nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2016‒08‒07
24 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Housing Affordability in Austria by Age and Year of Move-in. Application of the Residual Income and Tailored Ratio Approach By Andrea Kunnert
  2. Bank Lending Technologies and the Great Trade Collapse: Evidence from EU Micro-data By Giovanni Ferri; Pierluigi Murro
  3. Natives and Migrants in Home Production: The Case of Germany By Emanuele Forlani; Elisabetta Lodigiani; Concetta Mendolicchio
  4. Can't Work or Won't Work: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on Work Search Requirements for Single Parents By Avram, Silvia; Brewer, Mike; Salvatori, Andrea
  5. Impact of Structural Reforms on Regional Growth: Distance to the Frontier Matters By Sabine D'Costa; Enrique Garcilazo; Joaquim Oliveira Martins
  6. Returns to Schooling among Immigrants in Spain: A Quantile Regression Approach By Budría, Santiago; Swedberg, Pablo; Fonseca, Marlene
  7. Ethnic Minority Concentration: A Source of Productivity Growth for Italian Provinces? By Alessandra, Michelangeli; Nicola, Pontarollo
  8. On the Boundaries of the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Investigation By Manes, Eran; Schneider, Friedrich; Tchetchik, Anat
  9. Turbulence and the Employment Experience of Older Workers By Lalé, Etienne
  10. No Extension without Representation? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Collective Bargaining By Alexander Hijzen; Pedro S. Martins
  11. Income support, (un-)employment and well-being By Hetschko, Clemens; Schöb, Ronnie; Wolf, Tobias
  12. Adaptation to climate variability: Evidence from German households By Kussel, Gerhard
  13. Happy Hosts? International Tourist Arrivals and Residents' Subjective Well-being in Europe By Ivlevs, Artjoms
  14. The Italian Blitz: a natural experiment on audit publicity and tax compliance By Pietro Battiston; Denvil Duncan; Simona Gamba; Alessandro Santoro
  15. Return Plans and Migrants' Behavior By Chabé-Ferret, Bastien; Machado, Joel; Wahba, Jackline
  16. Over-education among italian Ph.D. graduates. Does the crisis make a difference? By Barbara Ermini; Luca Papi; Francesca Scaturro
  17. From planning to chaos to market: Ethnic inequality in Bulgaria By Vigile Marie Fabella; Georgi Kocharkov
  18. Information Communication Technologies and Firm Performance: Evidence for UK Firms By Tim De Stefano; Richard Kneller; Jonathan Timmis
  19. Family, Community and Long-Term Earnings Inequality By Bingley, Paul; Cappellari, Lorenzo; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos
  20. State dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a double hurdle model for remittances: evidence from immigrants to Germany By Giulia Bettin; Riccardo Lucchetti; Claudia Pigini
  21. Does Long-Term Care Subsidisation Reduce Unnecessary Hospitalisations? By Joan Costa-Font; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Cristina Villaplana
  22. Teaching Accreditation Exams Reveal Grading Biases Favor Women in Male-Dominated Disciplines in France By Breda, Thomas; Hillion, Melina
  23. Delving into the Demand Side: Changes in Workplace Specialization and Job Polarization By Guido Matias Cortes; Andrea Salvatori
  24. Banking development, economic structure and income inequality By Alexandra D'Onofrio; Raoul Minetti; Pierluigi Murro

  1. By: Andrea Kunnert (WIFO)
    Abstract: Housing affordability problems are expected to increase for Austrian households because housing costs have been rising dynamically over the last years. Households who moved more recently are expected to be affected the most. Previous research has identified younger households as also being prone to housing affordability problems because they have relatively lower incomes. There is a strong correlation between the year of move-in and age – young households comprise a large share of households who moved recently. This paper applies the tailored ratio and residual income approach to Austrian households for 2014 to analyse housing affordability by age group and also by year of move-in. To identify whether age (lifecycle) or prevailing market conditions cause affordability problems, affordability measures are compared for age groups at different intervals of move-in. The results suggest that both effects are at work: young households who moved recently have the highest incidence of affordability problems compared to older households. For other age groups, affordability problems also mostly occur for households who moved recently. The price distortion between below-market rents due to long-term contracts and market rents becomes more pronounced. This adversely affects newcomers and dis-incentivises mobility of incumbents.
