nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2018‒04‒23
24 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The entrepreneurial activity using GEM data: evidence for Spain (national and regional) and for Europe By Velilla, Jorge
  2. Inspiration for integration. Labour market policies for refugees in five Northern European countries By Joyce, Patrick
  3. How Persistent Is Life Satisfaction? Evidence from European Immigration By Berggren, Niclas; Bergh, Andreas; Bjørnskov, Christian; Tanaka, Shiori
  4. How Patient are Consumers? Evidence from Luxembourg Wealth Study By Walid Merouani
  5. Can Public and Private Sanctions Discipline Politicians? Evidence from the French Parliament By Benjamin Monnery; Maxime Le Bihan
  6. Resource Misallocation in European Firms: The Role of Constraints, Firm Characteristics and Managerial Decisions By Gorodnichenko, Yuriy; Revoltella, Debora; Svejnar, Jan; Weiss, Christoph T.
  7. The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Fertility, Marriage and Long-Term Outcomes for Women By Libertad González; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Natalia Nollenberger; Judit Vall-Castello
  8. Long-Term Effects of Childhood Nutrition: Evidence from a School Lunch Reform By Alex-Petersen, Jesper; Lundborg, Petter; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  9. The Impact of Compulsory Education on Employment and Earnings in a Transition Economy By Liwiński, Jacek
  10. Saving Lives by Tying Hands: The Unexpected Effects of Constraining Health Care Providers By Jonathan Gruber; Thomas P. Hoe; George Stoye
  11. Parental occupation and children's school outcomes in math By Gianna Claudia Giannelli; Chiara Rapallini
  12. Firm heterogeneity and exports in the Netherlands: Identifying export potential By Peter Zwaneveld; Raoul van Maarseveen; Steven Brakman; Harry Garretsen
  13. “What drives regional differences in BMI? Evidence from Spain” By Antonio Di Paolo; Joan Gil Trasfi; Athina Raftopoulou
  14. Long-term Consequences of Early Parenthood By Eva Rye Johansen; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Mette Verner
  15. The Effect of Council Size on Municipal Expenditures: Evidence from Italian Municipalities By Marco Alberto De Benedetto
  16. Worker Representation and Temporary Employment in Germany: The Deployment and Extent of Fixed-Term Contracts and Temporary Agency Work By Addison, John T.; Teixeira, Paulino; Grunau, Philipp; Bellmann, Lutz
  17. A comparison of public preferences for different low-carbon energy technologies: Support for CCS, nuclear and wind energy in the United Kingdom By Yu, H.; Reiner, D.; Chen, H.; Mi, Z.
  18. “A regional perspective on the accuracy of machine learning forecasts of tourism demand based on data characteristics” By Oscar Claveria; Enric Monte; Salvador Torra
  19. Expenditure imputation and microsimulation of VAT By Zuzana Siebertova; Jana Valachyova; Norbert Svarda; Matus Senaj
  20. Local multipliers at work By Cerqua, Augusto; Pellegrini, Guido
  21. Employment Polarization in local labor markets: the Dutch case By Raoul van Maarseveen; Nikolaos Terzidis; Raquel Ortega - Argiles
  22. Job characteristics and life satisfaction in Europe: A domains-of-life approach By Clara Viñas-Bardolet; Monica Guillen-Royo; Joan Torrent-Sellens
  23. Are European firms falling behind in the global corporate research race? By Reinhilde Veugelers
  24. Medical Expenses and Saving in Retirement: The Case of U.S. and Sweden By Nakajima, Makoto; Telyukova, Irina A.

  1. By: Velilla, Jorge
    Abstract: This work uses different sources of data from the Global Entrepreneur Monitor to show a descriptive and comparative analysis of the different dimensions of the entrepreneurial activity, in the Spanish regions, and at international level. I also study the individual determinants of the entrepreneurial activity in Spain, and Europe, using bootstrapping techniques to avoid overfitted results. My results indicate that entrepreneurial levels in Spain are below the average of European countries, and also below the levels of United States, Canada, and Australia. However, the determinants of entrepreneurship appear to be similar in all the regions studied.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Spain; Europe; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; GEM Data
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2018–03–28
  2. By: Joyce, Patrick (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: The refugee influx in 2015 marked the largest mass movement in Europe since WWII. More than half of the arrivals applied for asylum on the northernmost edge of the continent: Germany was the top destination by far but Sweden received more asylum seekers relative to its population. The Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark also took in significant numbers. The developments in 2015 caused several of these countries to reconsider their policies on migration and integration of refugees. This paper compares the policies in these five countries after 2015 focusing on what Sweden can learn from the others.
