nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒04‒02
29 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Inequity in healthcare use among older people after 2008: The case of Southern European Countries By Lara Tavares; Francesca Zantomio
  2. Closing Routes to Retirement: How Do People Respond? By Johannes Geyer; Clara Welteke
  3. Do Rich Parents Enjoy Children Less? By Marco Le Moglie; Letizia Mencarini; Chiara Rapallini
  4. R&D cooperation within Italian technological districts: A microeconometric analysis By Otello Ardovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Luca Pennacchio
  5. Fertility Analysis with EU-SILC: A Quantification of Measurement Bias By Angela Greulich; Aurélien Dasré
  6. Is innovation destroying jobs? Firm-level evidence from the EU By Piva, Mariacristina; Vivarelli, Marco
  7. The Role of Aggregate Preferences for Labor Supply: Evidence from Low-Paid Employment By Luke Haywood; Michael Neumann
  8. Upward and downward bias when measuring inequality of opportunity By Paolo Brunori; Vito Peragine; Laura Serlenga
  9. The pattern of structural change: testing the Product Space framework By Nicola Daniele Coniglio; Raffaele Lagravinese; Davide Vurchio; Massimo Armenise
  10. International Migration and Regional Housing Markets: Evidence from France By Hippolyte D'Albis; Dramane Coulibaly; Ekrame Boubtane
  11. Child care reforms and labor participation of migrant and native mothers By Fendel, Tanja; Jochimsen, Beate
  12. Ranking Languages in the European Union: Before and After Brexit By Victor Ginsburgh; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero; Shlomo Weber
  13. The Effect of Fibre Broadband on Student Learning By Arthur Grimes; Wilbur Townsend
  14. Is EMV adoption changing card payments? Evidence from the European Union By Vania Silva; Esmeralda Ramalho; Carlos Vieira
  15. A Sustainable Immigration Policy for the EU By Ritzen, Jo; Kahanec, Martin
  16. The Workforce of Pioneer Plants By Ricardo Hausmann; Franke Neffke
  17. How many educated workers do you wish for your economy? European targets, optimal public spending, and labor market impact By Therese REBIERE; Isabelle LEBON
  18. The Composition Effects of Tax-Based Consolidations on Income Inequality By Ciminelli, Gabriele; Ernst, Ekkehard; Giuliodori, Massimo; Merola, Rossana
  19. Where Do Green Technologies Come From? Inventor Teams’ Recombinant Capabilities and the Creation of New Knowledge. By Orsatti, Gianluca; Pezzoni, Michele; Quatraro, Francesco
  20. Youth in Transition: How Do Some of The Cohorts Participating in PISA Fare in PIAAC? By Francesca Borgonovi; Artur Pokropek; François Keslair; Britta Gauly; Marco Paccagnella
  21. Teacher assessments versus standardized tests: is acting ?girly? an advantage? By A. Di Liberto; L. Casula
  23. PUBLIC R&D SUPPORT IN ITALY. EVIDENCE FROM A NEW FIRM-LEVEL PATENT DATA SET By Francesco Aiello; Giuseppe Albanese; Paolo Piselli
  24. Publicly announced speed limit enforcement and its impact on road safety: Evidence from the German Blitzmarathons By Molitor, Ramona
  25. Does the age difference between partners influence the career achievements of women? By Anna Oksuzyan; Angela Carollo; Sven Drefahl; Carlo G. Camarda; Kaare Christensen; Alyson A. van Raalte
  26. Mapping the interconnectedness between EU banks and shadow banking entities By Abad, Jorge; D'Errico, Marco; Killeen, Neill; Luz, Vera; Peltonen, Tuomas; Portes, Richard; Urbano, Teresa
  27. How do unisex life care annuities embedded in a pay-as-you-go retirement system affect gender redistribution? By Javier Pla-Porcel; Manuel Ventura-Marco; Carlos Vidal-Meliá
  28. Competition in Retail Electricity Markets : An Assessment of Ten Years Dutch Experience By Mulder, M.; Willems, Bert
  29. The Intergenerational Transmission of Math Culture By Gianna Giannelli; Chiara Rapallini

  1. By: Lara Tavares (CAPP, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade de Lisboa & CICS.NOVA, Centro Interdisciplinar de Ciências Sociais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Francesca Zantomio (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: Despite the sizeable cuts in public healthcare spending, part of the austerity measures recently undertaken in Southern European countries, little attention has been devoted to monitoring distributional aspects of healthcare usage. This study aims at measuring socioeconomic inequities in primary and secondary healthcare experienced some time after the crisis onset in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The analysis, based on data drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), focuses on older people, who generally face significantly higher healthcare needs, and whose health appeared to have worsened in the aftermath of the crisis. The Horizontal Inequity indexes reveal remarkable socioeconomic inequities in older people’s access to secondary healthcare in all three countries. In Portugal, the one country facing most severe healthcare budget cuts and where user charges apply also to GP visits, even access to primary care exhibits a significant pro-rich concentration. If reducing inequities in older people’s access to healthcare remains a policy objective, austerity measures maybe pulling the Olive belt countries further away from achieving it.
