nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2018‒12‒17
33 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Public health, healthcare, health and inequality in health in the Nordic countries By Christiansen, Terkel; Lauridsen, Jørgen T.; Kifmann, Mathias; Lyttkens, Carl Hampus; Ólafsdóttir, Thorhildur; Valtonen, Hannu
  2. To what extent do welfare states compensate for the cost of children? A hypothetical household approach to policy evaluations. By Tess Penne; Tine Hufkens; Tim Goedeme; Berenice M L Storms
  3. The Impact of Gynecologists' Conscientious Objection on Access to Abortion in Italy By Tommaso Autorino; Francesco Mattioli; Letizia Mencarini
  4. Distance and the Multinational Wage Premium By Hartmut Egger; Elke J. Jahn; Udo Kreickemeier
  5. Unequal uptake of higher education mobility in the UK. The importance of social segregation in universities and subject areas By Schnepf, Sylke
  6. Comparative Techno-Economic Evaluation of LTE Fixed Wireless Access and FTTdp network deployment for providing broadband services of at least 30Mbps in rural areas By Ioannou, Nikos; Katsianis, Dimitris; Varoutas, Dimitris
  7. Go for Gigabit? First Evidence on Economic Benefits of (Ultra-)Fast Broadband Technologies in Europe By Briglauer, Wolfgang; Gugler, Klaus
  8. Are Emission Performance Standards Effective in Pollution Control? Evidence from the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive By Puja Singhal
  9. Different versions of the Easterlin Paradox: New evidence for European countries By Kaiser, Caspar F.; Vendrik, Martinus
  10. Financial literacy externalities By Chaliasos, Michael; Jansson, Thomas; Karabulut, Yigitcan
  11. WiFi4EU: Techno-economic analysis of a key European Commission initiative for public connectivity By Navío-Marco, Julio; Arévalo-Aguirre, Adrian; Pérez-Leal, Raquel
  12. Cohesion Policy 2007-2015: The RHOMOLO assessment By Patrizio Lecca; Damiaan Persyn; Andrea Conte; Simone Salotti
  13. The Effect of the Brexit Referendum Result on Subjective Well-being By Georgios Kavetsos; Ichiro Kawachi; Ilias Kyriopoulos; Sotiris Vandoros
  14. Do Laws Shape Attitudes? Evidence from Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policies in Europe By Cevat G. Aksoy; Christopher S. Carpenter; Ralph de Haas; Kevin Tran
  15. The Impact of Broadband Internet on Employment in France By Houngbonon, Georges V.; Liang, Julienne
  16. Upgrading the car fleet: evidence from an Italian scrappage scheme By Giovanni Marin; Roberto Zoboli
  17. Do Electoral Rules Matter for Female Representation? By Paola Profeta; Eleanor Woodhouse
  18. Life-Cycle Consumption of Food at Home in France: Empirical Evidence from Food Expenditures and Home Production By Kyureghian, G.; Soler, L.-G.
  19. Parental Time Restrictions and the Cost of Children: Insights from a Survey among Mothers By Melanie Borah; Andreas Knabe; Kevin Pahlke
  20. Demographic variation in active consumer behaviour: Who searches most for retail broadband services? By Carthy, Philip; Lunn, Pete; Lyons, Sean
  21. Family Ties and Children Obesity in Italy By Crudu, Federico; Neri, Laura; Tiezzi, Silvia
  22. Is Pupil Attainment Higher in Well-Managed Schools? By Bryson, Alex; Stokes, Lucy; Wilkinson, David
  23. Cooperative banks and income inequality: Evidence from Italian provinces By Pierluigi Murro; Valentina Peruzzi
  24. Cyclical and structural variation in resource allocation: evidence for Europe By Bartelsman, Eric; Lopez-Garcia, Paloma; Presidente, Giorgio
  25. Is transparency spatially determined? An empirical test for the Italian Municipalities. By Emma Galli; Ilde Rizzo; Carla Scaglioni
  26. Health care utilization of refugees By Thomas Schober; Katrin Zocher
  27. Is the Impact of Employment Uncertainty on Fertility Intentions Channeled by Subjective Well-Being? By Daniele Vignli; Letizia Mencarini; Giammarco Alderotti
  28. Who has the critical vote? Power ranking of MEPs in the Agricultural Committee of the European Parliament By Kovacs, A.; Ferto, I.; Koczy, L.; Sziklai, B.; Nas, A.A.
