nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2014‒10‒22
24 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Analyzing educational achievement differences between second-generation immigrants: Comparing Germany and German-speaking Switzerland By Johannes S. Kunz
  2. Firm age and the margins of international trade: Comparable evidence from five European countries By Joachim Wagner
  3. The Market Stability Reserve in Perspective By Marcu, Andrei
  4. Energy Prices, Energy Poverty, and Well-Being: Evidence for European Countries By Heinz Welsch; Philipp Biermann
  5. Cross-border Spillovers from European Gas Infrastructure Investments By Bouwmeester, M.C.; Scholtens, B.
  6. Does Corporate Taxation Deter Multinationals? Evidence from a Historic Event in Ireland By Holger Görg; Eric Strobl
  7. The effects of energy costs on firm re-location decisions By Lucia Lavric; Nick Hanley
  8. A gender analysis of children’s well-being and capabilities through time use data By Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz; Mauricio Matus-López; Mónica Domínguez-Serrano
  9. Structural Patterns of the Bioeconomy in the EU Member States – a SAM approach By George Philippidis; Ana SanJuan Lopez; Emanuele Ferrari; Robert M'Barek
  10. Local Impacts of Wind Farms on Property Values: A Spatial Difference-in-Differences Analysis By Sunak, Yasin; Madlener, Reinhard
  11. Quality in Exports By Hylke Vandenbussche
  12. Heterogeneous Couples, Household Interactions and Labor Supply Elasticities of Married Women By Kaya, Ezgi
  13. Disability, life satisfaction and social interaction in Italy By Tindara Addabbo; Elena Sarti; Dario Sciulli
  15. Support mechanisms for renewables: How risk exposure influences investment incentives By Lena Kitzing; Christoph Weber
  16. Liberalization of the Interurban Coach Market in Germany: Do Attitudes and Perceptions Drive the Choice between Rail and Coach? By Francisco J. Bahamonde-Birke; Uwe Kunert; Heike Link; Juan de Dios Ortúzar
  17. Is job creation dependent on the local context? An analysis of French industrial establishments over the period 2004-2010 By Aziza Garsaa; Nadine Levratto
  18. A microsimulation model to evaluate Italian households’ financial vulnerability By Valentina Michelangeli; Mario Pietrunti
  19. Career Progression, Economic Downturns and Skills By Jérôme Adda; Christian Dustmann; Costas Meghir; Jean-Marc Robin
  20. Social norms, morals and self-interest as determinants of pro-environment behaviour By Mikolaj Czajkowski; Nick Hanley; Karine Nyborg
  21. Incentives and Children's Dietary Choices: A Field Experiment in Primary Schools By Michele Below; Jonathan James; Patrick Nolen
  22. Transnational ties and performance of immigrant entrepreneurs: the case of IT industry in Italy By Jan Brzozowski; Marco Cucculelli; Aleksander Surdej
  23. The survey on international freight rates in Italy: methods and results By Enrico Pastori; Miriam Tagliavia; Enrico Tosti; Simonetta Zappa
  24. Excess control, agency costs and the probability of going private in France By Mohamed Belkhir; Sabri Boubaker; Wael Rouatbi

  1. By: Johannes S. Kunz
    Abstract: In this study, I provide evidence that the educational achievement of second-generation immigrants in German-speaking Switzerland is greater than in Germany. The impact of the first-generation immigrants' destination decision on their offspring's educational achievement seems to be much more important than has been recognized by the existing literature. I identify the test score gap between these students that cannot be explained by differences in individual and family characteristics. Moreover, I show how this gap evolves over the test score distribution and how the least favorably-endowed students fare. My results suggest that the educational system of Switzerland, relative to the German system, enhances the performance of immigrants' children substantially. This disparity is largest when conditioning on the language spoken at home, and prevails even when comparing only students whose parents migrated from the same country of origin.
    Keywords: Immigrant comparison, educational achievement decomposition, Germany and Switzerland
    JEL: I21 I24 J15
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Joachim Wagner (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This note uses comparable representative data for manufacturing firms from five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) to investigate the links between firm age and the participation of the firms in export, the share of exports in total sales, the number of countries exported to, and the participation in import. The big picture revealed is in line with the theoretical considerations. Older firms tend to be more often exporters and importers, they export to more different destination countries, and they export a higher share of their total sales in three out of five countries.