    Keywords: Healthcare access, Older People, Horizontal Equity, Concentration Index
    JEL: I13 I14 H51
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Johannes Geyer; Clara Welteke
    Abstract: We present quasi-experimental evidence on the employment effects of an unprecedented large increase in the early retirement age (ERA). Raising the ERA has the potential to extend contribution periods and to reduce the number of pension beneficiaries at the same time, if employment exits are successfully delayed. However, workers may not be able to work longer or may choose other social support programs as exit routes from employment. We study the effects of the ERA increase on employment and potential program substitution in a regression-discontinuity framework. Germany abolished an important early retirement program for women born after 1951, effectively raising the ERA for women by three years. We analyze the effects of this huge increase on employment, unemployment, disability pensions, and inactivity rates. Our results suggest that the reform increased both employment and unemployment rates of women age 60 and over. However, we do not find evidence for active program substitution from employment into alternative social support programs. Instead employed women remained employed and unemployed women remained unemployed. The results suggest an increase in inequality within the affected cohorts.
    Keywords: Retirement age, early retirement, regression discontinuity, pension reform, unemployment, labor supply, disability pension
    JEL: J14 J18 J22 J26
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Marco Le Moglie; Letizia Mencarini; Chiara Rapallini (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of individual labor income as a moderator of parental subjective well-being trajectories before and after the first childbirth in Germany, a very low fertility country. Analyzing German Socioeconomic Panel Survey data, we found that income matters negatively for parental subjective well-being after childbirth, though with important differences by education and gender. In particular, among better educated parents, the richer see the arrival of a child more negatively. These findings contribute to the debate on the relationship between income and fertility adding information on how parents perceive the birth of a child beyond the strict financial cost of childbearing and raising. Results are discussed in terms of preferences among different groups of parents, costs of children, and work and family balance. Results are robust to potential endogeneity between income and childbirth, as well as for alternative measures of income.
    Keywords: First child, subjective well-being, individual income, Germany
    JEL: J1 J13 D1 I31
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Otello Ardovino; Maria Rosaria Carillo; Luca Pennacchio (-)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the determinants of inter-firm R&D collaborations in a particular type of innovation network, the technological districts created in Italy under a specific public policy to foster innovation and economic development at the local level. Using an original database containing information on the collaborative research projects activated by the districts, we find that the structural characteristics of the individual districts play an important role upon firms’ collaboration choices: the probability of cooperating is higher in districts in which universities have a major weight and in districts with governance more oriented towards market logic. As regards the governance, the estimates also reveal a strong moderating effect on other important determinants of R&D cooperation, such as geographical proximity and absorptive capacity.
    Keywords: : R&D cooperation, innovation networks, firm behaviour, dyadic regession model
    JEL: L14 O31 O32
    Date: 2016–09–05
  5. By: Angela Greulich (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INED - Institut national d'études démographiques); Aurélien Dasré (CRESPPA - Centre de recherches sociologiques et politiques de Paris - UP8 - Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INED - Institut national d'études démographiques)
    Abstract: The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Condition (EU-SILC) database is increasingly used in demographic analysis, due to its large country coverage, the availability of harmonized socioeconomic measures and the possibility to merge partners. However, so far there exists no comprehensive analysis of the representativeness of fertility behavior reported by EU-SILC. This paper quantifies the quality of fertility measures in EU-SILC. We compare several fertility measures obtained with EU-SILC to unbiased measures from the Human Fertility Database (HFD) for several European countries, by applying a longitudinal as well as a cross-sectional perspective. We show that EU-SILC underestimates completed fertility mainly because the questionnaire does not ask about the number of children ever born to a woman/man, and we identify significant socioeconomic differentials in this measurement bias. Measures of periodic fertility behavior are biased downward mainly due to attrition, while births of order one for ages 20-29 are particularly underreported. However, we find no evidence for socio-economic differentials in attrition. Our results suggest that for the majority of European countries, Eu-SILC can be used for demographic analysis when respecting the measures of precaution mentioned in this article. These contain for example applying a retrospective approach and differentiating by rotation groups when calculating aggregate measures of periodic fertility differentiated by socio-economic groups.
