nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2012‒02‒08
seven papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Who Starts a Business and Who Is Self-Employed in Germany By Michael Fritsch; Alexander Kritikos; Alina Rusakova
  2. SMEs and the challenge to go public: evidence from a recent survey By Marianna Caccavaio; Jacopo Carmassi; Giorgio Di Giorgio; Marco Spallone
  3. Flexible Employment and Cross-Regional Adjustment By Ioannis Kaplanis; Vassilis Monastiriotis
  4. The reform process of the railway sector in Europe: A disaggregated regulatory approach By Knieps, Günter; Zenhäusern, Patrick
  5. Trends in Entrepreneurial Activity in Central and East European Transition Economies By André van Stel; J. Cieslik Cieslik
  6. WP 115 - More flexibility for more innovation? Evidence from the Netherlands By Eva Wachsen; Blind, K.
  7. The Impact of Seasonal and Price Adjustments on the Predictability of German GDP Revisions By Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, Stefan Neuwirth

  1. By: Michael Fritsch; Alexander Kritikos; Alina Rusakova
    Abstract: Based on representative data, the German Micro-Census, we provide an overview of the development of self-employment and entrepreneurship in Germany between 1991 and 2010, the first two decades after reunification. We investigate the socioeconomic background of these individuals, their education, previous employment status, and their income level. We observe a unique increase in self-employment in Germany by 40 percent which can partly be attributed to the transformation process of East Germany and to the shift to the service sector. We notice a yearly start-up rate of 1 percent among the working population (almost 20 percent of them being restarters), a decision that pays for the majority of individuals in terms of income. Contrary to other countries, in Germany there is a positive relationship between educational levels and the probability of starting a business.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, self-employment, start-ups, Germany
    JEL: L26 D22
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Marianna Caccavaio (LUISS Guido Carli University); Jacopo Carmassi (LUISS Guido Carli University); Giorgio Di Giorgio (LUISS Guido Carli University); Marco Spallone (Universitˆ degli studi di Chieti e Pescara and LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome)
    Abstract: Italian SMEs go public much less than SMEs located in other European countries, even though their relevance for the national economy is relatively higher in terms of employment and value added. Why do Italian SMEs so scarcely rely on equity as an external source of finance, despite the option of getting listed on SME-dedicated stock market segments? In this paper we address this question by analyzing the responses to a questionnaire that we submitted to a sample of listed firms and institutional investors. We also suggest policy interventions to provide Italian SMEs with the appropriate incentives for listing.
    Keywords: SMEs, IPO, equity financing, financial constraints.
    JEL: G1 G3
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Ioannis Kaplanis; Vassilis Monastiriotis
    Abstract: Employment flexibility is commonly associated to greater labour mobility and thus faster cross-regional adjustments. The literature however offers very little hard evidence on this and quite limited theoretical guidance. This paper examines empirically the relationship between employment flexibility and cross-regional adjustment (migration) at the regional and local levels in the UK. Employment flexibility is associated to higher labour mobility (but only at a rather localised scale) and at the same time seems to reduce the responsiveness of migration to unemployment. This suggest that rising flexibility may be linked to higher persistence in spatial disparities, as intra-regional adjustments are strengthened while extraregional adjustments weakened.