  29. Unions, Two-Tier Bargaining and Physical Capital Investment: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence from Italy By G. Cardullo; M. Conti; G. Sulis
  30. Dissecting Between-Plant and Within-Plant Wage Dispersion - Evidence from Germany By Daniel Baumgarten; Gabriel Felbermayr; Sybille Lehwald
  31. A Lifetime of Changes: State Pensions and Work Incentives at Older Ages in the UK, 1948-2018 By James Banks; Carl Emmerson
  32. Do We Know What We Are Doing? An Exploratory Study on Swedish Health Economists and the EQ-5D By Lyttkens, Carl Hampus; Gerdtham, Ulf-G.; Tinghög, Gustav
  33. All roads lead to Rome ... and to sprawl? Evidence from European cities By Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López

  1. By: Christiansen, Terkel (University of Southern Denmark, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research); Lauridsen, Jørgen T. (University of Southern Denmark, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research); Kifmann, Mathias (Hamburg Center for Health Economics); Lyttkens, Carl Hampus (Department of Economis); Ólafsdóttir, Thorhildur (Faculty of Business Administration); Valtonen, Hannu (Department of Social and Health Management)
    Abstract: All five Nordic countries emphasize equal and easy access to healthcare, assuming that increased access to healthcare leads to increased health. It is the purpose of the present study to explore to which extent the populations of these countries have reached good health and a high degree of socio-economic equality in health. Each of the five countries has established extensive public health programmes, although with somewhat different measures to increase health of the populations. We compare these countries to the UK and Germany by using data from the European Social Survey for 2002 and 2012 in addition to OECD statistics for the same years. Health is measured by self-assessed health in five categories, which is transformed to a cardinal scale using Swedish time trade-off (TTO) weights. As socio-economic measures we use household income and length of education. Socio-economic inequality in health is elicited in two ways. First, we show social gradients by comparing the percentage of respondents in the lower income group reporting good or very good health to the corresponding rates in the upper income group. Second, we show concentration indices of socio-economic related inequality in health. Everything else kept equal, good health and the size of the concentration index are negatively associated by definition. In 2012, mean health, based on Swedish weights applied to all countries, is above 0.93 in all the Nordic countries and the UK, but lower in Germany. Each of the Nordic countries have introduced centrally initiated comprehensive public health programmes to increase health and reduce socio-economic inequalities in health. In general, the Nordic countries have achieved good health for their populations as well as a high degree of socioeconomic equality in health. Improvements in life-style related determinants of health are possible, however.
    Keywords: International comparison of health systems; health status; inequality in health
    JEL: I11 I14 I19
    Date: 2018–03–01
  2. By: Tess Penne (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy – University of Antwerp); Tine Hufkens (European Commission – JRC); Tim Goedeme (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy – University of Antwerp); Berenice M L Storms (Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy – University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: In order to alleviate child poverty, contemporary European welfare states have shifted their focus increasingly towards child-centred investment strategies. However, studies assessing the generosity of welfare states to families with children focus mainly on the role of cash benefit packages, or on government expenditure, disregarding the actual costs families face when accessing essential goods and services. This paper takes a hypothetical household approach to family policy evaluations and aims at contributing to existing studies by: (1) empirically assessing the needs and costs of children across welfare states by making use of cross-nationally comparable reference budgets, while taking into account publicly-provided or subsidized services, (2) simulating the taxes and cash benefits that households with children receive through the tax-benefit system, by making use of the new Hypothetical Household Tool (HHoT), and, (3) combining both types of information in order to compare the essential out-of-pocket costs of children between 6 and 18 years old with the simulated cash benefit packages. The paper focuses on six European welfare states: Belgium, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Spain. We propose a new indicator that can be used to assess welfare state generosity to families with children: the child cost compensation indicator. The indicator allows cross-country comparison on the role of taxes and social benefits in the EU. By making use of this indicator, we show that, even though with important cross-national variation, the out-of-pocket cost of children is generally compensated to a small extent through cash policies. Although support for families is higher at the lower end of the income distribution, for households living on a low gross wage, the income of a family with children is less adequate compared to a similar childless family, and is in many cases insufficient to participate adequately in society.
    Keywords: welfare state generosity, cost of children, in-kind benefits, reference budgets, hypothetical household simulations
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Tommaso Autorino; Francesco Mattioli; Letizia Mencarini
    Abstract: Abortion in Italy is free of charge and legal in a broad set of circumstances, but 71% of gynecologists refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscientious objection. We assess whether the diverse prevalence of conscientious objection across Italian regions is linked to the inter-regional mobility of women seeking an abortion and to differences in terms of waiting time preceding the operation. Focusing on the period between 2002 and 2016, we perform a panel data analysis at the regional level, showing that a higher prevalence of objecting professionals is associated to a higher share of women having an abortion outside the region and to longer waiting times. Furthermore, using microdata on over one million abortions recorded in Italy in the same period, we find that conscientious objection is a significant driver of the individual decision of having an abortion out of the region of residence. All the models account for economic and demographic characteristics of regions, and for other possible determinants of inter-regional mobility. Overall, results suggest that conscientious objection can limit access to abortion at the local level.
