nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2014‒04‒18
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

  1. Twenty-five years of materialism: do the US and Europe diverge? By Stefano Bartolini; Francesco Sarracino
  2. Internationalization and Innovation of Firms: Evidence and Policy By Carlo Altomonte; Tommaso Aquilante; Gábor Békés; Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
  3. Structural change and wage inequality: Evidence from German micro data By Henze, Philipp
  4. Free-Riding in Tax Credits For Home Insulation in France: An Econometric Assessment Using Panel Data By Marie-Laure Nauleau
  5. International Access to Administrative Data for Germany and Europe By Stefan Bender; Anja Burghardt; David Schiller
  6. The Welfare Impact of Parallel Imports: A Structural Approach Applied to the German Market for Oral Anti-diabetics By Tomaso Duso; Annika Herr; Moritz Suppliet
  7. The Effect of the Hartz Reform on Unemployment Duration and Post-Unemployment Outcomes. A Difference-in-Differences Approach By Bruno Amable; Baptiste Françon
  8. “Task Trade and its determinants in Spain: a national and regional analysis” By José Ramón García; Fabio Manca; Jordi Suriñach
  9. European-Led Climate Policy Versus Global Mitigation Action. Implications on Trade, Technology, and Energy By Enrica De Cian; Ilkka Keppo; Johannes Bollen; Samuel Carrara; Hannah Förster; Michael Hübler; Amit Kanudia; Sergey Paltsev; Ronald Sands; Katja Schumacher
  10. Beyond the R&D effects on innovation: the contribution of non-R&D activities to TFP growth in the EU By Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez; Diego Martinez
  11. Formal and informal volunteering and health across European countries By Fiorillo, D.;; Nappo, N.;
  12. Health Status, Disability and Retirement Incentives in Belgium By Alain Jousten; Mathieu Lefebvre; Sergio Perelman
  13. Multidimensional poverty in immigrant households: a comparative analysis within the Europe 2020 framework By Jesús Ruiz-Huerta; Rosa Martínez
  14. Housing Provision, Finance, and Well-Being in Europe. By Mary Robertson
  15. Migration, Crisis and Adjustment in an Enlarged E(M)U: The Spanish Perspective By Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Farré, Lídia
  16. Educational Attainment, Wages and Employment of Second-Generation Immigrants in France By Gabin Langevin; David Masclet; Fabien Moizeau; Emmanuel Peterle
  18. On the parametric description of the French, German, Italian and Spanish city size distributions By Puente-Ajovin, Miguel; Ramos, Arturo
  19. Italian agri-food exports in the international arena By Carbone, Anna; Henke, Roberto; Pozzolo, Alberto Franco
  20. Retirement, Early Retirement and Disability: Explaining Labor Force Participation after 55 in France By Luc Behaghel; Didier Blanchet; Muriel Roger

  1. By: Stefano Bartolini; Francesco Sarracino
    Abstract: Using data from the World Values Survey and the European Values Study, we compare the trends of materialism over the last quarter of century among the US and six major European countries: France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Sweden. We use the definition of materialism adopted by positive psychologists. We find that the trends in Europe and in the US diverged. In the US materialism increased, while in Europe it decreased. However, some mixed patterns arise. In particular, Great Britain, Spain and Sweden showed some symptoms of an increase of materialistic values, although they were far less pronounced compared to the American ones. As far as the levels of materialism are concerned, the US started from relatively less materialistic positions. However, towards the end of our period of observation, they scored very high in the ranking of materialism in our sample of countries.
    Keywords: materialism, trends, positive psychology, United States, Europe
    JEL: D64 I31 O57
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Carlo Altomonte; Tommaso Aquilante; Gábor Békés; Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
    Abstract: We use a representative and cross-country comparable sample of manufacturing firms (EFIGE) to document patterns of interaction among firm-level internationalization, innovation and productivity across seven European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom). We find strong evidence of positive association among the three firm-level characteristics across countries and sectors. We also find that the positive correlation between internationalization and innovation survives after controlling for productivity, with some evidence of causality running from the latter to the former. Our analysis suggests that export promotion per se is unlikely to lead to sustainable internationalization because internationalization goes beyond export and because, in the medium-to-long term, internationalization is driven by innovation. We recommend coordination and integration of internationalization and innovation policies 'under one roof' at both the national and EU levels, and propose a bigger coordinating role for EU institutions.