    Keywords: Fertility,EU-SILC,income and living conditions,data quality
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Piva, Mariacristina (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano); Vivarelli, Marco (UNU-MERIT, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: Using a unique firm-level database comprising the top European R&D investors over the period 2002-2013 and running LSDVC estimates, this study finds a significant labour-friendly impact of R&D expenditures. However, this positive employment effect appears limited in magnitude and entirely due to the medium-and high-tech sectors, while no effect can be detected in the low-tech industries. From a policy point of view, this outcome is supporting the EU2020 strategy, but - taking into account that most European economies are specialised in low-tech activities - is also worrying in terms of future perspectives of the European labour market.
    Keywords: Innovation, R&D, innovation, employment, firm-level analysis, EU
    JEL: E24 O14 O15 O33 O52
    Date: 2017–03–10
  7. By: Luke Haywood; Michael Neumann
    Abstract: Labor supply in the market for low-paid jobs in Germany is strongly influenced by tax exemptions - even for individuals to whom these exemptions do not apply. We present compelling evidence that an individual's choice set depends on other workers' preferences because firms cater their job offers to aggregate preferences in the market. We estimate an equilibrium job search model which rationalizes the strong earnings bunching at the tax exemption threshold using German administrative data. We then simulate modifications to the tax schedule that remove the discontinuity and thus the bunching at the threshold. Results highlight the indirect costs of (discontinuous) tax policies which are shown to be reinforced by firm responses: Workers who would work anyway are hurt by subsidies benefiting groups who enter the market as a result of tax incentives.
    Keywords: Tax exemptions, welfare-to-work, labor supply elasticities, minijobs, job search, firm responses, bunching
    JEL: J64 J31 J22 J23
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Paolo Brunori (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Vito Peragine; Laura Serlenga
    Abstract: We show that, when measuring inequality of opportunity with survey data, scholars face two types of biases. A well-known downward-bias, due to partial observability of cir- cumstances that affect individual outcome, and an upward bias, which is the consequence of sampling variance. The magnitude of the latter distortion depends on both the empirical strategy used and the observed sample. We suggest that, although usually neglected in em- pirical contributions, the upward bias may be significant. We propose a simple criterion to select the best specification which balances between the two sources of bias. Our method is based on cross validation and can be easily implemented to survey data. In order to show how this method can improve our understanding of the inequality of opportunity measure- ment, we provide an empirical illustration based on income data of 26 European countries. Our evidence shows that estimates of inequality of opportunity are extremely sensitive to model selection. Alternative specifications lead to significant differences in the absolute level of inequality of opportunity and to a number of substantial countries’ re-ranking. This in turn clarifies the need of an objective criterion to select the best econometric model when measuring inequality of opportunity.
    Keywords: inequality of opportunity, model selection, variance-bias trade-off
    JEL: C52 D3 D63
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Nicola Daniele Coniglio (Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro"); Raffaele Lagravinese (Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro”); Davide Vurchio (Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro"); Massimo Armenise (ISTAT)
    Abstract: The set of available local ‘capabilities’ determines what an economy produces today (its static comparative advantage) and, at the same time, defines the trajectories that the process of structural change may take in the future. The Product Space (PS) framework developed in recent seminal works by economists and physicists suggests that path dependence characterizes the evolution of the production basket (Hausmann and Klinger, 2007; Hidalgo et al. 2007). These authors represent economies as sets of productive capabilities that can be combined in different ways to produce different products. Countries progressively change their production baskets and move towards goods that require capabilities that are already available; on the contrary radical structural change rarely happens. In this paper, we analyse the evolution over time of the production baskets in 107 Italian provinces (NUTS 3) and perform the first test on the PS hypothesis of path dependence. We investigate whether new products entering the provincial production baskets are non-randomly related to initial production baskets. We confirm the general tendency of path dependence, but highlight at the same time that a sizable share of ‘new products’ are an exception to this general pattern. These ‘random entries’ over the PS are particularly interesting for industrial policy since they represent radical deviations from the initial comparative advantage. In the final part of the paper, we investigate using parametric analysis the product and provincial characteristics that determine these deviations from the PS pattern.