    Date: 2018–06
  4. By: Hartmut Egger; Elke J. Jahn; Udo Kreickemeier
    Abstract: Combining administrative data on German workers with commercial data on German firms, we find evidence for a distance effect on the multinational wage premium: Foreign multinationals pay lower wages than German multinationals if the ultimate owner is located in close proximity to Germany, whereas the opposite is true if the ultimate owner is located further away. In addition to this so far unexplored effect, our results confirm previous evidence that on average foreign multinationals and domestic multinationals pay wages of similar size, with both types of firms paying a premium relative to other local firms. To provide a rationale for this pattern, we develop a theoretical model in which wages are firm-specific and firms can serve the foreign market via exporting or via FDI. In case of FDI, they face uncertainty about the wages to be paid abroad, and due to this uncertainty, firms that pay high wages at home are more likely to seek foreign investment. In the model, the observed distance effect on the multinational wage premium occurs since the alternative of exporting is less attractive for distant locations, and firms are therefore more willing to accept higher wages for foreign production in locations that are further away from their headquarters.
    Keywords: multinational wage premium, heterogeneous firms, distance effects
    JEL: F12 F14 F21 F23
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Schnepf, Sylke (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: Student mobility is the most recognised element of Erasmus+, a major EU policy which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. It is clearly popular with an increase in student uptake from 3.2 to 272.5 thousands from 1987 to 2014. Recent studies show that studying abroad provides benefits like improved employment chances and language competences. These benefits are not equally distributed among graduates, since recent literature shows that disadvantaged students are less likely to study abroad than better off students. This is explained by differing social capital of individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds which impacts on different choices. However, not much is known about the role of social segregation in universities and subjects studied. Using multilevel logistic regressions this paper examines two main research questions. First, how important is social segregation in universities and subjects for unequal mobility uptake? Second, how much of existing differences in mobility by socio-economic background can be explained by ability of students? Throughout, results for Erasmus mobility will be compared with those of other mobility schemes organised by higher education institutes. The study exploits population data of more than 500,000 UK graduates of the 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2014/15 cohorts deriving from the Higher Education Statistics Agency data (HESA). Results show that a considerable part of unequal mobility uptake is explained by social segregation in universities and subjects even if graduates’ upper secondary school grades are taken into account. Policy makers aiming to increase mobility uptake of disadvantaged students could allocate resources for mobility more equally across universities.
    Keywords: Erasmus, mobility uptake, credit mobility, study abroad, social segregation, UK
    JEL: I23 I24 I28
    Date: 2018–08
  6. By: Ioannou, Nikos; Katsianis, Dimitris; Varoutas, Dimitris
    Abstract: In rural areas in Europe, the deployment of High-Speed Broadband access networks lags behind in urban and suburban areas due to difficulties of deployment of fiber in the final meters. FTTdp networks using have been proposed as a cost-effective alternative to FTTH and FTTB [1] especially in rural areas [2] where FTTC and VDSL cannot always deliver service speeds of 30Mbps which is the minimum bandwidth defined in the European Digital Agenda as target to be met by 2020. However, fixed wireless access (FWA) networks based on LTE technology can be used as a "last mile" solution to provide high-speed broadband access to areas where fixed broadband is limited [3]–[5]. On the other hand, LTE technology offers high speed connections able to support internet browsing and IP services, while it can theoretically support up to 300 Mbps depending on network load and sharing. Thus, it can be considered as a true alternative to any fixed solution. In this paper, a techno-economic study is performed to assess the feasibility of a FWA network deployment based on LTE technology in comparison to FTTdp network rollout for delivering service speeds of 30Mbps in rural areas. We present cash flow results and standard financial indexes for the business cases discussed. The results are being appraised through a sensitivity and risk analysis to determine the most influential factors on the return on the investment. We also discuss the (non) profitability of both cases and the subsidization needed from structural funds. The results aim to contribute in the debate over network evolution scenarios among academia, industry, regulators, policy makers and governments.
    Keywords: Techno-economic,NPV,LTE,,FWA,FTTdp,FTTx,digital agenda,subsidization,NGA,Broadband
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Briglauer, Wolfgang; Gugler, Klaus
    Abstract: The literature on the effects of telecommunications infrastructure investments find positive macroeconomic effects, however, it is severely constrained because it could hitherto only analyze investment up to "basic" broadband but not up to the newer generations of "fast" and "ultra-fast" broadband; in particular there is no such evidence available at the EU level so far. Utilizing a comprehensive panel dataset of EU27 member states for the period from 2003-2015, we estimate a small but significant effect of fiber-based ultra-fast broadband over and above the effects of basic broadband on GDP. Adoption of hybrid-fiber fast broadband is incrementally to basic broadband insignificant. Our cost-benefit analysis implies that policy intervention – as foreseen by the European Commission in its public policy targets – is only justified for coverage and adoption levels of around 50% of fast or ultra-fast broadband, whereas for 100% coverage levels we find net losses to society. Thus, it appears that – for the time being and according to the policy principle of "technological neutrality" – a combination of basic broadband, fast and ultra-fast broadband entails the largest economic net benefits to society.
