nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2018‒03‒26
33 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The Spanish or the German Apartment? Study Abroad and the Acquisition of Permanent Skills By Giuseppe Sorrenti
  2. (The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe By Fasani, Francesco; Frattini, Tommaso; Minale, Luigi
  3. Shocked by Therapy? Unemployment in the First Years of the Socio-Economic Transition in Poland and its Long-Term Consequences By Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika
  4. Economic Conditions, Parental Employment and Health of Newborns By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Paul, Alexander; Reinhold, Steffen
  5. Disentangling the effect of waiting times on hospital choice: Evidence from a panel data analysis By M. Lippi Bruni; C. Ugolini; R. Verzulli
  6. Residential Satisfaction for a Continuum of Households: Evidence from European Countries By Borgoni, Riccardo; Michelangeli, Alessandra; Pirola, Federica
  7. Collateral damages of the great crisis in Spain. A longitudinal health study By M. Sáez; J. Vidiella-Martin; Guillem López i Casasnovas
  8. Could Easier Access to University Improve Health and Reduce Health Inequalities? By Heckley, Gawain; Nordin, Martin; Gerdtham, Ulf-G.
  9. Early Gender Gaps Among University Graduates By Francesconi, Marco; Parey, Matthias
  10. Experienced and Inherited Disadvantage: A Longitudinal Study of Early Adulthood Neighbourhood Careers of Siblings By Manley, David; van Ham, Maarten; Hedman, Lina
  11. Is there an immigrant-gender gap in education? An empirical investigation based on PISA data from Italy By Tindara Addabbo; Maddalena Davoli; Marina Murat
  12. Sustainability and adequacy of the Spanish pension system after the 2013 reform: a microsimulation analysis. By Meritxell Solé; Guadalupe Souto; Concepció Patxot
  13. Do Dutch dentists extract monopoly rents? By Ketel, Nadine; Leuven, Edwin; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
  14. Perceived wages and the gender gap in STEM fields By Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor
  15. Overeducation Wage Penalty among Ph.D. Holders: An Unconditional Quantile Regression Analysis on Italian Data By Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio; Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe; Pastore, Francesco
  16. Intergenerational Spillovers in Disability Insurance By Dahl, Gordon B.; Gielen, Anne C.
  17. Foreign-owned firms as agents of structural change in regions: the case of Hungary 2000-2009 By Zoltán Elekes; Ron Boschma; Balázs Lengyel
  18. Job Search with Subjective Wage Expectations By Sascha Drahs; Luke Haywood; Amelie Schiprowski
  19. Escaping Social Pressure: Fixed-Term Contracts in Multi-Establishment Firms By Andrea Bassanini; Eve Caroli; François Fontaine; Antoine Rebérioux
  20. Gentrification through the sale of rental housing? Evidence from Amsterdam By Jan (J.) Rouwendal; Adriaan Keus; Jasper Dekkers
  21. Reallocation and the Role of Firm Composition Effects on Aggregate Wage Dynamics By Adamopoulou, Effrosyni (Efi); Bobbio, Emmanuele; De Philippis, Marta; Giorgi, Federico
  22. Class-specific gender gaps in health. The role of gender and working conditions within classes. By Kjellsson, Sara
  23. Integrating Third Parties in Digitally Mature Companies: Determinants of Innovation Success By Daria Arkhipova; Giovanni Vaia
  24. Sales impact of servicescape’s emotional and rational stimuli: a survey study By Andrea Morone; Francesco Nemore; Dario, Antonio Schirone
  25. Firm-level Productivity Dispersion and Convergence By G. Cette; S. Corde; R. Lecat
  26. Class-specific gender gaps in musculoskeletal pain: Sweden 1974-2010.Have gender differences in pain changed over time and equally in all social classes? By Kjellsson, Sara
  27. Credit Relationships in the Great Trade Collapse. Micro Evidence From Europe By Giovanni Ferri; Raoul Minetti; Pierluigi Murro
  28. Energy and Carbon Taxes in the EU. Empirical Evidence with Focus on the Transport Sector By Claudia Kettner-Marx; Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig
  29. The Shelf Life of Incumbent Workers during Accelerating Technological Change: Evidence from a Training Regulation Reform By Janssen, Simon; Mohrenweiser, Jens
  30. The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Graduating During a Recession: Evidence from Finland By Päällysaho, Miika Matias
  31. Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform By Ann Barbara Bauer; Reiner Eichenberger
  32. Growing pension deficits and the expenditure decisions of UK companies By Philip Bunn; Paul Mizen; Pawel Smietanka
  33. Revisiting yardstick competition and spillover effects in in the new era of spatial econometrics: evidence from Italian cities By Massimiliano Ferraresi

  1. By: Giuseppe Sorrenti
    Abstract: In Europe, more than 250; 000 university students spend one or two semesters abroad every year. This work aims to understand whether a short time experience abroad contributes to the acquisition of foreign language proficiency. We use a newly available dataset about almost the totality of Italian graduates and two alternative instruments to address the endogeneity of studying abroad. Both instruments display similar results. The effect of studying abroad on foreign language proficiency is remarkable, although extremely heterogeneous across languages. Languages more rewarded by the labour market are the ones which are harder to learn within a short time experience abroad.
