nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2014‒12‒08
23 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. “Does absorptive capacity determine collaborative research returns to innovation? A geographical dimension” By Erika Raquel Badillo; Rosina Moreno
  2. How Selective Are Real Wage Cuts? A Micro-Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data By Hirsch, Boris; Zwick, Thomas
  3. Allocation of human capital and innovation at the frontier: Firm-level evidence on Germany and the Netherlands By Bartelsmann, Eric; Dobbelaere, Sabien; Peters, Bettina
  4. Wealth and income in the euro area: Heterogeneity in households' behaviours? By Arrondel, Luc; Roger, Muriel; Savignac, Frédérique
  5. Parental background matters: Intergenerational mobility and assimilation of Italian immigrants in Germany By Bönke, Timm; Neidhöfer, Guido
  6. Work and Well-Being of Informal Caregivers in Europe By Dörte Heger
  7. A territorial approach to R&D subsidies: Empirical evidence for Catalonian firms By Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 1958-; Teruel, Mercedes; Bové Sans, Miquel Àngel
  8. Alternative operators investing in NGNs: A causal analysis of the case in Spain By Herrera-González, Fernando; García-Arribas, Gonzalo
  9. Completed fertility effects of family policy measures: Evidence from a life-cycle model By Abiry, Raphael; Reuss, Karsten; Stichnoth, Holger
  10. Appropriability Mechanisms, Innovation and Productivity: Evidence from the UK By Bronwyn H. Hall; Vania Sena
  11. Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically? An Illustration with German Data By Decancq, Koen; Neumann, Dirk
  12. Public Preferences for Government Spending Priorities: Survey Evidence from Germany By Bernd Hayo; Florian Neumeier
  13. Cultural Values and Decision to Work of Immigrant Women in Italy By Scoppa, Vincenzo; Stranges, Manuela
  14. Can the Market Stability Reserve Stabilise the EU ETS: Commentators Hedge Their Bets By William Acworth
  15. Market reaction to transparency: An empirical study on life insurance demand in Europe By Dong, Ming
  16. Considering the extremely poor: Multidimensional poverty measurement for Germany By Nowak, Daniel; Scheicher, Christoph
  17. Innovation in creative cities: Evidence from British small firms By Neil Lee; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  18. Do remittances and social assistance have different impacts on expenditure patterns of recipient households?: The Moldovan case By Waidler J.; Hagen-Zanker J.S.; Gassmann F.; Siegel M.
  19. How do households allocate their assets? Stylised facts from the Eurosystem household finance and consumption survey By Arrondel, Luc; Bartiloro, Laura; Fessler, Pirmin; Lindner, Peter; Mathä, Thomas Y.; Rampazzi, Cristiana; Savignac, Frédérique; Schmidt, Tobias; Schürz, Martin; Vermeulen, Philip
  20. Ireland's Recession and the Immigrant/Native Earnings Gap By Barrett, Alan; Bergin, Adele; Kelly, Elish; McGuinness, Seamus
  21. Voluntary Agreements and CO2 Reduction - An empirical Assessment of German Industries By Parlow, Anton; Hövelmann, Dennis
  22. Mixed-Nativity Marriages: a Marker of Immigrants' Integration or Marginality in the Host Countries? Evidence from Italy By Davide Azzolini; Raffaele Guetto
  23. Swissmod - A Model of the Swiss Electricity Market By Ingmar Schlecht; Hannes Weigt

  1. By: Erika Raquel Badillo (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate the impact of research collaboration with partners in different geographical areas on innovative performance. By using the Spanish Technological Innovation Panel, this study provides evidence that the benefits of research collaboration differ across different dimensions of the geography. We find that the impact of extra-European cooperation on innovation performance is larger than that of national and European cooperation, indicating that firms tend to benefit more from interaction with international partners as a way to access new technologies or specialized and novel knowledge that they are unable to find locally. We also find evidence of the positive role played by absorptive capacity, concluding that it implies a higher premium on the innovation returns to cooperation in the international case and mainly in the European one.
