nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2013‒12‒15
23 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Changes in Income Distribution and the Role of Tax-benefit Policy During the Great Recession: An International Perspective By Bargain, Olivier; Callan, Tim; Doorley, Karina; Keane, Claire
  2. The distributional impact of public services in By Rolf Aaberge; Audun Langørgen; Petter Lindgren
  3. The Impact of CAP Payments on the Exodus of Labour from Agriculture in Selected EU Member States By Tocco, Barbara; Davidova, Sophia; Bailey, Alastair
  4. The European Crisis and Migration to Germany: Expectations and the Diversion of Migration Flows By Simone BERTOLI; Herbert BRÜCKER; Jesús FERNÁNDEZ-HUERTAS MORAGA
  5. Household affiliation of young adults in Italy and Norway : The significance of gender, sociocultural background, work and money By Tindara Addabbo; Randi Kjeldstad
  6. The EU Internal Electricity Market: Done Forever? By Jean-Michel Glachant; Sophia Ruester
  7. Long-Term Participation Tax Rates By Charlotte Bartels
  8. Sanctions for young welfare recipients By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Uhlendorff, Arne; Wolff, Joachim
  9. Unemployment is the scourge, not youth unemployment per se: The misguided policy preoccupation with youth By Barslund, Mikkel; Gros, Daniel
  10. Regional Convergence in Europe: A Dynamic Heterogeneous Panel Approach By Vogel, Johanna
  11. Has Europe Been Catching Up? An Industry Level Analysis of Venture Capital Success over 1985-2009* By Roman Kraussl; Stefan Krause
  12. Who drives smart growth? The contribution of small and young firms to inventions in sustainable technologies By Birgit Aschhoff; Georg Licht; Paula Schliessler
  13. The Market Microstructure of the European Climate Exchange By Yoichi Otsubo; Bruce Mizrach
  14. Labor regulations and European venture capital By Bozkaya, Ant; Kerr, William R.
  15. The Impact of Cooperation on R&D, Innovation and Productivity: an Analysis of Spanish Manufacturing and Services Firms By Fernández Gual, Verónica; Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 1958-
  16. The Costs of Early School Leaving in Europe By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria
  17. Housing Market Responses to Immigration; Evidence from Italy By Sona Kalantaryan
  18. Extending Working Life in Belgium By Contreras, Nicolas; Martellucci, Elisa; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
  19. RETAIL CITY: Does accessibility to shops explain place attractiveness? By Öner, Özge
  20. Extending Working Life in Finland By von Werder, Marten; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
  21. Emerging market multinationals in the European Union – A location choice analysis By Hassan, Sohaib Shahzad; Jindra, Björn; Cantner, Uwe; Günther, Jutta
  22. Do Foreign Owners Favor Short-Term Profit? Evidence from Germany By Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn; Stephen C. Smith
  23. EU Trade Preferences and Export Diversification By Persson, Maria; Wilhelmsson, Fredrik

  1. By: Bargain, Olivier; Callan, Tim; Doorley, Karina; Keane, Claire
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact on inequality and poverty of the economic crisis in four European countries, namely France, Germany, the UK and Ireland, and the contribution of tax and benefit policy changes. The period examined, 2008 to 2010, was one of great economic turmoil, yet it is unclear whether changes in inequality and poverty rates over this time period were mainly driven by changes in market income distributions or by tax-benefit policy reforms. We disentangle these effects by producing counterfactual (no reform) scenarios using tax-benefit microsimulation and representative household surveys of each country. For the period under study, we find that the policy reaction has contributed to stabilizing or even decreasing inequality and relative poverty in the UK, France and especially in Ireland, a country where rising unemployment would have otherwise increased poverty. Market income inequality has nonetheless pushed up inequality and relative poverty in France. Relative poverty and, notably, child poverty, have increased in Germany due to policy responses combined with the increasing inequality of market income.
    Date: 2013–12–06
  2. By: Rolf Aaberge; Audun Langørgen; Petter Lindgren (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of including the value of public health care, longterm care, education and childcare on estimates of income inequality and financial poverty in 23 European countries. The valuation of public services and the identification of target groups rely on group-specific accounting data for each of the 23 countries. To account for the fact that the receipt of public services like education and care for the elderly is associated with particular needs, we introduce a theory-based common equivalence scale for European countries, termed the needsadjusted EU scale (or NA scale). Even though the ranking of countries by estimates of overall inequality and poverty proves to be only slightly affected by the choice between the conventional EU scale and the NA scale, poverty estimates by household types are shown to be significantly affected by the choice of equivalence scale.
