nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Bridge Jobs in Europe By Brunello, Giorgio; Langella, Monica
  2. Unemployment and Spell Duration during the Great Recession in the EU By Carlos Gradín; Olga Cantó; Coral del Río
  3. Investigating the impact of the technological environment on survival chances of employer entrepreneurs By André van Stel; José Maria Millan; Concepcion Roman
  4. Self-Rated Health Status of the Japanese and Europeans in Later Life: Evidence from JSTAR and SHARE By Fujii, Mayu; Oshio, Takashi; Shimizutani, Satoshi
  5. The Effects of Effciency and TFP Growth on Nitrogen and Sulphur Emissions in Europe: A Multistage Spatial Analysis By Anthony J. Glass; Karligash Kenjegalieva; Robin Sickles
  6. Impacts of different environmentally differentiated truck charges on mileage, fleet composition and emissions in Germany and Sweden By Vierth, Inge; Schleussner, Heike
  7. Immigrant students and educational systems. Cross-country evidence from PISA 2006 By Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
  8. State Aid to Business in the European Union: a Focus on the Car Sector By Marcella Nicolini; Carlo Scarpa; Paola Valbonesi
  9. Unexplored Dimensions of Discrimination in Europe: Homosexuality and Physical Appearance By Patacchini, Eleonora; Ragusa, Giuseppe; Zenou, Yves
  10. Specific Measures for Older Employees and Late Career Employment By Bernhard Boockmann; Jan Fries; Christian Göbel
  11. Rethinking the import-productivity nexus for Italian manufacturing By Giuliano CONTI; Alessia LO TURCO; Daniela MAGGIONI
  12. Evolving localization patterns of company foundations - Evidence from the German MST-industry By Tobias Scholl; Thomas Brenner; Martin Wendel
  13. R&D, Worker Training, and Innovation: Firm-level evidence By Xulia González; Daniel Miles-Touya; Consuelo Pazó
  14. Inventory Investment Dynamics and Recoveries: A Comparison of Manufacturing and Retail Trade Sectors. By Bec, F.; Bessec, M.
  15. Not Another GMO - Explaining Europe’s Approach to Nanotechnologies By Nico Jaspers
  16. Why are Latin Europeans less happy? The impact of hierarchy By Brule, Gael; Veenhoven, Ruut
  17. The Labour Market Integration of Refugee and Family Reunion Immigrants: A Comparison of Outcomes in Canada and Sweden By Bevelander, Pieter; Pendakur, Ravi
  18. Wages, Amenities and Negative Attitudes By Waisman, Gisela; Larsen, Birthe
  19. Immigration and the UK Labour Market: The latest evidence from economic research By Jonathan Wadsworth
  20. Human Capital Mobility and Convergence – A Spatial Dynamic Panel Model of the German Regions By A. Kubis; Lutz Schneider

  1. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Langella, Monica (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We study the transitions from career to bridge jobs and to permanent retirement by European males aged 55 to 70 at the time of the interview in the late 2000s. We find that only 10.54 percent of the workers in our sample who were in a career job at age 50 have moved to a bridge job by the time of the interview, much less than what usually found in the United States. We also show that the exogenous increases in minimum retirement age that occurred during the past twenty years have had different effects in Central / Northern Europe (Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Sweden) and in Mediterranean Europe (Italy and Spain). In the North, transitions into bridge jobs have increased, with no significant effect on transitions into retirement. In the South, transitions into permanent retirement have decreased, with no significant effect on transitions into bridge jobs.