    Keywords: Innovation cooperation; Technological partners; Geographical location; Performance; Absorptive Capacity; Spanish firms JEL classification: L25; O31; O33; R1
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Hirsch, Boris (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Zwick, Thomas (University of Würzburg)
    Abstract: Using linked employer-employee panel data for Germany, this paper investigates whether firms implement real wage reductions in a selective manner. In line with insider-outsider and several strands of efficiency wage theory, we find strong evidence for selective wage cuts with high-productivity workers being spared even when controlling for permanent differences in firms' wage policies. In contrast to some recent contributions stressing fairness considerations, we also find that wage cuts increase wage dispersion among peers rather than narrowing it. Notably, the same selectivity pattern shows up when restricting our analysis to firms covered by collective agreements or having a works council.
    Keywords: selectivity, real wage cuts, real wage rigidity, Germany
    JEL: J30 J31
    Date: 2014–08
  3. By: Bartelsmann, Eric; Dobbelaere, Sabien; Peters, Bettina
    Abstract: This paper examines how productivity effects of human capital and innovation vary at different points of the conditional productivity distribution. Our analysis draws upon two large unbalanced panels of 6,634 enterprises in Germany and 14,586 enterprises in the Netherlands over the period 2000-2008, considering 5 manufacturing and services industries that differ in the level of technological intensity. Industries in the Netherlands are characterized by a larger average proportion of high-skilled employees and industries in Germany by a more unequal distribution of human capital intensity. In Germany, average innovation performance is higher in all industries, except for low-technology manufacturing, and in the Netherlands the innovation performance distributions are more dispersed. In both countries, we observe non-linearities in the productivity effects of investing in product innovation in the majority of industries. Frontier firms enjoy the highest returns to product innovation whereas for process innovation the most negative returns are observed in the best-performing enterprises of most industries. We find that in both countries the returns to human capital increase with proximity to the technological frontier in industries with a low level of technological intensity. Strikingly, a negative complementarity e¤ect between human capital and proximity to the technological frontier is observed in knowledge-intensive services, which is most pronounced for the Netherlands. Suggestive evidence suggests an interpretation of a winner-takes-all market in knowledge-intensive services.
    Keywords: Human capital,innovation,productivity,quantile regression
    JEL: C10 I20 O14 O30
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Arrondel, Luc; Roger, Muriel; Savignac, Frédérique
    Abstract: This article aims at linking the household wealth and income distributions for 15 European countries using the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. We study the role played by the household’s location in the income distributions in determining its location in the wealth distribution. A generalized ordered probit model is estimated to explain the role played by the position in the income distribution and by intergenerational transfers on the probability to be in a given wealth decile in each country. As expected, we obtain that a rise in income or having received gifts and inheritances increases the probability to be in higher wealth deciles. Most importantly, we find evidences of heterogeneity in accumulation behaviours along the wealth distribution in France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia and Spain. The relative effect of income or inheritance on wealth accumulation varies, depending on the rank of the households in the wealth distribution. We also highlight some specificity in the top of the wealth distribution. JEL Classification: D31,C35
    Keywords: accumulation behaviours, cross-country comparisons, generalized ordered probit model, inheritances, wealth and income distributions
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Bönke, Timm; Neidhöfer, Guido
    Abstract: We investigate the hypothesis of failed integration and low social mobility of immigrants. For this purpose, an intergenerational assimilation model is tested empirically on household survey data and validated against administrative data provided by the Italian Embassy in Germany. In line with previous studies, we confirm substantial inequality of educational achievements between immigrants and natives. However, we find that the children of Italian immigrants exhibit fairly high intergenerational mobility. Furthermore, holding parental education constant, Italian second generation immigrants show no less opportunities than natives to achieve high schooling degrees. These findings suggest a rejection of the failed integration hypothesis.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility,education,integration and assimilation of immigrants
    JEL: I24 J61 J62
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Dörte Heger
    Abstract: Informal caregivers provide valuable services to elderly persons with long-term care needs, but the consequences of caregiving on caregivers are not yet fully understood. This paper illustrates the interrelation between caregiving and caregivers’ labour force participation, cognitive ability, and health in a simple theoretical model, and estimates the effects of caregiving using panel data from thirteen European countries, which allows to analyze the effect of institutions on caregivers’ outcomes. The results show that caregiving severely and signicantly reduces caregivers’ probability of being employed, but only in countries with few formal care alternatives. Furthermore, caregivers in all countries suffer from worse mental health when caregiving is prompted by poor parental health. The results for the effects of caregiving on physical health and cognitive ability are mixed.
