database contains, for each individual tax, information on its legal basis, assessment base, main exemptions, applicable rate(s), economic and statistical classification, as well as the revenue generated by it. The information is listed in the form of a downloadable file. The "Taxes in Europe" database is not meant to constitute a reference for legal purposes. The "Taxes in Europe" database covers the following types of taxes: All main taxes in revenue terms. These include notably personal income taxes, corporate income taxes, value added taxes, excise duties; The main social security contributions. A list of minor taxes yielding less than 0.1% of GDP (not covered by the database) can be found here. The database does NOT cover information on Customs duties and tariffs. This type of information can be found in the customs tariff database TARIC.
    Keywords: European Union, taxation, database
    JEL: H23 H24 H25 H27 H71
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Dimitris Papadimitriou & Eli Gateva
    Abstract: The accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union (EU) in 2007 offers significant theoretical and empirical insights into the way in which the EU has deployed and realised its enlargement strategy/strategies over the past 15 years. Borrowing from the literature on enlargement-led Europeanisation and EU conditionality, this article discusses how the EU has sought to influence domestic reform in the two countries through a mix of threats and rewards. What emerges from Bulgaria’s and Romania’s trajectory towards EU membership is the evolutionary and contested nature of EU conditionality as well as the considerable EU discretion in the manner of its implementation. In that sense Bulgaria and Romania, as ‘outliers’ of the 2004-7 EU enlargement, offer us critical tests of the enlargement-led Europeanisation thesis. Thus, their study provides useful conceptual insights into the transformative power of the EU in Eastern Europe and highlights important policy legacies affecting the current EU enlargement strategy in the Western Balkans and Turkey.
    Keywords: Europeanisation, European Union, conditionality, Bulgaria, Romania.
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Van Poeck A.
    Abstract: In January 1999 the Economic and Monetary Union was established. The member countries abandoned their national currencies and adopted a common currency, the euro, and a common monetary policy. Adopting a common currency is supposed to bring a number of advantages to the member states of a monetary union, such as deeper product and financial market integration, increased trade and capital flows and ultimately increased growth. But by joining a monetary union, a country forgoes the ability to use domestic monetary policy to respond to country-specific macroeconomic disturbances. Monetary policy in a monetary union is the responsibility of the central monetary authority, in this case the European Central Bank (ECB). This central authority pursues monetary policy taking into account the overall situation in the union. Hence, for an individual country, the more its macroeconomic position is in line with the union’s average, the less the costs for that country of belonging to the union. Put differently, the more similarity between the individual countries belonging to a monetary union, the easier the task of the union’s central bank. One could even argue that the long run success and political viability of a monetary union depends on it. In this paper we analyze whether the ECB’s monetary policy has become more balanced towards the needs of the individual member states with the passage of time. We assume that the ECB’s monetary policy stance is in line with a Taylor rule and based on the overall situation in the Euro area, more specifically on the Euro area inflation rate and the overall business cycle position in the area. This assumption is confirmed by many researchers (see e.g. Breuss, 2002; Fourçans and Vranceanu, 2002, Sauer and Sturm, 2003, Ulrich, 2003). The question therefore boils down to investigating whether inflation and business cycles have converged since the start of the monetary union.
    Date: 2009–02
  4. By: Jan Hanousek; Evzen Kocenda
    Abstract: We characterize the price discovery in three emerging EU stock markets—the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland—by employing high-frequency five-minute intraday data on stock market index returns and four classes of EU and U.S. macroeconomic announcements during 2004–2007. We account for the difference of each announcement from its market expectation and we jointly model the volatility of the returns accounting for intra-day movements and day-of-the-week effects. Our findings show that real-time interactions on the new EU markets are strongly determined by matured stock markets as well as the macroeconomic news originating thereby. Monetary news has virtually no impact on stock returns while U.S. prices affect all three markets. The real economy announcements have varying effects but the news on the EU current account affects all three markets in a uniform manner. Only some EU economic climate and confidence announcements affect stock returns. In general, differences in results across markets are driven by differences in key market participants. Volatility of the returns is accounted for at the beginning and end of the trading session and it declines dramatically during the rest of the day. All three markets also show a decrease in volatility by the middle of the business week. Our findings yield insights into the process of stock market integration in the EU as well as portfolio allocation on the new EU markets.
    Keywords: Price discovery, stock markets, intra-day data, macroeconomic news, European Union, volatility, excess impact of news.
