nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
25 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Immigration, Regional Conditions, and Crime: Evidence from an Allocation Policy in Germany By Piopiunik, Marc; Ruhose, Jens
  2. European Union and labour’s legal resources in Central and East European Countries By Jan Drahokoupil; Martin Myant
  3. Youth Labour Flows and Exits from Unemployment in Great Recession By Vladislav Flek; Martin Hala; Martina Myslikova
  4. Should I Stay, Should I Go Back or Should I Move Further? Contrasting Answers under Diverse Migration Regimes By Michael Landesmann; Sandra M. Leitner; Isilda Mara
  5. Productivity Effects of Air Pollution: Evidence from Professional Soccer By Lichter, Andreas; Pestel, Nico; Sommer, Eric
  6. Trends in IPOs: The Evidence from CEE Capital Markets By Tomas Meluzin; Marek Zinecker
  7. Child Care Arrangements and Labor Supply By Daniela Del Boca
  8. Distributional and Behavioral Effects of the Gender Wage Gap By Patricia Gallego-Granados; Johannes Geyer
  9. The educational system – causing both skills shortages and low youth labour participation? By Malm Lindberg, Henrik
  10. Dementia vs. somatic conditions in the German LTC-system: A longitudinal analysis By Ehing, Daniel; Hagist, Christian
  11. Mozart or Pelé? The effects of teenagers’ participation in music and sports By Cabane, Charlotte; Hille, Adrian; Lechner, Michael
  12. Education and Software Piracy in the European Union By Nicolas Dias Gomes; Pedro André Cerqueira; Luís Alçada Almeida
  13. Social capital in Europe from 1990 to 2012: trends, path-dependency and convergence By Sarracino, Francesco; Mikucka, Malgorzata
  14. The impact of the recession on health care expenditure — How does the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia compare to other OECD countries? By Baji, Petra; Péntek, Márta; Boncz, Imre; Brodszky, Valentin; Loblova, Olga; Brodszky, Nóra; Gulácsi, László
  15. Determinants of banking fee income in the EU banking industry - does market concentration matter? By Karolina Ruzickova; Petr Teply
  16. Is Belgium Overshooting in its Policy Support to Cut the Cost of Capital of Renewable Sources of Energy ? By Antonio Estache; Anne-Sophie Steichen
  17. Accessibility to work by public transit and its social distribution in Lille, France By Claire Papaix; Ariane Dupont-Kieffer
  18. Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Refugee Children in Sweden: An Outlook on Demography, Education and Employment By Celikaksoy, Aycan; Wadensjö, Eskil
  19. Who should monitor job sick leave? By Carlo Alberto Biscardo; Alessandro Bucciol; Paolo Pertile
  20. Does tax enforcement counteract the negative effects of terrorism? A case study of the Basque Country By Luca Salvadori
  21. Prospects for the development of prosumer energy in Poland By Magdalena Zajaczkowska
  22. Fiscal and Economic Aspects of Book Consumption in the European Union By Karol J. Borowiecki; Trilce Navarrete
  23. Increasing forest biomass supply in Northern Europe – Countrywide estimates and economic perspectives By Bostedt, Göran; Mustonen, Mika; Gong, Peichen
  24. Public-private mix and performance of health care systems in CEE and CIS countries By Blazej Lyszczarz
  25. The Future of the German Industrial Relations Model By David Marsden

  1. By: Piopiunik, Marc; Ruhose, Jens
    Abstract: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, more than 3 million people with German ancestors immigrated to Germany under a special law granting immediate citizenship. Exploiting the exogenous allocation of ethnic German immigrants by German authorities across regions upon arrival, we find that immigration significantly increases crime. The crime impact of immigration depends strongly on local labor market conditions, with strong impacts in regions with high unemployment. Similarly, we find substantially stronger effects in regions with high preexisting crime levels or large shares of foreigners.
