nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
34 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Closing Routes to Retirement: How Do People Respond? By Geyer, Johannes; Welteke, Clara
  2. Firm growth in Europe: an overview based on the CompNet labour module By Fernandez, Cristina; García, Roberto; Lopez-Garcia, Paloma; Marzinotto, Benedicta; Serafini, Roberta; Vanhala, Juuso; Wintr, Ladislav
  3. Overeducation in Europe: Trends, Convergence and Drivers By McGuinness, Seamus; Bergin, Adele; Whelan, Adele
  4. Who Voted for Brexit? A Comprehensive District-Level Analysis By Sascha O. Becker; Thiemo Fetzer; Dennis Novy
  5. How Do Unemployed Workers Behave Prior to Retirement? A Multi-State Multiple-Spell Approach By Gałecka-Burdziak, Ewa; Góra, Marek
  6. Bounding the Causal Effect of Unemployment on Mental Health: Nonparametric Evidence from Four Countries By Cygan-Rehm, Kamila; Kühnle, Daniel; Oberfichtner, Michael
  7. Egalitarianism under Pressure: Toward Lower Economic Mobility in the Knowledge Economy? By Markussen, Simen; Røed, Knut
  8. Hiring subsidies for people with disabilities: Do they work? By Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Arnau Juanmarti Mestres; Judit Vall Castello
  9. 35 Years of Reforms: A Panel Analysis of the Incidence of, and Employee and Employer Responses to, Social Security Contributions in the UK By Stuart Adam; David Phillips; Barra Roantree
  10. Be a man or become a nurse: Comparing gender discrimination by employers across a wide variety of professions By Kübler, Dorothea; Schmid, Julia; Stüber, Robert
  11. Free childcare and parents’ labour supply: is more better? By Mike Brewer; Sarah Cattan; Claire Crawford; Birgitta Rabe
  12. Income Support Policies for the Working Poor By Marchal, Sarah; Marx, Ive; Verbist, Gerlinde
  13. Exploring the role of ICT-Enabled Social Innovation to support the modernisation of EU Social Protection Systems: findings and insights from analysis of case studies in fourteen Member States By Gianluca Misuraca; Giulio Pasi; Fabienne Abadie; Csaba Kucsera; Marco Virginillo
  14. The Effects of After-School Programs on Maternal Employment By Fabian Dehos; Marie Paul
  15. Treatment-Related Naturalization Premiums in Two European Countries: Evaluation and Comparison By Vahan Sargsyan
  16. Overview of intergenerational earnings mobility in Germany Abstract This paper analyses intergenerational earnings mobility in Germany, reviewing the recent literature, further investigating the impact of sampling and methodological strategies and presenting alternative results. Using data from the German SocioEconomic Panel (SOEP), the aim is to evaluate the role of father's earnings level on son's one, taking a close look at attenuation and life-cycle biases. We rst estimate the association of current and lifetime earnings over the life-cycle. We then estimate the intergenerational elasticity at 0.3. We average fathers' earnings over di erent periods of time to evaluate and reduce attenuation bias, and we handle life-cycle bias by controlling son's age span or adding the interaction between son's age and father's earnings in the regression equation. By Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois
  17. Home sweet home: the home bias in trade in the European UnionAbstract: This study examines the home bias in trade in goods and services within the European Union. Using the newest release of the World Input Output database, available for the years 2000-2014, the effect is estimated using gravity regressions. The trade-reducing effect of borders is found to be sizeable. It is greater for trade in services than for goods, though the former declined more markedly throughout the period. The paper extends current literature by demonstrating and analysing the variation in the bias across Europe. The border effect is larger in Central and Eastern Europe than in other parts of the continent. The differences in the effect can be largely explained by the depth of a country’s integration with the European Union. The number of years passed since a country joined the EU has a signiï¬ cant impact on the bias. The longer a country has been in the EU, the lower its home bias, with the ï¬ rst years of membership having the largest (in absolute terms) effect. JEL Classification: F02, F15, F14 By Mika, Alina
  18. Bayesian Inference for TIP curves: An Application to Child Poverty in Germany By Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai; Michel Lubrano
  19. Grand advantage: family wealth and grandchildren's educational achievement in Sweden By Hällsten, Martin; Pfeffer, Fabian T.