    JEL: C52 F36 G15 P59
    Date: 2009–02
  5. By: Florian Woehlbier (European Commission); Marco Fantini (European Commission); Tatjana Lapunova (European Commission); Beata Heimann (European Commission); Gaetan Nicodeme (European Commission); Katri Kosonen (European Commission); Doris Prammer (European Commission); Maya Hristova (European Commission); Milan Pein (European Commission); Thomas Hemmelgarn (European Commission); Werner Vanborren (European Commission); Alessandro Lupi (European Commission); Monika Wozowczyk (European Commission)
    Abstract: Taxation trends in the European Union: 2009 covers the development of taxation in all 27 Members of the European Union and Norway in a comparable format since 1995. The report is organised as follows: Part I offers an overview of taxation in Europe, describing the trends in the total tax ratio, the structure of revenues by tax type, the distribution of revenues amongst government levels, and the main developments in the rates of the personal and corporate income tax. Part II focuses on taxation of consumption, labour, and capital, as well as on environmental taxation. Part III consists of 28 Country Chapters illustrating, for each Member State (and Norway), the revenue trends and supplying a summary description of the tax system. This chapter outlines the main results from Parts I and II.
    Keywords: European Union, taxation
    JEL: H23 H24 H25 H27 H71
    Date: 2009–06
  6. By: Curak, Marijana (University of Split); Poposki, Klime (University St. Kliment Ohridski); Ecim, Tanja (University of Split)
    Abstract: In an endogenous growth framework, well developed and efficient financial system can promote economic growth. A number of empirical studies confirmed this hypothesis. Since the financial systems of transition countries are dominated by banks, in this paper we analyze the importance of banking industry for economic growth using methods of panel data analysis for 15 Central and Eastern European countries in the period from 1992 to 2006. Using variables that measure both quantitative and qualitative aspects of financial intermediation, our findings support the view that the effectiveness of banking industry is more important than its size per se for the economic growth in the Central and Eastern European countries.
    Keywords: banking; financial intermediation; endogenous growth; panel; Central and Eastern Europe
    JEL: C23 G21 O11 O16
    Date: 2009–06–16
  7. By: Kahanec, Martin (IZA); Zaiceva, Anzelika (IZA and University of Bologna); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: The Eastern enlargement of the EU was an institutional impetus to the migration potential in Europe. While the overall numbers of migrants from the new member states in the EU15 increased between 2003 and 2007, this increase was distributed unevenly among countries. The proportion of these migrants in the EU15 remains smaller than that of non-EU27 migrants. The transitory arrangements may have diverted some migrants from the EU8 mainly to Ireland and the UK. Migrants from the EU2 continued to go predominantly to Italy and Spain. To date, there is no evidence that these primarily economic migrants would displace native workers or lower their wages (and even if crowding out happened in certain sectors or occupation, aggregate data suggest that such natives found well-paid jobs elsewhere), or that they would be more dependent on welfare than the natives. The drain of mainly young and skilled people could pose some additional demographic challenges on the source countries. However, the anticipated brain circulation may in fact help to solve their demographic and economic problems. While the ongoing economic crisis may change the momentum of several migration trajectories, free migration should in fact alleviate many consequences of the crisis and generally improve the allocative efficiency of EU labor markets.
    Keywords: free movement of workers, EU Eastern enlargement, effects of migration, migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2009–06
  8. By: Katia Adamo (London School of Economics); Paolo Garonna (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: An overview of current institutional cooperation, economic conditions and challenges in the Mediterranean region.
    Keywords: Mediterranean, Europe, Economic conditions, institutional cooperation
    JEL: F02 F13 F15 O19 O52 P33 P45
    Date: 2009–01
  9. By: Arigoni Ortiz, Ramon; Bastianin, Andrea; Bigano, Andrea; Cattaneo, Cristina; Lanza, Alessandro; Manera, Matteo; Markandya, Anil; Plotegher, Michele; Sferra, Fabio
    Abstract: This paper analyses energy efficiency in the EU, both in terms of reductions in energy intensity and in terms of physical indicators, looking at the differences among sectors and among Member States. We test econometrically the existence of convergence in energy intensity across Europe. We find a sensible catching–up of less performing countries, particularly in the agricultural and in the industrial sectors. Against this background, we analyse the role played by energy policies in EU Member States and we identify the most effective classes of policies and measures by means of a panel analysis of the EU-15 and Norway. It turns out that, in the residential sector, energy efficiency is particularly affected by heating regulations, by subsidies as well as tax reductions; in the transport sector, effective policies are tax reductions, incentives to eliminate old and polluting cars, car sharing, commuter plan and traffic management; in the industrial sector, mandatory technology standards, financing at low interest rate, information activities, education and outreach proved to be effective.