    Keywords: Income distribution; Poverty, Public services; In-kind transfers; Needs adjustment; Equivalence scales
    JEL: D31 I10 I20 I32
    Date: 2013–06
  3. By: Tocco, Barbara; Davidova, Sophia; Bailey, Alastair
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of exit from agriculture under the implementation of CAP payments in four selected EU countries (France, Hungary, Italy and Poland) in the period 2005-08. The study employs micro-data from the European Union Labour Force Survey and regional data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network. We differentiate among the different measures of farm payments, looking at the individual impact of Pillar 1 instruments, i.e. coupled and decoupled payments, and at those in Pillar 2, targeted at rural development. The main results suggest that total subsidies at the regional level are negatively associated with the out-farm migration of agricultural workers in the two New member states, Hungary and Poland, so that the CAP would seem to hinder the exit of labour from agriculture. Conversely, the non-significant results for the ‘old’ member states may be interpreted as the result of opposing effects of coupled payments and rural development support. The diverse impact of CAP on the likelihood of leaving agriculture in the four countries reflects the heterogeneity across European member states, due to different market and production structures, which does not allow a common and simple generalisation of the effect of the CAP on labour allocation.
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Simone BERTOLI (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Herbert BRÜCKER (IAB - IAB - University of Bamberg); Jesús FERNÁNDEZ-HUERTAS MORAGA (IAE - FEDEA - CSIC)
    Abstract: The European crisis has diverted migration flows away from countries affected by the recession towards Germany. The diversion process creates a challenge for traditional discrete-choice models that assume that only bilateral factors account for dyadic migration rates. This paper shows how taking into account the sequential nature of migration decisions leads to write the bilateral migration rate as a function of expectations about the evolution of economic conditions in alternative destinations. Empirically, we incorporate 10-year bond yields as an explanatory variable capturing forward-looking expectations and apply our model to an empirical analysis of migration from the countries of the European Economic Association to Germany in the period 2006-2012. We show that disregarding alternative destinations leads to substantial biases in the estimation of the determinants of migration rates.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2013–12–04
  5. By: Tindara Addabbo; Randi Kjeldstad (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Italy and Norway are characterized by different household patterns of young adults, with young Italians being more likely to live in their parents' house and young Norwegians more likely to live independently, alone or in multi-occupant households. This paper asks why, and how these differences can be understood. We focus on three types of household affiliation in young adulthood: Living with parents, living alone (including in multi-occupant households) and living in a couple, and conduct multivariate analyses on the interaction of gender, sociocultural background, and economic activity indicators at the individual level. We use EU SILC micro data on 2007, a time when the economic prospects and the labour market situation were relatively stable in both countries. The results show that young adults’ living arrangements are differently affected by the included subset of factors in the two countries. Generally, the propensity of young adults to live with parents and not in a couple appears more sensitive to individual characteristics in Italy than in Norway. This applies both to sociocultural and economic characteristics. Whereas an important prerequisite of leaving the parental home among young (native born) Italians, and particularly among Italian men, is to have finished education and attained a permanent job, young Norwegians establish households on their own more or less in any case.
    Keywords: Young adults; Gender; Household affiliation; Italy; Norway
    JEL: D1 J12 J13 J16 Z13
    Date: 2013–09
  6. By: Jean-Michel Glachant; Sophia Ruester
    Abstract: Taking a quarter-century to build a European internal market for electricity may seem an incredibly long journey. The aim of achieving a European-wide market might be reached, but we have gone through – and should continue to go through – a process subject to many adverse dynamics. The EU internal market may derail greatly in the coming years from the effects of a massive push for renewables, as well as a growing decentralization of the production-consumption loop. Moreover, a serious concern is the risk of a definitive fragmentation of the European electricity market due to uncoordinated national moves with respect to renewable support and capacity mechanisms.
