nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2019‒02‒25
thirty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms: Evidence from an Italian Board Reform By Maida, Agata; Weber, Andrea
  2. Entrepreneurial Spirits in Women and Men. The Role of Financial Literacy and Digital Skills By Noemi Oggero; Maria Cristina Rossi; Elisa Ughetto
  3. Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply By Astrid Kunze; Xingfei Liu
  4. Are Renewables Profitable in 2030? A Comparison between Wind and Solar across Europe By Valentin Bertsch; Valeria Di Cosmo
  5. Parental Child Care Time, Income and Subjective Well-Being: A Multidimensional Polarization Approach for Germany By Joachim Merz; Normen Peters
  6. Cluster externalities, firm capabilities, and the recessionary shock: How the macro-to-micro-transition shapes firm performance during stable times and times of crisis By Hundt, Christian; Holtermann, Linus; Steeger, Jonas; Bersch, Johannes
  7. The impact of the French policy mix on business R&D: How geography matters By Benjamin Montmartin; Marcos Herrera; Nadine Massard
  8. From Forward to Spot Prices: Producers, Retailers and Loss Averse Consumers in Electricity Markets By Valeria Di Cosmo; Elisa Trujillo-Baute
  9. Contrasted performances of renewable energy development in French regions By Rafik Abdessalam; Patricia Renou-Maissant; Ferdaous Roussafi
  10. Can public housing decrease segragation ? By Sorana Toma; Gregory Verdugo
  11. Who Goes on Disability When Times Are Tough? The Role of Social Costs of Take-Up Among Immigrants By Furtado, Delia; Papps, Kerry L.; Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos
  12. Econometric study on the impact of EU loan guarantee financial instruments on growth and jobs of SMEs By Bertoni, Fabio; Brault, Julien; Colombo, Massimo G.; Quas, Anita; Signore, Simone
  13. Bank Bonus Pay as a Risk Sharing Contract By Matthias Efing; Harald Hau; Patrick Kampkötter; Jean-Charles Rochet
  14. Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany By Chadi, Cornelia; Jirjahn, Uwe
  15. Firms' Exports, Volatility and Skills: Evidence from France By Maria Bas; Pamela Bombarda; Sébastien Jean; Gianluca Orefice
  16. Spatial dependence in museum services: An analysis of the Italian case By Cellini, Roberto; Cuccia, Tiziana; Lisi, Domenico
  17. Automatic Reaction – What Happens to Workers at Firms that Automate? By Wiljan van den Berge
  18. Use of extra-school time and child behaviour By Elena Claudia Meroni; Daniela Piazzalunga; Chiara Pronzato
  19. Parental Ethnic Identity and Child Development By Campbell, Stuart; Nuevo-Chiquero, Ana; Popli, Gurleen; Ratcliffe, Anita
  20. Mortality in Midlife for Subgroups in Germany By Haan, Peter; Hammerschmid, Anna; Schmieder, Julia
  21. The Logic of Fear - Populism and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes By Couttenier, Mathieu; Hatte, Sophie; Thoenig, Mathias; Vlachos, Stephanos
  22. Do parents work more when children start school? Evidence from the Netherlands By Lisette Swart; Wiljan van den Berge; Karen van der Wiel
  23. Pathways to Improvement. Successes and Difficulties of Local Currency Schemes in France since 2010 By Jérôme Blanc; Marie Fare
  24. Anatomy of regional price differentials: Evidence from micro price data By Weinand, Sebastian; von Auer, Ludwig
  25. Local Norms Describing the Role of the State and the Private Provision of Training By Andreas Kuhn; Juerg Schweri; Stefan C. Wolter
  26. The Long-Term Economic Effects of Polio: Evidence from the Introduction of the Polio Vaccine to Sweden in 1957 By Serratos-Sotelo, Luis; Bengtsson, Tommy; Nilsson, Anton
  27. Early School Exposure, Test Scores, and Noncognitive Outcomes By Thomas Cornelissen; Christian Dustmann
  28. Where is the Middle Class? Inequality, Gender and the Shape of the Upper Tail from 60 million English Death and Probate Records, 1892-2016 By Cummins, Neil
  29. Exports and labor costs: Evidence from a French Policy By Clément Malgouyres; Thierry Mayer
  30. The Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014 By Julia Cage; Yasmine Bekkouche

  1. By: Maida, Agata; Weber, Andrea