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Puja Singhal
    Abstract: This paper explores the extent to which the Large Combustion Plant (LCP) Directive succeeded in mitigating local air pollutants from thermal electricity generating plants in the European Union. Using yearly data on plant-level operations from the EEA, we investigate whether emissions limits on stack concentrations were effective in cleaning emissions from existing combustion plants and a catalyst for improved environmental performance of new installations. We take advantage of the discontinuities in regulation status to show that the emission performance standards led to sizeable declines in SO2, NOx, and particle dust concentrations at the stack level from older combustion plants. We also find suggestive evidence of anticipation effects from newer plants in response to tighter emission standards.
    Keywords: Air pollution, emission standards, large combustion plant, EU
    JEL: Q53 Q58 K32
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Kaiser, Caspar F. (nuffield college, oxford); Vendrik, Martinus (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark; iza, bonn; ehero, rotterdam)
    Abstract: Richer people are happier than poorer people, but when a country becomes richer over time, its people do not become happier. This seemingly contradictory pair of findings of Richard Easterlin has become famous as the Easterlin Paradox. However, it was met with counterevidence. To shed more light on this controversy, we distinguish between five different versions of the paradox. These versions apply to either groups of countries or individual countries, and to either the long or the medium term. We argue that the long term is most appropriate for testing the paradox, and that tests of the paradox should always control for an autonomous time trend. Unfortunately, this requirement renders the long-term version of the paradox for individual countries untestable. We test all other versions of the paradox with Eurobarometer data from 27 European countries. We do so by estimating country-panel equations for mean life satisfaction that include trend and cyclical components of per capita GDP as regressors. When testing variants of the paradox that apply to groups of countries, we find a clear and robust confirmation of the long- and medium-term versions of the paradox for a group of nine Western and Northern European countries. Moreover, we obtain a non-robust rejection of the medium-term variant of the paradox for a set of eleven Eastern European countries. On the level of individual countries, the medium-term variant of the paradox clearly holds for the nine Western and Northern European countries, but is consistently rejected for Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. In the case of the Eastern European countries, the medium-term version of the paradox is rejected for Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Poland. As the Western and Northern European countries have a high per capita GDP as compared to that of Southern and Eastern European countries, our results are in line with the finding of Proto and Rustichini (2013), who find a non-monotonic relation between per capita GDP and life satisfaction over time which is positive for poorer countries, but flat (or negative) for richer countries.
    Keywords: Easterlin Paradox, happiness, life satisfaction, economic growth, Hodrick-Prescott filter, European country panel
    JEL: I31 I32 O11
    Date: 2018–12–13
  10. By: Chaliasos, Michael; Jansson, Thomas; Karabulut, Yigitcan
    Abstract: This paper uses unique administrative data and a quasi-field experiment of exogenous allocation in Sweden to estimate medium- and longer-run effects on financial behavior from exposure to financially literate neighbors. It contributes evidence of causal impact of exposure and of a social multiplier of financial knowledge, but also of unfavorable distributional aspects of externalities. Exposure promotes saving in private retirement accounts and stockholding, especially when neighbors have economics or business education, but only for educated households and when interaction possibilities are substantial.Findings point to transfer of knowledge rather than mere imitation or effects through labor, education, or mobility channels.
    Keywords: household finance,financial literacy,social interactions,refugees
    JEL: G11 E21 D14 F22 I28
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Navío-Marco, Julio; Arévalo-Aguirre, Adrian; Pérez-Leal, Raquel
    Abstract: This paper analyses the WiFi4EU initiative, the measures proposed by the European Commission (EC) to speed up public access to Wi-Fi throughout Europe in the coming years, ranging from rapid mechanisms to subsidising the infrastructure. We set out to analyse how these measures are incorporated into the EU policies for building a Digital Single Market and the EC's regulatory tradition, and what the impact of this initiative is likely to be. As this innovative initiative will have an effect upon the network deployments strategies of operators and countries and it has been drawn up in a climate of uncertainties and delays, the article puts all of this into the context of the current European regulation debate and conducts a techno-economic analysis to assess the expected impact of the initiative. We have observed a slight shift towards developmental models in the EC regulatory framework. Furthermore, the techno-economic analysis has revealed the limited extent of Community aid and the considerable variability of the equipment deployed and the expenditure involved. We have also highlighted the questionable formulation of the allocation mechanisms, and we have included certain examples or suggestions for optimisation.
