nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2012‒11‒24
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. The Carousel Value-added Tax Fraud in the European Emission Trading System By Maria Berrittella; Filippo Alessandro Cimino
  2. Does schooling improve cognitive functioning at older ages? By Nicole Schneeweis; Vegard Skirbekk; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  3. Explaining Variations in Breast Cancer Screening Across European Countries By Ansgar Wübker
  4. Market size, institutions, and the value of rights provided by patents By Bas Straathof; Sander van Veldhuizen
  5. Assessing Inequalities in Preventive Care Use in Europe By Vincenzo Carrieri; Ansgar Wübker
  6. Specific measures for older employees and late career employment By Boockmann, Bernhard; Fries, Jan; Göbel, Christian
  7. Awareness and Attitudes towards Biotechnology Innovations among Farmers and Rural Population in the European Union By Toma, Luiza; Costa Madureira, Livia Maria; Hall, Clare; Barnes, Andrew P.; Renwick, Alan W.
  8. Efficient Innovation in Dairy Production - Empirical Findings for Germany By Sauer, Johannes; Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe
  9. The EU decarbonisation roadmap 2050: What way to walk? By Hübler, Michael; Löschel, Andreas
  10. University autonomy, IP legislation and academic patenting: Italy, 1996-2007 By Francesco LISSONI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Michele PEZZONI (KITeS, University of Bocconi); Bianca POTI (CERIS-CNR); Sandra ROMAGNOSI (Parco Scientifico Università \"Tor Vergata\")
  11. Kindergarten for All: Long Run Effects of a Universal Intervention By Drange , Nina; Havnes, Tarjei; Sandsør, Astrid M. J.
  12. High-Performance Management Practices and Employee Outcomes in Denmark By Cristini, Annalisa; Eriksson, Tor; Pozzoli, Dario
  13. Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Early Meetings and Activation By Jonas Maibom Pedersen; Michael Rosholm; Michael Svarer
  14. Forward integration and market entry: Evidence from natural gas markets for household customers in Germany By Nikogosian, Vigen; Weigand, Jürgen
  15. Job Security Perceptions and the Saving Behavior of German Households By Marcus Klemm
  16. Reaching High: Occupational Sorting and Higher Education Wage Inequality in the UK By Jan Kleibrink; Maren M. Michaelsen
  17. Unretirement in England: An empirical perspective By Ricky Kanabar
  18. Cross-Compliance policies and EU Agriculture: Missing All The Targets at the Same Time? By Schou, Jesper S.; Rygnestad, Hild
  19. Assessing dynamic efficiency of the Spanish construction sector pre- and post-financial crisis By Kapelko, Magdalena; Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M.; Stefanou, Spiro E.
  20. Italian household debt after the 2008 crisis By Silvia Magri; Raffaella Pico

  1. By: Maria Berrittella (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Finanziarie, Università degli Studi di Palermo); Filippo Alessandro Cimino (Facoltà di Scienze Economiche e Giuridiche, Università Kore di Enna)
    Abstract: In this article, we analyse the effects of the carousel value-added tax fraud in the European carbon market and the legislative measures that the EU Member States could adopt to deal with this phenomena. We use a computable general equilibrium model, called GTAP-E and the version 6 of the GTAP database to evaluate the economy-wide and terms of trade effects. The policy test has been designed for five European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. According to our findings, the legislative measures aimed to remove the VAT fraud in the European Emission Trading System will have positive effects in terms of GDP and welfare in the selected EU Member States.
    Keywords: Domestic Emission Trading, General Equilibrium Analysis, Legislative Measures, Value-added Tax Fraud, Welfare
    JEL: C68 H26 K34 Q58
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Nicole Schneeweis; Vegard Skirbekk (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria); Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: We study the relationship between education and cognitive functioning at older ages by exploiting compulsory schooling reforms, implemented in six European countries during the 1950s and 1960s. Using data of individuals aged 50+ from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we assess the causal effect of education on old-age memory, fluency, numeracy, orientation and dementia. We find a positive impact of schooling on memory. One year of education increases the delayed memory score by about 0.3, which amounts to 16% of the standard deviation. Furthermore, for women, we find that more education reduces the risk of dementia.
