nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2010‒10‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Aggregate Employment Dynamics and (Partial) Labour Market Reforms By Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez; Giuseppe Russo
  2. How important is security in the choice of employment? Evidence from European countries By Frédéric Salladaré; Boubaker Hlaimi; François-Charles Wolff
  3. Explaining European Emission Allowance Price Dynamics: Evidence from Phase II By Wilfried Rickels; Dennis Görlich; Gerrit Oberst
  4. The Contribution of Social Transfers to the Reduction of Poverty By Longford, Nicholas T.; Nicodemo, Catia
  5. Germany’s PSB going online – is there an economic justification for Public Service Media online? By Nadine Lindstädt
  6. Does Education Really Matter for Environmental Quality? By Somlanaré Romuald KINDA
  7. Unemployment Insurance and Job Turnover in Spain By Yolanda Rebollo Sanz
  8. (Re)centralizing tendencies within Health Care Services: Implementation of a new idea? By Minas, Renate
  9. The potential effects for families of introducing the French fiscal system in Germany By Honekamp, Ivonne; Schwarze, Johannes
  10. Analysing future solid waste generation - Soft linking a model of waste management with a CGE-model for Sweden By Östblom, Göran; Ljunggren Söderman, Maria; Sjöström, Magnus
  11. Physician Incentive Management in University Hospitals: Including Efficient Behavior Through the Allocation of Research Facilities By Glorie, K.; Oostrum, J.M. van; Dur, R.A.J.; Kazemier, G.; Wagelmans, A.P.M.

  1. By: Rebeca Jiménez-Rodríguez (University of Salamanca); Giuseppe Russo (University “Ca’ Foscari” of Venice, CSEF and CEPR)
    Abstract: European labour markets have undergone several important innovations over the last three decades. Most countries have reformed their labour markets since the mid-1990s, with the liberalization of fixed-term contracts and temporary work agencies being the common elements to such reforms. This paper investigates the existence of a change in the dynamic behaviour of the aggregate employment for major European Union countries - France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. According to our results, partial labour market reforms have made the response of the aggregate employment to output shocks larger and quite comparable to that found for the UK - the most flexible labour market in Europe since the Thatcher reforms.
    Keywords: labour market deregulation; dynamic responses
    JEL: C22 J23
    Date: 2010–10–11
  2. By: Frédéric Salladaré (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272, CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes I - Université de Caen); Boubaker Hlaimi (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - CNRS : UMR6123 - Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II); François-Charles Wolff (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272, INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques Paris - INED)
    Abstract: Is job security important for workers when choosing a job? Using comparative data among 18 European countries, this paper investigates the influence of job security in the choice of employment. Our empirical analysis evidences significant cross-country differences in the importance attributed to job security, which is influenced by both individual and employment characteristics. When comparing the perceived job security and its importance in the choice of employment, we find that temporary workers are less sensitive to job security when choosing their job.
    Keywords: Perceived job security; European labour markets
    Date: 2010–10–14
  3. By: Wilfried Rickels; Dennis Görlich; Gerrit Oberst
    Abstract: In 2005, the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) established a new commodity: the right to emit a ton of CO2 (EUA). Since its launch, the corresponding price has shown rather turbulent dynamics, including nervous reactions to policy announcements and a price collapse after a visible over-allocation in Phase I. As a consequence, the question whether fundamental factors (fossil fuel prices, economic activity, weather) affect the EUA price remained partially unresolved. Today, being halfway through Phase II (2008–2012) and relying on a more mature market, we use more reliable data to investigate the extent to which allowance price dynamics can be explained by market fundamentals. We empirically test for the influence of fuel prices, economic activity, and weather variations. Fuel prices allow to test for fuel switching from coal to gas, the most important short-term abatement option for most installations in the EU-ETS. The empirical results show a significant influence of gas, coal, and oil prices, of economic activity and of some weather variations. When including the relative price of coal to gas on a forward level, we found evidence of a switching effect. Yet, on a spot level the demand effect seems to dominate. However, when including the absolute coal price the coefficient is positive, contradicting theory with respect to both the switching and the demand effect. The significant weather variations suggest that their influence on EUA prices is less driven by their effect on energy demand but more by their effect on the provision of carbon-free renewable energy. Overall, our results show that the price dynamics are much better explained by a model based on fundamentals than by a purely autoregressive model. However, the results also show that fundamentals alone cannot fully explain price dynamics and that forecasting is improved by the inclusion of time series characteristics
    Keywords: Carbon emission trading, EU ETS, Carbon price influence factors, Fuel switching
    JEL: C22 G14 Q54
    Date: 2010–09
  4. By: Longford, Nicholas T. (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Nicodemo, Catia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We interpret social transfers broadly as a set of measures to reduce or relieve poverty, and study how well this purpose is served in the countries that participated in the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions in 2007. Motivated by the findings, we characterise a social transfer system in a country by its potential and effectiveness, and compare the countries for a range of definitions of the poverty threshold. The methods are also applied to two subpopulations of household types.