    Keywords: WiFi4EU,network deployment,EC regulation,DSM,municipality
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Patrizio Lecca (European Commission - JRC); Damiaan Persyn (European Commission - JRC); Andrea Conte (European Commission - JRC); Simone Salotti (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The European Cohesion Policy 2007-2015 was implemented in challenging times due to the economic and financial crisis and widespread cuts to public investment. Cohesion Policy has been used to reach objectives related to employment, R&D, energy sustainability, education, and poverty and social exclusion. Policy simulations using the RHOMOLO dynamic CGE model show positive macro-economic effects of the policy at the EU level, with significant differences between less developed regions, transition regions, and more developed ones. Cohesion Policy funds mainly targeted the less developed regions which received 60% of the total investments, while transition regions and more developed ones received 24% and 16% of the total, respectively. RHOMOLO simulations estimate the long-run GDP impact of Cohesion Policy to be equal to +0.7% at the EU level, with peaks in some less developed regions above +5%. The cumulative multipliers associated with the Cohesion Policy funds are above one in most EU regions by 2030.
    Keywords: rhomolo, region, growth, cohesion policy, modelling, general equilibrium
    JEL: C54 C68 E62 R13
    Date: 2018–11
  13. By: Georgios Kavetsos; Ichiro Kawachi; Ilias Kyriopoulos; Sotiris Vandoros
    Abstract: We study the effect of the Brexit referendum result on subjective well-being in the United Kingdom. Using a quasi-experimental design, we find that this outcome led to an overall decrease in subjective well-being in the UK compared to a control group. The effect is driven by individuals who hold an overall positive attitude towards the EU and shows little signs of adaptation. Subjective well-being of those with a very negative attitude towards the EU increases in the short-run but turns negative, possibly due to unmet expectations. Using three different measures of socio-economic connection between the UK and other European countries, we generally do not find evidence supporting the presence of spillover effects of the Brexit result on subjective well-being of individuals in other EU countries.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, Brexit, election
    JEL: D72 I30 I31 I38
    Date: 2018–12
  14. By: Cevat G. Aksoy; Christopher S. Carpenter; Ralph de Haas; Kevin Tran
    Abstract: Understanding whether laws shape or simply reflect citizens’ attitudes is important but empirically difficult. We provide new evidence on this question by studying the relationship between legal same-sex relationship recognition policies (SSRRPs) and attitudes towards sexual minorities in Europe. Using data from the European Social Surveys covering 2002-2016 and exploiting variation in the timing of SSRRPs across countries, we show that legal relationship recognition is associated with a statistically significant increase in favourable attitudes towards sexual minorities. These effects are widespread across demographic groups, emerge only after the policies are adopted, and are not observed for views on other social issues. Our results suggest that laws can exert a powerful influence on societal attitudes.
    Keywords: Public opinion, same-sex relationship recognition policies, LGBT attitudes
    JEL: F5 K36
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Houngbonon, Georges V.; Liang, Julienne
    Abstract: The impact of broadband Internet on employment is ambiguous, but empirical evidence is still limited. In this paper, we exploit data on a massive adoption of broadband Internet in France to investigate the impact of broadband Internet on employment. Using a fuzzy difference-in-difference estimation strategy, we find that broadband Internet destroy jobs, although the unemployment rate seems not to be affected. This job destruction occurs in manufacturing activities, contrary to the service sector where broadband Internet adoption creates jobs. In addition, we find that raising the level of education in urban areas tends to alleviate the negative impact of broadband Internet on employment.
    Keywords: Broadband Internet,Employment
    JEL: D31 L96 O15
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Giovanni Marin (University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy; SEEDS, Italy); Roberto Zoboli (Catholic University of Milan, Italy; SEEDS, Italy)
    Abstract: Car scrappage schemes are generally introduced to upgrade the car fleet to reduce environmental pressures arising from private transportation. The effectiveness of these schemes has been often questioned. The aim of this paper is to quantify the impact of an Italian car scrappage scheme on the rate of deregistration of old cars. The empirical evaluation of the policy is made possible by a discontinuity in the age of cars that could be subject to the support scheme. Results, based on detailed information on the car fleet and the deregistration of cars in the Italian market, suggest a very large impact of the scheme.
