nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2010‒11‒06
nineteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Labour market status, transitions and gender: a European perspective By Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière; Christine Erhel
  2. Explaining immigrant citizenship status. First and second generation immigrants in fifteen European states By Dronkers, Jaap; Vink, maarten
  3. Will you “quasi-marry” me? The rise of cohabitation and decline of marriages By Effrosyni Adamopoulou
  4. Grandparents and women's participation in the labor market By Paula Albuquerque; José Passos
  5. High-School Dropouts and Transitory Labor Market Shocks: The Case of the Spanish Housing Boom By Ainhoa Aparicio
  6. Manufacturing Employment and Exchange Rates in the Portuguese Economy: The Role of Openness, Technology and Labour Market Rigidity By Alexandre, Fernando; Bação, Pedro; Cerejeira, João; Portela, Miguel
  7. Determinants of Employer-Provided Further Training: A Multi-Level Approach By Bellmann, Lutz; Hohendanner, Christian; Hujer, Reinhard
  8. Immigrant Heterogeneity and the Earnings Distribution in the United Kingdom and United States: New Evidence from a Panel Data Quantile Regression Analysis By Billger, Sherrilyn M.; Lamarche, Carlos
  9. Emerging models of public-private interplay for European broadband access: Evidence from the Netherlands and Italy By Alberto Nucciarelli; Bert M. Sadowski; Paola O. Achard
  10. Differentiated financing of schools in French-speaking Belgium: prospectives for regulating a school quasi-market By Marc Demeuse; Antoine Derobertmasure; Nathanaël Friant
  11. In Digital We Trust: The computerisation of retail finance in Western Europe and North America By Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; Maixe-Altes, J. Carles; Thomes, Paul
  12. Can European Economics Compete with U.S. Economics? And Should It? By David Colander
  13. What makes full-time employed women satisfied with their working hours? By Marit Rønsen and Ragni Hege Kitterød
  14. Distribution Dynamics of Food Price Inflation Rates in EU: An Alternative Conditional Density Estimator Approach By Angelos Liontakis; Christos T. Papadas
  15. Differences by Degree: Evidence of the Net Financial Rates of Return to Undergraduate Study for England and Wales By Walker, Ian; Zhu, Yu
  16. Have Government Spending and Energy Tax Policies Contributed to make Europe Environmentally Cleaner? By Lopez, Ramon E.; Palacios, Amparo
  17. From Business model to Business model portfolio in the european biopharmaceutical industry By Valérie Sabatier; Vincent Mangematin; Tristan Rouselle
  18. German Male Income Volatility 1984 to 2008: Trends in Permanent and Transitory Income Components and the Role of the Welfare State By Charlotte Bartels; Timm Bönke
  19. Which Portuguese Manufacturing Firms Learn by Exporting? By Armando Silva; Óscar Afonso; Ana Paula Africano

  1. By: Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique); Christine Erhel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article analyses the determinants of labour market statuses (choice between part time employment, full time employment, and non employment) and yearly transitions between non employment and employment in Europe, using cross sectional 2006 EU-SILC database. The results show a strong positive effect of initial education level on full time employment integration and on the probability to find a job when initially in non employment. Gender and family variables also exert a strong influence on labour market statuses and mobility: being a woman, and even more a mother of a young child, increases the probability to be in non employment, or in part time employment, and also to experience a bad transition. In terms of policies, the article shows that the use of childcare has a positive impact on parents'employment and transitions. Finally, the heterogeneity inside the EU appears high, with significant country effects on both statuses and flows.
    Keywords: labour market status; labour market flows; European comparison; childcare
    Date: 2010–05–10
  2. By: Dronkers, Jaap; Vink, maarten
    Abstract: Citizenship acquisition is often seen as a crucial step in the process of integrating immigrants in host societies. This paper analyzes the question why some immigrants are more likely to have acquired destination country citizenship across European states than others and tests legal-formal, socioeconomic, cultural and micro-level explanations. We use a pooled dataset of first and second generation immigrants resident in 15 European states and apply a logistic multilevel analysis to measure country of origin effects, destination country effects, as well as the effects of individual level characteristics. Our analysis shows that second generation and first generation immigrants who arrived more than 20 years ago, immigrants with one parent born in the destination country, retired workers and persons speaking the host country language at home, are more likely to become a citizen of their country of residence. Second generation Muslim immigrants are less likely to have host country citizenship than comparable non-Muslim immigrants of the second generation. Immigrants from former colonies or from poor or political instable countries are more likely to become a citizen of their country of residence. Immigrants are also more likely to have acquired citizenship in destination countries with a low net migration rate and with citizenship laws that make citizenship accessible in comparative perspective.
