nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2016‒08‒28
twenty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The Influence of Personality Traits on Private Retirement Savings in Germany By Schäfer, Konrad C.
  2. Establishment History Panel 1975-2014 By Schmucker, Alexandra; Seth, Stefan; Ludsteck, Johannes; Eberle, Johanna; Ganzer, Andreas
  3. On the effectiveness of EU structural funds during the Great Recession: Estimates from a heterogeneous local average treatment effects framework By Julia Bachtrögler
  4. Sharing for people, planet or profit? Analysing motivations for intended sharing economy participation By Lars Böcker; Toon Meelen
  5. Education, cognitive ability and cause-specific mortality: a structural approach By Govert E. Bijwaard; Mikko Myrskylä; Per Tynelius; Finn Rasmussen
  6. Gender gaps of the unemployed - What drives diverging labor market outcomes? By Dauth, Christine
  7. Actuarial neutrality and financial incentives for early retirement in the Austrian pension system By Kucsera, Dénes; Christl, Michael
  8. Mapping Experiences and Research about Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in Sweden and Other Countries By Celikaksoy, Aycan; Wadensjö, Eskil
  9. Who buffers income losses after job displacement? The role of alternative income sources, the family, and the state By Fackler, Daniel; Hank, Eva
  10. EthniCity of Leisure: A Domains Approach to Ethnic Integration During Free Time Activities By Kamenik, Kristiina; Tammaru, Tiit; van Ham, Maarten
  11. EU Tax Competition and Tax Avoidance: A Multiprincipal Perspective By Florence LACHET-TOUYA
  12. The environmental impact of vehicle circulation tax reform in Germany By Malina, Christiane
  13. Policy capacities for new regional industrial path development – The case of new media and biogas in southern Sweden By Martin, Hanna; Martin, Roman
  14. Centralization of strategic decisions during the Great Recession: An empirical analysis of European manufacturing firms By Zoltan Bakonyi; Balazs Murakozy
  15. The Effects of the Early Retirement Age on Retirement Decisions By Manoli, Dayanand; Weber, Andrea
  16. Competition in Retail Electricity Markets : An Assessment of Ten Years Dutch Experience By Willems, Bert; Mulder, M.
  17. Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference? By James Banks; Richard Blundell; Peter Levell; James P. Smith
  18. Pensions in transition in EU11 countries between 1990 and 2015 By Stefan Domonkos; Andras Simonovits
  19. Structural Change and Global Value Chains in the EU By Roman Stöllinger
  20. Career Breaks after Childbirth: The Impact of Family Leave Reforms in the Czech Republic By Bicakova, Alena; Kaliskova, Klara

  1. By: Schäfer, Konrad C.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes private retirement savings, the amount for German individuals and how these savings are influenced by personality traits. With the 2002 to 2009 cross section of the Socio-Economic Panel for Germany (SOEP), it is investigated how the Big-Five and the Locus of Control influence the decision to have private retirement savings, and the estimated amount of these savings. Results indicate a positive effect for Extraversion and a negative effect for Agreeableness on the probability to have such savings. Extraversion also positively effects the size of retirement related savings as does having an more internal Locus of Control. Similar to the probability to have retirement savings Agreeableness also reduces the expected amount of such savings. Personality traits only seem to influence the retirement savings if the individual has scores further away from the average of the specific trait. Additionally regressions are implemented that include the personality measures as dummies to allow for non-linear effects. Furthermore, other types of wealth accumulation such as house related savings are investigated to study how the effects might differ for different types of wealth accumulation.
