nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒09‒17
thirty-two papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Approaching effects of the economic crisis on university efficiency: A comparative study of Germany and Italy By Lehmann, Erik E.; Meoli, Michele; Paleari, Stefano; Stockinger, Sarah A. E.
  2. Regional environmental efficiency in waste generation By Halkos, George; Petrou, Kleoniki Natalia
  3. European R&D networks: A snapshot from the 7th EU Framework Programme By Sara Amoroso; Alex Coad; Nicola Grassano
  4. The Rise of Precarious Employment in Germany By David Brady; Thomas Biegert
  5. Grandparental availability for child care and maternal labor force participation: Pension reform evidence from Italy By Massimiliano, Bratti; Tommaso, Frattini; Francesco, Scervini
  6. Reconsidering the Income-Illness Relationship using Distributional Regression: An Application to Germany By Alexander Silbersdorff; Julia Lynch; Stephan Klasen; Thomas Kneib
  7. Firm heterogeneity and aggregate business services exports: micro evidence from Belgium, France, Germany and Spain By Ariu, Andrea; Biewen, Elena; Blank, Sven; Gaulier, Guillaume; González, María Jesus; Meinen, Philipp; Mirza, Daniel; Martín, Cesar; Tello, Patry
  8. The Employment and Output Effects of Short-Time Work in Germany By Russell Cooper
  9. Allocative efficiency of UK firms during the Great Recession By Florian Gerth
  10. The dynamics of the Italian labour force participation rate: determinants and implications for the employment and unemployment rate By Marta De Philippis
  11. Economic Conditions of Young Adults Before and After the Great Recession By Maria Sironi
  12. Does the negative effect of caregiving on work persist over time? By Heger, Dörte; Korfhage, Thorben
  13. R&D Policy and Technological Trajectories of Regions: Evidence from the EU Framework Programmes By Wolf-Hendrik Uhlbach; Pierre-Alexandre Balland; Thomas Scherngell
  14. The Personality Profiles of Early Adopters of Energy-Efficient Technology By Ante Busic-Sontic; Franz Fuerst
  15. Firm Efficiency, Foreign Ownership and CEO Gender in Corrupt Environments By Jan Hanousek; Anastasiya Shamshur; Jiri Tresl
  16. BIMic: the Bank of Italy microsimulation model for the Italian tax and benefit system By Nicola Curci; Marco Savegnago; Marika Cioffi
  17. Decomposing the Impact of Immigration on House Prices By Rosa Sanchis-Guarner
  18. Foreign ownership and financial reporting quality in private subsidiaries By Belén Gill de Albornoz Noguer; Simona Rusanescu
  19. The Political Economy of Diagnosis-Related Groups By Paola Bertoli; Veronica Grembi
  20. Equality of Opportunity for Well-Being By Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Xavier Ramos
  21. Towards a European R&D Incentive? An assessment of R&D Provisions under a Common Corporate Tax Base By Diego d’Andria; Dimitris Pontikakis; Agnieszka Skonieczna
  22. Does rental housing market stabilize the economy? A micro and macro perspective. By Michal Rubaszek; Margarita Rubio
  23. Dynamics of Income Rank Volatility: Evidence from Germany and the US By Louis Chauvel; Anne Hartung; Flaviana Palmisano
  24. Three risks for the German residential property market By Voigtländer, Michael
  25. The affluency to quit: How inheritances affect retirement plannings By Crusius, Tobias L.; von Werder, Marten
  26. Labour Income, Social Transfers and Child Poverty By Bruce Bradbury; Markus Jäntti; Lena Lindahl
  27. Comparative analysis of poverty in Greece versus richer European Countries in the debt-crisis era By Georgios Symeonidis; Manolis Valavanis; Georgia Venetsanakou
  28. From cash to cards: how debit card payments overtook cash in the Netherlands By Jonker, Nicole; Hernandez, Lola; de Vree, Renate; Zwaan, Patricia
  29. Firing the Wrong Workers: Financing Constraints and Labor Misallocation By Vicente Cunat; Daniel Metzger; Andrea Caggese
  30. Exporter Price Premia? By Ina C. Jäkel; Allan Sørensen
  31. Average Pay in Banks: Do Agency Problems and Bank Performance Matter? By Harkin, Sean M.; Mare, Davide S.; Crook, Jonathan N.

