nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2016‒03‒10
25 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Differences in welfare take-up between immigrants and natives : a microsimulation study By Bruckmeier, Kerstin; Wiemers, Jürgen
  2. The French Pension Reforms and their Impact on Unemployed Older Workers By Kadija Charni
  3. Does Parental Unemployment Affect the Quality of Their Children's First Job? By Maria Kleverbeck; Michael Kind
  4. Trade Costs and Income in European Regions By Christoph Hammer; Aurélien Fichet de Clairfontaine
  5. Levelling the Playing Field: The Effects of Slovenia's 2013 Labour Market Reform By Vodopivec, Matija; Laporsek, Suzana; Vodopivec, Milan
  6. Does Activating Sick-Listed Workers Work? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Rehwald, Kai; Rosholm, Michael; Rouland, Benedicte
  7. The importance of income-tested benefits in good times and bad: lessons from EU countries By Chrysa Leventi; Olga Rastrigina; Holly Sutherland
  8. The sectorial intensity of production of renewable energy sources in Italy:measurement and effects on earnings By Michele Raitano; Eleonora Romano; Pietro Zoppoli
  9. The usage of EU resources in local social innovation By Sebastiano Sabato; Gert Verschraegen
  10. Firm Dynamics and Employment Protection: Evidence from Sectoral Data By A. Bottasso; M. Conti; G. Sulis
  11. R&D, Export, and Investment Decision By O.A. Carboni; G. Medda
  12. How are Higher Education Institutions Dealing with Openness? A Survey of Practices, Beliefs, and Strategies in Five European Countries By Jonatan Castaño Muñoz; Yves Punie; Andreia Inamorato dos Santos; Marija Mitic; Rita Morais
  13. Can Fixed-Term Contracts Put Low Skilled Youth on a Better Career Path? Evidence from Spain By Garcia Perez, J. Ignacio; Marinescu, Ioana E.; Vall-Castello, Judit
  14. Health capacity to work at older ages: Evidence from Spain By Pilar García-Gómez; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall Castello
  15. Education Policies and Migration across European Countries By Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa; Kuehn, Zoë
  16. The Refugee Surge in Europe; Economic Challenges By Shekhar Aiyar; Bergljot Barkbu; Nicoletta Batini; Helge Berger; Enrica Detragiache; Allan Dizioli; Christian Ebeke; Huidan Huidan Lin; Linda Kaltani; Sebastian Sosa; Antonio Spilimbergo; Petia Topalova
  17. Open Borders, Transport Links and Local Labor Markets By Aslund, Olof; Engdahl, Mattias
  18. Bank Lending Technologies and SME Credit Rationing in Europe in the 2009 Crisis By Giovanni Ferri; Pierluigi Murro; Zeno Rotondi
  19. Subjective completion beliefs and the demand for post-secondary education By Johannes S. Kunz; Kevin E. Staub
  20. The Impact of Social Pressure on Tax Compliance: a Field Experiment By Pietro Battiston; Simona Gamba
  21. Housing Tenure and Informational Asymmetries By Donner, Herman; Kopsch, Fredrik
  22. Who gets Horizon 2020 research grants? Propensity to apply and probability to succeed in a two-step analysis By Simen G. Enger; Fulvio Castellacci
  23. Immigrant Volunteering: A Way Out of Labour Market Discrimination? By Baert, Stijn; Vujić, Sunčica
  24. Inside Severance Pay By Pietro Garibaldi; Tito Boeri; Espen R Moen
  25. Quality of Human Capital in the European Union in the Years 2004-2013. Application of Structural Equation Modelling By Adam P. Balcerzak; Michal Bernad Pietrzak

  1. By: Bruckmeier, Kerstin (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Wiemers, Jürgen (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Research on welfare participation often shows significant differences between immigrants and natives that are often attributed to immigrants' higher risk of welfare dependence. We study whether immigrants in Germany also differ from their German counterparts in their take-up behavior conditional on being eligible for welfare benefits. The empirical approach intends (i) to determine eligibility for welfare benefits for a representative sample of the whole population of Germany using a microsimulation model (IAB-STSM) based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and then (ii) to estimate probit models of observed welfare benefit take-up for the sample of eligible households. Our simulation results show that non take-up rates do not differ significantly between several groups of immigrants and natives. Additionally, the probit estimations do not reveal a significant effect of being a migrant on the probability to take up entitlements. Hence, our findings suggest that after controlling for observed and unobserved household characteristics immigrants are not more prone to take up welfare benefits." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: I38 H31 C15
