nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2014‒10‒17
thirteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Unhealthy Retirement? By Fabrizio Mazzonna; Franco Peracchi
  2. Are spouses more satisfied than cohabitors? A survey over the last twenty years in Italy By Elena Pirani; Daniele Vignoli
  3. Gender and the Great Recession: Changes in labour supply in Spain By Tindara Addabbo; Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz
  4. Does firm creation depend on local context? A focus on the neighbouring effects By Nadine LEVRATTO
  5. Regional perspectives and distributional effects of European regional policies By Andrea Bonfiglio; Roberto Esposti; Francesco Pagliacci; Franco Sotte; Beatrice Camaioni
  6. On the Consistency of Personality Types Across Adulthood: Latent Profile Analysis in Two Large-Scale Panel Studies By Jule Specht; Maike Luhmann; Christian Geiser
  7. Forecasting electricity spot prices using time-series models with a double temporal segmentation By Marie Bessec; Julien Fouquau; Sophie Meritet
  8. 2014-03: Netherlands: EIRO CAR on “The effect of the Information and Consultation Directive on Industrial Relations in the EU Member States five years after its transposition By Robbert Kaar
  9. Beliefs, media exposure and policy preferences on immigration: Evidence from Europe By Jérôme Héricourt; Gilles Spielvogel
  11. Organized Crime and Electoral Outcomes in Sicily By P. Buonanno; G. Prarolo; P. Vanin
  12. Motivations behind the size of remittances. Evidence from Albanians in Italy By Eralba CELA
  13. Notional Defined Contribution Accounts: Application to Portugal By Filipe Aleman Serrano

  1. By: Fabrizio Mazzonna (University of Lugano and MEA); Franco Peracchi (University of Rome "Tor Vergata" and EIEF)
    Abstract: We investigate the causal effect of retirement on health and cognitive abilities by exploiting the panel dimension of the first two waves of the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the variation between and within European countries in old age retirement rules. We show evidence of substantial heterogeneity in the effect of retirement across occupational groups. In particular, we find that retirement increases the age-related decline of health and cognitive abilities for most workers. On the other hand, we find evidence of a positive immediate effect of retirement for those employed in highly physically demanding jobs.
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Elena Pirani (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze); Daniele Vignoli (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: On the social landscape of the high-middle-income countries, unmarried cohabitation has become an increasingly popular living arrangement over the last decades. Several observers have noted a “cohabitation gap” in the satisfaction assessment of partners, with cohabitors being less satisfied than marrieds, and they advanced the hypothesis that this difference depends on how far cohabitation has diffused within a society. For the first time we test this hypothesis across time within one country – Italy – analyzing 18 progressive harmonized large-scale datasets collected continuatively since 1994 by the Italian Institute of Statistics. We employ a multilevel model to study 252,732 partnered young adults, nested in 19 regions and 18 years. Our findings support the hypothesis that as time passes and cohabitation becomes a more popular phenomenon, the difference in family satisfaction assessment between Italian cohabitors and spouses progressively weakens and, as observed in recent years, finally vanishes.
    Keywords: Cohabitation, Marriage, Family satisfaction, Diffusion process.
    JEL: J12 D10
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Tindara Addabbo; Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz
    Abstract: The focus of this paper is on the different effects of the Great Recession on the decision of women and men to participate or not in the labour market. The literature on the effects of economic crises on labour supply by gender is analyzed. In the applied part of the paper we test the two different hypotheses: the added-worker effect (AWE), showing a countercyclical behaviour of labour supply that implies an increase in individual labour supply in response to transitory shocks in his/her partner’s earnings, and the procyclical discouraged-worker effect (DWE). Given the deep effect of the Great Recession on the Spanish labour market, the empirical part of this paper will focus on the analysis of Spanish labour supply by gender. We have estimated labour supply models for individuals aged 25 to 54 living in couples with or without children by gender by using the EU-SILC 2007 and 2011 micro data for Spain. The results of our analysis show evidence of AWE, much more significant for women whose labour supply increases by 21% when their partner is unemployed against a 0.7% increase experienced by men married to unemployed women. A relevant AWE has also been detected for women if the partner works part-time and is therefore more likely to be underemployed. By comparing the labour supply behaviours before and after the crisis we can see that the discouraging effect connected to higher regional unemployment rates lost significance in 2011 leaving the AWE to dominate the labour supply decision during the crisis for couples.
