nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2014‒11‒22
twenty-one papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Efficiency of the R&D Sector in the EU-27 at the Regional Level: An Application of DEA By Aristovnik, Aleksander
  2. “Industrial Emissions Abatement: Untangling the Impacts of the EU ETS and the Economic Crisis” By Germà Bel; Stephan Joseph
  3. Regional resilience in Italy: do employment and income tell the same story? By Cellini, Roberto; Di Caro, Paolo; Torrisi, Gianpiero
  4. How does schools’ efficiency look like across Europe? An empirical analysis of Germany, Spain, France, Italy and UK using OECD PISA2012 data By Tommaso Agasisti
  5. The European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS): Ex-Post Analysis, the Market Stability Reserve and Options for a Comprehensive Reform By Brigitte Knopf; Nicolas Koch; Godefroy Grosjean; Sabine Fuss; Christian Flachsland; Michael Pahle; Michael Jakob; Ottmar Edenhofer
  6. Trends in Child Well-being in EU Countries during the Great Recession: A cross-country comparative perspective By Yekaterina Chzhen; Bruno Martorano; Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; Goran Holmqvist; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  7. Workers' health and social relations in Italy By Fiorillo, Damiano
  8. Outward FDI and company performance in CEECs By Damijan, Jože; Kostevc, Crt; Rojec, Matija
  9. The effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents By Henk-Wim de Boer; Egbert Jongen; Jan Kabatek
  10. Gender and economic preferences in a large random sample By Boschini, Anne; Dreber, Anna; von Essen, Emma; Muren, Astri; Ranehill, Eva
  11. Private provision of public goods: Do individual climate protection efforts depend on perceptions of climate policy? By Joachim Schleich; Claudia Schwirplies; Andreas Ziegler
  12. Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes? By Matt Dickson; Paul Gregg; Harriet Robinson
  13. Understanding the differences in in-hospital mortality between Scotland and England By Maria Jose Aragon; Martin Chalkley
  14. The Swedish car fleet model By Beser Hugosson, Muriel; Algers, Staffan; Habibi, Shiva; Sundbergh, Pia
  15. Educational spillover and parental migration By Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
  16. Escaping to the East? Relocation of business activities to and from Hungary, 2003–2011 By Magdolna Sass; Gábor Hunya
  17. Intermediaries and Regional Innovation Systemic behavior: A typology for Spain By Alberdi Pons , Xabier; Gibaja Martíns, Juan José; Parrilli, Mario Davide
  18. Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Norway. By Bertrand, Marianne; Black, Sandra E.; Jensen, Sissel; Lleras-Muney, Adriana
  19. Demanding occupations and the retirement age in the Netherlands By Niels Vermeer; Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB; VU; Netspar); Arthur van Soest (Tilburg University; Netspar)
  20. Supply-side barriers to cross-border e-commerce in the EU Digital Single Market By Melisande Cardona; Bertin Martens
  21. Paying Out and Crowding Out? The Globalisation of Higher Education By Stephen Machin; Richard Murphy

  1. By: Aristovnik, Aleksander
    Abstract: The main aim of the paper is to measure the relative efficiency of the R&D sector in the EU-27 at the regional level. For this purpose, the paper applies a non-parametric approach, i.e. data envelopment analysis (DEA), to assess the relative technical efficiency of R&D activities across selected EU (NUTS-2) regions. The empirical analysis integrates available inputs (R&D expenditures, researchers and employment in high-tech sectors) and outputs (patent and high-tech patent applications) over the 2005–2010 period. The empirical results show that among regions with a high intensity of R&D activities the most efficient performers are Noord-Brabant (Netherlands), Stuttgart (Germany) and Tirol (Austria). In contrast, a wide range of NUTS-2 regions from the Baltics, Eastern and Southern Europe is characterized by an extremely low rate of knowledge production and its efficiency, particularly in Poland (Mazowieckie), Lithuania (Lietuva), Latvia (Latvija), Romania (Bucuresti-Ilfov), Bulgaria (Yugozapaden), Slovakia (Západné Slovensko), Greece (Attiki), Spain (Canarias) and Italy (Sardegna).
