nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2010‒03‒20
twelve papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Trends in Economic Research: An International Perspective By Cardoso, Ana Rute; Guimaraes, Paulo; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  4. Upgrading or polarization? Occupational change in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, 1990-2008 By Oesch, Daniel; Rodriguez Menes, Jorge
  5. Revisiting poverty measures towards individualisation By Danièle Meulders; Sîle O'Dorchai
  6. Unemployment and Temporary Jobs in the Crisis: Comparing France and Spain By Samuel Bentolila; Pierre Cahuc; Juan José Dolado; Thomas Le Barbanchon, .
  7. Alternative Basic Income Mechanisms: An Evaluation Exercise with a Microeconometric Model By Colombino, Ugo; Locatelli, Marilena; Narazani, Edlira; O'Donoghue, Cathal
  8. Does Immigration Induce 'Native Flight' from Public Schools? Evidence from a Large Scale Voucher Program By Gerdes, Christer
  9. Occupational segregation of immigrant women in Spain By Coral del Río; Olga Alonso-Villar
  10. Too many lawyers? Litigation in Italian civil courts By Amanda Carmignani; Silvia Giacomelli
  11. Estimating Economic Regional Effects of Euro 2012 By Barbara Despiney; Waldemar Karpa
  12. Retirement Responses to a Generous Pension Reform: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Eastern Europe By Alexander M. Danzer

  1. By: Cardoso, Ana Rute (IAE Barcelona (CSIC)); Guimaraes, Paulo (University of South Carolina); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: Given the recent efforts in several countries to reorganize the research institutional setting to improve research productivity, our analysis addresses the following questions: To which extent has the recent awareness over international quality standards in economics around the world been reflected in research performance? How have individual countries fared? Do research quantity and quality indicators tell us the same story? We concentrate on trends taking place since the beginning of the 1990s and rely on a very comprehensive database of scientific journals, to provide a cross-country comparison of the evolution of research in economics. Our findings indicate that Europe is catching up with the US but, in terms of influential research, the US maintains a dominant position. The main continental European countries, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, experienced some of the largest growth rates in economic scientific output. Other European countries, namely the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, have shown remarkable progress in per capita output. Collaborative research seems to be a key factor explaining the relative success of some European countries, in particular when it comes to publishing in top journals, attained predominantly through international collaborations.
    Keywords: research performance, publications, rankings, Europe, North-America, US
    JEL: A10 I20
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Matei, Mirela; Stancu, Adrian; Vukovic, Predrag
    Abstract: Global climate changes are taking place and its impacts on economy are already occurring in fields like tourism, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, insurance industry or capital market. Specialists draw attention that climate change has negative effects and positive effects. For example, in some parts of Europe, especially in north, the agricultural may benefit from temperature rise increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The most important part of these changes is due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity. Between greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest contributor with a weight around of 80 % of total GHG emissions. The agriculture is the most affected sector by the climate change, but agricultural activities have many implications on environment through emissions of methane and nitrous oxide that result from changes in land use and agricultural production or through the production of bio fuels.
    Keywords: climate change, agriculture, greenhouse gas, Agribusiness, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Istudor, Nicolae; Petrescu, Irina Elena
    Abstract: In the context of the present world economical crisis, the pre-accession and structural funds assigned by the European Union (which have been and still are high for Romania) can represent an important financial support for ensuring the sources of sustaining the investments meant to contribute to increase the living standard in rural areas, in the case of acceding countries and for member states that joined in 2004 and 2007. Still, for countries it is important to have a high level of acceding these funds, because history proved that few countries absorbed the whole amount of money from the pre-accession funds (Czech Republic is a positive example in this context) and the structural funds (Spain and Portugal are positive examples in this context). An important factor in accessing European funds is represented by the structures of consultancy (public and private) that may advise the potential beneficiaries of these funds, for both elaborating the projects of investments and their implementation.