    Keywords: Study abroad; permanent individual skills; foreign language proficiency; labour market assets.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Fasani, Francesco (Queen Mary, University of London); Frattini, Tommaso (University of Milan); Minale, Luigi (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use repeated cross-sectional survey data to study the labour market performance of refugees across several EU countries and over time. In the first part, we document that labour market outcomes for refugees are consistently worse than those for other comparable migrants. The gap remains sizeable even after controlling for individual characteristics as well as for unobservables using a rich set of fixed effects and interactions between area of origin, entry cohort and destination country. Refugees are 11.6 percent less likely to have a job and 22.1 percent more likely to be unemployed than migrants with similar characteristics. Moreover, their income, occupational quality and labour market participation are also relatively weaker. This gap persists until about 10 years after immigration. In the second part, we assess the role of asylum policies in explaining the observed refugee gap. We conduct a difference-in-differences analysis that exploits the differential timing of dispersal policy enactment across European countries: we show that refugee cohorts exposed to these polices have persistently worse labour market outcomes. Further, we find that entry cohorts admitted when refugee status recognition rates are relatively high integrate better into the host country labour market.
    Keywords: asylum seekers, assimilation, refugee gap, asylum policies
    JEL: F22 J61 J15
    Date: 2018–02
  3. By: Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA); Oczkowska, Monika (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: We examine long-term implications of unemployment for material conditions and well-being using the Polish sample from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Retrospective data from the SHARELIFE survey are used to reconstruct labour market experiences across the threshold of the socio-economic transformation from a centrally planned to a free market economy in Poland. These individual experiences are matched with outcomes observed in the survey about 20 years later to examine their correlation with unemployment at the time of the transition. We find that becoming unemployed in the early 1990s correlates significantly with income, assets and a number of measures of well-being recorded in 2007 and 2012. Using plant closures to reflect exogenous changes to labour market status at the time of the transition, we are able to confirm the causal effect of unemployment on income and house ownership 20 years later, but find no evidence for a long-term causal relationship between unemployment and such measures of well-being as life satisfaction, depression and subjective assessment of material conditions.
    Keywords: economic transition, unemployment, life histories, long-term effects
    JEL: J21 J63 P30
    Date: 2018–02
  4. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (University of Bristol); Paul, Alexander (Aarhus University); Reinhold, Steffen (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: We examine whether economic downturns are beneficial to health outcomes of newborn infants in developed countries. For this we use merged population-wide registers on health and economic and demographic variables, including the national medical birth register and intergenerational link registers from Sweden covering 1992–2004. We take a rigorous econometric approach that exploits regional variation in unemployment and compares babies born to the same parents so as to deal with possible selective fertility based on labor market conditions. We find that downturns are beneficial; for example, a one-percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate during pregnancy reduces the probability of having a birth weight less than 1,500 grams or of dying within 28 days of birth by 10–15%. Effects are larger in low socio-economic status households. Health improvements cannot be attributed to the parents' own employment status. The results suggest pathways through stress and air pollution.
    Keywords: recession, unemployment, fertility, infant health, stress
    JEL: I1 J1
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: M. Lippi Bruni; C. Ugolini; R. Verzulli
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of waiting times on hospital choice by using patient-level data on elective Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) procedures in the Italian NHS over the years 2008-2011. We perform a multinomial logit analysis including conditional logit and mixed logit specifications. Our findings show the importance of jointly controlling for time-invariant and time varying dimensions of hospital quality in order to disentangle the effect of waiting times on hospital choice. We provide evidence that patients are responsive to changes in waiting times and aspects of clinical quality within hospitals over time, and estimate the trade-off that patients make between different hospital attributes. The results convey important policy implications for highly regulated health care markets.