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA); Efficiency; EU; NUTS-2 regions; R&D
    JEL: C61 O3 R1
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Stephan Joseph (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this study we use historical emission data from installations under the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to evaluate the impact of this policy on industrial greenhouse gas emissions during the first two trading phases (2005-2012). As such the analysis seeks to disentangle two causes of emission abatement: that attributable to the EU ETS and that attributable to the economic crisis that hit the EU in 2008/09. Using a panel data approach the estimated emissions reduction attributable to the EU ETS is about 21% of the total emission abatement during the observation period. These results suggest therefore that the lion’s share of abatement was attributable to the effects of the economic crisis, a finding that has serious implications for future policy adjustments affecting core elements of the EU ETS, including the distribution of EU emission allowances.
    Keywords: Climate policy; European Union Emissions Trading System; panel data analysis; verified emission data JEL classification: C23 O13 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Cellini, Roberto; Di Caro, Paolo; Torrisi, Gianpiero
    Abstract: The concept of resilience has attracted increasing interest in regional economics. In the flourishing literature, however, results are far from being conclusive, even when referring to the same case study. Undoubtedly, this mixed evidence potentially stems also from different operationalization of the multifaceted resilience concept; the main difference being between studies using GDP series and those measuring regional economic performance in terms of fluctuations in employment levels. The different choices and the subsequent results, far from being interpreted as lack of robustness, are research specific; nevertheless, it is important to address what kind of relationship – if any – exists between the two measures. To this end, we analyse and compare the results concerning the regional resilience in Italy, over the last 40 years, focussing on the differences deriving from the choice between the two aforementioned measures. Our analysis reveals that the information contained in the different series, rather than being alternative and overlapping, is complementary.
    Keywords: Resilience, Adverse shock, Impact effect, Recovery.
    JEL: C32 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2014–10–31
  4. By: Tommaso Agasisti (Politecnico di Milano School of Management, Milano)
    Abstract: This research conducts a comparison of secondary schools’ efficiency in an international perspective, focusing on five economies in the European Union (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) and employing an institutionlevel dataset built through data from the 2012 edition of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Overall, around 2,700 schools from these five countries are included in the empirical analysis; it uses a bootstrap version of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), and a common (international) frontier of efficient schools is assumed. The production process is modelled in a very simple way, by including human and capital resources, together with students’ socioeconomic background, among inputs; and average scores in reading and mathematics, as outputs. Although within-country dispersion of efficiency scores is much wider than between-countries differences, some between-countries efficiency differentials can be observed. A second-stage tobit regression reveals that some factors are statistically associated with schools’ efficiency, as for example the indexes for the quality of educational resources and teachers’ morale. Conversely, the efficiency scores are inversely correlated with the proportion of students who perform below proficiency level 2, suggesting that there is not a trade-off between efficiency and equity. All these evidences can stimulate interesting reflections for national and European-based policy-makers.