    Keywords: Labour supply, Great Recession, Gender, added worker effect, discouraged worker effect
    JEL: J22 J21 J16 J64
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Nadine LEVRATTO (EconomiX, CNRS, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, La Défense, Centre d’Etudes de l’Emploi, Kedge Business School)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to shed some light on the influence that the characteristics of the local context in a given area and in adjacent ones exert on the entrepreneurial process. In order to make a distinction between the purely local factors and the role played by the neighbourhood, we mobilize the so-called Exploratory spatial data analysis which determines the degree of spatial dependence and its consequence on entry rate. We empirically address this question by considering the case of French employment areas from 2006 to 2010 using spatial econometric models adapted to panel data. Our results show that financial, material, human and organisational resources locally available are far from being the unique geographical determinants of firm creation. Instead, the entry rate in a given area also strongly depends on the propensity to create firms in the adjacent places. Spillover effects taking their origin in adjacent areas should thus be considered in explaining the local determinants of firm creation.
    Keywords: Firm creation, spatial dependence, spatial matrix
    JEL: L26 R11 C21
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Andrea Bonfiglio; Roberto Esposti; Francesco Pagliacci; Franco Sotte; Beatrice Camaioni
    Abstract: A major objective of this study is to analyse the evolutionary patterns of regional linkages and disparities across the EU space, especially those related to rural and peripheral/remote regions. In particular, this report assesses the economy-wide effects, in terms of GDP and employment, induced, at the European level, by the 2007-2011 CAP payments and by the possible future scenarios concerning the next programming period (2014-2020). A multiregional closed I-O approach applied at a NUTS-3 level is adopted. Particular attention focuses on the (re-) distributive effects produced by spatial and sectoral relationships. In defining regional policy, the knowledge of spillover effects is particularly strategic in that it can assist policy makers in better calibrating allocation of funds among regions and evaluating distribution of final policy effects more correctly. With reference to the next programming period, three main scenarios are analysed. Two are based on different and extreme shares of funds apportioned to basic payments. They are in turn divided into sub-scenarios based on three different criteria of regional distribution of funds devoted to basic payments: utilized agricultural area, agricultural value added and historical payments. A third scenario assumes the suppression of the actual framework based on two pillars and the transfer of all available funds to rural development policy. Results indicate that intersectoral and interregional linkages, which characterise the EU economic space, redirect a large part of effects, for any policy framework and scenario considered, from rural regions and from primary and secondary sectors (representing the main targets of policy) to urban and tertiary sectors, respectively. Moreover, they reveal that the best option for MSs in allocating basic payments among regions would be a criterion based on eligible hectares, which is the general principle on which the new CAP is based, since it would produce higher and more balanced distribution of effects among all regions. They also suggest that a total rethinking of the CAP by introducing only a single co-financed policy would lead to higher contribution to reduction in differences between rural and urban regions. Finally, the analysis shows that the policy decision taken for the 2014-2020 programming period to redistribute funds in favour of poorer regions not only is fair from an equity point of view but can also produce economic advantages for the regions directly penalised by a fund reallocation.
    Keywords: Demographic change, Ecological innovation, Economic growth path, EU integration, New technologies, Social capital as growth driver, Socio-ecological transition, Sustainable growth
    JEL: O18 Q01 R11 R58
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Jule Specht; Maike Luhmann; Christian Geiser
    Abstract: Consistency and change in personality were analyzed by examining personality types across adulthood and old age using data from two nationally representative panel studies from Germany (N = 14,718; 16 - 82 years) and Australia (N = 8,315; 15 - 79 years). In both samples, the Big Five personality traits were measured twice across a period of 4 years. Latent profile analyses and latent profile transition analyses revealed four main findings: First, solutions with 3 (in the German sample) or 4 (in the Australian sample) personality types were found to be most interpretable. Second, measurement invariance tests revealed that these personality types were consistent across all age groups but differed slightly between men and women. Third, age was related to the number of individuals classified within each personality type. Namely, there were more resilients and fewer undercontrollers in older compared with younger age groups. Fourth, there was strong consistency of personality type membership across a period of 4 years in both genders and most age cohorts. Comparatively less consistency across time was found for undercontrollers and individuals in old age. Taken together, these findings show that in the two nations studied here, personality types were highly consistent across gender, age, and time.
    Keywords: Personality types, adulthood, latent profile analysis, longitudinal study, personality development
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Marie Bessec; Julien Fouquau; Sophie Meritet
    Abstract: The French wholesale market is set to expand in the next few years under European pressure and national decisions. In this paper, we assess the forecasting ability of several classes of time series models for electricity wholesale spot prices at a day-ahead horizon in France. Electricity spot prices display a strong seasonal pattern, particularly in France given the high share of electric heating in housing during winter time. To deal with this pattern, we implement a double temporal segmentation of the data. For each trading period and season, we use a large number of specifications based on market fundamentals: linear regressions, Markov-switching models, threshold models with a smooth transition. An extensive evaluation on French data shows that modeling each season independently leads to better results. Among non-linear models, MS models designed to capture the sudden and fast-reverting spikes in the price dynamics yield more accurate forecasts. Finally, pooling forecasts gives more reliable results.
