nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2012‒12‒15
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Using vehicle taxes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions rates of new passenger vehicles: evidence from France, Germany, and Sweden By Thomas H. Klier; Joshua Linn
  2. Policy options for the development of peripheral regions and countries of Europe By Karl Aiginger; Matthias Firgo; Peter Huber
  3. Are women more economically active in Germany than France? By Anne Salles
  4. Offshoring, Wages and Job Security of Temporary Workers By Holger Görg; Dennis Görlich
  5. Education for Children with Special Needs: A Comparative Study of Education Systems and Parental Guidance Services By Leen Sebrechts
  6. M&A and knowledge flows in the European Union’s Neighboring Countries By M.C. Di Guardo; Raffaele Paci
  7. Is innovative firm behavior correlated with age and gender composition of the workforce? Evidence from a new type of data for German enterprises By Pfeifer, Christian; Wagner, Joachim
  8. Long-term care: need, use and expenditure in the EU-27 By Barbara Lipszyc; Etienne Sail; Ana Xavier
  9. Well-being of elderly people living in nursing homes: The benefits of making friends By François-Charles Wolff
  10. Age and firm growth. Evidence from three European countries By Giorgio Barba Navaretti; Davide Castellani; Fabio Pieri
  11. Labour Supply Responses to Paid Parental Leave By Karimi, Arizo; Lindahl, Erica; Skogman Thoursie, Peter
  12. Job displacement and labor market outcomes by skill level By David Seim
  13. Labour share and employment protection in European economies By Damiani, Mirella; Pompei, Fabrizio; Ricci, Andrea
  14. Earnings Shocks and Tax-Motivated Income-Shifting: Evidence from European Multinationals By Dhammika Dharmapala; Nadine Riedel
  15. Hooliganism and demand for football in Italy. Evidence for the period 1962-2011 By Raul Caruso; Marco Di Domizio
  16. Do Women Have a Less Entrepreneurial Personality? By Bengtsson, Ola; Sanandaji, Tino; Johannesson, Magnus
  17. The Dynamics of Gasoline Prices: Evidence from Daily French Micro Data By Erwan Gautier; Ronan Le Saout
  18. Generosity and Political Preferences By Dawes, Christopher T.; Johannesson, Magnus; Lindqvist, Erik; Loewen, Peter; Östling, Robert; Bonde, Marianne; Priks, Frida
  19. Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowdout in Retirement Savings Accounts: Evidence from Denmark By Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Soren Leth-Petersen; Torben Nielsen; Tore Olsen
  20. Generation and distribution of productivity gains in French agriculture. Who are the winners and the losers over the last fifty years? By Jean-Philippe Boussemart; Jean-Pierre Butault; Oluwaseun Ojo

  1. By: Thomas H. Klier; Joshua Linn
    Abstract: France, Germany, and Sweden have recently linked vehicle taxes to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rates of passenger vehicles. France has introduced a system of CO2-based purchase taxes and subsidies, whereas Germany and Sweden impose annual circulation (i.e., registration) taxes that are linear functions of CO2 emissions rates. This paper (a) compares the effects of vehicle taxes on registrations and average emissions rates across countries and (b) estimates the effect of reducing CO2 emissions rates on manufacturers’ profits. The taxes have had a significant negative short-run effect on new vehicle registrations in all three countries, although the effect is somewhat stronger in France than in Germany and Sweden. We find little evidence that the French tax caused manufacturers to change the emissions rates of individual vehicles, however. The second part of the paper takes advantage of the theoretical equivalence between an emissions rate standard and a CO2-based emissions rate tax. We use the results from the first part to estimate the effect on manufacturers’ profits of reducing emissions rates. Focusing on France, a decrease of 5 grams of CO2 per kilometer (about 3 percent) reduces short-run profits by 10–50 euros per vehicle, depending on the manufacturer. We find considerable heterogeneity across manufactures in these costs.