    Keywords: schools’ efficiency, equity, OECD-PISA2012, bootstrap DEA, cross-country comparison
    JEL: I21 I28 C14 H52
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Brigitte Knopf (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research); Nicolas Koch (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change; Berlin); Godefroy Grosjean (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research); Sabine Fuss (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg); Christian Flachsland (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin); Michael Pahle (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research); Michael Jakob (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin); Ottmar Edenhofer (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons, Berlin and Climate Change and Technische Universität, Berlin)
    Abstract: The central pillar of European climate policy, the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), is currently under scrutiny, as the allowance price is persistently low at around 5€/tCO2. The cap was met and emissions actually declined in recent years, ensuring the environmental effectiveness of the scheme. However, the low price may affect the long-term cost-effectiveness of the instrument by reducing the incentive for investment and deployment of low carbon technologies. No significant increase in the allowance price is expected before 2020, and probably not beyond, without reform. While the reasons for the price decline are controversial, empirical analysis shows that only a small portion of price fluctuations can be explained by factors such as the economic crisis, renewable deployment or international offsets. Therefore, it is likely that political factors and regulatory uncertainty have played a key role in the price decline. As a consequence, any reform of the EU ETS has to deliver a mechanism that reduces such uncertainty and stabilizes expectations of market participants. The Market Stability Reserve proposed by the EU Commission is unlikely to address the current problem of price uncertainty and insufficient dynamic efficiency. The key element of the alternative reform proposal described in this paper is to set a price collar in the EU ETS with lower and upper boundaries. This is likely to reinforce the long-term credibility and reliability of the price signal. In addition, a price for GHG emissions not covered by the EU ETS has to be set. If additional market failures prevent the market from functioning efficiently, specific policy instruments related to innovation and technology diffusion should be implemented in addition to carbon pricing. Carbon leakage could be addressed through tailor-made trade policies. In parallel, increasing the coalition of countries included in the carbon pricing should remain a priority. This reform package would bring the EU ETS back to life, while avoiding a relapse into potentially costly and inefficient national climate and energy policies.
    Keywords: EU ETS, Emissions Trading, Carbon Price, Price Collar, Market Stability Reserve, Credibility
    JEL: Q42 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Bruno Martorano; Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; Goran Holmqvist; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: This paper reports on how children have fared during the period of the global economic crisis (Great Recession) in rich European countries. The authors provide a descriptive overview of the evolution in a series of child well-being indicators over time (2007/8-2012/3 ) in 32 countries (the EU-28 plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). The focus is on key child and adolescent outcome indicators that are expected to have been affected by the crisis and its related real-economy effects in the short and medium-term, including child monetary poverty and material deprivation, subjective well-being, and transition to adulthood (including education and employment). Countries’ performances are compared and ranked according to the change they experienced in these indicators over the period under analysis.
    Keywords: child well-being; economic crisis; european union; labour market; monetary policy;
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Fiorillo, Damiano
    Abstract: The paper investigates whether social relations are associated with the health of workers after controlling for demographic and worker characteristics, housing features, neighbourhood quality, size of municipality and regional dummies. We consider two level of social relationships: i) individual social relations that we proxy by the frequency of meetings with friends, and; ii) contextual social relations, the average frequency with which people meet friends at the community level. A Heckman selection model is estimated from the worker sample, employing both self-reported and objective health measures using new data from an income and living conditions survey carried out in 2006 by the Italian Statistics Office (IT-SILC). Results show that social relations at the individual level are positively correlated with self-perceived health, negatively associated with chronic condition but not related to limitations in daily activities. Contextual social relations are negatively linked with chronic condition and limitations in daily activities but not correlated with self-perceived health.
    Keywords: Self-perceived health, chronic condition, limitations in daily activities, social relations, income, work conditions, Italy.
    JEL: C35 I12 I18 Z10
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Damijan, Jože (University of Ljubljana, LICOS, VIVES and Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana); Kostevc, Crt (University of Ljubljana and Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana); Rojec, Matija (University of Ljubljana, Institute for Economic Research, Ljubljana, and Institute of Macroeconomic Analaysis and Development, Ljubljana)
    Abstract: Using a large sample of micro data we investigate what kind of CEECs-9 (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) firms tend to invest abroad, and what is the impact of outward FDI on their productivity. We find that firms with outward FDI tend to be larger and more productive, i.e. the best firms tend to self-select into outward FDI. There is also a positive effect of outward FDI on productivity growth of investing firms from CEECs, but this effect is driven exclusively by the subsamples of Czech and Romanian firms, while the impact in other countries is substantially less pronounced. In addition, the positive effect does not appear to be long lasting as it is only statistically significant a year after the investment was made, while employing longer lags yielded positive but insignificant correlations. We also find the heterogeneity of effects by different host-country markets, i.e. investments by CEECs firms into either Western European or other CEECs yielded an above average effect on productivity growth of investing firms, investments into other parts of Europe did not significantly impact the growth of productivity, while North American subsidiaries were even negatively correlated with productivity growth.