    Keywords: Labour market; Integration; Education and Social welfare.
    JEL: I24 I38 J15 J61
    Date: 2018–04–05
  3. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bergh, Andreas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bjørnskov, Christian (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Tanaka, Shiori (Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering)
    Abstract: This paper asks to what extent life satisfaction among immigrants remains similar to that in their country of origin and to what extent it adapts to that in their country of residence. We employ data from 29,000 immigrants in the European Social Survey to estimate the relative importance of these influences. We find evidence that the persistence of life satisfaction from the country of origin is strong for migrants from developed countries and close to zero for migrants from formerly communist countries. We also find that persistence for second-generation immigrants is similar but weaker than for their parents.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Heritability; Culture; Immigration
    JEL: I31 Z10
    Date: 2018–04–04
  4. By: Walid Merouani
    Abstract: In his paper on wealth accumulation and individual lifecycle, Tony Atkinson (1971) used lifecycle models to measure inequalities between and within age (sex) groups. He has mentioned the importance of pension in reducing wealth inequality. Following Atkinson, many authors and international institutions recognise that the development of pension systems is the solution for reducing inequalities and preventing poverty in elderly. However, the voluntarily participation of all the workers to pension system, especially to the third pillar of the system, is really controversial. A critical issue in analysing pension saving is the unobserved heterogeneity in household time preferences. This article displays this heterogeneity by building average ages-profiles of consumption, income and wealth in eight countries: Australia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom, and USA. These profiles are constructed across different socioeconomic groups of households. The findings show a high correlation between consumption and income revealing the lack of foresight of the household of the studied societies. Furthermore, we confirm Atkinson’s results (1971) about wealth distribution; we show the heterogeneity of wealth accumulation across socio-demographic group of households. By using wealth accumulation profiles we conclude that male, high educated, self-employed and risk seekers households are wealthier and forward looking. Our results also show that the presence of children in the households make them wealthier and forward looking.
    Keywords: Income, Consumption, net worth heterogeneity, forward looking
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Benjamin Monnery; Maxime Le Bihan
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of sanctions on the behavior of deputies in the French National Assembly. In 2009, the Assembly introduced small monetary sanctions to prevent absenteeism in weekly standing committee meetings (held on wednesday mornings). Using a rich monthly panel dataset of parliamentary activity for the full 2007-2012 legislature, we study the reactions of deputies to (i) the mere eligibility to new sanctions, (ii) the actual experience of a salary cut, and (iii) the public exposure of sanctioned deputies in the media. First, our diff-in-diff estimates show very large disciplining effects of the policy in terms of committee attendance, and positive or null effects on other dimensions of parliamentary work. Second, exploiting the timing of exposure to actual sanctions (monthly salary cuts versus staggered media exposure), we find that deputies strongly increase their committee attendance both after the private experience of sanctions and after their public exposure. These results suggest that monetary and reputational incentives can effectively discipline politicians without crowding out intrinsic motivation.
    Keywords: political economy; political accoutability; sanctions; reputation; motivation
    JEL: D72 D78 J45 K42
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Gorodnichenko, Yuriy (University of California, Berkeley); Revoltella, Debora (European Investment Bank); Svejnar, Jan (Columbia University); Weiss, Christoph T. (European Investment Bank)
    Abstract: Using a new survey, we show that the dispersion of marginal products across firms in the European Union is about twice as large as that in the United States. Reducing it to the US level would increase EU GDP by more than 30 percent. Alternatively, removing barriers between industries and countries would raise EU GDP by at least 25 percent. Firm characteristics, such as demographics, quality of inputs, utilization of resources, and dynamic adjustment of inputs, are predictors of the marginal products of capital and labor. We emphasize that some firm characteristics may reflect compensating differentials rather than constraints and the effect of constraints on the dispersion of marginal products may hence be smaller than has been assumed in the literature. We also show that cross-country differences in the dispersion of marginal products are more due to differences in how the business, institutional and policy environment translates firm characteristics into outcomes than to the differences in firm characteristics per se.