    Keywords: housing affordability, ratio approach, residual income approach, lifecycle, Austria
    Date: 2016–08–01
  2. By: Giovanni Ferri (LUMSA University); Pierluigi Murro (LUMSA University)
    Abstract: The first wave of the global financial crisis – emanating from the US subprime debacle and the bankruptcy of Lehman – hit Europe in the last part of 2008 and through 2009. Coupled with it was the Great Trade Collapse (GTC), whereby trade crumpled intensely. 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 firm-main bank rapport. Using the EFIGE database, we try to assess the extent to which differences in the lending technologies affect export and foreign activities in seven EU countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK).
    Keywords: Bank-Firm Relationships, Lending Technologies, Trade.
    JEL: G21 D82 F10
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Emanuele Forlani (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Elisabetta Lodigiani (Department of Economics, University of Venice Ca' Foscari); Concetta Mendolicchio (Institute for Employment Research, IAB)
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the impact of international migration, and the induced home-care service labour supply shock, on fertility decisions and labour supply of native females in Germany. Specifically, we consider individual data of native women from the German Socio-Economic Panel and we merge them with the data on the share of female immigrants and other regional labour market characteristics. We find that an increase of the share of female immigrants at the local level induces women to work longer hours and positively affects the probability to have a child. This effect strengthens for (medium) skilled women and, among them, for women younger than 35 years of age. The negative change in household work attitude confirms the behavioural validity of our results.
    Keywords: Female labour, time allocation, fertility, international migration
    JEL: J13 J22 J61
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Avram, Silvia (University of Essex); Brewer, Mike (ISER, University of Essex); Salvatori, Andrea (ISER, University of Essex)
    Abstract: Increasing the labour market participation of single parents, whether to boost incomes or reduce welfare spending, is a major policy objectives in a number of countries. This paper presents causal evidence on the impact of work search requirements on single parents' transitions into work and onto other benefits. We use rich administrative data on all single parent welfare recipients, and apply a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the staggered roll-out of a reform in the UK that gradually decreased the age of the youngest child at which single parents lose the right to an unconditional cash benefit. Consistent with the predictions of a simple search model, the work search requirements have heterogeneous impacts, leading some single parents to move into work (especially those with strong previous labour market attachments), but leading some (especially those with weak previous labour market attachments) to move onto disability benefits (with no search conditionalities) or non-claimant unemployment.
    Keywords: single parents, active labour market policy, work search conditionalities
    JEL: H53 I38 J64
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Sabine D'Costa; Enrique Garcilazo; Joaquim Oliveira Martins
    Abstract: This paper aims to understand the impact of nation-wide structural policies on the productivity growth of OECD regions. In particular we explore how this impact varies with the productivity gap of regions with their country's frontier region. We use a policy-augmented growth model that allows us to estimate the effects of macroeconomic and structural policies on regional productivity growth. We estimate our model with an unbalanced panel dataset consisting of 265 regions from 24 OECD countries covering the period 1997 to 2007. We find that the effects on regional productivity growth are differentiated with respect to the regional productivity gap: Relaxing employment protection legislation on temporary contracts or lowering barriers to trade and investment would enhance productivity growth in lagging regions, whereas reducing the amount of state control has the opposite effect on lagging regions. Macroeconomic factors also influence regional performance: trade openness and the government debt to GDP ratio are more beneficial to lagging regions. These results reveal that average relationships between nation-wide policies and the productivity of regions can hide strong differentiated effects according to the distance to the country frontier. This carries important policy implications, mainly that these region-specific effects should be taken into account in the policy design.
    Keywords: structural reforms, regional growth, lagging regions
    JEL: R11 R58 O18
    Date: 2016–07
  6. By: Budría, Santiago (Universidad Pontificia Comillas); Swedberg, Pablo (St. Louis University); Fonseca, Marlene
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of educational attainment on immigrant earnings in Spain using a Quantile Regression approach. Most of the previous research on the impact schooling on earnings has focused on the mean effect neglecting the discrepancies that arise from unobserved heterogeneity. This paper uses the Spanish National Immigrant Survey (NIS), a large-scale immigration survey published by the Spanish National Statistics Institute in 2008. We find that the return to higher education is on average roughly 17%. Interestingly, the impact is twice as strong (20.7%) for immigrants at the top two quintile(s) of the conditional earnings distribution than for those at the bottom of the distribution (10%). This result suggests that the benefits derived from higher education are particularly relevant for individuals with stronger unobserved abilities and marketable skills. By contrast, individuals in the middle and particularly lower quintiles fail to reap a significant return. The large degree of heterogeneity for the returns to schooling found in our research suggests that higher education may be less effective among specific population groups.