    Keywords: Immigration; crime; allocation policy
    JEL: F22 J15 K42 R10
    Date: 2015–03–24
  2. By: Jan Drahokoupil; Martin Myant
    Abstract: This article investigates the influence of the European Union (EU) on legal resources available to labour to tackle labour market challenges in central and east European countries after their accession to the EU in 2004 and 2007. Its conclusion is that the EU’s impact has been complex and contradictory, with differences between countries and time periods. It has to varying degrees encouraged social partnership and supported a model of employment relations giving high levels of legal and collective protection to employees. Since 2008, the EU has advocated reductions in protection for employees on standard contracts and a very substantial reduction in collective bargaining coverage in one case, only partially balanced by advocacy for improving the lot of those on less secure employment relationships. The EU agenda has in practice been largely irrelevant to the widespread informalization and casualization of employment relations in the region.
    Keywords: labour market, labour code, trade unions, collective bargaining, central and eastern Europe
    Date: 2015–04–13
  3. By: Vladislav Flek (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nábreží 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic; Metropolitan University Prague); Martin Hala (University of New York in Prague; Metropolitan University Prague); Martina Myslikova (The Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Metropolitan University Prague)
    Abstract: Using Spain and the Czech Republic as examples of two EU countries with remarkably different youth labour market performance, we apply a gross flow analysis based on EU-SILC longitudinal data. While in Spain increases in youth unemployment rate are driven mostly by young people losing their jobs, in the Czech Republic, this is mainly due to new labour market entrants who failed to find a job. Furthermore, the analysis of flow transition rates suggests that the job-loss rates of young workers are persistently higher than those established for prime-age workers. But the analogous result applies, though less uniformly, also to the job-finding rates. Survival functions estimates point to prolonged unemployment duration and increasing long term unemployment, while both these tendencies apply relatively more to the young unemployed. Proportional hazard models generally indicate that shorter unemployment spells are more likely to be terminated by finding a job in comparison with those spells lasting for more than one year, while the hazard ratios for duration intervals under one year are typically higher for prime-age unemployed. Finally, we examine education, gender, household size, etc. as determinants of exits from unemployment, with uniform evidence found for tertiary education only.
    Keywords: flow transition rates, gross labour market flows, hazard function, survival function, unemployment
    JEL: E24 J6
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Sandra M. Leitner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Abstract EU integration, the process of EU enlargement and further visa liberalisation have encouraged increased population movements across Europe, some of which have taken new forms compared to previous migration waves. In particular, some destination countries have experienced high levels of temporary migration from poorer parts of Europe. Using a new set of survey data, we seek to obtain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting migration decisions by comparing migrants from three different sending countries in three destination countries under different migration regimes Poles in the UK, Romanians in Italy and Serbs in Austria. The surveys were conducted in 2011 and 2012 and cover migrants who migrated between 2004 and 2012, which for Polish migrants in the UK corresponds to a phase with free mobility and full access to the labour market; for Romanian migrants in Italy it coincides first with visa liberalisation and then with full access to the labour market starting with Romania’s EU accession in 2007; lastly, for Serbian migrants in Austria this includes a visa liberalisation regime from 2010 onwards. The surveys undertaken in the different (host) countries were using an almost identical methodology, thereby allowing for a direct comparison of the factors underlying the decision to migrate. Thus, migration preferences with regard to permanent, return and out-migration under different migration regimes, restrictive versus free mobility, could be analysed. At individual country level results show the weaker preference for permanent migration amongst the highest skilled which points to a lower attachment to a particular destination country. Furthermore, a change in the migration regime towards freer mobility contributes to the intensification of temporary and outward mobility among the highly skilled.
    Keywords: return migration, out-migration, permanent migration, EU enlargement, visa regime, labour mobility
    JEL: J15 J61 C30
    Date: 2015–01
  5. By: Lichter, Andreas (IZA); Pestel, Nico (IZA); Sommer, Eric (IZA)
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the causal effect of ambient air pollution on individuals' productivity by using panel data on the universe of professional soccer players in Germany over the period 1999-2011. Combining this data with hourly information on the concentration of particulate matter in spatial proximity to each stadium at the time of kickoff, we exploit exogenous variation in the players' exposure to air pollution due to match scheduling rules that are beyond the control of teams and players. Our analysis shows negative and non-linear effects of air pollution on short-run productivity. We further find that the effect increases with age and is stronger in case players face an additional physical burden.