    Keywords: effectiveness of social transfers, equivalized household income, EU-SILC database, potential of social transfers, poverty gap
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2010–09
  5. By: Nadine Lindstädt (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Public Service Media (PSM) online is a highly up to date topic. There is no clear consensus among researchers if Public Service Media should have a le-gitimization online and if so to which extent. Some authors still demand for an extensive role of public service provision in the digital era whereas others either argue against PSM on the internet at all or assign them a restrictive and complementing function at the most. The question has furthermore concerned the European Commission as well as several Member States for many years now. Public service broadcasters have been accused of distorting competition online – an area that up to then seemed to have worked being left to the market. Though the extension of public service providers towards the internet is legitimized by the European Commission it seems appropriate to analyze if there is a true economic justification for having Public Service Media online and if so to which extent. This article contributes to enter into that question against the background that the traditional public service broadcasting system (i.e. television and radio) is taken as given and unchangeable for the analysis. The paper thereby waives to repeat the fundamental discussion of pros and cons of public service provision and, instead, concentrates specifically on elaborating possible cross-media effects.
    Keywords: media economics, two-sided markets, competition, public service broadcasting, public service media
    JEL: L82 A20 L13 M21
    Date: 2010–09
  6. By: Somlanaré Romuald KINDA (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of education on the growth of carbon dioxide emissions per capita over the period 1970-2004 in 85 countries. Using panel data and applying GMM-System estimations, our results suggest that education has no impact on the growth of air pollution for the whole sample. Nonetheless, this effect is sensitive to the sampling of countries according to their level of development. Indeed, while the effect remains insignificant in the developing countries sub-sample, education does matter for air pollution growth in the developed countries. More interestingly, when controlling for the quality of political institutions, the positive effect of education on air pollution growth is mitigated in the developed countries while being insignificant in the developing countries.
    Keywords: Carbon dioxide per Capita; Education; Democratic institutions (043)
    JEL: I2 Q53
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Yolanda Rebollo Sanz (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the potential relationships between the unemployment insurance system and the labour market turnover trying to move further the traditional view that this system has only behavioral consequences from the labour supply side of the labour market. This study assumes heterogeneity in the impact of the incentives embedded in the unemployment insurance system, depending on the type of labour market transition (quits versus layoffs and recalls versus new job entrances) and the worker’s attachment to the labour market (gender and type of contract). The results show that unemployment benefits appear to favour job turnover and firms and workers´s decisions seem to matter on job turnover. The layoff hazard rate increases as workers qualify for unemployment benefits while the quit hazard rate remains stable. Similarly, employment inflow increases sharply after exhaustion of unemployment benefits. The timing and importance of the exit differs between recalls and new job entry and it depends on the worker’s attachment to the labour market. These differences also call into evidence that firm´s and worker´s decisions matter in the duration of unemployment.
    Keywords: Unemployment Insurance, Job Turnover, Multivariate Mix Proportional Hazard Models, Recall and Layoffs, Employment and Unemployment Duration
    JEL: J63 J64 J65
    Date: 2010–10
  8. By: Minas, Renate (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: <p> Decentralization has been for many years a widespread trend in health care sectors throughout Europe. Yet, more recently, a new host of reforms is observable implying an ambition of some states to regain lost control. What is the general trend of (re)centralisation about and what happens when reforms promoting (re)centralisation are translated in different national contexts; e.g. in what way contextual factors modify a general trend? The establishment of regional health authorities in Norway and regional hospital agencies in France will be used as examples to analyze the spreading and transformation of (re)centralisation. <p>
    Keywords: Health Care; Decentralization; (Re)centralization; National contexts; Contextual factors; Norway; France
    JEL: I11 I18
    Date: 2010–10–15
  9. By: Honekamp, Ivonne; Schwarze, Johannes
    Abstract: In Germany 1,41 children are born per women which results in a much lower birth-rate than in France. Time and again it has been discussed if a family orientated tax- and transfer system can influence birth rates. In Germany, France is often designated as a role model. Based on a model calculation this contribution shows how disposable income of German families would change, if the French tax- and transfer system were introduced. It will be distinguished among different family and employment compositions. One of the results is that families with only one child would be financially worth of under the French system while families with more children would benefit.
