nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2011‒08‒29
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Lisbon strategy and EU countries’ performance: social inclusion and sustainability By Paola Bertolini; Francesco Pagliacci
  2. WP 85 - Multinationals versus domestic firms: Wages, working hours and industrial relations By Maarten Klaveren; Kea Tijdens
  3. Cross-border Investment, Heterogeneous Workers, and Employment Security – Evidence from Germany By Ronald Bachmann; Daniel Baumgarten; Joel Stiebale
  4. WP 110 - Over- and underqualifi ction of migrant workers. Evidence from WageIndicator survey data By Kea Tijdens; Maarten Klaveren
  5. Ownership Unbundling of Gas Transmission Networks - Empirical Evidence By Growitsch, Christian; Stronzik, Marcus
  6. Is Leisure a Normal Good? Evidence from the European Parliament By Naci H. Mocan; Duha Tore Altindag
  7. DIMENSION - A Dispatch and Investment Model for European Electricity Markets By Richter, Jan
  8. Pension reform and income inequality among the elderly in 15 European countries By Van Vliet, Olaf; Been, Jim; Caminada, Koen; Goudswaard, Kees
  9. WP 107 - Codebook and explanatory note on the EurOccupations dataset about the job content of 150 occupations By Kea Tijdens; Esther Ruijter; Judith Ruijter
  10. The Hidden Increase in Wage Inequality: Skill-biased and Ability-biased Technological Change By Maren M. Michaelsen
  11. French Social Housing in an International Context By Kathleen Scanlon; Christine Whitehead
  12. Continuous Training, Job Satisfaction and Gender – An Empirical Analysis Using German Panel Data By Claudia Burgard; Katja Görlitz
  13. The fertility behaviour of East to West German migrants By Anja Vatterrott
  14. Inequality and poverty during the recession in Italy By Massimo Baldini; Emanuele Ciani
  15. Does Raising the Retirement Age Increase Employment of Older Workers? By Staubli, Stefan; Zweimüller, Josef
  16. The Italian Labour Market and the Crisis By Tindara Addabbo; Anna Maccagnan
  17. WP 109 - Employees’ experiences of the impact of the economic crisis in 2009 and 2010. A German-Dutch Comparison By Kea Tijdens; Maarten Klaveren; Reinhard Bispinck; Heiner Dribbusch; Fikret Öz
  18. Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions By Dayanand S. Manoli; Andrea Weber
  19. Making the French Housing Market Work Better By Hervé Boulhol
  20. Climate-Change Policy in the United Kingdom By Alex Bowen; James Rydge

  1. By: Paola Bertolini; Francesco Pagliacci
    Abstract: In 2010, the Lisbon Strategy came to its end. Even if many targets have not been fully reached by each of the 27 EU Members, a new and more ambitious reform strategy has been launched: the Europe 2020 Strategy. In order to evaluate the results of the Lisbon Strategy and of Europe 2020 Strategy, many indicators are yearly collected and published by EUROSTAT. From the analysis of these indicators, the work analyses how different European countries perform in economic, social and environmental issues. The paper moves from the works of Sapir [2006], who has already underlined – among the EU-15 – the existence of four different European social models (Nordic, Anglo- Saxon, Continental, Mediterranean), sharing different combinations of economic efficiency and social equity. This work tries to go further. First, it also underlines the role of the environmental issues in defining a sustainable European social model. Then, the analysis includes also Eastern countries, trying to identify the existence of possible Eastern social models. Therefore, in order to identify different European social models, we use a multivariate statistics methodology, i.e. the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), applied to a set of 20 variables (all the variables included in the short list of indicators from EU plus other environmental indicators) collected for all the European countries. The obtained results are among the expected ones. Sapir’s results are largely confirmed. In particular the supremacy of the Nordic model is straightforward. On the opposite side, when including environmental indicators, the Anglo-Saxon model seems to perform worse than Mediterranean one. Finally, referring to Eastern countries, a single social model does not emerge.