    Keywords: Internationalization, innovation, firm-level data, exports, foreign direct investment, outsourcing
    JEL: F13 F23 O31 O38
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Henze, Philipp
    Abstract: This paper measures the impact of sectoral composition, international trade and technological progress on the rising wage gap in Germany. I find a positive effect of the increasing importance of services on the rising wage gap in Germany that is comparable to the effects of international trade and technological change. To quantify the causal relationship between the structural change of the German economy and the wage premium, I use the Establishment History Panel (in German: Betriebs-Historik-Panel - BHP), a detailed establishment-level data set provided by the German Federal Employment Office covering the period 1975-2010. This empirical work puts the focus on an important cause of the rising wage gap that so far has been largely ignored by the literature. --
    Keywords: income inequality,structural change,international trade,technological change
    JEL: F16 J31 O15 O30
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Marie-Laure Nauleau (CIRED)
    Abstract: This econometric study assesses the efficiency of the income tax credit system implemented in France in 2005 on households’ retrofitting investment decisions, focusing on insulation measures. A logit model with random individual effects is estimated using an unbalanced panel of 23,879 households surveyed over the period 2002-2011. An estimation in difference is performed to identify the impact of the policy. The tax credit had no significant effect during the first two years, suggesting a latency period related to inertia in households’ investment decisions, possibly due to the complexity of the tax credit scheme. The tax credit had an increasing, significant positive effect from 2007 to 2010, before slightly decreasing in 2011. This is in line with changes in the tax credit rates, suggesting a correlation with the level of subsidy. Defined as the situation in which the subsidized household would have invested even in the absence of the subsidy, free-riding progressively decreased over the period and was lower for insulation of opaque surfaces (roofs, walls, etc.) than for insulation of windows. The estimated average proportion of free-riders varies between 40% and 85% after 2006. Finally, we assess the potential bias caused by time-varying unobservable variables and conclude that our estimates of the impacts of the policy are conservative.
    Keywords: Energy Conservation, Residential Sector, Thermal Insulation, Tax Credit, Free-Riding, Difference Estimation, Panel Data, France
    JEL: Q48 R22 D12
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Stefan Bender; Anja Burghardt; David Schiller
    Abstract: In the last years access to research data has made a lot of progress in EU countries. Nevertheless transnational access to confidential microdata – although there are some developments like "Data without Boundaries" – is still complicated and needs improvement.
    Keywords: ratswd, ratswd working paper, data management, research infrastructure, data, research data centre, infrastructure, microdata
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Tomaso Duso; Annika Herr; Moritz Suppliet
    Abstract: We investigate the welfare impact of parallel imports using a large panel data set containing monthly information on sales, ex-factory prices, and further product characteristics for all 700 anti-diabetic drugs sold in Germany between 2004 and 2010. We estimate a two-stage nested logit model of demand and, based on an oligopolistic model of multiproduct firms, we then recover the marginal costs and markups. We finally evaluate the effect of the parallel imports' policy by calculating a counter-factual scenario without parallel trade. According to our estimates, parallel imports reduce the prices for patented drugs by 11% and do not have a significant effect on prices for generic drugs. This amounts to an increase in the demand-side surplus by €19 million per year (or €130 million in total) which is relatively small compared to the average annual market size of around €227 million based on ex-factory prices. The variable profits for the manufacturers of original drugs from the German market are reduced by €18 million (or 37%) per year when parallel trade is allowed, yet only one third of this difference is appropriated by the importers.
    Keywords: Parallel imports, pharmaceuticals, structural models, anti-diabetic drugs
    JEL: I11 I18 L13 L51
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Bruno Amable (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne, CEPREMAP - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications, IUF - Institut Universitaire de France - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique); Baptiste Françon (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the microeconomic effects of one major feature of the German Hartz Reforms (2003-2005), namely the reduction in compensation duration for older unemployed above 45 years of age. We look at two potential effects of this measure: on job take-up rates, but also on post-unemployment outcomes, through various indicators of matching quality (job stability, skill adequacy) and job quality (type of job contract). Applying difference-in-differences estimators, we show that the effects of this specific feature were rather scant. Regarding unemployment duration, only unemployed within a specific age group (55 to 59 years old) were affected by the reform. Evidence suggests that this is because they previously used unemployment schemes as a bridge to early retirement. In addition, there is some evidence of detrimental effects on job or matching quality.