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Borgoni, Riccardo; Michelangeli, Alessandra; Pirola, Federica
    Abstract: Residential satisfaction depends on housing and neighborhood conditions in addition to housing cost affordability. To determine the relative importance of these factors, their average effect is usually estimated using sample data, eventually split in sub-samples in order to represent social classes. In this paper, within the theoretical framework of subjective well-being, we propose a novel empirical strategy independent of the concept of social class, able to estimate how the effect of drivers of residential satisfaction change on continuous according to households' income. We apply our methodology to investigate residential satisfaction in 23 European countries using 2012 EU-SILC module on housing conditions.
    Keywords: housing,subjective well-being,Europe,EU-SILC Survey
    JEL: R11 R12 R23
    Date: 2018
  7. By: M. Sáez; J. Vidiella-Martin; Guillem López i Casasnovas
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of the double-dip Spanish recession (2008–2014) on self-rated health. We analyse four waves of the Bank of Spain’s Survey of Household Finances (2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014) and document significant differences in the probability of reporting poor self-rated health depending on age and gender. Even after adjusting for socio-economic factors, we still find remarkable inequalities among the demographic groups. Given our results, we discuss the link between financial wealth and self-rated health and how policy-makers could address health inequalities that arise from adverse economic and financial shocks
    Keywords: health, inequality, wealth, Great Recession, Spain
    Date: 2018–03
  8. By: Heckley, Gawain (Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University); Nordin, Martin (Department of Economics, Lund University); Gerdtham, Ulf-G. (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of university education on medical care use and its income related inequality. We do this by exploiting an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity design for the years 2003-2013 for students who graduated 2003-2005. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility. This jump coincides with a positive jump in prescriptions for contraceptives for females but also a positive jump in mental health related hospital admissions for males. Analysis of the inequality impact of tertiary eligibility finds no clear impact on medical care use by socioeconomic status of the parents. The results imply that easing access to university for the lower ability student will lead to an increase in contraceptive use without increasing its socioeconomic related inequality. At the same time, the results highlight that universities may need to do more to take care of the mental health of their least able students.
    Keywords: Health returns to education; demand for medical care; causes of health inequality; Regression Discontinuity Design; Concentration Index
    JEL: I12 I14
    Date: 2018–03–13
  9. By: Francesconi, Marco; Parey, Matthias
    Abstract: We use data from six cohorts of university graduates in Germany to assess the extent of gender gaps in college and labor market performance twelve to eighteen months after graduation. Men and women enter college in roughly equal numbers, but more women than men complete their degrees. Women enter college with slightly better high school grades, but women leave university with slightly lower marks. Immediately following university completion, male and female full-timers work very similar number of hours per week, but men earn more than women across the pay distribution, with an unadjusted gender gap in full-time monthly earnings of about 20 log points on average. Including a large set of controls reduces the gap to 5-10 log points. The single most important proximate factor that explains the gap is field of study at university.
    Keywords: Field of study; gender wage gap; Germany; University graduates
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2018–02
  10. By: Manley, David (University of Bristol); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology); Hedman, Lina (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: Longer term exposure to high poverty neighbourhoods can affect individual socio-economic outcomes later in life. Previous research has shown strong path dependence in individual neighbourhood histories. A growing literature shows that the neighbourhood histories of people is linked to the neighbourhoods of their childhood and parental characteristics. To better understand intergenerational transmission of living in deprived neighbourhoods it is important to distinguish between inherited disadvantage (socio-economic position) and contextual disadvantage (environmental context in which children grow up). The objective of this paper is to come to a better understanding of the effects of inherited and contextual disadvantage on the neighbourhood careers of children once they have left the parental home. We use a quasi-experimental family design exploiting sibling relationships, including real sibling pairs, and "synthetic siblings" who are used as a control group. Using rich register data from Sweden we find that real siblings live more similar lives in terms of neighbourhood experiences during their independent residential career than synthetic sibling pairs. This difference reduces over time. Real siblings are still less different than synthetic pairs but the difference gets smaller with time, indicating a quicker attenuation of the family effect on residential outcomes than the neighbourhood effect.
    Keywords: siblings, hybrid model, residential selection, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: I30 J60 R23
    Date: 2018–02
  11. By: Tindara Addabbo; Maddalena Davoli; Marina Murat
    Abstract: Gender and origin background are widely accepted in the economics of education literature as factors that highly correlate with educational outcomes. However, little attention has been devoted so far to the interaction of these two dimensions. We use Italian data from PISA 2015 to investigate potential immigrant-gender gaps in education. We find that, as expected, girls outperform boys in reading and are outperformed by them in math and science. In addition, immigrant students’ scores are persistently below those of natives. However, interestingly, we find that being immigrant and female does not imply a double disadvantage in math and science. On the contrary, immigrant girls slightly compensate for the immigrant gap in all disciplines. Moreover, the wider gap we find is that of immigrant boys in reading: it ranges from to 0.66 to 2 school years with respect to native boys. Language spoken at home is one of the main cofactors affecting immigrant boy’s scores. Targeted policies should therefore be implemented.
