nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2013‒03‒30
fifteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Social norms, family polices, and fertility trends: insights from a comparative study on the German-speaking region in Belgium By Sebastian Klüsener; Karel Neels; Michaela Kreyenfeld
  2. Employment Duration and Shifts into Retirement in the EU By Ted Aranki & Corrado Macchiarelli
  3. Innovation Drivers, Value Chains and the Geography of Multinational Firms in European Regions By Riccardo Crescenzi; Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti
  4. A Note on Satisfaction with Life, Government and Job: The Case of Eastern Europe By Humpert, Stephan
  5. On the Size and Determinants of Inter-regional Redistribution in European Countries over the Period 1995-2009 By Lago-Peñas, Santiago; Prada, Albino; Vaquero, Alberto
  6. Migration strategies of the crisis-stricken youth in an enlarged European Union By Brian Fabo; Martin Kahanec
  7. Made in Europe? Trends in International Production Fragmentation By Vries, Gaaitzen J. de; Timmer, Marcel; Los, Bart
  8. Sustainability and Competitiveness in Evolutionary Perspectives. Environmental Innovations, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics in the EU By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Francesco Nicolli; Marianna Gilli
  9. The Effect of the European Regulation 1606/2002 on Market Efficiency: Early Empirical Evidence and Some Suggestions for Future Research and Policy-Making Discussion By Palea Vera
  10. The effect of age and time to death on health care expenditures: the Italian experience By Vincenzo Atella; Valentina Conti
  11. Corporate Governance and Shareholder Value in Listed Firms: An Empirical Analysis in Five Countries (France, Italy, Japan, UK, USA) By Monda, Barbara; Giorgino, Mrco
  12. The cyclicality of the separation and job finding rates in France By Jean-Olivier Hairault; Thomas Le Barbanchon; Thepthida Sopraseuth
  13. Capital Market Effects of the IFRS Adoption for Separate Financial Statements: Evidence from the Italian Stock Market By Palea Vera
  14. Public provision vs outsourcing of cultural services: evidence from italian cities By Bertacchini Enrico; Dalle Nogare Chiara
  15. Economic Evaluation of Energy Efficiency Labelling in Domestic Appliances: the Spanish Market By Ibon Galarraga; Josu Lucas

  1. By: Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Karel Neels; Michaela Kreyenfeld (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Several countries in Northern and Western Europe report cohort fertility rates of close to two children per woman, including Belgium, France, and Denmark. By contrast, most Central and Southern European countries have cohort fertility levels of only around 1.5-1.6 children. Germany is part of this second group. In order to explain these country differences in fertility levels, some scholars have stressed the role of the social policy context, while others have pointed to differences in social fertility norms. However, due to the interdependence of these two factors, it is cumbersome to isolate their impact on fertility trends. In our study we at-tempt to disentangle these influences by drawing on a quasi-natural experiment. In the after-math of World War I, Germany was forced to cede the territory of Eupen-Malmedy to Bel-gium. The population in this area retained its German linguistic identity, but has been subject to Belgian social policies since the early 1920s. Our main research question is whether the fertility trends in this German-speaking region of Belgium follow the Belgian or the German pattern more closely. To answer this question, we use (micro)-census data to compare the fertility behavior in the German-speaking region in Belgium with data for western Germany and the Belgian Flemish- and French-speaking regions, controlling for individual-level char-acteristics. Our findings indicate that the overall fertility outcomes of the German-speaking region in Belgium resemble the Belgian pattern more than the German one. This provides support for the view that institutional factors play an important role for understanding the current fertility differences in Western Europe.
    Keywords: Belgium, Europe, Germany (Alte Bundesländer), family policies, fertility trends, social norms
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Ted Aranki & Corrado Macchiarelli
    Abstract: The decision to cease working is traditionally influenced by a wide set of socio-economic and environmental variables. In this paper, we study transitions out of work for 26 EU countries over the period 2004-2009 in order to investigate the determinants of retirement based on the Eurostat Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). Applying standard survivor analysis tools to describe exits into retirement, we do not find any significant differences in the patterns into retirement between the average euro area and EU non-euro area countries. Moreover, we find that shifts into retirement have increased during the onset of the 2009 economic and financial crisis. Income, together with flexible working arrangements, is found to be important as regards early retirement decisions, compared to retiring beyond the legal retirement age. Finally, we show that institutional measures (such as, state/health benefits, minimum retirement age) could not be sufficient alone if individuals withdraw earlier from the labour market due to a weakening of their health. Especially, these latter results are of importance for structural and macroeconomic policy, for instance, in increasing the employment of both people and hours worked against the background of population ageing.