    Keywords: EU internal market, Power sector reform, Renewable integration
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Charlotte Bartels
    Abstract: Generous income support programs as provided by European welfare states have often been blamed to reduce work incentives for the lowskilled and to increase durations of unemployment. Standard studies measure work incentives based on annual income concepts. This paper analyzes work incentives inherent in the German tax-benefit system when extending the time horizon to three years (long-term). Participation tax rates are computed for 1-year and 3-year periods 1995-1997 and 2005-2007 to reveal potential effects of the labor market and tax reforms between 1999 and 2005. The results show that participation tax rates are significantly lower over a 3- year period pointing at an overestimation of the disincentives by standard measures. Reforms reduced participation tax rates, particularly for singles and low-income individuals.
    Keywords: Welfare, work incentives, unemployment, unemployment insurance
    JEL: H31 J65
    Date: 2013
  8. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Uhlendorff, Arne (University of Mannheim); Wolff, Joachim (IAB Nuremberg)
    Abstract: Social welfare systems usually imply specific obligations for benefit recipients. If a recipient does not comply with these obligations, a sanction involving a punitive benefits reduction may be imposed. In this paper we give an overview of the literature on the effects of sanctions in social welfare systems and we present first results on the effects of sanctions for young unemployed welfare recipients based on German administrative data. The German welfare system is particularly strict for young individuals. We distinguish between mild and strong sanctions and we focus on the impact of these sanctions on job finding probabilities. Our results suggest that each type of sanction leads to an increased transition rate to work, and that this effect is higher for strong sanctions. However, strong sanctions for young welfare recipients involve a complete withdrawal of the basic cash transfer payments.
    Keywords: monitoring; welfare; youth unemployment; duration models; unemployment benefits; social assistance
    JEL: C41 I38 J64 J65
    Date: 2013–12–02
  9. By: Barslund, Mikkel; Gros, Daniel
    Abstract: This Policy Brief argues that too much effort and political capital is being spent by the Commission and member states on being seen to be doing something quickly about youth unemployment when, in fact, the structural measures proposed will only have long-term effects. Expectations of immediate relief are running well above what can be delivered, especially at the EU level. Given the macroeconomic situation, no policy option will deliver a significant dent in either youth unemployment or unemployment in general. The EU policies on the table that are supposed to have an immediate effect, such as increased lending from the European Investment Bank to SMEs for the hiring of young people, will only have a very marginal impact on youth unemployment. Moreover, this impact will come mostly to the detriment of older unemployed persons excluded from such a scheme. Given the perceived need to ‘be seen to be doing something’, we fear that policies subsidising young workers de facto at the expense of older workers or, even worse, policies that subsidise older workers for not taking young people’s jobs, will proliferate. In fact, it is not at all clear that young people suffer more from being unemployed than older people, or even disproportionately more than older unemployed individuals. In particular, it is not clear that the much-publicised notion of a ‘lost generation’ with permanent ‘scars’ is relevant only to the young generation. The paper ends by highlighting the much-neglected policy option of encouraging labour mobility within the internal market. Although the Commission is ‘upgrading and modernising’ its tools, much more could be done in this area – to the benefit of the individuals concerned, the member states, and European integration in general.
    Date: 2013–06
  10. By: Vogel, Johanna
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of allowing for heterogeneous slope coefficients in the Mankiw, Romer and Weil (1992) model, based on panel data for 193 EU-15 regions from 1980 to 2005. We first estimate the model using conventional pooled panel data estimators, based on data at five-year intervals, allowing at most intercepts to differ across regions. Then we relax the restriction of homogeneous slope coefficients by estimating separate time-series models for each region based on annual data, using Pesaran and Smith's (1995) mean group estimator. To account for spatial dependence, we employ the common correlated effects approach of Pesaran (2006). Our empirical analysis indicates important differences across regions in the speed of adjustment to region-specific long-run paths for the level of income per capita. Allowing for heterogeneous coefficients doubles the speed of adjustment to 22% per year on average compared to the homogenous case, which suggests downward bias in the latter. We also find a positive and significant effect of the rate of investment, although the implied capital elasticity and the estimated long-run effect of investment are smaller than expected.