    Keywords: Exports, imports, firm age, ´trade margins, EFIGE data
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Marcu, Andrei
    Abstract: This Special Report aims to contribute to the debate on the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), which was introduced by the European Commission in a legislative proposal of January 2014. The MSR would introduce a degree of supply management into the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). This report is the result of various meetings with ETS-stakeholders throughout 2014. It discusses the MSR’s rationale and reviews the different options available for its design, governance and timing, as well as its consequences for the functioning of the EU ETS and the EU’s climate and energy policy.
    Date: 2014–09
  4. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Philipp Biermann (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper uses data on the life satisfaction of more than 100,000 individuals in 21 European countries, 2002-2011, to study the relationship between subjective well-being and the prices for households of electricity, oil and gas. We find that energy prices have statistically and economically significant effects on subjective well-being. The effect sizes are smaller than but comparable to the effects of important personal factors of well-being. Effects above average are found in individuals from the lowest income quartile. In addition, effects are strongest at times when required energy expenditures can be expected to be high. The empirical results are consistent with the prediction that greater energy poverty implies a greater effect of energy prices on well-being.
    Keywords: energy price; energy poverty; fuel poverty, consumer welfare; subjective well-being
    JEL: Q41 I31 D12
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Bouwmeester, M.C.; Scholtens, B. (Groningen University)
    Abstract: We investigate international investment in natural gas infrastructure. In particular, we analyze cross-border cost spillovers related to the investment expenditure of five European countries in a multi-regional input-output model. Value added coefficients and employment coefficients are used to translate the impacts into employment compensation, capital compensation and employment hours required. We find that spillovers are generally larger for employment compensation compared to capital compensation, that the spillovers primarily flow to a limited set of countries, and that most employment hours are created for medium skilled-labor. Hence, we suggest that investment plans should not be assessed from a national perspective, but from an EU perspective.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Holger Görg; Eric Strobl
    Abstract: We use a unique exogenous corporate tax policy change in the Republic of Ireland to investigate how corporate taxation affects foreign direct investment at the extensive and intensive margin. To this end we construct exhaustive sectoral and plant level panel data and use difference-in-differences strategies. Our results do not provide strong evidence that the increase in corporate tax rates for exporters did affect the entry or exit of plants from the US or UK in Ireland. Entry rates of German firms seem to be negatively affected, however. At the intensive margin there is evidence that foreign plants in Ireland reduce the size of their operations in response to the tax change
    Keywords: multinational companies, foreign direct investment, corporate tax, Ireland, difference-in-differences
    JEL: F23 H25
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Lucia Lavric (Department of Economics, Duke University); Nick Hanley (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: Energy costs are partly driven by environmental policy choices. In this paper, the effects of variations in energy costs – as measured by end-user electricity prices – on firm relocation decisions are investigated. Using a discrete choice model a nd a data base which has not previously been exploited to study this problem, we investigate the effects of variations in energy costs both for a sub-set of re-locating European firms in terms of which country they move to; and then for a larger set of firms in terms of the decision to re-locate or not in response to higher energy prices. We find that energy costs play a significant role in determining relocation destinations, and that this effect is asymmetric between firms moving into and out of a country , and between high energy intensity and low energy intensity sectors. The findings of the paper have implications for the Pollution Havens Hypothesis, since they show the extent to which the effects of climate policy on domestic energy costs can be expected to impact on firm relocation decisions both into and out of a country.
    Keywords: firm re-location, energy costs, Pollution Havens Hypothesis, climate policy, carbonleakage
    JEL: D22 F18 Q41 Q52
    Date: 2014–08
  8. By: Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz; Mauricio Matus-López; Mónica Domínguez-Serrano
    Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to analyse gender differences in children’s well-being by applying a capability approach and a gender perspective both to the study of the differences in children’s capabilities by gender and to the study of the impact of the gendered allocation of time on children’s capabilities. The econometric model used is a Multiple Indicator Multiple Causes model (MIMIC). The model is estimated on a sample of children in their middle and late childhood and uses micro-data from the Spanish Time Use Survey. The study focuses on the analysis of well-being through four capabilities: social relations, education and knowledge, leisure and play activities, and domestic and care work. The results point out to the fact that the labour market behaviour by gender is not only related to human capital formation, family conditions or labour market opportunities, but also to children's well-being. Furthermore, gender stereotypes continue influencing the development of children’s capabilities during their process of socialisation.
