nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒10‒29
38 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The involvement of utilities in the development of broadband infrastructure: A comparison of EU case studies By Gerli, Paolo; Van der Wee, Marlies; Verbrugge, Sofie; Whalley, Jason
  2. The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments By Giovanni Marin; Francesco Vona
  3. Understanding the Impact of Tuition Fees in Foreign Education: the Case of the UK. By Lionel Ragot; Michel Beine; Marco Delogu
  4. Legal enforcement and Global Value Chains: micro-evidence from Italian manufacturing firms By Antonio Accetturo; Andrea Linarello; Andrea Petrella
  5. Competition and physician behaviour: Does the competitive environment affect the propensity to issue sickness certificates? By Kurt R. Brekke; Tor Helge Holmäs; Karin Monstad; Odd Rune Straume
  6. Environmental Tax Reform and Income Distribution with Imperfect Heterogeneous Labour Markets By Diane Aubert; Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline
  7. The Value of Energy Efficiency and the Role of Expected Heating Costs By Mense, Andreas
  8. The impact of the Minimum Income Scheme on Poverty in the Basque Country By Lucía Gorjón
  9. Determining factors for audit opinion in private family and non-family firms. Evidence from Spain. By Santiago Lago-Peñas; Mercedes Mareque Álvarez-Santullano; Elena Rivo-López; Mónica Villanueva-Villar
  10. Family firms and access to credit. Is family ownership beneficial? By Pierluigi Murro; Valentina Peruzzi
  11. Income or Leisure? On the Hidden Benefits of (Un-)Employment By Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
  12. Can financial incentives reduce the baby gap? Evidence from a reform in maternity leave benefits By Raute, Anna
  13. Tariff Diversity and Competition Policy: Drivers for Broadband Adoption in the European Union By Lange, Mirjam R.J.
  14. School Infrastructure Spending and Educational Outcomes in Northern Italy By Marco Modica; Alessandro Belmonte; Vincenzo Bove; Giovanna D’Inverno
  15. Employment and Human Capital Investment Intentions among Recent Refugees in Germany By Peter Haan; Martin Kroh; Kent Troutman
  16. Product Market Competition and Employer Provided Training in Germany By Heywood, John S.; Jirjahn, Uwe; Pfister, Annika
  17. The Effect of Language Training on Immigrants' Economic Integration - Empirical Evidence from France By Alexia Lochmann; Hillel Rapoport; Biagio Speciale
  18. Information Asymmetries between Parents and Educators in German Childcare Institutions By Georg F. Camehl; Pia S. Schober; C. Katharina Spiess
  19. International Trade, Quality Sorting and Trade Costs: The Case of Cognac By Charlotte Emlinger; Viola Lamani
  20. Prevalence of Diseases and Health Care Utilization ofthe Self-Employed Artists and TheirEmpirical Determinants: Evidence From a Slovenian Survey By Andrej Sarkar
  21. Overeducation and the Gender Pay Gap in Italy. A Double Selectivity Approach By Carolina Castagnetti; Luisa Rosti; Marina Toepfer
  22. M&As, Investment and Financing Constraints By Wößner, Nicole; Stiebale, Joel
  23. Gross inland energy consumption inequality in Europe: An empirical approach. By Marta Pascual-Sáez; David Cantarero-Prieto; Jose R. Pires-Manso
  24. The Demography of Enterprises and Employment in the European Union Countries By Rafik Abdesselam; Jean Bonnet; Patricia Renou-Maissant
  25. Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time in Germnay By Ana I. Moro Egido; Maria Navarro; Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez
  26. Higher Education Funding Reforms: A Comprehensive Analysis of Educational and Labor Market Outcomes in England By Azmat, Ghazala; Simion, Stefania
  27. Implausible Large Differences in the Sizes of Underground Economies in Highly Developed European Countries? A Comparison of Different Estimation Methods By Friedrich Schneider
  28. Income Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners By Hyll, Walter; Schneider, Lutz
  29. Wage Cyclicalities and Labor Market Dynamics at the Establishment Level: Theory and Evidence By Merkl, Christian; Stüber, Heiko
  30. The 'Gravity' of Quality: Research Quality and Universities' Attractiveness in Italy By Bratti, Massimiliano; Verzillo, Stefano
  31. So similar and yet so different: A comparative analysis of a firm's cost and benefits of apprenticeship training in Austria and Switzerland By Luca Moretti; Martin Mayerl; Samuel Muehlemann; Peter Schloegl; Stefan C. Wolter
  32. Innovation, Skills and Investment: A Digital Industrial Policy for Europe By Gruber, Harald
  33. Can Subsidising Job-Related Training Reduce Inequality? By Konstantinos Angelopoulos; Andrea Benecchi; Jim Malley
  34. Worker separation under performance pay : Empirical evidence from Finland By Jones, Derek C.; Kalmi, Panu; Kato, Takao; Mäkinen, Mikko
  35. The Importance of Mittelstand Firms for Regional Apprenticeship Activity By Jahn, Vera
  36. Cheating in Academia: The Relevance of Social Factors By Alessandro Bucciol; Simona Cicognani; Natalia Montinari
  37. Do Bank Shocks Hamper Firms’ Innovation? By Mariana Spatareanu; Vlad Manole; Ali Kabiri
  38. Models for individual adoption of eCommerce, eBanking and eGovernment in Spain By Garín-Muñoz, Teresa; López, Rafael; Pérez-Amaral, Teodosio; Herguera García, Iñigo; Valarezo, Angel

  1. By: Gerli, Paolo; Van der Wee, Marlies; Verbrugge, Sofie; Whalley, Jason
