nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2017‒11‒19
33 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. A Macro-level Analysis of Adult-age Language Learning By Silke Übelmesser; Severin Weingarten
  2. Globalization: Implications for firms in Germany By Görg, Holger; Hanley, Aoife
  3. Has the push for equal gender representation changed the role of women on German supervisory boards? By Viktor Bozhinov; Christopher Koch; Thorsten Schank
  4. Trade exposure of Western Europe to China and Eastern Europe: A spatial econometric analysis of the effects on regional manufacturing employment from 1991-2011 By Badinger, Harald; Reuter, Wolf Heinrich
  5. Unburden Renters by Making Landlords Pay the Commission? Evaluating a Policy Reform in Germany By Eva M. Berger; Felix Schmidt
  6. Energy transition in Germany and regional spillovers: What triggers the diffusion of renewable energy in firms? By Horbach, Jens; Rammer, Christian
  7. Economic insecurity in Spain: A multidimensional analysis By Marina Romaguera de la Cruz
  8. The Effect of Paid Vacation on Health: Evidence from Sweden By Hofmarcher, Thomas
  9. The Effects of a Hybrid Negative Income Tax on Poverty and Inequality: a Microsimulation on the UK and Italy By Tromp, Alexander
  10. Analysis of National Public Research Funding (PREF) - Final Report By Emanuela Reale
  11. Can’t Keep Up with the Joneses: How Relative Deprivation Pushes Internal Migration in Austria By Stefan Jestl; Mathias Moser; Anna K. Raggl
  12. Resource Efficiency, Environmental Policy and Eco-Innovations for a Circular Economy: Evidence from EU Firms By Giulio Cainelli; Alessio D’Amato; Massimiliano Mazzanti
  13. Change in self-efficacy as a source of state dependence in labor market dynamics? By Alexander Mosthaf
  14. Highways, Market Access, and Spatial Sorting By Fretz, Stephan; Parchet, Raphaël; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
  15. Shopping hours and entry - An empirical analysis of Aldi's opening hours By Samuel de Haas; Daniel Herold; Jan T. Schaefer
  16. Austria’s digital transition: The diffusion challenge By Rauf Gönenç; Béatrice Guérard
  17. No “Honeymoon Phase” Whose health benefits from retirement and when By Birgit Leimer
  18. Can subjective data improve inequality measurement? A multidimensional index of economic inequality By Philipp Poppitz
  19. Self-Regulation Training and Job Search Effort: A Natural Field Experiment within an Active Labor Market Program By Eva m. Berger; Guenther Koenig; Henning Müller; Felix Schmidt; Daniel Schunk
  20. Local Competition and Physicians’ Pricing Decisions: New Evidence from France By Benjamin Montmartin; Mathieu Escot
  21. The case for NIT+FT in Europe. An empirical optimal taxation exercise By Islam, Nizamul; Colombino, Ugo
  22. Overcrowded Housing and Relationship Break up By VAN DAMME Maike
  23. The effect of peer gender on major choice By Ulf Zölitz; Jan Feld
  24. Heterogeneous spillovers among Spanish provinces: A generalized spatial stochastic frontier model By Gude, Alberto; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.; Orea, Luis
  25. Do Boys Benefit from Male Teachers in Elementary School? Evidence from Administrative Panel Data By Puhani, Patrick A.
  26. Fiscal decentralization and the performance of higher education institutions: the case of Europe. By Julien Jacqmin; Mathieu Lefebvre
  27. Less alimony after divorce: Spouses' behavioral response to the 2008 alimony reform in Germany By Bredtmann, Julia; Vonnahme, Christina
  28. House Prices, Home Equity, and Personal Debt Composition By Li, Jieying; Zhang, Xin
  29. The Lifecycle Wage Growth of Men and Women: Explaining Gender Differences in Wage Trajectories By Mary Ann Bronson; Peter Skogman Thoursie
  30. Public R&D Subsidies: Collaborative versus Individual Place-Based Programs for SMEs By Andrea Bellucci; Luca Pennacchio; Alberto Zazzaro
  31. Measuring Indirect Effects of Unfair Employer Behavior on Worker Productivity – A Field Experiment By Matthias Heinz; Sabrina Jeworrek; Vanessa Mertins; Heiner Schumacher; Matthias Sutter
  32. Inclusive labour Markets in the digital era: The case of Austria By Volker Ziemann
  33. Employer size and supervisor earnings: Evidence from Britain By Colin Green; John S. Heywood; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos

  1. By: Silke Übelmesser; Severin Weingarten
    Abstract: This article investigates the macro-level drivers of adult-age language learning. We construct a new dataset that covers German language learning in 77 countries (including Germany) for 1992-2006. Fixed-effects regressions show that language learning in the EU is strongly associated with immigration. Instead, immigration by non-EU citizens in associated with language learning in Germany. Additionally, trade flows are strongly associated with language learning in non-EU high-income economies.