    Keywords: immigration; citizenship; european union; destination; origin
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2010–10–25
  3. By: Effrosyni Adamopoulou
    Abstract: In Western Europe and the US, the last couple of decades have witnessed a large increase in the new forms of marriages, usually called quasi-marriages, like cohabitation. Today in many European countries more than 15% of all couples are cohabiting. Furthermore, cohabiting couples differ from married ones. They tend to share household tasks and market works more equally than married couples. The aim of this paper is to account for the rise in cohabitation as well as the cross-sectional differences between cohabiting and married couples. To this end, we build a two-period model of marriage and cohabitation with home production. Using this framework, we analyze, both theoretically and empirically, the effects of the narrowing of the gender wage gap and the improvement in household production technology on the agents’ marital decisions.
    Keywords: Marriage, Cohabitation, Marital institutions, Household production technology, Gender wage gap
    JEL: D10 J12 J16
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Paula Albuquerque; José Passos
    Abstract: The conciliation of work and family life is a challenge to most women. In some countries, although not in southern Europe, women make significant use of part-time schedules as a way of balancing work and family life. Informal care, typically care by grandparents, is an alternative. It is cheap, trustworthy, and possibly compatible with non-standard labor schedules. In this paper we investigate how childcare by grandparents affects the probability of working of mothers in southern European countries. We empirically evaluate the verification and the significance of such an effect, accounting for a potentially endogenous grandparent-caring status.
    Keywords: labor market, women, childcare, grandparents, ageing.
    Date: 2010–10
  5. By: Ainhoa Aparicio
    Abstract: This paper addresses the implications of transitory changes in labor market conditions for low versus high educated workers on the decision to acquire education. To identify this effect, I use the improvement in the labor market prospects of low educated workers motivated by the increases in employment and wages in the construction sector during the recent housing boom. The estimation strategy is based on the fact that changes in the labor market driven by the construction sector affect only men. Increases in construction activity are found to increase men's propensity to drop out of high-school, relative to women. According to this finding, policies promoting education should strengthen when in the presence of transitory shocks in the labor market that make dropping out more attractive.
    Keywords: High-school dropout; housing boom; Spain
    JEL: J24 J22 I20 L74
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Alexandre, Fernando (University of Minho); Bação, Pedro (University of Coimbra); Cerejeira, João (University of Minho); Portela, Miguel (University of Minho)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore empirically the role of openness, technology and labour market rigidity in the determination of the effect of the exchange rate on employment in Portugal. We develop an index that allows us to measure labour market flexibility at the sector level. This index shows that labour market flexibility has been increasing in all manufacturing sectors and that the labour market in high technology sectors is more flexible than in low technology sectors. We use this index in the estimation of an employment regression, focusing on the effect of exchange rate movements. Our estimates indicate that employment in low-technology sectors, with a high degree of trade openness and facing less rigidity in the labour market are more sensitive to movements in exchange rates.
    Keywords: exchange rates, international trade, job flows, labour market rigidity, technology
    JEL: J23 F16 F41
    Date: 2010–10
  7. By: Bellmann, Lutz (IAB, Nürnberg); Hohendanner, Christian (IAB, Nürnberg); Hujer, Reinhard (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: We analyse the influence of regional determinants on the decision of employers to provide within-firm further training. We estimate the effects of the regional population density, the unemployment rate and the regional concentration of an industry against the background of several determinants of further training at the establishment level. To account for the clustered and longitudinal structure of our data – with annual observations of firms and firms nested within regions – we apply multi-level random effects logit models. Our empirical analysis is based on the IAB-Establishment Panel 2001 to 2007.
    Keywords: multi-level panel analysis, human capital, further training, regional labour markets
    JEL: J24 I21 C33 R12
    Date: 2010–10
  8. By: Billger, Sherrilyn M. (Illinois State University); Lamarche, Carlos (University of Oklahoma)
    Abstract: In this paper we use a relatively new panel data quantile regression technique to examine native-immigrant earnings differentials 1) throughout the conditional wage distribution, and 2) controlling for individual heterogeneity. No previous papers have simultaneously considered these factors. We focus on both women and men, using longitudinal data from the PSID and the BHPS. We show that country of origin, country of residence, and gender are all important determinants of the earnings differential. For instance, a large wage penalty occurs in the U.S. among female immigrants from non-English speaking countries, and the penalty is most negative among the lowest (conditional) wages. On the other hand, women in Britain experience hardly any immigrant-native wage differential. We find evidence suggesting that immigrant men in the U.S. and the U.K. earn lower wages, but the most significant results are found for British workers emigrating from non-English speaking countries. The various differentials we report in this paper reveal the value of combining quantile regression with controls for individual heterogeneity in better understanding immigrant wage effects.