    Keywords: immigrant-gender gap, education, OECD-PISA
    JEL: I24 F22 J16
    Date: 2018–02
  12. By: Meritxell Solé (Universitat de Barcelona); Guadalupe Souto (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Concepció Patxot (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Concerns about the consequences of demographic ageing on the sustainability of the pension system has led to the adoption of reforms reducing pension expenditure. However, the impact of these reforms on pension adequacy is now coming under increasing scrutiny. Taking recent Spanish reform as an example, this paper analyses the extent to which fostering pension sustainability threatens pension adequacy. Using an extension of the DyPeS behavioural microsimulation model, results show that the introduction of mechanisms linking retirement pensions to the evolution of the social security budget balance has strong and negative effects on adequacy. The gains in sustainability are mainly driven by the significant fall in the benefit ratio (average pension to average wage), worsening the relative economic position of pensioners throughout forthcoming decades, reversing the past trend.
    Keywords: Pension adequacy, behavioural microsimulation, pension system reforms, pension sustainability, Spain.
    JEL: H53 H68 H55
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Ketel, Nadine; Leuven, Edwin; Oosterbeek, Hessel; van der Klaauw, Bas
    Abstract: We exploit admission lotteries to estimate the payoffs to the dentistry study in the Netherlands. Using data from up to 22 years after the lottery, we find that in most years after graduation dentists earn around 50,000 Euros more than they would earn in their next-best profession. The payoff is larger for men than for women but does not vary with high school GPA. The large payoffs cannot be attributed to longer working hours, larger human capital investments or sacrifices in family outcomes. The natural explanation is that Dutch dentists extract a monopoly rent, which we attribute to the limited supply of dentists in the Netherlands. We discuss policies to curtail this rent.
    Keywords: dentists; monopoly rents; random assignment; Returns to education
    JEL: C36 I18 I23 J44
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor
    Abstract: We estimate gender differences in elicited wage expectations among German University students applying for STEM and non-STEM fields. Descriptively, women expect to earn less than men and also have lower expectations about wages of average graduates across different fields. Using a two-step estimation procedure accounting for self-selection, we find that the gender gap in own expected wages can be explained to the extent of 54-69% by wage expectations for average graduates across different fields. However, gender differences in the wage expectations for average graduates across different fields do not contribute to explaining the gender gap in the choice of STEM majors.
    Keywords: gender gap,wage expectations,college major choice,STEM
    JEL: I21 J16 J31
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio (University of Naples L’Orientale); Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe (University of Salerno); Pastore, Francesco (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)
    Abstract: The wage effect of job-education vertical mismatch (i.e. overeducation) has only recently been investigated in the case of Ph.D. holders. The existing contributions rely on OLS estimates that allow measuring the average effect of being mismatched at the mean of the conditional wages distribution. This paper, instead, observes the heterogeneity of the overeducation penalty along the wage distribution and according to Ph.D. holders' study field and sector of employment (academic/non-academic). We implement a Recentered Influence Function (RIF) to estimate an hourly wage equation and compare PhD holders who are over-educated with those who are not. The results reveal that overeducation hits the wages of those Ph.D. holders who are employed in the academic sector and in non-R&D jobs outside of the academic sector. Instead, no penalty exists among those who carry out R&D outside the Academia. The size of the penalty is higher among those who are in the mid-top of the wage distribution and hold a Social Science and Humanities specialization.
    Keywords: job-education mismatch, overeducation, wages, Ph.D. holders, unconditional quantile regression, Italy
    JEL: C26 I23 J13 J24 J28
    Date: 2018–02
  16. By: Dahl, Gordon B. (University of California, San Diego); Gielen, Anne C. (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Does participation in a social assistance program by parents have spillovers on their children's own participation, future labor market attachment, and human capital investments? While intergenerational concerns have figured prominently in policy debates for decades, causal evidence is scarce due to non-random participation and data limitations. In this paper we exploit a 1993 policy reform in the Netherlands which tightened disability insurance (DI) criteria for existing claimants, and use rich panel data to link parents to children's long-run outcomes. The key to our regression discontinuity design is that the reform applied to younger cohorts, while older cohorts were exempted from the new rules. We find that children of parents who were pushed out of DI or had their benefits reduced are 11% less likely to participate in DI themselves, do not alter their use of other government safety net programs, and earn 2% more in the labor market as adults. The combination of reduced government transfers and increased tax revenue results in a fiscal gain of 5,900 euros per treated parent due to child spillovers by 2014. Moreover, children of treated parents complete an extra 0.12 years of schooling on average, an investment consistent with an anticipated future with less reliance on DI. Our findings have important implications for the evaluation of this and other policy reforms: ignoring parent-to-child spillovers understates the long-run cost savings of the Dutch reform by between 21 and 40% in present discounted value terms.