    Keywords: Non-cognitive skills; Big-Five; Locus of Control, retirement
    JEL: C34 C35 J26
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Schmucker, Alexandra (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Seth, Stefan (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Ludsteck, Johannes (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Eberle, Johanna (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Ganzer, Andreas (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The Establishment History Panel 1975-2014 (BHP 7514) is a 50% sample of all establishments throughout Germany with at least one employee subject to social security as of 30 June of a given year. Since 1999, establishments employing only marginal part-time workers have also been included in the data. For establishments in western Germany the observation period is 1975 to 2014 and for establishments in eastern Germany 1992 to 2014. However, conclusive analyses for eastern German establishments are only possible from 1993 onwards. The data source for the BHP is the Employee History (Beschäftigten-Historik BeH) of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). The data on individuals contained in the BeH are aggregated to the establishment level using the establishment numbers. The sample of the BHP consists of between 640,000 and 1.5 million establishments per year. The individual annual waves can be linked to form a panel dataset via the identifier 'artificial establishment number', which can be found in the dataset. This data report describes the variables of the weakly anonymous version of the BHP dataset BHP 7514, which is available to researchers via on-site use at the Research Data Centre (FDZ) or via remote data access. To a large extent the available data are the original data. In addition to the sampling procedure, only the original establishment numbers as direct identifiers of the establishments were replaced by artificial establishment IDs. In order to protect the anonymity of the establishments still further, some variables are classified as particularly sensitive and are only disclosed upon submission of a special application (see Section 1.2)." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en)) Additional Information deutschsprachige Version Frequencies and labels
    Keywords: IAB-Betriebs-Historik-Panel, Datensatzbeschreibung, Datenaufbereitung, Datenqualität, Stichprobe, Imputationsverfahren, Datenanonymisierung, Datenzugang
    Date: 2016–08–19
  3. By: Julia Bachtrögler (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: This study investigates the heterogeneity of European NUTS-2 regions with regard to their ability to take advantage of European Union (EU) structural funds aimed at convergence. It considers a concept of absorptive capacity based on regional policy design, and additionally accounts for the programming period 2007-2013 in the empirical analysis. A fuzzy regression discontinuity design allowing for heterogeneous treatment effects is applied to evaluate convergence funds in 250 NUTS-2 regions from 2000 (and 1989) to 2013. The main results suggest a positive conditional impact of funds payments on regional GDP per capita growth. However, based on a time-varying treatment effects model, we are able to identify a deterioration in the effectiveness of convergence funds during the programming period 2007-2013. Furthermore, the analysis reveals an inverted U-shaped relationship between the share of committed funds paid out and GDP per capita growth. The latter finding indicates that the marginal benefits from EU convergence funds might be decreasing.
    Keywords: Structural Funds, Heterogeneous Treatment Effects, Regional Heterogeneity, Absorptive Capacity, Cohesion, European Union
    JEL: C21 F35 H77 R11 R58
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Lars Böcker; Toon Meelen
    Abstract: The sharing economy is a fast-growing and heavily debated phenomenon. This study provides an overview of motivations of people willing to participate in different forms of the sharing economy. A survey was held amongst 1,330 respondents from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Using stated preference data, we investigate the relative importance of (1) economic, (2) social and (3) environmental motivations to participate in peer-to-peer sharing. Hereby we consider differences between (a) sectors of the sharing economy, (b) socio-demographic groups, and (c) users and providers. Results are descriptive as well as based on ordered logit models. Notable differences are observed in the motivations for sharing between sectors. To a lesser extent there is variety in sharing drivers between socio-demographic groups. Finally, users seem more economically motivated than providers of goods..