    Keywords: Families; Fiscal system; Disposable income; Germany; France
    JEL: J13 D31 H24 M52
    Date: 2010–10–10
  10. By: Östblom, Göran (National Institute of Economic Research); Ljunggren Söderman, Maria (Swedish Environmental Research Institute); Sjöström, Magnus (National Institute of Economic Research)
    Abstract: <p>Parallel to the efforts of the EU to achieve a significant and overall reduction of waste quantities within the EU, the Swedish parliament enacted an environmental quality objective stating that ‘the total quantity of waste must not increase …’ i.e. an eventual absolute decoupling of waste generation from GDP. The decoupling issue is ad-dressed, in the present paper, by assessing future waste quantities, for a number of economic scenarios of the Swedish economy to 2030 with alternative assumptions about key factors affecting waste generation and waste management costs. We use an integrated top-down/bottom-up approach by linking a CGE-model of the Swedish economy with a systems engineering model of the Swedish waste management system. In this way, we can in more detail consider the interaction between waste generation and waste management costs (waste disposal prices) when assessing future waste quantities. <p>A relative decoupling of waste generation takes place in all scenarios, i.e. total waste quantities increase at a lower rate than GDP. Absolute decoupling, which re-quire total waste quantities to stabilize or to reduce, does not take place in any of the scenarios. This means that the present Swedish Environmental quality objective of stabilizing waste quantities is not met in any of the scenarios with total waste genera-tion levels of 110 per cent up to nearly 200 per cent of that in 2006. <p>The overall impression from our analysis is that costs are high for reducing waste generation irrespective of the type of waste reduced. In other words, the waste treat-ment costs are low compared to the costs for reducing waste. This situation also means that the use of policy instruments, which induce substitution by increasing the price of waste disposal services, will have very small reducing effects on the generation of all types of waste unless the price increase brings about an introduction of waste preventing techniques and affect households in the direction of a less waste intensive behaviour. For example, the policy instruments used must affect the pattern of household consumption pattern more directly, as a differentiation of the value added tax, rather than to be directed towards the waste management sector. Economic policy instruments introduced in the waste management sector are more likely to affect the choice of waste management solutions than prevent waste generation. <p>Linking a macroeconomic and a systems engineering model for waste manage-ment, gives us a tool useful also for capturing the macroeconomic effects, such as GDP growth and structural changes, when designing policy instruments intended to prevent waste generation or take waste management in a more sustainable direction.
    Keywords: general equilibrium model; systems engineering; solid waste; waste management; waste generation; decoupling; EMEC; NatWaste; top-down/bottom-up; waste policy instruments
    JEL: C68 D20 H23 R48
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Glorie, K.; Oostrum, J.M. van; Dur, R.A.J.; Kazemier, G.; Wagelmans, A.P.M.
    Abstract: The imperative to improve healthcare efficiency is now stronger than ever. Rapidly increasing healthcare demand and the prospect of healthcare cost exploding require that measures be taken to make healthcare organizations become more efficiency-aware. Alignment of organizational interests is therefore important. One of the main hurdles to overcome is the provision of the right incentives to healthcare workers, in particular physicians. In this research we investigate the incentive system for physicians in university hospitals. We present an inquiry held in a large university hospital in the Netherlands and show that non-financial incentives receive significantly more support among physicians than financial incentives. Over 95 percent of the physicians indicated they derive more work stimulus from research possibilities or scientific status than from wage. Over 80 percent of the physicians also indicated they prefer to be able to do more research. We therefore identified a broad class of non-financial incentives aimed at physicians in university hospitals: research facilities. The main tradeoff in using research facilities within an incentive system is between efficient resource utilization and inducement effects. This thesis constructs a principal-multi-agent model where agents engage in both care and research and which includes heterogeneity and private information. We study how research facilities incentives can be used to improve hospital performance if the current wage system is left intact. We show that research facilities are optimally used as incentives for both care and research activities, and that the hospital offers different contracts depending on physician ability and valuation. Moreover, if physicians need to reveal their valuations for research facilities, the hospital finds it optimal to allow physicians to make a rent. We discuss some implications of extending the theoretical results to practice.
    Keywords: health care management;incentive contracts;mechanism design;principal agent problem
    Date: 2010–10–12

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