nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2010‒07‒17
fifteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Do labour market institutions matter?: Micro-level wage effects of international outsourcing in three European countries. By Geishecker, Ingo; Görg, Holger; Munch, Jakob Roland
  2. Merchant Electricity Transmission Expansion: A European Case Study By Tarjei Kristiansen; Juan Rosellón
  3. Firms in Integrating Europe By Hansen, Thorsten
  4. Do European employers support later retirement?. By Dalen, H.P. van; Henkens, C.J.I.M.; Henderikse, W.; Schippers, J.
  5. Interaction with universities and firm's innovative performance: evidence from the Spanish innovation survey By Vega-Jurado, Jaider; Manjarrés-Henríquez, Liney; Gutiérrez-Gracia, Antonio; Fernández-de-Lucio, Ignacio
  6. The Market Microstructure of the European Climate Exchange By Bruce Mizrach; Yoichi Otsubo
  7. Online but still divided: Inequality in private internet use in Germany By Coneus, Katja; Schleife, Katrin
  8. The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany: The Erosion Continues By Addison, John T.; Bryson, Alex; Teixeira, Paulino; Pahnke, André; Bellmann, Lutz
  9. International Trade Patterns and Labor Markets – An Empirical Analysis for EU Member States By Götz Zeddies
  11. Sociodemographic, Economic, and Psychological Drivers of the Demand for Life Insurance: Evidence from the German Retirement Income Act By Carolin Hecht; Katja Hanewald
  12. Rise of the service sector and female market work: Europe vs US By Michelle Rendall
  13. Teaching, organization, and personal problems: Evidence from reforming tertiary education in Germany By Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
  14. Modeling and explaining the dynamics of European Union allowance prices at high-frequency By Conrad, Christian; Rittler, Daniel; Rotfuß, Waldemar
  15. Job Creation in Spain: Productivity Growth, Labour Market Reforms or both By J. Andrés; J.E. Boscá; R. Doménech; J. Ferri

  1. By: Geishecker, Ingo; Görg, Holger; Munch, Jakob Roland
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Tarjei Kristiansen; Juan Rosellón
    Abstract: We apply a merchant transmission model to the trilateral market coupling (TLC) arrangement among the Netherlands, Belgium and France as a generic example, and note that it can be applied to any general market splitting or coupling of Europe's different national power markets. In this merchant framework; the system operator allocates financial transmission rights (FTRs) to investors in transmission expansion based upon their preferences, and revenue adequacy. The independent system operator (ISO) preserves some proxy FTRs to deal with potential negative externalities due to an expansion project. This scheme proves to be capable in providing incentives for investment in transmission expansion projects within TLC areas.
    Keywords: transmission expansion, trilateral market coupling, Europe, financial transmission rights, congestion management
    JEL: L51 L91 L94 Q40
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Hansen, Thorsten
    Date: 2010–02–10
  4. By: Dalen, H.P. van (Tilburg University); Henkens, C.J.I.M. (Tilburg University); Henderikse, W.; Schippers, J.
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Vega-Jurado, Jaider; Manjarrés-Henríquez, Liney; Gutiérrez-Gracia, Antonio; Fernández-de-Lucio, Ignacio
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of interaction with universities on firms? innovation output, measured as the degree of novelty of product innovation. The analysis is based on a sample of 3,257 manufacturing firms, active in innovation, and located in Spain. We distinguish between two types of interaction mechanisms: cooperation in innovation activities and outsourcing of research and development (R&D) services. Using data from two waves of the Spanish innovation survey (2004 and 2007), we examine the effect of interaction in 2004 on subsequent product innovation in 2005-2007. The results show that neither cooperation with universities nor outsourcing of R&D services to these agents has a significant effect on product innovation. In other words, for Spanish manufacturing firms the acquisition of knowledge from universities does not represent an important strategy to introduce new products into the market. In contrast, cooperation with customers and acquisition of external R&D from other firms seem to be important for innovation, especially for firms pursuing more radical innovation.