    Keywords: capabilities, child well-being, time use analysis, structural equation models
    JEL: C35 I30 J22
    Date: 2013–03
  9. By: George Philippidis (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Ana SanJuan Lopez (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Emanuele Ferrari (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Robert M'Barek (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: The concept of 'bioeconomy' is gathering momentum in European Union (EU) policy circles as a sustainable model of growth to reconcile the goals of continued wealth generation and employment with bio-based sustainable resource usage. Unfortunately, an economy-wide quantitative assessment covering the full diversity of this sector is, hitherto, constrained by relatively poor data availability for disaggregated bio-based activities. This research takes a first step in addressing this issue by employing social accounting matrices (SAMs) for each EU27 member encompassing a highly disaggregated treatment of traditional bio-based agricultural and food sectors, in addition to identifiable bioeconomic activities from the national accounts data. Employing backward-linkage (BL), forward-linkage (FL) and employment multipliers, the aim is to profile and assess comparative structural patterns both across bioeconomic sectors and EU Member States. The results indicate six clusters of EU member countries with homogeneous bioeconomy structures. Within cluster statistical tests reveal a high tendency toward 'backward orientation' or demand driven wealth generation, whilst inter-cluster statistical comparisons across each bio-based sector show only a moderate degree of heterogeneous BL wealth generation and, with the exception of only two sectors, a uniformly homogeneous degree of FL wealth generation. With the exception of forestry, fishing and wood activities, bio-based employment generation prospects are below non bioeconomy activities. Finally, milk and dairy are established as 'key sectors'.
    Keywords: Bioeconomy, Social Accounting Matrix, agriculture, European Union
    Date: 2014–08
  10. By: Sunak, Yasin (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)); Madlener, Reinhard (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))
    Abstract: Today’s investment decisions in large-scale onshore wind projects in Germany are no longer determined only by the investment’s economic benefit, but also by concerns associated to social acceptance. Despite a mostly positive attitude towards the expansion of wind power, local public concerns often stem from the belief that the proximity to large-scale wind farms may lead to a decrease in property prices. In particular, the change in landscape caused by the construction of a wind farm may have an adverse impact on the view from some properties, and thus may negatively affect their price. To investigate the potential devaluation of properties in Germany due to wind farms, we use a quasi-experimental technique and apply a spatial difference-in-differences approach to various wind farm sites in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. We adopt a quantitative visual impact assessment approach to account for the adverse environmental effects caused by the wind turbines. To properly account for spatial dependence and unobserved variables biases, we apply augmented spatial econometric models. The estimates indicate that the asking price for properties whose view was strongly affected by the construction of wind turbines decreased by about 10-17%. In contrast, properties with a minor or marginal view on the wind turbines experienced no devaluation.
    Keywords: Wind power; Difference-in-differences; Visual impact; Spatial dependence
    JEL: Q42 Q51 R31
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Hylke Vandenbussche
    Abstract: The measurement of quality is a difficult task given that quality typically is an unobserved product characteristic. In this paper we develop a new “Quality Indicator” based on a structural model with an identifiable quality parameter. We follow the methodology proposed by Di Comité, Thisse and Vandenbussche (2014). This method offers an easy way to generate product-level quality ranks of exported products (manufacturing CN8). Moreover, it overcomes some of the flaws present in other quality measures. The quality metric used here is an improvement over existing ones, since it disentangles quality from cost and taste effects. A failure to do so, results in quality effects that are wrongly identified. Product-level export price data come from Comext (Eurostat) and cost data are obtained from the firm-level database ORBIS. When we apply this method on individual EU countries exports' of products to a common destination, we obtain distributions of "export quality" and its change over time in the period (2007-2011). A striking finding is the large extent of quality dynamics going on in the EU market. We show that quality can run in different direction than market share i.e. products with the largest market shares, need not have the highest quality. We also estimate a price elasticity of quality which is positive and significant. This suggests that quality upgrading results in a higher willingness to pay by consumers and therefore offers a way to escape cost competition.