    Keywords: ageing, retirement, Europe
    JEL: J26
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Carlos Gradín; Olga Cantó; Coral del Río
    Abstract: The current economic recession has had unequal consequences on employment depending on the country considered. It is generally accepted that the negative impact of unemployment on individual welfare can be very different depending on its duration. However, conventional statistics on unemployment do not adequately capture to what extent the recession is not only increasing the incidence of unemployment but also its severity in terms of duration in time of ongoing unemployment spells. In this paper, we follow Shorrocks’s (2009a,b) proposal of a duration-sensitive measure of unemployment in order to analyze the different dynamic characteristics of unemployment in a selected group of European Union countries during the current Great Recession. Our results add some evidence on the relevance of incorporating the duration dimension in measuring unemployment and provide a tool for dynamic analysis based on cross-sectional data.
    Keywords: measurement of unemployment, spell duration, European Union
    JEL: D30 D63 I31 J64
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: André van Stel; José Maria Millan; Concepcion Roman
    Abstract: In order to mitigate the negative consequences of the current economic and financial crisis, it is of utmost importance that existing jobs remain intact as much as possible. In this respect, it is crucial that firms which employ personnel, survive. In this paper we investigate the role of the technological environment in determining the survival chances of employer entrepreneurs, defined as ownermanagers of firms which employ personnel. We estimate survival models to analyse durations as an employer entrepreneur, using micro panel data from EU-15 countries drawn from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). As indicators for the technological environment we use a country’s R&D expenditures, a country’s employment share of high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors, and a country’s number of patent applications to the European Patent Office. We find strong support for a positive relationship between these indicators of the technological environment in country j and year t and survival chances of employer entrepreneurs in that same country and year. Our analysis also suggests that a selection effect may be part of the explanation in the sense that in a more advanced technological environment, relatively more ‘high-quality’ individuals select into entrepreneurship. An implication of our novel finding is that innovation policy may contribute to survival of employer entrepreneurs, thereby safeguarding wage jobs in Europe, and achieving a lower waste of resources associated with firm exit.
    Date: 2012–10–09
  4. By: Fujii, Mayu; Oshio, Takashi; Shimizutani, Satoshi
    Abstract: Using panel data from two surveys in Japan and Europe, we examine the comparability of the self-rated health of the middle-aged and elderly across Japan and the European countries and the survey periods. We find that a person’s own health is evaluated on different standards (thresholds) across the different countries and survey waves. When evaluated on common thresholds, the Japanese elderly are found to be healthier than their counterparts in the European countries. At the individual level, reporting biases leading to discrepancies between the changes in individuals’ SRH and their actual health over the survey waves are associated with age, education, and country of residence
    Keywords: self-rated health status, response bias, JSTAR, SHARE
    JEL: C42 I12
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Anthony J. Glass (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK); Karligash Kenjegalieva (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK); Robin Sickles (Department of Economics, Rice University, Houston, United States)
    Abstract: It is common in firm level environmental efficiency studies for pollution to form part of the production technology. We omit nitrogen and sulphur emissions from the spatial analysis of production in European countries (1995 - 2008) because we find they are not significant inputs. Efficiency and TFP growth from the production analysis are then used in second stage spatial models of nitrogen and sulphur emissions in European countries. We find that to cut European sulphur emissions by a certain percentage requires a decrease in a composite measure of a country’s efficiency and TFP growth which is more than double the decrease needed to reduce European nitrogen emissions by the same percentage.
    Keywords: TFP Growth; Atmospheric Pollution; Spatial Econometrics; Economic Efficiency
    JEL: C23 D24 Q53
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Vierth, Inge (VTI); Schleussner, Heike
    Abstract: During the last decade six central European countries (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Switzerland) have introduced distance-based network tolls for heavy trucks. In Sweden, Denmark and the Benelux states the time-based Eurovignette is applied since the 1990-ies. All charging systems include a differentiation according to emission class for CO, HC, NOx, PM and smoke, but the Eurovignette is not updated to the latest emission classes. The study addresses Sweden and Germany as representatives for the time-based and distance-based charging system. The German toll is much higher than the Eurovignette for all real journeys; in addition the German government subsidises the purchase of clean trucks – which implies larger incentives for German hauliers (than Swedish hauliers) to use cleaner trucks. As expected, the German fleet is cleaner than the Swedish fleet and the vehicle kilometres performed on German roads are cleaner than the vehicle kilometres performed on Swedish roads. There are spill over effects between the countries in the way that European hauliers have incentives to use their “cleanest trucks” in the countries that have introduced tolls differentiated by the latest emission class and their “dirtiest trucks” in the Eurovignette countries. The difference between the two groups of countries and the incentives to use the cleaner vehicles in the toll countries and the dirtier vehicles in the Eurovignette countries will increase as updates are planned for the tolls but not for the Eurovignette.