    JEL: O31 O32 L60
    Date: 2010–07–06
  6. By: Bruce Mizrach (Rutgers University); Yoichi Otsubo (Rutgers University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the market microstructure of the European Climate Exchange, the largest EU ETS trading venue. The ECX captures 2/3 of the screen traded market in EUA and more than 90% in CER. Trading volumes are active, with EUA volume doubling in 2009. Spreads range from €0.02 to €0.06 for EUA futures and from €0.07 to €0.18 for CER. Market impact estimates imply that an average trade will move the EUA market by €0.0108 and the CER market €0.0429. Both Granger-Gonzalo and Hasbrouck information shares imply that approximately 90% of price discovery is taking place in the ECX futures market. We find imbalances in the order book help predict returns for up to three days. A simple trading strategy that enters the market long or short when the order imbalance is strong is profitable even after accounting for spreads and market impact.
    Keywords: carbon trading, market microstructure, bid-ask spread, market impact, information shares
    JEL: G13 G32 E44
    Date: 2010–07–03
  7. By: Coneus, Katja; Schleife, Katrin
    Abstract: In this analysis, we compare the determinants of the first-level and the second-level digital divide for private internet use in Germany. Our work offers three important innovations. First, we use the exact weekly duration of internet use to explain inequalities in internet intensity, explicitly controlling for non-users. Secondly, we use the frequencies of five different internet applications to further investigate the determinants of the second-level digital divide. Thirdly, we estimate selection models to control for unobserved characteristics of all individuals. Comparing the determinants of the first- and second-level digital divide shows that socio-economic characteristics (age, education, migration) explain inequalities of the first- but not of the second-level digital divide. By contrast, preferences and attitudes regarding new technologies as well as peer effects turn out to be important for both. --
    Keywords: digital divide,internet use,peer effects,inequality
    JEL: I1 I12 J13
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Bryson, Alex (National Institute of Economic and Social Research); Teixeira, Paulino (University of Coimbra); Pahnke, André (IAB, Nürnberg); Bellmann, Lutz (IAB, Nürnberg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates trends in collective bargaining and worker representation in Germany from 2000 to 2008. It seeks to update and widen earlier analyses pointing to a decline in collective bargaining, while providing more information on the dual system as a whole. Using data from the IAB Employment Panel and the German Employment Register, we report evidence of a systematic and continuing erosion of the dual system. Not unnaturally the decline is led by developments in western Germany. Arguably, the path of erosion will continue until rough and ready convergence is reached with eastern Germany. Expressed differently, if the process of decentralization underpinning these developments once was ‘regulated’ it no longer appears to be so.
    Keywords: erosion of the dual system, collective bargaining/works council coverage, eastern and western Germany, institutional transitions, permanent stayers, newly-founded firms, closing/failing firms
    JEL: J50 J53
    Date: 2010–06
  9. By: Götz Zeddies
    Abstract: During the last decades, international trade flows especially of the industrialized countries allegedly became more and more intra-industry. At the same time, employment perspectives particularly of the low-skilled by tendency deteriorated in these countries. This phenomenon is often traced back to the fact that intra-industry trade, which should theoretically involve low labor market adjustment, became increasingly vertical in nature and might thus entail labor market disruptions. Against this background, the present paper investigates the relationship between international trade patterns and selected labor market indicators in European countries, with a focus on vertical intra-industry trade. As the results show, neither inter- nor vertical intra-industry trade do have a verifiable effect on wage spread in EU member states. As far as structural unemployment is concerned, the latter increases only with the degree of countries’ specialization on capi-tal intensively manufactured products in inter-industry trade relations. Only for unemployment of the less-skilled, a slightly significant impact of superior vertical intra-industry trade seems to exist. However, the link between unemployment of the lower qualified and inter-industry specialization on labor intensive goods as well as parts and components imports is considerably higher.
    Keywords: intra-industry trade, trade and labor market interactions, unemployment
    JEL: F12 F16 J64
    Date: 2010–06
  10. By: Isabel Soares (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal); Paula Sarmento (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss the European regulation policy regarding vertical separation in communications and electricity industries. In the electricity sector the discussion concerns ownership unbundling while in communications the regulatory debate is about functional separation. We conclude that for electricity, ownership unbundling seems to be the best option to achieve competition in wholesale markets although there is still some risks concerning investment. Instead, for the communication sector the regulatory options are deeply dependent on the intensity of network competition between operators that combine different technological platforms. Technology also seems to be a key driver for diverse regulatory approaches concerning the unbundling requirement.