    Keywords: Car scrappage schemes; Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: H23 R48
    Date: 2018–12
  17. By: Paola Profeta; Eleanor Woodhouse
    Abstract: How do electoral rules affect the representation of women? We collect panel data on the universe of Italian politicians from all levels of government over the period 1987-2013 and obtain a complete picture of the career paths of male and female politicians across the whole arc of their careers in public office. We use our unique dataset to analyse the effects on female political representation of an Italian reform which, in 2005, changed the electoral rule for national elections from (mostly) majoritarian to proportional, but did not affect sub-national level elections. We find that proportional electoral rules favour the election of women. We propose a new channel through which this result is obtained, related to the different nature of political competition in the two electoral systems: under proportional rules, parties place women less frequently in competitive seats. This is consistent with the fact that proportional systems value gender diversity more than majoritarian ones, while majoritarian systems rely on head-to-head electoral races, which are not gender neutral. We also find that electoral rules have weaker effects on female representation in geographical areas where traditional gender roles are dominant.
    Keywords: Electoral reforms; Majoritarian; Proportional; Electoral Competition; Political Selection, Difference-in-Differences
    Date: 2018–06
  18. By: Kyureghian, G.; Soler, L.-G.
    Abstract: The share of the elderly population in France increases steadily, raising concerns that the aging households cannot maintain the pre-retirement level of consumption. We use panel data on food purchases to investigate whether households use the variation in the life-cycle availability of the two inputs of home production time and money, to sustain consumption. Our results indicate that food consumption peaks in early 40 s, drop afterwards in the late 50 s. However, it picks up at the early 60 s dramatically by as much as 40% compared to the late 50 s. This would indicate that food consumption remains uncompromised as households age. Acknowledgement : The ALIMASSENS Collaborative Project is funded by the French National Research Agency (grant # ANR-14-CE20-0003) The AgreenSkills fellowship programme, which has received funding from the EU s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement N FP7-609398
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2018–07
  19. By: Melanie Borah; Andreas Knabe; Kevin Pahlke
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide estimates of the subjectively perceived cost of children depending on the extent of parental time restrictions. Building on a study by Koulovatianos et al. (2009) that introduces a novel way of using subjective income evaluation data for such estimations, we conduct a refined version of the underlying survey, focusing on young women with children in Germany. Our study confirms that the monetary cost of children is substantial and increases with parental nonmarket time restrictions. The loss in the material living standard associated with supplying time to the labor market is sizeable for families with children.
    Keywords: child cost, equivalence scales, full-time employment, subjective income evaluations
    JEL: I32 J13 J22
    Date: 2018
  20. By: Carthy, Philip; Lunn, Pete; Lyons, Sean
    Abstract: Consumers who actively search for better broadband deals may benefit from lower prices or improved service quality compared to those who do not. If, however, consumers differ in their propensity to engage with the market and actively search, these potential benefits may not accrue equally. This paper investigates differences in consumer search activity for telecommunications services across small geographic areas. We exploit rich and novel data from a commercial price comparison site to explore the dispersion of consumer search in the Irish retail broadband market, while controlling for supply-side variations. By linking geo-coded searches to census data on small area socio-economic characteristics, we identify the areas where most search originates and can thus characterise the socio-economic and demographic groups to whom the benefits of search are most likely to accrue. We find evidence that areas populated by many highly educated, married people, commuters, mortgage holders, and retirees are among the most active in search. In contrast, those areas in which many older people, farmers, low-skilled workers and students reside give rise to significantly fewer consumer searches.
    Keywords: broadband services, consumer search behaviour, socio-economic effects, Ireland
    JEL: D12 D83 L86
    Date: 2018–12–04
  21. By: Crudu, Federico; Neri, Laura; Tiezzi, Silvia
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of overweight family members on weight outcomes of Italian children aged 6 to 14 years. We use an original dataset matching the 2012 cross sections of the Italian Multipurpose Household Survey and the Household Budget Survey. Since identification of peer effects within the family is well known to be a difficult challenge, we implement our analysis on a partially identified model by means of valid inferential procedures recently introduced in the literature and based on standard Bayesian computation methods. We find evidence of a strong, positive effect of both overweight peer children in the family and overweight adults on children weight outcomes. The impact of overweight peer children in the household is larger than the impact of adults.
    Keywords: Children obesity; peer effects within the family; partial identification; confidence sets.
    JEL: C15 C21 C35 I12
    Date: 2018–04–27
  22. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London); Stokes, Lucy (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)); Wilkinson, David (University College London)
    Abstract: Linking the Workplace Employment Relations Surveys 2004 and 2011 to administrative data on pupil attainment in England we examine whether secondary and primary schools who deploy more intensive human resource management (HRM) practices have higher pupil attainment. We find intensive use of HRM practices is positively and significantly correlated with higher labour productivity and quality of provision, and with better financial performance, most notably in primary schools, but it is not associated with higher pupil attainment as indicated by assessment scores at Key Stage 2, Key Stage 4 and value-added measures based on assessments at these points.