    Abstract: Utility providers, such as energy companies and railway operators, have been long emphasised as driving competition and facilitating investment in broadband markets. Nevertheless, their involvement and contribution to broadband development has varied significantly over time. In the late 1990s, both local and national utilities engaged in the provision of broadband networks, but only few of them managed to establish themselves as major broadband providers. More recently, new projects involving national utilities have been announced in several EU countries, opening new scenarios for utilities’ contribution to Next Generation Access (NGA) development. This paper aims to explore and identify the factors affecting the entry and the success of utilities in the European broadband market. Four case studies from four EU countries (Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK) are investigated and compared, to highlight similarities and differences under the EU regulatory framework. This qualitative analysis takes into account the interaction of market, technology and policy factors, focusing on the impact of policy and regulatory measures. As a result, this paper provides fruitful insights into the relevance and effectiveness of public interventions in broadband markets. Public support and public ownership are identified as main drivers for the involvement of utilities in EU broadband markets, with regulatory measures and economies of scope exerting a limited and decreasing influence.
    Keywords: Utility providers,broadband investment,broadband policy,open-access networks
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Giovanni Marin (Department of Economics, Society and Politics, University of Urbino 'Carlo Bo', Italy); Francesco Vona (OFCE-SciencesPo and SKEMA Business School, Sophia Antipolis, France)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the historical influence of energy prices on a series of measures of environmental and economic performance for a panel of French manufacturing establishments over the period 1997-2010. The focus on energy prices is motivated by the fact that changes in environmental and energy policies have been dominated by substantial reductions in discounts for large consumers, making the evaluation of each policy in isolation exceedingly difficult. To identify price effects, we construct a shift-share instrument that captures only the exogenous variation in establishment-specific energy prices. Our results highlight a trade-off between environmental and economic goals: although a 10\% increase in energy prices brings about a 6\% reduction in energy consumption and to a 11\% reduction in CO2 emissions, such an increase also has a modestly negative impact on employment (-2.6\%) and very small impact on wages and productivity. The negative employment effects are mostly concentrated in energy-intensive and trade-exposed sectors. Simulating the effect of a carbon tax, we show that job losses for the most exposed sectors can be quite large. However, these effects are upper bounds and we show that they are significantly mitigated in multi-plant firms by labor reallocation across establishments.
    Keywords: energy prices, establishment performance, environmental and energy policy
    JEL: Q52 Q48 H23 D22
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Lionel Ragot; Michel Beine; Marco Delogu
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of international students mobility at the university level, focusing specifically on the role of tuition fees. We first develop an original Random Utility Maximization model of location choice for international students in the presence of capacity constraints of the hosting institutions. The last layer of the model gives rise to a gravity equation. This equation is estimated using new data on student migration flows at the university level for the U.K. We control for the endogeneity of tuition fees by taking benefit of the institutional constraints in terms of tuition caps applied in the UK to European students at the bachelor level. The estimations support a negative impact of tuition fees and stress the need to account for the endogenous nature of the fees in the empirical identification of their impact. The estimations also support an important role of additional destination-specific variables such as host capacity, the expected return of education and the cost of living in the vicinity of the university.
    Keywords: Foreign students; Tuition fees; Location choice; University Quality.
    JEL: F22 H52 I23 O15
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Antonio Accetturo (Bank of Italy); Andrea Linarello (Bank of Italy); Andrea Petrella (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the relationship between the quality of contract enforcement and firms' participation in Global Value Chains. Using new data on Italian manufacturing firms' supply of customized inputs to other firms and variations in law enforcement in courts across Italy, we find that firms located in courts with longer trial lengths are less likely to supply customized intermediate inputs to foreign firms. The effects are stronger for firms operating in contract-intensive industries. Our results are confirmed when we use a spatial regression discontinuity design that compares the probability of supplying customized inputs for firms that are located on different sides of a court border, and are therefore characterized by different trial lengths.