    Keywords: air pollution, productivity, soccer, sports data, Germany
    JEL: J24 Q51 Q53
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Tomas Meluzin (Brno University of Technology); Marek Zinecker (Brno University of Technology)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate IPO developments across five CEE countries between 2003 and 2012. Using a wider range of methods and different data sets we intend to complement the previous research. Applying descriptive statistics, relevant local developments are analysed first before being compared with leading European markets (London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse). We also investigated the assumption that a growing market has an explanatory power for the accelerating IPO activity. For this purpose we performed a Spearman correlation analysis. The data were evaluated at the significance level of ? = 5 %. All CEE capital markets recorded strong dynamism over the observed period. All fundamental capital market parameters increase the attractiveness of individual capital markets, although their values lag behind developed European capital countries. The unambiguous leader in the region is Poland with a flourishing IPO market. Our assumption that a growing market has a positive impact on IPO activities could not be supported by empirical evidence.
    Keywords: IPO, Going Public, Trends, Financial Markets, CEE
    JEL: E44 G23 G32
    Date: 2015–04
  7. By: Daniela Del Boca
    Abstract: This paper discusses several approaches to examining the relationship between child care and mothers' labor supply. The focus is on child care for children aged 0-3, because this is a critical period for working mothers and their children and because most European and American households with children aged 3-5 already use child care centers. The paper provides data concerning availability of, government spending on, and quantity and quality standards for child care in different countries, then compares different approaches to the determinants of child care demand and labor supply. The paper subsequently reviews and compares empirical results regarding the impact of child care costs, availability and quality. Finally, the paper discusses different impacts across different groups and provides concluding remarks.
    Keywords: Labor Policy, Child development, Child care, Mothers' employment, Child development, IDB-WP-569
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Patricia Gallego-Granados; Johannes Geyer
    Abstract: The gender wage gap is a persistent labor market phenomenon. Most research focuses on the determinants of these wage differences. We contribute to this literature by exploring a different research question: if wages of women are systematically lower than male wages, what are the distributional consequences (disposable income) and what are the labor market effects (labor supply) of the wage gap? We demonstrate how the gender gap in gross hourly wages shows up in the distribution of disposable income of households. This requires taking into account the distribution of working hours as well as the tax-benefit system and other sources of household income. We present a methodological framework for deriving the gender wage gap in terms of disposable income which combines quantile decomposition, simulation techniques and structural labor supply estimation. This allows us to examine the implications of the gender wage gap for income inequality and working incentives. We illustrate our approach with an application to German data.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, quantile regression, wage decomposition, labor supply, microsimulation, income distribution, tax-benefit system
    JEL: D31 J31 J16 H23
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Malm Lindberg, Henrik (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: The educational system is perhaps the most important feature for labour market entry. During the last decades huge investments have been made at different levels in this system, the Knowledge lift and a doubling of the number of students in tertiary education are examples, but what are the effects of these investments? The age of labour market entry has risen dramatically since the 1990s and in particular among those without fulfilled secondary schooling. In the paper I analyse the educational system in Sweden, mainly from secondary sources, in three dimensions – in terms of quality, efficiency and relevance. These are seen as essential in order to deliver both competence to businesses and to give young people opportunities in the labour market. Because of deficiencies in all three dimensions: foremost lack of quality at primary and secondary level, which is visible at PISA-tests, lack of efficiency at secondary and tertiary level that is visible when we measure examination frequency and graduation age, and lastly lack of relevance which is mostly notable in the vocational training.