    Date: 2016–08
  5. By: Govert E. Bijwaard; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Per Tynelius; Finn Rasmussen
    Abstract: Education is negatively associated with mortality for most major causes of death. The literature ignores that cause-specific hazard rates are interdependent and that education and mortality both depend on cognitive ability. We analyze the education-mortality gradient at ages 18-63 using Swedish register data. We focus on months lost due to a specific cause of death which solves the interdependence problem, and use a structural model that derives cognitive ability from military conscription IQ scores. We derive the educational gains in months lost and the selection effects for each cause of death, and quantify the selection contribution of observed characteristics and unobserved cognitive ability. In a standard Cox model that controls for observed IQ, primary education was associated with 6 months lost when compared to secondary education. In a structural model that accounts for cognitive ability the difference was 43% larger. In addition, the largest educational gains were achieved for the lowest education group in the reduction of external cause mortality. The educational gains in cardiovascular mortality was small, mainly due to large selection effects. These results suggest that educational differences in cause specific mortality may be biased by conventional Cox regression analyses.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2016–08
  6. By: Dauth, Christine (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Analyzing gender gaps of unemployed job-seekers, this study uniquely complements the broad literature focussing predominantly on gender gaps of employed workers. I consider a broad range of labor market outcomes, and disentangle the factors driving the labor market gaps of unemployed men and women. I show that unemployed women perform worse on the labor market due to earlier choices in occupations, their labor force attachment, and working time. By contrast, regional labor market disparities including differences of local employment offices, which are assigned to place unemployed job-seekers, are of minor importance. Married women and those with young children perform particularly bad compared to men. High unexplainable gender gaps for these groups suggest that family-related preferences, employer discrimination, and institutional settings matter for unemployment duration and the quality of reemployment." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J16 J21 J64 J71
    Date: 2016–08–22
  7. By: Kucsera, Dénes; Christl, Michael
    Abstract: This paper studies actuarial neutrality in the Austrian pension system. It is often argued that actuarial neutrality constitutes an incentive for people to retire. We show that there are almost no financial incentives within the Austrian pension corridor, when we use the traditional definition of actuarial neutrality. Taking taxation into account, our results suggest that financial incentives for early retirement stem mainly from the Austrian tax system and not from the pension system itself.
    Keywords: actuarial neutrality,early retirement,pension system,retirement
    JEL: J26 H55
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Celikaksoy, Aycan (SOFI, Stockholm University); Wadensjö, Eskil (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Many unaccompanied children have applied for asylum during the last few years, especially in 2015. These children face special challenges and risk being exploited due to their age and legal status. In this paper we survey research and otherwise documented experiences regarding this group of children. The main focus is on Sweden, the European country that has received most unaccompanied children but we also report on the experiences of other Nordic countries, a list of other EU member states, as well as USA and Turkey. We also try to summarize the main lessons for a policy to assist these children to integrate in the countries they have arrived to.
    Keywords: unaccompanied minors, separated refugee children, migration, reception policies, integration policies
    JEL: F22 J13 J15 J61
    Date: 2016–08
  9. By: Fackler, Daniel; Hank, Eva
    Abstract: Using survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), this paper analyses to what extent alternative income sources, reactions within the household context, and redistribution by the state attenuate earnings losses after job displacement. Applying propensity score matching and fixed effects estimations, we find high individual earnings losses after job displacement and only limited convergence. Income from selfemployment slightly reduces the earnings gap and severance payments buffer losses in the short run. On the household level, we find substantial and rather persistent losses in per capita labour income. We do not find that increased labour supply by other household members contributes to the compensation of the income losses. Most importantly, our results show that redistribution within the tax and transfer system substantially mitigates income losses of displaced workers both in the short and the long run whereas other channels contribute only little.
    Keywords: job displacement,plant closure,household income,SOEP
    JEL: D10 I38 J63 J65
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Kamenik, Kristiina (University of Tartu); Tammaru, Tiit (University of Tartu); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper takes a domains approach to understanding ethnic segregation; ethnic segregation occurs in different ways in different domains (such as the residential neighbourhood, workplaces, leisure, etc.). Where most studies focus on residential segregation, this study focusses on ethnic segregation during leisure time. We investigate the most common leisure time activities, activity sites and the interaction between members of minority and majority populations as they spend their time out-of- home and out-of-workplace. Conceptually we link leisure time segregation both with residential and workplace segregation, in line with the domains approach. Our case study area is Tallinn, Estonia, and the main findings show that leisure time activity patterns have become very similar across the main ethnic groups, which is different from what is found for workplace and residential segregation. This shows the integrative potential of leisure time activities. However, different ethnic groups tend to visit different activity sites as leisure sites are related to where people live.