  1. By: Lehmann, Erik E.; Meoli, Michele; Paleari, Stefano; Stockinger, Sarah A. E.
    Abstract: In this paper, we compare the efficiency of the Italian and German universities in the process of transforming public funding into the multiple outputs of a university, i.e. graduating students, publishing research, and patenting activity. We do this with a particular focus on the policies implemented following the financial crisis in 2008. Using a sample of 133 public universities, of which 73 public universities in Germany and 60 public universities in Italy observed over the period 2006-2011 we find that Italian universities perform significantly better in terms of output maximization than German universities. The crisis does not show a general impact, while the treatment effect indicates that Italian universities coped better during the crisis than their German counterparts at a highly significant level.
    Keywords: higher education,economic crisis,governance,data envelopment analysis,scale efficiency
    JEL: H11 H12 I2 N30
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Halkos, George; Petrou, Kleoniki Natalia
    Abstract: This paper employs Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to consider waste generation at a regional level in the European Union (EU). By doing so both good and bad outputs are taken into account and different frameworks are designed. Five parameters (waste generation, employment rate, capital formation, GDP and population density) are used for 172 EU regions and for the years 2009, 2011 and 2013. In doing so four frameworks have been designed with different inputs and outputs each time. The results show the more efficient EU regions according to each framework, but it should be noted that results from different frameworks should not be compared to each other. Overall results suggest that the highest performers are regions in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and the UK. Finally the efficiency results from DEA were reviewed against the treatment options employed in the relevant regions. Our findings show that although a country might be efficient according to DEA and by taking many factors into consideration, it is not necessary that regions within a country use sustainable waste treatment options as it is essential to account for trade and shipment of waste between regions and countries as well.
    Keywords: Environmental efficiency; waste generation; EU regions; DEA.
    JEL: C6 C60 C67 O1 O5 O52 Q50 Q56 R11
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Sara Amoroso (European Commission - JRC); Alex Coad (CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú); Nicola Grassano (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies have investigated the territorial impact of Europe’s research policies, in particular the contribution of the European Framework Programmes to the integration of a European Research Area. This paper deepens the analysis on the integration and participation of peripheral regions, by focusing on the differences in intensity and determinants of inter-regional collaborations across three groups of collaborations. We consider collaborations among more developed regions, between more and less developed regions, and among less developed regions. Building on the recent spatial interaction literature, this paper investigates the effects of physical, institutional, social and technological proximity on the intensity of inter-regional research collaboration across heterogeneous European regions. We find that the impact of disparities in human capital and technological proximity on regional R&D cooperation is relevant and differs across subgroups of collaborations. Moreover, despite the efforts of integrating marginal actors, peripheral regions have lower rates of collaborations.
    Keywords: European Research Area, spatial interaction modelling, R&D collaboration, regional integration
    JEL: O38 L14 F15 R15
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: David Brady; Thomas Biegert
    Abstract: Long considered the classic coordinated market economy featuring employment security and relatively little employment precarity, the German labor market has undergone profound changes in recent decades. We assess the evidence for a rise in precarious employment in Germany from 1984 to 2013. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) through the Luxembourg Income Study, we examine low-wage employment, working poverty, and temporary employment. We also analyze changes in the demographics and the education/skill level of the German labor force. Although employment overall has increased, there has been a simultaneous significant increase in earnings and wage inequality. Moreover, there has been a clear increase in all three measures of precarious employment. The analyses reveal that models including a wide variety of independent variables – demographic, education/skill, job/work characteristics, and region – cannot explain the rise of precarious employment. Instead, we propose institutional change is the most plausible explanation. In addition to reunification and major social policy and labor market reforms, we highlight the dramatic decline of unionization among German workers. We conclude that while there are elements of stability to the German coordinated market economy, Germany increasingly exhibits substantial dualization, liberalization, inequality, and precarity.