    Keywords: Global Value Chain, Judiciary Efficiency, Italy
    JEL: F10 F14 L14
    Date: 2017–10
  5. By: Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics); Tor Helge Holmäs (Uni Research Rokkan Centre); Karin Monstad (Uni Rokkan Centre); Odd Rune Straume (NIPE/University of Minho)
    Abstract: Competition among physicians is widespread, but compelling empirical evidence on the impact on service provision is limited, mainly due to lack of exogenous variation in the degree of competition. In this paper we exploit that many GPs, in addition to own practice, work in local emergency centres, where the matching of patients to GPs is random. This allows us to observe the same GP in two dfferent competitive environments; with competition (own practice) and without competition (emergency centre). Using rich administrative patientlevel data from Norway for 2006-14, which allow us to estimate high-dimensional fixed-effect models to control for time-invariant patient and GP heterogeneity, we and that GPs with a fee-for-service (fixed salary) contract are 11 (8) percentage points more likely to certify sick leave at own practice than at the emergency centre. Thus, competition has a positive impact on GP´s sick listing that is reinforced by financial incentives.
    Keywords: Physicians, Competition, Sickness certification
    JEL: I11 I18 L13
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Diane Aubert; Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline
    Abstract: This paper investigates the distributional and efficiency consequences of an environmental tax reform, when the revenue from the green tax is recycled by varying labor tax rates. We build a general equilibrium model with imperfect heterogeneous labor markets, pollution consumption externalities, and non-homothetic preferences (Stone-Geary utility). We show that in the case where the reform appears to be regressive, the gains from the double dividend can be made Pareto improving by using a redistributive non-linear income tax if redistribution is initially not too large. Moreover, the increase of progressivity acts on unemployment and can moderate the trade-off between equity and efficiency. We finally provide numerical illustrations for three European countries featuring different labor market behaviors. We show that a double dividend may be obtained without worsening the initial inequalities if the green tax revenues are redistributed with a progressivity index lower for UK than for France and Germany.
    Keywords: environmental tax reform, heterogeneity, unemployment, welfare analysis, tax progressivity
    JEL: D62 D63 H23 Q52 Q58
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Mense, Andreas
    Abstract: The German Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires sellers on the housing market to provide detailed information on expected yearly energy consumption per square meter. This paper uses variation in local fuel prices and climate, fuel types, and building ages to analyze the relationship between expected energy cost savings from energy efficient building structure and house prices in Germany. Results suggest that heating cost considerations are less relevant than previously thought.
    JEL: R21 R31 Q40
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Lucía Gorjón
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of a Minimum Income Scheme (MIS), which operates in one of the 17 Spanish Regions - the Basque Country. In particular, its impact, effectiveness and efficiency in fighting poverty is assessed. Results show that MIS has had a strong impact in reducing all dimensions of poverty. However, only 59.2% of the benefit transferred effectively contributes to poverty reduction. The paper presents an alternative, more egalitarian design of the Minimum Income Scheme, which, in line with an international standard of poverty, seeks to maximize its coverage and its impact in reducing poverty.
    Date: 2017–10
  9. By: Santiago Lago-Peñas; Mercedes Mareque Álvarez-Santullano; Elena Rivo-López; Mónica Villanueva-Villar
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determining factors for audit opinion in private firms, and whether such factors differ between family and non-family firms. With a sample of 9,873 Spanish firms for the period 2011-2015, the empirical results suggest that auditor tenure and ROA raise the probability of receiving a favorable opinion; and that losses during the previous year, high financial leverage, and hiring one of the so-called “Big 4” auditing firms increase the probability of receiving an unfavorable opinion. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the size of such effects differs between family and non-family firms.
    Keywords: Auditing; Family Business; Agency Theory; Big 4; Audit Opinion.
    JEL: M14 M41 M42
    Date: 2017–10
  10. By: Pierluigi Murro (LUMSA University); Valentina Peruzzi (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of family ownership on credit rationing using a rich sample of Italian manufacturing firms. We find that family ownership increases the probability of credit rationing. Conflicts between large and minority shareholders, family firms’ lack of competencies and conservatism appear to be the main determinants of this result. By contrast, family owners’ long-termism, risk aversion, and relationship lending mitigate the adverse impact of family ownership on firms’ credit availability. Finally, we find that family businesses are more likely to be rationed in provinces with high level of social capital and judicial efficiency, suggesting that delegation problems are mitigated by personal relationships in areas where cooperation mechanisms are weaker.
    Keywords: Family firms, credit rationing, agency conflicts, relationship lending
    JEL: D22 G21 G32
    Date: 2017–10
  11. By: Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
    Abstract: We study the usually assumed trade-off between income and leisure in labor supply decisions using comprehensive German panel data. We compare non-employed individuals after plant closures with employed people regarding both income and time use as well as their subjective perceptions of these two factors. We find that the gain of non-working time translates into higher satisfaction with free time, while time spent on hobbies increases to a lesser extent than home production. Additionally, satisfaction with family life increases, which may be a hidden benefit of being unemployed. In contrast, satisfaction with income strongly declines when becoming jobless. Identity utility from earning a living may play the role of a hidden benefit of employment. Finally, we examine subjective assessments of income and leisure as potential predictors for job take-up. Non-employed people are particularly likely to take up a job soon when they are dissatisfied with their income.