    Keywords: returns to education, quantile regression, wage inequality
    JEL: C29 D31 I21
    Date: 2016–07
  7. By: Alessandra, Michelangeli; Nicola, Pontarollo
    Abstract: This paper aims at assessing the contribution of ethnic minorities to the productivity of the main sectors of Italian provinces. To this end, we consider the first ten nationalities by numbers of regularised persons observed at the provincial level (NUTS-3) between 2003 and 2011. We use an empirical panel growth model with spatially augmented specifications, which allows to capture both the direct (marginal) and indirect (spillover) effects of each community on local productivity at the provincial level. Our findings show that two communities out of ten have a positive impact on economic performance of Italian provinces. Other foreign groups have significant effects only indirectly, meaning that these groups do not affect growth of provinces where they live, but the neighbouring provinces likely because of commuting.
    Keywords: productivity growth, specialisation, spatial econometrics, foreigners
    JEL: R11 R12 R23
    Date: 2016–08–02
  8. By: Manes, Eran (Jerusalem College of Technology (JTC)); Schneider, Friedrich (University of Linz); Tchetchik, Anat (Ben Gurion University)
    Abstract: A large number of empirical studies pointed to the ongoing expansion of the shadow economy in many countries around the globe. A robust finding in these studies is the positive association between unemployment rates and the size of the unofficial sector. However, with consistent estimates of the size of the unofficial sector only available from the late 1980s, a lack of sufficient time span dictated the use of static models, allowing only a limited understanding of its temporal behavior and interdependence with other covariates. In this paper, we offer a first systematic attempt to estimate the dynamics of the shadow economy, using advanced dynamic panel techniques. Based on insights from a simple job search model of unemployment that features decreasing returns to unofficial activities and congestion effects in job searching, we conjecture a long-run equilibrium relationship between unemployment and the size of the shadow economy. Our empirical model lends strong support to this view. We find that in countries with less stringent job market regulation the long-run impact of Unemployment, the tax burden, and GDP on the shadow economy, while positive and significant, is much smaller than in heavily regulated countries Moreover, the speed of adjustment back to long-run equilibrium following temporary shocks is shown to be three times faster in countries with looser job-market regulation, compared with countries with stricter regulation. These findings have important policy implications.
    Keywords: shadow economy, boundaries to the shadow economy, unemployment, taxation, regulation
    JEL: C32 H11 H26 I2 O17 P16 P48
    Date: 2016–07
  9. By: Lalé, Etienne (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper provides a unified account of the trends in unemployment and labor force participation pertaining to the employment experience of older male workers during the past half-century. We build an equilibrium life-cycle model with labor-market frictions and an operative labor supply margin, wherein economic turbulence à la Ljungqvist and Sargent (1998) interact with institutions in ways that deteriorate employment. The model explains simultaneously: (i) the fall in labor force participation in the United States, (ii) the similar but more pronounced decline in Europe alongside rising unemployment rates and (iii) differences across European countries in the role played respectively by unemployment and labor force participation. The model also shows that policies that fostered early retirement may have exacerbated the deterioration of European labor markets: raising early retirement incentives to reduce unemployment among older workers tends to increase unemployment at younger ages, especially in turbulent economic times and under stringent employment protection legislation.
    Keywords: job search, job loss, turbulence, European unemployment, labor force participation
    JEL: E24 J21 J64
    Date: 2016–07
  10. By: Alexander Hijzen; Pedro S. Martins
    Abstract: In many countries, notably across Europe, collective bargaining coverage is enhanced by government-issued extensions that widen the reach of collective agreements beyond their signatory parties to all firms and workers in the same sector. This paper analyses the causal impact of such extensions on employment using a natural experiment in Portugal: the immediate suspension by the government that took office in 21 June 2011 of the (until then) nearly automatic extensions. The combination of this suspension and the time needed for processing the extension applications resulted in a sharp and unanticipated decline in the extension probability of agreements signed several months earlier, around 1 March 2011. Our results, based on a regression discontinuity design and matched employer-employee-agreement panel data, suggest that extensions had a negative impact on employment growth. Moreover, the effects tend to be concentrated amongst non-affiliated firms. The lack of representativeness of employer associations is a potentially important factor behind the adverse effect of extensions. Another is the role of retro-activity in combination with the administrative delay in processing extensions. This is particularly relevant in the context of a recession.