  20. Sibling correlations in terms of education, profession and earnings, in France Abstract This paper examines the contribution of family background to inequality in France by estimating sibling correlations in various measures of socio-economic success. Compared to often reported measures of intergenerational elasticity, the sibling correlation in socio-economic outcomes allows to capture a broader set of family in uences. We use data from the French Education-Training-Employment (FQP) survey to investigate similarities between siblings in education, social prestige and earnings. We also investigate trends over time in sibling correlations and di erences across family types in siblings' characteristics. Our results indicate a high degree of association in siblings' socio-economic success. The correlation is around 0.3 and 0.5 respectively for social prestige and years of education. The sibling correlation in annual earnings is around 0.4. All in all, this indicates that estimates of the intergenerational elasticity lead to underestimate the role of family background in children's success in France. By Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois; Arnaud Lefranc
  21. How Does Financial Market Evaluate Business Models? Evidence From European Banks By Stefano Cosma; Riccardo Ferretti; Elisabetta Gualandri; Andrea Landi; Valeria
  22. Blame it on the Owner – Ownership and Energy Performance of Multidwelling buildings By Broberg, Thomas; Egüez, Alejandro
  23. Exuberance in the U.K. Regional Housing Markets By Alisa Yevgenyevna Yusupova; Efthymios Pavlidis; Ivan Paya; David Alan Peel
  24. The Effects of Flexible Work Practices on Employee Attitudes: Evidence from a Large-Scale Panel Study in Germany By Claudia Kröll; Stepahn Nüesch
  25. Does the pattern of physical activity matter for health care utilization? Evidence from the Konstanz Life Study By Simon Spika; Friedrich Breyer
  26. Tax Progressivity and Top Incomes: Evidence from Tax Reforms By Rubolino, Enrico; Waldenström, Daniel
  27. "Mafia Inc.": when godfathers become entrepreneurs By Marco Le Moglie; Giuseppe Sorrenti
  28. Towards neutral distribution taxes and vanishing tax effects in the European Union By Maier, Christoph; Schanz, Deborah
  29. Does Early Child Care Attendance Influence Children's Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skill Development? By Kühnle, Daniel; Oberfichtner, Michael
  30. The Long-Run Impact of Childhood Poverty and the Mediating Role of Education By Bellani, Luna; Bia, Michela
  31. The Effects of Firm Size on Job Quality: A Comparative Study for Britain and France By Bryson, Alex; Erhel, Christine; Salibekyan, Zinaïda
  32. The impact of structural reforms on productivity: The role of the distance to the technological frontier By Ana Fontoura Gouveia; Sílvia Santos; Inês Gonçalves
  33. Innovation policy for economic resilience: The case of Sweden By Asheim, Bjørn; Moodysson, Jerker
  34. Does a Bachelor's degree pay off? Labor market outcomes of academic versus vocational education after Bologna By Neugebauer, Martin; Weiss, Felix

  1. By: Geyer, Johannes (DIW Berlin); Welteke, Clara (DIW Berlin)
    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: 2017–03
  2. By: Fernandez, Cristina; García, Roberto; Lopez-Garcia, Paloma; Marzinotto, Benedicta; Serafini, Roberta; Vanhala, Juuso; Wintr, Ladislav
    Abstract: This paper illustrates the main features of the Labour Module of the CompNet dataset which provides indicators of firm growth over the period 1995-2012 across 17 EU (13 euro area) countries and 9 macro-sectors. It also includes information on a large set of micro-aggregated characteristics of firms growing at different speed such as their financial position and labour and total factor productivity. The paper shows that during the Great Recession the share of shrinking firms sharply increased in countries under stress, while firm growth slowed down in non-stressed countries. In the former, the construction sector suffered the most, while in the latter manufacturing and services related to transportation and storage were mainly affected, possibly as a result of the trade collapse. While we find that, all else equal, more productive firms had a higher probability of growing, the process of productivity-enhancing reallocation was muted during the Great Recession. JEL Classification: J23, L11, L25
    Keywords: cross-country analysis, firm growth, micro-aggregated data
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Bergin, Adele (ESRI, Dublin); Whelan, Adele (ESRI, Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper examines patterns in overeducation between countries using a specifically designed panel dataset constructed from the quarterly Labour Force Surveys of 28 EU countries over a twelve to fifteen year period. It is not the case that overeducation has been rising rapidly over time in all countries and where overeducation has grown the trend has been very gradual. Furthermore, overeducation rates were found to be static or falling in approximately fifty percent of the 28 EU countries. The evidence points towards convergence in overeducation at a rate of 3.3 percent per annum. In terms of the determinants of overeducation we find evidence to support policies aimed at improving effective female participation, labour market flexibility and the practical aspects of educational provision as a means of reducing the incidence of overeducation within countries.