    Keywords: school performance, pupil attainment, value-added, human resource management
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–11
  23. By: Pierluigi Murro (LUISS University); Valentina Peruzzi (University of Trento and MoFiR, Italy)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether different credit institutions, and in particular cooperative banks, have a different impact on the reduction of income inequalities. By analyzing Italian local credit markets, i.e. Italian provinces, over the period 2001-2011, we find that cooperative banks’ diffusion significantly reduces income inequality. This finding is robust to different measures of income inequality, different proxies of local banking structure (cooperative banks branches, popular banks branches, commercial banks branches), and different estimation techniques. When we study the channel of influence, we find that the diffusion of cooperative banks is particularly relevant for income distribution where loans to families and firms are larger, bank-firm relationships are tighter and the number of new firms over incumbent is larger.
    Keywords: Cooperative banks, income inequality, financial development.
    JEL: G21 G38 O15
    Date: 2018–11
  24. By: Bartelsman, Eric; Lopez-Garcia, Paloma; Presidente, Giorgio
    Abstract: This paper uses cross-country micro-aggregated data on firm dynamics and productivity from the ECB CompNet database to provide empirical evidence on factor reallocation in the European Union (EU). The analysis finds that reallocation is towards more productive firms although the magnitude varies across countries and over time. Variation in reallocation is related to structural differences in firm size distribution across countries as well as to variation in labor and product market institutions. Productivity-enhancing reallocation generally rises in downturns but, similar to findings for the US, it did not pick up in the Great Recession. The sharp drop in exports and tightness in credit markets are seen to provide a partial explanation for this lack of a silver lining. JEL Classification: E24, E32, J63, O4
    Keywords: factor reallocation, Great Recession
    Date: 2018–11
  25. By: Emma Galli (Department of Social and Economic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome (IT).); Ilde Rizzo (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania (IT).); Carla Scaglioni (DiGiES, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria (IT).)
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim at assessing whether transparency is spatially determined at local level. To this end we use a new composite indicator (CTI) built by Galli et al. (2017) for a large sample of Italian Municipalities and control for several factors (socio-economic, fiscal and politico-institutional), which according to the literature affect transparency. Our preliminary results suggest that there is a statistically significant transparency clustering across the Italian municipalities, which follows a dichotomic pattern, i.e. either very low or very high. The empirical analysis shows that spatial dependence matters and similarities in transparency behaviour mainly occur among small Municipalities where citizens’ political participation is likely to be greater and the single ballot electoral system strengthens the incentives for government accountability.
    Keywords: Transparency, local governments, spatial dimension, determinants.
    JEL: K2 K4 H3 H7
    Date: 2018–12
  26. By: Thomas Schober; Katrin Zocher (JKU, Austria)
    Abstract: European countries experienced significant inflows of migrants in the past decade, including many refugees coming from regions engaged in armed conflicts. While previous research on migrant health largely focused on economic migration, empirical evidence on the health of refugees is sparse. We use administrative data from Austria to differentiate between economic migrants and refugees and analyze their health care expenditures in comparison to natives. The results distinctly show different expenditure patterns. Unlike economic migrants, we find substantially higher expenditures for refugees, most pronounced in the first year upon arrival. The difference is not explained by specific diseases or individual refugee groups, indicating a, generally, inferior health status. Further, by using the quasi-random placement of refugees as a natural experiment, we show that characteristics of the local health care sector do not have a significant effect on expenditure levels.
    Date: 2018–11
  27. By: Daniele Vignli; Letizia Mencarini; Giammarco Alderotti
    Abstract: This article combines two apparently distinct strands of contemporary research on fertility: the literature on economic uncertainty and fertility and the literature on subjective well-being and fertility. We advance the hypothesis that the impact of term-limited work contracts and precarious jobs on fertility intentions is channeled by an individual’s level of subjective well-being. To test this hypothesis, we adopt a formal framework for causal inference and apply techniques of mediation analysis to data from two rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS 2004 and 2010). Our analysis clearly suggested that the impact of employment uncertainty on fertility intentions depended on the level of subjective well-being: the negative effect was found only when subjective well-being was relatively low (i.e. life satisfaction levels equal or below 6). Detailed results show that parents and younger individuals reduced their fertility intentions more than the childless and older individuals when experiencing economic uncertainty and facing low subjective well-being. We also found that in 2010 – while the economic crisis was underway – it was especially the deterioration in men’s position in the labor market that inhibited fertility planning.