    Keywords: European policies, Lisbon Strategy, social models, sustainability
    JEL: R11 R58
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Maarten Klaveren (AIAS, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Kea Tijdens (AIAS / FEB, Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This Working Paper aims to present and discuss recent evidence on the effect of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on wages, working conditions and industrial relations. It presents a. an overview of the available literature on the effects of FDI on wages, particularly in developed countries; b. the outcomes of own research comparing wages, working conditions and workplace industrial relations in Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) versus non-MNEs or domestic fi rms. These outcomes include seven EU member states: Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and fi ve industries: metal and electronics manufacturing; retail; fi nance and call centres; information and communication technology (ICT), and transport and telecom. The data stem from the continuous WageIndicator web-survey, combined with company data from the AIAS MNE Database. The analysis took place in the framework of the socalled WIBAR-2 project, funded by the European Commission under the Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue Program (VS/2007/0534, December 2007-November 2008). The project was led by the AIAS, with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC); the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF); Ruskin College (Oxford); WSI im Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (Düsseldorf), and the WageIndicator Foundation as partners. Both from others’ and our own evidence, the picture emerged that the wage advantages emanating from working in an MNE in Northwestern Europe recently have become rather small, with our evidence for Germany, where we found considerable MNE wage premia, as the exception. In the majority of Polish and Spanish subsidiaries of MNEs these premia were still considerable. By contrast, in the retail trade and in transport and telecom MNEs seemed to exert outright wage pressure in some countries. Besides pay, workers mostly perceived advantages in working in an MNE where these were to be expected, in training and internal promotion, but also –rather unexpectedly-- in workplace industrial relations. Here, on all three yardsticks used (union density, collective bargaining coverage and the incidence of workplace employee representation) MNEs scored higher than domestic fi rms. MNEs scored less favourably on overtime compensation, working hours, and experienced and expected reorganisations. Where MNE wage premia show up, they have much in common with ‘effi ciency wages’, meant to buy higher productivity and extra commitment from (skilled) workers.
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Ronald Bachmann; Daniel Baumgarten; Joel Stiebale
    Abstract: We analyse how foreign direct investment (FDI) aff ects employment security using administrative micro data for German employees. FDI intensity is measured at the industry level, which enables us to take into account the sum of direct eff ects at the investing fi rms as well as indirect eff ects of FDI that stem from competitive eff ects, input-output linkages, technology spillovers, and changes in factor prices. We account for both inward and outward FDI, and diff erentiate these two types of FDI by source and destination region, respectively. We also investigate whether specifi c worker groups are aff ected diff erently by FDI. We fi nd that both inward and outward FDI at the industry level signifi cantly reduce employment security. This is particularly the case for inward FDI coming from the western part of the European Union, as well as for outward FDI going to Central and Eastern Europe. The eff ects are quantitatively small overall, but sizeable for some worker groups such as old and low-skilled workers.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investment; labour market transitions; duration analysis
    JEL: F21 F23 J23 J63
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Kea Tijdens (AIAS / FEB, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Maarten Klaveren (AIAS, Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Are overeducation and undereducation more common for migrants compared to domestic workers? If so, is overeducation and undereducation similar across migrants from various home countries and across various host countries? This paper aims at unravelling the incidence of skill mismatch of domestic and migrant workers employed in 13 countries of the European Union, namely Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Here migrants are defined as workers not born in the country where they are currently living. They originate from more than 200 countries, thereby reflecting a heterogeneous group, ranging from migrants for economic reasons and refugees, to expats, intercultural married, and others. Concerning overeducation, most of the literature points to explanations related to job allocation frictions. The theoretical explanations for overeducation all refer to job allocation frictions. They apply to workers in general at first job entry, to particular groups of workers at fi rst job entry such as re-entering housewives or workers who have experienced unemployment spells and involuntary quits, to workers accepting a lower-level job if the probability of promotion is higher, to imperfect information from the employer’s side associated with a lack of transparency of diplomas or of transferability of credentials, to