nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒01‒15
thirty-one papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Helping with the Kids? How Family-Friendly Workplaces Affect Parental Well-Being and Behavior By Verena Lauber; Johanna Storck
  2. The Gender Wealth Gap Across European Countries By Schneebaum, Alyssa; Rehm, Miriam; Mader, Katharina; Hollan, Katarina
  3. Regional payroll tax cuts and individual wages: Heterogeneous effects across education groups By Hildegunn Stokke
  4. Transition Towards a Green Economy in Europe: Innovation and Knowledge Integration in the Renewable Energy Sector By C. Conti; M. L. Mancusi; F. Sanna-Randaccio; R. Sestini; E. Verdolini
  5. Integration and Efficiency of European Electricity Markets: Evidence from Spot Prices By Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim; Liebensteiner, Mario
  6. Investment under Uncertainty in Electricity Generation By Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim; Liebensteiner, Mario; Schindler, Nora
  7. Top Wealth Shares in the UK over more than a Century By Facundo Alvaredo; Anthony B. Atkinson; Salvatore Morelli
  8. Research Funding and Regional Economies By Nathan Goldschlag; Stefano Bianchini; Julia Lane; Joseba Sanmartín Sola; Bruce Weinberg
  9. Educational expansion and homogamy. An analysis of the consequences of educational upgrading for assortative mating in Switzerland By Rolf Becker; Ben Jann
  10. Cross-Border Technology Differences and Trade Barriers: Evidence from German and French Electricity Markets By Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim
  11. Job access and the labor market entry and spatial mobility trajectories of higher education graduates in the Netherlands By Marten Middeldorp
  12. The evolution of immigrants' homeownership in Germany By Ihley, Dorothee; Siebert-Meyerhoff, Andrea
  13. Cooperation in Criminal Markets By Aquilante, Tommaso; Maretto, Guido
  14. An Economic Analysis of Personal Data Protection Obligations in the European Union By Blades, Nicholas; Herrera-González, Fernando
  15. Citizens‘ preferences for a tax exemption for caregivers in inheritance taxation – an empirical analysis using German survey data By Ivo Bischoff; Nataliya Kusa
  16. Firm Performance in the Western Balkan States: the Impact of European Union Membership and Access to Finance By Peter Howard-Jones; Jens Hoelscher; Dragana Radicic
  17. Assigning refugees to landlords in Sweden: stable maximum matchings By ANDERSSON, Tommy; EHLERS, Lars
  18. The impact of Inward FDI on host country labour markets. A counterfactual analysis on Italian manufacturing companies By Mariachiara Barzotto; Giancarlo Corò; Ilaria Mariotti; Marco Mutinelli
  19. On the effectiveness of EU structural funds during the Great Recession: Estimates from a heterogeneous local average treatment effects framework By Bachtrögler, Julia
  20. Who is this, who enters there? - Migration in Italy and its effect on fiscal sustainability and pensions By Bendetta Frassi; Christian Hagist; Fabio Pammolli
  21. Spatio-temporal variation in peer effects - The case of rooftop photovoltaic systems in Germany By Johannes Rode; Sven Müller
  22. Estonia in Global Value Chains By Ali-Yrkkö, Jyrki; Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo
  23. Active labour market policies: Challenge for the Macedonian labour market By Petreski, Blagica; Tumanoska, Despina
  24. Small and Medium Firms, Aggregate Productivity and the Role of Dependencies By Fornaro, Paolo; Luomaranta, Henri
  25. Multiple import sourcing First evidence for German enterprises from manufacturing industries By Joachim Wagner
  26. Policy Reform and Gender Inequality in French Higher Education: A Two-Generation Comparative Study By Magali Jaoul-Grammare
  27. On the Link between Job Polarisation and Wage Inequality - A regional approach for Germany By Mario Reinhold
  28. Spanish Public Policies towards the Promotion of Cloud Computing and Digital Services for SMEs By Serrano Calle, Silvia; Pérez Martínez, Jorge; Frías Barroso, Zoraida
  29. Property rights and transaction costs : The role of ownership and organization in German public service provision By Friese, Maria; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Klein, Gordon J.
