nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2019‒01‒14
25 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. How to deal with the risks of phasing out coal in Germany through national carbon pricing By Osorio, Sebastian; Pietzcker, Robert Carl; Pahle, Michael; Edenhofer, Ottmar
  2. Do higher hospital reimbursement prices improve quality of care? By Salm, Martin; Wübker, Ansgar
  3. “Retirement rigidities and the gap between effective and desired labour supply by older workers" By Serena Trucchi; Elsa Fornero; Mariacristina Rossi
  4. Effects of the Austrian Income Tax Reform 2015/2016 on Private Consumption: Survey Findings By Kronberger, Ralf; Schmid, Christoph
  5. Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women? By Pierre Deschamps
  6. Practice Makes Voters? Effects of Student Mock Elections on Turnout By Öhrvall, Richard; Oskarsson, Sven
  7. Economic competence in early secondary school: Evidence from a large-scale assessment in Germany By Oberrauch, Luis; Kaiser, Tim
  8. Name and shame? Evidence from the European Union tax haven blacklist By Polakova, Aija
  9. Learning from Coworkers By Gregor Jarosch; Ezra Oberfield; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  10. Using emissions trading schemes to reduce heterogeneous distortionary taxes: The case of recycling carbon auction revenues to support renewable energy By Gavard, Claire; Voigt, Sebastian; Genty, Aurélien
  11. Working in the gig economy. Evidence from the Italian food delivery industry By Cristina Giorgiantonio; Lucia Rizzica
  12. The Gender Gap in Attitudes and Test Scores: a new construct of the mathematical capability. By Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Maccagnan, Anna; Mendolia, Silvia
  13. Local waste taxes in Italy: benefit or (hidden) wealth taxation? By Giovanna Messina; Marco Savegnago; Andrea Sechi
  14. How vulnerable is risk aversion to wealth, health and other risks? An empirical analysis for Europe By Christophe Courbage; Guillem Montoliu-Montes; Béatrice Rey
  15. Invoicing currency and exchange rate pass-through: evidence from firm level analysis of Italian firms By Alessandro Borin; Andrea Linarello; Elena Mattevi; Giordano Zevi
  16. Advancing Conceptualization of University Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: The Role of Knowledge-based Entrepreneurial Firms By Link, Albert; Sarala, Riikka
  17. Linking content and technology: On the geography of innovation networks in the Bergen media cluster By Martin, Roman; Rypestøl , Jan Ole
  18. Early Labor Market Prospects and Family Formation By Mattias Engdahl; Mathilde Godard; Oskar Skans
  19. Obstacles to Efficient Allocations of Public Education Spending By Werner, Katharina
  20. Technological Diversification and Smart Specialization: the role of cooperation By Artur Santoalha
  21. Job Stability and Fertility Intentions of Young Adults in Europe: Does Labor Market Legislation Matter? By Karabchuk, Tatiana
  22. Pro-environmental norms and subjective well-being: panel evidence from the UK By Martin Binder; Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg; Heinz Welsch
  23. An economic analysis of court fees: evidence from the Spanish civil jurisdiction By Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti; Marta Martínez-Matute
  24. Local governments, in-kind transfers, and economic inequality By Magne Mogstad; Rolf Aaberge; Lasse Eika; Audun Langørgen
  25. The effect of self-employment on income inequality By Schneck, Stefan

  1. By: Osorio, Sebastian; Pietzcker, Robert Carl; Pahle, Michael; Edenhofer, Ottmar
    Abstract: Germany has an ambitious climate target for 2030 that cannot be achieved without reducing the high share of coal in power generation. In the face of this, the country has set up a commission to phase out coal. A UK-style carbon price floor is one of the options being considered. Yet implementing such a policy comes with important risks related to the following two aspects: (1) the price level necessary to reduce emissions to reach the 2030 climate target; and (2) the waterbed effect that arises from such a policy under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) cap. In this paper, we quantify these risks using the numerical electricity market model LIMES-EU, and consider their implications as well as different options for dealing with them. Our results show that under baseline assumptions a carbon price floor of around 33 €/tCO2 would be sufficient to reach the 2030 target. Under unfavourable conditions, an appropriate price floor may be nearly twice as high (57 €/tCO2). The waterbed effect and related risks for the EU ETS could be reduced substantially in the mid-term (2030) through the recently introduced cancellation of allowances through the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), or through a larger coalition of countries. Germany could even fully alleviate the waterbed effect by cancelling 1.1 GtCO2 of certificates. In the long-term (until 2050), emission reductions leading up to 2030 would be almost completely (91%) offset at the EU level. Accordingly, it is essential that the national price initiates a policy sequence that leads to the EU level.