poor abilities of individual workers, and to labour market discrimination. Six hypothesis have been drafted for empirical testing. One hypothesis has been made for undereducation. This is assumed to be the case for workers with higher abilities, here defined as workers in supervisory positions. This paper builds on statistical analyses of the data of the large _WageIndicator_ web-survey about work and wages, posted at all national _WageIndicator_ websites and comparable across all countries. Using the pooled annual data of the years 2005-20010, we used 291,699 observations in the analysis. The large sample size allows a break-down of migrant groups according to country of birth in order to better capture the heterogeneity of migrants. Logit analyses have been used to estimate the likelihood of being overqualified compared to having a correct match or being underqualified. Similar estimations have been made for underqualification compared to having a correct match or being overqualified. <br /> One of five workers asseses to be overqualified (20%). When comparing the domestic and migrant workers, overqualification occurs less often among domestic workers than among migrant workers (19% versus 24%). The analyses show that overeducation occurs indeed more often among migrant workers. Yet, the analyses also reveals that the overeducation occurs substantially more often in the old EU member states compared to newly accessed EU member states, regardless being a domestic worker or a migrant. The model shows that the heterogeneity of the migrant groups should be taken into account. Of all migrant and domestic groups, the odds ratio of being overqualified is highest for migrants working in EU15 and born in EU12. The odds ratio decreases for the migrants from USA, Canada and Australia. The odds ratio of being overeducated increases with educational attainment. It decreases with hierarchical level within the occupation, with the the corporate hierarchical levels, and with the skill level of the job. The hypothesis regarding job allocation frictions are confirmed. The odds ratios of being overqualified increase for recent labour market entrants, for workers with an employment spell, for female workers, for migrants who arrived at an adult age thus challenging the transparency of credetials in the host country, and for for 1st and 2nd generation migrants and ethnic minorities thus challenging discrimination in the labour market. No support was found for the hypothesis that workers with presumably poor language abilities are more likely to be overeducated. Concerning undereducation, the analyses confirm that having a supervisory position increases the odds ratio of being underqualified. This suggest that underqualified workers with higher capabilities provide internal career ladders. This study in part confirms the existing literature, in particular the job allocation frictions for the entire labour market. It expands existing empirical findings concerning the reasons why migrants are more likely to be overeducted.
    Date: 2011–07
  5. By: Growitsch, Christian (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln); Stronzik, Marcus (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)
    Abstract: The European Commission has intensively discussed the mandatory separation of natural gas transmission from production and services. However, economic theory is ambiguous on the price effects of vertical separation. In this paper, we empirically analyse the effect of ownership unbundling of gas transmission networks as the strongest form of vertical separation on the level of end-user prices. <p> Therefore, we apply different dynamic estimators as system GMM and the bias-corrected least-squares dummy variable or LSDVC estimator on an unbalanced panel out of 18 EU countries over 19 years, allowing us to avoid the endogeneity problem and to estimate the long-run effects of regulation. <p> We introduce a set of regulatory indicators as market entry regulation, ownership structure, vertical separation and market structure and account for structural and economic country specifics. Among these different estimators, we consistently find that ownership unbundling has no impact on natural gas end-user prices, while the more modest legal unbundling reduces them significantly. Furthermore, third-party access, market structure and privatisation show significant influence with the latter leading to higher price levels.
    Keywords: Natural gas; Networks; Regulation; Ownership unbundling; Panel data
    JEL: C23 L43 L94
    Date: 2011–07–20
  6. By: Naci H. Mocan; Duha Tore Altindag
    Abstract: Prior to July 2009, salaries of the members of the European Parliament were paid by their home country and there were substantial salary differences between parliamentarians representing different EU countries. Starting in July 2009, the salary of each member of the Parliament is pegged to 38.5% of a European Court judge’s salary, paid by the EU. This created an exogenous change in salaries, the magnitude and direction of which varied substantially between parliamentarians. Parliamentarians receive per diem compensation for each plenary session they attend, but salaries constitute unearned income as they are independent of attendance to the Parliament. Using detailed information on each parliamentarian of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2011 we show that an increase in salaries reduces attendance to plenary sessions and an increase in per diem compensation increases it. We also show that corruption in home country has a negative effect on attendance for seasoned members of the Parliament.