    Keywords: language skills, language learning, migration, migrant networks, migration policy
    JEL: F22 J24 J61
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Görg, Holger; Hanley, Aoife
    Abstract: [Introduction ...] This paper, however, is not about evaluating whether or not Germany has, on aggregate, done well out of globalization. Rather, we dig deeper into the economy and acknowledge the fact that it is not countries that trade or invest, but rather firms. We therefore look at data at the micro (firm or establishment) level to shed light on questions such as: What types of firms are involved in trade or investments? What distinguishes these globalized firms, if anything, from firms that are not engaged in these international activities? What benefits are there for the firms and also their workers? To look at these questions, the first part of the paper provides some insights from the existing literature. We firstly review what has become a substantial literature on exporting activity, using data for German firms. Interestingly, but in a sobering way, studies on imports are far less prolific. This knowledge gap is most likely due to a lack of data on import activities of firms. We also look at some studies that investigate the implications of inward investment, or foreign ownership, as well as outward investment by German multinational enterprises (MNEs) at the firm level. In Section 3 of the paper we then use establishment data to provide some more recent evidence on these relationships. While our data easily cover the activities of exporting and foreign ownership, a clear definition of outward investment by German MNEs is more difficult. Information on import activities is not at all available in our data set, the IAB Betriebspanel, which we describe in more detail below. We describe the participation of establishments in international activities. Additionally, we estimate performance premia for establishments engaged in these activities. Finally, we also investigate whether firms starting these activities experience performance improvements as a result. By “performance” we mean establishment productivity and innovation activity, but also employment, wages and skill structure of establishments in order to say something about workers in these types of firms. In the final part of the paper we summarize the main findings, both from our own work and the existing literature, and offer some conclusions.
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Viktor Bozhinov (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany); Christopher Koch (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany); Thorsten Schank (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: In Germany, an intensive public debate about increasing female participation in leadership positions started in 2009 and proceeded until the beginning of 2015, when the German parliament enacted a board gender quota. In that period, the share of women on supervisory boards for 111 German publicly listedand fully codetermined companies (i.e. those which are affected by the quota law) more than doubled from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 22.6 percent in 2015. In 2016, the first year when the law was effective,the female share increased again by 4.5 percentage points. Using a hand-collected dataset, we investigate whether the rise in female board representation was accompanied by a change in gender differences in board member characteristics and board involvement. We do not find evidence for the “Golden Skirts” phenomenon, i.e., the rise in the female share was not achieved via a few female directors holding multiple board memberships. After controlling for firm heterogeneity, the remuneration of female shareholder (employee) representatives is about 16 (9) percent lower than for males. We interpret this as an overall indication that women are not only underrepresented in German supervisory boards,they are even more underrepresented in importantboard positions. Indeed, women are less likely to become a chairman and are less often assigned to board committees (except for the nominating committee). Moreover, in 2016 the disadvantage of women (as compared to men) to obtain a committee membership is even larger than in 2009.
    Keywords: gender diversity, women on boards, gender quota, board remuneration, committee membership
    Date: 2017–09
  4. By: Badinger, Harald; Reuter, Wolf Heinrich
    Abstract: This study analyzes the effects of increased trade with China and Eastern Europe on manufacturing employment in 1,146 NUTS-3 regions of 17 Western European countries from 1991 to 2011. Building on Autor et al. (2013) we aim at identifying the causal effects of an increase in import and export exposure on regional manufacturing employment, thereby, explicitly accounting for labor and product market spillovers. Overall, our results support previous findings of a negative effect of increased import exposure from China for our sample of Western European countries, whereas spatial spillover effects turn out to be positive, slightly mitigating the quantitative impact without changing results quantitatively. Moreover, our cross-country study highlights the pronounced heterogeneity of the estimated effects of trade exposure on manufacturing employment across countries with respect to the trade balance.
    Keywords: International Trade,Globalization,Western Europe,China,Eastern Europe,Employment
    JEL: F16 J31 R11
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Eva M. Berger (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany); Felix Schmidt (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: When renting an apartment, often a commission is payable by the renter. In a perfect market, standard economic reasoning predicts the rental price for an apartment with a commission payable by the renter to be lower than the price for the same apartment without commission. We test this hypothesis against an alternative hypothesis based on insights from behavioral economics about mental accounting, inattention, and cognitive limitations. We apply a difference-in-differences strategy exploiting a law reform in Germany in June 2015 determining that a landlord is no longer allowed to make a renter pay the commission for a real estate agent the landlord ordered. Using a panel dataset we thus compare price changes (pre–post reform) of apartments without a commission prior to the reform with price changes of apartments with a commission prior to the reform. Based on our results we reject the standard reasoning hypothesis of differing prices; moreover, we cannot reject the behavioral hypothesis of equal prices.