    Date: 2017–07
  5. By: Massimiliano, Bratti (European Commission – JRC); Tommaso, Frattini (Università degli Studi di Milano); Francesco, Scervini (Università degli Studi di Pavia)
    Abstract: In this paper, we exploit pension reform-induced changes in retirement eligibility requirements to assess the role of grandparental child care availability in the labor force participation of women with children under 15. We focus on Italy for two reasons: first, it has low rates of female employment and little formal child care provision, and second, it has undergone several pension reforms in a relatively short time span. Our analysis shows that, among the women studied, those whose own mothers are retirement eligible have a 11 percent higher probability of being in the labor force than those whose mothers are ineligible. The pension eligibility of maternal grandfathers and paternal grandparents, however, has no significant effect on the women’s labor force participation. We also demonstrate that the eligibility of maternal grandmothers mainly captures the effect of their availability for child care. Hence, pension reforms, by potentially robbing households of an important source of flexible, low-cost child care, could have unintended negative consequences for the employment rates of women with children.
    Keywords: grandparental child care, maternal employment, pension reform, retirement
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2017–04
  6. By: Alexander Silbersdorff; Julia Lynch; Stephan Klasen; Thomas Kneib
    Abstract: In this paper we reconsider the relationship between income on health, taking a distributional perspective rather than one centered on conditional expectation. Using Structured Additive Distributional Regression, we find that the association between income on health is larger than generally estimated because aspects of the conditional health distribution that go beyond the expectation imply worse outcomes for those with lower incomes. Looking at German data from the Socio Economic Panel, we find that the risk of very bad health is roughly halved when doubling the net equivalent income from 15,000 Euro to 30,000 Euro, which is more than tenfold of the magnitude of change found when considering expected health measures. This paper therefore argues that when studying health outcomes, a distributional perspective that considers stochastic variation among observationally equivalent individuals is warranted.
    JEL: I14 C13 C21
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Ariu, Andrea; Biewen, Elena; Blank, Sven; Gaulier, Guillaume; González, María Jesus; Meinen, Philipp; Mirza, Daniel; Martín, Cesar; Tello, Patry
    Abstract: This paper uses detailed micro data on service exports at the firm-destination-service level to analyse the role of firm heterogeneity in shaping aggregate service exports in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain from 2003 to 2007. We decompose the level and the growth of aggregate service exports into different trade margins paying special attention to firm heterogeneity within countries. We find that the weak export growth of France is at least partly due to poor performance by small exporters. By contrast, small exporters are the most dynamic contributors to the aggregate exports of Belgium, Germany and Spain. Our results highlight the importance of firm heterogeneity in understanding aggregate export growth. JEL Classification: F14
    Keywords: cross-country micro data study, firm heterogeneity, service exports
    Date: 2017–09
  8. By: Russell Cooper (Penn State University)
    Abstract: We study the employment and output effects of the short-time work (STW) policy in Ger- many between 2009 and 2010. This intervention facilitated reductions in hours worked per employee with the goal of preventing layoffs. Using confidential German micro-level data we estimate a search model with heterogeneous multi-worker firms. Our findings suggest that STW can prevent increases in unemployment during a recession. However, the policy leads to a decrease in the allocative efficiency of the labor market, resulting in significant output losses.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Florian Gerth
    Abstract: This paper argues that the fall and persistently low level of UK Total Factor Productivity (TFP) following the Great Recession was caused by the turnover (entry and exit) of firms, rather than by resource misallocation between firms within industries. I conduct a misallocation exercise employing the Hsieh and Klenow (2009) and the Olley and Pakes (1996) methods using the FAME microlevel dataset that contains more than 9 million firms within the UK over the 2006 - 2014 period. The main findings are that, first, service sector TFP drops far more than manufacturing TFP and therefore drives the fall and long-lasting depression in aggregate productivity. Second, within-industry misallocation cannot account for the drop in TFP. Third, the entry and exit of firms both contribute to the decline in aggregate TFP while the entry of firms has a larger negative effect on TFP than the exit of firms. And fourth, the pattern of within-industry misallocation and firm dynamics is the same for the manufacturing and the service sector.
    Keywords: Great Recession in the UK; Factor Misallocation; FAME dataset
    JEL: D24 E13 E32 L11
    Date: 2017–09
  10. By: Marta De Philippis (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This work analyzes the evolution of the labour force participation rate in Italy, as compared with the other main euro-area countries in the last decade. It breaks down the dynamics of the activity rate into the portion due to changes in the average socio-demographic characteristics of the population and that related to within socio-demographic group variations in the probability of participating. The results show that the main drivers of the increase in Italy’s participation rate are structural and long-lasting: they are mostly related to the rise in the population’s share of highly-educated individuals, who are more strongly attached to the labour market, and to the positive labour supply effects of the recent pension reforms. In the decade ahead, while socio-demographic forces are expected to stop providing a positive push to the aggregate activity rate, due to the ageing of the particularly numerous cohort of individuals born in the 1960s, the increase in the labour supply of women and of the elderly will continue to boost the overall labour force participation rate.