    JEL: J22 J33 J4
    Date: 2011–08
  7. By: Richter, Jan (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)
    Abstract: A linear energy system model is presented which optimises the future development of electricity generation capacities and their dispatch in Europe. Besides conventional power plants, combined heat and power plants and power storages, the model considers technologies that support the future high feed in of renewable energies. These technologies include demand side management processes and virtual power storages consisting of electric vehicles.
    Keywords: Energy system model; European electricity markets; Combined heat and power; Demand Side Management; Battery electric vehicles
    JEL: C61 Q40 Q41
    Date: 2011–08–22
  8. By: Van Vliet, Olaf; Been, Jim; Caminada, Koen; Goudswaard, Kees
    Abstract: The ageing of populations and hampering economic growth increase pressure on public fi-nances in many advanced capitalist societies. Consequently, governments have adopted pen-sion reforms in order to relieve pressure on public finances. These reforms have contributed to a relative shift from public to private pension schemes. Since private social security plans are generally less redistributive than public social security, it can be hypothesized that the privatization of pension plans has led to higher levels of income inequality among the elderly. Existing empirical literature has mainly focused on cross-country comparisons at one moment in time or on time-series for a single country. This study contributes to the income inequality and pension literature by empirically analysing the distributional effects of shifts from public to private pension provision in 15 European countries for the period 1995-2007, using pooled time series cross-section regression analyses. Remarkably, we do not find empirical evidence that shifts from public to private pension provision lead to higher levels of income inequality or poverty among elderly people. The results appear to be robust for a wide range of econometric specifications.
    Keywords: income inequality; pension reform; public/private-mix; retirement; welfare state
    JEL: H55 H53 I32
    Date: 2011–08
  9. By: Kea Tijdens (AIAS / FEB, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Esther Ruijter (Arbeid Opleidingen Consult); Judith Ruijter (Arbeid Opleidingen Consult)
    Abstract: Occupation is the key unit in matching vacancies and job seekers, and it is used for occupational choice and for career consultancy. Occupation is also a key variable in social research, particularly that which relates to the labour market, transitions from school to work, social stratification, gender wage gaps, occupational structures and skill requirements. Despite the fact that occupation is such an important concept, little is known about the similarity of occupations across EU member states. For this reason, the EU-funded FP6 project EurOccupations (2006-2009) aimed to build a freely available web-based database containing 1,500 to 2,000 of the most common occupations; and to test the similarity of job content, required skill level, and competency profiles for a selection of 150 occupations across the eight member states in the project (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and United Kingdom). This codebook explains the data collection methods used in the project and outlines the dataset collected for the detailed analysis of 150 occupations. Section 2 explains the selection of these 150 occupational titles from a provisional source list of 1,433 occupations. Four criteria were used for the selection, namely variation in skill level and ISCO major groups, variation in gender composition, the prevalence of the occupation amongst job-holders, and the extent to which an occupation might be considered ‘blurred’, with wide demarcation lines. Section 3 details the process used for testing the similarity of the selected occupations. Unique task descriptions (10-12 tasks) for all 150 occupations were drafted by means of desk research. A web-survey was designed with questions about the frequency of particular tasks and the required skill level for each occupation. Experts from all the study countries were recruited for survey completion. For a number of occupations, the goal of two completed expert questionnaires for each occupation in each country was not reached and the questionnaire was slightly adapted for completion by job holders. The job holders were recruited through teaser advertisements on the WageIndicator websites in the countries in question. Section 4 explains the structure of the dataset. The dataset can by freely accessed by sending an email with name and affiliate information to the first author, "" The Appendix includes all questionnaires used for the survey, as well as the labels used for the education and occupation variables. This codebook and all project deliverables can be downloaded from the project website "":http://www.euro
    Date: 2011–01
  10. By: Maren M. Michaelsen
    Abstract: This study provides strong evidence for an increase in wage inequality induced by skillbiased technological change in the UK manufacturing industry between 1991 and 2006. Using individual level data from the BHPS and industry level data from the OECD, wage regressions are estimated which identify the eff ect of innovative activity on wages – the personal innovation wage premium – for university and less educated workers. Innovative activity is defi ned by R&D expenditure and patent applications to measure innovation input and innovation output, respectively. Using diff erent estimation methods for panel data, such as Fixed eff ects, Random eff ects, Mundlak and Hausman- Taylor models, additionally to pooled OLS allows controlling for both industry-specifi c and individual ability. Using R&D expenditure as a measure for innovative activity additionally provides evidence for ability-biased technological change while patent applications do not support this hypothesis.
