nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2015‒05‒30
fifteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Parental background matters: Intergenerational mobility and assimilation of Italian immigrants in Germany By Bönke, Timm; Neidhöfer, Guido
  2. How Do Native and Migrant Workers Contribute to Innovation? A Study on France, Germany and the UK By Fassio, Claudio; Montobbio, Fabio; Venturini, Alessandra
  3. Size and Structure of Same-Sex Couples in Germany By Humpert, Stephan
  4. Federalism and innovation support for small and medium-sized enterprises: Empirical evidence in Europe By Becker, Lasse; Bizer, Kilian
  5. Information Frictions and Labor Market Outcomes By Cardoso, Ana Rute; Loviglio, Annalisa; Piemontese, Lavinia
  6. The effects of public supports on business R&D: firm-level evidence across EU countries By Aristei, David; Sterlacchini, Alessandro; Venturini, Francesco
  7. Regional Economic Development, Social Capital and Governance: A Comparative Institutional Analysis France - Sweden By Karlsson, Charlie; Rouchy, Philippe
  8. Socioeconomic Status and PhysiciansTreatment Decisions By Kurt R. Brekke; Tor Helge Holmås; Karin Monstad; Odd Rune Straume
  9. Spatial variation in non-marital fertility across Europe: recent trends, past path dependencies, and potential future pathways By Sebastian Klüsener
  10. Monitoring the evolution of income poverty and real incomes over time By A.B. Atkinson; Anne-Catherine Guio; Eric Marlier
  11. A quantitative analysis of reading habits By Victor Fernandez-Blanco; Juan Prieto-Rodriguez; Javier Suarez-Pandiello
  12. For whom are cities good places to live? By Fredrik Carlsen; Stefan Leknes
  13. Pension expectations and reality. What do Italian workers know about their future public pension benefits? By M. Baldini; C. Mazzaferro; P. Onofri
  14. Second homes: households' life dream or (wrong) investment? By Marianna Brunetti; Costanza Torricelli
  15. Getting back into work after job loss: the role of partner effects By Bryan, Mark L.; Longhi, Simonetta

  1. By: Bönke, Timm; Neidhöfer, Guido
    Abstract: We investigate the hypothesis of failed integration and low social mobility of immigrants. An intergenerational assimilation model is tested empirically on household survey data and validated against administrative data provided us by the Italian Embassy in Germany. Although we confirm substantial inequality of educational achievements between immigrants and natives, we find that the children of Italian immigrants exhibit high intergenerational mobility and no less opportunities than natives to achieve high schooling degrees. These findings suggest a rejection of the failed assimilation hypothesis. Additionally, we evaluate different patterns by time of arrival, Italian region of origin and language spoken at home.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility; Education; Integration and Assimilation of Immigrants.
    JEL: I24 J15 J62
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Fassio, Claudio (Lund University); Montobbio, Fabio (University of Turin); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper uses the French and the UK Labour Force Surveys and the German Microcensus to estimate the effects of different components of the labour force on innovation at the sectoral level between 1994 and 2005. The authors focus, in particular, on the contribution of migrant workers. We adopt a production function approach in which we control for the usual determinants of innovation, such as R&D investments, stock of patents and openness to trade. To address possible endogeneity of migrants we implement instrumental variable strategies using both two-stage least squares with external instruments and GMM-SYS with internal ones. In addition we also account for the possible endogeneity of native workers and instrument them accordingly. Our results show that highly-educated migrants have a positive effect on innovation even if the effect is smaller relative to the positive effect of educated natives. Moreover, this positive effect seems to be confined to the high-tech sectors and among highly-educated migrants from other European countries.
    Keywords: innovation, migration, skills, human capital
    JEL: O31 O33 F22 J61
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Humpert, Stephan
    Abstract: This report uses two administrative data sets provided by the German Federal Statistics Office to analyse brief information on same-sex couples and registered same-sex unions. The numbers of same-sex couples increases slightly over time. The date sets show how mixed and same-sex couples differ in terms of socio-economic determinants, such as employment, regional differences or family formations.