    Keywords: labour supply, demographic changes, pension reforms
    JEL: J21 J11
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Maria Sironi
    Abstract: Transition to adulthood has undoubtedly changed in the last few decades. For youth today, an important marker of adulthood is self-actualization in their professional career, and, consequently, also the achievement of stable financial conditions. Economic conditions of youth are greatly subject to fluctuations in the economy, and the subsequent governmental response. Using the Luxembourg Income Study, this work investigates the trends in income from work of young adults before and after the Great Recession of 2008 in five countries – US, UK, Norway, Germany, and Spain. The findings show deterioration in economic conditions of young men, but with differences across countries. Young women suffer less from the crisis, and in some countries, their economic situation improves. The general negative trend is especially pronounced for those with high education, which is primarily because they stay in education longer.
    Keywords: Transition to adulthood, Employment, Economic Conditions, Great Recession, Luxembourg Income Study
    Date: 2017–08
  12. By: Heger, Dörte; Korfhage, Thorben
    Abstract: Informal caregivers provide valuable services to elderly persons with long-term care needs. However, the time commitment of caregiving often competes against time spent in the labour force. In addition to the momentary trade-off, long-term consequences are possible since especially older workers might find it difficult to re-enter the labour market after a caregiving spell. While several studies document a negative relationship between caregiving and work, little is known about whether this effect is persistent over time. Analysing a large panel data set of 15 European countries and Israel, we show that care provision to an elderly parent has lasting negative effects on employment for both men and women but only women reduce their working hours.
    Keywords: informal care,labour market outcomes,short and medium term effects
    JEL: J14 J22
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Wolf-Hendrik Uhlbach; Pierre-Alexandre Balland; Thomas Scherngell
    Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that new technological specializations of regions are to a large extent driven by the recombination of existing knowledge and capabilities. Since this process is path-dependant and self-reinforcing, it can easily lead to technological lock-ins. A key issue is therefore to evaluate whether public policy can impact technological trajectories of regions and how it can be more effective. To address this issue, we analyze quantitatively and systematically the relation between R&D subsidies and new technological specializations of European regions from 1999 to 2010. R&D subsidies are identified by using the EU Framework Pro- grammes (FP) from the EUPRO database, and matched with patent documents from the OECD-REGPAT database. Using a fixed-effects linear probability model, our results indicate that FP participations have a positive but relatively small effect on the development of new specializations of regions, and that it can compensate for a lack of local related capabilities. We also find evidence that R&D subsidies have the highest impact if the level of relatedness with the new technology is neither too low (policy can not build a cathedral in the desert) nor too high (if all the capabilities are already present there is no need for policy).
    Keywords: Regional Diversification, Technological Change, R&D subsidies, EU Framework Programmes
    JEL: O31 O33 O38 O52
    Date: 2017–09
  14. By: Ante Busic-Sontic; Franz Fuerst
    Abstract: This study investigates whether energy efficiency investments are driven by differences in personality traits among homeowners. Using data on nearly 3,000 households in Germany, we estimate that compared to the median level, homeowners in the lowest quartile of Openness to Experience have 5.0%-23.4% lower propensity to invest in capital-intensive energy efficiency measures, while homeowners in the highest quartile of Agreeableness are 7.7%-18.0% less likelyto do so. Splitting the energy efficiency investments into two groups yields stronger effects of the same two personality traits for window modernisations and thermal insulation installations, whereas no impact of the personality traits is observed for solar energy and other alternative energy systems, possibly because subsidies for the latter were introduced much earlier in Germany, overriding any effects of personality traits in the investment decisions. These findings may also suggest that personality traits are of greater significance for marginal investors.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency, personality traits, technology, diffusion, residential sector
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Jan Hanousek; Anastasiya Shamshur; Jiri Tresl
    Abstract: We study the effects of corruption on firm efficiency using a unique dataset of private firms from 14 Central and Eastern European countries from 2000 to 2013. We find that an environment characterized by a high level of corruption has an adverse effect on firm efficiency. This effect is stronger for firms with a lower propensity to behave corruptly, such as foreign-controlled firms and firms managed by female CEOs, while local firms and firms with male CEOs are not disadvantaged. We also find that an environment characterized by considerable heterogeneity in the perception of corruption is associated with an increase in firm efficiency. This effect is particularly strong for foreign-controlled firms from low corruption countries, while no effect is observed for firms managed by a female CEO.