    Keywords: labor supply, plant closure, leisure, work-family conflict, life satisfaction, income satisfaction, free time satisfaction, family satisfaction
    JEL: D01 D13 I31 J22 J64 J65
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Raute, Anna
    Abstract: To assess whether earnings-dependent maternity leave positively impacts fertility and narrows the baby gap between high educated (high earning) and low educated (low earning) women, I exploit a major maternity leave benefit reform in Germany that considerably increases the financial incentives for higher educated and higher earning women to have a child. In particular, I use the large differential changes in maternity leave benefits across education and income groups to estimate the effects on fertility up to 5 years post reform. In addition to demonstrating an up to 22% increase in the fertility of tertiary educated versus low educated women, I find a positive, statistically significant effect of increased benefits on fertility, driven mainly by women at the middle and upper end of the education and income distributions. Overall, the results suggest that earnings-dependent maternity leave benefits, which compensate women commensurate with their opportunity cost of childbearing, could successfully reduce the fertility rate disparity related to mothers' education and earnings.
    Keywords: Fertility; fertility gaps; paid maternity leave
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2017–10
  13. By: Lange, Mirjam R.J.
    Abstract: While second-degree price discrimination is standard in commercial practice in many industries, consumer advocates and public interest groups have reacted with skepticism against tendencies to move away from flat rates and introduce greater tariff diversity. This paper provides an empirical analysis how the differentiation of broadband tariffs with respect to retail prices affects fixed broadband subscription using time-series data. The empirical analysis is based on a unique dataset of 10,200 retail broadband offers spanning the 2003–2011 period and including 23 EU member states. Results show that an increase in tariff diversity provides a significant impetus to broadband adoption, wherefore demands by some public interest groups to limit price discrimination in broadband markets should be viewed with some caution as reduced price discrimination may come at the cost of lower penetration rates.
    Keywords: Broadband demand,Tariff diversity,Price discrimination,Dynamic panel data analysis
    JEL: L86 L96
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Marco Modica (CNR IRCrES); Alessandro Belmonte (IMT Lucca); Vincenzo Bove (University of Warwick); Giovanna D’Inverno (IMT Lucca)
    Abstract: We explore whether investment in public school infrastructure affects students’ achievement. We use data on extra funding to public high schools after the 2012 Northern Italy earthquake and apply a quasi-experimental design and an instrumental variable strategy. We find that spending on school infrastructure increases standardized test scores in mathematics and Italian language, and the effect is stronger for lower-achieving students and in mathematics.These results provide evidence in favor of a positive impact of capital spending in improving the learning environment and performances of high school students.
    Keywords: Living standards; Wages; Multipliers; High-technology; Cities; Inequality
    Date: 2017–10
  15. By: Peter Haan; Martin Kroh; Kent Troutman
    Abstract: Motivations to participate in the labour market as well as to invest in labour market skills are crucial for the successful integration of refugees. In this paper we use a unique dataset – the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Refugee Survey, which is a representative longitudinal study of all refugees reported on administrative records in Germany – and analyse which determinants and characteristics are correlated with high motivation and intention to participate in the labour market. We find that overall men have a strong intention to work and to invest in human capital. The result for women is different: among women, having children, lack of German language skills, and having no previous work experience significantly and consistently correlate with lower expectations and intentions of future economic integration. Furthermore, we find a significant relationship between the degree of traditional or patriarchal views of women’s societal roles, and our corresponding outcomes of interest.
    Keywords: Refugees, labor market integration, human capital investment
    JEL: F22 J22 J24
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Heywood, John S. (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee); Jirjahn, Uwe (University of Trier); Pfister, Annika (University of Trier)
    Abstract: Using German establishment data, this paper examines the relationship between product market competition and the extent of employer provided training. We demonstrate that high product market competition is associated with increased training except when the competition is so severe as to threaten liquidation to a firm. We take this as evidence of an inverted U-shaped relationship. We also make clear that while this relationship is very evident for the service sector it is largely missing for manufacturing where we confirm earlier results of no relationship.
    Keywords: competition, employer provided training, manufacturing, services
    JEL: J24 L00 M53
    Date: 2017–09
  17. By: Alexia Lochmann; Hillel Rapoport; Biagio Speciale
    Abstract: We examine the impact of language training on the economic integration of immigrants in France. The assignment to this training, offered by the French Ministry of the Interior, depends mainly on a precise rule: the training is available when the test score of an initial language exam is below a certain threshold. This eligibility rule creates a discontinuity in the relation between the test result and the variables of interest, which is used to estimate the causal effect of this training, through the method of Regression Discontinuity Design. We find that the number of assigned hours of training significantly increases labor force participation of the treated individuals. The language classes appear to have a larger effect for labor migrants and refugees relative to family migrants, for men and individuals below the median age, and for individuals with higher levels of education. Our estimates suggest that the main channel for the improved labor market participation is the information on job search strategies that immigrants derive from the interaction with their classmates and teachers during classes.
