nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Report No. 55: Labour Migration from EaP Countries to the EU – Assessment of Costs and Benefits and Proposals for Better Labour Market Matching By Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.; Kureková, Lucia; Biavaschi, Costanza
  2. The evolution of economic convergence in the European Union By Borsi, Mihály Tamás; Metiu, Norbert
  3. The “green-impact” of the open innovation mode. Bridging knowledge sourcing and absorptive capacity for environmental innovations By Sandro Montresor; Claudia Ghisetti; Alberto Marzucchi
  4. Inequality-adjusted gender wage differentials in Germany By Ekaterina Selezneva; Philippe Van Kerm
  5. Electricity Supply Preferences in Europe: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data By Heinz Welsch; Philipp Biermann
  6. Survival of spinoffs and other startups: First evidence for the private sector in Germany, 1976 - 2008 By Fackler, Daniel; Schnabel, Claus
  7. Distant Event, Local Effects? Fukushima and the German Housing Market By Thomas K. Bauer; Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
  8. An investigation of housing affordability in the UK regions By Alberto Montagnoli; Jun Nagaysu
  9. The impact of Migration on Infant Mortality Reduction in Albania By Narazani, Edlira
  10. Trade Protectionism and Intra-industry Trade: A USA - EU Comparison By Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra; Sousa, Cândida; Carvalho, Helena; Crespo, Nuno
  11. Do House Prices Affect Consumption? A Re-assessment of the Wealth Hypothesis By Cristini, Annalisa; Sevilla, Almudena
  12. Banks and sovereign risk: A granular view By Buch, Claudia M.; Koetter, Michael; Ohls, Jana
  13. Immigration and property prices: Evidence from England and Wales By Braakmann, Nils
  14. Innovation and Income Inequality. By Antonelli, Cristiano; Gehringer, Agnieszka
  16. Regional Determinants of Establishments' Innovation Activities: A Multi-Level Approach By Bellmann, Lutz; Crimmann, Andreas; Evers, Katalin; Hujer, Reinhard
  17. Abolishing Public Guarantees in the Absence of Market Discipline By Tobias Körner; Isabel Schnabel
  18. Job, Employment and Occupation Flows Over the Business Cycle By Lodewijk Visschers; Carlos Carrillo-Tudela
  19. The Causal Effect of Retirement on Mortality: Evidence from Targeted Incentives to Retire Early By Bloemen, Hans; Hochguertel, Stefan; Zweerink, Jochem
  20. GraduatesÕ emotional competency: aligning academic programs, firmsÕ requirements and studentsÕ profiles By Fabrizio Gerli; Sara Bonesso; Claudio Pizzi; Mariachiara Barzotto

  1. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and University of Bonn); Kureková, Lucia (Central European University); Biavaschi, Costanza (IZA)
    Abstract: Report based on a study conducted for the European Commission, Bonn 2013 (164 pages)
    Date: 2013–08–30
  2. By: Borsi, Mihály Tamás; Metiu, Norbert
    Abstract: This paper investigates economic convergence in real income per capita between 27 European Union countries. We employ a non-linear latent factor framework to study transitional behavior among economies between 1970 and 2010. Our results offer important insights on the economic catch-up exhibited by the new EU members in light of the institutional changes and macroeconomic adjustment processes undertaken over the last 40 years. Our main findings suggest no overall real income per capita convergence in the EU, however, we identify subgroups that converge to different steady states using an iterative testing procedure. Regional linkages play a significant role in determining the formation of convergence clubs. The empirical evidence suggests a clear separation between the new and old EU member states in the long run. --
    Keywords: Club convergence,Dynamic factor model,Economic integration,Growth,New member states
    JEL: C33 O47
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Sandro Montresor (JRC-IPTS); Claudia Ghisetti (University of Bologna); Alberto Marzucchi (Catholic University of Milan)
    Abstract: This Policy Brief presents recent results on the impact that an open innovation mode has on European firms' environmental innovations. New evidence drawn from the CIS suggests that knowledge sourcing can increase the environmental innovation performance of firms. However, the way firms search for external knowledge and work to absorb it can lead them to different results, depending on whether they are involved in the adoption of an eco-innovation or the extension of their eco-innovation portfolio. Drawing on these results, policy implications for the European Research and Innovation Agenda are discussed.
    Keywords: innovation, environment, eco-innovation
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Ekaterina Selezneva (IOS Regensburg); Philippe Van Kerm
    Abstract: This paper exploits data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to re-examine the gender wage gap in Germany on the basis of inequality-adjusted measures of wage differentials which fully account for gender differences in pay distributions. The inequality-adjusted gender pay gap measures are significantly larger than suggested by standard indicators, especially in East Germany. Women appear penalized twice, with both lower mean wages and greater wage inequality. A hypothetical risky investment question collected in 2004 in the SOEP is used to estimate individual risk aversion parameters and benchmark the ranges of inequality-adjusted wage differentials measures.