    Date: 2016–02–25
  2. By: Kadija Charni (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes labour market position of unemployed older individuals after the implementation of two major pension reforms in France. We use the French Force Labour Survey for the period 2003-2011 to assess the effects of the 2003 and the 2010 pension reforms on the exit rate from unemployment of individuals aged over 54. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we look at the effects of these reforms on the exit from unemployment to employment, and into inactivity. We find that the 2003 pension reform reduces significantly the exit to employment, while there is no significant impact of the pension reform on the exit to inactivity. For the 2010 reform, we show that the reform leads to an increase of the probability to go back to work. At the same time, the transition out of labour force through inactivity exit also rises. Unemployment and other social schemes are used as a bridge to retire early.
    Keywords: Pension reforms, Unemployed older workers, Difference-in-differences estimation
    JEL: J3 J14 J24
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Maria Kleverbeck; Michael Kind
    Abstract: In this paper the relationship between parental unemployment at time of children's labor market entrance on the quality of their children's first job is analyzed. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 1991-2012 the quality of the first job in terms of wage, permanent position and full-time employment is examined. The results show a negative correlation between fathers' unemployment at the time of children's labor market entrance and their children's first wage, while no significant relation can be found for unemployment or labor market inactivity of mothers.
    Keywords: Parental Unemployment, Quality of First Job
    JEL: J31 J62 J64 J65
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Christoph Hammer (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Aurélien Fichet de Clairfontaine (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Using a New Economic Geography (NEG) model, this study estimates the relationship between regional per capita income levels and the proximity of regions to large markets. Market access cannot be observed directly, so it has to be constructed. We follow a two-step-procedure of Redding and Venables (2004) and use results of a spatially-filtered gravity model to infer market access. To this end, we make use of a new dataset of constructed bi-regional trade flows between (and within) 240 European NUTS-2 regions (from 25 European countries excluding Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) for the year 2010 (Thissen et al. 2014, IPTS). In a second step we test the hypothesis that access to large markets increases factor incomes. We find robust evidence that supports this hypothesis on a regional level. Controlling for a variety of factors that drive income differences, our findings highlight the robustness of the role of market access in explaining the uneven spatial distribution of income.
    Keywords: Wage equation, Gravity, European regions, New Economic Geography
    JEL: F12 F14
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Vodopivec, Matija (University of Primorska); Laporsek, Suzana (University of Primorska); Vodopivec, Milan (International School for Social and Business Studies, Celje, Slovenia)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of a 2013 labour market reform in Slovenia which made permanent contracts less restrictive and fixed-term contracts more restrictive. Using matched employer-employee database covering the entirety of Slovenia's labour market participants, we compare the difference in outcomes for workers employed under permanent vs. fixed-term contracts before and after the legislative change. We find that the reform achieved both its stated goals of reducing labour market segmentation and improving access to jobs for vulnerable groups: (i) it increased the probability of accessing permanent jobs via transitions from both fixed-term jobs and unemployment, and (ii) it improved the accessibility of permanent jobs for both young and old workers.