    Keywords: energy intensity; energy efficiency; convergence; European energy policy
    JEL: Q48 O13 E65 Q01 Q43
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Davide Fiaschi, Andrea Mario Lavezzi and Angela Parenti
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of the European Union regional policy of the three programming periods 1975-1988, 1989-1993 and 1994-1999 on the dynamics of productivity of European regions. On average, funding had a positive, but concave, effect on productivity growth. In particular, a share of funds on GVA of 10% GVA is estimated to raise the regional growth rate of about 0.9% per year. However, by separately considering the three programming periods and the composition of the funds according to the objectives defined by the EU, we find that: i) only the funds allocated in the second and third programming periods, when they remarkably increased, had a significant impact; and ii) only Objective 1 and Cohesion funds played a significantly positive impact, while funds devoted to Objectives 2, 3, 4 and 5 had a negative or non significant impact. The results are robust to potential endogeneity of funds and spatial dependence.
    Keywords: European regional policy, structural change, convergence, European regions.
    JEL: C21 E62 R11 O52
    Date: 2009–06–19
  11. By: Marcel Fratzscher (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Livio Stracca (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: There is a broad consensus that the quality of the political system and its institutions are fundamental for a country’s prosperity. The paper focuses on political events in Italy over the past 35 years and asks whether the adoption of the euro in 1999 has helped insulate Italy’s financial markets from the adverse consequences of its traditionally unstable political system. We find that important political events have exerted a statistically and economically significant effect on Italy’s financial markets throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The introduction of the euro appears to have indeed played a major role in insulating financial markets from such adverse shocks. The findings of the paper there-fore suggest another important economic dimension and channel through which Italy may have been affected by EMU. Our analysis could also be potentially interesting for other countries with weak institutions considering adopting a currency based on stronger institutions. JEL Classification: F31, F33, G14.
    Keywords: Euro, Italy, political economy, exchange rates, asset prices, financial markets, shocks.
    Date: 2009–06
  12. By: Alexander Popov (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, D-60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Peter Roosenboom (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam, Netherlands.)
    Abstract: We provide the first cross-country evidence of the effect of investment by private equity firms on innovation, focusing on a sample of European countries and using Kortum and Lerner’s (2000) empirical methodology. Using an 18-country panel covering the period 1991-2004, we study how private equity finance affects patent applications and patent grants. We address concerns about causality in several ways, including exploiting variation in laws regulating the investment behaviour of pension funds and insurance companies across countries and over time. We also control for the standard determinants of innovation like R&D, human capital, and patent protection. Our estimates imply that while private equity investment accounts for 8% of aggregate (private equity plus R&D) industrial spending, PE accounts for as much as 12% of industrial innovation. We also present similar evidence from the biotech industry to alleviate concerns that our results are biased by aggregation. JEL Classification: C23, G15, O16.
    Keywords: private equity, venture capital, innovation.
    Date: 2009–06
  13. By: Sylvain Prado
    Abstract: In the leasing industry, the risk of loss on sales at the end of the contract term, as well as pricing are critically impacted by the forecasted resale price of the asset (residual value). We apply the Hedonic methodology to European auto lease portfolios, in order to estimate the resale price distribution. The Hedonic approach estimates the price of a good through the valuation of its attributes. Following a discussion on Hedonic prices, we propose an operational model for the automobile resale market. The model is applied to four European countries (France, Germany, Spain and Great Britain), and distributions are calculated on two vehicle versions (Audi A4 & Ford Focus) allowing a comparison of market depreciation patterns and residual value risks.