    Keywords: Convergence, European regions, dynamic heterogeneous panels, mean group estimation, cross-section dependence
    JEL: C23 O40 R11
    Date: 2013–12
  11. By: Roman Kraussl; Stefan Krause (LSF)
    Abstract: After nearly two decades of US leadership during the 1980s and 1990s, are Europe s venture capital (VC) markets in the 2000s finally catching up regarding the provision of financing and successful exits, or is the performance gap as wide as ever? Are we amid an overall VC performance slump with no encouraging news? We attempt to answer these questions by tracking over 40,000 VC-backed firms stemming from six industries in 13 European "countries and the US between 1985 and 2009; determining the type of exit ? if" any ? each particular firm s investors choose for the venture.
    Keywords: Venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurial activity, performance gap
    JEL: G24 G3
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Birgit Aschhoff; Georg Licht; Paula Schliessler
    Abstract: Europe’s innovation potential is currently dominated by well-established large companies. In most member countries the bulk of R&D expenditures is spend by large companies. Following OECD data, SME’s share in total R&D spending amount to 8% in Germany or Japan, around 15% in US, France, Korea or Italy, about 20% in Sweden, Finland or Switzerland, about 30% in Netherlands, Austria or Poland, and about 50% in Poland, Ireland, Slovakia or Greece. First of all, these figures point to a considerable heterogeneity with regard to the importance of SMEs in national R&D activities. However, young companies are said to be the driving force behind radical innovation which will be a source of employment and growth in future. In addition, the weakness of Europe is not only the small number of hightech startups but more specifically the number of hightech startups which accomplish continuing, rapid growth. However, there might be significant technology specific heterogeneity with regard to the contribution of SMEs and young firms to innovation. The central question of the paper is whether SMEs and young firms might be agents with a special contribution to new growth path in Europe. We took new renewable energy technologies as an example at test whether the contribution of SMEs and young firms is larger in this technology area compared to invention as measured by patenting. In order to focus on the most valuable patents we use patent applications at the European Patent Office which were also applied for patent production at the USPTO and the Japanese Patent Office (“triadic patent applications”). The analysis proceed in two steps: The paper looks first at trends in international patenting and compares triadic patent application in the field of energy with all triadic patent application by country of inventors. The idea is to highlight the role of EU and its member states in invention activity in a technology-field which is of special relevance for a new, sustainable growth path. In the second step we look at the contribution for SMEs and young firms to such a new growth path by a detail analyses of triadic patent application by German companies as the SMEs share to R&D is the smallest compared to all other EU member states as well as compared to OECD member states (except Japan). The focus on Germany is motivated for two reasons - to ease the analysis and to focus on the most extreme case of the firm-size R&D distribution which is observed in EU and OECD member states. The study employs the WIPO “Green Inventory” classification to identify energy-related patents via the international patent classification used by all patent offices to assign patents by technology and potential fields of application. This classification comprise as main technology classes alternative energy production, transportation, energy storage, waste management, agriculture/forestry, regulatory and design aspects, and nuclear power generation. The number of green inventory patents increased from 1991 to 2007 by a factor of 2.5 to 12.500 patent applications. The majority of this increase is observable in renewable energy product, storage of energy, design and management of energy systems, and waste management. Patents related to nuclear power account for 4% of green inventory patents and this share declined even more to 1% in 2007. Surprisingly, the increase of green inventory patent applications at the EPO more or less equals the increase in overall patent applications at the EPO. Hence, the share of green inventory patents in total patent application at EPO was constant and fluctuating always between 8-10% with not visible trend. Similarly, albeit the increase in the number of triadic patents is less impressive (only by a factor of 1.4) the structural features are the same. Overall, the importance of green patent activities does not greatly vary between countries or regions. In 2007, the share of green patent applications in all patent applications at the EPO lies between 7% and 12%. Interestingly, the new member states and southern Europe are at the upper end of the range (12% and 10%, respectively) - besides Japan (11%) and the US (10%). Green patents are slightly less important for Northern Europe and China (both 7%). Focusing on more valuable patent application (“triadic patent application”), green technologies become more important in Germany, Korea and China and lose importance in Southern Europe. The second step linked sustainable growth to the “entrepreneurial” economy by examining to which degree small and