    Keywords: Carbon dioxide ; Emissions trading ; Euro
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Karl Aiginger; Matthias Firgo; Peter Huber
    Abstract: Given the recent economic problems of southern EU countries that are rooted in lacking competitiveness, this task will summarise existing knowledge on the factors impeding on or facilitating the economic development of peripheral/low income regions in the EU, and discuss policy options to improve economic performance of Southern european countries while at the same time maintaining (or improving) sustainability. In the light of recent developments a central focus will be put on Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and on the question of how national, community wide policies and spillovers from the centre can contribute to the double objective of improving competitiveness and sustainability in these countries. A substantial part of the empirical evidence for the policy conclusion comes from anylyzing the catching up experience of regions within countries, since this situation resembles the chances and problems of countires catching up within a Monetary Union (without the possibility to improve competitiveness and correct policy failures by devaluations). The results of this task will be reported in a separate deliverable (in the form of a policy brief) and will serve the researchers involved in all tasks of this work package as a starting point for further analysis.
    Keywords: Competitiveness; economic growth path; European economic policy; labour markets; peripheral areas; rural areas
    JEL: R11 E60
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Anne Salles
    Abstract: The German labour market is in better shape than that of France, and the employment rate among women in particular is higher. This is true even though German women have more difficulty reconciling work and family life than in France. Anne Salles takes a critical look at employment indicators and how they are calculated, and explains why German women appear to be more economically active than French women, and what is really happening in the two countries.
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Holger Görg; Dennis Görlich
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of offshoring on individual level wages and unemployment probabilities and pay particular attention to the question of whether workers on temporary contracts are affected differently than workers on permanent contracts. Data are taken from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), linked with industry-level data on offshoring of materials and services inputs calculated from the World Input Output Database (WIOD). In manufacturing we find that temporary workers face a significant reduction in wages as materials offshoring increases, while permanent workers’ wages are unaffected or even tend to increase. Offshoring of core activities generally also tends to reduce the probability of becoming unemployed, and more so for temporary than for permanent workers. By contrast, offshoring of services inputs does not have any statistically significant effects on either wages or employment probabilities in manufacturing. In the service industries, workers are affected in terms of employment probabilities from offshoring of services inputs only, although, in contrast to manufacturing industries, there are no statistically significant effects on individual wages from any type of offshoring.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Leen Sebrechts
    Abstract: The general and universal right to education has been well established for some time. But despite international agreement, the commitment to education for all is not necessarily linked to obligatory mainstream education for all children with disabilities. The mature European countries have a history of segregating children with special educational needs in special schools and special schools continue to exist in many countries. In addition, initiatives towards more inclusive education systems are taken. So in many countries, children with special needs and their parents are able to choose between segregated special education and inclusive education. However, different factors influence this choice. Using existing research, country profiles and results of analyses on Flemish data, this paper compares the organisation of inclusive and special education systems in the Flemish community of Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands and England. We add a perspective to the existing comparative studies. We proceed from the Network Episode Model developed by Pescosolido (and the importance of the social networks included within this model), focusing specifically on the guidance systems for the social networks of children with special educational needs within the education. The results describe that the choice for a certain school type is influenced by a number of factors, including the country’s education system, the guidance and the characteristics and competences of the family and its social network. Social and socio-economic factors are relevant within the educational field of children with special educational needs. Policy-makers should consider the potential influence of these factors on the overall effectiveness of the measures introduced.
    Keywords: child with special needs, comparative study, Europe, inclusive education, parental guidance, socio-economic position, special needs education
    Date: 2012–11
  6. By: M.C. Di Guardo; Raffaele Paci
    Abstract: In the last two decades Merger & Acquisition (M&A) activities worldwide rose to an unprecedented level mainly due to two factors - globalization and technological progress. M&A transactions, whatever is their motivation, generate potential knowledge flows between bidder and target firms that happen before, during and after the deal in the form of - information exchange in the due diligence phase and among managers; access to new technologies and organizational competencies; task and human integration; interaction of different organizational cultures; transfers of capabilities and resource sharing. Consequently, M&A transactions represent a valuable proxy for the exchange of knowledge across the geographical areas where companies are located offering therefore the opportunity to investigate into the knowledge flows between the European Union and its neighboring countries. The aim of the paper is to analyse in details the M&A deals in the European Neighboring Countries (ENC) in order to explore the knowledge flows between firms in those areas and external firms. More specifically, we will examine the geographical directions of M&As and their sectoral scope. Data on M&A deals are retrieved from the SDC Platinum database (Thomson Financial) considering the period 2000-2011. Taken together, M&A data provide interesting evidence on the overall market-level impact of M&A on ENC and thus on the knowledge links that have been generated.