    Keywords: Compulsory schooling, Instrumental Variables, Education, Cognitive functioning, Memory, Aging, Dementia
    JEL: I21 J14
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Ansgar Wübker
    Abstract: This paper explores variations in the uptake of breast cancer screening and associated factors influencing utilisation of mammography screening among women aged 50 to 69 years in 13 European countries. We focus on the relative importance of individual (e.g. age, education, etc.) and institutional (e.g. public screening program) factors in explaining cross-country variation in the utilisation of mammograms. We take advantage of (a) newly available individual level data from the SHARE as well as (b) regional and country level data on institutional factors. We find that observed individual factors like age, education, health status, etc. are associated with screening uptake within countries but cannot statistically explain cross-country differences. In contrast, observed institutional factors like the availability of an organized screening program can statistically explain about 40 per cent of the between country differences in screening rates.
    Keywords: Health economics; prevention; multilevel models; SHARE; cross country differences
    JEL: C01 I11 I18
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Bas Straathof; Sander van Veldhuizen
    Abstract: Despite the centrality of incentives for innovation in models of economic growth, there is little systematic evidence that the value of technologies varies with market size and institutional arrangements. This paper presents micro-evidence indicating the value of patent rights for a given technology show substantial variation across countries. Read also the <a href="">CPB Policy Brief 2012/05 'The value of a well-designed EU Patent'</a>. A large part of this variation can be attributed to market size and institutional arrangements. We estimate the value of patent rights by exploiting the validation behavior of holders of European Patents granted in 2004. We control for unobserved patent and country characteristics. The mean value of patent rights across countries ranges from 17 thousand euro in Germany to 400 euro in Ireland. The mean value over 16 countries is 9 thousand euro per country. Protection of intellectual property rights and market size seem to explain most of the German advantage. The estimated total value of granted European Patents is 2.6 billion euro in 2004, of which a third are German patent rights.
    JEL: O34 O38 K1
    Date: 2012–11
  5. By: Vincenzo Carrieri; Ansgar Wübker
    Abstract: This paper presents the first cross-country estimation of needs-adjusted income and education-related inequalities in the use of a whole set of preventive care treatments. Analysis is based on the first three waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) for individuals aged 50 and over living in 13 European countries. We employ alternative concentration indices based on the CI-corrections for binary outcomes to compute inequalities in the use of breast cancer screening, of colorectal cancer screening, of influenza vaccination, and of routine prevention tests (blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar tests). After controlling for needs, we find that in many European countries strong pro-rich and educational inequalities exist with respect to breast and colon cancer screening, blood tests and flu-vaccination. Furthermore, poor and less educated people are more likely than the better off to use preventive care late, e.g. when health shocks occurred or health problems already display symptoms. Finally, results suggest that access to treatments within a specialist setting is generally less equal than access to treatments provided within a GP setting.
    Keywords: Preventive care; socio-economic related inequalities; concentration indices
    JEL: I14 D63
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Boockmann, Bernhard; Fries, Jan; Göbel, Christian
    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
  7. By: Toma, Luiza; Costa Madureira, Livia Maria; Hall, Clare; Barnes, Andrew P.; Renwick, Alan W.
    Abstract: The paper analyses the impact that European Union (EU) farmers’ and rural population’s awareness of biotechnology innovations and access to/trust in information on these issues (amongst other a priori determinants) have on their perceptions of risks and benefits of the applications of biotechnology innovations, and attitudes towards their implementation in practice. We employ structural equation models (SEM) with observed and latent variables. SEM is a statistical technique for testing and estimating relationships amongst variables, using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions. We use an Eurobarometer dataset (2010) about awareness/acceptance of biotechnology innovations and run SEM models for ten EU countries, which include older and newer Member States. The variables included are sociodemographics, access to biotechnology information, trust in information sources on biotechnology innovations, attitudes towards the importance and impact of science and technology on society, perceptions of the risks and benefits of the applications of biotechnology innovations and attitudes towards their implementation in practice. Results between the different EU countries are comparable and, alongside other determinants, trust in information sources will significantly impact perceptions of risks and benefits of the applications of biotechnology innovations, and attitudes towards their implementation in practice. This underlines the importance of information and knowledge to acceptance of biotechnology innovations, which should be a key point on policy-makers’ agenda of developing the economic and environmental efficiency in the agricultural sector and rural sustainability in Europe. Increasing awareness of biotechnology innovations that safeguard people and the environment in order to enable informed debate and decisions will help enhance sustainability of rural areas.