    Keywords: Same Sex, Couples, Registered Same Sex Unions, Germany
    JEL: J12 J16 Z13
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Becker, Lasse; Bizer, Kilian
    Abstract: Private innovative activities receive public innovation support from different political levels. Few studies have empirically evaluated the influence of political systems on the reception of public innovation support and no other studies have evaluated innovation support across Europe with CIS data. This paper analyses the differences between federal, semi-federal and centralist political systems with CIS data from sixteen European countries. The results show that regional programmes in federal and semi-federal countries reach firms with barriers to innovate, such as small and medium-sized enterprises, while other programmes only claim to reach them. Federal and semi-federal countries therefore support a broader variety of firms compared with centralist countries. European support reaches SMEs better in centralist countries compared with federal and semi-federal countries. Regular and higher expenditure on innovative activities shows a positive influence on the reception of support in all countries, while indicators such as market focus vary between countries and political levels. Regional programmes focus more strongly on companies with a regional market focus, which can be seen as another barrier to innovation. As a policy implication, the paper implies that barriers to innovation can be reduced by a decentralized innovation framework with stronger regional programmes.
    Keywords: innovation,innovation support,SME,Europe,federalism,decentralization
    JEL: O31 O38 H77 H71
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Cardoso, Ana Rute (IAE Barcelona (CSIC)); Loviglio, Annalisa (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Piemontese, Lavinia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of information frictions on workers' wages, contributing to the literature that tested search theory, which has so far focused on labor market frictions in general and not specifically on information asymmetries. Using data for 16 countries from the European Social Survey 2008, we find a sizeable gap between workers' perceptions of the unemployment rate and the actual unemployment rate in the country, which is a meaningful indicator of their misperception of labor market tightness. To handle the interval nature of our outcome of interest, the earnings variable, we estimate interval regressions, as well as ordered probit models. We follow a threefold strategy to tackle potential endogeneity problems, as the model includes: controls for the worker's ability; country-specific fixed effects; the unemployment rate in the region of residence, which might be the benchmark respondents have in mind when reporting their perception of the national unemployment rate and which is known to influence regional wages. Results show that when subjective perceptions overstate the unemployment rate in the country, a one percentage point gap between the perceived and the actual unemployment rate reduces individual wages by 0.4 to 0.7 percent. We discuss a potential mechanism generating this result. A pessimistic view of the labor market leads to concern over own future employment prospects and is thus likely to lower reservation wages; a too optimistic view, in turn, could raise reservation wages, but it would render job finding more difficult.
    Keywords: job search, matching, unemployment, frictions, wage dispersion, labor market tightness
    JEL: J31 J42 J64
    Date: 2015–05
  6. By: Aristei, David; Sterlacchini, Alessandro; Venturini, Francesco
    Abstract: Using homogenous firm-level data for the largest Member States of the EU over the period 2007-2009, we test whether manufacturing firms receiving R&D public supports (subsidies and/or tax incentives) spent more on R&D. The analysis is performed by means of both non-parametric (Propensity Score Matching) and parametric estimations (OLS and mixed-model system, with the latter accounting for the possible endogeneity of public supports). The hypothesis of full crowding-out of private with public funds (i.e. public support reduced privately-funded R&D expenses) is rejected for all countries, with the partial exception of Spain. However, we do not find evidence for the hypothesis of additionality of R&D subsidies (i.e. direct funding did not raise private R&D). These findings contrast with earlier works and might be due to the period under assessment, which covers the financial turmoil and the subsequent economic downturn. A focused analysis on France suggests that R&D tax credits exerted a positive impact on R&D. Overall, our findings indicate that, albeit they were not expansive, public supports avoided the reduction of firm R&D at the outset of financial crisis.