    Keywords: marginal products, resource allocation, firm-specific factors, economic growth
    JEL: O12 O47 O52 D22 D24
    Date: 2018–03
  7. By: Libertad González; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Natalia Nollenberger; Judit Vall-Castello
    Abstract: We evaluate the short- and long-term effects for women of access to subsidized, legal abortion by exploiting the Spanish legalization of abortion in 1985. Using birth records and survey data, we find robust evidence that the legalization led to an immediate decrease in the number of births to women aged 21 and younger. This effect was driven by provinces with a higher supply of abortion services. In those regions, young women affected by the reform were also less likely to marry. Using data from the Labor Force Survey and exploiting the rollout of abortion clinics across provinces and over time, we find evidence that the affected cohorts of women, who were able to postpone fertility as a result of the legalization of abortion, achieved higher educational attainment and had higher life satisfaction 20 years after the reform. We do not find evidence of increases in the probability of being employed.
    Keywords: abortion, fertility, education and labor market outcomes, satisfaction
    JEL: J12 J13 I21 C21
    Date: 2018–04
  8. By: Alex-Petersen, Jesper (Lund University); Lundborg, Petter (Lund University and IZA); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We examine the long-term impact of a policy that introduced free and nutritious school lunches in Swedish primary schools. For this purpose, we use historical data on the gradual implementation of the policy across municipalities and employ a difference-in-differences design to estimate the impact of this lunch policy on a broad range of medium and longterm outcomes, including lifetime income, health, cognitive skills, and education. Our results show that the school lunch program generated substantial long-term benefits, where pupils exposed to the program during their entire primary school period have 3 percent greater life-time earnings. In addition, we find the effect to be greater for pupils that were exposed at earlier ages and for pupils from poor households. Finally, exposure to the school lunch program had substantial effects on educational attainment and health and these effects can explain a large part of the return to school lunches.
    Keywords: nutrition; early life; childhood; long-term; income; causal
    JEL: I12 I38 J24
    Date: 2018–04–09
  9. By: Liwiński, Jacek
    Abstract: In 1966 the minimum school-leaving age was increased from 14 to 15 years in Poland. This was a result of extending the primary school education from 7 to 8 years. At the same time, the reform did not affect the education system at post-primary levels, that is the system of secondary and higher education. In result, all education tracks were extended by one year. Using the regression discontinuity design and data from the Polish LFS (2001-2005), we find that the reform had no impact on men's and women's hourly earnings and employment rate. A similar finding was reported earlier for a few Western European countries. However, our study is the first one to estimate the impact of the compulsory schooling extended in a centrally planned economy on the individuals' labour market outcomes in the period of economic transition. Besides, we find that the reform had a negative impact on the hourly earnings of individuals with primary education.
    Keywords: education,schooling,earnings,regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Jonathan Gruber; Thomas P. Hoe; George Stoye
    Abstract: The emergency department (ED) is a complex node of healthcare delivery that is facing market and regulatory pressure across developed economies to reduce wait times. In this paper we study how ED doctors respond to such incentives, by focussing on a landmark policy in England that imposed strong incentives to treat ED patients within four hours. Using bunching techniques, we estimate that the policy reduced affected patients’ wait times by 19 minutes, yet distorted a number of medical decisions. In response to the policy, doctors increased the intensity of ED treatment and admitted more patients for costly inpatient care. We also find a striking 14% reduction in mortality. To determine the mechanism behind these health improvements, we exploit heterogeneity in patient severity and hospital crowding, and find strongly suggestive evidence that it is the reduced wait times, rather than the additional admits, that saves lives. Overall we conclude that, despite distorting medical decisions, constraining ED doctors can induce cost-effective reductions in mortality.
    JEL: I11 I18
    Date: 2018–03
  11. By: Gianna Claudia Giannelli; Chiara Rapallini
    Abstract: We find a positive relationship between math attitude and students' math scores using data obtained from PISA 2012 and a 2SLS model. Math attitude is approximated by three subjective measures: parental attitude and student instrumental motivation, which assess beliefs about math importance for the job market, and student math anxiety. The presence of one family member in a math-related career is our instrumental variable. Regardless of the proxy that is used for math attitude, an increase of one standard deviation increases the student score by at least 40 points, the equivalent of one year of schooling.
    Keywords: arental attitude toward math, Student instrumental motivation, Math anxiety, Math-related career, Math scores.