    Keywords: Hedonic model, residual value, automotive market
    JEL: C51 G12 G32
    Date: 2009
  14. By: Minas, Renate (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: <p> Activation policies and programs are one of the main instruments to promote the transition from welfare to work and to (re)integrate people depending on social insurance benefits or social assistance into the labor market. However, to make labor market integration sustainable, disadvantaged people need to be supported with sufficient resources, such as personalized employment, social services and other services to enhance their employability. Under the term service integration, many countries undertake efforts to combine social and employment services in more or less integrated services. In this paper I study how these new integrated services look like with respect to government structures, e.g. shifts of responsibility upwards or downwards for both groups and how encompassing these new services are both with respect to target group and involved actors. <p>
    Keywords: Activation policies; Welfare; Social services; Employment services; Labor market integration; Service integration; Government structures; Europe
    JEL: J21 J64 J65 J68
    Date: 2009–06–12
  15. By: Arpaia, Alfonso; Pérez, Esther; Pichelmann, Karl
    Abstract: This paper seeks to understand labour share dynamics in Europe over the medium run. After documenting basic empirical regularities, we quantify the contribution of shifts in the sectoral and the employment composition of the economy to labour share movements. The findings from the shift-share analysis being on the descriptive side, we next identify the factors underlying labour share behaviour through a model-based approach. We proceed along the lines of Bentolila and Saint Paul (2003) but adopt a production function with capital-skill complementarity. We show that labour share movements are driven by a complex interplay of demand and supply conditions for capital and different skill categories of labour, the nature of technological progress and imperfect market structures. Based upon robust calibration, we show that most of the declining pattern in labour shares in nine EU15 Member States is governed by capital deepening in conjunction with capitalaugmenting technical progress and labour substitution across skill categories. Although institutional factors also play a significant role, they appear to be of somewhat less importance. To illustrate the relevance of the technological explanation we quantitatively assess the dynamic impact of a permanent reduction in the fraction of unskilled employment on the labour share. We find that, for a given elasticity of substitution between skilled and unskilled labour, the more skilled labour is complementary to capital, the more pronounced the decline in the labour share.
    Keywords: labour income share; medium term; two-level CES technology; labour market institutions.
    JEL: E25 J30
    Date: 2009–05–12
  16. By: Stephan Thomsen (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)
    Abstract: Job search assistance programs are part of active labor market policy in many countries. The main characteristics of these activities are an intensi ed counseling and a job search monitoring; in addition, several countries integrate courses teaching further skills into the programs. Job search assistance programs should help to increase the employment chances and to reduce the unemployment duration of the job seekers. In this paper, recent empirical ndings from evaluation studies for 9 European countries are reviewed and implications with regard to the e ectiveness of the activities are derived. To make the ndings of various studies evaluating the di erent programs comparable, the methodological issues of the empirical approaches applied to estimate the causal e ects of the programs are discussed in detail. In addition, relevant characteristics of the unemployment insurance systems, the assignment process, and the content of programs are presented to derive meaningful implications. The comparison of the programs takes account of individual e ects and, if available, cost bene t considerations. The results show that job search assistance programs tend to provide an e ective means to reduce individual unemployment, particularly if provided as combinations of intensive counseling and short-term training courses
    Keywords: Job search assistance programs, active labor market policy, evaluation methods, Europe
    JEL: J68 C31
    Date: 2009–05
  17. By: Widerberg, Anna (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wråke, Markus (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Prior to the launch of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2005, the electricity sector was widely proclaimed to have more low-cost emission abatement opportunities than other sectors. If this were true, effects of the EU ETS on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would likely be visible in the electricity sector. Our study looks at the effect of the price of emission allowances (EUA) on CO2 emissions from Swedish electricity generation, using an econometric time series analysis for the period 2004–2008. We control for effects of other input prices and hydropower reservoir levels. Our results do not indicate any link between the price of EUA and the CO2 emissions of Swedish electricity production. A number of reasons may explain this result and we conclude that other determinants of fossil fuel use in Swedish electricity generation probably diminished the effects of the EU ETS.<p>
    Keywords: Emissions trading; carbon dioxide; climate change; electricity; carbon intensity
    JEL: C22 D21 D24 Q54
    Date: 2009–06–09
  18. By: Cecilia Frale; Massimiliano Marcellino; Gian Luigi Mazzi; Tommaso Proietti
    Abstract: In this paper we propose a monthly measure for the euro area Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on a small scale factor model for mixed frequency data, featuring two factors: the first is driven by hard data, whereas the second captures the contribution of survey variables as coincident indicators. Within this framework we evaluate both the in-sample contribution of the second survey-based factor, and the short term forecasting performance of the model in a pseudo-real time experiment. We find that the survey-based factor plays a significant role for two components of GDP: Industrial Value Added and Exports. Moreover, the two factor model outperforms in terms of out of sample forecasting accuracy the traditional autoregressive distributed lags (ADL) specifications and the single factor model, with few exceptions for Exports and in growth rates.