    Keywords: Education; Skills; Unemployment; Labour market entry; Quality; Efficiency; Relevance
    JEL: I21 I28 J60
    Date: 2015–01–26
  10. By: Ehing, Daniel; Hagist, Christian
    Abstract: This paper analyzes prevalence and incidence rates as well as survival times for people above the age of 60 years with a dementia disorder and/or a long-term care status. Using claim data from a social sickness funds in Germany (AOK-Plus), we show that there exists a with age increasing gap between the prevalence of women and men for both fields of study. This discrepancy cannot be explained completely by our estimated incidence rates and is caused by different survival times in long-term care and dementia. In long-term care 50 percent of all women (men) are dead after 44 (25) months, whereas about 57 (49) percent of all women (men) with dementia are alive after the end of our 48 month long observation period. The lower mortality of people with dementia is mainly explained by a large share of people who are not eligible for the German long-term care system. Estimating several cox models shows that the hazard of dying in long-term care increases with age and care level. However younger people with a dementia disorder show lower mortality rates in long-term care than their respective peer group without dementia. Looking at the present value of all long-term care costs for people with and without a dementia diagnosis, we find total average costs of 68,600 (44,857) Euro for women (men) without dementia. Due to their extended stay in nursing home care, women (men) with dementia are more expensive (80,201 (49,793) Euro).
    Keywords: dementia,long-term care,incidence rate,prevalence rate,survival analysis,costs of long-term care
    JEL: I19 H55
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Cabane, Charlotte; Hille, Adrian; Lechner, Michael
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this paper analyses the effects of spending part of adolescents’ leisure time on playing music or doing sports, or both. We find that while playing music fosters educational outcomes compared to doing sports, particularly so for girls and children from more highly educated families, doing sports improves subjective health. For educational outcomes, doing both activities appeared to be most successful. The results are subjected to an extensive robustness analysis including instru-mental variable estimation and a formal sensitivity analysis of the identifying assumptions, which does not reveal any serious problems.
    Keywords: Child development, leisure time activities, matching estimation, SOEP
    JEL: C14 D12 I21 J24
    Date: 2015–04
  12. By: Nicolas Dias Gomes (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal); Pedro André Cerqueira (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal); Luís Alçada Almeida (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and INESC-Coimbra, Portugal)
    Abstract: In this paper we construct a panel data set from 2000 to 2011 for the EU 28, studying the impact of education on the levels of software piracy in a country. When an aggregated analysis is made, e.g. considering all ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) levels, expenditure on public educational institutions as well as public spending on education have a deterrent effect on piracy, being significant. However, the effect of financial aid to students is positive. When the analysis is made taking into account the ISCED 1997 disaggregation, expenditure on ISCED 5-6 has a negative and significant effect. Taking into account the type of educational institutions, more expenditure on ISCED 1 to 4 will lower piracy. We also found that more financial help to students on higher levels of education, e.g. ISCED 5-6, have a positive and significant effect. Finally, more years of schooling of both primary and secondary education will have a deterrent effect on software piracy.
    Keywords: ISCED classification, Software Piracy, Education.
    JEL: C23 I21 O34
    Date: 2015–03
  13. By: Sarracino, Francesco; Mikucka, Malgorzata
    Abstract: Social capital affects many social and economic outcomes; hence, it is important to monitor its changes over time. Previous literature on trends of social capital focused mainly on the case of US, devoting less attention to other regions of the world, such as Europe. This study uses WVS-EVS integrated data (1990-2012) to describe the trends of 10 proxies of social capital in 30 Western and Eastern European countries. The paper demonstrates that the convergence of social capital among European regions was limited, and it shows evidence of path dependency, especially in case of relational social capital.
    Keywords: social capital; convergence; path-dependency; trends; Europe; EVS WVS.