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Peter Zwaneveld (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Raoul van Maarseveen (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Steven Brakman (RUG); Harry Garretsen (RUG)
    Abstract: According to the Melitz (2003) model, potential exporters have to be sufficiently productive to overcome the entry costs of foreign markets. Once firms pass this productivity threshold, they all export. However, empirical evidence indicates that a substantial share of high-productive firms do not export. Stimulating these highly productive firms to export is of interest to policy makers, as this provides these firms with new growth opportunities. In this paper, we focus specifically on this group of high-productive non-exporters and identify the factors that might prevent them from successfully exporting. We employ a large micro-dataset for Dutch firms both in services and manufacturing for the period 2010-2014. Our findings are threefold. First, high productivity is an important, but not a sufficient condition for exporting. Firm size (substitute for productivity), import status, and foreign ownership are also important. Second, firm location is crucial. A location in peripheral areas prevents high productive firms from exporting; especially a location in the Northern part of the Netherlands reduces the probability to export. Third, our set-up identifies individual firms that are potential exporters.
    JEL: F12 F14
    Date: 2018–01
  13. By: Antonio Di Paolo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona (UB). Tel.: +34-934021825; Fax.: +34-934021821. Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain); Joan Gil Trasfi (Department of Economics and BEAT, University of Barcelona); Athina Raftopoulou (Roma Department of Economics and CAEPS, University of Barcelona.)
    Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the North–South health divide, by disentangling the conditioning factors that account for regional differences in BMI. Based on the Spanish data of the European Health Survey of 2014, we first decompose the average BMI gap between the North and the South of Spain into the contribution of the explained and unexplained factors, using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. We also carry out a distributional analysis by applying the Recentered Influence Function (RIF) Regression and the corresponding decomposition, to analyse BMI differentials along its unconditional distribution. We consider the case of Spain, which is a country characterized by important geographical disparities in BMI and other health outcomes, as well as by the decentralized structure of the Spanish National Health System (NHS). Indeed, this is the first paper that estimates and decomposes the underlying factors responsible for regional BMI variation in European countries. Our findings indicate that North to South differences in mean BMI are significant only for women and a large share (64%) of this gap is explained by differences in endowments (basically years of schooling) to the detriment of women living in the South. Moreover, the explained (unexplained) portion of the gap steadily increases (decreases) along the BMI distribution, revealing that what really matters to deal with the obesity epidemic among overweight women is focusing attention on regional disparities in endowments, human capital being the main driver.
    Keywords: Obesity, Regional BMI variation, Decomposition analysis,Spain. JEL classification:
    Date: 2018–04
  14. By: Eva Rye Johansen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Mette Verner (VIVE (The Danish Centre of Applied Social Science))
    Abstract: Having children at an early age is known to be associated with unfavorable economic outcomes, such as lower education, employment and earnings. In this paper, we study the long-term consequences of early parenthood for mothers and fathers. Our study is based on rich register-based data that, importantly, merges all childbirths to the children’s mothers and fathers, allowing us to study the consequences of early parenthood for both parents. We perform a sibling fixed effects analysis in order to account for unobserved family attributes that are possibly correlated with early parenthood. The analysis is based on Danish men and women born between 1968 and 1977, from whom we identify brothers and sisters, respectively. We find that early parenthood reduces educational attainment and employment, and that the relationship is only slightly weaker for men than for women. One exception is earnings (and to lesser extent employment), as fathers appear to support the family, especially when early parenthood is combined with cohabitation with the mother and the child. Heterogeneous effects reveal that individuals with a more favorable socioeconomic background are affected more severely than individuals with a less favorable background. We interpret this as evidence of higher opportunity costs or stigma.
    Keywords: Teenage childbearing, long-term outcomes, heterogeneous effects
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2018–04–09
  15. By: Marco Alberto De Benedetto (Birkbeck, University of London; Università degli Studi di Messina)
    Abstract: I study the effect of council size on municipal expenditures by using a rich data set providing information on Italian municipal budgets over the period 2001-2007. By implementing a Sharp Regression Discontinuity Design, I find a negative relationship between local government size, as measured by total expenditures per capita, and the council size. Similar results are found when I consider expenditures that are more directly under the control of bureaucrats, such as current expenditures per capita. Finally, I test the "law of 1/n" on pork barrel policies, finding again a negative effect of council size on capital expenditures per capita.
    Keywords: Government Size, Legislature Size, Law of 1/n, Natural Experiment, Sharp RDD.
    JEL: D72 D78 H11 H70
    Date: 2018–03
  16. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Teixeira, Paulino (University of Coimbra); Grunau, Philipp (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung); Bellmann, Lutz (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: This study examines the potential impact of works councils and unions on the deployment of fixed-term contracts and agency temps. We report inter al. that works councils are associated with a higher number of temporary agency workers when demand volatility is high while the opposite holds for fixed-term contracts. These disparities likely reflect differences in function, with agency work being more directed toward the protection of a shrinking core and fixed-term contacts being as much a port of entry as a buffer stock. We are also able to identify the number of new hires with a fixed-term contract as well as the number of FTC conversions (into regular employment) and renewals, the correlates of which flows are broadly consistent with the stock data.