    Keywords: unbundling, communications, electricity, next generation networks
    Date: 2010–07
  11. By: Carolin Hecht; Katja Hanewald
    Abstract: We exploit the natural experiment of the 2005 income tax reform in Germany to study the effects of tax incentives on consumer behavior in life insurance markets. Our empirical analysis of sociodemographic, economic, and psychological household characteristics elicited in the German SAVE study shows that two very different consumer groups buy (endowment) life insurance before and after the tax reform. We find that education plays a central role in reactions to the modified tax environment. Our stylized characterization of “arbitrageur” and “straggler” buyers will assist both life insurance firms and regulatory authorities design effective policies.
    Keywords: life insurance demand, tax incentives, financial literacy
    JEL: D12 D14 D91 G22 K34
    Date: 2010–07
  12. By: Michelle Rendall
    Abstract: Continental Europe has seen a smaller rise in formal female employment compared with the United States or the Nordic countries. Additionally, Continental Europe has a substantially smaller service sector. These facts coincide with job requirements shifting from physical strength to intellectual capacity. Given empirical evidence, this paper develops a model of endogenous technical change, where new 'technologies' can be invented to increase the productivity of brain-inputs. Two inputs, brain and brawn, are combined through CES production functions into services and industrial goods, with the production sector for goods requiring more brawn than brain. Households allocate time to working at home or the labor market, choose consumption of services and goods, and invest in new technologies. The key is households can produce a substitute for market services and women have, on average, less brawn than men, giving them a comparative advantage with respect to staying home and working in the service sector. Therefore, an economy that does not facilitate the movement of women into the labor market, by imposing high taxes, causes service production to remain at home. This reduces technological innovation, pushing an economy into a self-reinforcing loop, where a small service sector feeds back into low total hours worked by women (and men), further depressing the service sector.
    Keywords: Technological progress, sectoral labor allocation, cross-country differences, gender wage gap, labor demand/supply.
    JEL: E21 E24 J20
    Date: 2010–07
  13. By: Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
    Abstract: Germany has recently made extensive reforms in its tertiary education system. Traditional degrees are being replaced by Bachelor and Master programs. This study examines the question of how the choice of a new Bachelor program as opposed to a traditional degree program has affected first-year students' satisfaction. Three dimensions of student satisfaction are focused upon: Student satisfaction with teaching, student satisfaction with the organization of the study programs, as well as an indicator for students' personal problems within the academic context. The selection into the type of program is taken into account as I control for individual performance at secondary school, motivation and family background and try different robustness checks. The main specification includes fixed effects on the level of institutions and subjects. Results robustly point to minor differences between the programs. The outcomes are slightly more favorable for students in the new programs compared to the traditional programs in recent years. --
    Keywords: Bologna,reforms,evaluation,fixed effects,student satisfaction
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Conrad, Christian; Rittler, Daniel; Rotfuß, Waldemar
    Abstract: In this paper we model the adjustment process of European Union Allowance (EUA) prices to the releases of announcements at high-frequency controlling for intraday periodicity, volatility clustering and volatility persistence. We find that the high-frequency EUA price dynamics are very well captured by a fractionally integrated asymmetric power GARCH process. The decisions of the European Commission on second National Allocation Plans have a strong and immediate impact on EUA prices. On the other hand, our results suggest that EUA prices are only weakly connected to indicators about the future economic development as well as the current economic activity. --
    Keywords: EU ETS,EUA,Announcement Effects,Price Formation,Long Memory
    JEL: C22 G13 G14 Q50
    Date: 2010
  15. By: J. Andrés; J.E. Boscá; R. Doménech; J. Ferri
    Abstract: The benefits implied by changing the growth model are at the heart of the heated political and economic debate in Spain. Increases in productivity and the reallocation of employment towards more innovative sectors are defended as the panacea for most of the ills afflicting the Spanish economy. In this paper we use a DSGE model with price rigidities, and labour market search frictions a la Mortensen- Pissarides, to assess the effects of the change in the growth model on unemployment. In so doing, we assume that the vigorous demand shock which has been mostly responsible for recent economic growth in Spain will be successfully substituted by a productivity shock as the main driver of Spain‘s economic growth in the future. So we assume that we actually succeed in the so called "change in the growth model". We show that whatever the benefits that this change might bring to the Spanish economy, the time span needed to bring the unemployment rate down to the European average actually increases. We then analyze the impact of several reforms in the labour market and evaluate their interaction with the new growth model. We conclude that changes in the economic structure do not make labour reforms any less necessary, but rather the opposite if we want to shorten employment recovery significantly.
    Keywords: productivity, labour market, general equilibrium.
    JEL: E24 E27 E65
    Date: 2010–05

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