    Keywords: Merger & Acquisition; knowledge flows; European Neighboring Countries
    JEL: F23 G34 L24 O33
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Pfeifer, Christian (Leuphana University Lueneburg and IZA); Wagner, Joachim (Leuphana University Lueneburg, CESIS)
    Abstract: This empirical research note documents the relationship between composition of a firm's workforce (with a special focus on age and gender) and its performance with respect to innovative activities (outlays and employment in research and development (R&D)) for a large representative sample of enterprises from manufacturing industries in Germany using unique newly available data. We find that firms with a higher share of older workers have significantly lower proportions of R&D outlays in total revenues and of R&D employment in total employment, whereas firms with a higher share of female employment seem to be more active in R&D.
    Keywords: Ageing; firm performance; gender; Germany; innovation; R&D
    JEL: D22 D24 J21 J24 L25
    Date: 2012–12–06
  8. By: Barbara Lipszyc; Etienne Sail; Ana Xavier
    Abstract: Public provision of long-term care (LTC) will pose an increasing challenge to the sustainability of public finances in the EU, due to an ageing population. In this view, the paper aims to provide indications on the timing and potential fiscal impact associated to changes in the demographic structure. The ageing of the population is expected to put pressure on governments to provide long-term care services as (very) old people often develop multi-morbidity conditions, which require not only long-term medical care but assistance with a number of daily tasks. This paper presents the projections of public expenditure on LTC in the long run (2060) under alternative assumptions. All scenarios project a non-negligible increase in public expenditure. All other things being equal, the expected increase in the demand for formal LTC support will vary across EU-27 Member States according to their current patterns of LTC provision: the balance between formal and informal care, the emphasis they put on institutional care, home care or provision of cash benefits, the supply constraints both in the formal and informal care sectors, the current average cost and coverage rate for each type of care and their distribution across age groups. The paper also discusses policy implications of the projection results.
    JEL: H51 I18 J14 J18
    Date: 2012–11
  9. By: François-Charles Wolff (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272, INED - Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques Paris - INED)
    Abstract: Using French data collected in 2007 from a sample of about 2,000 elderly people living in nursing homes, this paper investigates the role that individual characteristics play in satisfaction with life and depression. Following psychological studies that have highlighted the benefits of social interactions on individual well-being, I focus in particular on the role played by making friends in the nursing home. Results from random effect ordered Probit models show that both satisfaction with living conditions and feeling of depression are much more influenced by making friends in the institution than by visits from family and relatives or other individual background characteristics. These findings may be interpreted as evidence of a relational return to friendship within nursing homes.
    Keywords: friends; institutionalized elderly; living conditions; nursing home; relational goods
    Date: 2012–09–30
  10. By: Giorgio Barba Navaretti (University of Milan and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Davide Castellani (University of Perugia and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Fabio Pieri (Universitat de València)
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the firm age and growth nexus along the entire distribution of (positive and negative) growth rates. Using data from the EFIGE survey, and adopting a quantile regression approach we uncover evidence for a sample of French, Italian and Spanish manufacturing firms in the period from 2001 to 2008. After controlling for several firms’ characteristics, country and sector specificities we find that: (i) young firms grow faster than old firms, especially in the highest growth quintiles (ii) young firms face the same probability of declining than their older counterparts; (iii) high growth is associated with younger CEOs and other attributes which capture the attitude of firm toward growth and change, i.e. the number of employees involved in R&D activities and the number of graduate employees; (iv) results are robust to the inclusion of other firms’ characteristics like labor productivity, capital intensity, and the financial structure. Overall, our results are consistent with several theoretical arguments, like love for risk and learning.
    Keywords: firm growth, age, quantile regression
    JEL: L21 L25 L26 L60
    Date: 2012–12
  11. By: Karimi, Arizo (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Lindahl, Erica (Institute for evaluation of labour market and education policy); Skogman Thoursie, Peter (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Women account for the majority of parental leave take-up, which is likely one of the major reasons for the gender gap in income and wages. Consequently, many countries exert effort to promote a more gender equal division of parental leave. Indeed, the last decades have seen an increase in fathers’ take-up of parental leave benefits, but the gender earnings gap has remained fairly constant. In this paper we re-evaluate the labour supply responses of both mothers and fathers to three major reforms in the Swedish parental leave system, recognizing that take up of paid parental leave might not fully reflect actual time off from work in a system where job-protection exceeds paid leave. We find that both mothers and fathers decreased their labour supply to the same extent as a response to an increase in paid parental leave without gender restrictions. In contrast, we find no support for any changes in fathers’ labour supply due to reforms introducing gender quotas in paid leave.