    Keywords: Wage inequality; skill-biased technological change; ability-biased technological change; United Kingdom
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 O33
    Date: 2011–06
  11. By: Kathleen Scanlon; Christine Whitehead
    Abstract: In this paper we describe the main features of the French social housing system as viewed from abroad, and place it within the context of systems in other major developed countries, particularly in Europe. At 17% of the total stock the social sector in France is of similar scale to many other European countries but aims to play a more =universalist‘ role. Moreover the sector still benefits from a special circuit of finance as well as direct subsidies to a greater degree than many comparator countries. Even so, increasing proportions of social tenants come from lower income groups and the government has legislated for rights to assistance. In this context we examine the comparative evidence on the stock of social housing and new construction in the sector; financing and subsidy regimes; systems for allocating tenants to social-housing dwellings; and the resulting demographics. We identify some French policies and practices that reflect the country‘s relative interest in maintaining a traditional social sector and areas such as public/private partnership where France has acted as leader in policy development. We also identify aspects of social housing where France is anomalous in a European context, as well as some where policy appears to have limited economic rationale. Finally, we make some observations about possible future policy directions. This Working Paper relates to the 2011 OECD Economic Survey of France (<P>Le logement social français dans une perspective internationale<BR>Dans ce document de travail, nous décrivons les principales caractéristiques du système de logement social français, vu de l'étranger, et le plaçons dans le contexte des systèmes d'autres grands pays développés, en particulier en Europe. Avec 17% du stock total de logements, le secteur social en France est d'une envergure similaire à celui de nombreux autres pays européens, mais vise à jouer un rôle plus «universaliste». En outre ce secteur bénéficie toujours d'un circuit spécial de financement ainsi que des subventions directes à un degré plus élevé que dans de nombreux pays comparables. Cependant, des proportions croissantes de locataires de logements sociaux viennent de groupes à faible revenu et le gouvernement a légiféré en faveur de droits à l'assistance. Dans ce contexte, nous examinons les données comparatives du stock de logements sociaux et des nouvelles constructions dans le secteur, les régimes de financement et de subvention, les systèmes d‘attribution des logements sociaux, et la démographique en résultant. Nous identifions certains politiques et pratiques françaises qui reflètent l'intérêt relatif du pays dans le maintien d'un secteur social traditionnel et des domaines tels que le partenariat public / privé où la France a agi comme novatrice dans l'élaboration des politiques. Nous avons également identifié les aspects du logement social où la France se singularise dans un contexte européen, ainsi que d'autres où les politiques semblent avoir peu de logique économique. Enfin, nous faisons quelques observations concernant de possibles orientations futures. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l‘Étude économique de l‘OCDE de la France 2011 (
    Keywords: social housing, comparative housing policy, French housing policy, housing subsidies, logement social, politique comparée du logement, politique française du logement, subventions au logement
    JEL: H42 H75 R21 R30 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–05–12
  12. By: Claudia Burgard; Katja Görlitz
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), this paper analyzes the relationship between training and job satisfaction focusing in particular on gender diff erences. Controlling for a variety of socio-demographic, job and fi rm characteristics, we fi nd a diff erence between males and females in the correlation of training with job satisfaction which is positive for males but insignifi cant for females. This diff erence becomes even more pronounced when applying individual fi xed eff ects. To gain insights into the reasons for this diff erence, we further investigate training characteristics by gender. We fi nd that fi nancial support and career-orientation of courses only seems to matter for the job satisfaction of men but not of women.