    Keywords: EU ETS,carbon price floor,carbon price,coal phase-out,interaction,waterbed effect
    JEL: L94 Q58
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Salm, Martin; Wübker, Ansgar
    Abstract: Does higher medical spending improve quality of care? We estimate the effect of changes in regulated reimbursement prices for hospitals on multiple dimensions of hospital quality, including mortality outcomes, surgical complications, process quality, and patient satisfaction. We exploit an exogenous variation in reimbursement prices between the years 2006 and 2010 based on a reform of hospital financing in Germany. We find that changes in reimbursement prices do not affect quality of care. This effect is precisely estimated, and we can rule out effect sizes that are large relative to the overall variation in quality indicators across hospitals.
    Keywords: health care expenditures,hospital care,quality of care
    JEL: I11 H51 D22
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Serena Trucchi (University College London and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto); Elsa Fornero (University of Turin and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto); Mariacristina Rossi (University of Turin and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: Our paper analyses the observed and desired labour supply of older workers and (recent) retirees in a country (Italy) with limited opportunities for flexible work schedules. For this purpose, we use a unique dataset drawn from the Bank of Italy’s Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) providing information on both desired and actual working hours. Our empirical analysis documents the gap between older individuals’ desired and observed labour supply at both the extensive and the intensive margins and traces it back to gender, education and family composition.
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Kronberger, Ralf; Schmid, Christoph
    Abstract: We use survey findings to analyse the effects of the Austrian income tax reform 2015/2016 on private consumption differentiated by income classes. Using survey data, we also estimate the corresponding average marginal propensities to consume and compare them to applied average marginal propensities to consume in economic models used to analyse the previous two income tax reforms in Austria. The estimated average marginal propensity to consume amounts to approximately 0.46, whereby in tendency increasing from the lowest income class (0.42-0.43) to the highest income class (0.48-0.50). Our estimated average marginal propensity to consume across all income classes basically corresponds to those used in economic models to evaluate the income tax reform 2015/2016. However, our estimated marginal propensities to consume by income classes fundamentally differ from those used in the economic models.
    Keywords: income tax reform, private consumption response, marginal propensity to consume, survey methodology
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: Pierre Deschamps (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Following in the footsteps of similar initiatives at the boardroom level in Norway and other European countries, the French government decided to impose a gender quota in academic hiring committees in 2015. The goal of this paper is to evaluate how this reform changed the way women are ranked by these committees. The reform affected academic disciplines heterogeneously. I contrast the effect of the reform between fields that were significantly affected, and those that already respected the quota before the reform. Drawing on a unique dataset made up of administrative data provided by French universities, I show that the reform significantly worsened both the probability of being hired and the ranks of women, with a treatment effect equivalent to a 4 standard deviation drop in h-index. There is evidence that this is driven mainly by the reaction of men to the reform, since the negative effect of the reform is concentrated in committees that are helmed by men.
    Keywords: Economics of gender; Discrimination
    Date: 2018–11
  6. By: Öhrvall, Richard (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Oskarsson, Sven (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: Student mock elections are carried out in schools around the world in an effort to increase political interest and efficacy among students. There is, however, a lack of research on whether mock elections in schools enhance voter turnout in real elections. In this paper, we examine whether the propensity to vote in Swedish elections is higher among young people who have previously experienced a student mock election. The analysis is based on unique administrative population-wide data on turnout in the Swedish 2010 parliamentary election and the 2009 European Parliament election. Our results show that having experienced a mock election as a student does not increase the likelihood of voting in subsequent real elections. This result holds when we study both short- and long-term effects, and when we divide our sample into different parts depending on their socio-economic status and study each part separately.
    Keywords: Political inequality; Student mock elections; Voter turnout; Education
    JEL: D10 D72 I24 I28
    Date: 2018–12–18
  7. By: Oberrauch, Luis; Kaiser, Tim
    Abstract: We employ a psychometrically validated performance test to study economic competence among a large and representative sample of early secondary school students in Southwest Germany. The rich dataset allows us to study variation in economic competence across school types and observable student characteristics. Our results show that economic competence is significantly lower among female students, migrants, students with parents of low socioeconomic status and those who do not attend the highest track school type. Additionally, quantile regression analyses suggest that the gender gap increases along the distribution of economic competence and that effects of parents with high socio-economic status are more pronounced above the median of the competence distribution. Our analysis sets the stage for a long-term study of economic competence among secondary school students and the impact of a recent curriculum reform introducing mandatory economic education.