    Keywords: gender gap, wage differentials, wage inequality, expected utility, risk aversion, East and West Germany, SOEP, Singh-Maddala distribution, copula-based selection model
    JEL: D63 J31 J70
    Date: 2013–08
  5. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Philipp Biermann (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We use survey data for 139,517 individuals in 26 European Countries, 2002-2011, to estimate the relationship between subjective well-being (SWB) and production shares of various types of electricity generation. The estimated relationships are taken to represent preference relationships over attributes of electricity supply systems (costs, safety, environmental friendliness etc.). Controlling for a variety of individual and macro-level factors, we find that individuals’ SWB varies systematically and significantly with differences in the electricity mix across countries and across time. Among other results, we find that a greater share of solar and wind power relative to nuclear power is associated with greater SWB and that the implied preference for solar and wind power over nuclear power has risen drastically after the Fukushima nuclear accident. In general, our results suggest that environmental and safety concerns are of major importance in European citizens’ preference function over electricity supply structures.
    Keywords: : energy mix; preference; subjective well-being; energy transition; Fukushima
    JEL: Q42 Q48 I31
    Date: 2013–08
  6. By: Fackler, Daniel; Schnabel, Claus
    Abstract: Using a 50 percent sample of all establishments in the German private sector, we report that spinoffs are larger and initially employ more skilled and more experienced workers than other startups. Controlling for these and other differences, we find that spinoffs are less likely to exit than other startups. We show that in West and East Germany and in all sectors investigated pulled spinoffs (where the parent company continues after they are founded) generally have the lowest exit hazards, followed by pushed spinoffs (where the parent company stops operations). The difference between both types of spinoffs is particularly pronounced in the first three years. Contrary to expectations, intra-industry spinoffs are not found to have lower exit hazards in our sample. --
    Keywords: spinoffs,startups,firm exits,Germany
    JEL: L2 D22 M13 C41
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Thomas K. Bauer; Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
    Abstract: The Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan in March 2011 caused a fundamental change in Germany’s energy policy which led to the immediate shut down of nearly half of its nuclear power plants. This paper uses data from Germany’s largest internet platform for real estate to investigate the effect of Fukushima on the German housing market. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that Fukushima reduced house prices near nuclear power plants that were in operation before Fukushima by almost 6%. House prices near sites that were shut down right after the accident even fell by 10.8%. Our results suggest that economic reasons are of prime importance for the observed fall in house prices near nuclear power plants.orex interventions. Our results indicate that only coordinated interventions seem to stabilize the Dollar-Yen exchange rate in a long-run perspective. This is a novel contribution to the literature.
    Keywords: Fukushima; nuclear power plants; housing prices; Germany
    JEL: R31 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2013–08
  8. By: Alberto Montagnoli (Department of Economics, University of Stirling); Jun Nagaysu (Graduate School of Systems & Information engineering, University of Tsukuba, Japan)
    Abstract: The housing market has been extensively investigated in the literature; however, there is a lack of understanding of the fundamentals affecting housing affordability across UK regions as measured by the price to income ratio. The aim of this paper is twofold; firstly we calculate the affordability ratio based on individuals' incomes. Second we set off to ask which socio-economic factors could affect this ratio. The analysis finds a strong influence coming from the mortgage rate, the residents' age and academic qualifications. We also report a positive and significant effect from foreign capital coming to the UK. Finally, we record a non-negligible degree of heterogeneity across the twelve regions.
    Keywords: House market, affordability index, heterogeneity, panel data
    JEL: E31 E52
    Date: 2013–08
  9. By: Narazani, Edlira (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In the last two decades, Albania went through a substantial reduction in infant mortality rates together with a widespread migration experience. In this paper we investigate whether migration has played any role in this decreasing trend of infant mortality in Albania by using the Albanian Demographic and Health Survey 2008-09 (ADHS). First we assess whether migration has affected fertility decisions, namely, number of children and child sex composition among women aged 15 to 49 who have ever been married, but find no statistically significant evidence for any impact even when migration is instrumented. Afterwards, migration impact on child health status is investigated and the estimations results show that migrant households have had lower rates of infant mortality than non-migrant househol ds but only once the endogeneity of migration is tackled with country-specific instrumental variables.