young firms are driving sustainable patenting. We find SMEs to be responsible for about 15% of all patent applications. This is the same for the WIPO Green Inventory classified “green” patents. Around half of patent applications of SMEs are made by young firms. About one half of all patent applications by SMEs are filed by micro firms. When narrowing down the analysis to triadic patents, we find the contribution of SMEs to decrease to about 9% of all patent applications which is probably caused by the larger costs of applying and maintaining triadic patents than EPO patents. The contribution to green patenting is even lower for triadic patents with only 6% of all green patents coming from SMEs. In the third step of the analysis, based on the link of German firm data to patent applications at the European Patent Office, we analyzed at the firm level whether small and young firms are more or less likely to file sustainable patents than other firms. The results show that large firms are significantly more likely to file both patents in general and green patents. We do find that, for micro, small and medium size firms, the negative effect on patenting compared to the reference category of a large firm is less strong for the younger firms. This effect exists both for the generation of patents in general and the generation of green patents. Therefore there does not seem to be a particular advantage for small or young firms in producing sustainable, green patents. Even more, SMEs and young firms seem to face larger obstacles to start inventing in green energy technologies than in other technology fields. In any case SMEs and young firms will probably not an important driver of new technologies like in some other fields of technology. Of course we have to admit that our same only covers international patent applications for the priority year 2007 or earlier. Hence, things might have changed in the meantime due to e.g. extended government support for innovation in green energy fields. However, this question can only be examined with future editions of the PATSTAT data which fully covers more recent years. In addition, we cannot rule out the SMEs and/or young firms are especially important for patents which are radical driver of technological change. To address this question several measurement issues need to be solved and/or existing measurement approaches need verification. However, this is beyond the limits of our study. What might be the contribution to the central questions of the wwwforEurope project? First of all, young and small firms might not able to drive the technology development towards a more sophisticated use of energy resources and renewable energies. Like in most other fields of technology the direction of technical change is determined by established large firms. Hence, under the current framework of innovation and industrial policies, the development of the “more entrepreneurial economy” will probably not form forerunners on the ways towards a new growth path. Secondly, private sector’s production of invention activities became not stronger directed towards technologies which aim at production, storage, distribution, and management of new energy technologies compared to other fields of technology. Given the societal need for new energy technologies the paper speaks in favor of government regulation, invention and incentives to stimulate research, development, and implementation new energy technologies. However, we do not find arguments that such stimuli should favor SMEs or young firms.
    Keywords: Green patents, sustainable patenting, SMEs, young firms
    JEL: O31 M13 C81
    Date: 2013–11
  13. By: Yoichi Otsubo; Bruce Mizrach (LSF)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the market microstructure of the European Climate Exchange, the largest EU ETS trading venue. The ECX captures 2/3 of the screen traded market in EUA and more than 90% in CER. 2009 Trading volumes total ?22 billion and are growing, with EUA transactions doubling, and CER volume up 61%. Spreads range from ?0:02 to ?0:06 for EUA and from ?0:07 to ?0:18 for CER. Market impact estimates imply that an average trade will move the EUA market by 1.08 euro centimes and the CER market 4.29. Both Granger-Gonzalo and Hasbrouck information shares imply that approximately 90% of price discovery is taking place in the ECX futures market. We find imbalances in the order book help predict returns for up to three days. A simple trading strategy that enters the market long or short when the order imbalance is strong is profitable even after accounting for spreads and market impact.
    Keywords: "Keywords: carbon; market microstructure; bid-ask spread; information share; order imbalance"
    JEL: G13 G32 E44
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Bozkaya, Ant (MIT); Kerr, William R. (Harvard University, Bank of Finland, and NBER)
    Abstract: European nations substitute between employment protection regulations and labor market expenditures (e.g., unemployment insurance benefits) for providing worker insurance. Employment regulations more directly tax firms making frequent labor adjustments than other labor market insurance mechanisms. Venture capital investors are especially sensitive to these labor adjustment costs. Nations favoring labor market expenditures as the mechanism for providing worker insurance developed stronger venture capital markets over 1990-2008, especially in high volatility sectors. In this context, policy mechanisms are more important than the overall level of worker insurance.