  30. A walk on the wild side: an investigation into the quantity and quality of `predatory' publications in Italian academia By Manuel Bagues; Mauro Sylos-Labini; Natalia Zinovyeva
  31. Analysing the Impact of Smart City Networks in Telecommunications Regulation and Standardization: the Spanish Case By Palomo-Navarro, Álvaro; Navío‐Marco, Julio; Martínez-Cespedes, Maria Luisa; Gil, Olga

  1. By: Verena Lauber; Johanna Storck
    Abstract: Despite political efforts, balancing work and family life is still challenging. This paper provides novel evidence on the effect of firm level interventions that seek to reduce the work-life conflict. The focus is on how a specific workplace policy, namely childcare support, affects the well-being, working time, and caring behavior of mothers with young children. We exploit the fact that since the mid 2000s an increasing number of employers have become proactive and implemented more family-friendly workplaces. These changes over time allow us to identify causal effects of childcare support using a difference-in-differences approach combined with matching. Based on a large panel dataset on families with children in Germany (FiD), we find evidence pointing to welfare enhancing effects of childcare support, as it strongly increases both childcare satisfaction and job satisfaction. In particular mothers who worked limited hours before the introduction, possibly due to constraints, increase their working time and use formal care more intensively. Satisfaction levels are also more strongly affected if mothers are career-orientated. In comparison, flexible work schedules, another family-friendly policy, only affect job satisfaction. Paternal well-being and behavior is not affected by the workplace policy.
    Keywords: family-friendly workplace policies, well-being, work-life balance, difference-in-differences, matching
    JEL: I31 J13 J22 J28
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Schneebaum, Alyssa; Rehm, Miriam; Mader, Katharina; Hollan, Katarina
    Abstract: This paper studies the gap in wealth between male and female single households using 2010 Household Finance and Consumption Survey data for eight European countries. In the raw data, a large gap emerges at the upper end of the unconditional distribution. While OLS estimates show no difference in average net wealth levels, quantile regressions at the 95th percentile yield mixed evidence for the gender wealth gap in different specifications. Labour market characteristics and participation in asset and debt categories largely explain the differences between male and female single households. We show that the gender gap in net wealth is driven by gender gaps in gross wealth and its components, but is attenuated in four countries by gender gaps in (collateralized) debt. In the full specification, the unexplained gap in gross wealth amounts to 27% in Slovakia, 33% in France, 44% in Austria, 45% in Germany, and 48% in Greece. A robustness check using person-level pension wealth confirms the presence of a gender gap for the full population. (authors' abstract)
    Keywords: Gender; Wealth; Wealth Gap; Distribution
    Date: 2016–09
  3. By: Hildegunn Stokke
    Abstract: The empirical evidence on the incidence of payroll taxation is primarily based on the wage bill of firms. This paper applies matched employer-employee register data on individual wages for all private sector workers in Norway. Exploiting a payroll tax reform and using the difference-in-difference approach, I find that 1% reduction in labor costs generates 0.5% wage increase. Among low educated workers the degree of tax shifting equals 50%, while the wage response for highly educated is insignificant. Lower payroll taxes have limited effects on employment. The findings imply that the absolute value of the labor demand elasticity decreases with the level of education.
    Keywords: Payroll tax cut; individual wages; heterogeneous effects; education
    JEL: H22 J23 J31 J38
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: C. Conti (Sapienza University of Rome); M. L. Mancusi (Catholic University (Milan) and CRIOS, Bocconi University); F. Sanna-Randaccio (Sapienza University of Rome); R. Sestini (Sapienza University of Rome); E. Verdolini (Fondazione CMCC and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: A major concern regarding innovation in clean technologies in the EU is that the fragmentation of its innovation system may hinder knowledge flows and, consequently, spillovers across member countries. A low intensity of knowledge flows across EU states can negatively impact their technological base, suppressing opportunities for further innovations and hindering the movement towards the technological frontier. This paper evaluates the fragmentation of the EU innovation system in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) by examining the intensity and direction of knowledge spillovers over the years 1985-2010. We modify the original double exponential knowledge diffusion model to provide information on the degree of integration of EU countries’ innovation efforts and to assess how citation patterns changed over time. We show that EU RES inventors have increasingly built “on the shoulders of the other EU giants”, intensifying their citations to other member countries and decreasing those to domestic inventors. Furthermore, the EU strengthened its position as source of RES knowledge for the US. Finally, we show that this pattern is peculiar to RES, with other traditional (i.e. fossil-based) energy technologies behaving in a completely different way.
