nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2010‒12‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Spatial integration in European cross-border metropolitan regions: A comparative approach By DECOVILLE Antoine; DURAND Frédéric; SOHN Christophe; WALTHER Olivier
  2. Satisfaction with Social Contacts of Older Europeans By Bonsang Eric; Soest Arthur van
  3. Posting Post Laval International and National Responses By Malmberg, Jonas
  4. Satisfaction with job and income among older individuals across European countries By Bonsang Eric; Soest Arthur van
  5. Do Environmental Benefits Matter? A Choice Experiment Among House Owners in Germany By Achtnicht, Martin
  6. Do the selected Trans European transport investments pass the Cost Benefit test? By Stef PROOST; Fay DUNKERLEY; Saskia VAN DER LOO; Nicole ADLER; Johannes BRÖCKER; Artem KORZHENEVYCH
  7. The determinants of R&D Investment: the role of Cash flow and Capabilities By Francesco Bogliacino; Sebastian Gómez Cardona
  8. Manufacturing employment and exchange rates in the Portuguese economy: the role of openness, technology and labour market rigidity By Fernando Alexandre; Pedro Bação; João Cerejeira; Miguel Portela
  9. Part time employment and happiness: A cross-country analysis By Jenny Willson; Andy Dickerson
  10. The Impact of Economic Instruments on the Auto Industry and the Consequences of Fragmenting Markets: Focus on the EU Case By Luc Bastard
  11. Financing Bologna Students' Mobility By Marcel Gerard
  12. Regional Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Biotech Industry: Exploring the Transition from Award-winning Nascent Entrepreneurs to Real Start-ups By H. Wolf; Claus Michelsen; Michael Schwartz
  13. The Swedish national innovation system and its relevance for the emergence of global innovation networks By Chaminade, Cristina; Zabala, Jon Mikel; Treccani, Adele

  1. By: DECOVILLE Antoine; DURAND Frédéric; SOHN Christophe; WALTHER Olivier
    Keywords: cross-border; metropilitan regions; spatial integration; commuters; gross domestic product; housing market; Europe
    JEL: F15 F16 J01 J21 J61 R58
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Bonsang Eric; Soest Arthur van (ROA rm)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of an important component of well-beingamong individuals aged 50 years or older in eleven European countries: satisfactionwith social contacts. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirementin Europe and anchoring vignettes to correct for potential differences in responsesscales across countries and socio-demographic groups. On average, older Europeansreport being satisfied with their social contacts, but there exist substantial differencesacross countries: respondents from Northern countries tend to be more satisfied thanindividuals from Central or Mediterranean countries. Our analysis shows that correctingfor response scale differentials alters the country ranking for of satisfaction with socialcontacts, while it has much less effect on the estimates of what drives within countrydeterminants.
    Keywords: labour economics ;
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Malmberg, Jonas (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)
    Abstract: There is on ongoing debate on how European labour law should best be described and understood. According to one view national and EU labour law should not be regarded as two separate legal systems. Instead this view stresses the symbiosis of national labour law systems and EC labour law. This view also emphasis a sociological approach to EC labour law: an approach which looks beyond the vertical interaction between Member States and EC institutions. The role of different actors, processes and outcomes at both European and national are equally important for understanding how labour law is shaped. The story of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC), the Laval, Rüffert and Commission vs. Luxemburg-cases and their aftermath lends itself perfectly for such a multi-level governance approach. The aim of this article is to analyse the legal responses on the case law of the EU-Court, both at European level and at national level in the Nordic Countries.
    Keywords: Posting of Workers; Free movement of services; Laval; Collective action; negative integration; multi-level governance; social dumping
    JEL: J80
    Date: 2010–06–30
  4. By: Bonsang Eric; Soest Arthur van (ROA rm)
    Abstract: Using data on individuals of age 50 and older from 11 European countries, we analyzetwo economic aspects of subjective well-being of older Europeans: satisfaction withhousehold income, and job satisfaction. Both have been shown to contribute substantiallyto overall well-being (satisfaction with life or happiness). We use anchoring vignettes tocorrect for potential differences in response scales across countries.The results highlight a large variation in self-reported income satisfaction, which ispartly explained by differences in response scales. When differences in response scalesare eliminated, the cross country differences are quite well in line with differences inan objective measure of purchasing power of household income. There are commonfeatures in the response scale differences in job satisfaction and income satisfaction.French respondents tend to be critical in both assessments, while Danish and Dutchrespondents are always on the optimistic end of the spectrum. Moreover, correcting forresponse scale differences decreases the cross-country association between satisfactionwith income and job satisfaction among workers.