    Keywords: Housing Market, Rental Prices, Real Estate Agent Commissions, Bounded Rationality
    Date: 2017–08–28
  6. By: Horbach, Jens; Rammer, Christian
    Abstract: The success of an energy turnaround towards renewables highly depends on the willingness and ability of firms to adopt energy technologies using renewable sources. Existing studies focused on the role of regulation and energy markets (e.g. the price for fossil energy) to explain the diffusion of green energy technologies. The present paper tries to give a more comprehensive view on the determinants of renewable energy innovations focusing on the crucial role of firms' regional environment (role of regional spillover effects, the greenness of a region and the regional endowment with green energy plants). We use a unique database combining the Community Innovation Survey 2014 for Germany and NUTS 3 data on renewable energy plants, the greenness of a region and other economic control variables. We find that geographical proximity to electricity production based on renewable energy sources and the orientation of a region towards 'green issues' (measured by the share of green party voters) are both major drivers for such innovations. Furthermore, our results show that in addition to regulation, government subsidies for eco-innovation, high energy costs and regional knowledge spillovers contribute to a rapid adoption of renewable energy. The reinforcing nature of this process leads to a diverging regional development of renewable energy innovations.
    Keywords: Eco-Innovation,Renewable Energy,Community Innovation Survey
    JEL: C25 O31 Q20 R11
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Marina Romaguera de la Cruz (Universidad de Alcalá and EQUALITAS, Spain)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose the use of a multidimensional approach to the measurement of economic insecurity in Spain. Using longitudinal EU-SILC data from 2008 to 2015, we calculate six different unidimensional indicators proxying the subjective and objective determinants of economic insecurity. We combine these six indicators into a single Economic Insecurity Index that allows for measuring incidence and intensity and for which we undertake a variety of robustness checks regarding the aggregation of the different dimensions (simple mean, PCA and counting approach). Results show that the probability of being economically insecure is higher for the lowest income deciles, young, temporary employees and the unemployed, while tertiary education and a relatively high occupation significantly reduces it. The incidence of insecurity falls as income deciles grow, even if insecurity affects the whole range of the income distribution, and it is significantly present in middle income households. Moreover, the contributions to insecurity by dimensions are significantly different as income grows.
    Keywords: economic insecurity, employment instability, volatility, income
    JEL: D63 I31
    Date: 2017–10
  8. By: Hofmarcher, Thomas (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This study estimates the causal effect of receiving additional paid vacation days on health. Using register data on the universe of central government employees in Sweden, I exploit an age-based rule stipulated in the collective agreement covering these employees. Identification is achieved by combining a regression discontinuity with a difference-in-differences design to control for time-invariant differences between consecutive birth cohorts and isolate the true effect at two separate discontinuities at ages 30 and 40. The main results indicate no statistically significant changes in health (as proxied by specialized outpatient care visits, inpatient care admissions, and long-term sick leaves) induced by an extension of three paid vacation days at age 30 and four days at age 40. There is no evidence of significant effects by sex, being a (lone) parent, education level, or broad group of diagnoses. These findings challenge the historically grown health argument for additional paid vacation days.
    Keywords: vacation; holiday; working time; health
    JEL: I18 J22 J81 M52
    Date: 2017–11–07
  9. By: Tromp, Alexander
    Abstract: This paper aims to propose a social protection system that "decommodifies" labour and fulfills the properties of a Social Protection Floor satisfying revenue-neutrality. To this end, firstly, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme is explored. Secondly, the UBI is transformed into a Negative Income Tax (NIT) scheme, providing universal protection instead of universal benefits. Finally, the NIT is modified into a Hybrid NIT (HNIT), being a mixture of NIT and a classic social assistance scheme. It features a 100% withdrawal rate, consequently allowing for a higher guaranteed minimum income level than would be possible with either an NIT or UBI. A static microsimulation, using the EUROMOD model, is conducted on the HNIT scheme, implementing two scenarios. One scenario establishes what the maximum levels of entitlements could be, assuming revenue-neutrality and current marginal tax levels. The other scenario assumes more generous entitlements and computes which tax rates would be necessary to pay for such a scheme. The models are applied to both Italy and the United Kingdom. The results are interpreted in terms of poverty and inequality statistics while closely looking into the assumptions of the microsimulation models. In the first scenario a modest level of guaranteed minimum income is feasible, decreasing both poverty and inequality decidedly compared to current levels. This effect is even stronger in the second scenario, however, it results in unrealistically high tax rates, especially for Italy. The impact on poverty and inequality of the HNIT scheme is markedly higher for Italy in both scenarios suggesting that the United Kingdom has currently a social protection system in place that redistributes more efficiently than Italy.