    Keywords: Knowledge Spillovers, Renewable Energy Technologies, Fossil Energy Technologies, EU Innovation
    JEL: Q55 Q58 Q42 O31 O33
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim; Liebensteiner, Mario
    Abstract: This paper seeks to investigate the current state of market integration among European electricity day-ahead spot prices. We provide reasoning that market integration brings about benefits, such as lower average prices and increased welfare from allocative efficiency. Yet, price convergence leads to higher prices in the low-price market and to lower prices in the high-price market, which creates winners and losers and thus makes the political implementation of market integration cumbersome. In our empirical analysis, we utilize a large sample of hourly spot prices of 25 European markets for the period 01.01.2010-30.06.2015 and combine it with other relevant data such as interconnector capacities and the existence of market coupling. Firstly, empirical results from cointegration analysis indicate that market integration increased from 2010 to 2012 but then declined until 2015, most likely due to increased feed-in from intermittent renewables. Secondly, we empirically assess the speed of adjustment from price shocks and reach the conclusion that the resulting efficiency of integration is rather modest. In general, our findings suggest that integration among European electricity markets has a large potential for improvements from additional capacity investments and further promotion of market coupling. (authors' abstract)
    Keywords: Market integration; Spot Price; Convergence; Internal Market; Electricity
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim; Liebensteiner, Mario; Schindler, Nora
    Abstract: The recent transformation of European electricity markets with increasing generation from intermittent renewables brings about many challenges. Among them, decaying wholesale prices, partly due to support schemes for renewables, may send insufficient investment signals for other technologies. We investigate the investment decision in a structural equation based on the Tobin's q-model, which we extend by both industry- and firm-technology-specific uncertainty. We utilize rich and novel data at the disaggregated firm generation technology level of European electricity generating firms for the period 2006-2014. Our results show that investment in any generation technology follows market incentives despite sunk and irreversible capital, confirming the implications of the q-model. Moreover, while firm-technology-specific uncertainty decreases firms' investment activity, especially in coal and gas, aggregate uncertainty triggers firms' investment. Our results raise concerns about system reliability in the long run since conventional technologies still serve as a flexible system back-up. (authors' abstract)
    Keywords: Tobin's q; Uncertainty; Investment; Electricity
    Date: 2016–09
  7. By: Facundo Alvaredo (Paris School of Economics, INET at the Oxford Martin School, and Conicet); Anthony B. Atkinson (Nuffield College, London School of Economics, and INET at the Oxford Martin School); Salvatore Morelli (CSEF, University of Naples and Institute for Economic Modelling at the INET Oxford)
    Abstract: Recent research highlighted controversy about the evolution of concentration of personal wealth. In this paper we provide new evidence about the long-run evolution of top wealth shares for the United Kingdom. The new series covers a long period – from 1895 to the present – and has a different point of departure from the previous literature: the distribution of estates left at death. We find that the application to the estate data of mortality multipliers to yield estimates of wealth among the living does not substantially change the degree of concentration over much of the period both, in the UK and US, allowing inferences to be made for years when this method cannot be applied. The results show that wealth concentration in the UK remained relatively constant during the first wave of globalization, but then decreased dramatically in the period from 1914 to 1979. The UK went from being more unequal in terms of wealth than the US to being less unequal. However, the decline in UK wealth concentration came to an end around 1980, and since then there is evidence of an increase in top shares, notably in the distribution of wealth excluding housing in recent years. We investigate the triangulating evidence provided by data on capital income concentration and on reported super fortunes.
    Keywords: wealth inequality, estates, mortality multipliers, United Kingdom, United States
    JEL: D3 H2 N3
    Date: 2017–01–09
  8. By: Nathan Goldschlag; Stefano Bianchini; Julia Lane; Joseba Sanmartín Sola; Bruce Weinberg
    Abstract: Public support of research typically relies on the notion that universities are engines of economic development and that university research is a primary driver of high wage localized economic activity. However, the evidence supporting that notion is based on aggregate descriptive data, rather than detailed links at the level of individual transactions. Here we use new micro-data from three countries—France, Spain and the United States—to examine one mechanism whereby such economic activity is generated, namely purchases from regional businesses. We show that grant funds are more likely to be expended at businesses physically closer to universities than at those farther away. In addition, if a vendor has been a supplier to a grant once, that vendor is subsequently more likely to be a vendor on the same or related grants. Firms behave in a way that is consistent with the notion that propinquity is good for business; if a firm supplies a research grant at a university in a given year, it is more likely to open an establishment near that university in subsequent years than other firms.