    JEL: D43 F12 F14
    Date: 2014–09
  12. By: Kaya, Ezgi (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: This paper estimates labor supply elasticities of married men and women allowing for heterogeneity among couples (in educational attainments of husbands and wives) and explicitly modeling how household members interact and make labor supply decisions. We find that the labor supply decisions of husbands and wives are interdependent unless both spouses are highly educated (college or above). Couples with high education, the labor supply decisions of husband and wife are jointly determined only if they have pre-school age children. We also find that labor supply elasticities differ greatly between households. The participation own-wage elasticity is largest (0.77) for women with low education married to men with low education, and smallest (0.03) for women with high education married to men with low education. The participation own-wage elasticities for women with low education married to highly educated men and for women with high education married to highly educated men are similar and fall between these two extremes (about 0.30 for each). For all types of couples, participation non-labor family income elasticity is small. We also find that participation cross-wage elasticities for married women are relatively small (less than -0.05) if they are married to men with low education and larger (-0.37) if they are married to highly educated men. Allowing for heterogeneity across couples yields an overall participation wage elasticity of 0.56, a cross wage elasticity of -0.13 and an income elasticity of -0.006 for married women. The analysis in this paper provides a natural framework to study how changes in educational attainments and household structure affect aggregate labor supply elasticities.
    Keywords: Labor supply elasticity; household labor supply; household interactions; educational homogamy
    JEL: J22 D10 C30
    Date: 2014–10
  13. By: Tindara Addabbo; Elena Sarti; Dario Sciulli
    Abstract: This paper will focus on the living conditions of disabled people with different degree of limitations as regards to daily activities. In a first step of analysis we focus on the predictors of four specific domains of life satisfaction. In a second step, we attempt to define the different well-being dimensions of disabled people by using the indicators available in the 2011 ISTAT Survey on social inclusion of people with disabilities and by comparing the well-being attainments with respect to the different levels of functional limitations. Given the relevance of social interaction in the life satisfaction of individuals, we focus on this dimension of well-being by analysing the effect of functional limitations on its development, measured by using the observable indicators on the satisfaction of interaction with friends and relatives, the extent of this interaction, and frequency and satisfaction on internet use.
    Keywords: disability, well-being, life satisfaction, social interaction.
    JEL: J71 I10 I14
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Eva Koscher (Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany)
    Abstract: Nowadays, corporations are facing an increased demand not only to achieve robust economic growth, but also to operate in a more ethical and responsible manner. But as long as the majority of economic agents place their own welfare above that of society, the question is: Which incentives does a company have to engage in CSR activities? Will companies benefit financially from their activities, or will they face mainly constraints by increased non-profitable spending? To answer this question, this paper examines the link between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). By using recent data from European companies, our paper extends prior large-scale Anglo-American research and tries to shed some light on the causal relationship between CSR and CFP as well as on country effects. We further introduce of a new measure for CSR to reduce the few-measure bias that has plagued the current body of research. By employing this new measure to established empirical methods, our approach allows for direct comparison with results from previous studies. Consistent with past studies, we find a positive relationship between CSR and CFP when we use traditional regression analysis. However, our results fail to lend support to the idea of a business case for CSR since we could not find a positive relationship between lagged CSR measures and current CFP when we use the Granger causality approach. Instead, our findings suggest that strong financial performance leads to more CSR activities (especially in the environmental field) as stated by the slack resources theory. Hence, companies who can afford CSR activities are good at being green/social. Our results indicate further that the institutional environment of the United Kingdom might be more favorable to honor responsible activities compared to other European countries.
    Date: 2013–09
  15. By: Lena Kitzing; Christoph Weber (Chair for Management Sciences and Energy Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: We analyse quantitatively how risk exposure from different support mechanisms, such as feed-in tariffs and premiums, can influence the investment incentives for private investors. We develop a net cash flow approach that takes systematic and unsystematic risks into account through cost of capital and the Capital Asset Pricing Model as well as through active liquidity management. Applying the model to a specific case, a German offshore wind park, we find that the support levels required to give adequate investment incentives are for a feed-in tariff scheme approximately 5-7% lower than for a feed-in premium scheme. The effect of differences in risk exposure from the support schemes is significant and cannot be neglected in policy making, especially when deciding between support instruments or when determining adequate support levels.