    Keywords: immigrants’ integration, language training, Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: J15 J61 J68
    Date: 2017
  18. By: Georg F. Camehl; Pia S. Schober; C. Katharina Spiess
    Abstract: Economic theory predicts market failure in the market for early childhood education and care (ECEC) due to information asymmetries. We empirically investigate information asymmetries between parents and ECEC professionals in Germany, making use of a unique extension of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). It allows us to compare quality perceptions by parents and pedagogic staff of 734 ECEC institutions which were attended by children in SOEP households. Parents and staff were asked to rate the same quality measures. We detect considerable information asymmetries between these groups which differ across quality measures but little by parental socio-economic background or center characteristics. Our findings imply that information is not readily available to parents, an issue that should be addressed by policy-makers.
    Keywords: Child care, quality, information asymmetries, socio-economic differences, Germany
    JEL: J13 D82 I21
    Date: 2017
  19. By: Charlotte Emlinger; Viola Lamani
    Abstract: This paper tests empirically the validity of the Alchian and Allen effect, using an original dataset of French Cognac exports by quality designations. More specifically we estimate the impact of trade costs on the share and relative price of high quality Cognac. The definition of quality, based on the minimum time in oak of the youngest eau-de-vie used in creating the blend, is subject to regulations and is constant and objective, which makes the case of Cognac particularly relevant to analyze the impact of different trade costs on the quality mix. Our estimation proceeds in two parts. First, we investigate to what extent distance and customs duties impact the Cognac quality mix from 1996 to 2013. Second, we assess the impact of a variation in trade costs, through the adoption of containerization, on the quality mix of Cognac exports between 1969 and 2013. Our results confirm the Alchian and Allen effect. We show that: (i) per-unit trade costs increase the share of high-quality Cognac and have the opposite impact on its relative price; (ii) ad-valorem charges impact negatively the share of high-quality Cognac and have a positive impact on its relative price.
    Keywords: Quality Mix;Luxury Product;Distance;Tariffs
    JEL: F10 F13 F14
    Date: 2017–10
  20. By: Andrej Sarkar (Institute for Economic Research (IER) and Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
    Abstract: Empirical studies on precarious work are still at their beginnings, even more so when the health of precarious workers is under concern. Commonly, precarious workers are assumed to have the inferior health to the employees and even to the population in general, although some recent studiesfound counter evidence to this claim. In particular, studies on the labor market of artists have so far almost completely neglected the question of the health of the artists,and this study tries to fill in this large and important void. In the study, we employ a survey of Slovenian self-employed artists, undertaken in 2015, to study the determinants of the prevalence of diseases and health utilization of self-employed artists in Slovenia using econometric modelling and network analysis. We study and find the determinants, influencing the prevalence of each type of the most common disease among the self-employed artists, determine the most common groupings/multiple diseases among this population, and, finally, study the determinants of health care utilization of self-employed artists and model the heterogeneity in the observed sample. Aninteresting result lies in determining two differentgroups according to their health care utilization and providingtheir interpretation which fits into the existing literature on artist labor markets.
    Keywords: self-employed artists, diseases, health care utilization, multiple diseases, determinants, heterogeneity
    JEL: Z11 Z18 C45 C38 J44 I14
    Date: 2017–09
  21. By: Carolina Castagnetti (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Luisa Rosti (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Marina Toepfer (Institute of Economics, University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: We use a large Italian data set (ISFOL-PLUS 2005-2014) to estimate the gender pay gap (GPG) among overeducated workers. We show that overeducation is an important driver of the GPG. This result holds when controlling for sample selection and endogeneity problems, too. Neglecting selectivity issues may lead to the conclusion that discrimination is the most important driver of the GPG. Yet, when accounting for self-selection and endogeneity bias overeducation is found to merely reflect unobserved differences in personal characteristics such as innate ability. The selection coefficients for both the participation and the overeducation decision allow explaining almost the entire GPG.
    Keywords: gender pay gap, double selection, Italy, discrimination, wages.
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–10
  22. By: Wößner, Nicole; Stiebale, Joel
    Abstract: We use a panel data set of European firms to analyze the effects of domestic and international M&As on target firms' investment and financial constraints. Combining propensity score matching with a difference-in-differences estimator, our results show that upon acquisition, target firms obtain better access to external finance, are characterized by higher levels of tangible and intangible assets, and display lower dependence of investments and cash savings to the availability of internal funds.