    Keywords: immigrants, earnings, quantile regression, panel data
    JEL: J31 J61 C21 C23
    Date: 2010–10
  9. By: Alberto Nucciarelli; Bert M. Sadowski; Paola O. Achard
    Abstract: The paper examines the role and function of public-private interplay in the development of municipal initiatives in the broadband sector. The analysis of initiatives in the Netherlands and Italy shows how the interaction between public and private stakeholders can facilitate local broadband initiatives. This interaction has been vital in aligning the interests of different private and (semi-)public parties, in designing the network and in aggregating sufficient demand for broadband services. The comparative analysis examines the steps involved in these initiatives and the strengths and weaknesses of joint public-private activities. The paper shows that the challenge for cooperating stakeholders has been to foster further investment in the upgrading of the network and in the provision of advanced broadband services.
    Keywords: municipal broadband networks, public-private interplay, The Netherlands, Italy.
    Date: 2010–05
  10. By: Marc Demeuse (INAS - Institut d'Administration scolaire - Université de Mons); Antoine Derobertmasure (INAS - Institut d'Administration scolaire - Université de Mons); Nathanaël Friant (INAS - Institut d'Administration scolaire - Université de Mons)
    Abstract: The school quasi-market in French-speaking Belgium is characterised by segregation of various types. Efforts to apply measures that encourage greater social mixing have met with stiff resistance and various difficulties. In 2008 and 2009, a significant amount of turbulence was caused by the application of the "social mixing" law influencing the registration procedures for students in secondary education. The purpose of this article is to present some results from a prospective research project that investigated the possibility of modifying the formula for financing schools, the foundation of the quasi-market mechanism. To do this, a generalised formula for allocating funds to schools according to need is proposed on the basis of legislation currently in force in the French Community of Belgium. Then, the solution tested is presented with a financing formula that takes into account indicators of the social composition of the school population. Various scenarios of differentiated financing of schools according to these indicators are presented, through simulations using real data on the effects of these scenarios in terms of gains and losses first for all schools, and then for different contrasting schools thereafter. Finally, the implications of these scenarios are discussed and put into perspective with respect to the different solutions considered since 2005 in French-speaking Belgium.
    Keywords: Prospective; social mixing; regulation; education
    Date: 2010–05–01
  11. By: Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo; Maixe-Altes, J. Carles; Thomes, Paul
    Abstract: This paper tells of the contents of a forthcoming volume, which offers a new and original approach to the study of technological change in retail finance. Most business history studies of businesses for the last 50 years note the emergence of computers and computer applications, but they do not analyze their role in shaping business practices and organizations. In this book we look directly at the processes of mechanisation and computerisation of retail financial services, throughout the 20th Century while articulating an international comparison. We bring together young, well established and independent historians, who come from different traditions (that is, economic, business, accounting, geography and political histories as well as historians of technology). Contributors look at stand alone and comparative case studies from different parts of the world (namely Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Mexico and the USA). The outcome is a rich survey of the broad literature examining different aspects of the technological and business histories of retail financial markets from a variety of perspectives.
    Keywords: Retail finance; automation; Western Europe (Germany; UK; Spain; Netherlands; Sweden); North America (USA; Mexico)
    JEL: N8 N2 L63
    Date: 2010–10
  12. By: David Colander
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Marit Rønsen and Ragni Hege Kitterød (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: In spite of extended parental leaves, tremendous improvement in day-care availability, and a cultural climate that is supportive of women's full-time work, Norwegian women still have one of the highest female part-time rates in Europe. Longer working hours among women would clearly alleviate the lack of labour in many sectors of the economy, but this reserve may be difficult to mobilise as previous research have shown that large proportions of female full-time workers are discontent with their working hours. In this article we examine whether this is true even today, and identify factors that may facilitate or impede working-hours satisfaction among female full-timers based on recent data from the Norwegian Labour Force Surveys. Contrary to past research, we find that most women are satisfied with their full-time hours. Still, young children in the household are a strong deterrent of full-time contentment, as is long working hours for the spouse, if women are married. Full-time contentment also varies with occupation, but the main job-deterrent seems to be non-standard working hours such as shift and rota.
    Keywords: Female labour supply; working-hours preferences; working-hours contentment; full-time work
    JEL: J22 J24 J28
    Date: 2010–10
  14. By: Angelos Liontakis (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens); Christos T. Papadas (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: Concepts and developments in the literature of economic growth and convergence have recently been adopted and used in the study of inflation rate convergence. This paper examines initially the existence of â-convergence, as mean reversion, of food price inflation rates in the European Union, using the stochastic convergence approach of panel data unit root tests. It examines also the existence of ó-convergence but in order capture sufficiently the evolving distributional dynamics, non-parametric econometric methods are implemented as well. An alternative conditional density estimator, proposed in the literature, is applied for this reason. This estimator is chosen as superior, not only to the restrictive discrete Markov chain approaches but also to the usual estimators of conditional densities using stochastic kernels. Monthly data on the EU harmonized consumer price indices of food and eleven specific food product subgroups are used, for the 15 older EU member states, covering the 1997-2009 period.