    Keywords: efficiency; corruption; ownership structure; foreign ownership; CEO gender; firms; panel data; stochastic frontier; Europe
    JEL: C33 D24 G32 L60 L80 M21
    Date: 2017–06
  16. By: Nicola Curci (Bank of Italy); Marco Savegnago (Bank of Italy); Marika Cioffi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper presents BIMic, a static and non-behavioural microsimulation model developed at the Bank of Italy. BIMic reproduces the main features of the Italian tax and benefit system, such as social security contributions, personal income tax, property taxes, family allowances and some other social benefits. It aims to evaluate the budgetary impact and distributive effects of tax-benefit programmes. Such programmes may be actually operating at a given point in time or may be a counterfactual set. To illustrate a potential use of BIMic, this paper discusses the distributive impact of a recently approved legislative innovation regarding the additional transfer to pensioners (known as the quattordicesima ai pensionati).
    Keywords: fiscal policy, tax-benefit, microsimulation model, redistribution, progressivity
    JEL: H22 H23 H31 C15 C63
    Date: 2017–09
  17. By: Rosa Sanchis-Guarner (Imperial College Business School)
    Abstract: An inflow of immigrants into a region impacts house prices in three ways. For a fixed level of local population, housing demand rises due to the increase in foreign-born population. In addition, immigrants can influence native location decisions and induce additional shifts in demand. Finally, changes in housing supply conditions can in turn affect prices. Existing reduced form estimates of the effect of immigration on house prices capture the sum of all these effects. In this paper I propose a methodology to identify the different channels driving the total effect. I show that, conditional on supply, total changes in housing demand can be decomposed into the sum of direct immigrant demand and indirect demand changes from relocated population. The size and sign of the indirect demand effect depends on the impact of immigration on native mobility. I use Spanish data during the period 2001-2012 to estimate the different elements of the decomposition, applying an instrumental variables strategy to obtain consistent coefficients. The results show that overlooking the impact of immigration on native location induces a sizeable difference between the total and the immigrant demand effects, affecting the interpretation of the estimates.
    Keywords: Immigration, Housing, Spain, Instrumental Variables
    JEL: J61 R12 R21
    Date: 2017–09
  18. By: Belén Gill de Albornoz Noguer (Universitat Jaume I); Simona Rusanescu (Dpto. Finances i Comptabilitat)
    Abstract: In a sample of large private Spanish subsidiaries, we find that the magnitude ofdiscretionary accruals is significantly higher when the parent company is foreign thanwhen it is local. Our tests support the thesis of recent research on earnings management strategies within multinational corporations (MNCs), suggesting that the parent company’s incentives underlie the observed negative relation between foreignownership and financial reporting quality at the subsidiary level. In particular, weobserve that: (1) the tenure of the controlling shareholder has a negative incrementaleffect on financial reporting quality in firms under foreign control, but not insubsidiaries of local groups; and (2) the negative association between foreign ownershipand financial reporting quality is mainly driven by the subsample of subsidiaries withparent companies located in countries with higher institutional quality than Spain.
    Keywords: foreign ownership; private firms; subsidiaries; earnings management;
    JEL: F23 M41 M48
    Date: 2017–08
  19. By: Paola Bertoli; Veronica Grembi
    Abstract: We provide a political economy interpretation of the variations in the prices of 6 obstetric diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) using Italy as a case study. Italy provides a unique institutional setting since its 21 regional governments can decide to adopt the national DRG system or to adjust/waive it. Using a panel fixed effects model, we exploit the results of 66 electoral ballots between 2000 and 2013 to estimate how obstetric DRGs are affected by the composition and characteristics of regional governments. We find that the incidence of physicians among regional politicians explains variations in DRGs with low technological intensity, such as normal newborns, but not of those with high technological intensity, as severely premature newborns. We further investigate these results by exploiting the implementation of a budget constraint policy. Applying a difference-in-difference strategy, we observe a decrease in the average levels of DRGs after the implementation of the policy, but the magnitude of this decrease depends on the presence of physicians among politicians and the political alignment between the regional and the national government. Finally, we rely on patient data (6,500,000 infant deliveries) to assess whether any of the political economy variables have a positive impact on the quality of regional obstetric systems. We find no effect.