    Keywords: natural experiment; parental leave; labour supply
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J48
    Date: 2012–11–30
  12. By: David Seim
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of displacement on outcomes such as annual earnings, unemployment, wages and hours worked. It relies on previously unexplored administrative data on all displaced workers in Sweden in 2002, 2003 and 2004 which are linked to employer-employee matched data at the individual level. By linking the data to military enlistment records, the paper assesses the selection into displacement and finds that workers with low cognitive and noncognitive skills are significantly more likely to be displaced than high-skilled workers. The analysis of displacement effects shows evidence of large and long-lasting welfare costs from displacement. Moreover, studying the heterogenous impacts of job displacement in terms of cognitive and noncognitive skills reveals that although workers with high skills fare better than low-skilled workers in absolute terms, there are no significant differences in the recovery rates between skill groups. Finally, by using administrative data on displacements, it is possible to assess quantitatively the bias that results from not being able to separate quits from layoffs in earlier studies
    Keywords: job displacement, cognitive and noncognitive skills, employer-employee data
    JEL: J60 J63 J65 I21 C23
    Date: 2012–12–03
  13. By: Damiani, Mirella; Pompei, Fabrizio; Ricci, Andrea
    Abstract: Liberalisation of temporary contracts has become an important component of recent labour reforms but up to now available research has not paid attention to the impacts of these institutional changes on functional income distribution. The present paper intends to fill this gap by focussing on the reduction in strictness of employment protection of temporary jobs and analysing its effects on factor shares. We have estimated labour share, as well as its components, worker pays and employment, by considering country-sector evidence for 14 EU economies and the sample period 1995-2007. We have found that these legislative changes, that have favoured the extensive use of temporary contracts, have contributed to instability of working conditions and caused negative effects on workers’ pays. These impacts have more than counterbalanced the scanty positive effects on employment (due to greater access to the labour market of additional workers, likely young and women), thus leading to a decrease in income share accruing to workers.
    Keywords: factor income distribution, labour regulation
    JEL: E25 J5
    Date: 2012–12–03
  14. By: Dhammika Dharmapala; Nadine Riedel
    Abstract: This paper presents a new approach to estimating the existence and magnitude of tax-motivated income shifting within multinational corporations. Existing studies of income shifting use changes in corporate tax rates as a source of identification. In contrast, this paper exploits exogenous earnings shocks at the parent firm and investigates how these shocks propagate across low-tax and high-tax multinational subsidiaries. This approach is implemented using a large panel of European multinational affiliates over the period 1995-2005. The central result is that parents’ positive earnings shocks are associated with a significantly positive increase in pretax profits at low-tax affiliates, relative to the effect on the pretax profits of high-tax affiliates. The result is robust to controlling for various other differences between low-tax and high-tax affiliates and for country-pair-year fixed effects. Additional tests suggest that the estimated effect is attributable primarily to the strategic use of debt across affiliates. The magnitude of income shifting estimated using this approach is substantial, but somewhat smaller than that found in the previous literature.
    Keywords: international taxation, income-shifting, multinational firms, earnings shocks
    JEL: H25
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Raul Caruso (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Marco Di Domizio (Dipartimento di Scienze della comunicazione, Università di Teramo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of hooliganism on attendance in Italian stadium and the effect of anti-violence measures adopted by Italian Government in 2007. Results first show that a structural break took place on Serie A average attendance in season 1979/80. The econometric investigation focused on the average of tickets sold per game as dependent variable. We have found a robust negative impact of hooliganism and match-fixing scandals on stadium attendance. In the light of the previous results we focus on recent policy measures adopted by Italian authorities aiming at reducing hooliganism. These measures, grounded on a ‘fidelity card’, were designed to keep out the extreme and violent part of committed fans in favour of the uncommitted. According to our econometric investigation involving single match played in Serie A from season 2007/08 to 2011/12 the substitution effect failed and the ‘fidelity card’ strategy did not turn to be successful if considering the average attendance point of view.