    Date: 2017–10–30
  10. By: Emanuela Reale (CNR IRCRES)
    Abstract: The Public Research Funding (PREF) study is to collect information on and analyse national public research funding, providing an overview of its evolution and current state in European and selected non-European countries, particularly as concerns funding themes, fields and the types of allocation (competitive project based versus institutional funding). More specifically, the study aims: — For the countries considered, to collect quantitative and qualitative data (financial data and descriptors) on the evolution of public R&D funding for the period 2000-2014, including robust and reliable estimations of the shares allocated on project basis and as institutional funding; — To break down and provide a detailed analysis public R&D funding in terms of competitive and non-competitive funding, and of the weight placed on scientific-technological (S&T) fields, Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) and Societal Grand Challenges (SGCs); — To describe the funding allocation mechanisms, including flows to and from funding agencies and the criteria used as the basis for allocation decisions. — Using the above-described data, to analyse specific issues in public research policy, particularly concerning the characteristics of national funding profiles and the funding devoted to specific research objectives. The study contributes to the Research and Innovation Observatory (RIO), and provides support for development and implementation of evidence-based policies in allocation of public research funding.
    Keywords: public funding, research funding, project funding, institutional funding, performance based funding
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Stefan Jestl (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Mathias Moser; Anna K. Raggl
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of regional income inequality on emigration rates of Austrian municipalities using a unique data set that is constructed based on individual level data from Austrian administrative registers. The register-based data contain information on the municipality of residence of all individuals aged 16 and over that have their main residency in Austria, as well as their income and socio-demographic characteristics. Aggregating this information to the municipality level allows us to assess the role of relative deprivation – a measure of relative income – on top of absolute income in shaping internal migration in Austria. We find that increases in relative deprivation in a municipality lead to higher emigration from the municipality. Allowing for heterogeneous effects across income, education, and age groups reveals that the effect is stronger among those with comparably low levels of income, and among low-skilled and young individuals.
    Keywords: relative deprivation, inequality, internal migration
    JEL: D31 R23
    Date: 2017–09
  12. By: Giulio Cainelli (University of Padova & SEEDS); Alessio D’Amato (University of Tor Vergata Rome & SEEDS); Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara, IEFE Bocconi Milan & SEEDS)
    Abstract: Innovation adoption and diffusion by firms are key pillars for the EU strategy on resource-efficiency and the development of a circular economy. This paper presents new EU evidence regarding the role of environmental policy and green demand drivers to sustain the adoption of resource efficiency-oriented eco-innovations. This paper originally implements new estimators to address the endogeneity of binary framed policy and demand covariates, which typically characterise firm level survey data. Our results suggest that when endogeneity is accounted for, environmental policy is the only factor always significant in driving the adoption of innovations that reduce the use of waste and material, while demand-side and market-factors do not always play a central role. The result is an important piece of new quantitative-based knowledge, which complements the currently large case study-based evidence on the setting of sound management and policy strategies for the circular economy.
    Keywords: Eco innovation; circular economy; innovation drivers; EU; environmental regulation; market demand
    Date: 2017–11
  13. By: Alexander Mosthaf (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: Personal traits are often treated as time-constant, partly because of the lack of longitudinal data on personal traits. Using the first eight waves of the German PASS panel survey containing yearly information on self-efficacy, the paper analyzes the stability of self-efficacy and the relationship between employment dynamics and self-efficacy. Descriptive evidence shows that the within variation in self-efficacy is rather small. Models not controlling for unobserved heterogeneity point to a positive effect of self-efficacy on the employment probability and vice versa. However, dynamic discrete choice models which take unobserved heterogeneity and reverse causality into account reveal that the impact of employment status on self-efficacy is close to zero.
    Keywords: state dependence, personal traits
    Date: 2017–08
  14. By: Fretz, Stephan; Parchet, Raphaël; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
    Abstract: We design a spatial model featuring workers embodied with heterogeneous skills. In equilibrium, locations with improved market access become relatively more attractive to the high-skilled, high-income earners. We then empirically analyze the effects of the construction of the Swiss highway network between 1960 and 2010 on the distribution of income at the local level, as well as on employment and commuting by education level. We find that the advent of a new highway access within 10km led to a long-term 19%-increase of the share of high-income taxpayers and a 6%-decrease of the share of low-income taxpayers. Results are similar for employment data decomposed by education level, as well as for in- and out-commuters. Highways also contributed to job and residential urban sprawl.