    Keywords: product space; structural change; trade specialisation, Italy
    JEL: F1 R3 R11 R13
    Date: 2017–03
  10. By: Hippolyte D'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Dramane Coulibaly (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Ekrame Boubtane (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article examines the causal relations between non-European immigration and the characteristics of the housing market in host regions. We constructed a unique database from administrative records and used it to assess annual migration flows into France’s 22 administrative regions from 1990 to 2013. We then estimated various panel VAR models, taking into account GDP per capita and the unemployment rate as the main regional economic indicators. We find that immigration has no significant effect on property prices, but that higher property prices significantly reduce immigration rates. We also find no significant relationship between immigration and social housing supply.
    Keywords: immigration, property prices, social housing, panel VAR
    Date: 2017–02–16
  11. By: Fendel, Tanja (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Jochimsen, Beate
    Abstract: "As in other countries, also in Germany there has been large political effort to increase mothers' labor participation through child care provisions. However, it is an open question whether the latest child care reforms of 2013 are successful in this sense. While the introduction of a home care allowance, the so called 'Betreuungsgeld', for families not using public child care for their children aged one and two years was expected to have negative effects, the introduced legal claim for public child care for children of the same age group should increase the use of public child care and therefore speed up the mothers' return to work after child birth. For the analysis we use the German socio-economic panel (GSOEP) and apply a multivariate analysis within the framework of a two-step difference-in-difference approach. Against expectations, results indicate that the reform had no negative effects on labor market participation of migrant mothers in the short run. Effects for the whole sample and for native mothers turn out to be significant positive. The government's motivation for the 'Betreuungsgeld' was to compensate families for not claiming publicly supported child care (Reform part 1) and to support women to reenter the labor market quickly after having given birth (Reform part 2). In the short run the government seems to have reached both aims." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J13 J22 H31
  12. By: Victor Ginsburgh (ECARES, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and CORE, Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium); Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide; CORE, Université catholique de Louvain); Shlomo Weber (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, USA, New Economic School, Moscow, Russia, and Department of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia)
    Abstract: This article presents a framework for evaluation of the impact of languages in multilingual societies. We consider several ranking methods based on various principles, including minimal disenfranchisement, communicative benefits, utilitarianism, and the game-theoretical concept of the Shapley Value. We use data from a Special Barometer survey to apply these methods to languages within the European Union and conclude that they generate quite consistent results. Finally, we analyse the impact of Brexit on the rankings, especially in the case where English forfeits its status as an official language of the Union.
    Keywords: Ranking methods, European Union, Communicative benefits, Linguistic disenfranchisement, Official languages
    JEL: C78 D61 D63
    Date: 2017–03
  13. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Wilbur Townsend (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of ultra-fast broadband on schools’ academic performance using a difference-in-difference study of a new fibre broadband network. We show that fibre broadband increases primary schools’ passing rates in standardised assessments by roughly one percentage point. Estimates are robust to alternative specifications, such as controlling for time-varying covariates. We find no evidence that gender, ethnic minorities or students enrolled in remote schools benefit disproportionately. However, we find some evidence of a larger benefit within schools that have a greater proportion of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds
    Keywords: Fibre broadband, UFB, Education, Difference in difference
    JEL: H43 H54 I28
    Date: 2017–04
  14. By: Vania Silva (CEFAGE, Universidade de Évora, Portugal); Esmeralda Ramalho (Department of Economics and CEFAGE-UE, Universidade de Évora); Carlos Vieira (Department of Economics and CEFAGE-UE, Universidade de Évora)
    Abstract: The EMV standard – a technology developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa that protects information more effectively than magnetic stripes – aims to reduce fraud in face-to-face card payments. By influencing the perceived/real safety of card payments, this standard might be shaping payment habits. This paper examines the effect on cards usage of the migration process to EMV in the European Union. Using data for the period 2006-2011, we found evidence that the progress in the adoption of this standard had a statistically significant positive impact in card payments when controlling the effects of socio-demographic, economic, technological and institutional factors, particularly in non euro area countries.
    Keywords: European Union; Retail Payments; Cards; EMV.