    JEL: O31 R1
    Date: 2017–01
  9. By: Rolf Becker; Ben Jann
    Abstract: We analyze the changing relationship between education and assortative mating over the course of educational expansion in Switzerland between 1970 and 2000. The main question is whether educational expansion has resulted in increased openness of partnership opportunities or whether the educational system became increasingly important for assortative mating. Census data is used to describe this social change employing a cohort design. Over time and across cohorts, the proportion of people who live without a partner has increased, but the educational classes became more similar with respect to partnerlessness. At the same time, overall educational homogamy of partnerships has remained rather stable, although there were different trends for each of the educational levels. Educational expansion has contributed to increasing heterogamy for less educated and untrained persons while homogamy has increased for persons achieving intermediate and higher levels of education. However, after taking opportunity structure into account, the inclination for educational homogamy is actually more pronounced in the lower educational groups than in the higher and, in particular, the intermediate educational groups. In this respect, one can speak of a polarization of assortative mating with social closure at the lower end of the educational scale and relative openness for intermediate educational classes. This polarization, however, declined somewhat in the course of educational expansion.
    Keywords: educational expansion, educational homogamy, census, cohort analysis, social stratification, partnerlessness
    JEL: I24 J12
    Date: 2016–12–23
  10. By: Gugler, Klaus; Haxhimusa, Adhurim
    Abstract: Using hourly data, we show that the convergence of German and French electricity spot prices depends on the employed generation mix structure, on the trade (export/import) capacity between the two countries, and on characteristics of neighbouring markets. Only when German and French electricity markets employ "similar" generation mixes price spreads vanish, and the likelihood for congestion of electricity flows is significantly reduced. This implies that, at least, a part of the convergence that was documented in recent literature is spurious, because it is not (only) driven by the forces of arbitrage, but by the similarity of the Generation structures. The direction of congestion matters in this regard. Furthermore, we document consistent evidence for the most important predictions of trade theory if markets are characterized by increasing marginal cost (i.e. supply) curves and limited cross-border capacities. (authors' abstract)
    Keywords: Market Integration; Electricity; Renewables; Technology Differences; Jaffe Index
    Date: 2016–10
  11. By: Marten Middeldorp
    Abstract: The successfulness of the transition from education into working life is closely related to further career success. Graduates with good access to jobs earn higher wages and have lower chances of being unemployed. Access to jobs at the start of the career is therefore an important determinant of early career success and of importance for the whole career. In this paper, we study the effect of job access on the school-to-work transitions of recent higher education graduates. We use a GIS to calculate a job accessibility index based on driving time and use sequence analysis to calculate ideal-typical labor market entry trajectories and spatial mo-bility histories for 13,679 recent graduates of higher education. We subsequently relate job access, labor market entry trajectories and spatial mobility histories to analyze whether a suboptimal starting location in terms of job access leads to dif-fering career paths and spatial mobility trajectories. Finally, we analyze how they interact to influence early career success.
    Keywords: Job access; Spatial mobility; Labor market entry; Sequence analysis
    Date: 2016–12
  12. By: Ihley, Dorothee; Siebert-Meyerhoff, Andrea
    Abstract: Recently, homeownership rates of migrants in Germany increased by more than 10 percentage points. To shed light on this sharp increase, this paper investigates the change in homeownership rates of immigrant households in Germany between 1996 to 2005 and 2000 to 2012 respectively using a probit-based non-linear decomposition method. Empirical findings suggest that 50 percent of the change in immigrant's homeownership rate within the first time period can be explained by characteristics, especially by age and educational attainment. In the second time period, the explanatory power of characteristics is almost zero indicating that it is the favorable economic environment during that time that is responsible for the increase in homeownership of immigrant households in Germany.