    Keywords: employment protection legislation, labor market dynamics, labor market segmentation
    JEL: J62 J63 J68
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Rehwald, Kai (Aarhus University); Rosholm, Michael (Aarhus University); Rouland, Benedicte (University of Nantes)
    Abstract: Using data from a large-scale randomized controlled trial conducted in Danish job centers, this paper investigates the effects of an intensification of mandatory return-to-work activities on the subsequent labor market outcomes for sick-listed workers. Using variations in local treatment strategies, both between job centers and between randomly assigned treatment and control groups within a given job center, we compare the relative effectiveness of alternative interventions. Our results show that the use of partial sick leave increases the length of time spent in regular employment and non-reliance on benefits, and also reduces the time spent in unemployment. Traditional active labor market programs and the use of paramedical care appear to have no effect at all, or even an adverse effect.
    Keywords: long-term sickness, vocational rehabilitation, treatment effects, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: J68 C93 I18
    Date: 2016–02
  7. By: Chrysa Leventi; Olga Rastrigina; Holly Sutherland
    Abstract: Policy over the past years has seen a gradual movement away from universal social benefits towards the provision of more targeted benefit schemes. Using the European tax-benefit microsimulation model EUROMOD, this paper aims to compare the effectiveness of income-tested benefits at different points in the economic cycle. This objective is considered in terms of coverage of households with incomes falling below various thresholds and importance in terms of the fraction of total resources that these benefits provide. The prevalence and relative weight of income-tested benefits throughout the income distribution is also examined. We compare the situation in 2009 with that in 2014 (or 2013) for fifteen EU Member States experiencing differing economic conditions over the period in question, including those which have been affected comparatively little by the crisis as well as those which have witnessed severe reductions in economic activity and employment levels and those in strong recovery by 2014. As EU-SILC micro-data containing household income for 2013 or 2014 are not available yet, standard EUROMOD routines are enhanced with additional adjustments to the EU-SILC based input data in order to take into account changes in the labour market. We attempt to indicate the sensitivity of the estimated indicators to these particular changes. We conclude by discussing the methodological pitfalls and main findings of this research.
    Keywords: income-tested benefits, coverage, economic cycle, European Union, microsimulation
    JEL: H53 I38 D3
  8. By: Michele Raitano; Eleonora Romano; Pietro Zoppoli
    Abstract: The literature on renewable energy sources (RES) does not provide a shared methodology to measure the sectorial intensity of production linked to RES. Furthermore, empirical evidence on the relationship between RES intensity of production and workers’ earnings is scant. The aim of this paper is to fill in these literature gaps providing, on the one hand, an original microdata-based methodology to measure the RES sectorial intensity of production, and, on the other hand, estimating, through panel data techniques, the relationship between RES sectorial intensity of production and earnings for a representative sample of Italian workers in the period 2002-2009. Focusing on the case of Italy in the first decade of the 21th century is very relevant given that in that period Italy promoted one of the most generous renewable support schemes worldwide. Our main findings are the following: i) the RES sectorial intensity of production in Italy largely increased in 2008-2009; ii) on average, the RES sectorial intensity of production does not affect earnings levels; iii) remarkably, a clear skill-premium effect emerges when the RES sectorial intensity of production increases.