    Keywords: biotechnology innovations, farmers and rural population, European Union, information and knowledge, biotechnology attitudes, structural equation models, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2012–09–18
  8. By: Sauer, Johannes; Latacz-Lohmann, Uwe
    Abstract: This empirical study aims to shed light on the dynamic linkages between innovation and efficiency at individual farm level. We use a comprehensive dataset for dairy farms in Germany for the period 1995 to 2010. Based on a directional distance function framework we estimate the changes in efficiency, technical change and productivity over the period considered. In a second step we then investigate possible factors for technically efficient milk production at farm level before we finally try to identify those farms that are capable of translating investments in innovative technologies into actual efficiency gains over time applying a multinomial logit approach. Our empirical findings reveal that investments in innovative dairy technologies are only reflected in higher profitability if sufficient Know-How for the efficient use of these innovations is available.
    Keywords: Innovation, Efficiency, Dairy Farming, Microeconometrics, Innovation, Effizienz, Milchproduktion, Mikroökonometrie, Livestock Production/Industries, Q12, D24, C23,
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Hübler, Michael; Löschel, Andreas
    Abstract: We carry out a detailed CGE (Computable General Equilibrium) analysis of the EU Decarbonisation Roadmap 2050 on a macroeconomic and on a sectoral level. Herein, we study a Reference scenario that implements existing EU policies as well as 3 unilateral and 3 global climate action scenarios. We identify global climate action with international emissions trading and the ful l equalization of CO2 prices across all (EU) sectors as a reasonable policy option to avoid additional costs of the Decarbonisation Roadmap to a large extent. This policy option may include CDM (Clean Development Mechanism in the sense of 'where'-flexibility) in an extended form if there are countries without emissions caps. Moreover, we identify diverse sectoral effects in terms of output, investment, emissions and international competitiveness. We conclude that the successful realization of the EU Decarbonisation Roadmap probably requires a wise and joint consideration of technology, policy design and sectoral aspects. --
    Keywords: EU,Decarbonisation Roadmap,Copenhagen Pledges,post Kyoto,energy-intensive sectors,competitiveness,leakage
    JEL: C68 F18 Q43 Q54
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Francesco LISSONI (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Michele PEZZONI (KITeS, University of Bocconi); Bianca POTI (CERIS-CNR); Sandra ROMAGNOSI (Parco Scientifico Università \"Tor Vergata\")
    Abstract: Using data on patent applications at European Patent Office, we search for trends in academic patenting in Italy, 1996-2007. During this time, Italian university underwent a radical reform process, which granted them autonomy, and were confronted with a change in IP legislation, which introduced the professor privilege. We find that, although the absolute number of academic patents has increased, (i) their weight on total patenting by domestic inventors has not, while (ii) the share of academic patents owned by universities has increased. By means of a set of probit regressions, we show that the probability to observe an academic patent depends largely on the technology considered and characteristics of the local innovation system. After controlling for these determinants, the conditional probability to observe an academic patent has indeed declined over time. Also by means of probit regressions, we find that the rise of university ownership is explained, significantly albeit not exclusively, by the increasing share of public vs. private R&D and by the increased autonomy of Italian universities, which has allowed them to introduce explicit IP regulations concerning their staff\'s inventions. The introduction of the professor privilege has had no impact at all.