    Keywords: Homeownership,International Migration,Germany
    JEL: F22 J15 R21
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Aquilante, Tommaso; Maretto, Guido
    Abstract: Using a unique data set on organized crime, we examine for the first time the interplay between domestic and foreign criminal organizations in Italy. We find that cooperation between Italian and foreign organizations is strongly associated to activities in which foreign organizations are well placed to supply inputs. Interestingly, this association is stronger in regions home to the headquarters of traditional Italian organizations (incum- bent regions). To mitigate reverse causality concerns, we use a Propensity Score approach. Once these are taken into account, we find that cooperation is higher when crimes are undertaken in incumbent regions and are such that foreign organizations can more easily supply inputs. Using a simple coalitional model we rationalize our results showing that they are consistent with an economic motive coupled with the threat of violence involved in criminal activities.
    Keywords: Organized Crime
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2016–12–31
  14. By: Blades, Nicholas; Herrera-González, Fernando
    Abstract: The collection, storage and processing of data have become easier and cheaper with the development of the Internet and the evolution of ICT technologies in general. This may be a cause (or a consequence) of new business models that rely on the exploitation of these stored data in order to try to extract some kind of value. If some value is found in personal data and in its processing in large volumes, this value would increase social welfare. In order for the value of an asset to be appraised, entrepreneurial activity is required. This is process of trial and error which may be hindered by regulation, due to the limits that this imposes on economic activity, for different reasons. In the European Union, the 1995 Data Protection Directive, the ePrivacy Directive and the more recent General Data Protection Regulation put limits to the exploitation of personal data. These limitations can be synthetized around the four rights that they grant individuals, the so-called ARCO rights: access, rectification, cancellation and objection. In this paper, the consequences of the data protection rights on entrepreneurial activity are analysed, and thus on the value that may be accrued from data related to individuals, and on social welfare. As a conclusion, some policy recommendations are proposed to achieve a balance between legal rights in the EU and possibilities for social welfare improvement.
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Ivo Bischoff (University of Kassel); Nataliya Kusa (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: We analyze survey data on the proposal to introduce a tax exemption for caregiving heirs to the German inheritance tax. Some 80 percent of the participants support this exemption. We explain interpersonal differences in the support for this tax exemption using a wide range of personal characteristics, beliefs and attitudes. We find self-interest to be relevant: Subjects with alive parents are more likely to support the tax exemption. The same holds for subjects who have personal experience in long- term care provision. While women are at the heart of intergenerational exchange relations, their support for the tax exemption is not found to be higher than for men. Subjects are more likely to support the tax exemption if they adhere to the social norm of indirect reciprocity or overestimate the tax burden of the German inheritance tax.
    Keywords: inheritance taxation, long-term care, intergenerational transfers, citizens’ pref-erences
    JEL: H27 D31 D72
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Peter Howard-Jones (Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre); Jens Hoelscher (Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre); Dragana Radicic (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This study examines the productivity performance of Balkan firms within and outside the European Union (EU). In addition to evaluating the efficacy of membership it also studies the influence of loans, since evidence suggests a correlation between the macro- economic element of EU membership and the micro influence of loans. A multi treatment model is used to compare the effect on productivity of membership and loans, both separately and collectively, which in the case of loans allows a separate analysis of their influence on firms in non-member states. The use of conditional quantile regressions, which divide a frequency distribution into equal groups each containing the same fraction of the total population, measures the effect on productivity of membership and loans separately as treatment variables. This provides an analysis of where the treatment influence is greatest and identifies the significance of selected control variables on the outcome. The analyses are conducted for firms in all states and disaggregated to provide results for the manufacturing and service sectors. Within the full sample, the findings indicate that EU membership and loans have a positive effect on productivity; membership being more important than loans. Outside the EU, firms in receipt of loans are more productive than those without. However, the significance of both membership and loans is restricted to the lower end of the productivity distribution curve. The manufacturing sample shows that membership is positive across 70% of the distribution, while loans are restricted to the bottom quantiles, with rental capital also positively significant. In the services sector however, membership is significant up to 90% of the distribution, with loans at 60%. Foreign ownership, age and size are also significant across the productivity distribution curve. Policy implications indicate the advantages of EU membership allied to improvements in financial intermediation, particularly within the manufacturing sector.