    Keywords: Informal care; labour supply; cognitive ability; physical and mental health
    JEL: I12 J14 J18 J22
    Date: 2014–10
  7. By: Segarra Blasco, Agustí, 1958-; Teruel, Mercedes; Bové Sans, Miquel Àngel
    Abstract: Using a database of 2,263 responses to R&D public calls in Catalonia, during the period 2007–2010, this paper proceeds to analyse the potential interaction of the territorial and policy dimensions with the propensity to apply for, and be awarded, a public R&D subsidy. Controlling for characteristics at the firm and project level, we estimate models using a two-step procedure. In the first step, our results suggest that large firms which export and which belong to high-tech manufactures are more likely to participate in a public R&D call. Furthermore, both urban location and past experience of such calls have a positive effect. Our territorial proxy of information spillovers shows a positive sign, but this is only significant at intra-industry level. Membership of one of the sectors prioritized by the Catalan government, perhaps surprisingly, does not have a significant impact. In the second step, our results show that cooperative projects, SMEs or old firms shows a positive effect on the probability of obtaining a public subsidy. Finally, the cluster policy does not show a clear relationship with the public R&D call, suggesting that cluster policies and R&D subsidies follow different goals. Our results are in line with previous results in the literature, but they highlight the unequal territorial distribution of the firms which apply and the fact that policymakers should interlink the decision criteria for their public call with other policies. Keywords: Evaluation, R&D policies, territorial approach, clusters JEL Classifications: L53, L25, O38
    Keywords: Innovacions tecnològiques -- Política governamental, Sistemes productius locals, Política industrial, Empreses -- Dimensió -- Catalunya, 332 - Economia regional i territorial. Economia del sòl i de la vivenda,
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Herrera-González, Fernando; García-Arribas, Gonzalo
    Abstract: The telecommunications market was completely open to competition in 1998 in Spain, as in most EU countries. The model for the liberalization of the market was based on the regulated use of the incumbent operators' network, so that new entrants could initially use these resources to allow for a soft entry in the market, by climbing a 'ladder of investment'. However, as late as 2011, no entrant operator had gone beyond the Unbundled Local Loop deploying its own access network. This changed in Spain in 2012, when Jazztel decided it would invest in deploying Fibre-to-the-Home. Later, Orange and Vodafone announced that they have reached an agreement to share the deployment of fibre to 6 Millions of households. This phenomenon has coincided in time with the lack of regulated wholesale access on Telefónica FTTH network for speeds above 30 Mbps. In this paper, we show the causality between both events (lack of actual regulated wholesale access to the fibre, deployment by alternative operators), by understanding competition as a process, in the Hayekian and Schumpeterian tradition.
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Abiry, Raphael; Reuss, Karsten; Stichnoth, Holger
    Abstract: We estimate a structural life-cycle model of fertility and female labour supply and use it to evaluate the effects of a number of key family policy measures based on data for Germany. Parental leave benefits, child benefits and subsidized childcare are found to have substantial fertility effects. Without these measures, completed fertility is estimated to be lower by 6%, 7%, and 10%, respectively. Income tax splitting, which is fiscally expensive, reduces female labour supply but has a negligible effect on fertility.