    Keywords: Electricity spot prices, forecasting, regime-switching.
    JEL: C22 C24 Q47
    Date: 2014–09–25
  8. By: Robbert Kaar (Amsterdams Instituut voor ArbeidsStudies , Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In more than 70% of the firms with 50 employees or more, a works council has been installed. Compared to other EU-countries, I&C rights in the Netherlands are extensive. The situation since the early 1980’s is rather stable, both from a legislative point of view and in a practical sense.
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Jérôme Héricourt (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, EQUIPPE - ECONOMIE QUANTITATIVE, INTEGRATION, POLITIQUES PUBLIQUES ET ECONOMETRIE - Université Lille I - Sciences et technologies - Université Lille II - Droit et santé - Université Lille III - Sciences humaines et sociales - PRES Université Lille Nord de France); Gilles Spielvogel (Développement et sociétés - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD] - IEDES, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD])
    Abstract: This article studies the joint determination of beliefs about the economic impact of immigration and immigration policy preferences, using data from the five rounds of the European Social Survey (2002-2010). In addition to standard socio-economic characteristics, this analysis takes individual media consumption into account, as a determinant of opinion about immigration. Our results stress the important role of the endogenous determination of beliefs, which appears as a major determinant of policy preferences. Moreover, media exposure appears as a key determinant of beliefs: individuals who spend more time to get informed on social and political matters through newspapers and radio have a better opinion on the economic impact of immigration compared with individuals who devote time to other types of content.
    Keywords: international migration ; beliefs ; attitudes ; media
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Graziella Bonanno (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Research & Development (R&D) productive inputs or efficiency determinants? This is the topic of this paper which analyses a sample of 2691 Italian manufacturing firms over the period 2007-2009. The empirical setting is based on a production function estimated through the Stochastic Frontier (SF) approach. ICT and R&D are used once as inputs, once as efficiency determinants (Coelli et al., 1999). The results show that the rates of return of ICT and R&D investments are quite high (0.08 for ICT and 0.04 for R&D) when they enter into the model only as inputs. We also documented that ICT and R&D contribute positively to explain the efficiency scores.
    Keywords: ICT, R&D, Stochastic Frontier Approach, efficiency
    JEL: D22 D24 L69 O39
    Date: 2014–09
  11. By: P. Buonanno; G. Prarolo; P. Vanin
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between mafia and politics by focusing on the market for votes. It exploits the fact that in the early 1990s the Italian party system collapsed, new parties emerged and mafia families had to look for new political allies. It presents evidence, based on disaggregated data from the Italian region of Sicily, that between 1994 and 2008 Silvio Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia, obtained higher vote shares in municipalities plagued by mafia. The result is robust to the use of different measures of mafia presence, both contemporary and historical, to the inclusion of different sets of controls and to spatial analysis. Instrumenting mafia’s presence by determinants of its early diffusion in the late XIX century suggests that the correlation reflects a causal link, which would be coherent with mafia’s choice to back Forza Italia in exchange for favorable policies.
    JEL: D72 K42
    Date: 2014–09
  12. By: Eralba CELA (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: Remittances represent the most important outcome of migration for developing countries which strongly rely on this resources for their economic survival. Remittances are however individual transfers that depend on a wide variety of private motivations. The present study explores the reasons behind the amount of remittance along the Italy-Albania corridor. Data come from a survey carried out in 2007 among 400 Albanians living in two Italian regions, Marche and Apulia. The results show that the most important determinants of remittances are the economic integration and the contextual specificities where migrants reside, along with strong ties with the country of origin.
    Keywords: Albania, Italy, determinants of remittances, migration
    JEL: F22 F24
    Date: 2014–10
  13. By: Filipe Aleman Serrano (CEFAGE-UE, Universidade de Évora)
    Abstract: The amount of implicit debt is quantified in relation to the contributive regime that supports the old age pension scheme of the Portuguese Social Security and the notional defined contribution accounts system concept as a solution of financial sustainability of that regime is presented, without the need for altering the overall tax rules. In the management of the transition from a public defined benefit pension scheme to a defined contribution plan a series of theoretical principles are presented, namely, the data treatment, the acquired rights, the demographic deficits, benefits not financed and the distinct speed of conversion in the processes of such nature. The Swedish public pension system and its automatic balancing mechanism are characterized. Their underlying principles are applied to the Portuguese reality, essaying different speeds of conversion and distinct ways of computing the acquired rights. The results of the implicit debt, replacement rates, expenses and financial results of the new regimes are presented, based on a set of demographic and economic assumptions, provided by benchmark entities.
    Keywords: Notional defined contributions accounts; Automatic balancing mechanism; Replacement rates; Implicit debt; Swedish Public Pension system.
    JEL: H55
    Date: 2014

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