    Keywords: Survey data, Temporal Disaggregation. Multivariate State Space Models. Dynamic factor Models. Kalman filter and smoother. Chain-linking
    JEL: E32 E37 C53
    Date: 2009
  19. By: Clara Cardone Riportella; Reyes Samaniego Medina; Antonio Trujillo Ponce
    Abstract: The present work analyses the reasons why Spanish financial entities have carried out securitisation programs in the period 2000-2007 on such a scale that Spain has become the European country with the largest issue volumes, second only to the U.K. The results obtained after the application of a logistic regression model to a sample of 408 observations indicate that liquidity and the search for improved performance are the decisive factors in securitisation. The hypotheses of transfer of credit risk and arbitrage in regulatory capital are not confirmed; therefore the normative development of Basel II cannot be expected to affect the volumes issued in future years. The study is complemented with a more detailed analysis, differentiating between programs of asset and liability securitisation
    Keywords: Securitisation, ABS, CDO, Credit risk transfer, Regulatory capital arbitrage
    JEL: G21 G28
    Date: 2009–06
  20. By: Katri Kosonen (European Commission.); Gaëtan Nicodème (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, European Commission and CESifo.)
    Abstract: Environmental protection is one of Europe's key values. The EU has set clear policy objectives to achieve its environmental goals. The EU has favoured market-based instruments, among which fiscal instruments to tackle the climate change problem. This paper takes a policy-making perspective and provides an overview of key issues on the role of fiscal instruments in energy and environmental policies. It describes fiscal instruments as cost-effective means to promote environmental goals and highlights in which cases taxes and other types of fiscal instruments can usefully complement each other to achieve environmental target.
    Keywords: taxation, environmental policy, VAT, fiscal incentives
    JEL: H23 Q38 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2009–06
  21. By: Ernest Miguélez (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Jordi Suriñach (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide new insights into the well-studied phenomenon of knowledge spillovers. We study one of the main mechanisms through which these spillovers occur, that is, the mobility of highly-skilled individuals. In contrast to earlier studies, we focus on the geographical mobility of inventors across European regions. First, we gather information from PCT patent documents (from the OECD REGPAT database, May 2008 edition) and match the names which seemed to belong to the same inventor using name matching algorithms; second, we create a new algorithm to decide whether each patent applied for under each name belongs to the same inventor, according to set of predetermined characteristics. We use this information to trace the pattern of scientists’ and inventors’ mobility across European regions.
    Keywords: inventors’ mobility, knowledge spillovers,name matching algorithms, exploratory data analysis
    Date: 2009–06
  22. By: Marco Cucculelli (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Faculty of Economics "Giorgio Fu…")
    Abstract: Empirical evidence of the distribution of firms based on owner identity for a set of European countries reveals substantial differences. Using the sensitivity of a firm's sales to demand shocks as a measure of risk-taking behavior, the paper explores if owner identity affects the willingness of the firms to take risk in order to improve their current situation (venturing risk). Consistent with a hypothesis of risk-avoidance behavior, small- and medium-sized family-owned companies appear to under-react to changes in market demand, notably when ownership is highly concentrated and growth options are significant. However, they confirm their status of good performers when pure profitability measures are used. Conversely, industrial- and nonconcentrated family-owned firms appear more prone to deal with venturing risk, especially when the intensity of the risk is large as in the case of fast-growing companies or demand changes in nondomestic markets.
    JEL: G32 L25
    Date: 2009–05
  23. By: Fischer, Justina AV; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
    Abstract: Using pseudo-panel microdata we show that pension generosity affects early retirement decisions. The changes in the average replacement rate and decreases in wealth accrual between 1967 and 2004 have caused an increase in early retirement probabilities from 16% to 63%.
    Keywords: Early Retirement; Pension Systems; Pension Neutrality; Pension Generosity; SHARE.
    JEL: H55 J21 J26
    Date: 2009–06
  24. By: Rita de la Feria (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation); Ben Lockwood (University of Warwick, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
    Abstract: This paper provides a legal and economic analysis of the European Commission’s recent proposals for reforming the application of VAT to financial services, with particular focus on their “third pillar”, under which firms would be allowed to opt-into taxation on exempt insurance and financial services. From a legal perspective, we show that the proposals’ “first and second pillar” would give rise to considerable interpretative and qualification problems, resulting in as much complexity and legal uncertainty as the current regime. Equally, an option to tax could potentially follow significantly different legal designs, which would give rise to discrepancies in the application of the option amongst Member States. On the economic side, we show that quite generally, firms have an incentive to opt-in only on business-to-business transactions. An estimate of the upper bound on the amount of tax revenue that might be lost from allowing opting-in is provided.