    Keywords: Renewable energy sources earnings inequality, skill-biased technical change, RES support scheme, Italy
    JEL: Q4 J31 L11 D41
    Date: 2016–02
  9. By: Sebastiano Sabato; Gert Verschraegen
    Abstract: Over the last few decades, the European Union (EU) has made available a number of resources for promoting and supporting social innovation in the field of poverty and social exclusion (cf. Sabato et al. 2015). These resources include, most obviously, funding but also networking opportunities, cognitive resources, visibility and reputational resources. This paper investigates a) how resources provided by the European Union (EU) have been used in socially innovative initiatives implemented at the local level, b) what has been their added value and c) which difficulties local actors have encountered when accessing and using these resources. Our study is based on the analysis of sixteen socially innovative initiatives implemented in five Member States (Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the UK) and concerning three policy areas: Roma inclusion (notably, education-related initiatives), homelessness and housing exclusion (Housing First), and labour market activation. A number of conclusions can be drawn from our analysis. First, the EU level appears as a key layer of multi-scalar social innovation systems, often able to directly sustain local projects, bypassing the national level. Indeed, EU resources – especially financial and cognitive resources – have been used in most of our case studies and have often been deemed essential for the implementation of those projects. Second, in a number of cases EU resources have been strategically used by local actors in order to implement initiatives at odds with established domestic policy legacies, i.e. for experimenting with either new policy approaches or new instruments/methods within established approaches. We call this the leverage effect of EU resources. Third, the various welfare regimes are characterised by different social innovation patterns, especially in relation to institutionalization and up-scaling dynamics: welfare regime-related peculiarities can be identified, also when it comes to using EU resources for such purposes. While countries belonging to Universalistic and (in part) Corporatist welfare regimes appear particularly able in using EU resources to experiment with innovative initiatives, then mainstreaming successful projects into public policies once the EU co-funding period expires, this capacity appears much more limited in countries belonging to Familistic and Liberal welfare regimes. Fourth, EU resources have, remarkably enough, not been used for up-scaling socially innovative initiatives in any of our cases, even though the EU emphasizes that resources are also intended to be used for this. Finally, a number of shortcomings which make access to EU resources and their management difficult have been identified, including complex and time-consuming procedures related to EU funds and the inadequacy of the support provided by public bodies. These shortcomings often limit small organisations’ ability to exploit EU resources, thus contributing to the creation of a ‘frozen’ situation where big and well-established organisations – which have developed expertise and experience in dealing with EU resources – enjoy a sort of incumbents’ advantage.
    Keywords: social innovation; poverty and social exclusion; EU structural funds; leverage effect; welfare regimes
    JEL: I3
  10. By: A. Bottasso; M. Conti; G. Sulis
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the impact of employment protection legislation (EPL) on firms’ entry and exit rates for a large sample of industries of thirteen countries selected from the most recent version of the OECD Structural and Business Statistics Database. Using a differences-in-differences identification strategy, we find that more stringent EPL is associated to lower entry and exit rates, particularly in industries characterized by higher job reallocation intensity. We also find that both collective and individual dismissal regulations reduce firms’ entry and exit rates. Interestingly, our results suggest that the negative effects of EPL is stronger in the case of firms between one and nine employees while, in the case of larger ones, results are not clear-cut. An extensive sensitivity analysis confirm the robustness of our findings.
    Keywords: entry & exit, turnover, employment protection legislation, reallocation
    JEL: J65 L11 L26
    Date: 2016
  11. By: O.A. Carboni; G. Medda
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of the mechanism through which R&D and export influence investment decision. The analysis is based on a large representative and cross-country comparative sample of manufacturing firms across seven European countries. To control for reverse causality between export decision and R&D spending and investment, we use an instrumental variable analysis to overcome the problem of endogeneity. Employing a three step procedure, it is assumed that R&D decision is endogenously determined by receiving public subsidies, and, in turn, affect investments through its impact on engagement by the firm in international trade. The results suggest that R&D positively affects export propensity. We find that there is an average increase in propensity to invest for those firms which decide to engage in R&D activities. The results also reveal that the effect of decision to export on investment behaviour is positive and highly significant, when accounting for endogeneity of export activity.
    Keywords: r&d, IV model, export
    JEL: O32 F14 B22
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Jonatan Castaño Muñoz (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Yves Punie (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Andreia Inamorato dos Santos (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Marija Mitic (Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)); Rita Morais (Independent Consultant)
    Abstract: Open Education is on the agenda of half of the surveyed Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. For the other half of HEIs, Open Education does not seem to be an issue, at least at the time of the data collection of the survey (spring 2015). This report presents results of a representative a survey of Higher Education institutions in five European countries (France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom) to enquire about their Open Education (OE) practices, beliefs and strategies (e.g MOOCs). It aims to provide evidence for the further development of OE to support the supports the Opening Up Communication (European Commission, 2013) and the renewed priority on Open Education, enabled by digital technologies, of ET2020
    Keywords: Education, Higher Education, Higher Education Institutions, Europe, Open Education, MOOCs, OER
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2016–02
  13. By: Garcia Perez, J. Ignacio (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Marinescu, Ioana E. (Harris School, University of Chicago); Vall-Castello, Judit (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: By reducing the commitment made by employers, fixed-term contracts can help low-skilled youth find a first job. However, the long-term impact of fixed-term contracts on these workers' careers may be negative. Using Spanish social security data, we analyze the impact of a large liberalization in the regulation of fixed-term contracts in 1984. Using a cohort regression discontinuity design, we find that the reform raised the likelihood of male high-school dropouts working before age 19 by 9%. However, in the longer run, the reform reduced number of days worked (by 4.5%) and earnings (by 9%).