    Keywords: overeducation, dynamic panel data
    JEL: I2 C23
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Sascha O. Becker; Thiemo Fetzer; Dennis Novy
    Abstract: On 23 June 2016, the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. We analyse vote and turnout shares across 380 local authority areas in the United Kingdom. We find that exposure to the EU in terms of immigration and trade provides relatively little explanatory power for the referendum vote. Instead, we find that fundamental characteristics of the voting population were key drivers of the Vote Leave share, in particular their education profiles, their historical dependence on manufacturing employment as well as low income and high unemployment. At the much finer level of wards within cities, we find that areas with deprivation in terms of education, income and employment were more likely to vote Leave. Our results indicate that a higher turnout of younger voters, who were more likely to vote Remain, would not have overturned the referendum result.
    Keywords: political economy, voting, referendum, migration, austerity
    JEL: D72 N44 R23 Z13
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Gałecka-Burdziak, Ewa (Warsaw School of Economics); Góra, Marek (Warsaw School of Economics)
    Abstract: We examine the behaviour of unemployed older workers up to five years prior to the point at which they can transition out of unemployment because they become eligible to receive pension benefits. We use a unique dataset covering the unemployment histories (longitudinal data) of individuals born between 1940 and 1965 who were registered with any of the public employment offices in Poland. Thus, we study a whole population of individuals who experienced this type of transition over the time period 1996-2015. We examine the transition from unemployment to retirement as a multi-year process. We analyse multiple unemployment spells, identify transition pathways, and look for patterns in these transitions. Moreover, we estimate a conditional risk set model (a stratified Cox model). Our research proves that being close to the point at which they are eligible to receive pension benefits leads individuals 'wait' to fulfil these eligibility criteria.
    Keywords: elder workers unemployment, retirement, transition pathways, multiple unemployment spells, recurrent event data, longitudinal analysis
    JEL: C14 C41 H55 J14 J22 J26 J64
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Cygan-Rehm, Kamila (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Kühnle, Daniel (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Oberfichtner, Michael (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: An important, yet unsettled, question in public health policy is the extent to which unemployment causally impacts mental health. The recent literature yields varying findings, which are likely due to differences in data, methods, samples, and institutional settings. Taking a more general approach, we provide comparable evidence for four countries with different institutional settings – Australia, Germany, the UK, and the US – using a nonparametric bounds analysis. Relying on fairly weak and partially testable assumptions, our paper shows that unemployment has a significant negative effect on mental health in all countries. Our results rule out effects larger than a quarter of a standard deviation for Germany and half a standard deviation for the Anglo-Saxon countries. The effect is significant for both men and women and materialises already for short periods of unemployment. Public policy should hence focus on early prevention of mental health problems among the unemployed.
    Keywords: mental health, unemployment, bounds
    JEL: I12 J64
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Markussen, Simen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Based on complete population data, with the exact same definitions of family class background and economic outcomes for a large number of birth cohorts, we examine post‐war trends in intergenerational economic mobility in Norway. Despite only mild fluctuations in standard rank‐based summary statistics, we show that men and women born into the lowest parts of the parental earnings rank distribution have fallen considerably behind in terms of several quality‐of‐life outcomes, such as earnings rank, earnings share, employment propensity, educational attainment, and the establishment of a family. In particular, the prime-age employment rates of lower class sons have declined spectacularly, both because their rank outcomes have deteriorated and because the lowest ranks to an increasing extent have become associated with non-employment rather than low‐wage employment. We provide suggestive evidence that higher educational requirements in the labor market has increased the importance of parental encouragement and support and thus enlarged the handicap of being born into a less resourceful family. There is no evidence whatsoever of a relative decline in the lower classes' cognitive abilities.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, inequality, cognitive ability
    JEL: J62 D63 J24
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Arnau Juanmarti Mestres; Judit Vall Castello
    Abstract: This article evaluates the effectiveness of hiring subsidies targeted to people with disabilities. By exploiting the timing of implementation among the different Spanish regions of a subsidy scheme implemented in Spain during the period 1990-2014, we employ a differences-indifferences approach to estimate the impact of the scheme on the probability of DI ben- eficiaries of transiting to employment and on the propensity of individuals of entering the DI program.