    JEL: F36 G21
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Ritzen, Jo (IZA and Maastricht University); Kahanec, Martin (Central European University)
    Abstract: A sustainable EU Immigration Policy aims to contribute to a vibrant European society through more effectively and selectively managed immigration from outside the EU, more attention to integration of immigrants, more rooting out of discrimination, more asylum centres close to areas of conflict, and more attention to education and training in areas where refugees have settled. Immigration from outside the EU is often opposed, mainly because of sluggish integration combined with tensions in actual and perceived values between immigrants and native populations. These divisions affect not only the first generation of immigrants, but also those that follow. We propose a sustainable, win-win policy fostering the benefits of immigration and in line with the preferences of EU citizens holding not only positive but also more sceptical views on immigration while relying on adherence to human rights. The proposed policy is directed towards more effectively and selectively managed immigration based on the employability potential of the immigrant, combined with more attention to integration and stricter measures to fight discrimination. We also acknowledge the need for a robust policy framework to cope with asylum and abrupt large-scale waves of refugees wanting to enter the EU, resulting from conflicts, natural catastrophes, and other sudden or violent events. We propose screening of asylum-seekers close to for refugee camps surrounding countries they have fled to determine migrants' refugee status, channelling them either as economic migrants, selected on their employability, or through a humanitarian scheme that respects the EU's multilateral and bilateral commitments. Such a humanitarian scheme would be embedded into education-cooperation policies, to provide better opportunities to qualify for admission and substantially greater support for refugees.
    Keywords: migration, EU, migration policy, humanitarian migration, refugees, economic migrants, immigrant integration, asylum policy
    JEL: F22 J15 J61 J68
    Date: 2017–03
  16. By: Ricardo Hausmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Franke Neffke (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: Is labor mobility important in technological diffusion? We address this question by asking how plants assemble their workforce if they are industry pioneers in a location. By definition, these plants cannot hire local workers with industry experience. Using German social-security data, we find that such plants recruit workers from related industries from more distant regions and local workers from less-related industries. We also show that pioneers leverage a low-cost advantage in unskilled labor to compete with plants that are located in areas where the industry is more prevalent. Finally, whereas research on German reunification has often focused on the effects of east-west migration, we show that the opposite migration facilitated the industrial diversification of eastern Germany by giving access to experienced workers from western Germany.
    Date: 2016–01
  17. By: Therese REBIERE; Isabelle LEBON
    Abstract: This paper studies optimal taxation schemes of education in a search-matching model where the labor market is divided between a high-skill and a low-skill sector. Two public policy targets - maximizing the global employment level and optimizing the social surplus - are studied according to three different public taxation strategies. Using GAMS, we calibrate our model using evidences for fourteen European countries, and compare our results with the target from the Europe 2020 Agenda for higher education achievement. We show that, with the current labor market characteristics, the target decided by the governments seems compatible with the social surplus maximization objective in some countries while it is too high for other countries. Maximizing employment would imply, for all countries, higher educational spending than that required for the social surplus to reach its maximum.
    Keywords: 14 European Countries, Labor market issues, Tax policy
    Date: 2015–07–01
  18. By: Ciminelli, Gabriele; Ernst, Ekkehard; Giuliodori, Massimo; Merola, Rossana
    Abstract: We analyse the effects of tax-based consolidations on income inequality, output and labour market conditions for a sample of 16 OECD countries over the period 1978-2012 employing a panel vector autoregressive methodology. We find that tax-based consolidations reduce income inequality, but at the cost of weaker economic activity. However, tax composition does matter. We show that indirect taxes reduce income inequality by more than direct taxes, possibly due to the operation of a positive labour supply channel. Among indirect taxes, value added and sale taxes are the most successful tool for policy-makers to balance efficiency and equity. Finally, we show that tax-based consolidations reduce disposable income inequality via a decrease in market income disparities and an increase in government redistribution respectively in countries with a weaker and a stronger preference for redistribution.
    Keywords: Income distribution,Tax-based consolidation,Fiscal consolidation,Labour force participation,Tax composition
    JEL: E2 H2 O1
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Orsatti, Gianluca; Pezzoni, Michele; Quatraro, Francesco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: By exploiting the EPO universe of patent data, we investigate how inventors’ teams recombinant capabilities drive the creation of Green Technologies (GTs).Results suggest the importance of recombinant creation patterns in fostering the generation of GTs. We also find diverse moderating effects of technological green experience and environmental regulation stringency on exploration behaviors. Precisely, the positive effect of team’s explorative behaviors is magnified for teams lacking technological green experience, even more in regimes of weak environmental regulation. Conversely, the effect of explorative behaviors is reduced for green experienced teams, especially in regimes of weak environmental regulation. Finally, we find positive effects of both team’s previous technological green experience and environmental regulation stringency.