    Keywords: Freight transport; Pricing; Tolls
    JEL: R41 R48
    Date: 2012–10–19
  7. By: Marina Murat; Davide Ferrari; Patrizio Frederic
    Abstract: Using data from PISA 2006 on 29 countries, this paper analyses immigrant school gaps (difference in scores between immigrants and natives) and focuses on tracking and comprehensive educational systems. Results show that the wider negative gaps are present where tracking is sharp and less frequently in countries with comprehensive schooling. In both cases, negative gaps are concentrated in continental Western Europe, where they are also often related to immigrants and natives attending different schools, or are significant within schools.
    Keywords: Immigrant students; educational systems; PISA;
    JEL: F22 I21
    Date: 2012–05
  8. By: Marcella Nicolini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Carlo Scarpa (Department of Economics, University of Brescia); Paola Valbonesi (Department of Economics, University of Padova)
    Abstract: Making use of an original dataset we empirically investigate the determinants of state aid to the car industry in the European Union. The EU regulatory system on state aids and the long history of government' grants to this industry make this an interesting case study. Our findings show that in the period 1992-2008 - controlling for a number of variables - subsidies to the car sector have shown a decreasing trend, mainly because of the reduction in the aid aimed at increasing the productive capacity of firms. We find a pattern of a dynamic strategic game among EU countries, whereby aiding a firm induces other member states to grant more subsidies; this seems to be mainly driven by rescue and resctruring aid. Overall, economic and political variables (industry's value added, country's income per capita, election year, government's political orientation) are found to significantly affect aid to the car industry.
    Keywords: car industry, state aid to business, EU competition policy
    JEL: L52 L62 H25 H50
    Date: 2012–09
  9. By: Patacchini, Eleonora; Ragusa, Giuseppe; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We study labor-market discrimination of individuals with specific characteristics in Italy. We conduct a field experiment in two Italian cities: Rome and Milan, by sending fake CVs to real ads. We find that there is a strong penalty for homosexuals, i.e. about 30% less chance to be called back compared to an heterosexual male and even more so if they are highly skilled. On the other hand, we find no penalty for homosexual females. We also find a beauty premium for females only but this premium is much lower when the "pretty" woman is skilled.
    Keywords: Discrimination; field experiment; gays; lesbians
    JEL: I10 J16 J71
    Date: 2012–10
  10. By: Bernhard Boockmann; Jan Fries; Christian Göbel
    Abstract: We analyse the effects of specific measures for older employees (SMOE) on employment duration of workers aged 40 and above. Using longitudinal employer-employee data for German establishments, we account for worker and establishment heterogeneity and correct for stock-sampling. We find a positive effect of mixed-aged team work on employment duration and a negative effect of a part-time scheme addressed at older workers. Employment duration does not appear to be related to other SMOE, such as training and specific equipment of workplaces.
    Keywords: older workers, human resources policies, SMOE, employment duration,linked employer-employee data, age, tenure.