    Keywords: Transition economies; Firm productivity; EU membership; Access to loans; Multi-level model; Quantile regression
    JEL: C D E F G O
    Date: 2017–01
  17. By: ANDERSSON, Tommy; EHLERS, Lars
    Abstract: The member states of the European Union received 1.2 million first time asylum applications in 2015 (a doubling compared to 2014). Even if asylum will be granted for many of the refugees that made the journey to Europe, several obstacles for successful integration remain. This paper focuses on one of these obstacles, namely the problem of finding housing for refugees once they have been granted asylum. In particular, the focus is restricted to the situation in Sweden during 2015–2016 and it is demonstrated that market design can play an important role in a partial solution to the problem. More specifically, because almost all accommodation options are exhausted in Sweden, the paper investigates a matching system, closely related to the system adopted by the European NGO “Refugees Welcome”, and proposes an easy-to-implement algorithm that finds a stable maximum matching. Such matching guarantees that housing is provided to a maximum number of refugees and that no refugee prefers some landlord to their current match when, at the same time, that specific landlord prefers that refugee to his current match.
    Keywords: Refugees; private landlords; forced migration; market design; stable maximum matchings
    JEL: C71 C78 D71 D78 F22
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Mariachiara Barzotto (Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham); Giancarlo Corò (Ca’ Foscari University Venice); Ilaria Mariotti (DAStU – Polytechinic of Milan); Marco Mutinelli (University of Brescia)
    Abstract: Countries are increasingly competing to attract inward foreign direct investments (FDIs) to benefit from the superior performance of the international firms. Yet there is still scant evidence about the effects of inward FDIs on the high-income countries’ industrial base. In advanced economies a specialised, skilled workforce has emerged as a pivotal economic development asset to enhance innovation capabilities. The paper aims at investigating how the use of a local, skilled workforce differs according to the firms’ ownership; being either affiliates of foreign multinationals (MNEs), or uni-national firms (firms that have neither been acquired in the period of analysis, nor have invested abroad; henceforth NATs). We empirically investigate this issue by adopting a novel database linking regional labour force characteristics with economic data on inward FDIs and NATs, operating in the manufacturing industry in the Veneto NUTS2 region (northeast of Italy) between 2007 and 2013. Descriptive statistics and counterfactual estimation have been developed, focusing on firms’ skill composition (e.g. skill level, age, gender and nationality). The results show that the two groups of firms differ in terms of workforce skill composition, and the affiliates of foreign MNEs positively impact on the regeneration of the host country’s human capital by attracting and employing a wider share of more highly skilled labour force.
    Keywords: Host Country, Labour Market, Advanced Economies, Skill Composition, Propensity Score, Manufacturing Industry, FDI
    Date: 2016–12
  19. By: Bachtrögler, Julia
    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. (author's abstract)
    Keywords: Structural Funds; Heterogeneous Treatment Effects; Regional Heterogeneity; Absorptive Capacity; Cohesion; European Union
    Date: 2016–08
  20. By: Bendetta Frassi; Christian Hagist; Fabio Pammolli
    Abstract: Our paper estimates the impact of immigration on the sustainability of the Italian public finances using the methodology of Generational Accounting. We take into account socio-economic differences between the main migrants’ communities resident in Italy and we present three possible scenarios to reflect the potential economic degree of integration of foreigners in the Italian territory. Moreover, for each scenario we propose several options for migrants concerning both the length of permanence in Italy and the possible collection of retirement benefits. Our results show that the burden of current fiscal policy reduces as integration of the foreign-born increases. If migrants’ children are economically perfectly integrated, the fiscal gap is reduced from 71.9 to -15.3 percent of GDP.
    Keywords: accounting, economic integration, generations, migration, public pensions, social security
    JEL: E62 H60 J10
    Date: 2017–01–02
  21. By: Johannes Rode; Sven Müller
    Abstract: We study spatio-temporal variation of peer effects in rooftop photovoltaics adoption of households. Our investigation employs locational data on potential adopters and a geocoded data set of all grid-connected photovoltaic systems set up in Germany through 2010. The detailed locational data allows us to construct an individual measure of peer effects for each potential adopter across Germany. Based on a discrete choice model with panel data, our analysis reveals that peer effects are mostly localized within a range of 0-0.2 km. Within this range they deflate slowly in a non-linear manner. We also find that the peer effect decreases over time.