    Date: 2017–03
  20. By: Francesca Borgonovi (OECD); Artur Pokropek (Educational Research Institute, Poland); François Keslair (OECD); Britta Gauly (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences); Marco Paccagnella (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from PISA and the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to examine the evolution of socio-economic and gender disparities in literacy and numeracy proficiency between the ages of 15 and 27 in the sample of countries that took part in both studies. Socio-economic disparities are exacerbated between the age of 15 and 27 and the socio-economic gap in proficiency widens, particularly among low-achievers. Gender disparities in literacy at age 15 are marked across the performance spectrum but are particularly wide among low-performers. However, by age 24 there is no difference in the literacy proficiency of males and females. The gender gap in numeracy at age 15 is quantitatively small when compared with the gap in literacy, although it is more pronounced among high achievers. The paper canvasses possible explanations for the trends observed and discusses implications for policy and practice, including the extent to which the lack of an established link between PISA and PIAAC limits the analytical value of the two studies.
    Date: 2017–03–28
  21. By: A. Di Liberto; L. Casula
    Abstract: We study if Italian teachers do apply gender discrimination when judging students. To this aim, we use a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the availability of both teachers (non-blind) and standardized test (blind) scores in math and language that Italian students receive during the school year. Using data for all sixth graders, descriptives show that in both scores girls are better than boys in language, while in math boys perform better than girls in the blind test. Moreover, our analysis suggest that boys are always discriminated by teachers in both subjects. This result holds also when we control for class fixed effects, students noncognitive skills, gender specific-attitude towards cheating and possible cultural differences towards gender attitudes in math or language.
    Keywords: Gender stereotypes,discrimination,schooling outcomes
    Date: 2017
  22. By: Paolo Liberati; Raffaele Lagravinese; Giuliano Resce
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating the effect of Economic Social and Cultural Status (ESCS) on the education performances of students, using the latest available waves of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey (2009, 2012). The analysis is conducted at student level for all countries included in the PISA sample. The estimates are based on the conditional Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), applied for the first time in the Slack Based Measure. This method allows a detailed evaluation of the additional effort the students should do when they are operating in an ESCS that has a comparative disadvantage. Evidence is provided of a significant effect of the ESCS on student performances, with a strong heterogeneity among countries. It follows that some problems with the education sector may not be due to the education systems themselves, but to the economic, social and cultural gaps, which determine a persistence of inequality of opportunity.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis; Efficiency; Education; Inequality of Opportunity.
    JEL: C14 I24 I28
    Date: 2017–03
  23. By: Francesco Aiello; Giuseppe Albanese; Paolo Piselli (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of R&D public support on the innovation activities of a sample of Italian SMEs. Unlike most of the literature, the analysis focuses more deeply on the innovation output than on the innovation input. The innovation output is measured through patent data. By using a new data set obtained by combining information from EPO records and the Capitalia data set on Italian corporations, we find that publicly supported firms have similar patenting activity to other R&D performers, regardless of the type of policy tool used to foster innovation. However, as far as patenting is concerned, supported SMEs face higher R&D spending than others.
    Keywords: Patents, R&D policy support, SMEs
    JEL: O31 O38 L1 C21
    Date: 2017–03
  24. By: Molitor, Ramona
    Abstract: This paper studies a unique traffic law enforcement campaign in Germany and its impact on road safety. Key features of the campaign are (1) repeated one-day lasting massive speed limit monitoring (so called Blitzmarathons) and (2) a media campaign that informs the public in advance about the timing, extent, and purpose of the speed limit monitoring. Using administrative records on all police reported vehicle crashes in Germany from 2011 to 2014 and generalized difference-indifferences estimations, we find an eight percent reduction in the number of traffic accidents and a nine percent reduction in the number of slightly injured during Blitzmarathon-day compared to regular days. The effect begins to emerge with the onset of the media campaign, one to three days before a Blitzmarathon. However, while the initiators of the Blitzmarathons intended a permanent change in road safety, we do not find that the reduction in traffic accidents persists beyond a Blitzmarathon-day. In terms of mechanisms, we show that a substitution of traffic from motorized vehicles to other modes of transport not targeted by the Blitzmarathons does not drive our results, and we demonstrate that overall driving speed is lower during a Blitzmarathon-day compared to other days. Given the general relevance of traffic law enforcement strategies, our result have important implications for policy makers beyond the German context.