    Keywords: temporary contracts, long-term impact, labour market career
    JEL: J08
    Date: 2016–02
  14. By: Pilar García-Gómez; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall Castello
    Abstract: In a world with limited PAYGO financing possibilities this paper explores whether older Spanish individuals have the health capacity to work longer. For that purpose we use Milligan-Wise and Cutler-Meara Cutler-Meara- Richards-Shubik simulation methods. Our results suggest that Spanish workers have significant additional capacities to extend their working careers.
    Keywords: work capacity, retirement, health
    JEL: J11 J26 I12 I18
    Date: 2016–02
  15. By: Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa (Collegio Carlo Alberto); Kuehn, Zoë (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether and how two education policies: (i) increasing the length of compulsory education and (ii) introducing foreign languages into compulsory school curricula, affect subsequent migration across European countries. We construct a novel data base that includes information on education reforms for thirty-one countries spanning four decades. Combining this data with information on recent migration flows by cohorts, we find that an additional year of compulsory education reduces the number of emigrants by almost 10%. Increasing the length of compulsory education shifts educational attainment for a significant fraction of the population from low towards medium levels. Our findings are thus in line with the fact that in the majority of European countries medium educated individuals display lower emigration rates than low educated individuals. Introducing a foreign language into compulsory school curricula on the other hand, almost doubles the number of emigrants to the country where the language is spoken and increases the total number of emigrants by 20%. Depending on the specific content of an education policy, "more education" can thus have opposite effects on migration.
    Keywords: migration, compulsory schooling, foreign language proficiency, education
    JEL: J61 I20 F22
    Date: 2016–02
  16. By: Shekhar Aiyar; Bergljot Barkbu; Nicoletta Batini; Helge Berger; Enrica Detragiache; Allan Dizioli; Christian Ebeke; Huidan Huidan Lin; Linda Kaltani; Sebastian Sosa; Antonio Spilimbergo; Petia Topalova
    Abstract: Against the background of political turmoil in the Middle-East, Europe faces an unprecedented surge in asylum applications. In analyzing the economic impact of this inflow, this paper draws from the experience of previous economic migrants and refugees, mindful of the fact that the characteristics of economic migrants can be different from refugees. In the short-run, additional public expenditure will provide a small positive impact on GDP, concentrated in the main destination countries of Germany, Sweden and Austria. Over the longer-term, depending on the speed and success of the integration of refugees in the labor market, the increase in the labor force can have a more lasting impact on growth and the public finances. Here good policies will make an important difference. These include lowering barriers to labor markets for refugees, for example through wage subsidies to employers, and, in particular, reducing legal barriers to labor market participation during asylum process, removing obstacles to entrepreneurship/self-employment, providing job training and job search assistance, as well as language skills. While native workers often have legitimate concerns about the impact of immigrants on wages and employment, past experience indicates that any adverse effects are limited and temporary.