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Stuart Adam; David Phillips; Barra Roantree
    Abstract: We exploit variation in National Insurance contributions (NICs) – the UK’s system of social security contributions – and a large panel dataset to examine the effects of 35 years of employee and employer NICs reforms on labour cost (gross earnings plus employer NICs), hours of work and labour cost per hour, both immediately (0–6 months) after reforms are implemented and in the slightly longer term (12–18 months). We consider assumptions under which the estimated coefficients on net-of-marginal and net-of-average tax rates in a panel regression can be interpreted as behavioural elasticities or as reflecting incidence. We find a compensated elasticity of taxable earnings with respect to the marginal rate of employee NICs of about 0.2–0.3, operating largely through hours of work, while that with respect to the marginal rate of employer NICs is not statistically significantly different from zero. We also find that labour cost falls by a much larger amount when the average rate of employer NICs is reduced than when the average rate of employee NICs is reduced, which is consistent with the economic incidence of NICs being strongly affected by its formal legal incidence. Estimates from the hours and hourly labour cost regressions provide further support to this interpretation of the findings, and also suggest the presence of substantial income effects – though also, after 1999, a puzzling effect of average employer NICs rates on hours of work. Each of these results remains true after 12–18 months (if anything, coefficients on lagged changes in NICs rates strengthen these findings), implying that any shifting of employer NICs changes to the individual employees concerned (and vice versa for employee NICs) does not begin over this time horizon. These results are similar to those found by Lehmann et al. (2013) for France but represent an extension of that work by considering hours as well as labour cost responses and second-year as well as immediate effects.
    JEL: H2 J2 J3
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Kübler, Dorothea; Schmid, Julia; Stüber, Robert
    Abstract: We investigate gender discrimination and its variation between firms, occupations, and industries with a factorial survey design (vignette study) for a large sample of German firms. Short CVs of fictitious applicants are presented to human resource managers who indicate the likelihood of the applicants being invited to the next step of the hiring process. We observe that women are evaluated worse than men on average, controlling for all other attributes of the CV, i.e., school grades, age, information about activities since leaving school, parents' occupations etc. Discrimination against women varies across industries and occupations, and is strongest for occupations with lower educational requirements and of lower occupational status. Women receive worse evaluations when applying for male-dominated occupations. Overall, the share of women in an occupation explains more of the difference in evaluations than any other occupation- or firm-related variable.
    Keywords: gender discrimination,hiring decisions,vignette study
    JEL: C99 J71
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Mike Brewer (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Essex); Sarah Cattan (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Birgitta Rabe (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Despite the introduction of childcare subsidies in many countries, the cost of childcare is still thought to hinder parental employment. Many governments are considering increasing the generosity of their childcare subsidies, but the a priori effect of such a policy is ambiguous and little is known empirically about its likely impact. This paper compares the effects on parents’ labour supply of offering free part-time childcare and of expanding this offer to the whole school day in England using an empirical strategy which, unlike previous studies, exploits both date of birth discontinuities and panel data. We find that the provision of free part-time childcare has little, if any, causal impact on the labour market outcomes of mothers or fathers. Increasing the number of hours of free childcare to cover a full school day, however, leads to significant increases in the labour supply of mothers whose youngest child is eligible, with impacts emerging immediately and increasing over the months following entitlement.
    Keywords: Labour supply, childcare, school entry, difference-in-difference
    JEL: I21 J22
    Date: 2016–12–02
  12. By: Marchal, Sarah (University of Antwerp); Marx, Ive (University of Antwerp); Verbist, Gerlinde (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: This paper asks what governments in the EU Member States and some US states are doing to support workers on low wages. Using model family simulations, we assess the policy measures currently in place to guarantee an adequate disposable income to working families, taking into account minimum wages, social security contributions, taxes and cash benefits. We show that despite increased efforts over the past decade, disposable incomes of certain types of minimum wage workers still fall well below the EU at-risk-of-poverty thresholds in many countries. Single earners with dependent children are especially at risk of poverty. We discuss the options for making progress.