    Keywords: FDI; cross-country comparisons; emerging economies; productivity growth; micro-data
    JEL: C30 F23 O47 O57
    Date: 2014–10–24
  9. By: Henk-Wim de Boer; Egbert Jongen; Jan Kabatek
    Abstract: We study the relative effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents in an empirical model of household labour supply and childcare use. We use a large and rich administrative dataset for the Netherlands. To promote the labour participation of parents with young children, governments employ a number of fiscal instruments. Prominent examples are childcare subsidies and in-work benefits. However, which policy works best for employment is largely unknown. We study the relative effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents in an empirical model of household labour supply and childcare use. We use a large and rich administrative dataset for the Netherlands. Large-scale reforms in childcare subsidies and in-work benefits in the data period benefit the identification of the parameters. We find that an in-work benefit for secondary earners that increases with income is the most cost-effective way of stimulating total hours worked of parents with young children. Childcare subsidies and a `flat' in-work benefit for secondary earners are somewhat less cost-effective. In-work benefits for both primary and secondary earners are much less cost-effective, since the former are rather unresponsive to financial incentives.
    JEL: C25 C52 H31 J22
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Boschini, Anne (Linköping University); Dreber, Anna (Stockholm School of Economics); von Essen, Emma (Aarhus University); Muren, Astri (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Ranehill, Eva (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We explore gender differences in preferences related to altruism, fairness, cooperation, trust, coordination, risk and competitiveness in an experiment with a large random sample of the Swedish population. In addition to a baseline treatment, we have treatments where participants are primed with their gender or know the counterpart’s gender. We find no behavioral differences between treatments, but some gender differences within specific treatments: men are in some instances less generous, more trusting, and more competitive than women. Aside from a lack of gender differences in risk taking, our results are roughly in line with previous literature.
    Keywords: Gender differences; Random sample; Social preferences; Risk-taking; Competitiveness; Dictator games; Priming; Experiment
    JEL: C91 C93 J16
    Date: 2014–10–23
  11. By: Joachim Schleich (University of Karlsruhe); Claudia Schwirplies (University of Kassel); Andreas Ziegler (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: This paper extends the economic literature on the private provision of public goods by examining the relevance of perceptions of climate policy to voluntary contributions to the public good of climate protection. Based on an analytical model which allows for perceptions of climate policy such as justification of international climate policy, procedural trust and procedural justice to affect voluntary climate protection activities, we examined data from representative surveys among citizens in the USA and Germany. Our microeconometric analysis confirmed the prediction that the perceived justification of international climate policy is positively related to voluntary contributions to climate protection in both countries. We also found empirical support (mainly for the USA) that higher perceived procedural justice lowers citizens' propensity to adopt climate protection activities. In contrast, we found no support that higher perceived procedural trust reduces citizens' propensity to adopt such measures. In a broad interpretation, our empirical results imply that individuals' perceptions about the process of providing public goods should also be considered when analyzing the factors explaining voluntary individual contribution to public goods.