    Keywords: employment protection regulations; dismissal costs; unemployment insurance benefits; private equity; venture capital; entrepreneurship
    JEL: G24 J21 J65 L26 M13 O31 O32 O52
    Date: 2013–12–11
  15. By: Fernández Gual, Verónica; Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 1958-
    Abstract: This paper investigates relationships between cooperation, R&D, innovation and productivity in Spanish firms. It uses a large sample of firm-level micro-data and applies an extended structural model that aims to explain the effects of cooperation on R&D investment, of R&D investment on output innovation, and of innovation on firms’ productivity levels. It also analyses the determinants of R&D cooperation. Firms’ technology level is taken into account in order to analyse the differences between high-tech and low-tech firms, both in the industrial and service sectors. The database used was the Technological Innovation Panel (PITEC) for the period 2004-2010. Empirical results show that firms which cooperate in innovative activities are more likely to invest in R&D in subsequent years. As expected, R&D investment has a positive impact on the probability of generating an innovation, in terms of both product and process, for manufacturing firms. Finally, innovation output has a positive impact on firms’ productivity, being greater in process innovations. Keywords: innovation sources; productivity; R&D Cooperation
    Keywords: Tecnologia -- Innovacions, Indústria -- Productivitat, Investigació industrial, 338 - Situació econòmica. Política econòmica. Gestió, control i planificació de l'economia. Producció. Serveis. Turisme. Preus,
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: The reduction of early school leaving to less than 10 percent of the relevant population by 2020 is a headline target in the Europe 2020 strategy and one of the five benchmarks of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training. Designing adequate policies to combat early school leaving is a difficult task that requires both the identification of causal links and the measurement of costs and benefits. In this paper, we review the issues surrounding the measurement of the costs of early school leaving to individuals and societies, and examine several implemented policies that are expected to affect early school leavers. These include broad policies – such as changes in minimum school leaving age, tracking and school resources – as well as more targeted policies. While our focus is mainly on Europe, we also consider important evidence from across the Atlantic.
    Keywords: early school leaving, Europe, policy evaluation
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2013–12
  17. By: Sona Kalantaryan
    Abstract: In this study I empirically examine the impact of immigration on the dynamics of housing prices across Italian provinces from 1996 till 2007. The massive debate upon the impact of current intensive immigration flows on the wellbeing of the native Italian population and Europeans in general is mainly focused on labor market outcomes which is, however, only one of the channels though which the real income and wealth can alter. This paper contributes to our understanding of the influence that recent intensive immigration flows have on the Italian economy by estimating its impact on the housing market. Moreover, it exploits different methodological approach with respect to the approach dominating in migration literature. Using the number of valid residence permits as a measure of immigration stock and the self-reported housing values from the Survey of Households Income Wealth in Italy I find that the increase in the concentration of immigrants in the Italian provinces has a positive but declining effect on the average housing prices in provinces. The obtained results also indicate that an increase of in immigrant population leads to an increase in average housing prices. The performed Difference and System GMM estimations confirm both the positive response of average housing prices to the increase in immigrant population and the non-linearity of its response to immigrants’ concentration in all specifications.
    Keywords: Housing market, Immigration, GMM, House prices, Italy
    Date: 2013–11
  18. By: Contreras, Nicolas; Martellucci, Elisa; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
    Abstract: This report aims at understanding how persons aged 50 years and older are and can be integrated into the working society in Belgium. We are interested in how people in this age group can be induced to engage in various forms of employment and lifelong learning. Based on secondary literature, descriptive databases as well as interviews with experts and focus groups, we find that the discussion on active ageing in Belgium is well advanced with numerous contributions by academics, stakeholders, social partners, the public administration and interest groups. The wish to retire at 60 is widely shared, but at the same time the majority of Belgium’s elderly are able and would be willing to work under specific conditions. Therefore, we recommend that Belgium should invest in more flexible systems including a revision of the tax scheme, such as the part-time retirement system proposed by the insurance company Delta Lloyd. An equally relevant recommendation would be to ensure that public employment agencies, employers and agencies that provide training encourage all workers to work and learn regardless of their age.
    Date: 2013–11
  19. By: Öner, Özge (Jönköping International Business School, & Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of retail as an amenity and how it contributes to place attractiveness. In this investigation the impact of accessibility to shops on average house prices is investigated using a fixed effect estimation. The analysis use data for Swedish municipalities through the years 2002-2008. The empirical design is constructed using the across-cities spatial equilibrium framework of Roback (1982), and house prices are assumed to reflect the attractiveness of municipalities. In order to capture the precise impact from retail access, mean wages, population density, unemployment, leisure service concentration, and municipal tax levels are controlled for. Results indicate a strong relationship between retail access and place attractiveness, where a retail-premium on house prices is found to be present for Swedish municipalities.