    Keywords: peer effects, disability insurance, intergenerational links
    JEL: I38 H53 J62
    Date: 2018–02
  17. By: Zoltán Elekes; Ron Boschma; Balázs Lengyel
    Abstract: A growing body of literature shows that related diversification in regions is more common but unrelated diversification also happens. However, we have little understanding of what types of firms induce related and unrelated diversification in regions. We investigate the extent to which foreign-owned firms induce structural change in the capability base of 67 regions in Hungary between 2000 and 2009. Doing so, we aim to connect more tightly the disparate literatures of Evolutionary Economic Geography and International Business. Using novel methodology developed by Neffke et al. (2018), we find that foreign-owned firms show a higher deviation from the region?s average capability match than domestic firms, and therefore, tend to contribute more to structural change in regions.
    Keywords: foreign-owned firms, related diversification, unrelated diversification, evolutionary economic geography, MNEs, international business studies
    JEL: F23 O18 O19 O33 P25 R11
    Date: 2018–03
  18. By: Sascha Drahs; Luke Haywood; Amelie Schiprowski
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how subjective expectations about wage opportunities influence the job search decision. We match data on subjective wage expectations with administrative employment records. The data reveal that unemployed individuals over-estimate their future net re-employment wage by 10% on average. In particular, the average individual does not anticipate that wage offers decline in value with their elapsed time out of employment. How does this optimism affect job finding? We analyze this question using a structural job search framework in which subjective expectations about future wage offers are not constrained to be consistent with reality. Results show that wage optimism has highly dynamic effects: upon unemployment entry, optimism decreases job finding by about 8%. This effect weakens over the unemployment spell and eventually switches sign after about 8 months of unemployment. From then onward, optimism prevents un- employed individuals from becoming discouraged and thus increases search. On average, optimism increases the duration of unemployment by about 6.5%.
    Keywords: Job search, subjective expectations, structural estimation
    JEL: J64 D83
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Andrea Bassanini (OECD - OECD - OECD); Eve Caroli (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); François Fontaine (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Antoine Rebérioux (LADYSS - Laboratoire dynamiques sociales et recomposition des espaces - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP8 - Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of local social pressure on the choice of employment contracts made by firms. Using linked employer-employee data, we show that secondary establishments located closer to headquarters have higher shares of fixed-term contracts in hiring than those located further away whenever firms' headquarters are located in selfish communities. In contrast, when firms' headquarters belong to unselfish communities, the impact of distance to headquarters on the share of fixed-term contracts turns out to be positive. We show that these findings can only be explained by local social pressure. When the local community at the firm's headquarters is selfish, i.e. cares about dismissals only when they take place at short distance, CEOs are under pressure to avoid dismissing workers close to headquarters. By adding to the adjustment costs associated with open-ended contracts, this creates an incentive for them to rely more on fixed-term contracts, in an attempt to escape social pressure when hiring workers close to headquarters.
    Date: 2018–03
  20. By: Jan (J.) Rouwendal (VU Amsterdam); Adriaan Keus (VU Amsterdam); Jasper Dekkers (VU Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of the sale of rental housing in Amsterdam on the local housing market. This increases the supply of owner-occupied housing, but can also contribute to gentrification associated with the inflow of different household groups. Earlier literature focused on the former effect and reported a negative price effect. We take a fresh look at the issue by considering the sale of private as well as social rental housing, allow for differing time trends within the municipality, controlling for area fixed effects, distinguishing between short and long-term impacts and addressing endogeneity of the sale of rental housing. The main finding is a robust gentrifying effect of the sale of private rental housing in the core area of Amsterdam.