    JEL: G34
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Marta Pascual-Sáez; David Cantarero-Prieto; Jose R. Pires-Manso
    Abstract: This paper analyses the gross inland energy consumption (EC) in the European Union countries (EU-15) taking in account the period 2005-2014. The standard tools in the measurement of income inequality such as Lorenz curves, Gini index, Generalized Entropy indices and Atkinson ones are applied. The empirical results, obtained through the decomposition of the generalized entropy indices, confirm that there are a small inward shift in the corresponding Lorenz curves, that the inequality distribution of EC across the EU-15 countries has decreased (the Gini coefficient falls from 44,27% in 2005 to 42,16% in 2014) and there are differences among the countries’ clusters: Mediterranean, Continental, Nordic and Anglo-Saxon. This paper makes a good contribution to knowledge: firstly, it is innovative since it puts together energy consumption and inequality among the EU-15 countries, secondly, it uses a very up-to-dated database (Eurostat), and thirdly, it fills a gap in the literature.
    Keywords: Energy consumption; inequality measures; Lorenz curve; EU-15.
    JEL: C14 C23
    Date: 2017–10
  24. By: Rafik Abdesselam (Université de Lyon, Lumière Lyon 2, COACTIS, France); Jean Bonnet (Normandie University, UNICAEN, CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France); Patricia Renou-Maissant (Normandie University, UNICAEN, CREM UMR CNRS 6211, France)
    Abstract: The aim of this contribution is to establish a typology of European entrepreneurship countries with respect to variables related to entrepreneurial activity and economic development. Using a combined use of multidimensional data analyses allows to extend the concept of “entrepreneurial regimes” proposed by Audretsch and Fritsch (2002) and leads to distinguish five entrepreneurial regimes. Moreover, in order to better characterize classes, a wide set of illustrative variables representative of national economic development, labour market functioning, formal and unformal institutional environment as well as variables specific to the entrepreneurial population are considered. Finally, discriminant analyzes show that the five explanatory themes that are considered (Innovation, Employment, Formal Institutions, Entrepreneurship and Governance) differentiate the classes and significantly explain the diversity of entrepreneurial regimes. These findings have important implications for the implementation of public policy in order to promote entrepreneurial activity and reduce unemployment.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Cluster analysis, Discriminant analysis, Entrepreneurial regimes
    JEL: L26 C38 O1
    Date: 2017–10
  25. By: Ana I. Moro Egido (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Maria Navarro (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez (Departament of Applied Economics, University of Granada, Spain.)
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we study the evolution of subjective well-being from 1999 to 2014. More specifically, we analyze the main determinants of changes in subjective well-being once we determine the main factors of predicted changes of subjective well-being. Moreover, we test whether these determinants exert a differential effect when considering ups and downs in subjective well-being. Our main findings indicate that, social, cultural and psychological capital predict the largest changes in subjective well-being. We also observe that absolute income has effects on changes in subjective well-being, but is not relevant at level. Additionally, adaptation is always complete except when we focus on specific changes, that is, when we distinguish between ups and downs in subjective well-being, adaptation affects the positive changes. In general, our evidence shows that all factors except bridging social capital, worries and risk have a different effect on the level and changes in subjective well-being.
    Keywords: subjective well-being evolution, social comparisons, social capital, cultural capital, psychological capital.
    Date: 2017–10–24
  26. By: Azmat, Ghazala; Simion, Stefania
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of changes in the funding of higher education in England on students' choices and outcomes. Over the last two decades - through three major reforms in 1998, 2006 and 2012 - undergraduate university education in public universities moved from being free to students and state funded to charging substantial tuition fees to all students. This was done in conjunction with the government offering generous means-tested maintenance grants and loans. Using detailed longitudinal micro-data that follows all students attending state schools in England (more than 90 percent of all school-aged children) from lower education to higher education, we document the socio-economic distributional effects of the 2006 and 2012 policy reforms on a comprehensive set of outcomes, including enrolment, relocation decisions, selection of institution, program of study, and performance within university. For a subset of students, we track them after completing higher education, allowing us to study the labor market effects of the policy reforms. Despite the substantial higher education funding reforms, we do not find large aggregate effect on student enrolment or on other margins. Moreover, the small negative impacts found on the enrolment were largely borne on those in higher parts of the wealth distribution – reducing the enrolment gap across socio-economic groups.
    Keywords: career choices; career outcomes; Higher education; means-tested support; tuition fees
    JEL: I22 I23 I29 J30
    Date: 2017–10
  27. By: Friedrich Schneider
    Abstract: In this paper, first, the MIMIC estimation method is described and criticized and due to a double counting problem a correction is suggested. Second, the measurement methods used for National Accounts Statistics – the discrepancy method and two new micro survey methods – are described and a third, a micro method, using a combination of company manager surveys and their knowledge to calibrate the size of the shadow economy in firms, is presented, too. Third, a detailed comparison of the four micro estimation methods with the MIMIC and the corrected MIMIC method are presented. One major result is that the corrected MIMIC method, especially, comes quite close to various types of lately developed micro survey methods.