    Keywords: R&D; subsidies; tax incentives; policy evaluation; EU manufacturing firms
    JEL: C21 D04 O32 O38
    Date: 2015–05–26
  7. By: Karlsson, Charlie (Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Jönköping International Business School & Blekinge Institute of Technology); Rouchy, Philippe (Blekinge Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to consider how social capital enhance or hamper regional economic development due to governance systems. To answer this question, we take a comparative institutional perspective between France and Sweden based on OECD regional outlook indicators. It comprises 1- a comparison of both countries regional and municipal governances; 2- a definition of social capital as a social utility function of region or localities, i.e. their “social atmosphere”. 3- A comparison of the participation rate in interest groups in both countries indicating a propensity to collaborate with institutions. The result of the paper shows a differential intensity of participation to interest groups between France and Sweden and an effect of local political institutions on countries’ “social atmosphere”. In conclusion, we show differential values between France and Sweden in terms of political ethics supporting the formation of social capital. We suggest policy implication to increase entrepreneurial solution in civil society.
    Keywords: Comparative Institutional Analysis; Regional Development; Social Capital; Governance; Interest Groups; Public Choice; Cooperation
    JEL: A14 B25 D70 O17 P48 R11 R58
    Date: 2015–05–21
  8. By: Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics); Tor Helge Holmås (Uni Rokkan Centre and Health Economics Bergen); Karin Monstad (Uni Rokkan Centre and Health Economics Bergen); Odd Rune Straume (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: This paper aims at shedding light on the social gradient by studying the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and provision of health care. Using administrative data on services provided by General Practitioners (GPs) in Norway over a fi…ve year period (2008-12), we analyse the quantity, composition and value of services provided by the GPs according to patients`SES measured by education, income or ethnicity. Our data allow us to control for a wide set of patient and GP characteristics. To account for (unobserved) heterogeneity, we limit the sample to patients with a speci…c disease, diabetes type 2, and estimate a model with GP fi…xed effects. Our results show that patients with low SES visit the GPs more often, but the value of services provided per visit is lower. The composition of services varies with SES, where patients with low education and African or Asian ethnicity receive more medical tests but shorter consultations, whereas patients with low income receive both shorter consultations and fewer tests. Thus, our results show that GPs differentiate services according to SES, but give no clear evidence for a social gradient in health care provision.
    Keywords: Socio-economic status; Primary care; General Practitioners
    JEL: I11 I14 I18
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: -
    Keywords: Europe, family formation, spatial analysis
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: A.B. Atkinson; Anne-Catherine Guio; Eric Marlier
    Abstract: This paper brings together two approaches to the monitoring of household living standards: the macro-economic (national accounts) analysis of aggregates and the social indicators based on household microdata (European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions [EU-SILC]). Both are essential. The national accounts are necessary to provide an overall perspective; the distributional data in EU-SILC are necessary to measure income poverty. The progress, or lack of progress, in reducing income poverty has to be seen in relation to what is happening to the level of real incomes. We begin with the EU-SILC-based headline at-risk-of-poverty indicator, and then consider its relation to the level of household real income as presented in the national accounts. Moving step by step, we seek to identify the reasons for differences between EU-SILC and national accounts measures of real incomes. From this, we make a number of recommendations about possible improvements in the underlying data and in the construction of the social indicators. The substantive results help illuminate the differing experience of the pre-crisis period 2005 to 2008 and the subsequent three year period 2008 to 2011 (income reference years).
    Keywords: poverty, inequality, national accounts, social indicators
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2015–03
  11. By: Victor Fernandez-Blanco (Departamento de Economia, Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Oviedo); Juan Prieto-Rodriguez (Departamento de Economia, Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Oviedo); Javier Suarez-Pandiello (Departamento de Economia, Facultad de Economia y Empresa, Universidad de Oviedo)
    Abstract: In this paper, reading leisure habits in Spain are analysed as part of the consumers’ decision process under a general framework of time allocation and emphasizing the role of cultural background. We use the Survey on Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain 2010-2011 to analyse the factors influencing reading habits, measured by the number of books read, and using a Zero Inflated Binomial Negative model. Time restrictions are a relevant barrier for reading habits. Female and educated people show different patterns. Furthermore, cultural attitudes and consumption are determinants of the probability of being a reader but also of the number of books read. This positive effect is linked to activities classified inside highbrow culture. Cultural capital, measured by a set of variables related to cultural home equipment that may also capture an income effect, has also a positive impact. Finally, we have also found relevant urban/rural differences.