    Keywords: gentrification; social housing; Dutch housing market
    JEL: R21 R23 R31
    Date: 2018–03–07
  21. By: Adamopoulou, Effrosyni (Efi) (Bank of Italy); Bobbio, Emmanuele (Bank of Italy); De Philippis, Marta (Bank of Italy); Giorgi, Federico (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Aggregate wages display little cyclicality compared to what a standard model would predict. Wage rigidities are an obvious candidate but a recent strand of the literature has emphasized the need to take into account the growing importance of worker composition effects during downturns. With reference to the Italian case we document that also firm composition effects increasingly matter in explaining the aggregate wage dynamics, i.e. aggregate wage growth has been lifted up by the increase in the employment weight of high wage firms. To the extent that this reallocation occurs towards more productive firms, the composition effects may also reflect an efficiency enhancing mechanism. We use a newly available dataset based on social security records covering the universe of Italian employers be-tween 1990 and 2013 and employ a standard measure of allocative efficiency on wages paid across firms. We show that this measure has improved over time since prior to the recent downturn and that it is aligned, at the sectoral level, with measures of productivity growth and market openness to competition. We then focus on the recent downturn and find that large firms were able to adjust wages more than small firms, and that small firms instead adjusted employment to a larger extent. Finally, we document that the continued improvement in the measure of allocative efficiency over this period correlates positively with measures of economic activity (evolution of employment and value added) across sectors.
    Keywords: aggregate wage dynamics, reallocation, allocative efficiency, firm composition effects
    JEL: D61 E24
    Date: 2018–02
  22. By: Kjellsson, Sara (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Social scientific health research typically finds higher levels of ill health among women and among the working class, and working conditions is an important mechanism in the literature on class health inequality. Whether gender health differences are similar across classes or whether they are class-specific is less studied. The aim of this study is to explore class-specific gender gaps in self-rated health (SRH), musculoskeletal pain and psychiatric distress, and whether they can be ascribed to working conditions. The study consists of 2597 employed men and women, aged 18-65, with information on class, working conditions and health from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU) in 2010. Linear Probability Models (LPM) are estimated and when including interaction terms between gender and class some class-specific gender gaps are observed. The between-class aspect of these cannot be ascribed to working conditions, but they contribute to the understanding of within-class differences. For SRH the gap is 10 percentage points larger among unskilled workers than higher non-manual employees. This can partly be ascribed to these women experiencing large psychosocial demands; while at the same time being more vulnerable than male unskilled workers to physically strenuous conditions. In skilled working class women are found to be particularly exposed to psychosocially demanding conditions, which accounts for the gender gap in musculoskeletal pain within this class. This study shows that gender differences in health differs between classes, and that taking class-specific horizontal gender segregation into account is needed in order to understand gender health differences.
    Keywords: Sweden; Health inequality; Gender; Class; Working conditions
    Date: 2018–03–09
  23. By: Daria Arkhipova (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Giovanni Vaia (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: We develop and empirically analyse a theoretical model that examines both the antecedents of digital maturity and the involvement of external third parties in companies undergoing digital transformation. We use structural equation modelling technique to test our propositions using the survey data from IT executives on self-reported importance scores they assign to different types of IT competences. We find that digitally mature companies are more likely to establish partnerships with the third parties with a purpose of jointly carrying out digital innovation projects.
    Keywords: digital transformation, digital maturity, sourcing decisions
    JEL: M40
    Date: 2018–03
  24. By: Andrea Morone; Francesco Nemore; Dario, Antonio Schirone
    Abstract: Environmental psychologists suggest that people feelings and emotions determine what they do and how they do it. According to the stimulus organism response model (SOR), the environment creates a behavioral/emotional response in individuals that, in turn, induces approach or avoidance behaviors. We conducted survey in six stores, settled in six different Italian cities, of a Swedish-founded Dutch-based multinational group, that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories. Firstly, we apply the SOR model to evaluate loyalty program participation impact on consumers receipts. Subsequently, we provide empirical evidence about the effects of an emotional-sensorial stimulus (i.e. the presence of the restaurant inside the store). Through both a non-parametric and parametric testing, we found that environmental stimuli have a positive effect in terms of sales.
    Keywords: Servicescape; sensorial stimuli; functionality; loyalty; restaurant.
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2018–03–02
  25. By: G. Cette; S. Corde; R. Lecat
    Abstract: The productivity slowdown has been analysed as an effect of weaker technological progress, of the digital economy or of a less efficient reallocation process. Using data on firms operating in France, we highlight that, at the technological frontier, productivity has accelerated, especially over the recent period, which contradicts the hypothesis of a decline in innovation. The most productive firms in a given year do not, however, improve their relative advantage. The convergence of firms’ productivity does not seem to have slowed down in the 2000s, which does not confirm the hypothesis of a decrease in the dissemination of innovation. On the other hand, the dispersion of productivity between firms has increased, which suggests growing difficulties in reallocating production factors, labour and capital, between firms.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, dissemination of innovation.