    Keywords: academic patenting, university autonomy, professor privilege
    JEL: I23 O31 O34
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Drange , Nina (Statistics Norway); Havnes, Tarjei (University of Oslo); Sandsør, Astrid M. J. (University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Theory and evidence point towards particularly positive effects of high-quality child care for disadvantaged children. At the same time, disadvantaged families often sort out of existing programs. To counter differences in learning outcomes between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, European governments are pushing for universal child care. However, evidence on the effects of universal programs is scarce. We provide evidence on the long-run effect on schooling of mandating kindergarten at age 5–6. Our identifying variation comes from a reform that lowered school starting-age from 7 to 6 in Norway in 1997. Our precise DD estimates reveal hardly any effect, both overall, across subsamples, and over the grading distribution. A battery of specification checks support our empirical strategy.
    Keywords: kindergarten, early childhood intervention, distributional effects, difference-in-differences, child care, child development
    JEL: J13 H40 I28
    Date: 2012–11
  12. By: Cristini, Annalisa (University of Bergamo); Eriksson, Tor (Aarhus School of Business); Pozzoli, Dario (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: High-performance work practices are frequently considered to have positive effects on corporate performance, but what do they do for employees? After assessing the correlation between organizational innovation and firm performance, this article investigates whether high-involvement work practices affect workers in terms of wages, wage inequality and workforce composition. The analysis is based on a survey directed at Danish firms matched with linked employer-employee data and also examines whether the relationship between high-involvement work practices and employee outcomes is affected by the industrial relations context.
    Keywords: workplace practices, wage inequality, workforce composition, hierarchy
    JEL: C33 J41 J53 L20
    Date: 2012–11
  13. By: Jonas Maibom Pedersen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Michael Rosholm (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Michael Svarer (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of four randomized experiments involving intensive active labour market policy, conducted in Denmark in 2008. The interventions consisted of early and frequent meetings and activation programmes. The effects are remarkable; frequent meetings between newly unemployed workers and case workers increase employment rates over the next two years by 10%. For men, we find evidence of a threat effect of having to participate in early activation programmes. In general, we find large differences between men and women, especially in the dynamics of the effects. A cost-benefit analysis reveals that meetings yield the largest net benefits.
    Keywords: Randomized social experiment, treatment effect, active labour market policy, cost-benefit analysis
    JEL: J64 J68
    Date: 2012–11–08
  14. By: Nikogosian, Vigen; Weigand, Jürgen
    Abstract: Due to potential abuse of the market power at wholesale and retail market level for natural gas the Federal Cartel Office in Germany prohibited further forward integration of gas importing firms with retail incumbents from 2005/2006 to 2010. The Authority argued that the very few dominant gas importing companies, which also own and operate the gas pipelines, could have an incentive to foreclose existing competitors or prevent potential market entry. However, two of the importing companies remained extensively forward integrated. To analyze possible forward integration issues empirically we employ cross sectional data (for September 2009) for about 500 sub markets for household customers in Germany. These submarkets have different vertical ownership structures. Our data set contains information on ownership and market entry. By applying a market entry model, which is based on the framework introduced by Bresnahan and Reiss (1991), we do not find clear evidence that market entry is restricted by forward integration of gas importers and retail incumbents. --
    Keywords: energy markets,natural gas,market entry,forward integration,vertical integration,market foreclosure
    JEL: L40 L42 L94 L97
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Marcus Klemm
    Abstract: This paper investigates the co-movements of job security perceptions and household saving rates using data from the 1992 to 2010 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel. The empirical analysis reveals that higher job insecurity is generally accompanied by slightly lower saving which suggests that employment and financial insecurity typically go hand-in-hand. When confounding changes in the perception of financial security are controlled for, slight evidence for precautionary saving behavior is found. This behavior is of rather small economic importance and limited to households that are somewhat worried about their financial situation who increase their saving by about 0.3%-points or EUR 100 annually in the light of increased job insecurity. In contrast, no significant change in saving is observed for households that are either very concerned or not at all concerned about their financial situation, i.e., either financially constrained or in possession of a buffer-stock of wealth.