    Keywords: Unemployment benefits; unemployment duration; job matching; job quality; early retirement; difference-in-differences
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: José Ramón García (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Fabio Manca (IPTS- JRC European Commission and Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Jordi Suriñach (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Globalisation and technological advances have made possible to offshore specific productive tasks (that do not require physical proximity to the actual location of the work unit) to foreign countries where these are usually performed at lower costs. We analyse the effect of task trade (i.e. task offshorability) on Spanish regional and national employment levels correlating a newly built index of task-delocalisation index to key variables such as the region’s wealth, the worker’s age and level of education, the importance of the service sector and the technological level of the economic activities undertaken in that particular geographical area. We conclude that approximately 25% of Spanish occupations are potentially affected by task trade/offshoring and that this is likely to benefit Spanish economy (and the performance of specific regions, categories of workers and sectors) being Spain a potential recipient of tasks offshored from abroad. Also we obtain that Spain’s trade in tasks correlates strongly with the above variables, presenting significant regional differences.
    Keywords: task trade, offshore, occupations, national/regional offshoring, tasks. JEL classification: F14, F16, J23, J24, J62
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Enrica De Cian (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italy and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Italy); Ilkka Keppo (University College London, UCL Energy Institute, UK); Johannes Bollen (CPB, Den Haag, Netherlands); Samuel Carrara (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italy and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Italy); Hannah Förster (Öko-Institut, Germany); Michael Hübler (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany); Amit Kanudia (KanORS-EMR, New Delhi, India); Sergey Paltsev (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, US); Ronald Sands (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, USA); Katja Schumacher (Öko-Institut, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper examines how changes in an international climate regime would affect the European decarbonization strategy and costs through the mechanisms of trade, technology, and innovation. We present the results from the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) model comparison study on European climate policy to 2050. Moving from a no-policy scenario to an existing-policies case reduces all energy imports, on average. Introducing a more stringent climate policy target for the EU only leads to slightly greater global emission reductions. Consumers and producers in Europe bear most of the additional burden and inevitably face some economic losses. More ambitious mitigation action outside Europe, especially when paired with a well-operating global carbon market, could reduce the burden for Europe significantly. Because of global learning, the costs of wind and especially solar-PV in Europe would decline below the levels observed in the existing-policy case and increased R&D spending outside the EU would leverage EU R&D investments as well.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Stabilization Policy, International Participation
    JEL: Q5 Q54
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Jesus Lopez-Rodriguez (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective); Diego Martinez (University Pablo Olavide)
    Abstract: A significant part of the innovation efforts carried out across very heterogeneous economies in Europe is under the form of Non-R&D innovation activities. But the traditional macro approach to the determinants of TFP does not handle this issue appropiately. This paper has proposed and estimated an augmented macro-theoretical model to the determinants of total factor productivity (TFP) by jointly considering the effects of R&D endowments and the impact of Non-R&D innovation activities on …firms´ levels of productivity. The estimation of the model for a sample of EU26 countries covering the period 2004-2008 shows that the distinction between R&D and Non-R&D endowments really matters for a number of different issues. First, the results show a sizable differential impact of these endowments on TFP growth, being the impact of R&D twice as big as the impact of Non-R&D. Second, absorptive capacity is only linked to R&D endowments. And third, the two types of endowments cannot strictly been seen as complements at least for the case of countries with high R&D intensities or high Non-R&D intensities.
    Keywords: TFP, R&D, Non-R&D expenditures, EU countries
    JEL: O0 O3 O4
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Fiorillo, D.;; Nappo, N.;
    Abstract: In this paper we compare the correlation among formal and informal volunteering and self-perceived health across 14 European countries after controlling for socio-economic characteristics, housing features, neighborhood quality, size of municipality, social participation and regional dummies. we find that formal volunteering has a significantly positive association with self-perceived health in Finland and the Netherlands, but none in the other countries. By contrast, informal volunteering has a significantly positive correlation with self-perceived health in the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece, and a significantly negative relationship in Italy. Our conclusion is that formal and informal volunteering measure two different aspects of volunteering whose correlations with perceived health seem to depend on specific cultural and institutional characteristics of each country.