    Keywords: direct income support, minimum wages, in-work benefits, in-work poverty
    JEL: I38 J88 H75
    Date: 2017–03
  13. By: Gianluca Misuraca (European Commission – JRC); Giulio Pasi (European Commission – JRC); Fabienne Abadie (European Commission – JRC); Csaba Kucsera (Independent Researcher, Budapest, Hungary); Marco Virginillo (KPMG Advisory Spa, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: This report presents the results of the analysis of selected case studies on how ICT-enabled social innovations promoting social investment can contribute to the modernisation of social protection systems in the EU. The case studies are drawn from 14 different Member States and address diverse social services and policy domains. Evidence from the analysis points to the strong potential of using new approaches based on ICT-enabled social innovation to support public authorities, at various governance levels, in their efforts to improve the effectiveness and impact of social services delivery mechanisms and outreach. The analysis makes a first attempt to assess the relationship between different typologies of ICT-enabled social innovation and the broader social protection system in which they are embedded. However, more research is needed to better understand the potential impact these initiatives could have on enhancing the adequacy and sustainability of welfare systems in the EU.
    Keywords: Social investment, social policy innovation, SIP, Social Investment Package, social economy, social enterprise, ICT enabled social innovation, ICT, services, social protection, social welfare
    JEL: O33 O35 O38 H55 H75 H83 I31 I38
    Date: 2017–04
  14. By: Fabian Dehos; Marie Paul
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of a massive expansion of after-school programs (ASPs) on the labor market participation of mothers with primary school children in the West German context of relatively low full-time employment rates. Using an instrumental variables approach we exploit regional and temporal variation in the provision of federal ASP starting grants by a nationwide investment program. Results suggest that additional ASP places had no effect on working hours or the employment probability of mothers with primary school children.
    Keywords: Maternal employment, after-school programs, instrumental variables
    JEL: J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Vahan Sargsyan
    Abstract: We conduct an empirical study in order to estimate the impact of naturalization on labor market integration of first generation immigrants in two European countries, France and Denmark. The study contributes to the existing literature by: (1) comparing the employment opportunities and incomes of naturalized and non-naturalized migrants in European labor markets to those of the native population, and (2) attempting to estimate the impact of characteristics of a country’s citizenship policy on this relationship. The results suggest the existence of high naturalization premiums and full socioeconomic integration of naturalized migrants in France, a country with relatively soft naturalization policies, but not for Denmark, which has strict naturalization policies.
    Keywords: citizenship policy; naturalization; naturalization premium; socioeconomic integration;
    JEL: J08 J15 J78 O15
    Date: 2017–04
  16. By: Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, life-cycle bias, earnings, Germany, SOEP
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Mika, Alina
    Keywords: border effect, European Union, gravity, trade
    Date: 2017–04
  18. By: Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille); Michel Lubrano (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille)
    Abstract: TIP curves are cumulative poverty gap curves used for representing the three different aspects of poverty: incidence, intensity and inequality. The paper provides Bayesian inference for TIP curves, linking their expression to a parametric representation of the income distribution using a mixture of lognormal densities. We treat specifically the question of zero-inflated income data and survey weights, which are two important issues in survey analysis. The advantage of the Bayesian approach is that it takes into account all the information contained in the sample and that it provides small sample confidence intervals and tests for TIP dominance. We apply our methodology to evaluate the evolution of child poverty in Germany after 2002, providing thus an update the portrait of child poverty in Germany given in Corak et al. 2008.
    Keywords: Bayesian inference, mixture model, survey weights, zero-inflated model, poverty, Inequality
    JEL: C11 C46 I32 I38
    Date: 2017–03
  19. By: Hällsten, Martin (Department of Sociology, Stockholm University); Pfeffer, Fabian T. (Department of Sociology and Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan)
    Abstract: We study the role of family wealth for children’s educational achievement using novel and unique Swedish register data. In particular, we focus on the relationship between grandparents’ wealth and their grandchildren’s educational achievement. Doing so allows us to reliably establish the independent role of wealth in contributing to long-term inequalities in opportunity. We use regression models with rich controls to account for observed socioeconomic characteristics of families, cousin fixed effects to net out potentially unobserved grandparental effects, and marginal structural models to account for endogenous selection. We find substantial associations between grandparents’ wealth and their grandchildren’s grade point averages (GPA) in the 9th grade that are only partly mediated by the socioeconomic characteristics and wealth of parents. Our findings indicate that family wealth inequality – even in a comparatively egalitarian context like Sweden – has profound consequences for the distribution of opportunity across multiple generations. We posit that our estimates of the long-term consequences of wealth inequality may be conservative for nations other than Sweden, like the U.S., where family wealth – in addition to its insurance and normative functions – allows the direct purchase of educational quality and access.