    Date: 2013–02–12
  3. By: Riccardo Crescenzi; Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti
    Abstract: "This paper investigates the geography of multinational corporations’ investments in the EU regions. The ‘traditional’ sources of location advantages (i.e. agglomeration economies, market access and labour market conditions) are considered together with innovation and socio-institutional drivers of investments, captured by means of regional social filter conditions. The introduction of a wider set of attraction factors makes is possible to empirically assess the different role played by such advantages in the location decision of investments at different stages of the value chain and disentangle the differential role of national vs. local and regional factors. The empirical analysis covers the EU-25 regions and suggests that regional-socio economic conditions are crucially important for an understanding of the location investment decisions in the most sophisticated knowledge-intensive stages of the value chain."</HEAD
    Keywords: regions
    Date: 2012–10–01
  4. By: Humpert, Stephan
    Abstract: Recent studies on life satisfaction or well-being focus on transition countries. These countries are the Central Eastern European and Baltic states (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The half of the CEE countries are meanwhile members of the European Union (EU). Using the year 2008 of the European Values Study 2010 (EVS), I use simple OLS regressions for life satisfaction, as well as satisfaction with government and the job. Individual characteristics are in line with global well-being results. I find no evidence that Eastern European EU member countries behave different then other transition countries. But there are a some differences between the countries concerning governmental quality and job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Subjective Well-Being, Transition, Central Eastern European and Baltic states, Commonwealth of Independent States
    JEL: D60 I31 O5
    Date: 2013–03–23
  5. By: Lago-Peñas, Santiago; Prada, Albino; Vaquero, Alberto
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse cross-country differences in the degree of inter-regional redistribution achieved by means of taxes and expenditures in 21 European countries over the period 1995-2009. We rely on a standard approach based on the observation and comparison of both primary and disposable household income at regional scale. Once the redistributive effect in each country is quantified, we try to explain the drivers of cross-country time-series differences. According to our estimates, cross-national standard deviation is significant and much higher than time variation. Secondly, inter-regional redistribution is strongly and positively related to personal redistribution by means of taxes and social benefits in cash; and is negatively related to both the extent of regional disparities in primary income and to the degree of political and fiscal decentralization.
    Keywords: Inter-regional redistribution, regional fiscal imbalance, European Union
    JEL: H11 H23 H77
    Date: 2013–03–10
  6. By: Brian Fabo; Martin Kahanec
    Abstract: This paper studies the migration response of the youth from new EU member states to disparate conditions in an enlarged European Union at the onset of the Great Recession. We use the Eurobarometer data and probabilistic econometric models to identify the key drivers of the intention to work in another member state of European Economic Area (EEA) and their expected duration. We find that migration intentions are high among those not married and among males with children, but both categories are also overrepresented among people with only temporary as opposed to long-term or permanent migration plans. Whereas age affects migration intentions negatively, education has no effect on whether working abroad is envisaged. However, conditional on envisaging to work abroad, completion of education (if after 16th birthday) is associated with long-term (at least five years), but not permanent, migration plans. Finally, we find that socio-demographic variables explain about as much variation of migration intentions as self-reported push and pull factors and migration constraints.
    Keywords: EU labor markets, migration, youth, EU enlargement, labor mobility, free movement of workers, transitional arrangements, new member states, European Union
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2013–03–01
  7. By: Vries, Gaaitzen J. de; Timmer, Marcel; Los, Bart (Groningen University)
    Abstract: In a world dominated by the emergence of global value chains, production processes increasingly fragment across a variety of countries. We provide new macro-economic evidence on this phenomenon, using a Theil-type distribution index of value added, which we call the international production fragmentation (IPF) index. In contrast to the well-known Feenstra and Hanson (1999) measure, this novel index does not suffer from a country size-bias and double counting due to re-imported intermediates. Moreover, it is sensitive to changes in the country-distribution of value added. We identify global value chains (GVCs) by the countryindustry in which the last stage of production takes place. Using a new dataset of world input-output tables covering 40 countries, we find that since 1995 production processes for most manufacturing goods in Europe increasingly fragmented across countries, although at different paces. In 2008, GVCs of electrical products and transportation equipment were generally most internationally fragmented, while food products and minerals production the least. Averaged across products, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands had the most fragmented GVCs in 2008, followed by Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, where fragmentation increased at a high pace since 1995. We also find that in 1995, European value chains were mainly fragmented across other EU countries. Afterwards, however, there has been a strong trend towards increased participation of non-European countries. The financial crisis in 2008 led only to a temporary reduction in international production fragmentation.
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti; Francesco Nicolli; Marianna Gilli
    Abstract: We take a sector based perspective to investigate the EU economic, environmental and innovation performances. We correlate the various sector performances taking into account the role of changing specialization. In addition, we examine sector environmental performances related factors through shift-share decomposition analysis. We show that vivid divergences in environmental, economic and innovation performances exist between EU countries. The leading role of Germany emerges, with strong underpinnings in its economic specialization rooted on manufacturing. France excels in some services, while Italy suffers. Germany and Sweden more than others present win win economic-environmental sector performances. On the basis of our investigation economic and environmental performances are effectively potentially interrelated. Examples of integrated innovation-economic-environmental performances appear. Nevertheless, the sector view highlights that the underpinnings of macro performance rely on various structural change and innovation elements. Further research could investigate how composition effects and innovation changes correlate towards the achievement of sustainable economic development.