    Keywords: Employment flexibility, regional migration, labour market adjustment
    JEL: R11 R23 J08 J61
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Knieps, Günter; Zenhäusern, Patrick
    Abstract: The railroad package of 2001 focusing on access regulation is in the process of a reform. Particularly, the European Commission intends to remove the obstacles to fair competition that have been identified since 2001. In this context, the paper points out the relevance of the disaggregated regulatory approach. It is necessary to differentiate between infrastructure components which are monopolistic bottlenecks (e.g. railway tracks) and competitive components (e. g. service functions like ticketing). Competition on the markets for railway transport services requires non-discriminatory access to the railway infrastructures. As well the horizontal interoperability between national railway networks is a prerequisite that full competition on European markets for railway services can evolve. Train access charges should provide incentives for the different track companies to participate in collaborations offering international cross-border based track capacities, whereas a regulatory prescription of international track corridors conflicts with the competence to allocate the track capacities of the different track companies. Finally, the complex question of the interplay between discrimination and the deficit problem is addressed in order to present solutions to avoid crosssubsidization between track infrastructure and markets for transport services and to guarantee the efficient usage of public funds. --
    Date: 2011
  5. By: André van Stel; J. Cieslik Cieslik
    Abstract: After 1989, radical changes in the level of entrepreneurial activity have taken place in the Central and East European (CEE) region countries, transitioning from the communist to a market economy system. In this paper we explore these developments at the macro level of countries. In particular, we investigate developments in business ownership rates in four CEE transition economies (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic) in the period 1989-2008, and compare them with developments in other OECD countries. To this end we make use of EIM’s COMPENDIA data base, which contains harmonized data on the number of business owners in OECD countries. Data for the four CEE region countries under consideration have recently been added to COMPENDIA. Our analysis reveals that, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, business ownership rates in the four CEE countries have been converging rapidly towards the levels of other OECD countries, and more specifically, Western European countries. This shows that the communist system did not have prolonged negative effects on the private business sector in these four countries. Instead, based on their institutional and cultural roots, or ‘civilization fundamentals’, these CEE countries were able to rebuild the entrepreneurial sector in a relatively short period of transition. Finally, in spite of the general trend of convergence towards Western European countries, we also find sizable differences among these four CEE countries in the level and development of business ownership since 1989.
    Date: 2012–01–23
  6. By: Eva Wachsen (Faculty of Economics and Management, Innovation Economics, Berlin University of Technology); Blind, K.
    Abstract: Labor market flexibility continues to be one of economics, politics and society highly debated topic. In recent years, the impact of increased labor market flexibility on research and innovation has gained more and more attention. Previous studies have shown, depending on the measurement of flexibility as well as on the data that both positive and negative influences can be found. However, the financial flexibility in terms of wage rigidities has hardly been explored empirically. With the use of a unique dataset combining comprehensive information from both employers and employees we can accomplish variables not only to numerical and functional, but also to financial wage flexibility. In a panel probit model, we show that the influences of most of the indicators of wage flexibility are positive and vary by type of innovation. While the variables of wage bargaining has a higher impact on process innovations, information about specific wage levels, however, affects in particular the development of new products. The same applies to a separate consideration of wage bargaining levels. Aspects of numerical and functional labor market flexibility, in contrast, act negative on all types of innovation. Thereby, part time employees affect particularly processes, while flexible employment contracts have a stronger influence on product innovations. It seems that new products depend more on employment status and the resulting motivation of the employees.
    Keywords: Labor market flexibility, innovation, wages, collective bargaining
    Date: 2011–12
  7. By: Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, Stefan Neuwirth
    Abstract: Releases of the GDP are subject to revisions over time. This paper examines the predictability of German GDP revisions using forecast rationality tests. Previous studies of German GDP covering data until 1997 finds that revisions of real seasonally adjusted GDP are predictable. This paper uses a newly available real-time data to analyze the revisions of real seasonal adjusted GDP, of nominal unadjusted GDP, of the seasonal pattern, and of the GDP deflator for the period between 1992 and 2006. We find that the revisions of the nominal unadjusted GDP are unpredictable, but that the revisions of the price adjustments are predictable. Nevertheless, revisions of real seasonally adjusted GDP are hardly predictable and less well predictable compared to earlier studies. This lower predictability seems to be linked to the finding that revisions of seasonal adjustments are hardly predictable, too, and that their predictability decreased over time
    Keywords: Real-time data, GDP revisions, noise, news, forecasting, seasonal adjustment, price adjustment
    JEL: C82
    Date: 2012–01

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