    Keywords: investment risk, support policies, unsystematic risk, liquidity management, offshore wind, feed-in tariffs
    Date: 2014–08
  16. By: Francisco J. Bahamonde-Birke; Uwe Kunert; Heike Link; Juan de Dios Ortúzar
    Abstract: In January 2013 the interurban passenger transport market in Germany was liberalized and several coach carriers emerged offering an alternative to the Deutsche Bahn, a state owned rail monopoly. The coach carriers have attempted to position themselves not just through lower prices but also through product differentiation, for example marketing their services as the most ecological way to travel. Hence, it is important to consider attitudes and perceptions when analyzing this market. One year after liberalization we conducted a stated-choice experiment among students and employees at the Technical University of Berlin, where participants had to choose between different interurban public transport alternatives (regional and intercity trains or interurban coaches). Additionally, the experiment gathered perception and attitudinal indicators used to construct latent variables. Our results show that attitudes and perceptions indeed affect the way individuals choose between different transport modes and, therefore, they must be taken into account when analyzing the interurban passenger market in Germany.
    Keywords: Liberalization, Coach Market, Latent Variables, Hybrid Discrete Choice Modelling, Attitudes and Perceptions
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Aziza Garsaa; Nadine Levratto
    Abstract: This paper seeks to shed some light on the relationship between individual performance and local context. We empirically address this question focusing on the employment growth rate of French manufacturing establishments geo-referenced at the employment area level, an economically consistent territorial division. Using an unbalanced panel of 149,929 plants over the period 2004-2010, we estimate different growth models including local specific variables controlled with company specific ones. The results confirm that the firm growth rate is influenced by the local context and that some features such as unemployment, agglomeration effects or skills matter significantly. The robustness checks performed on subsamples, however, show that the profile of the areas or the market (local or larger) may significantly affect the intensity of the link between a firm and its environment.
    Keywords: firm growth, geographical location, manufacturing industry, panel data.
    JEL: L25 R11 C23
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Valentina Michelangeli (Banca d'Italia); Mario Pietrunti (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: We build a microsimulation model to monitor the financial vulnerability of Italian households. Starting from household-level data from the Survey on Household Income and Wealth and matching them with macroeconomic forecasts on debt and income, we project the future path of households’ indebtedness and debt-service ratio. This allows us to assess households’ vulnerability at a higher frequency and in a more timely manner than by using household data alone. We find that the share of vulnerable households (defined as those with a debt-service ratio below 30 per cent and income below the median) over the total population is projected to be about stable between 2012 and 2014, with a slight decrease in 2015 due to positive income growth. Their debt is also projected to decrease in those years. Overall, we find that the dynamics of income growth are the main driver of households’ vulnerability.
    Keywords: households’ vulnerability, debt, stress test
    JEL: D14 G10
    Date: 2014–09
  19. By: Jérôme Adda (University College London - London's Global University); Christian Dustmann (University College London - London's Global University (UCL)); Costas Meghir (UCL Department of Economics); Jean-Marc Robin (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the career progression of skilled and unskilled workers, with a focus on how careers are affected by economic downturns and whether formal skills, acquired early on, can shield workers from the effect of recessions. Using detailed administrative data for Germany for numerous birth cohorts across different regions, we follow workers from labor market entry onwards and estimate a dynamic life-cycle model of vocational training choice, labor supply, and wage progression. Most particularly, our model allows for labor market frictions that vary by skill group and over the business cycle. We find that sources of wage growth differ: learning-by-doing is an important component for unskilled workers early on in their careers, while job mobility is important for workers who acquire skills in an apprenticeship scheme before labor market entry. Likewise, economic downturns affect skill groups through very different channels: unskilled workers lose out from a decline in productivity and human capital, whereas skilled individuals suffer mainly from a lack of mobility.
    Date: 2013–03
  20. By: Mikolaj Czajkowski (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Poland); Nick Hanley (School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews); Karine Nyborg (University of Oslo, Department of Economics, Norway)
    Abstract: This paper considers the role which selfish, moral and social incentives and pressures play in explaining the extent to which stated choices over pro-environment behaviours vary across individuals. The empirical context is choices over household waste contracts and recycling actions in Poland. A theoretical model is used to show how cost-based motives and the desire for a positive self- and social image combine to determine the utility from alternative choices of recycling behaviour. We then describe a discrete choice experiment designed to empirically investigate the effects such drivers have on stated choices. Using a latent class model, we distinguish three types of individual who are described as duty-orientated recyclers, budget recyclers and homo oeconomicus. These groups vary in their preferences for how frequently waste is collected, and the number of categories into which household waste must be recycled. Our results have implications for the design of future policies aimed at improving participation in recycling schemes.