    Keywords: Environmental innovation; economic performance; decomposition; meso economics
    JEL: Q53 Q55
    Date: 2013–01–04
  9. By: Palea Vera (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The European Regulation 1606/2002 has required European firms listed on the European stock markets to prepare, starting from 2005, their consolidated financial statements according to the international accounting standards IAS/IFRS. The purpose of such a regulation is to ensure a high degree of transparency and comparability of financial statements and, hence, an efficient functioning of the European capital market. This paper investigates whether such a purpose can be considered as reached by focusing on the firms’ cost of capital. It shows that early evidence documents beneficial effects from the IAS/IFRS adoption, even though such effects vary due to differences still persisting in the European countries’ institutional frameworks and firms’ incentives. The paper also makes some suggestions for future research and policy-making discussion
    Date: 2013–03
  10. By: Vincenzo Atella (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Valentina Conti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: There exists a large body of literature, mainly based on hospital costs, showing that time to death is by far a better predictor of health spending than age. In this paper, we investigate if this finding holds true also in presence of outpatient costs (drugs, diagnostic tests and specialist visits). To accomplish this task we use data from the Health Search-SiSSI dataset, a large unbalanced panel of Italian patients that collects detailed information on patient clinical records and costs. Our results show that age is a strong driver of outpatient costs in Italy. In particular, we find that age produces a 500% increase in health costs from age 40 to 80, while proximity to death rises costs only by about 30%. Our advice for policy makers is then to use disaggregated models to better disentangle the role that age and time to death may have on different components of health expenditure.
    Keywords: ageing, time to death, outpatient health care expenditure, cost of dying
    JEL: J14 I12
    Date: 2013–03–08
  11. By: Monda, Barbara; Giorgino, Mrco
    Abstract: In this paper, we design a multi-dimensional index to measure the quality of Corporate Governance systems adopted by firms and use it to investigate the correlation between Corporate Governance quality and firm value. Unlike most studies that examine the relationship between only one dimension of Governance and firm value, we present a complex index (CGI) composed of 39 variables referable to four dimensions: Board, Remuneration, Shareholder Rights and Disclosure. By analysing a sample of 100 large companies listed on the main stock markets in five different countries over three years (2009-2011), we confirm the widespread hypothesis of the existence of a positive and statistically significant relationship between Corporate Governance, as measured by a subset of 12 variables, and firm value.
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Index, firm value
    JEL: G30 G32 G34
    Date: 2013–03–01
  12. By: Jean-Olivier Hairault; Thomas Le Barbanchon; Thepthida Sopraseuth (PSE, University of Paris I; Crest; THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim to shed light on the relative contribution of the separation and job finding rates to French unemployment at business cycle frequencies by using administrative data on registered unemployment and labor force surveys. We first investigate the fluctuations in steady state unemployment, and then in current unemployment in order to take into account the unemployment deviations from equilibrium. Our results show the dominant role of the job finding rate in accounting for French unemployment fluctuations. The contribution of the job finding rate amounts to about two-thirds of the unemployment dynamics. With the two data sets, we find that both rates contributed to unemployment fluctuations during the nineties, while the job finding rate has been more significant in the last decade. In particular, the last business cycle episodes, including the last recession, exacerbate the role of the job finding rate.
    Keywords: unemployment variability, job separation; job finding, worker flows
    JEL: E24 J6
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Palea Vera (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Using a sample of Italian firms, I investigate whet her separate financial statements are useful to capital market investors and IFRS are more value-relevant than domestic GAAP. I find significant differences in value-relevance between Italian GAAP and IFRS, with IFRS being more informative than Italian GAAP. However, while results are robust for book value, they provide mixed evidence on net income. I also investigate the value-relevance of separate financial statements under IFRS relative to consolidate financial statements and I find that the former are more value-relevant than the latter. Overall, this study provides evidence supporting the choice of adopting IFRS for separate financial statements.
    Date: 2013–03
  14. By: Bertacchini Enrico; Dalle Nogare Chiara (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Cultural policy often implies the transfer of public resources to private cultura l institutions. In this contribution we focus on the determinants of a government’s choice between cultural transfers and in-house cultural production. We argue that in the cultural field transfers may be seen as a proxy for the value of outsourced services, and we make reference to the empirical literature on outsourcing of local public services. We consider Italian cities’ cultural policies in the1998-2008 period, a time when overall cultural expenditure shrank while cultural transfers increased. Using dynamic panel data analysis and controlling for specific characteristics of each city, we find that outsourcing of cultural services is negatively affected by cultural assets specificity and is more likely tooccur in cities subject to fiscal stress. The results also highlight that the timing of elections affects the transfer of public resources to private cultural institutions
    Date: 2013–03
  15. By: Ibon Galarraga; Josu Lucas
    Abstract: This paper estimates the economic value that consumers place on energy efficiency (EE) labels for appliances in the Spanish market. <br /> It uses the hedonic method to calculate the price premium paid in the market for that attribute isolated from others. Furthermore, the Quantity Based Demand System (QBDS) is applied to calculate the own and cross price elasticities of demand for both EE appliances and others. <br /> These elasticities are useful for improving the design of policies to promote EE. The paper looks at three different appliances marketed in Spain during 2012: washing machines, fridges and dishwashers.
    Date: 2013–03

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