    Keywords: Hooliganism, Stadium attendance, Italian Serie A
    JEL: D12 K42 L83
    Date: 2012–11
  16. By: Bengtsson, Ola (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Sanandaji, Tino (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Johannesson, Magnus (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: A striking fact about entrepreneurship is that the number of male entrepreneurs greatly exceed the number of female entrepreneurs. We use detailed survey data from Sweden to study to what extent this gender gap can be explained by gender differences in personality. We show that women have markedly different psyche than men (11 out of 14 traits differ), and that entrepreneurs have markedly different psyche than others (8 out of 14 traits differ). However gender differences in traits do not reduce women's likelihood of being an entrepreneur in a one-sided way. We find that, in aggregate, gender differences in personality traits can explain a modest part of the gender gap in entrepreneurship: our estimates suggest 21%–32%. We also document that personality traits that distinguish entrepreneurs from others are generally not more prevalent among the non-entrepreneurial self-employed. This finding highlights that entrepreneurship is distinct from other types of self-employment.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; Gender differences; Personality traits
    JEL: J16 L26
    Date: 2012–11–29
  17. By: Erwan Gautier (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272); Ronan Le Saout (ENSAE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - ENSAE ParisTech)
    Abstract: Using millions of individual gasoline prices collected at a daily frequency, we examine the speed at which market refined oil prices are transmitted to consumer liquid fuel prices. We find that on average gasoline prices are modified once a week and the distribution of price changes displays a M-shape as predicted by an adjustment cost model. Using a reduced form statedependent pricing model with time-varying random thresholds, we find that the degree of pass through of wholesale prices to retail gasoline prices is on average 0:77 for diesel and 0:67 for petrol. The duration for a shock to be fully transmitted into prices is about 10 days. There is no significant asymmetry in the transmission of wholesale price to retail prices.
    Keywords: price stickiness ; adjustment costs ; (S,s) models ; gasoline price.
    Date: 2012–09–18
  18. By: Dawes, Christopher T. (Department of Politics); Johannesson, Magnus (Stockholm School of Economics); Lindqvist, Erik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Loewen, Peter (Department of Political Science); Östling, Robert (Institute for International Economic Studies); Bonde, Marianne; Priks, Frida
    Abstract: We test whether generosity is related to political preferences and partisanship in Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States using incentivized dictator games. The total sample consists of more than 5,000 respondents. We document that support for social spending and redistribution is positively correlated with generosity in all four countries. Further, we show that donors are more generous towards co-partisans in all countries, and that this effect is stronger among supporters of left-wing political parties. All results are robust to the inclusion to an extensive set of control variables, including income and education.
    Keywords: Generosity; Altruism; Political Preferences; Size of Government; Public Goods; Dictator Game; Ingroup Effect; Political Partisanship
    JEL: H11 H40
    Date: 2012–11–21
  19. By: Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Soren Leth-Petersen; Torben Nielsen; Tore Olsen
    Abstract: Do retirement savings policies – such as tax subsidies or employer-provided pension plans – increase total saving for retirement or simply induce shifting across accounts? We revisit this classic question using 45 million observations on savings for the population of Denmark. We find that a policy's impact on total savings depends critically on whether it changes savings rates by active or passive choice. Tax subsidies, which rely upon individuals to take an action to raise savings, have small impacts on total wealth. We estimate that each $1 of tax expenditure on subsidies increases total saving by 1 cent. In contrast, policies that raise savings automatically even if individuals take no action – such as employer-provided pensions or automatic contributions to retirement accounts – increase wealth accumulation substantially. Price subsidies only affect the behavior of active savers who respond to incentives, whereas automatic contributions increase savings of passive individuals who do not reoptimize. We estimate that 85% of individuals are passive savers. The 15% of active savers who respond to price subsidies do so primarily by shifting assets across accounts rather than reducing consumption. These individuals also oset changes in automatic contributions and have higher wealth-income ratios. We conclude that automatic contributions are more effective at increasing total retirement savings than price subsidies for three reasons: (1) subsidies induce relatively few individuals to respond, (2) they generate substantial crowdout conditional on response, and (3) they do not influence the savings behavior of passive individuals, who are least prepared for retirement.
    JEL: E21 H3
    Date: 2012–11
  20. By: Jean-Philippe Boussemart (University of Lille 3 and IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS)); Jean-Pierre Butault (INRA Paris and INRA Nancy); Oluwaseun Ojo (IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS))
    Keywords: Index numbers, Total Factor Productivity, Factor income distribution, Agricultural and food policy
    JEL: C43 D24 D33 Q18
    Date: 2012–09

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