    JEL: J14 J21 J26
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: Giuliano CONTI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Alessia LO TURCO (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Daniela MAGGIONI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: We provide evidence on the firm-level productivity effects of imports of intermediates. Exploiting a large panel of Italian manufacturing firms we are able to separately test the role of offshoring to high and low income countries. Contrary to our expectations, no significant impact is found out for purchases from developed countries, while firmefficiency seems to be positively affected by imported inputs from developing countries. Anyway, we prove that this result may be driven by the omission of another important firm internationalisation strategy, the export activity. Due to the strict linkage existing between export and import activity at firm level, we investigate whether the significant role of offshoring still stay after controlling for the firms' sales in foreign markets. Positive effects of offshoring disappear, while we confirm the existence of learning-by-exporting, already displayed in literature for Italy.
    Keywords: Exports, Imports, Productivity
    JEL: D22 F10 F14
    Date: 2012–09
  12. By: Tobias Scholl (University Frankfurt); Thomas Brenner (Department of Geography, Philipps University Marburg); Martin Wendel (University Mainz)
    Abstract: We investigate company foundations in the German micro technology industry by means of a spatial-temporal micro-geographic analysis. In order to deal with our unusual detailed data, we develop a new distance-based framework for a logistic regression that is able to present results in a continuous space. Locations of company foundations are investigated with respect to their spatial proximity to similar firms, patent owner, related industries and research institutions and are benchmarked with the overall distribution of company foundations in Germany. We demonstrate that spatial proximity has a clear influence on where new companies are founded. Furthermore, the influence of proximity to different agents is not constant over times but evolves with the industry’s life cycle.
    Keywords: Spatial concentration, localization, clusters, MAUP, distance-based measures
    JEL: C40 M13 R12
    Date: 2012–10–18
  13. By: Xulia González; Daniel Miles-Touya; Consuelo Pazó
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of R&D and on-the-job training on innovation performance in a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms. The role of formal R&D activities has been intensively investigated, but little reserch has been carried out on the role of human capital, as measured by firm-sponsored worker training, and even less has addressed the interaction between both activities. We analyze the complementarity between the effects of R&D and training on firm innovation success while distinguishing between large and small firms. Our findings suggest that R&D is a key factor in explaining firm innovation performance and that worker training investment also has a significant effect albeit one of less magnitude. The results confirm a complementary relationship: on-the-job training reinforces the effect of R&D on innovation performance.
    Keywords: R&D, Worker Training, Innovation, Probit
    JEL: L22 L11
    Date: 2012–09
  14. By: Bec, F.; Bessec, M.
    Abstract: This paper explores the existence of a bounce-back effect in inventory investment using the European Commission opinion survey on stocks of finished products in manufacturing and retail trade sectors. The data are quarterly balance for France, Germany and a European aggregate, from 1985q1 to 2011q4. Our empirical findings support the existence of a high recovery episode for inventory investment, during the quarters immediately following the recessions. This could in turn explain the real GDP growth rate bounce-back pointed out in previous empirical studies. Moreover, according to our estimates, the inventory investment bounce-back occurs later and lasts longer in manufacturing than in retail trade sector.
    Keywords: Threshold auto-regression, bounce-back effects, business cycles, inventory investment.
    JEL: C22 E32
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Nico Jaspers
    Abstract: Despite early warnings about knowledge-enabled mass destruction and the ongoing battle over agricultural biotechnology, the development of nanotechnology in Europe has been remarkably quiet over the past decade: non-governmental organization (NGO) campaigns against nano were all but inexistent and the wider public appears largely uninterested in nanotechnology. Why has Europe’s experience with nanotechnologies been so fundamentally different from that with genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? This article argues that differences in the technologies as such cannot fully explain this divergence. Instead, a convergence of interests across key groups of stakeholders, the institutional evolution of the European Union (EU) and the experience from the GMO case enabled and facilitated a highly anticipatory and proactive approach to nanotechnology risk governance. This approach, marked by early capacity building, stakeholder involvement and gradual regulation succeeded in avoiding public polarization and in promoting a responsible development of nanotechnologies.