    Keywords: Attrition; self-perceived health, formal and informal volunteering, European countries
    JEL: I10 P5 Z1
    Date: 2014–03
  12. By: Alain Jousten; Mathieu Lefebvre; Sergio Perelman
    Abstract: Many Belgian retire well before the statutory retirement age. Numerous exit routes from the labor force can be identified: old-age pensions, conventional early retirement, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance are the most prominent ones. We analyze the retirement decision of Belgian workers adopting an option value framework, and pay special attention to the role of health status. We estimate probit models of retirement using data from SHARE. The results show that health and incentives matter in the decision to exit from the labor market. Based on these results, we simulate the effect of potential reforms on retirement.
    JEL: H55 J21 J26
    Date: 2014–04
  13. By: Jesús Ruiz-Huerta; Rosa Martínez
    Abstract: The European 2020 Strategy has launched a novel indicator for monitoring poverty reduction over the current decade, simultaneously taking into account income, material deprivation and work intensity. The present paper uses this new indicator as a springboard for a discussion of the potential of a multidimensional measure, based on these three domains, to analyse the risk of poverty and social exclusion among immigrants. It is argued that the analytical insight and internal consistency of the new Europe 2020 indicator can be enhanced by a more structured measurement approach, relying on some recent advances generated by multidimensional poverty literature. The Alkire-Foster methodology provides a natural extension to the Europe 2020 indicator, which can usefully complement the picture drawn from the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion statistics. In the second part of the paper, these adjusted measures are used to analyse the multidimensional poverty profiles of immigrant households in Spain and other five developed countries, as well as the changes occurring since the beginning of the economic downturn. We try to show that the Europe 2020 indicator alone may not be sufficient to reflect the growing intensity of multidimensional deprivation among immigrants in some countries.
    Keywords: poverty, deprivation, social exclusion, unemployment, immigration,
    JEL: J15 D31 I32
    Date: 2014–02–01
  14. By: Mary Robertson (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of housing in households’ increasing financial activities. First, I build on quantitative work on the growth of housing related debt across Europe carried out under WP5 by presenting data on rates of homeownership, levels and types of mortgage debt, and house prices (and, by implication, housing wealth). I find that, although there is a general tendency for all to increase, differences in the structures of housing provision across countries lead to significant variation in both the data, and what can be drawn from it, across countries. Second, I consider accounts of households’ growing financial activities that attribute a central role to housing, including Lapavitsas and Dos Santos’s ‘financial expropriation’ thesis, and a growing body of literature that sees Europe as moving towards a housing asset-based welfare model. I argue that both, in different ways, are insufficiently attentive to the way in which housing provision, the role of finance within it, and the relationship of both to the reproduction of labour power more generally, are all uniquely and distinctly structured in different countries. I also show that even in the UK, where the role of finance in housing and welfare provision is thought to be most advanced, the restructuring of housing and welfare in favour of finance remains limited and contradictory. Finally, I outline some preliminary findings on the impact that a growing tendency to treat one’s home as an asset has had on well-being.
    Keywords: financialisation, housing, house prices, mortgage markets, systems of provision, well-being, asset-based welfare, financial expropriation, mortgage equity withdrawal.
    JEL: B59 D69 G10 G20 H31 H39 I31 I38 P16 P52 R21
    Date: 2014–03–06
  15. By: Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (IZA and IAE-CSIC); Farré, Lídia (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the labour market and welfare changes experienced by enlarged-EU migrants before and after 2007. For this purpose, we briefly review the Spanish socio-economic institutional background, as well as its migration policy towards enlarged-EU citizens. Then we discuss the importance of inflows and stocks of enlarged-EU migrants in Spain, including their socio-demographic, labour market and welfare use characteristics. We proceed to evaluate the impact of enlarged-EU migrants on the Spanish labour market and the welfare state, with particular attention paid to how the situation has changed for enlarged-EU migrants after 2007, in relation to other migrants and natives. After investigating the effects of enlarged-EU migrants on the native population, the paper concludes with a discussion on lessons learned.