    Keywords: Fertility,female labour supply,family policy,dynamic programming
    JEL: C25 C53 J13 J22
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Vania Sena
    Abstract: We use an extended version of the well-established Crepon, Duguet and Mairesse model (1998) to model the relationship between appropriability mechanisms, innovation and firm-level productivity. We enrich this model in several ways. First, we consider different types of innovation spending and study the differences in estimates when innovation spending (rather than R&D spending) is used to predict innovation in the CDM model. Second, we assume that a firm simultaneously innovates and chooses among different appropriability methods (formal or informal) to protect the innovation. Finally, in the third stage, we estimate the impact of the innovation output conditional on the choice of appropriability mechanisms on firms' productivity. We find that firms that innovate and rate formal methods for the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) highly are more productive than other firms, but that the same does not hold in the case of informal methods for the protection of a firm's IP, except possibly for large firms as opposed to SMEs. We also find that this result is strongest for firms in the services, trade, and utility sectors, and negative in the manufacturing sector.
    JEL: L25 O30 O34
    Date: 2014–09
  11. By: Decancq, Koen (University of Antwerp); Neumann, Dirk (Université catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: We discuss and compare five measures of individual well-being, namely income, an objective composite well-being index, a measure of subjective well-being, equivalent income, and a well-being measure based on the von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities of the individuals. After examining the information requirements of these measures, we illustrate their implementation using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for 2010. We find sizeable differences in the characteristics of the individuals identified as worst off according to the different well-being measures. Less than 1% of the individuals belong to the bottom decile according to all five measures. Moreover, the measures lead to considerably different well-being rankings of the individuals. These findings highlight the importance of the choice of well-being measure for policy making.
    Keywords: von Neumann-Morgenstern utility function, equivalent income, life satisfaction, composite well-being index, income, worst off, Germany
    JEL: D31 D63 I30
    Date: 2014–10
  12. By: Bernd Hayo (University of Marburg); Florian Neumeier (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: Employing data from a representative survey conducted in Germany, this paper examines public preferences for the size and composition of government expenditure. We focus on public attitudes toward taxes, public debt incurrence, and public spending in six different policy areas. Our findings suggest, first, that the current scope of government is supported by a majority of the German population. Second, we find that individual preferences for the composition of government spending differ along various dimensions. Specifically, personal economic well-being, economic literacy, confidence in politicians, political ideology, and time preference are significantly related to individual attitudes toward public spending, taxes, and debt. The magnitude of the effects is particularly large for time preference, economic knowledge, and party preference. Third, public preferences for public spending priorities are only marginally affected when considering a public budget constraint.
    Keywords: Public spending, public preferences, public debt, taxes, survey, Germany.
    JEL: E62 H11 H50 H63
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria); Stranges, Manuela (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of culture in explaining economic outcomes at individual level analyzing how cultural values from the home country affect the decision to work of immigrants in Italy, using the National Survey of Households with Immigrants. Following the “epidemiological approach”, we relate the probability of being employed in Italy for immigrant women with the female labor force participation (LFP) in their country of origin, taken as a proxy of cultural heritage and gender role model. Controlling for a number of individual and household characteristics, we show that participation in the labor market is affected both by the culture of females' and by their husband's origin countries. We also show that the relationship between own decisions in the host country and home country LFP cannot be attributed to human capital quality or discrimination and it turns out to be stronger for immigrants that maintained more intense ties with their origin countries. Finally, we investigate to what extent cultural influence is driven by religious beliefs: we find that religion is a key determinant of differences in female labor decisions, but, besides religion, other cultural values exert additional influence.
    Keywords: culture, immigration, labor force participation, epidemiological approach, gender, Italy
    JEL: Z10 Z13 J10 J15 J16 J20
    Date: 2014–10
  14. By: William Acworth
    Abstract: In response to an imbalance between the demand and supply of permits within the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the European Commission has proposed the introduction of a Market Stability Reserve (MSR). The MSR represents a quantity based automatic adjustment mechanism, which is designed to tackle the current surplus and introduce a degree of flexibility, allowing the system to respond to future demand side shocks. While some positive features of the MSR have been highlighted, the design, effectiveness and institutional setting have also come under criticism.