    Keywords: Highway; Income sorting.; market access; Transportation
    JEL: D31 H54 O18 R11 R23
    Date: 2017–11
  15. By: Samuel de Haas (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen); Daniel Herold (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen); Jan T. Schaefer (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)
    Abstract: Aldi, the biggest discounter in Germany, started to systematically extend shopping hours of its stores in 2016. We interpret the decision to extend opening hours of a specific Aldi store as entry into a new market. By using a novel data set containing the opening hours of nearly all German grocery retailers, we find that consumer and firm learning infl uence that decision. The presence of a nearby Aldi already opened longer increases the probability that a given Aldi extends its opening hours. However, if a nearby competitors store is short opened, the probability that Aldi extends opening hours decreases.
    Keywords: Shopping hours, Retailing, Coordination, Market Entry
    JEL: L22 L41 L81
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Rauf Gönenç (OECD); Béatrice Guérard (OECD)
    Abstract: Austria’s transition to a digital economy and society is slower than in other high-income small open European economies. The rate and pace of utilisation of eight main ICT applications shows that Austrian firms follow peer country counterparts with a gap, which has widened in most areas in recent years. Two dynamics drive digital transitions and Austria has room for progress in both of them. First, the potential for digitalisation in all firms, and especially in the smaller ones (where gaps are largest) should be freed-up by upgrading the full range of ICT-generic, ICT-specific and ICT-complementary skills. Second, Austria needs to make its business environment more conducive to firm entry and exit. The rate of entry of new firms and their growth are crucial for the diffusion of new business models and ICT innovations but fall behind peer countries. The adoption of ICT innovations by households also follows a staggered path: young and highly educated Austrians adopt ICT applications in similar ways to their counterparts in peer countries, while middle and older age cohorts display noticeable gaps. This calls for policies to help lagging groups become more acquainted with innovations. A whole-of-government approach, including large-scale utilisation of e-government applications in enterprises and households, should help to embrace change and facilitate the flourishing of innovative businesses, work practices and lifestyles throughout Austria. This Working Paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of Austria ( y-austria.htm)
    Keywords: diffusion of innovations, digitalisation, information technologies, technological innovation
    JEL: D24 L60 L81 L96 M15 O14 O32 O33 O38
    Date: 2017–11–20
  17. By: Birgit Leimer (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: I use a fixed effects instrumental variable approach to determine the effect retirement has on health. The exogenous variation in the probability to retire at the normal and early retirement age thresholds is exploited to instrument for the otherwise endogenous retirement decision. Six health aspects are considered: self-assessed health, depression, limitations in (instrumental) activities of daily living, mobility limitations, grip strength and number of words recalled. Using data for 10 countries from the Survey of Health, Retirement and Ageing in Europe (SHARE), I find that retiring both at the normal and early retirement eligibility ages significantly improves all health aspects, including the objective measure grip strength. Results do not generally support the theory that previous research was biased towards zero due to behavioral changes during the anticipation phase prior to retirement. Results also do not show the presence of a honeymoon phase directly following the start of retirement, in which individuals are believed to experience a euphoric state leading health improvements. It appears that individuals, especially blue collar workers, go through an adjustment period after retirement in which they experience more health problems, before stabilizing and improving. Overall, retirement has a health preserving effect for both genders and all occupations in the long term. Neither blue collar workers nor workers with physically or psychologically demanding jobs benfit more from retirement than others.
    Keywords: retirement, health, honeymoon, retirement phases, SHARE, fixed effects, instrumental variables
    Date: 2017–10
  18. By: Philipp Poppitz (University of Hamburg, Germany)
    Abstract: To measure multidimensional inequality by a univariate index, dimensions of inequality need to be weighted. This work addresses the normative and empirical problems by estimating hedonic weights based on German microdata. In contrast to previous works, individuals’ perception of inequality is used to estimate a weighting scheme including five dimensions. Aggregating outcomes by a generalized Gini and the hedonic weights, annual multidimensional economic inequality (MDEI) is calculated from 2000 to 2016. The results show that the MDEI is significantly higher in the analyzed period compared to the case of equal weights, but lower than income inequality. Over time, multidimensional inequality in Germany increased at the same pace as income inequality until 2006. Since then, the decreasing trend of MDEI is amplified under the assumption of imperfect substitution elasticity. The decomposition analysis reveals that income contributes more than any other dimension to inequality, but the exceptional reduction in unemployment is the major cause for the decline of the MDEI from 2008 onwards.