    Keywords: Economic competence,economic literacy,item response theory,pre-college economic education,gender gap
    JEL: A21 I21
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Polakova, Aija (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: I study publication of the European Union (EU) tax haven blacklist on December 5, 2017 to examine whether and how the use of recognized tax havens affects firm value. I find that the tax haven naming and shaming by the EU was associated with a negative stock price reaction of firms with tax haven affliates. The largest reaction was for those tax havens, for which it was not foreseeable that they would be included in the blacklist. Retail firms experienced a larger decrease in share price than firms in other industries, which is consistent with a potential consumer backlash. Also more tax aggressive firms faced more negative returns, which suggests that investors expect firms might be audited or fined for past or overly aggressive tax avoidance. The negative reaction was less pronounced in countries with low levels of investor protection and weakly-governed firms with substantial conflicts of interest between principals and shareholders. This is consistent with increased scrutiny and potential for countermeasures associated with the blacklist, which reduce opportunities for managerial wealth diversion.
    Keywords: Event study; governance; tax avoidance; tax haven
    JEL: G12 G32 H25 H26
    Date: 2018–12–14
  9. By: Gregor Jarosch; Ezra Oberfield; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
    Abstract: We investigate learning at the workplace. To do so, we use German administrative data that contain information on the entire workforce of a sample of establishments. We document that having more highly paid coworkers is strongly associated with future wage growth, particularly if those workers earn more. Motivated by this fact, we propose a dynamic theory of a competitive labor market where firms produce using teams of heterogeneous workers that learn from each other. We develop a methodology to structurally estimate knowledge flows using the full-richness of the German employer-employee matched data. The methodology builds on the observation that a competitive labor market prices coworker learning. Our quantitative approach imposes minimal restrictions on firms' production functions, can be implemented on a very short panel, and allows for potentially rich and flexible coworker learning functions. In line with our reduced form results, learning from coworkers is significant, particularly from more knowledgeable coworkers. We show that between 4 and 9% of total worker compensation is in the form of learning and that inequality in total compensation is significantly lower than inequality in wages.
    JEL: E24 J31 O33
    Date: 2019–01
  10. By: Gavard, Claire; Voigt, Sebastian; Genty, Aurélien
    Abstract: While emissions trading schemes are developed by nations to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions, behavioural studies have shown that the political and public acceptability of these market-based instruments depends on the way the associated revenues are used. One option the general public approves of is to use them to support renewable energy. If this consists in reducing a pre-existing electricity levy that heterogeneously applies to the various sectors of the economy, the reduction of this distortionary tax thanks to the carbon revenues results in general equilibrium effects that may have unequal sectoral impacts. This is what we examine in the case of the European Union. With a modelling approach including a detailed disaggregation of European sectors, we find that using auction revenues from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to support electricity generation from renewable sources results in a 2% rise in electricity demand in the whole economy due to the reduced electricity levy that electricity consumers have to pay to support renewable energy. This results in a 1.8% ETS carbon price increase. The carbon constraint for the non-ETS sectors is 5.9% looser as a consequence of the larger electricity use by these sectors. While the energy intensive sectors generally benefit from electricity levy exemptions, we observe that, due to the energy and ETS price increase, the combination of these exemptions and of the use of carbon auction revenues to support renewable energy makes the ETS sectors worse off than if carbon revenues are transferred to households. In aggregate, the recycling option analysed here results in a GDP gain due to its impacts on the non-ETS sectors, the reduction of the electricity levy and associated distortionary effects.
    Keywords: carbon auctions,renewable energy support,electricity levy,emissions trading scheme,revenues recycling
    JEL: C68 E62 H21 H23 Q42 Q54
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Cristina Giorgiantonio (Bank of Italy); Lucia Rizzica (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The use of online platforms as intermediaries between the demand for and supply of labour has grown in recent years, both in Italy and abroad. We analyse this phenomenon by providing, in particular: i) an overview of the current debate on how to regulate this sector, specifically with respect to the contractual arrangements and the set of protections to be guaranteed to the workers; ii) a review of the existing empirical evidence concerning the extent of the phenomenon and its main characteristics, both in Italy and abroad; and iii) a case study on the food delivery industry in Italy, with an analysis of the individual characteristics and careers of the delivery operators involved.