    Date: 2014
  15. By: Dong, Ming
    Abstract: This article explores life insurance consumption in 31 European countries from 2003 to 2012 and aims to investigate the extent to which market transparency can affect life insurance demand. The cross-country evidence for the entire sample period shows that greater market transparency, which resolves asymmetric information, can generate a higher demand for life insurance. However, when considering the financial crisis period (2008-2012) separately, the results suggest a negative impact of enhanced market transparency on life insurance consumption. The mixed findings imply a trade-off between the reduction in adverse selection under greater market transparency and the possible negative effects on life insurance consumption during the crisis period due to more effective market discipline. Furthermore, this article studies the extent to which transparency can influence the reaction of life insurance demand to bad market outcomes: i.e., low solvency ratios or low profitability. The results indicate that the markets with bad outcomes generate higher life insurance demand under greater transparency compared to the markets that also experience bad outcomes but are less transparent.
    Keywords: life insurance demand,transparency,market discipline
    JEL: G14 G22
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Nowak, Daniel; Scheicher, Christoph
    Abstract: This paper applies the Alkire and Foster (2011) index of multidimensional poverty to German data. This is done with respect to the politically most important dimensions of poverty mentioned in the German federal government's report on poverty and wealth. Additionally, a modification of the identification step of the Alkire-Foster index is proposed to guarantee that individuals, who are extremely poor in only few dimensions, are not omitted by the index.
    Keywords: Poverty index,multivariate poverty,Alkire-Foster index,SOEP
    JEL: I32 D63
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Neil Lee; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
    Abstract: Creative cities are seen as important sites for the generation of new ideas, products and processes. Yet, beyond case studies of a few high-profile cities, there is little empirical evidence on the link between local creative industries concentration and innovation. This paper addresses this gap with an analysis of around 1,300 UK SMEs. The results suggest that firms in local economies with high shares of creative industries employment are significantly more likely to introduce entirely new products and processes than firms elsewhere, but not innovations which are simply new to the firm. This effect is not exclusive to creative industries firms and seems to be largely due to firms in medium sized, rather than large, cities. The results imply that creative cities may have functional specialisations in new content creation and so firms are more innovative in them.
    Keywords: Creativity, Creative Cities, Creative Industries, Cities, Innovation
    JEL: O31 O38 R1 R11 R58
    Date: 2014–11
  18. By: Waidler J.; Hagen-Zanker J.S.; Gassmann F.; Siegel M. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Do remittances and social assistance have different impacts on household expenditure patterns While two separate strands of literature have looked at how social assistance or remittances have been spent, few studies have compared them directly. Using data from a nationally representative household survey conducted in Moldova in 2011, this paper assesses the impact both types of transfers have on household expenditure patterns. Contrary to the common assumption that money is fungible, we find that social assistance and remittances have different impacts on expenditure patterns having controlled for potential endogeneity. This research highlights that income source matters and that different incomes may have different poverty impacts. In our sample, the two types of transfers are received by different, but to some extent overlapping population groups. The fact that the two transfers are spent in different ways means that, to some extent, social assistance and remittances are complements rather than substitutes.