    Keywords: collective bargaining, industrial relations, employer associations, wage setting, employment
    JEL: J52 J58 J21
    Date: 2016–07
  11. By: Hetschko, Clemens; Schöb, Ronnie; Wolf, Tobias
    Abstract: Using specific panel data of German welfare benefit recipients, we investigate the non-pecuniary life satisfaction effects of in-work benefits. Our empirical strategy combines difference-in-difference designs with synthetic control groups to analyze transitions of workers between unemployment, regular employment and employment accompanied by welfare receipt. Working makes people generally better off than being unemployed, but employed welfare recipients do not reach the life satisfaction level of regular employees. This implies that welfare receipt entails non-compliance with the norm to make one´s own living. Our findings allow us to draw cautious conclusions on employment subsidies paid as welfare benefits.
    Keywords: life satisfaction,subsidized employment,unemployment,income support,in-work benefits,social norms
    JEL: I31 I38 J60 J68
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Kussel, Gerhard
    Abstract: Using panel data originating from two extensive surveys conducted in 2012 and 2014, we investigate German households' adaptation behavior in response to indoor heat stress during summer months. Providing detailed information of household characteristics, behavior and technical equipment, our unique database allows us to estimate a random-eff ects probit model on households' vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The estimates indicate that even moderate increases in temperatures are suffi cient to trigger investments in adaptation measures: While the propensity to adapt is heterogeneous across socio-economic groups, an increase of one degree Celsius in average summer temperature is associated with a rise of 2.3 percentage points in adaptation probability.
    Keywords: climate change,heat stress,panel data,discrete choice models
    JEL: D12 Q54 R22
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: While there has been a growing interest in the relationship between perceived tourism impacts and residents' quality of life, little is known about how residents' well-being is affected by actual tourist arrivals. This paper studies the effect of international tourist arrivals on the subjective well-being – happiness and life satisfaction – of residents in European countries. Data come from the six waves of the European Social Survey, conducted in 32 countries in 2002-2013. The results suggest that tourist arrivals reduce residents' life satisfaction. This negative relationship tends to be more pronounced in countries where tourism intensity is relatively high, as well as among people living in rural areas. In addition, tourist arrivals have a greater negative relationship with the evaluative component of subjective well-being (life satisfaction) than its affective component (happiness).
    Keywords: life satisfaction, happiness, tourist arrivals, Europe
    JEL: L83 Z3
    Date: 2016–07
  14. By: Pietro Battiston; Denvil Duncan; Simona Gamba; Alessandro Santoro
    Abstract: Tax evasion is a major problem faced by governments across the world, and many strategies have been attempted to minimize its extent. One such strategy is the “fiscal blitz”, consisting in clusters of unexpected tax verification activities targeting businesses. Blitzes have been widely implemented in Italy: the ones taking place in the last years shared many common features, but differed in the level of publicity they received on the media. We use confidential data on Value Added Tax payments at the sector level in two cities to estimate the effect of such publicity on tax compliance of local sellers. By employing a Difference-in-Differences identification strategy, we find that the publicity of the blitz has a positive effect on fiscal declarations made shortly after. The results suggest that increasing awareness on future audits via the media can be an important instrument in the hands of tax authorities.
    Keywords: Tax evasion, Natural experiment, Audit publicity
    JEL: H32 K34 E62
    Date: 2016–07
  15. By: Chabé-Ferret, Bastien (Université catholique de Louvain); Machado, Joel (University of Luxembourg); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: This paper studies how return migration intentions affect immigrants' behavior. Using a unique French data set, we analyze the relationship between return plans and several immigrants' behavior in the host and origin countries addressing the potential endogeneity between return plans and different investment decisions. We also investigate the potential trade-off and complementarities between various immigrants' investment behaviors. We find that temporary migrants are more likely to remit and invest in the country of origin, but less likely to invest in the host country. Moreover, our results show that there is no trade-off between immigrants' investment in the home and in the host country. In turn, we find substantial heterogeneity in behavior across migrants of different origins.