    Keywords: Training; job satisfaction; gender differences; fixed effects
    JEL: I29 J24 J28 M53
    Date: 2011–07
  13. By: Anja Vatterrott (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In the twenty years since the reunification of Germany, we have seen a convergence of total fertility rates in the eastern and western parts of the country, but differences remain in the timing, number and spacing of births. Our aim in this paper is to better understand the persistence of these differences by studying the fertility behaviour of migrants from the East to the West. Millions of people have followed this migration path in recent decades, mainly in response to the unfavourable economic conditions in the East. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel of the years 1990 to 2009. Using event history modelling, we analyse whether the first and second birth behaviours of female East-West German migrants resemble the patterns of one of the non-mobile populations in the eastern or western parts of the country. We find that migrants’ first and second birth risks lie in between those of non-mobile eastern and western Germans. Socio-economic characteristics, value orientations and partners’ characteristics are employed as explanatory variables, but do not fully account for the differences between the three groups. We investigate whether the special behavioural patterns of migrants can be explained by the fact that they are a selected group, but do not find support for this hypothesis.
    Keywords: Germany, fertility, internal migration
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2011–08
  14. By: Massimo Baldini; Emanuele Ciani
    Abstract: This paper simulates the effects of the recent economic crisis on income inequality and poverty in Italy. We impute the changes in employment rates for groups of the population, obtained from the Labour force survey, on the Silc sample for Italy, and simulate in detail also the resulting changes in unenployment benefits and in the Cassa Integrazione Guadagni, a wage supplement fund greatly expanded in the last few years.
    Keywords: Quality of work, health status, elderly
    Date: 2011–08
  15. By: Staubli, Stefan; Zweimüller, Josef
    Abstract: This paper studies how an increase in the minimum retirement age affects the labor market behavior of older workers. Between 2000 and 2006 the Austrian government gradually increased the early retirement age from 60 to 62.2 for men and from 55 to 57.2 for women. Using administrative data on the universe of Austrian private-sector employees, the results from the empirical analysis suggest that this policy change reduced retirement by 19 percentage points among affected men and by 25 percentage points among affected women. The decline in retirement was accompanied by a sizeable increase in employment of 7 percentage points among men and 10 percentage points among women, but had also a important spillover effects into the unemployment insurance program. Specifically, the unemployment rate increased by 10 percentage points among men and 11 percentage points among women. In contrast, the policy change had only a small impact on the share of individuals claiming disability or partial retirement benefits.
    Keywords: early retirement; labor supply; policy reform; retirement age
    JEL: J14 J26
    Date: 2011–08
  16. By: Tindara Addabbo; Anna Maccagnan
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the effects of the crisis on the Italian labour market. The Italian labour market is characterized by deep gender differences and regional variability. The data show that the crisis lead to an increase in the gap of female employment rates and womens inactivity rates with respect to Europe. The North of Italy experienced a higher increase in unemployment than the South, where many people withdrew from the labour market because of poor employment prospects. Moreover, in Italy, the increase in unemployment has been mitigated by the increase in the number of workers having access to the wage supplementation fund who are not computed within the unemployed. However, the heterogeneity in the system of unemployment benefits increased inequalities amongst the unemployed. Using a micro simulation techniques, we estimate the effect of the crisis on income distribution and poverty and find that at the national level, the population showed a reduction in equivalised household income by about 1 percent. The limited impact on household's equivalent income can be connected to the relatively high share of unemployed who are young with relatively low income and sustained by other members of the household.