    Keywords: gig economy, labour markets regulation
    JEL: J3 J42
    Date: 2018–12
  12. By: Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Maccagnan, Anna; Mendolia, Silvia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In most OECD countries, girls outperform boys in all subjects except mathematics. Usually, only test scores are utilised as a measure of mathematical skills. In this paper, we argue that in order to measure children’s capability in mathematics we need to include some indicators of the attitudes of children towards the subject. This is particularly important when we analyse gender gaps, because attitudes towards mathematics differ by gender. We first describe the differences by gender both in test scores and attitudes utilising a model including school fixed effects. Next, we estimate a quantile regression in order to analyse how the gender gap varies across the distribution of the attitudes. Lastly, in addition to the test scores in mathematics, we use indicators of attitudes towards maths to estimate a Structural Equation Model, which takes into account that maths capability is a latent construct of which we only observe some indicators (test scores and attitudes). We use data from the Italian National Test (Invalsi) for year 5 and year 10 in 2014 and 2015. Results confirm that when we measure mathematics capability including attitudes in addition to test scores, the gap between boys and girls is even wider with respect to the analysis of test scores alone, and therefore educational policies aimed at reducing the gender gap in mathematics should address both attitudes and test scores.
    Date: 2018–09
  13. By: Giovanna Messina (Bank of Italy); Marco Savegnago (Bank of Italy); Andrea Sechi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Waste management can be financed through user charges, in the form of fees related to the amount of waste produced. Such fees would lead to positive effects for local public finance as well as for the environment. In Italy waste management is instead financed through a local tax (Ta.ri.), which is essentially a wealth tax. The paper examines Ta.ri. both from an efficiency and from an equity point of view, by means of a simulation using the Bank of Italy survey on household income and wealth. Our results indicate that Ta.ri. cannot discriminate among families according to the amount of waste they produce and that this tax weighs more heavily on poorer families. If waste taxation were redesigned so as to become more similar to a fee, tax payers would be encouraged to be more responsible in their use of resources, and the regressive impact of the current system of taxation would then disappear.
    Keywords: local public finance, efficiency, equity
    JEL: H71 H23
  14. By: Christophe Courbage (Geneva School of Business Administration - University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland); Guillem Montoliu-Montes (UNIL - Université de Lausanne); Béatrice Rey (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper empirically assesses how financial risk aversion reacts to a change in individuals' wealth and health and to the presence of both financial and health risks using the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Individuals in our sample exhibit financial risk aversion decreasing both in wealth and health. Financial risk aversion is also found to increase in the presence of a background financial risk and a background health risk. Interestingly, risk aversion is shown to be convex in wealth but linear in health. Such findings complement the literature on risk aversion behaviours and can help to better understand various economic decisions in a risky environment.
    Keywords: risk aversion,(cross-) DARA,(cross-) risk vulnerability,background risk,health risk
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Alessandro Borin (Bank of Italy); Andrea Linarello (Bank of Italy); Elena Mattevi (Bank of Italy); Giordano Zevi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper analyzes how the choice of the invoicing currency used in international transactions by the Italian companies influences the transmission of exchange rates shocks to their price strategies and business activity. Companies invoicing in euros tend to not adjusting the prices of exported goods; in this case the exchange rate fluctuations are transmitted almost entirely to the prices of their goods in the destination countries, also inducing a large response of the exported volumes. On the other hand, companies that invoice in local currency transmit weakly the exchange rate fluctuations to prices in destination markets and therefore attenuate the impacts on exports volumes. Fixing prices in foreign currency is more frequent among larger and more productive companies, which tend to transfer the exchange rate shocks mostly on unit margins. Overall, despite the different transmission channels, the effect of exchange rate fluctuations on foreign turnover in euros, is quite similar among the different pricing strategies.