    Keywords: accessing, beneficiaries, consultancy, economical crisis, rural development, European funds, projects of investments, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2009–12
  4. By: Oesch, Daniel; Rodriguez Menes, Jorge
    Abstract: We analyze the pattern of occupational change over the last two decades in Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland: which jobs have been expanding – high-paid jobs, low-paid jobs or both? Based on individual-level data, we examine what hypothesis is most consistent with the observed change: skill-biased technical change, routinization, skill supply evolution or wage-setting institutions? Our analysis reveals massive occupational upgrading that closely matches educational expansion: employment expanded most at the top of the occupational hierarchy, among managers and professionals. In parallel, mid-range occupations (clerks and production workers) declined relative to those at the bottom (interpersonal service workers). This U-shaped pattern of upgrading is consistent with the routinization hypothesis: technology seems a better substitute for average-paid clerical and manufacturing jobs than for low-end service employment. Yet country differences in low-paid service job creation suggest that wage-setting institutions play an important role, channelling technological change into more or less polarized patterns of upgrading.
    Keywords: employment; labour market institutions; technological change; inequality; occupations
    JEL: J21 P52
    Date: 2010–01–29
  5. By: Danièle Meulders (DULBEA, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels); Sîle O'Dorchai (DULBEA, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels)
    Abstract: We use the methodology developed in a previous study to individualise all incomes reported in the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (2006) . Based on individual incomes we compute financial dependency rates which are compared with the household-level at-risk-of-poverty rates defined by the EC. The determinants of financial dependency are studied by means of descriptive statistics and by the estimation of bivariate probit regressions for men and women. We cover nine European countries. Finally, four new indicators are proposed to complement the Laeken indicators.
    Keywords: poverty, gender inequality, individual income, household economics, indicators .
    JEL: C21 I32 J16
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Samuel Bentolila; Pierre Cahuc; Juan José Dolado; Thomas Le Barbanchon, .
    Abstract: Our goal here is to explain the strikingly different response of Spanish unemployment relative to other European economies, in particular France, during the ongoing recession. The Spanish unemployment rate, which fell from 22% in 1994 to 8% in 2007, reached 19% by the end of 2009, whereas the French unemployment rate has only increased by less than 2 pp. during the crisis. We argue that labor market institutions in the two economies are rather similar, except for the larger gap between dismissal costs of workers with permanent and temporary contracts in Spain, which lead to huge flows of temporary workers out of and into unemployment. We estimate in a counterfactual scenario that more than one-half of the increase in the unemployment rate would have been avoided had Spain adopted French employment protection institutions before the recession started.
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Colombino, Ugo (University of Turin); Locatelli, Marilena (University of Turin); Narazani, Edlira (University of Turin); O'Donoghue, Cathal (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply in four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant total net tax revenue (fiscal neutrality), the effects of various hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include alternative versions of a Basic Income policy: Guaranteed Minimum Income, Work Fare, Participation Basic Income and Universal Basic Income. We produce indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked and compared to the current tax-transfer systems. The exercise can be considered as one of empirical optimal taxation, where the optimization problem is solved computationally rather than analytically. It turns out that many versions of the Basic Income policies would be superior to the current system. The most successful policies are those involving non means-tested versions of basic income (Universal or Participation Basic Income) and adopting progressive tax-rules. If – besides the fiscal neutrality constraint – also other constraints are considered, such as the implied top marginal top tax rate or the effect on female labour supply, the picture changes: unconditional policies remain optimal and feasible in Denmark and the UK; instead in Italy and Portugal universal policies appear to be too costly in terms of implied top marginal tax rates and in terms of adverse effects on female participation, and conditional policies such as Work-Fare, emerge as more desirable.
    Keywords: minimum guaranteed income, work fare, participation basic income, universal basic income, models of labour supply, tax reforms, welfare evaluation, optimal taxation
    JEL: C25 H24 H31 I38
    Date: 2010–02
  8. By: Gerdes, Christer (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Recent studies point to a positive correlation between ethnic heterogeneity due to immigration and the propensity of opting out from public schools for private alternatives. However, immigration across regions is hardly exogenous, which obstructs attempts to reveal causal mechanisms. This paper explores changes in the immigrant population in Danish municipalities 1992-2004, a period marked by a substantial influx of refugees, where a state-sponsored placement policy restricted their initial choice of residence. Besides such demographic changes, for more than hundred years Denmark has allowed parents to enroll their children into so called 'free schools', i.e. schools that are privately operated. Taken together, this provides a unique opportunity to determine if there has been 'native flight' from public schools to free schools. Results from this study indicate an increase in native Danes propensity to enroll their children in free schools as the share of children with immigrant background becomes larger in their municipality of residence. The effect is most pronounced in small and medium sized municipalities, while it seems absent in larger municipalities. One explanation for the latter holds that residential segregation within larger municipalities makes a choice of private alternatives less attractive.