    Keywords: Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth; International Migration; Remittances; National Government Expenditures and Related Policies: General; Measurement and Analysis of Poverty; Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; Demographic Economics: Public Policy;
    JEL: F22 F24 J18 I32 I38 E21 H50
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Arrondel, Luc; Bartiloro, Laura; Fessler, Pirmin; Lindner, Peter; Mathä, Thomas Y.; Rampazzi, Cristiana; Savignac, Frédérique; Schmidt, Tobias; Schürz, Martin; Vermeulen, Philip
    Abstract: Using the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a large micro-level dataset on households’ balance sheets in 15 euro area countries, this paper explores how households allocate their assets. We derive stylised facts on asset participation as well as levels of asset holdings and investigate the systematic relationships between household characteristics and asset holding patterns. Real assets make up the bulk of total assets. Whereas ownership of the main residence varies strongly between countries, the value of the main residence tends to be the major asset for homeowners and represents a significant part of total assets in all countries. While almost all households hold safe financial assets, a low share of households holds risky assets. The ownership rates of all asset categories generally increase with wealth (and income). The significance of inheritances for home ownership and holding of other real estate is remarkable. We tentatively link differences in asset holding patterns across countries to differences in institutions, such as mortgage market institutions and house price-to-rent ratios. JEL Classification: D1, D3
    Keywords: cross-country comparisons, household financial decisions, individual portfolio choice, real and financial assets
    Date: 2014–08
  20. By: Barrett, Alan (ESRI, Dublin); Bergin, Adele (ESRI, Dublin); Kelly, Elish (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: The economic collapse was more severe in Ireland relative to elsewhere. Many questions have arisen concerning the impacts of the collapse, including the impacts on immigrants and their subsequent reactions. Previous research shows that immigrant employment contracted sharply over the recession, thereby suggesting reduced demand for immigrant labour. In this paper, we ask whether immigrants' earnings also fell, relative to natives. Although the raw data shows a widening of the immigrant/native pay gap, when we control for relevant characteristics the adjusted wage gap narrows. A decomposition analysis shows that most of the change in the raw wage gap is generated by the changing composition of the immigrants who were employed.
    Keywords: recession, immigrant earnings, Ireland
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2014–09
  21. By: Parlow, Anton; Hövelmann, Dennis
    Abstract: Using data on 57 German industries we find that industries participating in voluntary agreements reduce their CO2-emissions up to 30% compared to industries not participating in voluntary agreements for the period 1995 to 2010. The success of these agreements can be explained by a credible threat of the regulatory agency to impose taxes.
    Keywords: Voluntary Agreements, CO2-Emissions, Industries
    JEL: Q50
    Date: 2014–12–15
  22. By: Davide Azzolini (FBK-IRVAPP); Raffaele Guetto (University of Trento)
    Abstract: Taking up an assimilation hypothesis, the growth of mixed-nativity marriages documented in many developed countries is often regarded as an indicator of immigrants' integration in the receiving societies. We contend that an alternative theoretical approach could enrich our understanding of the complex link between integration (or, assimilation) and intermarriages. Precisely, we build on theories on assortative mating to investigate the salience of status exchange in the formation of mixed-nativity unions in Italy. The country is a new destination of international migration characterised by particularly poor immigrants' socioeconomic integration. In line with recent empirical evidence emerging from other countries, like Australia, the US and Spain, we provide sound evidence in support of the status exchange hypothesis in Italy. Exploiting Italian Labor Force Survey data and unique register microdata on marriages, we find mixed-nativity marriages to be more likely when less educated older men marry better educated younger women, especially when the latter originate from non-Western countries. Foreign women are also more likely to marry an Italian man if they are not employed. These patterns become more similar when women possess the Italian citizenship at the moment of marriage, confirming the salience of status exchange when immigrants' integration is low.
    Keywords: Assimilation, Integration, Mixed-nativity marriages
    JEL: J12 F22 I24
    Date: 2014–11
  23. By: Ingmar Schlecht; Hannes Weigt (University of Basel)
    Abstract: We present a bottom-up electricity market model for Switzerland called Swissmod.<br />It includes a detailed electricity network and hydropower representation. Swissmod<br />captures the features and restrictions of run-of-river, yearly storage and pumped-storage power plants and combines this with a network model of the river and water stream system to take the interdependence of hydraulically coupled hydropower plants into account. In addition, the Swiss electricity network is represented using the DC load <br />ow approach, allowing for spatial market evaluations. The model is developed as a deterministic optimization problem in GAMS. It provides an hourly resolution over a one-year horizon with an approximated representation of the surrounding European electricity markets. The aim of this paper is to outline the model and calibrate it to 2012 data.
    Keywords: Switzerland, electricity markets, power ow, hydropower, nodal pricing.
    JEL: L94 Q4
    Date: 2014

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