    JEL: D22 F18 Q41 Q52
    Date: 2014–08
  21. By: Michele Below; Jonathan James; Patrick Nolen
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment in 31 primary schools in England to test the effectiveness of different temporary incentive schemes, a standard individual based incentive scheme and a competitive scheme, on increasing the choice and consumption of healthy items at lunchtime. The individual scheme has a weak positive effect that masks significantly differential effects by age whereas all students respond positively to the competitive scheme.For our sample of interest, the competivie scheme increases choice of healthy items by 33% and consumption of healthy items by 48%, twice and three times as much as ain the individual incentive scheme, respectively. The positive effects generally carry over to the week immediately following the treatment but we find little evidence of any effects six months later. Our results show that incentives can work, at least temporarily, to increase healthy eating but that there are large differences in effectiveness between schemes. Furthermore it is important to analyse things at the individual level as average effects appear to be masking significant heterogeneous effects that are predicted by the health literature.
    Date: 2014–09–05
  22. By: Jan Brzozowski (Cracow University of Economics, Department of European Studies); Marco Cucculelli (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze economiche e sociali); Aleksander Surdej (Cracow University of Economics, Department of European Studies)
    Abstract: This study contributes to the recent empirical literature on the performance of transnational immigrants' firms by investigating the effect of transnational ties on the firm's growth. In addition to the effect of the ties, the paper shows that home-country's institutional and socio-economic characteristics and country-specific entrepreneurial factors have a crucial role in shaping the ties-performance relationship. The evidence from a sample of immigrantowned firms in the Italian ICT sector in the period 2000-2010 confirmed the relevance of the proposed model and helped in understanding a potential channel of improvements in immigrant firms' performance through transnational ties. Our results show the limited relevance of a direct, or linear, impact of ties on the growth of sales in immigrant-run firms in the ICT sector, whereas supports the crucial moderating role of home country characteristics on the ties-performance relationship.
    Keywords: ICT industry, Italy, ethnic business ties, immigrants' firms' performance, transnational entrepreneurship
    Date: 2014–09
  23. By: Enrico Pastori (TRT Trasporti e Territorio srl); Miriam Tagliavia (Banca d'Italia); Enrico Tosti (Banca d'Italia); Simonetta Zappa (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: The paper describes the methodology and the main results of the sample survey on international merchandise transport that the Bank of Italy has carried out since 1999, with a reconstruction of the aggregate time series to 1989. We have obtained information on the different transport modes from several sources and used interviews with operators to estimate freight rates according to the structure of the reference market. Foreign and Italian transporters’ market shares of import and export volumes are estimated on the basis of the sample data and administrative records. We then break down foreign trade data by transport mode to take account of the structural overestimation of road haulage. We perform a quantitative analysis of the possible determinants of freight rates and compare the results with those available in the literature. The relationship between trade flows, transport distance and costs is estimated using a gravitational model
    Keywords: Freight, transportation, transportation modes, international trade, trade elasticity, gravity model.
    JEL: L91 R41 F19
    Date: 2014–09
  24. By: Mohamed Belkhir; Sabri Boubaker; Wael Rouatbi
    Abstract: The current study investigates the determinants of going private (GP) in France. It contrasts a sample of 161 firms that went private between 1997 and 2009 with a propensity-score-matched sample of firms that remained public during the same period. The results indicate that, unlike for firms that remain public, the largest controlling shareholders (LCSs) of GP firms control their firms using an incommensurately small fraction of ultimate cash flow rights. This is consistent with the view that agency problems between large and minority shareholders make public firms less attractive to investors, which reduces the benefits of staying public and encourages the LCSs to take their firms private or accept takeover offers. Additional results show that GP firms have more undervalued stock prices and higher free cash flows than non-GP firms. Expected interest tax shields, low growth opportunities, and pre-GP takeover interest do not seem to affect the probability of GP.
    Keywords: Going private; Ownership structure; Large shareholders; Corporate governance
    JEL: G32 G34
    Date: 2014–09–30

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