    Keywords: diagnosis-related groups; regional governments; difference in differences;
    JEL: H51 H70 I1
    Date: 2017–06
  20. By: Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Xavier Ramos
    Abstract: A growing literature has tried to measure the extent to which individuals have equal opportunities to acquire income. At the same time, policy makers have doubled down on efforts to go beyond income when measuring well-being. We attempt to bridge these two areas by measuring the extent to which individuals have equal opportunities to achieve a high level of well-being. We use the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure well-being in four different ways including incomes. This makes it possible to determine if the way well-being is measured matters for identifying who the opportunity-deprived are and for tracking inequality of opportunity over time. We find that, regardless of how well-being is measured, the same people are opportunity-deprived and equality of opportunity has improved over the past 20 years. This suggests that going beyond income has little relevance if the objective is to provide equal opportunities.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunity, measurement, responsibility, effort, well-being
    JEL: D3 D63 I31
    Date: 2017
  21. By: Diego d’Andria (European Commission – Joint Research Center); Dimitris Pontikakis (European Commission – Joint Research Center); Agnieszka Skonieczna (European Commission)
    Abstract: EU businesses underinvest in R&D which is a driver of economic growth and productivity. While the world is becoming more R&D-intensive, the relative weight of the EU is decreasing, mainly due to the rapid rise of China. Taxation has been increasingly used to stimulate investment in R&D. A recent proposal for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) across the European Union (EU) includes an R&D incentive. This paper presents the rationale for the inclusion of R&D provisions, quantifies the subsidy implied by alternative options using the user's cost approach and approximates aggregate impacts by means of simple extrapolations from elasticities found in literature. We find that the CCCTB without an R&D incentive would significantly deteriorate incentives to invest in R&D. We present alternative options and argue that the level of support should be ambitious to address the pressing need in the EU to invest more, stay globally competitive and reach the EU's target of investing 3% of its GDP in R&D. Importantly, to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this tax reform, EU member states will have to coherently mobilise a range of policies and engage in complementary non-tax interventions in their national innovation systems. We conclude with a broad consideration of what these may be for the varied and variably developed business innovation capabilities found across the EU.
    Keywords: Corporate taxation, R&D, innovation, CCCTB, R&D tax incentives
    JEL: F21 H25 H73 O31
    Date: 2017–07
  22. By: Michal Rubaszek; Margarita Rubio
    Abstract: The size of the rental housing market in most countries around the globe is low. In this article we claim that this may be detrimental for macroeconomic stability. Toward this aim we, determine the reasons behind rental market underdevelopment by conducting an original survey among a representative group of 1005 Poles, a country that is characterized by high homeownership ratio. We find that households' preferences are strongly influenced by economic and psychological factors. Next, we propose a DSGE model in which households satisfy housing needs both by owning and renting. We use it to show that reforms enhancing the rental housing market contribute to macroeconomic stability. This micro-macro approach allows us to dig into the causes of rental market underdevelopment and design appropriate policy recommendations.
    Keywords: Rental housing market; survey data; DSGE model
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Louis Chauvel; Anne Hartung; Flaviana Palmisano
    Abstract: This paper presents a methodology for comparing income rank volatility profiles over time and across distributions. While most of the existing measures are affected by changes in marginal distributions, this paper proposes a framework that is based on individuals’ relative positions in the distribution, and is neutral in relation to structural changes that occur in the economy. Applying this approach to investigate rank volatility in Germany and the US over three decades, we show that while poorer individuals within both countries are the most volatile, the volatility trend for the middle class in each of these countries differs.