    Keywords: Precautionary saving behavior; job insecurity; unemployment risk
    JEL: D12 D91 J65
    Date: 2012–10
  16. By: Jan Kleibrink; Maren M. Michaelsen
    Abstract: We analyse wage differentials between Higher Education graduates in the UK, differentiating between polytechnic and university graduates. Polytechnic graduates earned on average lower wages than university graduates prior to the UK Further and Higher Education Act of 1992. The reform changed the system of Higher Education by giving all polytechnics university status. We show that wage differentials can be explained by a glass ceiling which prevented polytechnic graduates from reaching managerial and professional occupations. After the reform, they overtook graduates of traditional universities in terms of average wages.
    Keywords: Higher education; wage differentials; occupational sorting; glass ceiling; United Kingdom
    JEL: I23 I24 J24 J31
    Date: 2012–10
  17. By: Ricky Kanabar
    Abstract: Ageing populations place an increasing financial burden on governments. Retired older workers are a source of untapped economic capacity. Maestas (2010) finds 26% of Health and Retirement Study (HRS) sample respondent's `unretire'. We estimate an unretirement rate of 5.11% and 2.70% for women using The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Earlier studies using US longitudinal data include Rust (1980), Gustman and Steinmeier (1984) and Hardy (1990) estimate similar rates. Results suggest: age, education, financial planning, unanticipated increases in debt, spouse and time effects play an important role in the decision for a male to unretire.
    Keywords: ELSA, Labour supply, Labour demand, Unretirement
    JEL: J26
    Date: 2012–11
  18. By: Schou, Jesper S.; Rygnestad, Hild
    Abstract: After the 1992 Common Agricultural Policy Reform, the idea of introducing cross-compliance into the European Union agricultural policy has become more and more popular. Cross-compliance can be defined as making income support conditional on farmers conforming to environmental regulations and standards imposed on agricultural production. From economic theory it is known that, in order to establish and efficient policy, there should be correspondence between the number of policy objectives and the number of instruments. This has been neglected in the case of European cross-compliance policies and, in order to discuss the effects of the Common Agricultural Policy and efficiency properties, a simulation model has been applied to analyze the effects of introducing environmentally related objectives concerning nitrate leaching as a supplement to the current aim of income support in the Common Agricultural Policy. Results suggest that combining output reduction and nitrate leaching reduction is less effective than separate policies for these two objectives.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy, Cross-compliance, Nitrate leaching, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2012–10–18
  19. By: Kapelko, Magdalena; Oude Lansink, Alfons G.J.M.; Stefanou, Spiro E.
    Abstract: This paper estimates dynamic efficiency in the Spanish construction industry before and during the current financial crisis over the period 2001-2009. Static efficiency measures are biased in a context of a significant economic crisis with large investments and disinvestments as they do not account for costs in the adjustment of quasi-fixed factors. The results show that overall dynamic cost inefficiency is very high with technical inefficiency being the largest component, followed by allocative and scale inefficiency. Moreover, overall dynamic cost inefficiency is significantly larger before the beginning of the financial crisis than during the financial crisis. Results also show that larger firms are on average less technically and scale inefficient than smaller firms, but have more problems in choosing the mix of inputs that minimizes their long-term costs. Firms that went bankrupt, on average have a higher overall dynamic cost inefficiency and scale inefficiency than firms that did not go bankrupt.
    Keywords: dynamic efficiency, construction sector, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2012–09–18
  20. By: Silvia Magri (Bank of Italy); Raffaella Pico (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: After the crisis, from 2008 to 2010 the share of indebted households decreased both owing to a reduction in loan demand and stricter supply conditions. The reduction regarded mortgages and involved low-income households and the self-employed. Recourse to consumer credit remained stable; it increased for low-income households. Household debt sustainability, measured by debt as a proportion of income and assets, did not worsen; debt service for mortgages as a ratio of income decreased for low-income households. The percentage of vulnerable households i.e. those with a high debt service to income, remained unchanged from 2008 to 2010, when the sharp reduction in income was offset by a marked fall in interest rates; simulations for 2011-2012 show modest changes in this indicator. Over-indebted households i.e. those permanently unable to repay their debt, are estimated at 160,000 or 0.6 per cent of the total.
    Keywords: household indebtedness, financial crises, vulnerability, over-indebtedness
    JEL: D12 E51 I32
    Date: 2012–09

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