    Keywords: agency temps, fixed-term contracts, stepping stones, buffer stocks, labor market duality, extensive/intensive margins, works councils, unions, collective bargaining, demand volatility, complementarity, Germany
    JEL: J21 J23 J41 J J51 J63 K31
    Date: 2018–03
  17. By: Yu, H.; Reiner, D.; Chen, H.; Mi, Z.
    Abstract: Using a representative national survey in the United Kingdom, we investigated public attitudes towards different low-carbon technologies (carbon capture and storage (CCS), wind and nuclear power) and the factors influencing public support. Overall, we found that respondents were far more likely to support wind energy as their preferred means of mitigating climate change. Older people and those of a higher social grade are more supportive of nuclear power, while age and social grade do not significantly affect support for wind energy. Supporters of the Conservative Party were more likely to oppose wind power. Neither attitudes towards climate change nor environmental attitudes were found to influence public support for wind power or nuclear. Trust in information from environmental groups was associated with greater support for wind energy but lower support for nuclear power. Perceived cost and objective knowledge significantly influenced public support for all three technology types, that is, higher perceived costs and the poorer objective knowledge lead to lower public support. However, self-assessed knowledge did not influence public support. Many factors, including most of the tested demographic factors, did not affect support for any of the three technologies.
    Keywords: Public preferences, Low carbon, Energy technologies, CCS, Wind, Nuclear
    JEL: C54 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2018–04–10
  18. By: Oscar Claveria (AQR-IREA AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona (UB). Tel. +34-934021825; Fax. +34-934021821. Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain); Enric Monte (Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC)); Salvador Torra (Riskcenter-IREA, Department of Econometrics and Statistics, University of Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: In this work we assess the role of data characteristics in the accuracy of machine learning (ML) tourism forecasts from a spatial perspective. First, we apply a seasonal-trend decomposition procedure based on non-parametric regression to isolate the different components of the time series of international tourism demand to all Spanish regions. This approach allows us to compute a set of measures to describe the features of the data. Second, we analyse the performance of several ML models in a recursive multiple-step-ahead forecasting experiment. In a third step, we rank all seventeen regions according to their characteristics and the obtained forecasting performance, and use the rankings as the input for a multivariate analysis to evaluate the interactions between time series features and the accuracy of the predictions. By means of dimensionality reduction techniques we summarise all the information into two components and project all Spanish regions into perceptual maps. We find that entropy and dispersion show a negative relation with accuracy, while the effect of other data characteristics on forecast accuracy is heavily dependent on the forecast horizon.
    Keywords: STL decomposition, non-parametric regression, time series features, forecast accuracy, machine learning, tourism demand, regional analysis. JEL classification:C45, C51, C53, C63, E27, L83.
    Date: 2018–03
  19. By: Zuzana Siebertova (Council for Budget Responsibility); Jana Valachyova (Council for Budget Responsibility); Norbert Svarda (Council for Budget Responsibility); Matus Senaj (Council for Budget Responsibility)
    Abstract: In this paper, we document the development process of the microsimulation model for the analysis of the indirect value-added tax liabilities of households in Slovakia. This simulation module can be directly integrated into the framework of SIMTASK, the Slovak microsimulation model of income taxes, health and social security contributions and transfers. In the first step, a combined micro-level dataset that integrates information on disposable income and expenditures of Slovak households has been created. Households’ expenditures reported in HBS dataset have been imputed to SK-SILC dataset by estimating parametric Engel curves. Validation of the imputation procedure of households’ consumption and simulation of VAT has been discussed.
    Keywords: value added tax, tax and transfer system, income distribution, microsimulation
    JEL: C81 D12 D31 H31
    Date: 2018–03
  20. By: Cerqua, Augusto; Pellegrini, Guido
    Abstract: We measure the effects of a substantial place-based policy shock on the local labor market systems exploiting as an instrumental variable the peculiar information necessary to apply for capital subsidies in Italy during the period 1996-2006. The results show the presence of positive multipliers in the South of Italy, slightly lower than what was previously found for the US but much higher than those identified for European and Asian countries. The reasons for this finding lie in the greater accuracy of the data, in the relevance of the instrument used, and in the widespread underutilization of production factors.