    Keywords: MIMIC estimation methods, macro and adjusted, micro survey method asking company managers, micro survey method using households’ data, using the consumption-income-gap, comparison of results of size of shadow economy of European countries, shadow economies
    JEL: E26 E01 H26 H32 K42 P24 O17
    Date: 2017
  28. By: Hyll, Walter; Schneider, Lutz
    Abstract: We exploit a natural experiment related to the German re-unification to address the question whether disutility from income comparisons affects attitudes towards foreigners. We find robust evidence that East Germans expose strong negative attitudes towards foreigners, particularly from low-wage countries, if they worry about their economic status compared to better-off West Germans.
    JEL: D31 J61 N34
    Date: 2017
  29. By: Merkl, Christian (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Stüber, Heiko (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: Using the new AWFP dataset that covers all German establishments, we document a substantial cross-sectional heterogeneity of establishments' average real wages over the business cycle. While the median establishments' real wages are procyclical, there is a large fraction of establishments with countercyclical real wages. We are the first to show that establishments with more procyclical wages have a less procyclical hires rate and employment behavior. We propose a labor market flow model that is able to replicate these facts and thereby allows us to run counterfactual exercises. When we set the wage cyclicalities of all establishments to the one of the most procyclical establishments, labor market volatilities drop by more than 50 percent.
    Keywords: wage cyclicality, labor market flow model, labor market dynamics, establishments, administrative data, job and worker flows
    JEL: E32 E24 J64
    Date: 2017–09
  30. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Verzillo, Stefano (University of Milan)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether or not research quality is significantly associated with a university's ability to attract students from other provinces in Italy. First university enrolments of students over the period 2003–2011 are regressed on several universities' research quality indicators computed from different bibliometric databases (ISI-Thompson, Scopus-Elsevier and Google Scholar) using fixed effects-gravity models. Our estimates suggest that improving research quality may be an effective way of reducing 'brain drain' from southern Italy.
    Keywords: brain drain, research quality, student mobility, university, Italy
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2017–09
  31. By: Luca Moretti (University of Bern); Martin Mayerl (Austrian Institute for Research on Vocational Training (ÖIBF), Vienna); Samuel Muehlemann (LMU Munich, IZA Bonn); Peter Schloegl (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt & Austrian Institute for Research on Vocational Training (ÖIBF), Vienna); Stefan C. Wolter (University of Bern & CESifo Munich & IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The authors compare a firm's costs and benefits of providing apprenticeship training in Austria and Switzerland, using two original micro data sets. While both countries share a number of similarities, including an extensive vocational education and training (VET) system, and a common border, there are some important institutional differences. On average, a Swiss firm generates a net profit of 3400 Euro per apprentice and per year of training, while an Austrian firm incurs net costs of 4200 Euro. Applying matching models, we find that this difference is largely driven by a higher relative apprentice pay in Austria, which in turn is associated with collective bargaining agreements and competition with alternative school-based VET pathways. However, Austrian firms can still generate a return on their training investment, partly due to wage subsidies, but mostly by retaining a high share of apprentices as skilled workers, and thereby save on future hiring costs.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship training, cost-benefit analysis, initial VET, hiring costs
    JEL: J24 J31 J44
    Date: 2017–10
  32. By: Gruber, Harald
    Abstract: This paper identifies the main factors for Europe’s delays in embracing the well proven growth enhancing effects of digital technologies. It argues that market failures, including externalities from knowledge spillovers, cybersecurity and first mover advantages justify public support. The whole value added chain of digital production is entailed, starting with infrastructure investment and R&D relevant for digital sectors, along with qualified skills of researchers and of workers, coming to skill sets provided by the education sector. Emphasis is put on the efficient leverage effects that can be achieved by combining public and private sector funds through financial instruments.
    Keywords: Industrial policy,ICT,R&D,Innovation,Investment,Education
    JEL: L52 O16 O38
    Date: 2017
  33. By: Konstantinos Angelopoulos; Andrea Benecchi; Jim Malley
    Abstract: A well-established stylised fact is that employer provided job-related training raises productivity and wages. Using UK data, we further find that job-related training is positively related to subsidies aimed at reducing training costs for employers. We also find that there is a positive, albeit quantitatively small, relationship between wage inequality and training inequality in the UK. Motivated by the above, we explore whether policies to subsidise firms’ monetary cost of training can improve earnings for the lower skilled and reduce inequality. We achieve this by developing a dynamic general equilibrium model, featuring skilled and unskilled labour, capital-skill complementarity in production and an endogenous training allocation. Our results suggest that training subsidies for the unskilled have a significant impact on the labour income of unskilled workers. These subsides also increase earnings for skilled workers and raise aggregate income with implied lifetime multipliers exceeding unity. Finally, the positive spill over effects to skilled workers imply that training subsidies are not very effective in reducing inequality, measured as the distance between skilled and unskilled wages and incomes.