    Keywords: rank volatility, income, risk, inequality, middle class, Germany, US
    JEL: D31 J6 I30
    Date: 2017
  24. By: Voigtländer, Michael
    Abstract: With prices surging in major cities since 2010, the debate about a potential speculative bubble in the German housing market has been gaining momentum. Overall, however, the German housing market is sound. Neither an excess of construction, nor an excess of mortgage lending have been observed, and thus the risk of a sudden burst in housing prices seems low. In the major cities in particular, there is a discrepancy between supply and demand. Combined with low mortgage rates, strong price increases are plausible. Nevertheless, this study also points to risks in the market. Specifically, investors should take into account the 3 following risks: 1. In rural regions, there is an excess of supply of single-family homes. Since demographic forecasts for the larger part of these regions are dismal, a price correction seems more likely. 2. In some big cities, completions in micro apartments have been enormously high. Moreover, most new micro apartments are let at high rental rates, overburdening most students who are meant to be the typical users. As the population aged between 18 and 25 is set to shrink over the coming years, there are grounds for a market correction, 3. Multipliers indicate optimistic expectations with regards to future rent increases, specifically in Hamburg and Munich. Although rental increases can be justified by a growing population, there is a risk of a tightening in rental regulation, preventing investors from putting rental increases in practice. The German housing market appeared to be a haven for investors in recent years. The combination of high demand (migration), a robust economy and ultra-low mortgage rates offered the chance for high capital growth. Fortunately, the German market is less prone to overheating than other markets, but risks are emerging nonetheless. However, since demand continues to outpace supply in various sub-segments of the housing market, investment opportunities are still present.
    JEL: D53 R21 R31
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Crusius, Tobias L.; von Werder, Marten
    Abstract: This study uses the German SAVE panel study in order to estimate the effect of intergenerational transfers on the expected retirement entry age of individuals. The literature in this field typically estimates the transfer effect on the actual retirement probability. We suggest to base the analysis on the expected retirement age instead. This entails two methodological advantages: First, it is possible to exploit the within individual variation for the entire sample (even of those who do not retire) and thereby permits to analyze the life-cycle considerations of younger age groups. Second, the effect size can easily be expressed in terms of time and thereby monetary opportunity costs. We find that heirs expect to retire earlier, even when receipts are expected to some degree. Specifically, heirs plan to retire four to five months earlier and thereby accept costs in the form of foregone income and pension entitlements corresponding to 20-30% of the inheritance.
    Date: 2017
  26. By: Bruce Bradbury; Markus Jäntti; Lena Lindahl
    Abstract: This paper documents the variation in living standards of the poorest fifth of children in rich (and some middle-income) nations, with a focus on the relative importance and interaction of social transfers (net of taxes) and labour market incomes. Overall, the cross-national variation in the disposable income of disadvantaged children is comprised equally of variation in market and transfer income (with the two negatively correlated). The English-speaking countries stand out as all having relatively low market incomes, but substantial variation in transfer income. Their low market incomes reflect low employment hours in Australia and primarily low hours in the UK and Ireland, while in the US and Canada low hours and low pay contribute equally. Comparing incomes prior to and after the 2008 financial crisis, the real disposable incomes of the poorest fifth decreased substantially in Spain and in Ireland, but were relatively stable in other rich nations.
    Keywords: poverty,social transfers,wages,cross-national comparisons,LIS database
    JEL: I32 I38 J21
    Date: 2017–07
  27. By: Georgios Symeonidis; Manolis Valavanis; Georgia Venetsanakou
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the impact of the reforms of the Greek Pension and Fiscal System on poverty, through a statistical analysis and to point out the changes in the main factors mentioned above and how they correlate. The analysis is achieved through the comparison of main identifiers between Greece and richer European countries. Firstly, the macroeconomic variables are presented. Then, the data analysis on income, income from pension and its correlation with owned housing is conducted and finally the reconstruction of poverty thresholds and its large variations are depicted, with an attempt to explain the differences based on methodological approach and data collection.
    Date: 2017–08
  28. By: Jonker, Nicole; Hernandez, Lola; de Vree, Renate; Zwaan, Patricia
    Abstract: In this study, we present and discuss the results of a longitudinal survey on consumers’ payment behaviour carried out yearly during the period 2010 to 2016. We have collected data among 119,117 Dutch consumers aged 12 years and older using single day payment diaries. Between 2010 and 2013 the field work was carried out in September, whereas from 2014 onwards the field work has taken place during the whole year. The results reveal a gradual substitution of cash by debit card payments between 2010 and 2016. Between 2012 and 2013, the substitution process slowed down, probably due to the economic crisis. In 2015 Dutch consumers for the first time made more payments with debit cards than with cash.