    Keywords: temporary migration, return intention, remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 D14
    Date: 2016–07
  16. By: Barbara Ermini (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Luca Papi (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, MoFiR); Francesca Scaturro (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: The paper examines the determinants of over-education among Italian Ph.D graduates drawn from the four cohorts 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 surveyed by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). We attempt to disentangle the differentiated effects of the economic crisis and the university reform that recently hit the Italian labour market. We examine over-education through the definitions of over-skilling, over-qualification and a combination of the two. The results show that socio-demographic variables do not exert a relevant influence on over-education. Conversely, job attributes such as working in academia or carrying out R&D activities reduce the likelihood of incurring into over-education. Instead, accessing the job via informal channels or working as self-employed increase the risk of over-education, with a stronger effect during the recession. Among Ph.D related features, visiting abroad is always a driver to overcome any kind of job mismatch. Generally, benefiting from financial support is a propelling factor to reduce over-education; it is effective in reducing qualification mismatch especially during the downturn. In the light of the above findings, some policy advices are proposed.
    Keywords: over-education, over-skilling, over-qualification, Ph.D graduates, crisis
    JEL: C2 I2 I23 J24
    Date: 2016–07
  17. By: Vigile Marie Fabella (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Georgi Kocharkov (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We document changes in relative earnings of the ethnic Turkish workers in Bulgaria through the country’s transition from planning to markets. Using data from four periods: pre-transition communist era (late 1980s), early transition years (early 1990s), late transition years (early 2000s), and post-transition (late 2000s), we find that the level of raw ethnic inequality (measured as earnings differences between Turkish and Bulgarian workers) increased immediately after the regime change and plateaued throughout the course of transition. Ethnic inequality measures adjusted for observable characteristics follow a similar pattern but post-transitional differences between ethnic groups disappear. Changes over time in the ethnic earnings gaps differ for men and women. The raw and adjusted male ethnic gaps increased steadily during transition years but dropped post-transition, while the raw female ethnic gap fluctuated across the four periods. The adjusted female ethnic gap disappeared completely in the postransitional years. We identify different sources of the changes in the level of ethnic inequality, such as changes in the labor market characteristics and in the wage structure. Evidence suggests that the decline in the relative earnings of Turkish men was due primarily to the widening of the wage structure. Turkish working women improved their relative standing mainly from more favorable changes in labor market characteristics. These changes were only partially due to a selection in labor force participation.
    Keywords: Earnings differentials, Ethnicity, Gender, Transition, Bulgaria, Turkish Minority
    JEL: J15 J70 P20 P30
    Date: 2016–06–19
  18. By: Tim De Stefano; Richard Kneller; Jonathan Timmis
    Abstract: A recent literature has begun to recognise that ICT is heterogeneous and the effects from improving communication are distinct from those that improve the storage and processing of information. In this paper we use the arrival of a new communication technology, ADSL broadband internet, to study the effects of communication ICT on firm performance. To do so free from endogeneity bias, we construct instruments using the infrastructure underlying broadband internet - the pre-existing telephone network. We show that, after placing various restrictions on the sample, instruments based on the timing of ADSL broadband enablement and the cable distance to the local telephone exchange satisfy the conditions for instrument relevancy and validity for some types of ICT. We find in turn, that communication-ICT causally affects firm size (captured by either sales or employment) but not productivity.
    Keywords: ICT, firms, instrumental variable
    Date: 2016
  19. By: Bingley, Paul (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI)); Cappellari, Lorenzo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Tatsiramos, Konstantinos (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper studies the influence of family, schools and neighborhoods on life-cycle earnings inequality. We develop an earnings dynamics model linking brothers, schoolmates and teenage parish neighbors using population register data for Denmark. We exploit differences in the timing of family mobility and the partial overlap of schools and neighborhoods to separately identify sorting from community and family effects. We find that family is far more important than community in influencing earnings inequality over the life cycle. Neighborhoods and schools influence earnings only early in the working life and this influence falls rapidly and becomes negligible after age 30.