    Keywords: labour market, poverty, economic crisis
    JEL: J6 I32
    Date: 2011–02
  17. By: Kea Tijdens (AIAS / FEB, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Maarten Klaveren (AIAS, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Reinhard Bispinck (Tarifarchiv, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung); Heiner Dribbusch (WSI in der Hans Böckler Stiftung); Fikret Öz (IAT, Institut Arbeit und Technik in University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen)
    Abstract: Few studies have researched the impact of the 2008-2009 economic crisis on organisations’ adjustment behaviour in Germany and the Netherlands. Using large-scale data from an employee web-survey running from 2009/08 to 2010/11, this paper investigates the likelihood that German and Dutch employees work for a crisis-hit organisation. The likelihood of labour hoarding or downward adjustments of the permanent or flexible workforce in crisis-hit organisations is studied, as is the likelihood of downward adjustments in basic wages or benefits. The results show that such effects occur in large firms and the manufacturing industry much more often, that women are more likely to be working in a crisis-hit organisation but less likely to be facing any of the adjustments, that education hardly matters and that elderly workers face many more adjustments than younger workers.
    Date: 2011–07
  18. By: Dayanand S. Manoli; Andrea Weber
    Abstract: This paper presents new empirical evidence on the effects of retirement benefits on labor force participation decisions. We use administrative data on the census of private sector employees in Austria and variation from mandated discontinuous changes in retirement benefits from the Austrian pension system. We present graphical evidence documenting labor supply responses to the policy discontinuities. Next, we develop nonparametric procedures to estimate labor supply elasticities based on the graphical evidence and mandated financial incentives. We estimate elasticities of 0.12 for men and 0.38 for women. These relatively low elasticities highlight that many retirement decisions are likely to be affected by factors beyond only financial incentives from retirement benefits.
    JEL: H55 J22 J26
    Date: 2011–08
  19. By: Hervé Boulhol
    Abstract: Housing plays a key role in the economy, because of its weight in household expenditures and assets, its importance for social well-being, and its impact on educational outcomes and employment as well as on the business cycle. Over the past half century, the bulk of the population has benefited significantly from improved housing conditions. Yet perhaps 5% of families are still poorly-housed, and inequalities in access to housing have widened since the mid-1990s, as soaring real estate prices have produced strong distributional effects. Although the severity of the economic crisis seemed to portend a sharp downward correction, the market has in fact turned around and recovered vigorously in France as in many OECD countries, supported by exceptional financing conditions and policies to stimulate demand. While the risk that prices will fall is non negligible, particularly if credit conditions tighten, the situation in France seems to reflect a shortage of housing supply, concentrated in certain "strained" geographic areas. The key role that housing plays in ensuring the social inclusion of individuals and the many imperfections inherent in the housing market justify government intervention. A crucial question is whether the policies being implemented are helping to correct these imperfections efficiently or whether, on the contrary, they are amplifying them, with possible negative spillovers on employment, economic growth or equity. The general principles underlying government housing policies should embrace three aspects: income-tested assistance to individuals, the most effective instrument because it allows for better targeting; direct support for housing supply in areas of excess demand, especially through the social sector, which should focus on disadvantaged households; and the removal of obstacles that work against market mechanisms, so as to make supply more responsive and the market more fluid and transparent, and to limit the many distortions induced by regulation, taxation and subsidies. This Working Paper relates to the 2011 OECD Economic Survey of France (
    Keywords: housing taxation, housing policies, residential mobility, supply responsiveness, housing credit
    JEL: R21 R30 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–05–11
  20. By: Alex Bowen; James Rydge