    JEL: E22 L11 O47
    Date: 2018
  26. By: Kjellsson, Sara (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This study focuses on gender differences in working conditions and musculoskeletal pain without assuming gender differences to be general across socioeconomic classes. Using repeated cross-sections from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU), the aim is to i) describe class-specific gender differences in working conditions and musculoskeletal pain in Sweden between 1974 and 2010 and ii) to assess whether class-specific gender differences in musculoskeletal pain over time can be accounted for by working conditions. The sample consists of employed men and women aged 25-64, with sample sizes in each cross-section ranging from 2,329 respondents in 2010 to 2,925 respondents in 1991. Musculoskeletal pain is measured as pain experienced in the neck and shoulders; back, hips and sciatica; or joints. For working conditions, seven dummy variables for physical and psychosocial conditions, one for part-time employment, and a continuous variable for weekly work hours are used. Cross-sectional descriptive data show the class and gender structure of working conditions and musculoskeletal pain during the time period studied. Furthermore, class-separate linear probability models (LPM), including inter-action terms between gender and survey year, are estimated to investigate class-specific trends. The results indicate class-specific gender gaps in pain and their development over time; however, working conditions do not account for these to any large extent. Four hypotheses are formulated and partially supported. The gender gap in pain is larger among non-manual employees than the working class (supports H1). Physical conditions contribute to the gender gap among intermediate non-manuals (partially supports H2). The gender gap increases among assistant and high non-manuals but shows greater stability within the working class (partially supports H3). Hypothesis 4 assumes increasing gender gaps within all classes and is rejected. Generally, it is found that the explanatory value of working conditions for gender differences in musculoskeletal pain does not change over time in any of the classes. Hence, the results indicate that with regard to the mechanisms behind these class-specific gender gaps and their development over time, we must look beyond the working conditions investigated here.
    Keywords: Class; gender; musculoskeletal pain; working conditions; Sweden
    Date: 2018–03–09
  27. By: Giovanni Ferri (LUMSA University); Raoul Minetti (Michigan State University); Pierluigi Murro (LUMSA University)
    Abstract: Using a rich sample of small and medium-sized European firms, we study how banks' lending technologies affected firms' export activities during the 2009 great trade collapse. We find that bank-firm relationships mitigated the contraction of firms' export by easing banks' access to inside, "soft" information on export prospects. However, relationship banks with strong past experience on firms' domestic activities were less inclined to protect exporters. Bank-firm relationships appear to be a buffer especially for young and small exporters and for exporters at an early stage of internationalization.
    Keywords: Bank-Firm Relationships, Lending Technologies, Trade
    JEL: G21 D82 F10
    Date: 2018–03
  28. By: Claudia Kettner-Marx (WIFO); Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig (WIFO)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of energy and (implicit) CO2 taxation in the EU member countries. Against the background of the EU energy taxation directives, energy and implicit CO2 tax rates in the EU countries are discussed, focussing on taxation in the transport sector as a major non-ETS emitter. Empirical evidence on the impact of energy and carbon taxes on energy use and emissions is presented and the economic and distributional effects of energy and carbon taxes are then discussed. Research on energy price elasticities suggests that energy and carbon taxation can make a significant contribution towards achieving emission reductions, particularly in the transport sector where greenhouse gas emissions continue to be on the rise in the EU. Evidence on the economic impacts of energy and carbon taxes furthermore shows that a double divided can be achieved. With respect to the distributional impacts of carbon and energy taxes evidence is, however, mixed. While empirical studies generally negate regressive effects for taxes on transport fuels, energy and carbon taxes on heating fuels tend to be found regressive.
    Keywords: Energy taxation, carbon taxation, EU Member States, environmental impact, macroeconomic effects, distributional effects
    Date: 2018–02–23
  29. By: Janssen, Simon (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Mohrenweiser, Jens (Bournemouth University)
    Abstract: In periods of accelerating technological change, incumbent workers must continuously update their skills to remain productive. In contrast, high school or college graduates recently entering the labor market often have the most up-to-date skills. We investigate how incumbent workers' careers respond to the increasing labor supply of graduates with more technologically advanced IT skills during a period of accelerating technological change. We identify a supply shock of more technologically advanced IT-skilled graduates by exploiting a reform of a German training regulation, a reform mandating all new apprentices in a large manufacturing occupation to acquire in-depth IT skills. We use a difference-in-differences approach to analyze how this supply shock of IT-skilled workers affected the careers of incumbent workers. The results show that even young incumbents experienced long-lasting earnings losses in the form of lower wage growth after the IT-skilled graduates entered the labor market. A detailed analysis of the mechanisms suggests that incumbents on average forwent promotions and technologically advanced IT-skilled graduates crowded incumbents out of their occupation. However, despite losing their occupation, incumbents experienced relatively little unemployment during the transition period following the supply shock and on average resumed stable careers in other occupations and sectors.