    Date: 2013–07
  10. By: Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra; Sousa, Cândida; Carvalho, Helena; Crespo, Nuno
    Abstract: The aim of this work is to find patterns for products included in the customs tariffs of the USA and the EU (composed of over 5000 products disaggregated at the 6 digit-level) which share similarities, defined by a set of international trade variables, namely the index of revealed comparative advantages (RCA), the Grubel-Lloyd index, and other indicators of international trade. There is a recent strand in the literature advancing a theory that links the degree of intra-industry trade with the level of protectionism. In order to test this theory we use cluster analysis as a method of data analysis and the Grubel-Lloyd index as a classification variable between groups. For each of the analyzed regions we obtain four different groups. Thereafter each of these four clusters are further characterized with the help of the other international trade indicators and the tariffs. Finally, we establish a comparison between the two regions by examining possible differences and similarities. The results show a significant difference in the tariffs applied between the USA and the EU, with the USA presenting a lower level of protectionism. Additionally, the results for the USA show a positive relationship between the degree of intra-industry trade and a lower level of protectionism, while for the EU the results are not conclusive.
    Keywords: Trade Policy, Customs Tariff, USA, EU, Intra-industry Trade, Cluster Analysis
    JEL: C38 F12 F13 F14
    Date: 2013–07–31
  11. By: Cristini, Annalisa (University of Bergamo); Sevilla, Almudena (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper undertakes a comparison exercise to disentangle what drives the opposite findings regarding the effect of house prices on consumption documented in two papers using the same data set for the UK. On the one hand, Campbell and Cocco (2007) find that old owners are the most benefited by a house price increase and young renters the least, confirming the so-called wealth hypothesis. On the other hand, Attanasio, Blow, Hamilton, and Leicester (2009) find that house prices have the same impact on consumption across age groups, consistent with the so-called common factor hypothesis. First, we confirm that the findings in both papers can be reproduced. Second, we rule out a number of potential reasons related to the basic data construction, and provide evidence that the functional form (i.e., an Euler equation of consumption vs. a reduced form life-cycle model) and not data aggregation considerations (household level data vs. synthetic cohort data) may be at the root of the conflicting results in the two papers. Our findings revive the debate of whether there is an effect of house prices on consumption.
    Keywords: consumption, house prices, wealth hypothesis, common factor hypothesis
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2013–08
  12. By: Buch, Claudia M.; Koetter, Michael; Ohls, Jana
    Abstract: In this paper, we use detailed data on the sovereign debt holdings of all German banks to analyse the determinants of sovereign debt exposures and the implications of sovereign exposures for bank risk. Our main findings are as follows. First, sovereign bond holdings are heterogeneous across banks. Larger, weakly capitalised banks and banks with a small depositor base hold more sovereign bonds. Around 31% of all German banks hold no sovereign bonds at all. Second, the sensitivity of banks to macroeconomic factors increased significantly in the post-Lehman period. Banks hold more bonds from euro area countries, from low-inflation countries, and from countries with high sovereign bond yields. Third, there has been no marked impact of sovereign bond holdings on bank risk. This result could indicate the widespread absence of marking-to-market for sovereign bond holdings at the onset of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. --
    Keywords: sovereign debt,bank-level heterogeneity,bank risk
    JEL: G11 G18 G21 G28
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Braakmann, Nils
    Abstract: This paper investigates the link between immigration and property prices in England and Wales. Evidence from fixed effects and shift-share-based instrumental variable regressions suggests that an increase in the regional share of migrants (a) decreases prices at the lower end of the distribution up to the median and (b) has (almost) no effect on mean property prices or prices above the median. I also provide evidence on two mechanisms that explain these effects: (c) natives move out of regions as immigration increases and (d) the number of persons per room increases with the share of immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration; property prices; housing market; England; Wales
    JEL: J15 R21 R31
    Date: 2013–08–29
  14. By: Antonelli, Cristiano; Gehringer, Agnieszka (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The paper articulates and tests the hypothesis that innovation is a major factor in the reduction of income inequalities. The relationship between the pace of technological change and the dynamics of income inequalities has been first suggested by Kuznets (1955), but found little elaboration and empirical investigation in the subsequent literature. The evidence of a large data set including advanced countries, such as the US, Canada and the members of the European Union, as well as the newly industrializing BRIC members, in the years 1995-2011, confirms the virtuous circle between technological change and income inequalities.
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Brian Lucey (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin); Michael Daly (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: TWe undertake a first benchmark study of economic literacy in Ireland using a panel of 700+ adults to assess the economic knowledge of respondents. Sources of economic information are analysed and ranked in order of usefulness. Accuracy of response in each section is analysed across each demographic variable; variance in performance based on age, gender, education, work background and other factors is analysed thoroughly. A comparative analysis is then undertaken in order to contrast the economic literacy of Ireland established through our representative sample with that already established through similar investigation of other jurisdictions.