    Keywords: Local multiplier, place-based policy, local labor market.
    JEL: F16 H25 J23 R23
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Raoul van Maarseveen (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Nikolaos Terzidis; Raquel Ortega - Argiles
    Abstract: Recent literature documents the pervasiveness of job polarization in the labor markets of the developed world. However, relatively little is known about polarization on a sub-national level. We exploit extensive data on both genders from Statistics Netherlands to confirm polarization as an important trend in the Dutch national labor market between 1999 and 2012. Furthermore, our sub-national analysis reveals considerable spatial heterogeneity among local labor markets. The degree of urbanization plays an important role; regions that are initially more urbanized are more likely to exhibit polarization. Finally, using a skill-based approach we report evidence supporting the routinization hypothesis as an important source of polarization.
    JEL: J21 J24
    Date: 2017–11
  22. By: Clara Viñas-Bardolet (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, UiO. Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC.); Monica Guillen-Royo (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, UiO.); Joan Torrent-Sellens (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC.)
    Abstract: Recognition of the role of working life has come to permeate every domain of life. Characteristics once thought to affect only the job domain are becoming important determinants of how people assess their lives on a daily basis. In this article we explore the influence of job characteristics on satisfaction with several life domains in 28 EU countries, asking: 1) What is the relationship between job characteristics and satisfaction with the job and other domains of life? 2) Is the job domain more important for life satisfaction than other domains of life? Additionally, we consider whether there are differences in these relationships between high- and low-skilled workers. We examine these questions through a domains-of-life perspective, using data on white-collar workers from the third European Quality of Life Survey (3EQLS) and using multiple Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions to estimate the models. The results indicate that work–life balance and perceived job (in)security are important determinants of satisfaction regarding all domains; moreover, there are differences between highand low-skilled workers concerning the influence of these factors. Job satisfaction ranks fourth in terms of its contribution to life satisfaction in the whole sample and is a greater determinant of life satisfaction for high-skilled workers than for low-skilled ones. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for workers’ wellbeing of the increasing insecurity in the job market and the fact that meaning is often sought through work despite the effects of poor work–life balance on most life-domains.
    Date: 2018–04
  23. By: Reinhilde Veugelers
    Abstract: Technological progress, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, is often blamed for the loss of jobs and rising income inequality. It is also linked to increasing inequality in the corporate landscape as superstar firms forge ahead in winner-takes-most markets. Our analysis shows that in most sectors there is a high degree of concentration among a few top companies in research and development spending. R&D spending is much more concentrated than sales and employment. In 2015, for example, the top 10 percent biggest spenders on R&D, accounted for 71 percent of the R&D spending of the 2500 companies that spend most on R&D. This concentration is most obvious in the high-tech biopharma and digital sectors, though it is also true for other sectors, such as the vehicles sector. US companies are overrepresented among these R&D superstars, especially in digital sectors where they take up half of the top slots. Over the last decade, there has been little evidence for increasing concentration in the global R&D landscape. On the contrary, a slight decline is discernible. Slight increasing concentration can only be detected in digital sectors, with in particular the top 1 percent of R&D spending firms in these sectors forging ahead. Although the overall concentration of R&D spending among a few leading firms might not be changing much over time, R&D leaders are slowly losing their positions to new R&D-leading firms. Digital Services is the most turbulent high-tech sector. The US and China are more likely to produce new R&D leaders that take over some of the top positions from incumbent R&D leaders. This poses difficult questions for Europe, which is at risk of losing out in terms of R&D leadership in more technologically advanced sectors.
    Date: 2018–04
  24. By: Nakajima, Makoto (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis); Telyukova, Irina A. (Intensity Corporation)
    Abstract: Many U.S. households have significant wealth late in life, contrary to the predictions of a simple life-cycle model. In this paper, we document stark differences between U.S. and Sweden regarding out-of-pocket medical and long-term-care expenses late in life, and use them to investigate their role in discouraging the elderly from dissaving. Using a consumption-saving model in retirement with significant uninsurable expense risk, we find that medical expense risk accounts for a quarter of the U.S.-Sweden difference in retirees' dissaving patterns. Furthermore, medical expense risk affects primarily financial assets, while its impact on housing is limited.
    Keywords: Household finance; Aging; Retirement saving; Health; Cross-country analysis
    JEL: D14 E21 J14 J26
    Date: 2018–04–10

This nep-eur issue is ©2018 by Giuseppe Marotta. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.