    Keywords: labour economics ;
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Achtnicht, Martin (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))
    Abstract: Residential buildings strongly contribute to global CO2 emissions due to the high energy demand for electricity and heating, particularly in industrialised countries. Within the EU, decentralised heat generation is of particular relevance for future climate policy, as its emissions are not covered by the EU ETS. We conducted a choice experiment concerning energy retrofits for existing houses in Germany. In the experiment, the approximately 400 sampled house owners could either choose a modern heating system or an improved thermal insulation for their home. We used standard and mixed logit specifications to analyse the choice data. We found environmental benefits to have a significant impact on choices of heating systems. However, they played no role in terms of insulation choices. Based on the estimated mixed logit model, we further obtained WTP measures for CO2 savings.
    Keywords: Choice experiment; CO2 emissions; Energy efficiency; Energy saving; Mixed logit; Residential buildings; Willingness to pay.
    JEL: C25 D12 Q40 Q51
    Date: 2010–12
    Abstract: This paper assesses the economic justification for the selection of priority projects defined under the auspices of the Trans-European transport network. In analyzing the current list of 30 priority projects, we apply three different transport models to undertake a cost-benefit comparison. We find that many projects do not pass the cost-benefit test and only a few of the economically justifiable projects would need European subsidies to make them happen. Two remedies are proposed to minimize the inefficiencies in future project selection. The first remedy obliges each member state or group of states to perform a cost-benefit analysis (followed by a peer review) and to make the results public prior to ranking priority projects. The second remedy would require federal funding to be available only for projects with important spillovers to other countries, in order to avoid pork barrel behaviour.
    Keywords: transport infrastructure, cost benefit analysis, Europe Union
    JEL: R42 H11 H54
    Date: 2010–01
  7. By: Francesco Bogliacino (JRC-IPTS); Sebastian Gómez Cardona (Departamento de Economía, Universidad EAFIT)
    Abstract: In this paper we have estimated a behavioural equation for R&D investment. We assess the impact of liquidity constraints and capabilities, measured respectively as internal cash flow and distance from the technological frontier. Our estimation is performed on an industry level panel covering fifteen European countries from 1996 to 2005 and on a sample of European R&D performers extracted from COMPUSTAT covering 2000-2008. Both at industry level and firm level we found that financing constraints exist and that the distance from the frontier negatively affects the decision to engage in R&D. We claim that the implied divergence pattern opens a gap for policy intervention, but that these policies should be correctly tailored and should also promote enablers of technological change.
    Keywords: R&D, liquidity constraints, technological frontier, panel data
    JEL: D24 L50 O33
    Date: 2010–12
  8. By: Fernando Alexandre (University of Minho and NIPE); Pedro Bação (University of Coimbra and GEMF); João Cerejeira (University of Minho and NIPE); Miguel Portela (University of Minho, NIPE and IZA)
    Abstract: Integration into the world economy, specialization in low-technology sectors and labour market rigidity have been singled out as structural features of the Portuguese economy that are crucial for the understanding of its performance. 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 the dynamics of employment in Portugal. Our estimates indicate that employment in low-technology sectors with a high degree of trade openness and facing less rigidity in the labour market is more sensitive to movements in exchange rates. Therefore, our results provide additional evidence on the relevance of those structural features for explaining the evolution of the Portuguese economy in the last decades. In this paper the degree of labour market rigidity is measured at the sector level by means of a novel index. According to this index, high-technology sectors face less labour market rigidity. These sectors are also more exposed to international competition. However, the bulk of employment destruction has occurred in low-technology sectors. This suggests that productivity/technology may be the key variable to reduce the economy's exposure to external shocks.