    Keywords: economic literacy, economic indicators, surveys, Ireland, economics
    JEL: A20
  16. By: Bellmann, Lutz (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Crimmann, Andreas (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Evers, Katalin (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Hujer, Reinhard (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of different innovation types. Beside a wide range of firm characteristics also the effects of regional factors are estimated using three-level random effect logit models which account for the clustered and longitudinal structure of the data. The analyses contain three regional variables: the unemployment rate, the assessment of the region with reference to proximity to research and technology centres and universities and the rate of graduates in mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technological sciences (MINT-graduates). The empirical basis is the IAB-Establishment Panel Survey 2006 to 2010. Process and radical innovations are significant affected by the unemployment rate and the share of MINT-graduates. The unemployment rate has also for some of the innovation combos a significant effect. The proportion of MINT-graduates is relevant for the probability of all 4 innovation types simultaneously.
    Keywords: determinants of innovation, regional effects, multilevel modelling
    JEL: D21 O30 R15
    Date: 2013–08
  17. By: Tobias Körner; Isabel Schnabel
    Abstract: This paper shows that the abolition of state guarantees to publicly owned banks in Germany resulted in an increase in funding costs at German savings banks. Rather than being the result of increased market discipline, the increase in funding costs is shown to be driven by spillover effects from German Landesbanken who themselves had suffered from the abolition of guarantees and who spread their own cost increase through the public banking network. Higher funding costs and the resulting drop in bank charter values translated into higher risk-taking at German savings bank.
    Keywords: Public bail-out guarantees; savings banks; Landesbanken; market discipline; bank risk-taking; banking networks
    JEL: G21 G28 H11 L32
    Date: 2013–08
  18. By: Lodewijk Visschers (Universidad Carlos III); Carlos Carrillo-Tudela (Essex)
    Abstract: We study, empirically and theoretically, the flows from and to unemployment, and from job to job, and relate these to occupational mobility. We are also particularly interested in the cyclical patterns of these flows. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we document patterns of job mobility with and without occupational change, and in particular, focus on these workers’ subsequent labor market outcomes. We then model these flows in an adaptation of Carrillo-Tudela and Visschers (2011, 2013) that incorporates on-the-job search. Due to its block-recursive structure, the model stays tractable, even when the agents are subject to aggregate productivity shocks. We investigate whether the observed patterns of occupational mobility are consistent with an attachment to occupations growing with occupational tenure, also when incorporating job-to-job transitions; whether this attachment is in line with estimated returns to occupational human capital; and how this attachment varies over the business cycle, and over the life cycle. We then plan to relate our outcomes to the overall strength of reallocative forces for workers, and what role the business cycle plays in this.
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Bloemen, Hans (VU University Amsterdam); Hochguertel, Stefan (VU University Amsterdam); Zweerink, Jochem (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper identifies and estimates the impact of early retirement on the probability to die within five years, using administrative micro panel data covering the entire population of the Netherlands. Among the older workers we focus on, a group of civil servants became eligible for retirement earlier than expected during a short time window. This exogenous policy change is used to instrument the retirement choice in a model that explains the probability to die within five years. Exploiting the panel structure of our data, we allow for unobserved heterogeneity by way of individual fixed effects in modeling the retirement choice and the probability to die. We find for men that early retirement, induced by the temporary decrease in the age of eligibility for retirement benefits, decreased the probability to die within five years by 2.5 percentage points. This is a strong effect. We find that our results are robust to several specification changes.
    Keywords: instruments, retirement, mortality
    JEL: C26 I1 J26
    Date: 2013–08
  20. By: Fabrizio Gerli (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Sara Bonesso (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Claudio Pizzi (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Mariachiara Barzotto (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: This study explores the still under-investigated phenomenon of the development of behavioral competencies in higher education settings. We carried out a study on a sample of graduate students enrolled in different disciplinary academic programs in a public University located in northern Italy. We analyzed their emotional, social and cognitive competencies (by adopting a research method that includes a multi-rater approach), comparing them with those expected by a sample of recruiting companies and with those developed by the teachers. Moreover, this study provides preliminary evidence on the impact of a set of characteristics related to the academic learning environment (such as the teaching methods) on the studentsÕ competency profile, correlating these variables with single competencies and clusters.
    Keywords: Emotional and social competencies, graduate students, higher education, behavioral competency, learning environment, competency development.
    JEL: I23 J24 M12 M51 M53
    Date: 2013–08

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