    Keywords: wealth; education; intergenerational transmissions; social mobility
    JEL: D31 I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2017–05–04
  20. By: Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois; Arnaud Lefranc (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Keywords: sibling correlations, intergenerational mobility, family background
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2017
  21. By: Stefano Cosma; Riccardo Ferretti; Elisabetta Gualandri; Andrea Landi; Valeria
    Abstract: This paper investigates the way in which the financial market defines and evaluates different business models/business mix, using a sample of listed European banking groups, with a total asset value greater than 50 billion US$, for the period 2006-2015. The main results suggest that non-interest components foster market valuation and that financial market seems to associate a better risk-return trade-off to non-banking fees compared to the banking ones. This evidence enables us to identify 3 clusters of European banking groups based on the main components of income. These findings have strategic implications both for bank managers, regulators and supervisors due to the impact of the crisis on banking business, bank profitability and riskiness and the new challenges they entail.
    Keywords: banking strategies; business mix; market-to book value; panel data; cluster analysis
    JEL: G20 G21
    Date: 2017–05
  22. By: Broberg, Thomas (CERE and the Department of Economics, Umeå University); Egüez, Alejandro (CERE and the Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: Institutional structures may cause considerable inefficiencies in the use of energy. In this paper, we investigate the energy efficiency of multi-dwelling buildings in Sweden to find out whether the type of ownership matters. More specifically, we investigate whether rental apartment buildings are less efficient than cooperative apartment buildings and whether public ownership has a negative impact on energy efficiency. A conceptual framework is presented to illustrate that such differences could be explained by the split incentive problem and deviations from profit maximizing interests. The empirical analysis is based on a unique dataset that combines data from energy performance certificates with ownership data on residential units. The results indicate that cooperative apartment buildings are significantly more energy efficient than buildings with rental apartments. The results also indicate that publicly owned buildings have lower energy performance than privately owned ones.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency; Energy performance certificates; Multi-dwelling buildings; Split incentives; Public versus private management; Profit satisficing
    JEL: Q41 Q48
    Date: 2017–04–19
  23. By: Alisa Yevgenyevna Yusupova; Efthymios Pavlidis; Ivan Paya; David Alan Peel
    Abstract: We combine the estimation of a structural model with inference based on recently developed recursive unit root tests to analyse the behaviour of regional real estate markets in the U.K. over the last four decades. We find two episodes, the late 1980s and the early and mid-2000s, when all regional house prices experienced explosive dynamics above and beyond factors such as housing supply relative to demographics, income, regional spillovers and credit availability. This is the first econometric analysis to provide evidence that would endorse the view that ‘bubbles’, with a particular spatial pattern, are a feature of UK regional housing markets.
    Keywords: Regional house prices, Structural housing model, Cointegration, Generalised supremum ADF, Speculative bubbles
    JEL: C22 G12 R30 R31
    Date: 2017
  24. By: Claudia Kröll; Stepahn Nüesch
    Abstract: We explore the effects of flexible work practices (FWPs) on the work attitudes (job satisfaction and turnover intention) and non-work attitudes (leisure satisfaction and perceived health) of employees based on representative large-scale German panel data. Because unobserved individual characteristics can easily act as confounders, we estimate both pooled OLS models and individual fixed-effects models. Controlling for time-constant individual heterogeneity, we find that the three considered FWPs—flexitime, sabbaticals and working from home—significantly increase job satisfaction and that sabbaticals and working from home (but not flexitime) significantly decrease turnover intention. In addition, sabbaticals but not flexitime or working from home significantly increase leisure satisfaction. The effects of FWPs on health are mostly weak and statistically insignificant. Models that do not control for such individual heterogeneity either underestimate the positive effects of FWPs or find detrimental effects. Our findings indicate that organizations in Germany can increase job satisfaction and decrease employee turnover intention by offering FWPs.
    Keywords: flexible work practices, job satisfaction, turnover intention, leisure satisfaction, health, fixed effects
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Simon Spika (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz); Friedrich Breyer (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: Physical activity has been shown to be associated with reduced direct health care utilization and expenditure. For the health effect of physical activity, however, not only the total amount but also the intensity and frequency of physical activity is important. This paper uses data from the Konstanz Life-Study and a hurdle-model to estimate the impact of physical activity patterns on the number of physician visits. The results indicate that in the case of women, vigorous physical activity reduces the number of visits given a positive usage, whereas in the case of men, vigorous physical activity reduces the probability of a first visit. The results however, have to be interpreted with caution because of the limited accuracy of the self-declared physical activity by the participants of the Konstanz Life-Study, collected with the IPAQ-SF questionnaire.