    Keywords: Peer effects; installed base; discrete choice models; technology adoption; imitation; photovoltaics; solar; Germany
    JEL: O33 C35 Q55 R10
    Date: 2016–12
  22. By: Ali-Yrkkö, Jyrki; Mattila, Juri; Seppälä, Timo
    Abstract: In this study, we analyse Estonia’s position in global value chains using World Input-Output Data and firm-level data. We find that 69% of Estonia’s total exports are intermediate goods and services, exceeding the EU average (65%). Two-thirds of Estonian imports are intermediates. Our findings suggest that Estonia is heavily involved in vertically and geographically fragmented production even though its most significant trading partners are its neighbouring countries. We also analyse the value chains of two significant companies operating in the Estonian economy along with their GDP contributions. According to our findings, the GDP contributions generated by the exports of these two companies vary significantly from one another. The euros generated from exports do not contribute equally to the national economy.
    Keywords: Global value chains, GVC, GDP, exports, gross domestic product, value added, Estonia, granular
    JEL: D22 F14 F6 F62 F68 L2
    Date: 2017–01–11
  23. By: Petreski, Blagica; Tumanoska, Despina
    Abstract: Labor market outcomes in Macedonia have been improving in the past eight years, despite the lingering effects of the Global economic crisis. The unemployment rate has been declining, albeit still remains high at 26.1% at the end of 2015. At the same time, the employment rate increased from 36.2% in 2007 to 42.1% in 2015. In spite the favorable developments related to the employment and unemployment rates, the activity rate continued to be the main challenge. Activity rate improved moderately, from 55.7% in 2007 to 57% in 2015, being still much lower than the EU-28 average of 72.4%. In order to tackle the high unemployment and inactivity, the government introduced ALMPs in 2017, with key objectives: 1) social inclusion of vulnerable groups on the labour market, 2) reducing unemployment, 3) increasing employability of the long-term unemployed people, and 4) fostering competitiveness of the economy. The ALMPs include four main categories: 1) direct job creations; 2) employment incentives; 3) traineeship; and 4) community work. The main objective of this research is to investigate the success of the ALMPs and its impact to the unemployment rate in the country.
    Keywords: ALMPs, active labor marker measures, employment, unemployment.
    JEL: J21 J8
    Date: 2016–12–29
  24. By: Fornaro, Paolo; Luomaranta, Henri
    Abstract: We analyze the productivity contribution of firms in the Finnish business sector, using data from 2002 until 2014, and assess the role of the dependency status (i.e. whether they are owned, at least partially, by a mother company) of small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing and services industries, together with the whole private business sector. We find that dependent firms have provided a larger contribution to aggregate productivity growth, compared to the independent ones, regardless of the industry, size class and age groups considered. This result is mainly driven by the better reallocation of labour among dependent companies and by the positive productivity contribution of dependent entrants. Inside the dependent category, the foreign controlled firms contribute more to the aggregate productivity than the other dependent companies due to even more efficient reallocation of labour inputs. Moreover, we find that dependent firms tend to reach their peak productivity earlier than their independent counterparts. Finally, we examine the subgroup of high growing enterprises and find that the positive effect of dependencies on the productivity contribution holds also for this class of firms.
    Keywords: Productivity, decomposition, dependencies, small and medium firms
    JEL: O12 O14 O47
    Date: 2017–01–10
  25. By: Joachim Wagner (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper uses information on import transactions by German firms from 2009 to 2012 merged with information on characteristics of the importers taken from surveys by the Statistical Offices to document that a large share of importers engage in multiple import sourcing by importing the same good from more than one source country in a year and that a large share of total imports is due to multiple sourcing. It is shown that the probability of multiple import sourcing and the share of imports from multiple sourcing in total imports increase with firm productivity and firm size after controlling for detailed industry affiliation.
    Keywords: Imports, Multiple import sourcing, Transaction level data, Germany
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2017–01
  26. By: Magali Jaoul-Grammare (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France)
    Date: 2017
  27. By: Mario Reinhold
    Abstract: Job polarisation and increasing wage inequality is observed in many rich countries, including Germany. Both phenomena are well-discussed in international literature, though a link can only be observed in the U.S. I assess the impact of job polarisation upon wage inequality in Germany by benefitting from regional variation in job polarisation and applying distributional decomposition methods. Although wage inequality occurs nation-wide the dimension is profoundly larger in polarised labour markets, whereas two thirds of these differences can be explained by differences in the workforce. In contrast to the U.S., there are only slight hints of a direct relationship between occupational and wage changes. They fully vanish once accounting for shifts in skills within occupations. Eventually, the temporal patterns of job polarisation and wage inequality do not match, implying alternative reasons for the increase in wage inequality than occupational shifts.