    Keywords: immigration, EU enlargement, Great Recession
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2014–04
  16. By: Gabin Langevin; David Masclet; Fabien Moizeau; Emmanuel Peterle
    Abstract: We use data from the Trajectoires et Origines survey to analyze the labor-market outcomes of both second-generation immigrants and their French native counterparts. Second-generation immigrants have on average a lower probability of employment and lower wages than French natives. We find however considerable differences between second-generation immigrants depending on their origin: while those originating from Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey are less likely to be employed and receive lower wages than French natives, second-generation immigrants with Asian or Southern- and Eastern-European origins do not differ significantly from their French native counterparts. The employment gap between French natives and second generation immigrants is mainly explained by differences in their education; education is also an important determinant of the ethnic wage gap. Finally we show that these differences in educational attainment are mainly explained by family background. Although the role of discrimination cannot be denied, our findings do point out the importance of family background in explaining lifelong ethnic inequalities.
    Keywords: labor-market discrimination, second-generation immigrants, educational attainment, family background, decomposition methods,
    JEL: I2 J15 J24 J41
    Date: 2013–09–01
  17. By: Paola Cardamone; Valeria Pupo; Fernanda Ricotta (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the influence of universities on Italian firms’ probability to innovate. Using firm-level data, we focus on institutionalised technology transfer (TT) activities in universities, namely spin-offs, patents and research contracts. Results show that TT activities play a significant role in the probability to innovate by Italian manufacturing firms located in the same province as the university. Nevertheless, the effect is not uniform: the contribution of university TT activities to the probability of firms’ innovating is concentrated in certain territorial areas (North-East and Centre) and sectors (science based and scale intensive) and among firms that are large.
    Keywords: Universities, Technology transfer, Manufacturing firms, Innovation, Spillovers
    JEL: C25 O30
    Date: 2014–04
  18. By: Puente-Ajovin, Miguel; Ramos, Arturo
    Abstract: We study the parametric description of the city size distribution of four European countries: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The parametric models used are the lognormal, the double Pareto lognormal, the normal-Box-Cox (defined in this paper) and the threshold double Pareto Singh--Maddala (introduced in a cited recent paper when studying US city size). The results are quite regular. The preferred model is always the threshold double Pareto Singh--Maddala in the four countries. However, the dPln is not rejected always for the case of France, and in the case of Italy the dPln is the runner-up distribution. These results complement those obtained in a cited recent paper which study the US places' city size distribution.
    Keywords: European city size distributions, population thresholds, lower and upper tails, new statistical distribution
    JEL: C13 C16 R00
    Date: 2014–04–12
  19. By: Carbone, Anna; Henke, Roberto; Pozzolo, Alberto Franco
    Abstract: We study the performance of the so called Made in Italy agri-food exports over the last fifteen years, merging the strand of analysis that estimated price and demand elasticities with that considering more explicitly the role of product quality. We proceed in three steps. First, we estimate the elasticities of exports with respect to world imports, export prices and the competitors? prices, both at aggregate and product level. Second, we calculate an index of sophistication capturing the position of each product in different layers of world markets. Finally, we compare the outcomes of the estimates of the long-run elasticities with the changes in sophistication levels. The picture we got is a coherent synthesis of the tendencies and forces shaping world competition in the agri-food sector. Our results show that the strategy of Italian exporters varies according to the type of product and to the degree of market completion. In some cases, Italian exports contrast increasing world competition by increasing quality levels (i.e. their sophistication content); in other cases, price competition is chosen by keeping average unit values at lower levels than those of the competitors. All considered, in many cases, these strategies are successful in allowing Italy to defend and sometimes even to increase its positions in the world markets, in spite of a growing world competition.
    Keywords: export elasticities, export sophistication, Made in Italy, world demand
    JEL: Q17 F14
    Date: 2014–03–11
  20. By: Luc Behaghel; Didier Blanchet; Muriel Roger
    Abstract: We analyze the influence of health and financial incentives on the retirement behavior of older workers in France, building upon Stock and Wise (1990) option value approach. The model accounts for three main retirement routes: the normal retirement, disability insurance (DI) and unemployment/preretirement pathways, and is estimated with a combination of microeconomic datasets that include the French data of the European SHARE survey. The estimates confirm that a decrease in the generosity of the pension and DI schemes induces people to stay longer in the labor market, and that people with better health tend to retire later. We present extreme situations simulating what individual's retirement behavior would have been if only one retirement route had existed and in the absence of constraints on work capabilities. We show that average years of work between 55 and 64 are nearly 14% greater when regular retirement incentives are applied to the whole population than when it is DI rules that are systematically applied.
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2014–04

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