    Keywords: invoicing currency, exchange rate pass-through
    JEL: F3 F4
    Date: 2018–12
  16. By: Link, Albert (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Sarala, Riikka (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Management)
    Abstract: University entrepreneurship ecosystems are increasingly important in facilitating innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities in today’s knowledge-based economies. However, we have an incomplete understanding of the role of the entrepreneurial firm as the key user of university knowledge. We propose that use of university knowledge positively influences entrepreneurial firm performance and that the entrepreneurial firm’s resource and capabilities facilitate its ability to create value from university knowledge. We test our hypotheses with survey data on knowledge intensive entrepreneurial firms from 10 European countries. Our study contributes to an increased understanding of the economic, societal, and technological contributions of universities by illustrating empirically the role of entrepreneurial firm’s resources and capabilities as moderators of value in university ecosystems.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; strategic behavior; university-based knowledge; European Union;
    JEL: L26 O31
    Date: 2019–01–04
  17. By: Martin, Roman (Gothenburg University); Rypestøl , Jan Ole (University of Agder)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the geography of innovation networks and analyses combinatorial knowledge dynamics from a single cluster perspective. Addressing firms in the media cluster in Bergen, Norway, we examine how and from where companies acquire and combine different types of knowledge for their innovation activities. The empirical analysis, which is based on structured interviews with 22 media companies, identifies two main types of cluster firms: media content providers that rely heavily on symbolic knowledge and media technology providers that draw mostly on synthetic knowledge. Even though they draw on different knowledge bases, the two types of firms are strongly interlinked in their innovation activities and source knowledge from each other. Furthermore, we find that synthetic firms constitute a gateway to the regional R&D system and that the region acts as key arena for the combination of dissimilar knowledge bases.
    Keywords: innovation networks; knowledge bases; creative industries; new media; Norway
    JEL: L82 O14 O30 O31
    Date: 2019–01–07
  18. By: Mattias Engdahl (UCLS - Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Mathilde Godard (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Oskar Skans
    Abstract: We use quasi-random variation in graduation years during the onset of a very deep national recession to study the relationship between early labor market conditions and young females' family formation outcomes. A policy-pilot affecting the length of upper-secondary vocational tracks allows us to compare females who graduated into the onset of the Swedish financial crisis of the 1990s to those graduating during the final phase of the preceding economic boom while netting out the main effect of the policy. We find pronounced, but short-lived, negative labor market effects from early exposure to the recession for low-grade students in particular. In contrast, we document very long-lasting effects on family formation outcomes, again concentrated among low-grade students. Young women who graduated into the recession because of the policy-pilot formed their first stable partnerships earlier and had their first children earlier. Their partners had lower grades, which we show to be a strong predictor of divorce, and worse labor market performance. Divorces were more prevalent and the ensuing increase in single motherhood was long-lasting. These negative effects on marital stability generated persistent increases in the use of welfare benefits despite the short-lived impact on labor market outcomes. The results suggest that young women respond to early labor market prospects by changing the quality threshold for entering into family formation, a process which affects the frequency of welfare-dependent single mothers during more than a decade thereafter.
    Keywords: Family formation,female labor supply,cost of recessions
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Werner, Katharina (ifo Institute)
    Abstract: Economic research suggests that investments in early education are generally more successful than investments at later ages. This paper presents a representative survey experiment on education spending in Germany, which exhibits low relative public spending on early education. Results are consistent with a model of misconceptions: informing randomly selected respondents about benefits of early education spending shifts majority support for public spending increases from later education levels to spending on early and primary education. Effects of information provision persist over a two-week period in a follow-up survey. By contrast, results do not suggest self-interested groups inefficiently allocate public education spending.
    Keywords: misconceptions; public spending; education spending; information; survey experiment;
    JEL: I22 D83 H52 P16
    Date: 2018–12–20
  20. By: Artur Santoalha (TIK Centre, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Smart Specialization is closely associated with the concept of diversification. For better understanding of Smart Specialization, this article investigates one novel explanatory factor of technological diversification: cooperation (distinguishing between cooperation within regions and cooperation between regions). Using OECD REGPAT data on patents co-applications, the empirical analysis measures the role of cooperation between institutions on technological diversification in 226 European regions over 10 periods of 5 years each, 2000–2013. Although cooperation within and between regions is important as a determinant of regional diversification, both forms of cooperation should evolve hand in hand – singly, each form of cooperation may prove ineffective for boosting regional diversification.
    Date: 2019–01
  21. By: Karabchuk, Tatiana
    Abstract: Birth rates have declined dramatically in many European countries during the last 40 years. Postponed marriages and delays in childbirth resulting from the global changes in values can only partially explain this decline. A main reason for the decline is the rise in job and income instability caused by labor market polarization. The growth of flexible market relations increased the uncertainty and job instability that are crucial to childbirth planning for young adults. This paper aims to disclose the impact of job instability on the fertility intentions of young European adults by focusing on employment protection legislation (EPL). The empirical analysis is grounded in European Social Survey data of 2004 and 2010 for 27 countries. The results of the multilevel modeling show that job instability measured as temporary employment, informal work, and unemployment decrease fertility intentions. Unemployed young adults plan less for having their first child under a rigid labor market system. Unexpectedly, temporary and informally employed young people decrease their fertility intentions in countries with low EPL rates.