    Keywords: reading, cultural capital, cultural habits, factorial analysis, Zero Inflated Binomial Negative model
    JEL: Z11 D11 D12 C25
    Date: 2015–05
  12. By: Fredrik Carlsen (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Stefan Leknes (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: We use Norwegian data to evaluate the consumption hypothesis of geographical variation in educational attainment, i.e. that well-educated people particularly value the amenities provided by cities. Our results cast doubts on the hypothesis. After-tax real wages are higher in rural areas than in urban areas, suggesting that Norwegians are willing to forego purchasing power in order to enjoy urban amenities, but the urban purchasing power premium is roughly equal across education groups. Moreover, survey data in which respondents evaluate local amenities indicate a broad consensus between education groups about the advantages and disadvantages about city life as well as about the relationship between city size and the quality of local amenities.
    Keywords: Quality of life, urban amenities, population size, education, mobility
    JEL: R11 R12 J3 J61
    Date: 2015–01–05
  13. By: M. Baldini; C. Mazzaferro; P. Onofri
    Abstract: We use 6 waves of the Bank of Italy’s Survey on household income and wealth (SHIW) to check the evolution of workers’ expectations on future pension benefits and retirement age from 2000 to 2012. Based on these two subjective evaluations, we compute a measure of expected pension benefit and compare it with a “true” measure of the same variable that we estimate on the basis of the pension rules in each year of the considered time lapse. By comparing subjective and “true” measures of the variable, we are able to measure the evolution over time of the “expectation error” and its distribution among different economic and demographic subsets of the population. Finally, we estimate a subjective measure of social security wealth and the degree of substitution between this variable and the private net worth of workers’ households, in order to quantify the effects of pension reforms approved in the period considered on wealth accumulation.
    JEL: H55 D91 E21
    Date: 2015–05
  14. By: Marianna Brunetti; Costanza Torricelli
    Abstract: While the purchase of a primary home is mainly motivated by essential consumption needs, buying a second house has been generally considered a good investment decision. However, second homes may results in many different final uses, ranging from holidays and profitable uses to definitely unprofitable ones. We contribute to the scant literature on second houses by exploring the case of second homes that remain unrented and represent the most notable unprofitable use. The empirical investigation relies on the 2002-2012 Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth which, among other things, provides plenty of information on real estates, including the actual use. Our results on the unprofitable use of second homes highlight: a gender gap, whereby this case tends to be more clearly associated with male decision makers; no association with household’s economic characteristics; and, strong association with the specific real estate features, with inherited dwellings more likely to end up being unprofitably used. Thus our results, besides casting some doubts on the goodness of second homes as an investment decision, may have important policy implications on the housing and rental market and call for policy or regulatory interventions.
    Keywords: multiple homeownership, second homes, household portfolios, probit
    JEL: C25 D1 D14 R2
    Date: 2015–05
  15. By: Bryan, Mark L.; Longhi, Simonetta
    Abstract: We investigate the reaction of couples to a job loss during periods of growth and recession in the UK focussing on re-employment of the spouse who lost their job. Re-employment was faster for those with a partner in work, but was not generally affected by other measures of the partner’s labour market attachment or resources. For men, the strongest partner effects were for entry into high quality jobs; and having a working partner substantially mitigated the negative impact of the recession on entry into these jobs. For women, an employed partner was associated with a greater likelihood of re-entry into any type of job. Hence, while dual earner families may be able to restore the pre-job loss income level, single earner families are more likely to be trapped in cycles of low-quality jobs and no jobs leading to a decrease in household income over time. The difference in outcomes between single and dual earner couples is likely to increase during recessions.
    Date: 2015–05–21

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