    Keywords: sibling correlations, neighborhoods, schools, life-cycle earnings, inequality
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2016–07
  20. By: Giulia Bettin (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, MoFiR); Riccardo Lucchetti (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Claudia Pigini (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: The empirical modelling of remitting behaviour has been the object of a considerable amount of micro-level literature. The increasing availability of panel datasets makes it possible to explore the persistence in transfer decisions as a result of intertemporal choices, that may be consistent with several motivations to remit. Building a dynamic model with panel data poses the additional problem of dealing properly with permanent unobserved heterogeneity; moreover, the specific censored nature of international transfers has to be accounted for as well. In this paper, we propose a dynamic, random-effects double hurdle model for remittances: we combine the Maximum Likelihood estimator of the traditional double hurdle model for cross-section data (Jones, 1989) with the approach put forward by Heckman (1981b) for dealing with state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity in a non-linear setting. Our empirical evidence based on the German SOEP dataset suggests that there is significant state dependence in remitting behaviour consistent with migrants. intertemporal allocation of savings; at the same time, transaction costs are likely to affect the steadiness of transfers over time.
    Keywords: Migration, Remittances, State dependence, Double hurdle, Intertemporal choices
    JEL: F22 F24 C23 C34 C35
    Date: 2016–07
  21. By: Joan Costa-Font; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Cristina Villaplana
    Abstract: The expansion of long-term care (LTC) coverage may improve health system efficiency by reducing hospitalisations (bed-blocking), and pave the way for the implementation of health and social care coordination plans. We draw upon the quasi- experimental evidence from the main expansion of long term care increase subsidisation in Spain in 2007 to examine the causal effect of the expansion of LTC subsidisation and coordination on hospitalisations (both on the internal and external margin) and the hospital length of stay. In addition, we examine the 2012 austerity budget cuts that reduced the subsidy. We find robust evidence of a reduction in hospitalisations and the length of stay after the expansion of LTC subsidisation. However, the reduction in hospitalisations is heterogeneous to the existence of health and social care coordination plans and type of subsidy. Overall, we estimate savings related to hospitalisations of up to 11% of total hospital costs. Consistently, subsidy reduction is found to attenuate bed-blocking gains.
    Date: 2016–07
  22. By: Breda, Thomas (Paris School of Economics); Hillion, Melina (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Discrimination against women is seen as one of the possible causes behind their underrepresentation in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. We show that this is not the case at the competitive exams used to recruit almost all French secondary and postsecondary teachers and professors. Comparisons of oral non gender-blind tests with written gender-blind tests for about 100,000 individuals observed in 11 different fields over the period 2006-2013 reveal a bias in favor of women that is strongly increasing with the extent of a field's male-domination. This bias turns from 3 to 5 percentile ranks for men in literature and foreign languages to about 10 percentile ranks for women in math, physics or philosophy. These findings have implications for the debate over what interventions are appropriate to increase the representation of women in fields in which they are currently underrepresented.
    Keywords: discrimination, evaluation bias, gender stereotypes, natural experiment, gender gap in science, preference for opposite gender
    JEL: I23 J16
    Date: 2016–07
  23. By: Guido Matias Cortes (University of Manchester, UK; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Andrea Salvatori (University of Essex, UK)
    Abstract: This paper offers the first study of job polarization in Great Britain using workplace level data. We document widespread and increasing occupational specialization within establishments, along with substantial heterogeneity in specialization within industries. Changes in the specialization profiles of workplaces account for most of the changes in the aggregate occupational shares between 1998 and 2011. The sharp rise in the fraction of workplaces specializing in non-routine tasks is associated with a large increase in the concentration of non-routine workers in workplaces that specialize in such occupations. We find no evidence of a decline in routine employment among establishments that report the adoption of new technologies, as would be expected from the standard routine-biased technological change hypothesis. Instead, we uncover new evidence that suggests that the increase in non-routine cognitive workplaces is linked to the growth in outsourcing of cognitive tasks.
    Date: 2016–08
  24. By: Alexandra D'Onofrio (ASSONIME); Raoul Minetti (Michigan State University); Pierluigi Murro (LUMSA University)
    Abstract: Using rich data from the Italian local credit markets (provinces), this paper investigates the impact of local banking development on income inequality and the role of the socioeconomic structure in this link. Exploiting the Italian historical banking regulationtoin strument for the local presence of bank branches, we find that local banking development mitigates income inequality and poverty. However, the finance-inequality nexus manifests itself only in relatively advanced areas, suggesting important non-linearities. When we study the structural channels of influence, we obtain evidence that banking development can reduce inequality by affecting geographical mobility and urbanization, while it has modest effects through the development of material infrastructures and human capital.
    Keywords: Income inequality; Financial development; Socio economic structure
    JEL: G21 G38 O15
    Date: 2016–07

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