    Keywords: skill-biased technological change, wage adjustments, supply shock, apprenticeship
    JEL: J24 J64 O30
    Date: 2018–02
  30. By: Päällysaho, Miika Matias
    Abstract: This paper uses matched employer-employee panel data on university graduates who obtained a Master’s degree in 1988–2004 to study how facing adverse economic conditions upon graduation affects short- and long-term labor market outcomes in Finland. Among all graduation cohorts, the average graduate faces large and persistent negative effects on real annual earnings that last for at least the first ten years after graduation. There is also a persistently higher probability of being unemployed that lasts for roughly seven years. When only considering the cohorts who graduated after the exceptionally deep Finnish 1990s depression, the effects on earnings only last for the first five years and there appear to be little to no effects on unemployment. Female graduates face smaller earnings losses on average, potentially reflecting gender differences in fields of study, employing sector and labor market attachment. The empirical results appear not to be significantly affected by selective timing or place of graduation.
    Keywords: labor market, unemployment, business cycle fluctuation, higher education, Labour markets and education, E32, I23, J22, J23,
    Date: 2017
  31. By: Ann Barbara Bauer; Reiner Eichenberger
    Abstract: In 2003, the retirement age of Swiss construction workers was lowered from 65 to 60. This reform has been intended to improve their health. Our study shows the opposite outcome. The human capital theory suggests that investments in employees’ productivity by the employer and the employees themselves depend on the time remaining until their retirement. Hence, we hypothesize that pension reforms that reduce employees’ working horizon decrease investments in work-related human capital, which translates into a higher prevalence of sickness absences, a longer absence duration, and worse health. By econometrically comparing pre- and post-reform cohorts of construction workers with other blue-collar workers, we find that among 56–60-year-old construction workers, their sickness absences increase from 3.2% to 5.6%, their sickness duration increases by 33%, and their probability of having health problems increases from 9% to 12.7% due to the reform.
    Keywords: Pension reform; natural experiment; construction worker; sickness absence; sickness duration; poor health
    JEL: I12 J14 J26 L74
    Date: 2018–03
  32. By: Philip Bunn; Paul Mizen; Pawel Smietanka
    Abstract: Large deficits have opened up on defined benefit pension schemes in the UK since 2007, and at the same time investment expenditure has been subdued; this is a common phenomenon in other countries too. We use privileged access to a unique new dataset from The Pensions Regulator and two identification schemes to investigate the effects of deficits and deficit recovery plans on UK companies’ dividends, investment, wages and cash holdings. Identification is based on the close relationship between low long-term interest rates and pension deficits; and the external regulation of pension schemes by The Pensions Regulator. We show that firms with larger pension deficits voluntarily pay lower dividends, but they do not invest less. However, firms that are required to make deficit recovery contributions by the regulator have lower dividend and investment expenditure compared to other firms, and more so if they are financially constrained. These effects are large for some individual companies, but macro-economically small compared to the stimulus offered by the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy.
    Keywords: pension deficits, investment, dividends, cash holdings, monetary policy
    Date: 2018
  33. By: Massimiliano Ferraresi (European Commission, Directorate I)
    Abstract: This paper exploits political features of Italian local governments to identify the presence of spatial interactions in spending decisions over the period 2001-2011. In particular, I take advantage of the political cycle to isolate the effect of spending decisions of one municipality on neighbors’ municipalities. The results of this analysis point to the presence of strategic interaction between neighboring municipalities, and indicate that such a fiscal behavior is more pronounced during electoral years, that is municipalities are engaged in yardstick competition. Moreover, to isolate any other source of spatial interactions from yardstick competition, I rely on a sample of municipalities experiencing a council dismissal, for which the political process is expected to be less marked - as they are led by a commissioner, who does not have any political concern. In this case, I build a measure of intensity of commissioner to induce variation in the spending decisions, finding, however, no evidence of spatial dependencies. Taken together these results suggest that the observed spatial dependence in spending decisions is unlikely to be driven by spillover e?ects, rather, it seems to be consent with the yardstick competition hypothesis.
    Keywords: spatial interactions, yardstick competition, spillover, political budget cycle, commissioner, external instruments
    JEL: H20 H71 H77
    Date: 2018–03

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