    Keywords: Public good, voluntary contribution, perceptions of international climate policy, climate protection activities
    JEL: H41 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Matt Dickson; Paul Gregg; Harriet Robinson
    Abstract: We study the intergenerational effects of parents' education on their children's educational outcomes. The endogeneity of parental education is addressed by exploiting the exogenous shift in education levels induced by the 1972 Raising of the School Leaving Age (RoSLA) from age 15 to 16 in England and Wales. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children - a rich cohort dataset of children born in the early 1990s in Avon, England - allows us to examine the timing of impacts throughout the child's life, from pre-school assessments through the school years to the final exams at the end of the compulsory schooling period. We also determine whether there are differential effects for literacy and numeracy. We find that increasing parental education has a positive causal effect on children's outcomes that is evident at age 4 and continues to be visible up to and including the high stakes exams taken at age 16. Children of parents affected by the reform gain results just under 0.1 standard deviations higher than those whose parents were not impacted. The effect is focused on the lower educated parents where we would expect there to be more of an impact: children of these parents gaining results approximately 0.2 standard deviations higher. The effects appear to be broadly equal across numeracy and literacy test scores.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, schooling, child development, ALSPAC
    JEL: I20 J62 J24
    Date: 2014–09
  13. By: Maria Jose Aragon (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Martin Chalkley (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)
    Abstract: Aims-We describe differences in in-hospital mortality between Scotland and England and test whether these differences are robust to controlling for the case-mix of patients. In spite of Scotland and England having much in common in regard to their hospital systems and populations we observe trends in-hospital mortality – the percentage of elective and emergency Continuous Inpatient Spells (CIS) that ended in death – that are different: England’s in-hospital mortality rates have decreased faster than Scotland’s for both types of admissions. Data-Individual patient data from England (HES) and Scotland (SMR01) for the period 2003/04 – 2011/12. Episode data is linked into CIS. Sample: Elective and emergency admissions, including day cases and excluding maternity. Methods-Logit regression of in-hospital death on country and financial year dummies, and their interaction, controlling for age group, gender, deprivation decile, and HRG of the first episode; separately for elective and emergency admissions. Results-For elective admissions, England has a lower initial in-hospital mortality rate than Scotland, and this rate decreases in both countries but the decrease has been faster in England. For emergency admissions, England starts with a slightly higher in-hospital mortality rate and both countries in-hospital mortality rates reduce throughout the period but England’s does so faster. Conclusions-There are differences in in-hospital mortality between Scotland and England; these differences increase over time and persist when we account for patient characteristics. It is important to understand the causes and consequences of these differences and we make a number of suggestions for future research on this issue.
    Date: 2014–10
  14. By: Beser Hugosson, Muriel (KTH/TLA); Algers, Staffan (KTH/TLA); Habibi, Shiva (KTH/TLA); Sundbergh, Pia (Transport Analysis (Sweden))
    Abstract: The composition of the car fleet with respect to age, fuel consumption and fuel types plays an important role on environmental effects, oil dependency and energy consumption. In Sweden, a number of different policies have been implemented to support CO2 emission reductions. In order to evaluate effects of different policies, a model for the evolution of the Swedish car fleet was developed in 2006. The model has been used in a number of projects since then, and it is now possible to compare forecasts with actual outcomes. Such evidence is relatively rare, and we think it may be useful to share our experience in this respect. We give a brief overview of the Swedish car fleet model. Then we describe policies that have been implemented in recent years and the evolution of the Swedish car fleet. We then focus on two projects which enable comparison with actual outcomes, and analyse the differences between forecasts and outcomes. We find that the model has weaknesses in catching car buyers’ preferences of new technology. When this is not challenged too much, the model can forecast reasonably well on an aggregate level. We also find that he model is quite sensitive to assumptions on future supply. This is not so much related to the model, but to its use. Depending on the use of the forecasts – be it car sales, emissions or fuel demand – it may be necessary to use different supply scenarios to get an idea of the robustness of the forecast result.
    Keywords: Clean car policy; Car fleet model; Forecasting; Model evaluation; Scrapping model; Nested logit
    JEL: R40
    Date: 2014–09–29
  15. By: Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Impacts of parental emigration on educational outcomes of children and, in turn, the children's influence on peers are theoretically ambiguous. Using novel data I collected on migration experiences and timing, family background and school performance of lower secondary pupils in Poland, I analyse empirically whether children with parents working abroad (PWA) influence school performance of their classmates. Migration is mostly temporary in nature, with one parent engaging in employment abroad. As many as 63% of migrant parents have vocational qualifications, 29% graduated from high school, 4% have no qualifications and the remaining 4% graduated from university. Almost 18% of all children are affected by parental migration and, on average, 6.5% of pupils in a class have a parent abroad. Perhaps surprisingly, estimates suggest that pupils benefit from the presence of PWA classmates. PWA pupils whose parents graduated from high school exert the biggest positive impact on their classroom peers. Further, classmates are differently affected by PWA children; those who themselves experienced migration within the family benefit most. This positive effect is likely driven by the student level interactions or increased teachers' commitment to classes with students from migrant families.