    Keywords: Physical activity; health care utilization; Konstanz Life Study
    Date: 2017–01–16
  26. By: Rubolino, Enrico (Uppsala University); Waldenström, Daniel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We study the link between tax progressivity and top income shares. Using variation from large-scale Western tax reforms in the 1980s and 1990s and the novel synthetic control method, we find large and lasting boosting impacts on top income shares from the progressivity reductions. Effects are largest in the very top groups while earners in the bottom half of the top decile were almost unaffected by the reforms. Cuts in top marginal tax rates account for most of this outcome whereas reduced overall progressivity contributed less. Searching for mechanisms, real income responses as measured by growth in aggregate GDP per capita, registered patents and tax revenues were unaffected by the reforms. By contrast, tax avoidance behavior related to the management of capital incomes in the very income top appears to lie behind the observed effects.
    Keywords: taxation, income inequality, tax policy
    JEL: D31 H21 H24 H26 H31 H76
    Date: 2017–03
  27. By: Marco Le Moglie; Giuseppe Sorrenti
    Abstract: We study the investment of criminal organizations in the legal economy. We focus on Italy, a country historically plagued by a conspicuous presence of mafia-type organizations. By using the exogenous credit contraction imposed by the 2007 financial crisis we highlight how the consequences for newly established enterprises have been less severe in areas with organized crime. Although criminal organizations are largely detrimental for local economic conditions, their economic activity might act as an economic stabilizer in the short-run, especially in a context of weak institutional presence. The investment in the legal economy allows criminal organizations to launder money, make profits, and raise social consensus through the provision of alternative sources of social insurance.
    Keywords: Mafia, organized crime, illegal enterprises, financial crisis
    JEL: K42 L26
    Date: 2017–04
  28. By: Maier, Christoph; Schanz, Deborah
    Abstract: The European Union (EU) has no explicit common income tax law. Nevertheless, Court of Justice decisions have driven EU member states to adopt more similar corporate tax systems, and thus, to align the tax treatment of corporate profit distributions - dividends and capital gains. This paper empirically analyzes the influence of the tax preferences of individual and corporate shareholders for the two corporate distribution types - dividends or capital gains - from 1990 to 2012. In the first years of the observation period, European tax systems have provided opposing tax advantages, where individual shareholders have preferred capital gains and corporate shareholders have preferred dividends. To account for these differences depending on the firm's shareholder structure, we derive firm-specific tax preferences for profit distributions. Our empirical analysis reveals that - in line with current literature - the firm-specific tax preferences indeed affect dividend payments. Moreover, we show that in contrast to our detailed study, a simplified approach to measure tax effects on distributions overestimates this influence. In subsequent years, as European Court of Justice decisions have indirectly aligned EU corporate tax systems, we find that tax preferences have converged to a great extent with the tendency to equal tax treatment of dividends and capital gains for both - individual and corporate - shareholder groups. In line with this development, we find that the association of tax preferences and distribution policies vanishes in the last years of the observation period. Our study implies that the EU common regulatory framework, even in the absence of explicit law, can affect corporate distribution decisions and foster neutral taxation of dividends and capital gains across EU member states.
    Keywords: tax preferences,dividends,capital gains,distributions,neutral taxation,corporate tax systems,European Union,European Court of Justice
    JEL: G30 G35 H24 H25
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Kühnle, Daniel (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Oberfichtner, Michael (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: While recent studies mostly find that attending child care earlier improves the skills of children from low socio-economic and non-native backgrounds in the short-run, it remains unclear whether such positive effects persist. We identify the short- and medium-run effects of early child care attendance in Germany using a fuzzy discontinuity in child care starting age between December and January. This discontinuity arises as children typically start formal child care in the summer of the calendar year in which they turn three. Combining rich survey and administrative data, we follow one cohort from age five to 15 and examine standardised cognitive test scores, non-cognitive skill measures, and school track choice. We find no evidence that starting child care earlier affects children's outcomes in the short- or medium-run. Our precise estimates rule out large effects for children whose parents have a strong preference for sending them to early child care.
    Keywords: child care, child development, skill formation, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, fuzzy regression discontinuity
    JEL: J13 I21 I38
    Date: 2017–03
  30. By: Bellani, Luna (University of Konstanz); Bia, Michela (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of education as causal channel through which growing up poor affects the economic outcomes in adulthood in the European Union. We apply a potential outcomes approach to quantify those impacts and we provide a sensitivity analysis on possible unobserved confounders, such as child ability. Our estimates indicate that being poor in childhood significantly decreases the level of income in adulthood and increases the average probability of being poor. Moreover, our results reveal a significant role of education in this intergenerational transmission. These results are particularly relevant for Mediterranean and Central and Easter European Countries.