    Keywords: Euro Area;Migration, Refugees, Labor Market, asylum, asylum seekers, refugee, International Migration, General, Demographic Trends and Forecasts,
    Date: 2016–01–20
  17. By: Aslund, Olof (IFAU); Engdahl, Mattias (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We study the labor market impact of opening borders to low wage countries. The analysis exploits time and regional variation provided by the 2004 EU enlargement in combination with transport links to Sweden from the new member states. The results suggest an adverse impact on earnings of present workers in the order of 1 percent in areas close to pre-existing ferry lines. The effects are present in most segments of the labor market but tend to be greater in groups with weaker positions. The impact is also clearer in industries which have received more workers from the new member states, and for which across-the-border work is likely to be more common. There is no robust evidence on an impact on employment or wages. At least part of the effects is likely due to channels other than the ones typically considered in the literature.
    Keywords: migration policy, immigration, labor market outcomes
    JEL: J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2016–02
  18. By: Giovanni Ferri (LUMSA University); Pierluigi Murro (LUMSA University); Zeno Rotondi (UniCredit Bank)
    Abstract: The first wave of the global financial crisis hit Europe in the last part of 2008 and through 2009. With banks in a tailspin, credit rationing intensified – as measured in various different ways – particularly for the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The extent of such retrenchment in the supply of credit could reflect not only the worsened general condition of the European banks but also vary at the micro level depending on the lending technologies being used in the SME-main bank rapport. Using the EFIGE database, we examine SME credit rationing in seven EU countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK) and try to assess the extent to which differences in the lending technologies and in the status of the firm-main bank relationship contributed to the phenomenon. We find that a firm matching with a bank using the transactional lending technology was more likely to end up rationed for credit during the first part of the financial crisis.
    Keywords: Bank-Firm Relationships, Asymmetric Information, Credit Rationing.
    JEL: G21 D82 G30
    Date: 2016–02
  19. By: Johannes S. Kunz; Kevin E. Staub
    Abstract: The outcome of pursuing a post-secondary educational degree is uncertain. A student might not complete a chosen degree for a number of reasons, such as academic insufficiency or financial constraints. Thus, when considering whether to invest in post-secondary education, students must factor in their completion probability into their decision. We study the role of this uncertainty in educational choices using students’ subjective beliefs about completing a post-secondary education, which were elicited prior to students’ completing secondary education. We relate these subjective completion probabilities to their subsequent educational choices and outcomes using representative survey data from Germany. Following the students over time, we find that the initial beliefs are predictive of intentions to invest in education, actual subsequent educational investments, and degree completion. We assess the heterogeneity of the impact across different educational paths. After controlling for academic ability, we find that subjective beliefs are most relevant in choosing a vocational education. In addition to reduced form models, we estimate a structural choice model of sequential investment in education that allows for unobserved tastes and preferences for education and forward-looking behavior. The results confirm the influence of subjective completion beliefs on choosing a post-secondary education.
    Keywords: Subjective beliefs, educational completion uncertainty, human capital investment
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2016–02
  20. By: Pietro Battiston; Simona Gamba
    Abstract: We study the effect of social pressure on tax compliance, focusing on the compliance of shop sellers to the legal obligation of releasing tax receipts for each sale. We carry out a field experiment on bakeries in Italy, where a strong gap exists between the legal obligation and the actual behavior of sellers. Social pressure is manipulated by means of an explicit request for a receipt when not released. We employ an innovative approach to the identification of the treatment effect. We find that a single request for a receipt causes a 17 per cent rise in the probability of a receipt being released for a sale occurring shortly thereafter, causing on average more than two receipts to be released. We also find strong evidence of persistence in compliance decisions.
    Keywords: Tax evasion, field experiment, peer pressure, social pressure
    JEL: C93 H32 K34
    Date: 2016–02
  21. By: Donner, Herman (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology); Kopsch, Fredrik (Departement of Technology and Society / Division of Real Estate Science)
    Abstract: The paradigm shift of focus from rental apartments to owner occupied units on the Swedish property market has led to a substantial number of rental apartments being converted to cooperative apartments. Such conversions typically are done at prices far below market value. This provides a setting with strong financial incentives for tenants involved in such a conversion to take advantage of their informational advantage regarding the financial management of a cooperative, as compared to less informed neighbors and buyers on the general market. This setting also provides a reliable way of estimating the persistence and effects of such an informational asymmetry through nearly 200,000 apartment transactions in Stockholm, Sweden during the period of 2005 to mid-2014. We find strong support towards a behavior concurrent with moral hazard; as such insiders mismanage the cooperatives by setting monthly fees artificially low in order to increase the probability of a conversion as well as apartment values. Lastly, market participants seem to discount this informational asymmetry as recently converted apartments sell at lower prices.