    Keywords: education of adolescents, migration, peer effects
    JEL: F22 I29 J13 O15
    Date: 2014–10–28
  16. By: Magdolna Sass (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gábor Hunya (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies)
    Abstract: While the increased frequency of relocation of productive capacities to lower wage countries from developed economies has given rise to discussions concerning job losses and de-industrialisation, developments in the host countries of relocation have been widely neglected. Hungary, together with other new EU member countries, is one of the net beneficiary countries of relocation especially from the developed EU-15 countries. Macro-data can be used only to a limited extent to describe the complex phenomenon of relocation; case study evidence and company level analysis can shed light on details and short-term changes. We compiled a comprehensive relocation database in Hungary for the nine-year period between 2003 and 2011. In this paper we analyse this database and compare the results with those of the literature. We shed light on details concerning the nationality of relocating companies, the sectors and foreign locations affected and the job creation/loss impact. Finally we discuss the effects of the recent crisis when the number of greenfield investment projects declined, but the number of relocations to Hungary increased.
    Keywords: relocation, Hungary, multinational corporations, offshoring, offshore outsourcing, crisis
    JEL: F21 F23
    Date: 2014–02
  17. By: Alberdi Pons , Xabier (Deusto Business School (DBS), Universidad de Deusto); Gibaja Martíns, Juan José (Deusto Business School (DBS), Universidad de Deusto); Parrilli, Mario Davide (Deusto Business School (DBS), Universidad de Deusto and DBS and Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness)
    Abstract: Interaction is a central feature of well-functioning and integrated Regional Innovation Systems. However, it does not necessarily occur in an automatic fashion, denoting the existence of various system problems that may block learning and other crucial innovation processes. “Intermediaries” are organizations that encompass an increasing role in overcoming these problems. Still, they have not been adequately framed and assessed. The paper meets this need and presents a number of developments. First, we identify and categorize intermediaries according to some specific Innovation System problems they tap into, while we also include them in a novel intermediary component. Second, we operationalize sets of quantitative variables that permit new preliminary assessments. This methodology also permits new empirical insights that help framing more specific policy tools. The empirical analysis roots on an ad hoc data exploitation stemming from various surveys conducted by the Spanish Official Statistical Institute (INE) and the Spanish Venture Capital Association (ASCRI). We conduct multivariate techniques such as Multiple Factor and Cluster Analysis. The methodology creates a new typology that sorts Spanish regions according to the presence -or absence- of intermediaries when dealing with system problems. We find dissimilar outputs across regions. The latter might demand that their intermediary components are provided with strategic recommendations in response to specific system requirements.
    Keywords: regions; innovation systems; system problems; intermediaries; Spain; multiple factor analysis
    JEL: O18 R15 R50 R58
    Date: 2014–10–03
  18. By: Bertrand, Marianne (Chicago Booth School of Business); Black, Sandra E. (The University of Texas at Austin); Jensen, Sissel (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Lleras-Muney, Adriana (UCLA)
    Abstract: In late 2003, Norway passed a law mandating 40 percent representation of each gender on the board of publicly limited liability companies. The primary objective of this reform was to increase the representation of women in top positions in the corporate sector and decrease gender disparity in earnings within that sector. We document that the newly (post-reform) appointed female board members were observably more qualified than their female predecessors, and that the gender gap in earnings within boards fell substantially. While the reform may have improved the representation of female employees at the very top of the earnings distribution (top 5 highest earners) within firms that were mandated to increase female participation on their board, there is no evidence that these gains at the very top trickled-down. Moreover the reform had no obvious impact on highly qualified women whose qualifications mirror those of board members but who were not appointed to boards. We observe no statistically significant change in the gender wage gaps or in female representation in top positions, although standard errors are large enough that we cannot rule economically meaningful gains. Finally, there is little evidence that the reform affected the decisions of women more generally; it was not accompanied by any change in female enrollment in business education programs, or a convergence in earnings trajectories between recent male and female graduates of such programs. While young women preparing for a career in business report being aware of the reform and expect their earnings and promotion chances to benefit from it, the reform did not affect their fertility and marital plans. Overall, in the short run the reform had very little discernible impact on women in business beyond its direct effect on the newly appointed female board members.