    Keywords: Urban amenities; housing market; retail sector
    JEL: L81 O18 P25
    Date: 2013–12–09
  20. By: von Werder, Marten; Thum, Anna-Elisabeth
    Abstract: This report reviews national and private initiatives to allow the elderly to continue their participation in the Finnish labour market and provides an analysis of the labour market and living conditions of seniors. We are interested in how those over 50 can be engaged in various forms of employment and lifelong learning. We find strong evidence that Finland generally provides good institutional conditions for active ageing. The quick and early ageing process was tackled by the fundamental pension reform that already prolonged retirement substantially and will probably facilitate later retirement as the attitudes concerning retirement change. On the other hand, Finland still seems to lag behind the other Nordic welfare states, has considerable problems in providing the same health conditions to low educated people in physically demanding occupations and could - – with respect to family pension in particular – invest further efforts in reforming the pension system. While many of the reforms Finland has conducted seem to be favourable and transferable to other European countries that still face the steepest phases of ageing in their societies, a reluctance towards changing attitudes that we observe in Finland, shows that organizing active ageing is a long-term project.
    Date: 2013–11
  21. By: Hassan, Sohaib Shahzad; Jindra, Björn; Cantner, Uwe; Günther, Jutta
    Abstract: The European Union (EU) is one of the largest recipients of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from emerging economies. We apply a discrete choice model to analyze the location choice of emerging market firms in the EU27. In particular, we test to what extent these firms’ location choices are related to agglomeration economies and knowledge externalities because these have been suggested as potential sources for technological catching-up for emerging market firms. Our results indicate that emerging market firms’ location choices differ from the choices of other investors. Emerging market firms place, on average, a higher value on urbanization, diversification economies and sector-specific human resources. However, we find evidence for heterogeneity in the location choices of emerging market firms depending on the home region and the sector of investment.
    Keywords: Outward FDI, location choice, emerging economies, European Union, Spill-overs, Knowledge-seeking FDI
    JEL: F23
    Date: 2013–08–01
  22. By: Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn; Stephen C. Smith
    Abstract: Comparing domestic- and foreign-owned firms in Germany, this paper finds that foreign-owned firms are more likely to focus on short-term profit. This influence is particularly strong if the local managers of the German subsidiary are not sent from the foreign parent company. Moreover, the physical distance between the foreign parent company and its German subsidiary increases the probability of focusing on short-term profit. These findings conform to the hypothesis that foreign owners facing an information disadvantage concerning the local conditions of their subsidiaries are more likely to favor short-term profit. However, we do not identify differences in “short- termism” between investors from “Anglo-Saxon” and other foreign countries; rather, results point in the direction of more general features of international business investment.
    Keywords: Foreign Ownership, Short-Termism, Asymmetric Information, Globalization
    JEL: F23 G34 M16 P10
    Date: 2013
  23. By: Persson, Maria (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Wilhelmsson, Fredrik (AgriFood Economics Centre)
    Abstract: Since at least the 1960s, the European Union (EU) has offered various kinds of non-reciprocal trade preferences for developing countries. Originally, these trade preferences had at least two policy goals: (i) to increase export volumes for developing countries and thereby boost their export earnings, and (ii) to facilitate export diversification. While extensive research has confirmed that the first of these goals is typically met, the second goal seems to have been largely forgotten by researchers as well as in policy circles. The aim of this paper is therefore to analyse the impact of the EU’s non-reciprocal trade preferences for developing countries on export diversification. Our estimation results suggest that some trade preference programs, such as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), are associated with increasing ranges of export products. By contrast, preferences offered to Mediterranean countries typically have no significant effects, and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) preferences actually have negative effects toward the end of our time period, suggesting that ACP countries may respond to preferences by specializing into fewer goods.
    Keywords: Export diversification; Non-reciprocal trade preferences; GSP; ACP; EU
    JEL: F13 F15 O24
    Date: 2013–11–27

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.