    Keywords: traffic,law enforcement,safety,accidents
    JEL: H76 K42 R41
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Anna Oksuzyan (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Angela Carollo (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sven Drefahl (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Carlo G. Camarda (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Kaare Christensen; Alyson A. van Raalte (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Women earn less than men at most career stages, and they also tend to partner with older men. This study investigates whether being the younger partner in a marriage reduces a woman’s incentive to pursue an independent career. We hypothesize that the income gender gap might be partially explained by the age differences between spouses. Using both a within-twin (n = 4716) and pooled-twin (n = 13354) design to more readily account for differences in early household environments, we investigated for Denmark whether the age gap between a female twin and her partner has any influence on her income. The hypothesis could not be confirmed, as the age gap between partners did not appear to be associated with women’s earnings. The finding that women’s wages were generally unaffected by partnering with an older man could be a result of heterogeneous groups of women entering men-older partnerships. Future research should explore this question further by using the number of promotions to assess the career success of women, and should extend this work to countries with different social welfare systems and less egalitarian gender norms.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2017–03
  26. By: Abad, Jorge; D'Errico, Marco; Killeen, Neill; Luz, Vera; Peltonen, Tuomas; Portes, Richard; Urbano, Teresa
    Abstract: This paper provides a unique snapshot of the exposures of EU banks to shadow banking entities within the global financial system. Drawing on a rich and novel dataset, the paper documents the cross-sector and cross-border linkages and considers which are the most relevant for systemic risk monitoring. From a macroprudential perspective, the identification of potential feedback and contagion channels arising from the linkages of banks and shadow banking entities is particularly challenging when shadow banking entities are domiciled in different jurisdictions. The analysis shows that many of the EU banks' exposures are towards non-EU entities, particularly US-domiciled shadow banking entities. At the individual level, banks' exposures are diversified although this diversification leads to high overlap across different types of shadow banking entities.
    Keywords: financial stability; interconnectedness; macroprudential; shadow banking
    JEL: F65 G21 G23
    Date: 2017–03
  27. By: Javier Pla-Porcel (Actuarial Department, SOS Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A., Madrid. (Spain).); Manuel Ventura-Marco (Department of Financial Economics and Actuarial Science, University of Valencia, Spain.); Carlos Vidal-Meliá (Department of Financial Economics and Actuarial Science, University of Valencia, Spain, and Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.)
    Abstract: This paper aims to assess gender redistribution when using unisex conversion factors to compute the initial benefit of life care annuities (LCAs) embedded in a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension system. We use a method based on actuarial factors to disentangle the hidden redistribution of LCAs with graded benefits. The value of the actuarial factor relies on a multistate framework in which transitions are modeled from the initial health state to the absorbing state. According to our calculations for Australia and the US, the amount of gender redistribution is by no means irrelevant. In spite of the very different biometric data, the results are surprisingly similar for both countries. Risk equalization based on the “equal treatment” of men and women may not be fair, given that age, gender and health state are very significant risk factors in computing the initial benefit in a system covering retirement and long-term care.
    Keywords: Gender, Life Care Annuities, Long-Term Care Insurance, Multistate model, Redistribution, Retirement.
    JEL: G22 H55 I13 J14 J26
    Date: 2017–02
  28. By: Mulder, M.; Willems, Bert (Tilburg University, TILEC)
    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
    Date: 2016
  29. By: Gianna Giannelli (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Chiara Rapallini (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: We provide evidence that parents’ beliefs about the value of math have a positive impact on children’s math scores. This result is robust to the reverse causality that characterizes the relationship between parental attitude and children’s performance. Our model is estimated on a sample drawn from PISA 2012 of second-generation students and first-generation students who mi- grated before starting primary education. We instrument parental attitude with the country of origin math performance. We find that one additional score point in the origin country performance in math increases student performance by 21 percent of one standard deviation of the student math score.
    Keywords: Parental beliefs, Math performance, Immigrant students.
    JEL: I21 J13 O15
    Date: 2017

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