    Keywords: Informational Asymmetries; Real Estate; Housing Tenure
    JEL: D80 D82 R30 R31
    Date: 2016–02–24
  22. By: Simen G. Enger (TIK Centre, University of Oslo, Norway and Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research); Fulvio Castellacci (TIK Centre, University of Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: This paper presents a timely analysis of participation in the 8th European Framework Program (EU FP) Horizon 2020. Our dataset comprises the whole population of research organizations in Norway, and makes it possible to distinguish between non-applicants, non-successful applicants and successful participants. We argue that it is important to distinguish two stages of the participation process: the self-selection stage in which organizations decide whether they like to apply for EU funding, and the second stage in which the European Commission (EC) selects the best applications for funding. Our econometric results indicate that: (1) the propensity to apply is enhanced by prior participation in EU FPs and by complementary national funding schemes; (2) the probability to succeed is strengthened by prior participation as well as the scientific reputation of the applying organization.
    Date: 2016–02
  23. By: Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Vujić, Sunčica (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: Many governments encourage migrants to participate in volunteer activities as a stepping stone to labour market integration. In the present study, we investigate whether this prosocial engagement lowers the hiring discrimination against them. To this end, we use unique data from a field experiment in which fictitious job applications are sent in response to real vacancies in Belgium. Ethnic origin and volunteer activities are randomly assigned to these applications. While non-volunteering native candidates receive more than twice as many job interview invitations as non‐volunteering migrants, no unequal treatment is found between natives and migrants when they reveal volunteer activities.
    Keywords: immigrants, volunteering, discrimination, hiring, integration
    JEL: J15 J71 D64
    Date: 2016–02
  24. By: Pietro Garibaldi (Collegio Carlo Alberto); Tito Boeri; Espen R Moen (Norwegian Business School)
    Abstract: All OECD countries have either legally mandated severance pay or compensations imposed by industry-level bargaining in case of employer initiated job separations. In the literature such transfers are either ineffective or less efficient than unemployment benefits in providing insurance against labor market risk. The paper shows that mandatory severance is optimal in presence of wage deferrals induced by workers' moral hazard. We also establish a link between optimal severance and efficiency of the legal system and characterize the effects of shifting the burden of proof from the employer to the worker. Quantitatively, the welfare effects of suboptimal severance payments vary in general equilibrium between 1 and 3 percent. The model accounts also for two neglected features of the legislation. The first is the discretion of judges in declaring the nature, economic vs. disciplinary, of the layoff. The second feature is that compensation for dismissal is generally increasing with tenure.
    Date: 2016–02
  25. By: Adam P. Balcerzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland); Michal Bernad Pietrzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)
    Abstract: EU policy guidelines point out that improvement of quality of human capital (QHC) should be treated as an important factor supporting convergence process. Thus, the aim of the research is the identification of the variables that determine changes in QHC. It is assumed that QHC should be considered as a latent variable, which can be measured with application of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). SEM includes confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis used in econometrics. In the research, the hypothetic SEM model was proposed for the years 2004-2013. Four subsets of observable variables were used: a) macroeconomic and labour market effectiveness, b) quality of education, c) national innovation system, d) health and social cohesion. The research confirmed significant influence of the proposed variables on the level of QHC and positive tendencies in changes of QHS in the EU countries.
    Keywords: Structural Equation Model (SEM), quality of human capital, European Union
    JEL: C30 C38
    Date: 2016–02

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