    JEL: A12 Z13
    Date: 2015–04–10
  14. By: Baji, Petra; Péntek, Márta; Boncz, Imre; Brodszky, Valentin; Loblova, Olga; Brodszky, Nóra; Gulácsi, László
    Abstract: In the past few years, several papers have been published in the international literature on the impact of the economic crisis on health and health care. However, there is limited knowledge on this topic regarding the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The main aims of this study are to examine the effect of the financial crisis on health care spending in four CEE countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in comparison with the OECD countries. In this paper we also revised the literature for economic crisis related impact on health and health care system in these countries. OECD data released in 2012 were used to examine the differences in growth rates before and after the financial crisis. We examined the ratio of the average yearly growth rates of health expenditure expressed in USD (PPP) between 2008–2010 and 2000–2008. The classification of the OECD countries regarding “development” and “relative growth” resulted in four clusters. A large diversity of “relative growth” was observed across the countries in austerity conditions, however the changes significantly correlate with the average drop of GDP from 2008 to 2010. To conclude, it is difficult to capture visible evidence regarding the impact of the recession on the health and health care systems in the CEE countries due to the absence of the necessary data. For the same reason, governments in this region might have a limited capability to minimize the possible negative effects of the recession on health and health care systems.
    JEL: I15
    Date: 2015
  15. By: Karolina Ruzickova (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nábreží 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic); Petr Teply (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Smetanovo nábreží 6, 111 01 Prague 1, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: The wide change of banking models over last few decades has led to an increasing share of fee and commission income of banks. In this paper we deal with determinants of banking fees in the European Union with special emphasis on market concentration based on EU-27 data from 2007 to 2012. For the estimation we use System Generalized Method of Moments, which is appropriate for dynamic panel data, allows for time invariant and lagged dependent variables and is able to deal with endogeneity. We conclude that banks facing higher competition tend to expand more aggressively into non-traditional activities and therefore they report higher fee income shares. Moreover, we found that a higher equity to assets ratio is related with higher shares of fee income since by expanding into non-traditional businesses the bank needs more capital to prevent the potential risks of the new activity. Surprisingly, a high deposits to assets ratio tends to increase the fee income share, which may be possibly attributed to relatively high switching costs and to close relationship between depositor and bank in the EU banking sector. However, macroeconomic conditions do not seem to have a significant impact on the net fee and commission income share.
    Keywords: bank, fee and commission income, market concentration, GMM system
    JEL: C23 G21 L25
    Date: 2015–04
  16. By: Antonio Estache; Anne-Sophie Steichen
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to document the differences in the cost of capital in Belgium across electricity generation companies, depending on whether they rely on traditional thermal sources or on RES. The average results are quite surprising and in sharp contrast with the results obtained for the UK or Germany by other researchersfor instancer. Comparing 3 main categories (renewable, non renewable and mixed), the Non-Renewable appear to have a lower CoC than the other in contrast to what the literature suggests should be expected The Vanilla CoC for the RES of our sample show lower CoC levels by around 30bps than for non-RES. The conclusion is the same from the analysis of the Pre-tax WACC. We take this as evidence that Belgium may have overshot in its efforts to stimulate investment to increase the relative importance of renewable energy sources, at least until the reduction in these efforts started in 2013
    Date: 2015–04
  17. By: Claire Papaix; Ariane Dupont-Kieffer
    Abstract: In this paper, we develop a proxy measure to appraise equity in urban mobility policy by applying the theoretical framework of Martens (2011). Using the commuting trips database of 2006 on the large Lille urban area, and geo-localized employment data from the French Census of 2010, we compute an indicator of the spatial accessibility to work by public transport (PT) at the municipal level, as the “good to redistribute”. This allows to identify the municipalities the most lagging behind in terms of PT travel time to reach the average “potentially accessible job market”. Then, starting from general observations on social differences among commuters for accessing to the labor market, we aggregate this indicator at the scale of commuter groups – by gender, educational background, socio-professional category, immigration status and household structure. Lastly, we simulate the reduction of PT travel times to work by successively 20% and 40% from the least served communes and we analyze the effects at the stage of travelers groups (i.e. “members of the society”). Interpreting results in the light of the sufficiency approach (i.e.the retained “yardstick rule”), we conclude that only transport-oriented policy is not the panacea to address equity and that cross-sectoral solutions are needed.
    Keywords: Public transport policy, Potential accessibility to work, Social equity, Conservation area, Sufficiency approach.