    Keywords: inequality, multidimensional index, perception, hedonic weights
    JEL: D31 C43 I30
    Date: 2017–09
  19. By: Eva m. Berger (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany); Guenther Koenig; Henning Müller (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany); Felix Schmidt (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany); Daniel Schunk (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that self-regulation plays an important role for the job finding success of unemployed persons. We conduct a randomized natural field experiment embedded in an established labor market reactivation program to examine the effect of a self-regulation training on job search effort—focusing on the effort put into preparing job applicationdocuments—of long-term unemployed participants. We find a positive treatment effect on effort operationalized as the quality of the submitted CV document as well as the probability of participants submitting their documents on time. Since the intervention comes at very low cost, a roll-out to other programs potentially has a high individual and social rate of return.
    Keywords: Active Labor Market Policy, Natural Field Experiment, Job Search Effort, Job Application Effort, Germany, Labor Market Reintegration, Unemployment, Reemployment, Self-Regulation, Non-Cognitive Skills, MCII
    Date: 2017–07–25
  20. By: Benjamin Montmartin (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Mathieu Escot (UFC Que Choisir)
    Abstract: More than 40% of French specialist practitioners are able to balance bill their patients. We examine the determinants of their choice to switch or not to an optional system of self-limitation of fees in exchange for subsidies, and the role in particular of local competition. We use a logit model with data on 5568 gynecologists, ophthalmologists and pediatricians, in years 2012 and 2016. We find that their decision is guided primarily by their characteristics such as their initial price or type of practice, and the share of patients that they can balance bill. The local competitive environment does not have a significant impact on the pricing decisions of private physicians. Therefore, governments that want to limit balance billing need to apply a mandatory ceiling rather than introducing an optional system.
    Keywords: Balance billing, Health care access, fee regimes, Fee-for-services, Local and Price competition
    JEL: H51 I11 I18
    Date: 2017–11
  21. By: Islam, Nizamul; Colombino, Ugo
    Abstract: The case for NIT+FT in Europe. An empirical optimal tWe present an exercise in empirical optimal taxation for European countries from three areas: Southern, Central and Northern Europe. For each country, we estimate a microeconometric model of labour supply for both couples and singles. A procedure that simulates the households’ choices under given tax-transfer rules is then embedded in a constrained optimization program in order to identify optimal rules under the public budget constraint. The optimality criterion is the class of Kolm’s social welfare function. The tax-transfer rules considered as candidates are members of a class that includes as special cases various versions of the Negative Income Tax: Conditional Basis Income, Unconditional Basic Income, In-Work Benefits and General Negative Income Tax, combined with a Flat Tax above the exemption level. The analysis show that the General Negative Income Tax strictly dominates the other rules, including the current ones. In most cases the Unconditional Basic Income policy is better than the Conditional Basic Income policy. Conditional Basic Income policy may lead to a significant reduction in labour supply and poverty-trap effects. In-Work-Benefit policy in most cases is strictly dominated by the General Negative Income Tax and Unconditional Basic Income.
    Keywords: Basic Income,Negative Income Tax,Optimal tax,Micro-simulation,Welfare
    JEL: H21 C18
    Date: 2017
  22. By: VAN DAMME Maike
    Abstract: To what extent is there an association between housing density and divorce? And if so, is it a causal relationship? Housing space may affect the probability of divorcing because of stress, lower subjective well-being, and poor mental health, any of which could put pressure on the relationship with the partner and eventually cause a break-up. Using the Luxembourgish PSELL 2003-2014, we operationalize overcrowding with both an objective and a subjective measure. We check for the following confounding factors: financial difficulties, home ownership, and nationality. We find that there is no significant association between housing density and divorce once confounders are taken into account, not to mention causality. Instead, home ownership turns out to be of the utmost importance in explaining the bivariate association between housing density and union dissolution.
    Keywords: divorce; housing; overcrowding; spuriousness; union dissolution
    JEL: A10 J12 R31 Y90
    Date: 2017–11
  23. By: Ulf Zölitz; Jan Feld
    Abstract: This paper investigates how the peer gender composition in university affects students' major choices and labor market outcomes. Women who are randomly assigned to more female peers become less likely to choose male-dominated majors, they end up in jobs where they work fewer hours and their wage grows at a slower rate. Men become more likely to choose male-dominated majors after having had more female peers, although their labor market outcomes are not affected. Our results suggest that the increasing female university enrolment over recent decades has paradoxically contributed to the occupational segregation among university graduates that persists in today’s labor market.