    Keywords: school choice, immigration, private schools
    JEL: H7 I28 J15 J78 R5
    Date: 2010–02
  9. By: Coral del Río (Universidade de Vigo); Olga Alonso-Villar (Universidade de Vigo)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze occupational segregation in the Spanish labor market from a gender and an immigration perspective. In doing so, several local and overall segregation measures are used. Our results suggest that immigrant women in Spain suffer a double segregation since segregation affects them to a greater extent than it does either native women or immigrant men. There are, however, remarkable discrepancies among the segregation of immigrant women depending on their region of origin. Thus, immigrant women from the European Union (EU) have the lowest occupational segregation, while segregation seems particularly intense in the group of women from European countries outside the EU bloc and Asia (the levels of which are higher than that of Latin American and African women).
    Keywords: immigration; gender; occupational segregation; local segregation; overall segregation
    JEL: J16 D63
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Amanda Carmignani (Bank of Italy); Silvia Giacomelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the relationship between the number of lawyers and civil litigation across Italian provinces over the period 2000-2005. First, we document the existence of a positive correlation between the number of lawyers and litigation. We then employ a 2SLS approach to verify the existence of a causal effect. We use as an exogenous source of variation for the number of lawyers the differences among provinces in the proximity of a law school in 1975. Our results show that the number of lawyers has a positive effect on litigation and that the magnitude of this effect is large.
    Keywords: civil justice, litigation, market for lawyers
    JEL: K41 J44 L84
    Date: 2010–02
  11. By: Barbara Despiney (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Waldemar Karpa (ENSTA - Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées ParisTech)
    Abstract: In 2007 Poland and Ukraine were awarded by UEFA to co-host the 2012 European Football Championships. This first "mega-event" to take place in the transition countries is commonly intended to yield large and lasting economic bebefits to the host cities. This point of view is rarely shared by economists, who are aware of misuse of economic impact estimates. In this paper, we modify the Keynesian-style multiplier model to investigate the effects of Euro 2012-related spending on local economies. Our goal is two-fold : on the one hand, we can easily investigate the impact on each demand component, on the other hand, we wish to calculate the magnitudes of these multipliers in order to judge the credibility of potential regional welfare benefits. This analysis is strenghtened by taking into account the regional supply constraints. Our study also reviews the existent body of work on mega-sporting events and our results are in line with those researches who argue that the true economic impact of these competitions is overestimated by a large margin. Finally, we stress the organizational and institutional dimension of hosting a "mega-event" by the transition and developing countries that are constantly struggled to tackle the colossal tasks of upgrading stadiums and modernizing airports, rail and road networks and hotels.
    Keywords: Transition, sport economics, Economic impact, mega-events.
    Date: 2010–01
  12. By: Alexander M. Danzer
    Abstract: The retirement decision is under researched in developing and emerging countries, despite the topic's close relation to many development issues such as poverty reduction and social security, and despite the fact that population ageing will increasingly challenge the developing world. This paper uses a natural experiment from Ukraine to estimate the causal effect of a threefold increase in the legal minimum pension on labor supply and retirement behaviour at older ages. Applying difference-in-difference and regression discontinuity methods on two independent nationally representative data sets, the paper estimates a pure income effect that caused additional retirement of 30 to 47 percent. Additional evidence suggests that retirement incentives are stronger at the lower tail of the educational distribution and that the strict Labor Code curbed responses at the intensive labor supply margin. Although the substantial pension increase provided strong disincentives to work and put a heavy fiscal burden on Ukraine, it significantly reduced the propensity of falling into poverty for those in retirement.
    Keywords: Labor supply, retirement, minimum pension, pure income effect, poverty,<br /> difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity
    JEL: J26 I38 O15
    Date: 2010

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