    Keywords: polarisation; wage inequality; regions; distributional decomposition
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2016–12
  28. By: Serrano Calle, Silvia; Pérez Martínez, Jorge; Frías Barroso, Zoraida
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the first public programs in Spain to support the introduction of cloud computing services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-SMEs, and facilitating the digital transformation of SMEs, stimulating e-commerce and encouraging competitiveness. The paper analyses how the programs that the Spanish Government launched in 2015 transcend technology and impact over the digital ecosystem, with influences over supply and demand. The paper identifies the main drivers of SMEs providing cloud services and ICT solutions and other key elements that help to understand the eligible portfolio of cloud solutions and authorised providers that will contribute to the digital transformation of Spanish SMEs and micro-SMEs.
    Keywords: Digital Economy,Cloud Computing,SME,Public Policy
    JEL: H76 L88 O14
    Date: 2016
  29. By: Friese, Maria; Heimeshoff, Ulrich; Klein, Gordon J.
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that ownership and organization matters for the efficiency of provision of public services. In particular, we find that pure private ownership is more efficient than pure public ownership, followed by mixed ownership. The delegation of management in different legal forms also has an impact, highlighting the importance of the design of the government-operator relation. We apply a structural approach of production function estimation ensuring precise determination of total factor productivity for a panel of German refuse collection firms in the time period between 2000-2012. We project total factor productivity estimates (TFP) on ownership and organization. Our results are in line with the trade-offs implied by the property rights literature and provide important policy implications regarding the organization of public service provision.
    Keywords: incentive regulation,productive efficiency,refuse collection,public utility
    JEL: L00 L33 L50 L97
    Date: 2016
  30. By: Manuel Bagues; Mauro Sylos-Labini; Natalia Zinovyeva
    Abstract: In recent years the academic world has experienced a mushrooming of journals that falsely pretend to provide peer review. We study the quantity and quality of publications in dubious journals using information from the CVs of 46,000 researchers seeking promotion in Italian academia. We find that about 5% of these researchers have published in journals included in the blacklist of `potential, possible, or probable predatory journals' elaborated by the scholarly librarian Jeffrey Beall. To better understand the quality of these publications and the motivations of authors, we collected bibliometric information and we conducted a survey among one thousand researchers (response rate=54%). According to respondents, at least a third of these journals either did not offer regular peer review or engaged in some type of irregular editorial practice. The proportion of journals with reported malpractices is similar among journals from Beall's list that are indexed in Scopus. On the other hand, we also find evidence suggesting that some journals identified by Beall may be legitimate. Overall, our results indicate that the use of white and black lists in research evaluations needs to be complemented with expert evaluations.
    Keywords: predatory journals, Italian academia, scientific misconduct
    Date: 2017–09–01
  31. By: Palomo-Navarro, Álvaro; Navío‐Marco, Julio; Martínez-Cespedes, Maria Luisa; Gil, Olga
    Abstract: Since its establishment in 2011, the Spanish Network of Smart Cities (RECI) has worked towards the ultimate objective of making Spanish cities an international reference within the global ‘smart' panorama. This network, originally empowered by the individual experience of many Spanish cities with presence in international smart city projects for over 10 years, has adopted a powerful governance structure, including its own particular network coordination and management mechanisms. Overall, this environment can be considered a fast track to learning in matters of smart cities governance and project implementation and a powerful tool for collaborating with the remaining stakeholders. The final objective of this work focuses on providing a full picture of the impact of RECI on the Spanish smart cities and its influence in policy-making and standardization. The conclusions of this study show the important role that RECI has played in the recent development of Spain as an international reference in the field of smart cities. It also shows a positive correlation between RECIs influence on government and normalisation bodies to guarantee the success of RECI´s participant strategies.
    Date: 2016

This nep-eur issue is ©2017 by Giuseppe Marotta. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.