    Keywords: Peer effects, major choice, gender composition
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2017–11
  24. By: Gude, Alberto; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.; Orea, Luis
    Abstract: This paper introduces new spatial stochastic frontier models to examine Spanish provinces’ efficiency and its evolution over the period 2000-2013. We use a heteroscedastic version of the spatial stochastic frontier models introduced by Glass et al. (2016) that, in addition, allows us to identify the determinants of the spatial dependence among provinces. We contribute to the heterogeneous spatial models that have been introduced in recent years, such as Aquaro et al. (2015) and LeSage and Chih (2016) allowing measures of spatial dependence specific to each observation. This feature of the model lets us rank all Spanish provinces in accordance with their degree of spatial dependence, information that will aid policymakers to better allocate public resources between provinces. The period examined is of special interest given that it coincides with a break in the economic growth tendency, which leads to a deterioration in Spain´s economic situation.
    Date: 2017
  25. By: Puhani, Patrick A.
    Abstract: With girls having overtaken boys in many education indicators, the "feminization" of elementary school teaching is causing debates about disadvantages for male students. Using administrative panel data on the universe of students, teachers and schools for a German state, I exploit within school and within teacher variation to determine teacher characteristics' effects on students' tracking outcomes. Germany tracks students at age 10 into more or less academic school types. I find hardly any effects of teacher's gender, age, pay level, qualifications, or working hours on boys' or girls' school track recommendations or school choice. Even when following students into middle school, no effects of elementary-school teacher gender on school type change or grade repetition can be detected.
    Keywords: education; gender; identification; fixed effects; teacher quality
    JEL: I21 J45 J71 J78
    Date: 2017–11
  26. By: Julien Jacqmin; Mathieu Lefebvre
    Abstract: This paper empirically evaluates the impact of fiscal decentralization on the performance of higher education systems. To test this relationship,we build up a panel dataset composed of European countries. Countrylevel performance is measured by an indicator using data from the Shanghai ranking. Using a dynamic panel approach, we find that a higher share of government spending coming from decentralized levels of governmentsleads to an improvement of the performance of research-intensive higher education institutions. This result is confirmed by the use of an instrumental variable approach. We argue that a more decentralized higher education system increases the ability to attract and retain top scholars.
    Keywords: fiscal decentralization, ranking, higher education institutions.
    JEL: I28 H52 H75
    Date: 2017
  27. By: Bredtmann, Julia; Vonnahme, Christina
    Abstract: The 2008 alimony reform in Germany considerably reduced post-marital and caregiver alimony. We analyze how individuals adapted to these changed rulings in terms of labor supply, the intra-household allocation of leisure, and marital stability. We use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and conduct a difference-in-difference analysis to investigate couples' behavioral responses to the reform. The results do not confirm theoretical expectations from labor supply and household bargaining models. In particular, we do not find evidence that women increase their labor supply as a result of the negative expected income effect. Neither do our results reveal that leisure is shifted from women to men as a response to the changed bargaining positions. In contrast, we find evidence that the reform has led to an increase in the probability to separate for married as opposed to non-married cohabiting couples.
    Keywords: alimony,marital instability,female labor supply,intra-household bargaining
    JEL: J12 J13 J22
    Date: 2017
  28. By: Li, Jieying (Financial Stability Department, Central Bank of Sweden); Zhang, Xin (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)
    Abstract: Using a monthly panel dataset of individuals' debt composition including mortgage and non-mortgage consumer credit, we show that house price changes can explain a significant fraction of personal debt composition dynamics. We exploit the variation in local house price growth as shocks to homeowners' housing wealth to study the consequential adjustment of personal debt composition. To account for local demand shocks and disentangle the housing collateral channel from the wealth effect, we use renters and non-equity-withdrawal homeowners in the same region as control groups. We present direct evidence that homeowners reoptimize their debt structure by using withdrawn home equity to pay down comparatively expensive short-term non-mortgage debt during a housing boom, unsecured consumer loans in particular. We also find that homeowners withdraw home equity to finance their entrepreneurial activities. Our study sheds new light on the dynamics of personal debt composition in response to changes in house prices.
    Keywords: Household Decision; Personal Debt Management; Credit Constraint; Cash-out Re nancing; Entrepreneurship
    JEL: D14 G21 L26 R31
    Date: 2017–10–01
  29. By: Mary Ann Bronson (Department of Economics, Georgetown University); Peter Skogman Thoursie (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Why do women's wages grow more slowly than men's? Theory indicates that wages grow over the lifecycle as workers progress up an internal "career ladder," and as they switch firms and move up the "job ladder" to higher-paying firms. In this paper, we use employer-employee linked data from Sweden to decompose cumulative wage growth of men and women at each age into wage gains associated with (1) firm changes, (2) large discrete wage gains relative to one's co-workers -- which we call promotions -- and (3) interim (non-promotion) growth. While women switch firms at almost identical rates as men over the lifecycle, they have substantially lower promotion rates at all ages. Though relatively rare, promotions are the largest driver of wage growth by 45 for both men and women. Gender differences in promotion-related growth account for around 73 to 83% of the differences in lifecycle wage growth of college-educated men and women from ages 25 to 45. Differences in wage growth associated with firm changes account for 28%, while interim, non-promotion growth is slightly higher for women. Gender differences in sorting across firms with steeper vs. flatter wage structures explain only about 10% of differences in promotion probability. Lastly, we study hours worked and the evolution of the promotion gap with time to first birth. We use our findings to explain why childbirth penalties for women are so large, immediate and persistent; why gender wage differentials vary across professions; and what contributes to gender differences in estimated firm wage premiums.