    Keywords: Gender discrimination; board of directors.
    JEL: J01 J13
    Date: 2014–08–29
  19. By: Niels Vermeer; Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB; VU; Netspar); Arthur van Soest (Tilburg University; Netspar)
    Abstract: In the policy debate on increasing the statutory retirement age, the issue has been raised to make an exception for workers with demanding occupations, since health considerations may make it unreasonable to expect them to work longer. We use unique Dutch survey data to analyze the general public’s opinions on what are demanding occupations, to what extent it is justified that someone with a demanding occupation can retire earlier, and on the willingness to contribute to an earlier retirement scheme for such occupations through higher taxes. A representative sample of Dutch adults answered several questions about hypothetical persons with five different jobs. Panel data models are used to analyze the answers, accounting for confounding factors affecting the evaluations of the demanding nature of the jobs as well as their reasonable retirement age or willingness to contribute to an early retirement scheme. The Dutch public thinks that workers in demanding occupations should be able to retire earlier. A one standard deviation increase in the perceived demanding nature of an occupation translates into a one year decrease in the reasonable retirement age and a 30 to 40 percentage points increase in the willingness to contribute to an early retirement scheme for that occupation. There is some evidence that respondents whose own job is similar to the occupation they evaluate find this occupation more demanding than other respondents but respondents are also willing to contribute to early retirement of occupations that are not similar to their own.
    JEL: J26 J81 H55
    Date: 2014–10
  20. By: Melisande Cardona (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: Between 2009 and 2012 the percentage of online consumers in the EU who made online purchases in another EU Member State increased from 8 to 11 per cent, below the target of 20 per cent put forward in the EU Digital Agenda. Both, subjective perceptions on the consumer side or objective barriers on the supply side can play a role. This study uses a mystery shopping survey to measure the relative importance of supply side barriers. While 97 per cent of domestic orders lead to a successful shipment, we find that suppliers accepted to ship only 48 per cent of all cross-border online orders. This high failure rate may overstate the ordinary consumer experience because of the artificiality of the mystery shopping trade patterns. We therefore focus on the factors that drive success and failure. A shared language between buyer and supplier countries increased and size of the goods decreased the chances of success. Goods that are subject to geographical sales restrictions (vertical agreements) between producers, wholesalers and retailers are the least likely to be available for online cross-border orders. This may indicate that restrictions in competition in offline markets are spilling over to online markets and prevent the realization of some of the benefits of e-commerce. We conclude that regional integration in digital markets is constrained by the lack of integration in traditional bricks & mortar markets.
    Keywords: online trade, e-commerce, cross-border trade, barriers to trade, vertical constraints in online markets
    Date: 2014–10
  21. By: Stephen Machin; Richard Murphy
    Abstract: We investigate the rapid influx of overseas students into UK higher education and the impact on the number of domestic students. Using administrative data since 1994/5, we find no evidence of crowd out of domestic undergraduate students and indications of increases in the domestic numbers of postgraduate students as overseas enrolments have grown. We interpret this as a cross-subsidisation and establish causal findings using two methods. Firstly, we use the historical share of students from a sending country attending a university department as a shift-share instrument to predict enrolment patterns. Secondly, we use a change in Chinese visa regulations and exchange rates in combination with strong subject preferences as a predictor of overseas student growth.
    Keywords: Overseas students, crowding out
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2014–09

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