    Keywords: poverty, intergenerational transmission, potential outcome, causal mediation analysis, education
    JEL: D31 I32 I24 J62
    Date: 2017–03
  31. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London); Erhel, Christine (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Salibekyan, Zinaïda (CNAM, Paris)
    Abstract: Using linked employer-employee data from two comparable surveys this article examines the links between non-pecuniary job quality and workplace characteristics in Britain and France – countries with very different employment regimes. The results show that job quality is better in Britain than it is in France, despite its minimalist regulatory regime. The difference is apparent for all dimensions of job quality (skill development, training participation, job autonomy, job insecurity, work-life balance and relations between employers and employees), except skills' match to a job. Firm size is negatively associated with non-pecuniary job quality in both countries but in France the association is confined to only the largest firms. Internal Labour Markets (ILMs) are associated with higher job quality in France, but not in Britain.
    Keywords: job quality, firm size, internal labour market, comparative, linked employer-employee data, Britain, France
    JEL: I31 J30 J81
    Date: 2017–03
  32. By: Ana Fontoura Gouveia (Ministry of Finance, Portugal); Sílvia Santos (Banco de Portugal); Inês Gonçalves (Instituto Nacional de Estatística)
    Abstract: In recent years, literature has linked structural reforms with productivity growth. Considering Portugal’s recent comprehensive reform agenda, this topic acquires particular relevance. Using data for Portuguese firms for the period 2006-2014, this paper assesses the impact of structural reforms on firms’ productivity. In line with existing literature, the analysis shows that most reforms entail long-term gains, despite, in some reform areas, the existence of short-term costs. In general, there are important differences across reform areas and across firms, namely when comparing firms with different productivity levels. The firms’ distance to the technological frontier mediates the impact of reforms, either by potentiating its effects or by curbing them, depending on the reform area.
    Keywords: Distance to frontier, Growth, Structural reforms, Total Factor Productivity
    JEL: D04 D22 D24 O33
    Date: 2017–05–09
  33. By: Asheim, Bjørn (CIRCLE, Lund University); Moodysson, Jerker (Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the Swedish innovation system and the main strategies for Swedish innovation policy, with specific focus on VINNOVA’s place-based support to specialised areas integrating competences from different sectors in society. The overview reveals a recent shift from place-based specialisation to thematic areas underpinned by a societal challenge driven logic to policy intervention. The analysis indicates that a strong focus on R&D and science-driven innovation serves as a barrier for successful transition, and that the recent shift implies a greater need for policy coordination across different fields and scales. This makes agencies like VINNOVA less autonomous with regard to design as well as implementation of innovation policy and points to the need for reaching a balance between demand-oriented and supply-led strategies in which place-specific context matters and innovation policy must be attuned to and embedded in the particularities of the regional and national economies it aims to target. Linking smart specialisation strategies (S3), EU’s overall industrial and innovation policy for regional diversification and restructuring, with VINNOVAs new system innovation policy approach would be one way of doing this.
    Keywords: Innovation system; innovation policy; Sweden
    JEL: O25 O31 O52
    Date: 2017–04–27
  34. By: Neugebauer, Martin; Weiss, Felix
    Abstract: Academic education is generally rewarded by employers, but what happens to graduates if they are trained for two years less and have to compete with vocationally trained labor market entrants in a similar field of study? Focusing on Germany, we analyze labor market entries of individuals eligible for higher education, who either opted for newly introduced short bachelor's degrees, or for well-established vocational degrees. Based on Microcensus data, we find that bachelor's degrees from classical universities are associated with higher earnings and more prestigious jobs than initial vocational training degrees, and with higher prestige (but similar earnings) than further vocational degrees. However, bachelor's degrees from universities are also related to higher risks of unemployment or fixed-term employment. Universities of applied sciences, which combine academic and practical training, offer both high earnings and prestigious jobs as well as low risks of unemployment or fixed-term employment at the bachelor's and the master's level. Overall, 'general' academic education provides advantages over vocational education, despite these structural changes. Variations by field of study are reported.
    Keywords: labor market outcomes,Bologna Process,vocational education,higher education,Germany
    JEL: I26 I23 J24 J31
    Date: 2017

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