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Celikaksoy, Aycan (SOFI, Stockholm University); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: The number of unaccompanied minors has increased over the past ten years in Sweden, the European country that receives the most children from this group. Some of them emigrate after a period of time in Sweden, but the vast majority stay. Most of the arriving children are teenage boys who have not yet turned 18. However, the largest increase over the latest years is observed for the younger age groups. Furthermore, gender composition is also age dependent, where it is quite balanced for the younger age groups unlike the oldest age group. In the years following their arrival, most of them are enrolled in schools. When it comes to those aged 20 or over, the proportion undergoing education is higher among women but a higher proportion of men are employed. The group that neither works nor studies is much larger among women than among men.
    Keywords: unaccompanied minors, refugee children, migration, education
    JEL: J13 J15
    Date: 2015–04
  19. By: Carlo Alberto Biscardo (INPS, Verona); Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Paolo Pertile (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: We use a large and unique administrative dataset from Italy, covering the period 2009-2014, to investigate opportunistic behavior (moral hazard) and the effectiveness of monitoring policies related to insurance against illness-related income losses. The analysis is based on the outcome of mandatory medical visits aimed at verifying the health status of employees during sickness spells. We find that employers are more effective than the public insurer in selecting sickness episodes to monitor. However, a reduction in the number and a better targeting of visits with the support of appropriate statistical tools may close the gap. We discuss the impact of using direct measures of health, such as the outcome of a medical visit, on the study of the determinants of opportunistic behavior and argue that simply looking at days of work lost, without appropriately controlling for health status, may lead to misleading conclusions if the goal is studying moral hazard.
    Keywords: sick leave insurance, moral hazard, absenteeism, work ability
    JEL: D03 I18
    Date: 2015–04
  20. By: Luca Salvadori (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB, TARC)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of terrorism on tax enforcement policies by focusing on the case of the Basque Country. The presence of externalities in tax administration attributable to the costs of terrorism is investigated by undertaking a theoretical analysis. The findings of this are tested using Spanish data extracted from repeated surveys and other sources. By employing ordered response models, evidence is found of the negative impact of terrorism on tax enforcement as it is perceived by residents in the Basque Country and Navarre. In particular, this impact is found to be stronger for entrepreneurs and liberal professionals. No significant impact is found for individuals resident in the rest of Spain.
    Keywords: Tax administration and auditing, fiscal externalities, terrorism
    JEL: H83 H23 D74
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Magdalena Zajaczkowska (Cracow University of Economics)
    Abstract: Renewable energy will play a key role in the transition towards a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system. In 2014 the Commission proposed an objective to increase the share of renewable energy to at least 27% of the EU's energy consumption by 2030. The European Council endorsed this target which is binding at EU level. The Renewable Energy Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC) was implemented in Poland on 20 February 2015 by the new renewable energy sources act. The objective of this article is to analyse the current state of the Polish energy sector related to the prosumer energy industry. It also describes the future potential for the development of prosumer energy in Poland. The analysis was conducted in the light of the new EU climate and energy initiatives. At the beginning, the article presents the current general state in EU’s energy sector. European Union Climate and Energy Package targets up to 2050 and the state of renewable energy use gives the background to conduct an analysis of prospects for the development of prosumer energy in Poland. That is why the last part is devoted to the prosumer energy sector in Poland in the context of European Union regulations. The critical analysis of the current situation in that sector has made it possible to evaluate prospects for the development of prosumer energy in Poland in the context of the recently introduced legal regulations.
    Keywords: prosumer; energy sources; renewable sources of energy; climate and energy policies
    JEL: A11 E61 F50 H89
    Date: 2015–04
  22. By: Karol J. Borowiecki (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense,Denmark); Trilce Navarrete (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense,Denmark)
    Abstract: One of the available and yet underappreciated tools in cultural policy at the national level is the reduction of VAT rates for cultural goods and services. We document the standard and reduced VAT rates in EU-28 countries in the period from 1993 to 2013 and explore the underlying determinants. We further introduce a simple theoretical framework to explain how reduced fiscal rates are expected to decrease prices and increase quantities of the consumed cultural goods and services. We then estimate quantitatively that a decrease in the VAT rate for books by one percentage point is associated with an economically significant drop in the price by 2.6 percent. Finally, we show the positive effect of a fiscal rate reduction on the book expenditure of well-off households, where a one percentage point decrease in the VAT rate for books leads to an increase in expenditure by 2.7 percent.