    Keywords: Kernel density estimator, convergence, distribution dynamics, food price inflation
    JEL: E31 C14 C33
    Date: 2010
  15. By: Walker, Ian (Lancaster University); Zhu, Yu (University of Kent)
    Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the impact of higher education qualifications on the earnings of graduates in the UK by subject studied. We use data from the recent UK Labour Force Surveys which provide a sufficiently large sample to consider the effects of the subject studied, class of first degree, and postgraduate qualifications. Ordinary Least Squares estimates show high average returns for women that does not differ by subject. For men, we find very large returns for Law, Economics and Management but not for other subjects. Quantile Regression estimates suggest negative returns for some subjects at the bottom of the distribution, or even at the median in Other Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities for men. Degree class has large effects in all subjects suggesting the possibility of large returns to effort. Postgraduate study has large effects, independently of first degree class. A large rise in tuition fees across all subjects has only a modest impact on relative rates of return suggesting that little substitution across subjects would occur. The strong message that comes out of this research is that even a large rise in tuition fees makes little difference to the quality of the investment – those subjects that offer high returns (LEM for men, and all subjects for women) continue to do so. And those subjects that do not (especially OSSAH for men) will continue to offer poor returns. The effect of fee rises is dwarfed by existing cross subject differences in returns.
    Keywords: college premium, rate of return
    JEL: I23 I28
    Date: 2010–10
  16. By: Lopez, Ramon E.; Palacios, Amparo
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Public Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2010–10
  17. By: Valérie Sabatier (GAEL - Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - INRA : UR1215 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II, 3PX Therapeutics - 3PX Therapeutics, MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble Ecole de Management); Vincent Mangematin (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble Ecole de Management); Tristan Rouselle (3PX Therapeutics - 3PX Therapeutics)
    Abstract: At the crossroad of firm's core competencies and of the anticipations of consumers' needs, the business model approach complements corporate and business strategy approaches. Firms combine several business models simultaneously to deliver value to different markets, building a portfolio of business model. For managers, business model and business model portfolio are particularly useful to address customer's needs and organisational capabilities of the firm. They also emphasise how the initial core competency of the firm can be extended or redeployed to increase the rent. Business model portfolio describes the firm's strategy to balance time-to-market, revenue stream, risk and interdependencies. It conceptualises firm diversification within the same industry to generate and capture rents. They finally describe two generic dimensions: core competence extension to enlarge the market and to address additional customers and core competence redeployment to serve similar market with the same core competence.
    Keywords: Biopharmaceutical; portfolio; corporate strategy; business strategy; core competence; coherence; value chain
    Date: 2010
  18. By: Charlotte Bartels; Timm Bönke
    Abstract: Deploying data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) we analyze the variability of individual earnings and equivalent household income. Permanent and transitory variances of male income over the period 1984-2008 are estimated for Old German Laender in order to determine their importance to income dynamics. To uncover the role of the welfare state in smoothening earnings shocks we compute different income concepts reaching from gross earnings to net equivalent household income. We find evidence that the overall inequality of earnings in Germany has been rising throughout the period due to both higher permanent inequality and higher volatility. However, taking the welfare state and its institutions into account, we find that net household income has remained fairly stable.
    Keywords: Earnings inequality, permanent income inequality, transitory income volatility, earnings dynamics, safety net, transfer payments
    JEL: D31 D63 I38 J31
    Date: 2010
  19. By: Armando Silva (Escola Superior de Estudos Industriais e de Gestão do Instituto Politécnico do Porto); Óscar Afonso (Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia); Ana Paula Africano (Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia)
    Abstract: Using a longitudinal database (1996-2003) at the plant level, this paper aims to shed light on the causal nexus between international trade engagement and productivity in Portugal. We analyse in particular the learning-by-exporting hypotheses. In line with recent empirical literature, we apply mainly the Propensity Score Matching and a differences-in-differences estimator. In post-entry years we find a higher growth of labour productivity and total factor productivity for new exporting firms when compared to firms that, although having similar characteristics, have decided not to begin exporting in that year. Moreover, in an attempt to uncover the channels through which the learning effects are driven to new exporters, we applied the same methodology to some sub-samples. We found that learning effects are higher for new exporters that are also importers or start importing at the same time. Other important factors influencing that learning ability are found in firms that export to more developed markets, in those that achieve a certain threshold of export intensity and particularly for those firms that belong to sectors in which Portugal is at a comparative disadvantage
    Keywords: Exports, Imports, Self-Selection, Learning-by-exporting, Matching
    JEL: F14 D24
    Date: 2010–09

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