    Abstract: The United Kingdom started to pursue policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a relatively early date and now has a comprehensive set of measures in place. It has set clear targets for emission reductions consistent with international goals of limiting global warming and has pioneered statutory underpinning of target-setting. On the international stage, it has been an active protagonist of a global deal to limit human-induced climate change. The new Government has endorsed the direction of previous policies in this area and is introducing further measures, despite heavy fiscal pressures. The United Kingdom is likely to reduce emissions by more than its near-term domestic targets and its target under the Kyoto Protocol, outperforming many OECD countries in the latter respect. But some of the success has been due to ‘one-off’ factors such as the ‘dash for gas’, reductions in non-CO2 greenhouse gases in the 1990s and the recent recession, rather than explicit climate-change policies. The pace of decarbonisation of the power sector has been slow and the spread of renewable energy technologies limited. Implicit carbon prices vary across sectors, and should be harmonized to increase the cost efficiency of policy. The unevenness partly reflects the way in which policies have proliferated and overlap and a simplified structure would be desirable. A step–change in the pace of emission reductions is required to put the UK on the path towards its ambitious 2050 target. Given the central role of the EU emissions trading scheme, a key element of the UK strategy should be to seek tighter quotas within the EU scheme. Preparations to adapt to climate impacts also need to be stepped up, focusing on the provision of more information, better risk-assessment frameworks and more advanced metrics for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation planning. This paper relates to the 2011 Economic Survey of the United Kingdom (<P>La politique climatique au Royaume-Uni<BR>Le Royaume-Uni, qui a entrepris d’adopter des mesures de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre à une date relativement précoce, met aujourd’hui en oeuvre une panoplie complète de mesures. Il s’est fixé des objectifs précis de réduction des émissions, cohérents avec les objectifs internationaux de limitation du réchauffement planétaire, et a fait oeuvre de précurseur en les adossant à un socle réglementaire. Sur la scène internationale, il a joué un rôle actif en faveur d’un accord mondial visant à limiter le changement climatique d’origine anthropique. Le nouveau gouvernement a repris à son compte les orientations des politiques antérieures dans ce domaine et il introduit actuellement de nouvelles mesures, malgré la rigueur des contraintes budgétaires. Le Royaume-Uni devrait atteindre un taux de réduction de ses émissions supérieur à celui de ses objectifs nationaux à court terme et de son objectif au titre du Protocole de Kyoto, et même dépasser nombre de pays de l’OCDE quant à la réalisation de ce dernier objectif. Mais une partie de ce succès s’explique, non par des mesures explicites de politique climatique, mais par des facteurs ponctuels comme la « ruée vers le gaz » et les réductions des émissions d’autres gaz à effet de serre que le CO2 dans les années 90 et la récession récente. Le rythme de décarbonisation du secteur de l’électricité a été lent et la diffusion des technologies des énergies renouvelables est encore limitée. Les prix implicites du carbone varient selon les secteurs et devraient être harmonisés pour une meilleure efficacité économique. Ces disparités reflètent la prolifération des mesures et leur chevauchement et il serait nécessaire d’en simplifier la structure. Un changement radical dans le rythme de réduction des émissions est nécessaire pour engager le Royaume-Uni sur la voie de la réalisation de l’objectif ambitieux qu’il s’est fixé à l’horizon 2050. Étant donné le rôle central du système communautaire d’échange de quotas d’émission, la stratégie du Royaume-Uni devrait en particulier viser l’adoption de quotas plus rigoureux dans le cadre du système communautaire. Les efforts d’adaptation aux impacts climatiques doivent aussi être renforcés, en s’attachant à développer l’information, à améliorer les cadres d’évaluation des risques, et à affiner les outils de mesure utilisés pour le suivi et l’évaluation de la planification des mesures d’adaptation. Ce document se rapporte à l’Étude économique du Royaume-Uni 2011 (
    Keywords: mitigation, adaptation, climate change policy, renewable energy policy, policy interaction, policy overlap, adaptation, atténuation, politique du changement climatique, politique des énergies renouvelables, interactions des politiques, chevauchement des politiques
    JEL: Q27 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2011–08–10

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