    Keywords: leisure time, ethnic integration, ethnic segmentation, ethnic segregation, mixed method approach, Estonia
    JEL: J15 R23
    Date: 2016–08
  11. By: Florence LACHET-TOUYA
    Keywords: Vertical and horizontal tax externalities; Information asymmetry; Tax competition; EU taxation; Governments' objective function
    JEL: D72 D82 H23 H30 H32 H71 H77
    Date: 2016–08
  12. By: Malina, Christiane
    Abstract: A core political strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from road transportation in Germany is to incentivize the purchase of motor vehicles with relatively low tailpipe CO2 emissions. Consequently, since mid-2009, owners of new cars in Germany face an annual vehicle circulation tax that is partially levied according to vehicles' CO2 emission index. In this paper, I estimate the effect of CO2 -based vehicle circulation taxation in Germany on annual CO2 combustion emissions from passenger cars and CO2 climate costs using a nested logit approach on a novel panel-dataset containing registration, cost and vehicle characteristic information on approximately 7,000 unique vehicle models and approximately 19.5 million new vehicle registrations in Germany from 2007 to 2013. This approach first yields vehicle model specific estimates for the elasticity of new vehicle registrations with regard to the circulation tax. These elasticities are used to estimate changes in new vehicle registrations by model, which are then combined with model-specific CO2 emission factors and segment-specific annual distances driven to yield total emission changes attributable to the change in vehicle circulation tax. Finally, physical changes in emissions are converted into changes in monetary climate damages. Uncertainty in the elasticity of new vehicle registrations by segment with regard to vehicle circulation tax, the fuel economy and corresponding CO2 emission indices of vehicles, distances traveled by market segment, and in the monetary damages resulting from CO2 emissions are propagated through the analysis. Overall I find statistically significant, but relatively small reductions in CO2 emissions and climate costs due to the change in taxation: When simulating the ceteris paribus effect of the most stringent taxation regime implemented in 2014 on the pre-tax change models available in 2008, median registrations are estimated to decrease by approx. 9,500 vehicles, or 0.3 per cent of total new registrations. In addition, changes in registrations of individual vehicle models within each market segment lead to a relatively small reduction of segment- specific CO2 emission indices (0.03 to 0.1 per cent across segments). The reduction in new registrations and reduction in CO2 emission indices decrease median CO2 combustion emissions from newly registered vehicles by 35,000 t (90 per cent confidence interval: 31.000 to 39.000 t), and climate costs by € 1.1 Million (90 per cent confidence interval: € 0.1 to 2.2 Million), or 0.4 per cent of total CO2 emissions and climate costs from newly registered cars.
    Keywords: vehicle circulation tax,road transportation,climate costs,nested logit model
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Martin, Hanna (CIRCLE, Lund University); Martin, Roman (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Over the past few years, a growing body of work in economic geography and innovation studies has enhanced our understanding of forms and determinants of regional industrial path development. The importance of policy, however, has received limited attention and accordingly, the role of policy for the emergence and development of new regional industrial growth paths remains largely unexplored. This paper takes an institutional perspective and suggests that the regional innovation system (RIS) approach can contribute to conceptualizing and analysing the role of policy for new regional industrial path development. We argue that in order to turn regional preconditions into new growth paths, RIS require strong policy capacities, consisting of formal and governance capacities. In the empirical part, we analyse the emergence and further development of two new growth paths in the region of Scania in southern Sweden, namely biogas and new media. Based on personal interviews with policy makers, representatives from knowledge and supporting organizations and firms as well as a document analysis, we investigate how policy interventions have influenced the rise and evolution of these two industries. We show that in both cases policy-led initiatives have played an important role in enabling new path development. We find that policy can play multiple roles in nurturing and maintaining new growth paths and that these are closely interlinked with particular policy capacities of RIS.
    Keywords: new path development; regional policy; regional innovation system; capacity building
    JEL: O10 O30 O38 R11 R58
    Date: 2016–08–23
  14. By: Zoltan Bakonyi (Institute of Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences PhD student - Corvinus University of Budapest); Balazs Murakozy (Institute of Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This study analyzes which types of firm-level shocks were associated with the centralization of strategic decision-making during the recession of 2008-09. We use a unique survey dataset of more than 14000 manufacturing firms from seven European countries which includes direct information on whether the firms centralized or decentralized their strategic decision-making process. Motivated by theoretical approaches claiming that organizations under considerable stress are more likely to centralize, we use multinomial logit models to test whether firms facing a larger fall in turnover, employment, investment or having to postpone their innovations were more likely to change their decision-making process. We find evidence that employment change and postponing innovations are indeed associated with centralization even when we control for ownership, group structure, financing, management, and strategy.