    Keywords: new technologies; NGOs; regulations
    Date: 2012–09–13
  16. By: Brule, Gael; Veenhoven, Ruut
    Abstract: Happiness in the North European is substantially higher than in the South European nations. Only part of that difference can be explained by economic prosperity. This paper explores the effect of social hierarchy. A comparison of contemporary survey findings show that power distance is more pronounced in the South than in the North of Eurpe. Macro‐sociological theory is used to provide an historical account of this difference and it can be used to explain why happiness is ower in hierarchical societies.
    Keywords: life satisfaction; power distance; cross cultural; macro sociology
    JEL: A13 I31 D60 B15
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Bevelander, Pieter (Malmö University); Pendakur, Ravi (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the employment and earnings trajectories of refugee and family reunion category immigrants in Canada and Sweden using two national level sources of data. The Canadian Immigration Database (IMDB) is a file that links the intake record of post 1979 immigrants with annual taxation records. The 2007 Swedish Register Data includes information on all legal permanent residents. Using standard regression methods we compare labour force outcomes of age-sex-schooling-place of birth cohorts looking specifically at non-economic (family reunion and refugee intake) immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia. We find that the employment and earning trajectories of the selected non-economic migrant groups are quite similar in the two host countries, although earnings are higher in Canada than in Sweden.
    Keywords: refugees, immigrants, family reunion, labour market integration, comparison
    JEL: F22 J61 J68
    Date: 2012–10
  18. By: Waisman, Gisela (Stockholm University); Larsen, Birthe (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: We exploit the regional variation in negative attitudes towards immigrants to Sweden in order to analyse the consequences of the attitudes on immigrants welfare. We find that attitudes towards immigrants are of importance: they both affect their labour market outcomes and their quality of life. We interpret the negative effect on wages as evidence of labour market discrimination. We estimate the welfare effects of negative attitudes, through their wage and local amenities, for immigrants with different levels of skills, origin, gender and age.
    Keywords: Attitudes towards immigration; Geographical Mobility; Wages; Amenities
    JEL: J15 J31 J61 J71
    Date: 2012–01–25
  19. By: Jonathan Wadsworth
    Abstract: During periods of strong economic growth, migration is and has always been important for filling gaps in the labour market. On balance, the evidence for the UK labour market suggests that fears about the consequences of rising immigration have been exaggerated. It is hard to find evidence of much displacement of UK workers or lower wages, on average. Immigrants, especially in recent years, tend to be younger and better educated than the UK-born and are less likely to be unemployed. They certainly do not receive preferential access to housing. But there have been some effects. The less skilled may have experienced greater downward pressure on wages and greater competition for jobs than others, but these effects still appear to have been modest. Unfortunately we do not know much about whether the effects of immigration are different in downturns. We also need to understand more about how capital and sectoral shifts in demand respond to immigration over the longer run. Future migration trends will, as ever, depend on relative economic performance and opportunity. But we still need to know more about the effects of rising immigration beyond the labour market in areas like prices, housing, health, crime and welfare.
    Keywords: immigration, government policy, education, labour market, jobs, wages
    Date: 2012–06
  20. By: A. Kubis; Lutz Schneider
    Abstract: Since the fall of the iron curtain in 1989, the migration deficit of the Eastern part of Germany has accumulated to 1.8 million people, which is over ten percent of its initial population. Depending on their human capital endowment, these migrants might either – in the case of low-skilled migration – accelerate or – in high-skilled case – impede convergence. Due to the availability of detailed data on regional human capital, migration and productivity growth, we are able to test how geographic mobility affects convergence via the human capital selectivity of migration. With regard to the endogeneity of the migration flows and human capital, we apply a dynamic panel data model within the framework of β-convergence and account for spatial dependence. The regressions indicate a positive, robust, but modest effect of a migration surplus on regional productivity growth. After controlling for human capital, the effect of migration decreases; this decrease indicates that skill selectivity is one way that migration impacts growth.
    Keywords: human capital mobility, regional growth, spatial panel models
    JEL: R23 R11 C23
    Date: 2012–10

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