    Date: 2009
  25. By: Rovelli, Riccardo (University of Bologna); Zaiceva, Anzelika (IZA and University of Bologna)
    Abstract: The transition process has had different distributional impacts across different interest groups and countries. These have led to differences in the support for transition. In this paper, we study support attitudes for both the economic and political transition using data from the New Barometer Surveys for 14 transition economies from 1991 to 2004. We document that the overall support is low and heterogeneous across countries and individuals. Support attitudes are lower among the old, less skilled, unemployed, poor, and those living in the CIS countries. There seems to be an increasing trend in the support for the economic transition in most countries. Our findings are robust to changes in the definition and measurement of the dependent variable. We also find evidence that transition-related hardship, opinions on the speed of reforms, political preferences and preferences towards redistribution, ideology and social capital matter. Finally, we show that individual preferences for secure jobs, the role of state and trust in politicians as well as better institutions, in particular, the quality of governance, seem to contribute mostly to explaining the lower levels of the support in the CIS countries.
    Keywords: political economy, transition, subjective attitudes
    JEL: O57 A13 P26 P36
    Date: 2009–06
  26. By: O'Higgins, Niall (University of Salerno)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique survey of Roma and non-Roma in South Eastern Europe to evaluate competing explanations for the poor performance of Roma in the labour market. The analysis seeks to identify the determinants of educational achievement, employment and wages for Roma and non-Roma. LIML methods are employed to control for endogenous schooling and two sources of sample selection bias in the estimates. Nonlinear and linear decomposition techniques are applied in order to identify the extent of discrimination. The key results are that: the employment returns to education are lower for Roma than for non-Roma whilst the wage returns are broadly similar for the two groups; the similar wage gains translate into a smaller absolute wage gain for Roma than for non-Roma given their lower average wages; the marginal absolute gains from education for Roma are only a little over one-third of the marginal absolute gains to education for majority populations; and, there is evidence to support the idea that a substantial part of the differential in labour market outcomes is due to discrimination. Explanations of why Roma fare so badly tend to fall into one of two camps: 'low education' vs. 'discrimination'. The analysis suggests that both of these explanations have some basis in fact. Moreover, a direct implication of the lower absolute returns to education accruing to Roma is that their lower educational participation is, at least partially, due to rational economic calculus. Consequently, policy needs to address both low educational participation and labour market discrimination contemporaneously.
    Keywords: Roma, returns to education, discrimination, transition
    JEL: C35 J15 J24 P23
    Date: 2009–06
  27. By: Carrère, Céline; de Melo, Jaime
    Abstract: LDCs hoped that the DOHA round would bring them greater market access in OECD countries than for non-LDCs. Using HS-6 tariff level data for the US and the EU for 2004, this paper estimates that, once the erosion from preferential access into the EU to non-LDCs is taken into account, LDCs have about a 3% preferential margin in the EU market. In the US market, in spite of preferences under AGOA, on a trade-weighted basis, LDCs are discriminated against. Under various “Swiss formulas” for tariff cuts, effective market access for LDCs in the EU will be negligible and still negative in the US. If the US were to apply a 97% rule (i.e. duty-free, quota-free access for all but three percent of the tariff lines), LDCs could increase exports by 10% or about $1billion annually. Effective market access is further reduced by complicated Rules of Origin (RoO) applied by the EU and the US. Furthermore, generally, the most restrictive RoO fall on products in which LDCs have the greatest preferential market access.
    Keywords: LDCs; Market Access; Rules of Origin
    JEL: F13 F15
    Date: 2009–06
  28. By: Dennis Petrie; Kam Ki Tang; D.S. Prasada Rao (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Life expectancy at birth is the most commonly used measure for health system output. However, there are a number of reasons why it may be a poor proxy. First, life expectancy assumes a stationary population and thus does not take into account the current demographic structure of a country; and second, the output of a health system should be measured in terms of the value-added to the population’s health status rather than health status itself. The paper develops a new measure of health system output, the Incremental Life Years to address these problems. The new measure is applied to study health system output, efficiency and total factor productivity in OECD countries for the years 2000 and 2004. The new measure provides different results compared to those based on the traditional life expectancy measure, and the differences are further accentuated when changes in efficiency and productivity are estimated.
    Date: 2009

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