    Keywords: exchange rates, international trade, job flows, labour market rigidity, technology
    JEL: J23 F16 F41
    Date: 2010–08
  9. By: Jenny Willson; Andy Dickerson (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: The relationship between part time employment and job satisfaction is analysed for mothers in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Spain and the UK. The impact of working part time on subjective life satisfaction and mental well-being is additionally analysed for British mothers. Cultural traditions concerning women’s role in society, and institutional differences between the countries are exploited. Results indicate that poor quality jobs can diminish any positive well-being repercussions of part time employment. The results additionally suggest that part time mothers in the UK experience higher levels of job satisfaction but not of overall life satisfaction as compared to their full time counterparts.
    Keywords: part time work, job satisfaction, well being
    JEL: J28 J16 J13 I31
    Date: 2010–12
  10. By: Luc Bastard
    Abstract: This paper will focus on taxation issues addressing CO2 emissions in the European Union. When observing the different systems in place, a very broad diversity appears even with a cursory first glance. Actually, the diversity of taxation schemes among the Member States is such that it jeopardizes the concept of a Single Market in the European Union. Furthermore, this tax environment is not predictable. Even if the question of the efficiency of using such taxes to reduce CO2 emissions is put to one side, cost-effectiveness is an important issue, including in terms of the consequences for vehicle and component manufacturers.
    Date: 2010–02
  11. By: Marcel Gerard (FuCAm, UCLouvain)
    Abstract: The current system for financing cross-border students, based on the host country, is neither sustainable nor efficient: it produces too little cross-border education. On that background, and motivated as well by a recent decision of the European Court of Justice, we explore two alternative solutions. the first one substitutes to the financing by the host country, a financing by the country of origin, through vouchers that the student may use at home or abroad provided it is in a recognized institution. The second one, potentially an efficient design, combines that substitution with a reimbursement of education costs through interjurisdictional transfers or the change of vouchers into contingent loans
    Keywords: Bologna process, Higher Education, Contingent loan, Bhagwati tax
    JEL: I22 I23 H77
    Date: 2010–11
  12. By: H. Wolf; Claus Michelsen; Michael Schwartz
    Abstract: Knowledge of factors that determine the transition from nascent entrepreneurship into real entrepreneurship is of major importance for policies aiming to effectively stimulate start-ups. Whereas scholars concentrated on person-specific factors to explain transition probabilities, environmental characteristics have been fairly neglected. Given that entrepreneurship is a strongly localized phenomenon, this paper argues that regional entrepreneurial opportunities are a driving force behind the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation. Based on unique data on 103 nascent entrepreneurs in the German biotechnology industry, we empirically assess the importance of regional entrepreneurial opportunities on transition probabilities. Further, we introduce a new approach to measure nascent entrepreneurship by capturing individuals that actively participate in start-up competitions and have won at least one competition. Controlling for technology and individual characteristics, we find strong support for our hypotheses relating to the significant impact of general regional opportunities, specific regional opportunities and the entrepreneurial environment for the probability of transition from award-winning nascent entrepreneurs to real start-ups.
    Date: 2010–12
  13. By: Chaminade, Cristina (CIRCLE, Lund University); Zabala, Jon Mikel (CIRCLE, Lund University); Treccani, Adele (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: Sweden is considered to be one of the most advanced countries in terms of innovation worldwide. Sweden always ranks high in all international reports on Science and Technology indicators such as the ones regularly published by the OECD or Eurostat. As many small countries, the Sweden economy has a strong international orientation and this is also reflected in the national innovation system. The NIS is dominated by internationally oriented industrial firms and universities. Furthermore, since 1988, the country has experienced a growing trend of mergers and acquisitions of technology intensive firms by foreign companies (Vinnova, 2006) whose presence, particularly in certain industries, is very noticeable. The aim of this paper is to explore the links between the NIS in Sweden and the participation of Swedish firms and Swedish universities in Global Innovation Networks. More specifically, it attempts to answer the following questions: a) To what extent are Swedish actors participating in GINs? b) To what extent is the Swedish NIS attracting GINs? c) What is the role of the Swedish NIS in supporting the participation of Swedish Universities and Swedish firms in GINs? d) What is the role of the Swedish NIS in attracting actors in GINs into Sweden?. The paper is based on secondary sources and has a rather descriptive nature. In its current form (June 2010) is a report submitted to the EU Commission as part of the deliverables of the INGINEUS project
    Keywords: globalization; innovations systems; Sweden
    JEL: O30
    Date: 2010–06

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