    Keywords: job instability, fertility intentions, employment type, employment protection legislation, dual labor markets, Europe
    Date: 2018–12
  22. By: Martin Binder (Bard College Berlin); Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg; Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Tying in with a small number of studies on green norms, identity and subjective well-being, this paper studies the relationship between holding a green self-image and life satisfaction in the UK. Focusing on (sub-national) regions as the unit of reference, we investigate if and how the individual-level greenness-satisfaction relationship varies with measures of the prevalence and distribution (disparity) of greenness at the regional level, taking these measures as indicators of a green social norm. Two key findings emerge from our analysis. First, life satisfaction is negatively related to the regional-level mean (prevalence) and positively related to the regional-level diversity of greenness, while being unrelated to the degree of polarization of greenness. Taking the prevalence as a direct and diversity as an inverse measure of the validity of a greenness norm, these results are consistent with the idea that the norm is experienced (by greens) as a standard of reference in the process of green status competition or (by non-greens) as a source of social pressure. Second, the well-being benefits from holding a greener self-image are unrelated to the prevalence and diversity of greenness, but positively related to the polarization of greenness for those either very green or not green at all. This is consistent with the idea that green self-image yields well-being benefits through identity, that is, by identifying with the own group and differentiating oneself from other groups – a possibility that relies on sufficiently large differentiation/polarization of groups. We discuss differences between these results and previous findings based on measures of nation-wide prevalence and disparity of greenness.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, norms, green behavior, green self-image, fractionalization, polarization
    Date: 2019–01
  23. By: Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti (Banco de España); Marta Martínez-Matute (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: The adoption of court fees has been traditionally justified as a means to improve the performance of enforcement institutions as they may have an effect of deterrence of the dispute. Judicial congestion has clear negative impacts on economic performance. Spain, which has one of the highest rates of litigation of the OECD, has traditionally lacked a general system of court fees. In 2002, the Congress passed a system of court fees to be paid by legal entities and enterprises. In 2012, the fees were extended to individuals and abrogated in 2015. This bounded period of enforcement allows us to empirically test the impacts of court fees on congestion. In order to do this, we collected a comprehensive database of quarterly data on the real workload of civil courts. This study concludes that the effects of court fees, although reduced courts’ congestion, are far from homogeneous and depend on the type of procedure, the workload of the courts and the local macroeconomic conditions
    Keywords: courts fees, judicial efficacy, litigation rates
    JEL: K41 E51 G2
    Date: 2018–12
  24. By: Magne Mogstad; Rolf Aaberge; Lasse Eika; Audun Langørgen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We examine how in-kind transfers provided by local governments affect economic inequality. The allocation of in-kind transfers to households and the adjustment for differences in needs are derived from a model of local government spending behavior. The model distinguishes between fixed and variable costs in production as well as mandatory programmatic spending components versus discretionary spending on different service sectors and target groups. To estimate the model, we combine Norwegian data from municipal accounts and administrative registers for the period 1982- 2013. We find that economic inequality is considerably lower when taking in-kind transfers into account. While the poor benefit from receiving a relatively large share of public services, the equalizing effect of in-kind transfers tends to be smaller than the equalizing contribution from public cash transfers. When examining the time trends in inequality, we find that local governments attenuated the growth in cash income inequality by re-allocating in-kind transfers to low-income families. This reduction in inequality is mostly due to changes in spending priorities across service sectors and target groups, whilst the contribution from re-allocation of resources across municipalities is much smaller.
    Keywords: Local government; economic inequality; public services; in-kind transfers
    JEL: D31 H72 I30
    Date: 2018–11
  25. By: Schneck, Stefan
    Abstract: It is well known that the self-employed are over-represented at the bottom as well as the top of the income distribution. This paper shifts the focus from the income situation of the self-employed to the distributive effects of a change in self-employment rates. With representative German data and unconditional quantile regression analysis we show that an increase in the proportion of self-employed individuals in the labor force increases income polarization by tearing down oors at the bottom and allowing higher earnings potentials at the very top of the hourly income distribution. Recentered in uence function regression of inequality measures corroborate that self-employment is a source of income inequality in the labor market.
    Keywords: income,earnings inequality,self-employment
    JEL: L26 D31
    Date: 2018

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