    Keywords: Cash usage,debit card usage,households,diary data
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Vicente Cunat (London School of Economics); Daniel Metzger (Stockholm School of Economics); Andrea Caggese (Pompeu Fabra University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of firms’ financing constraints on the decision of which workers to fire. Firms need to consider wages, current and expected productivity as well as firing and hiring costs when firing a worker. Financing constraints distort this inter-temporal trade-off leading firms to sub-optimal firing decisions. In particular, financially constrained firms may fire the wrong type of workers (e.g., workers with steeper productivity profiles or lower firing costs) relative to unconstrained firms. We provide empirical evidence of this distortion using matched employer-employee data from the Swedish population between 1990 and 2010. Financing constraints are identified using a regression discontinuity approach on the determination of a public discrete credit rating and a within firm-year estimator. Negative firm shocks are identified from firm-specific trade patterns and exchange rate fluctuations. Our empirical results reveal an important new misallocation effect of financial frictions that operates within firms across different types of workers.
    Date: 2017
  30. By: Ina C. Jäkel (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Allan Sørensen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on manufacturing firms' output prices: in Denmark, on average, exported varieties are sold at a lower price (i.e. a negative exporter price premium) relative to only domestically sold varieties. This finding stands in sharp contrast to previous studies, which have found positive exporter price premia. We also document that the exporter price premium varies substantially across products (both in terms of sign and magnitude). We show that in a standard heterogeneous firms model with heterogeneity in quality as well as production efficiency there is indeed no clear-cut prediction on the sign of the exporter price premium. However, the model unambiguously predicts a negative exporter price premium in terms of quality-adjusted prices, i.e. prices per unit of quality. This prediction is broadly borne out in the Danish data: while the magnitude of the premium varies across products, its sign is (nearly) always negative.
    Keywords: Exporters, Pricing, Exporter price premia, Firm-level data
    JEL: F12 F14 L15
    Date: 2017–09–07
  31. By: Harkin, Sean M.; Mare, Davide S.; Crook, Jonathan N.
    Abstract: We study the determinants of average pay across all levels of staff seniority for UK banks between 2003 and 2012. We show that pay is affected by agency problems but not by bank operating performance. Average pay does not depend on accounting outcomes at the bank level. By contrast, average pay is positively affected by the presence of a Remuneration Committee and the proportion of Non-Executives on the Board. These findings indicate that bank pay is determined by agency issues, not bank accounting performance. Our results have practical implications for bank shareholders and regulators, suggesting the need for greater transparency in governance of bank pay.
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Remuneration, Bank Performance, Agency Problems.
    JEL: G21 G34 G35 M52
    Date: 2017–09–01
  32. By: Céline Du Boys (AMU IMPGT - Institut de management public et de gouvernance territoriale - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - AMU - Aix Marseille Université, CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Emanuele Padovani (UNIBO - Università di Bologna [Bologna])
    Abstract: The 2008 crisis has damaged or weakened most European Local Governments (LGs)’ financial situation. The shock has been more or less intense depending on the national context and policies, and on individual situations and strategies. After the crisis, different and successive types of recovery plans, austerity measures, and institutional reforms have been implemented by States, with several diverse effects on LGs’ situation. The previous situation of LGs in terms of financial autonomy, State protection or local responsibilities and actions also influenced their post crisis situation, not to mention the provision of bankruptcy in certain nations. At the individual level, depending on their size and capacities, LGs followed different strategies to cope with the crisis and the decrease in public resources. Taking a short or longer term perspective, LGs have had various options, from brutal cost cuts to more elaborated restructuring of their actions and missions even by outsourcing, from basic fiscal leverage to new strategies for enhancing revenues. In order to study the influence of both national and individual characteristics, this paper proposes a quantitative comparative study, based on a unique database of French and Italian LGs financial data, from 2006 to 2014, where financial data have been reclassified according to recent developments in the field (CEFG Group, 2015). It provides some descriptive statistics and mean comparisons of the evolution of key financial indicators from 2006 to 2014: global revenues, operating balance, part of tax resources in global revenues, level and cost of debt, level of operating expenses and personnel costs, level of investment expenses. The study focus on municipalities between 50 000 and 1 million inhabitants (122 municipalities in France, 145 in Italy).
    Keywords: Local Government, Municipality, Crisis, France, Italy, Financial situation, Comparative analysis, Collectivités locales,Municipalités,Situation Financière
    Date: 2016–08–23

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.