    Keywords: Economic Uncertainty; Subjective Well-being; Fertility Intentions; Europe; Mediation Analysis; Causal Inference; Great Recession
    Date: 2018–02
  28. By: Kovacs, A.; Ferto, I.; Koczy, L.; Sziklai, B.; Nas, A.A.
    Abstract: We analyze the voting power of the members of the agricultural committee of the European Parliament using a spatial Banzhaf power index. Using a novel dataset of roll-call votes in the current EP-term, we identify critical members whose votes are necessary to form winning coalitions. We found that committee members with formal positions, EP group coordinators as well as German, French, Italian and British members are powerful actors. Nevertheless, rapporteurs are not necessarily influential. We also concluded that members with moderate ideological position but from Member States with extreme agricultural importance are the most powerful ones. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2018–07
  29. By: G. Cardullo; M. Conti; G. Sulis
    Abstract: In this paper we present a search and matching model in which firms invest in sunk capital equipment. By comparing two wage setting scenarios, we show that a two-tier bargaining scheme, where a fraction of the salary is negotiated at firm level, raises the amount of investment per worker in the economy compared to a one-tier bargaining scheme, in which earnings are entirely negotiated at sectoral level. The model's main result is consistent with the positive correlation between investment per worker and the presence of a two-tier bargaining agreement that we find in a representative sample of Italian firms.
    Keywords: unions;investment;hold-up;Two-Tier Bargaining;Control Function
    Date: 2018
  30. By: Daniel Baumgarten; Gabriel Felbermayr; Sybille Lehwald
    Abstract: Using rich linked employer-employee data for (West) Germany between 1996 and 2014, we analyze the most important drivers of the recent rise in German wage dispersion and pin down the relative contribution of plant and worker characteristics. Moreover, we separately investigate the drivers of between-plant and within-plant wage dispersion. We also analyze the sources of the recent slowdown in German wage inequality and compare the results for West Germany to the ones for East Germany. We disentangle the relative contribution of each single variable to the rise in wage dispersion using recentered influence function (RIF) regressions. The most important drivers of wage dispersion are industry effects and the bargaining regime. The former predominantly works through the wage structure effect while, in the latter case, both the decline in collective bargaining coverage and the strong increase in wage dispersion within the group of covered plants have played a substantial role. While education has been another factor contributing to both between-plant and within-plant wage inequality, other candidate factors such as plant size, the exporting status, plant technology, and investment intensity are all of little if any direct quantitative importance for the increase in wage dispersion.
    Keywords: wage inequality, decomposition, RIF-regression, linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J31 J51 C21 F16
    Date: 2018
  31. By: James Banks; Carl Emmerson
    Abstract: We describe the history of state pension policy in the UK since 1948 and calculate summary measures of the generosity of the system over time and the degree to which the it created implicit taxes on, or subsidies to, work at older ages. The time series of these measures, calculated separately for ’example-type’ individuals of different birth cohorts, education and sexes, are then related to the time-series of employment rates at older ages for the equivalent types of individual. The generosity of the system rose over the period as whole but has fallen in recent years, and in contrast to many countries there were generally never large implicit taxes on work arising from the state pension system. What implicit subsidies there were in the years immediately before the State Pension Age have been gradually eliminated and the system is now broadly neutral with regard to work incentives. Exploiting variation in pension wealth and work incentives across different cohort-education-sex groups, created by the timing and phasing of pension reforms, we show that both pension wealth and the implicit work disincentives in the pension system are correlated with employment outcomes for men, with the expected negative sign.
    JEL: H55 J26 J32
    Date: 2018–11
  32. By: Lyttkens, Carl Hampus (Department of Economics, Lund University); Gerdtham, Ulf-G. (Department of Economics, Lund University); Tinghög, Gustav (Division of Economics, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University)
    Abstract: The UK tariff for quality of life associated with the health states in the EQ-5D is probably not consistent with the preferences of Swedish health economists. This is worrying in view of the widespread use of the tariff values and the fact that health economists likely are better able than ordinary citizens to report their preferences for health states in a valid and reliable manner. We suggest this result is taken into account when the EQ-5D instrument is used, and that researchers should be cautious in using the UK (or any other) value sets. Our results also indicate that the variation across citizens in preferences for health may be a more complex issue than previously observed and deserves further study. An intriguing question for the future is to what extent health economists use methods and instruments that they themselves do not believe in.
    Keywords: health-related quality of life; EQ-5D; valid; respondents; health economist
    JEL: I10 I14 I18
    Date: 2018–12–10
  33. By: Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: I investigate the effect of highways on residential sprawl in European cities between 1990 and 2012. I find that a 10% increase in the stock of highways (km) causes a 0.4% growth in the residential land area, a 1.7% growth in the number of residential lots, and a 0.7% growth in the percentage of undeveloped land surrounding residential land over 20 years. At the regional level, only the effect on residential area is smaller in Northwestern cities than in Mediterranean and Eastern LUZs. I also explore the impact on population growth a la Duranton and Turner (2012) and find significant positive effects. Jointly, land and population results show a negative effect of highways on the intensity of use of land. As a whole, these results confirm that highways expand cities with more fragmented residential developments surrounded by undeveloped land and reducing the overall city density.
    Date: 2018

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