    Keywords: centralization, Europe, recessions
    JEL: M21 D22 D23
    Date: 2016–06
  15. By: Manoli, Dayanand (University of Texas at Austin); Weber, Andrea (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We present quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of increasing the Early Retirement Age (ERA) on older workers' retirement decisions. The analysis is based on social security reforms in Austria in 2000 and 2004, and administrative data allows us to distinguish between pension claims and job exits. Using a Regression Kink Design, we estimate that, within a birth cohort, a 1.0 year increase in the ERA leads to a 0.4 year increase in the average job exiting age and a 0.5 year increase in the average pension claiming age. When the ERA increases, many older workers remain in their jobs longer.
    Keywords: retirement, early retirement age, pension reform, life cycle labor supply, regression kink design
    JEL: H55 J21 J22 J26
    Date: 2016–08
  16. By: Willems, Bert (Tilburg University, TILEC); Mulder, M.
    Abstract: This paper examines a decade of retail competition in the Dutch electricity market and discusses market structure, regulation, and market performance. We find a proliferation of product variety, in particular by the introduction of quality-differentiated green-energy products. Product innovation could be a sign of a well-functioning market that caters to customer’s preferences, but it can also indicate a strategic product differentiation to soften price competition. Although slightly downward trending, gross retail margins remain relatively high, especially for green products. Price dispersion across retailers for identical products remains high, as also across products for a single retailer. We do not find evidence of asymmetric pass-through of wholesale costs. Overall, the retail market matured as evidenced by fewer consumer complaints and higher switching rates. A fairly intensive regulation of mature energy retail markets appears to be needed to create benefits for consumers.
    Keywords: retail electricity market; competition; regulation; ex-post assessment
    JEL: L94 L43 L11
    Date: 2016
  17. By: James Banks; Richard Blundell; Peter Levell; James P. Smith
    Abstract: In this paper we document significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US, in spite of income paths being similar. We explore several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, number of household members, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the potential explanations considered, we find that those to do with healthcare—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the UK compared to the US.
    JEL: D10 D11 D12 D14 D91
    Date: 2016–08
  18. By: Stefan Domonkos (Institute of Economic Research, Slovak Academy of Sciences); Andras Simonovits (Institute of Economics - Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences also Mathematical Institute of Budapest University of Technology, Budapest)
    Keywords: post-socialist countries, pension reform, political sustainability, economic sustainability, pension adequacy, pension privatisation
    JEL: H11 H55
    Date: 2016–07
  19. By: Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Abstract Manufacturing activity in the EU is increasingly concentrated in a Central European (CE) manufacturing core, implying divergent paths of structural change across Member States. This ‘manufacturing divide’ within Europe coincides with deepening economic integration in general and the emergence of global value chains (GVCs) in particular. Focusing on the manufacturing sector, this paper investigates the relationship between structural change and integration into GVCs in EU Member States over the period 1995-2011. The empirical findings suggest a non-linear relationship between the two phenomena Members of the CE manufacturing core benefit from participation in GVCs in terms of structural change towards manufacturing, whereas in other EU Member States GVC participation, if anything, accelerates the deindustrialisation process.
    Keywords: global value chains, structural change, manufacturing divide, European integration
    JEL: L16 F15 F62
    Date: 2016–07
  20. By: Bicakova, Alena (CERGE-EI); Kaliskova, Klara (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: The Czech Republic is a country with a strong attachment of women to the labor market, but with one of the longest paid family leaves, which is often followed by a spell of unemployment. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we study the impact of two reforms of the duration of the parental allowance on the labor market status of mothers 2 to 7 years after childbirth. While the 1995 reform prolonged the allowance from 3 to 4 years, the 2008 reform allowed some parents to shorten the duration of the allowance to only 2 or 3 years with an equivalent total monetary amount. The impact of the reforms on the length of women's career breaks following childbirth is substantial.
    Keywords: family leave, female labor supply, unemployment, policy evaluation
    JEL: J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2016–08

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