    Keywords: job-related training, wage and earning inequality, training subsidies
    JEL: E24 J24 J31
    Date: 2017
  34. By: Jones, Derek C.; Kalmi, Panu; Kato, Takao; Mäkinen, Mikko
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of individual incentive (II) and group incentive (GI) pay as determinants of worker separation. We use a large linked employer-employee panel data set for full-time male manufacturing workers during 1997-2006 from Finland. We follow actual job spells and switches of individual employees and define separation as worker exit from his current employer. The key finding for white-collar workers is that group incentive pay is associated significantly with increased probability of separation and hence diminished employment stability, but in large firms only. For blue-collar workers our results consistently indicate that individual incentive pay is associated with a decreased probability of separation and hence enhanced employment stability, both in small and large firms. Our finding that group incentive pay increases the risk of separation for white-collar workers is more consistent with theoretical work such as Lazear (2000) and Fehr and Gaechter (2000), while uncovering that individual incentive pay decreases employment stability for blue-collar workers supports theoretical work such as Parent (1999) and Paarsch and Shearer (2000).
    JEL: J33 M52 J31 J62 J63
    Date: 2017–10–19
  35. By: Jahn, Vera
    Abstract: German politicians frequently emphasize the importance of Mittelstand firms for the economy, thereby particularly referring to their enormous engagement in training apprentices. However, there is yet almost no empirical evidence on the question whether Mittelstand firms are in fact excessively active in training apprentices. We study whether the relative importance of owner-managed small and medium sized enterprises has an effect on firms' apprenticeship activity on the county level.
    JEL: C21 D23 I21
    Date: 2017
  36. By: Alessandro Bucciol (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Simona Cicognani (Department of Economics (University of Verona)); Natalia Montinari (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We implemented an online anonymous survey targeted to current and former university students, where the interviewed are asked to indicate whether and to what extent they cheated during written exams. We want to learn if cheating is widespread, and if it correlates with social factors such as the level of trust in others, the beliefs about the peers’ dishonesty and perceived level of opportunism in the society. We find that 61% of the respondents report to have cheated once or more. Cheaters are more likely to report that their classmates and friends cheated, and that in general people can be trusted. In contrast, being aware of the sanction, earning top grades and thinking that people are willing to take advantage of others is negatively correlated with self-reported cheating. There is evidence of two different cheating styles: “social cheaters”, who self-report mostly that they have violated the rules interacting with others; “individualistic” cheaters, who self-report mostly that they have used prohibited materials. Only social cheaters seem affected by social factors: they exhibit higher levels of trust and lower levels of perceived opportunism compared to individualistic cheaters, while no differences between the two groups are found when looking at other dimensions.
    Keywords: Academic cheating, Honesty, Trust, Online survey
    JEL: I21 D01
    Date: 2017–10
  37. By: Mariana Spatareanu; Vlad Manole; Ali Kabiri
    Abstract: Using a unique matched bank-firm-innovation data for the UK, this paper finds that bank shocks negatively affected firms’ innovations during the recent crises. After carefully controlling for several potential biases in estimation we find that firms whose relationship banks were distressed patented less, and those patents were of lower technological value, less original and of lower quality. The impact is larger in the case of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We also show that banks’ specialization in financing innovation mitigates the impact of bank distress on firms’ innovation. The results highlight the significantly negative impact of distress in the banking sector on firm’s innovation and potential future economic growth.
    Keywords: innovation, bank distress, crisis, UK
    JEL: G21 G34 O16 O30
    Date: 2017–09
  38. By: Garín-Muñoz, Teresa; López, Rafael; Pérez-Amaral, Teodosio; Herguera García, Iñigo; Valarezo, Angel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the adoption patterns of selected internet services such as eCommerce, eBanking and eGovernment in Spain. High quality official data from the Survey on Equipment and Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Households (ICT-H) of the National Institute of Statistics are used. The dataset is a cross section of 16,209 individuals for 2016. Theoretical demand models, grounded in a standard neoclassical utility maximization framework, are adapted to these services. Logistic regression techniques allow quantifying the impact of the socioeconomic characteristics of the individual on the adoption of each service. The resulting models are statistically significant and with a high predictive power. Age, education and levels of internet and computer skills are all significant in explaining the adoption of any of the three services; as are gender and income, but just for eCommerce and eBanking. Interestingly, the level of trust in internet is only significant to explain participation in eCommerce. Finally, policy recommendations are suggested, highlighting the desirability of using specific measures for the different socio-demographic groups and income strata.
    Keywords: ECommerce,eBanking,eGovernment,logistic model,digital divide
    Date: 2017

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