    Keywords: Cultural consumption, Book markets, Cultural policy, Value added tax, fiscal policy
    JEL: H21 H31 I30 K34 Z11
    Date: 2015–04
  23. By: Bostedt, Göran (CERE); Mustonen, Mika (Luke); Gong, Peichen (CERE)
    Abstract: Woody biomass is the largest source of renewable energy in Europe and the expected increase in demand for wood was the stimulus for writing this paper. We discuss the economic effects of biophysical capacity limits in forest yield from a partial equilibrium perspective. Opportunities to increase the supply of forest biomass in the short- and long-term are discussed, as well as environmental side effects of intensive forest management. Focusing on northern Europe, national estimates of potential annual fellings and the corresponding potential amounts, simulated by the European Forest Information Scenario model (the EFISCEN model) are then resented, as well as reported fellings. For the region as a whole, there seems to be substantial unused biophysical potential, although recent data from some countries indicate underestimated annual felling rates. There is a need to discuss strategies to ensure that demand for wood resources in northern Europe can be accommodated without large price increases. However, using a larger proportion of the biophysical potential in northern Europe than at present will entail trade-offs with environmental and social values, which means that strategies are needed to protect and account for all the benefits of all forms of ecosystem services.
    Keywords: Forest biomass; biophysical capacity; intensive forest management; European Forest Institute
    JEL: Q23
    Date: 2015–03–31
  24. By: Blazej Lyszczarz (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruñ)
    Abstract: The role of the public and private sector in health care systems remains one of the crucial problems of these systems' operation. The purpose of this research is to identify the relationships between the performance of health systems in CEE and CIS (Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent State) countries and the mix of public-private sector in the health care of these countries. The study uses a zero unitarization method to construct three measures of health system performance in the following areas: (1) resources; (2) services; and (3) health status. The values of these measures are correlated with the share of public financing that represents the public-private mix in the health systems. The data used is from World Health Organization’s Health for All Database for 23 CEE and CIS countries and comprises the year 2010. The results show that the performance of health systems in the countries investigated is positively associated with a higher proportion of public financing. The strongest relationship links public financing with performance in the area of services production. For policy makers, these results imply that health systems in post-communist transition economies could be susceptible to a decreasing role of the state and that growing reliance on the market mechanism in health care can deteriorate the operation of these systems.
    Keywords: health care system; public-private mix; transition economies, health status
    JEL: I11 H51 P36
    Date: 2015–04
  25. By: David Marsden
    Abstract: The paper examines recent evidence on the erosion of the German industrial relations model. Although its coverage has declined, much of this has occurred in smaller and newer establishments, and compared with Britain, it has remained solid in the areas of Germany's traditional industrial strength. This is explained by the nature of high performance work systems that involve flexible working and on-the-job problem-solving. Both countries have modernised their work systems in recent decades, with German industrial firms maintaining higher degrees of worker autonomy and learning and British ones relying more on managerial control. The survival of the German model in this sector, as compared with services, is attributed to the role of such work systems in the high end of international competition. A model is developed to explain why stable cooperation within these work relationships is enhanced by means of a strong institutional framework. It is then used to explain why employers in the sectors using these systems have continued to work within these institutions. It is argued that employers' increased focus on the match between commercial needs and workplace institutions has contributed to the growing segmentation within German industrial relations which has been widely documented, and represents a departure from the classical post-war German model. The article finishes by asking how far this can go before damaging social and political cohesion.
    Keywords: Labor-management relations, trade unions, collective bargaining, human capital skills, labor contracting devices, Germany
    JEL: J5 J24 M55
    Date: 2015–04

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