    Keywords: Gender Wage Differentials, Job Ladders, Career Ladders, Promotions.
    JEL: J16 J31
    Date: 2017–10–06
  30. By: Andrea Bellucci (European Commission - Joint Research Centre and MoFiR); Luca Pennacchio (Università di Napoli Parthenope); Alberto Zazzaro (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF and MoFiR.)
    Abstract: This paper provides novel empirical evidence on the effectiveness of regional research and innovation policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It investigated two subsidy programs implemented at the regional level in central Italy. One program targeted SMEs’ individual investments in research, and the other focused on collaborative research between SMEs and universities. Using a matched difference-in-differences approach, the empirical analysis showed that the two programs had different effects. The first was successful in stimulating additional private R&D investment and improving firms’ performance. The second had weaker effects, mostly restricted to R&D expenditure and employment. These effects were not always uniformly distributed among project participants.
    Keywords: Public Subsidies; R&D; Impact Evaluation; SMEs; Cooperation; Regional Policy.
    JEL: H25 L52 O31 O38 R58
    Date: 2017–11–12
  31. By: Matthias Heinz (University of Cologne and CEPR); Sabrina Jeworrek (Halle Institute for Economic Research and Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg); Vanessa Mertins (University of Vechta); Heiner Schumacher (KU Leuven); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: We present a field experiment in which we set up a call-center to study how the productivity of workers is affected if managers treat their co-workers in an unfair way. This question cannot be studied in long-lived organizations since workers may change their career expectations (and hence effort) when managers behave unfairly towards co-workers. In order to rule out such confounds and to measure productivity changes of unaffected workers in a clean way, we create an environment where employees work for two shifts. In one treatment, we lay off parts of the workforce before the second shift. Compared to two different control treatments, we find that, in the layoff treatment, the productivity of the remaining, unaffected workers drops by 12 percent. We show that this result is not driven by peer effects or altered beliefs about the job or the managers’ competence, but rather related to the workers’ perception of unfair behavior of employers towards co-workers. The latter interpretation is confirmed in a survey among professional HR managers. We also show that the effect of unfair behavior on the productivity of unaffected workers is close to the upper bound of the direct effects of wage cuts on the productivity of affected workers. This suggests that the price of an employer’s unfair behavior goes well beyond the potential tit-for-tat of directly affected workers.
    Keywords: Gift exchange, Layoffs, Labor Markets, Fairness, Field Experiment
    JEL: C93 J50 J63
    Date: 2017–11
  32. By: Volker Ziemann (OECD)
    Abstract: Digitalisation is one of the megatrends affecting societies and labour markets, alongside demographic change and globalisation. The fourth industrial revolution will redesign production processes and alter the relationships between work and leisure, capital and labour, the rich and the poor, the skilled and the unskilled. The degree of disruption induced by the technological transformation ahead largely depends on the policy framework. Digitalisation can lead to anything between soaring inequalities and widespread improvements of living and working conditions. Two main questions arise for policy makers: how to ensure equality of opportunities in the race with technology and how to find the appropriate level of redistribution of the gains associated with digitalisation to preserve social cohesion. Against this backdrop, this working paper will analyse the technology-induced transformation of labour markets, argue for a new social contract and discuss how the provision and use of skills need to adapt to the digital work environment. This working paper relates to the 2017 OECD Economic Survey of Austria ( y-austria.htm).
    Keywords: digital skills, future of work, platform workers, technological change
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 J31 K31 O33
    Date: 2017–11–20
  33. By: Colin Green; John S. Heywood; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
    Abstract: Using British linked employer-employee data, we show that the establishment size effect for supervisors is approximately twice that for non-supervisors. This difference is routinely statistically significant, not explained by other controls and is an important determinant of the difference in earnings between supervisors and non-supervisors. Moreover, we use separate British longitudinal data to confirm both the statistically different effect and that it is not explained by worker fixed effects. Event study evidence and information on skill match suggest that the larger return to supervisors reflects, in large part, match specific returns supporting the view that talented supervisors receive a return on that talent only with larger employers.
    Keywords: Supervisor; Hierarchy; Size wage effect
    JEL: M52 D22
    Date: 2017–11

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