    Abstract: Over the last decade, several countries have followed the Norwegian example and introduced laws mandating gender quota for corporate board membership. The main aim of these laws is breaking the "glass ceiling" which prevents women from advancing into top corporate positions. In this paper, we evaluate the Italian law of 2011, which installed a step-wise increase in gender quota that remain effective for three consecutive board renewals of listed limited liability firms. We link firm-level information on board membership and board election dates with detailed employment and earnings records from the Social Security registers. Exploiting the staggered introduction of the gender quota regulation and variation in board renewals across firms, we evaluate the effect of the board gender composition on measures of gender diversity in top positions over a period of 4 years. While the reform substantially raised the female membership on corporate boards, we find no evidence of spillover effects on the representation of women in top executive or top earnings positions. Our results confirm the findings by Bertrand et al. (2018) who study the introduction of a gender quota for board members in Norway. Given that Italy is a much less egalitarian society than Norway, with a larger scope of establishing gender equality, our results confirm that board quota policies alone are ineffective in raising female representation in top corporate positions, at least in the short run.
    Keywords: corporate board reform; female employment; Gender quota; glass ceiling
    JEL: J24 J7 J78
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Noemi Oggero (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy); Maria Cristina Rossi (Department of Management, University of Torino, Italy); Elisa Ughetto (Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
    Abstract: We investigate the attitudes to entrepreneurship of Italian households, focusing on the importance of digital skills and financial literacy as potentially relevant factors shaping entrepreneurial entry. We put the gender focus to our analysis to detect whether, and to what extent, women and men differ in their propensity to run a business. We carry out our research by using a sample of the Bank of Italy SHIW dataset for the year 2008 and 2010. Our findings suggest a strong heterogeneity, between men and women, of the importance of digital skills and financial literacy as entrepreneurial drivers. Results show that the impact of financial literacy on the probability of being an entrepreneur is significant, but only for men. Digital skills increase the probability of being entrepreneur with a bigger effect for men than for women.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, digital, gender economics.
    JEL: L26 J16 D14
    Date: 2019–02
  3. By: Astrid Kunze; Xingfei Liu
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate whether the expansion of childcare leads to an increase in the female labour supply. We measure female labour supply at both the extensive and intensive margin. For identification, we exploit a nationwide reform that expanded childcare for 1–2- year-olds in Norway. Our results reveal a significant increase in the overall employment of mothers in the target group, but only weak evidence of an increase in contracted hours of work. However, both adjustments are only short term following the reform. When we consider sub-groups of mothers more closely, we find substantial heterogeneity in the affected outcomes and the timing of these effects. In particular, when we exclude mothers on job-protected maternity leave and with currently zero hours of work from the target group, we estimate even larger effects on employment and now significant effects on actual hours of work. For mothers with more than one child, we find significant long-term effects of the reform on both employment and hours of work.
    Keywords: childcare, female labour supply, contracted hours, actual hours, causal effects
    JEL: J08 J13 J22
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Valentin Bertsch (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, German Aerospace Center (DLR), University of Stuttgart); Valeria Di Cosmo (Fondazione Enrico Mattei, Milan, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) Dublin)
    Abstract: The European Union has set ambitious targets for emission reduction and the penetration of renewable energy, including the electricity generation sector as one of the major emitters of CO2. After a period of subsidy-driven investments, the costs of renewables decreased strongly making investments more attractive. Since European countries differ strongly in terms of natural resources, we analyse the profitability of wind onshore and offshore and solar PV across Europe to determine where it is optimal to invest in the future and to understand which factors drive the profitability of the investments. We use a power systems model to simulate the whole European electricity market in 2030. Using the renewable revenues determined by the model, we calculate the internal rate of return to analyse how profitable each technology is in each country. We find that investments in the considered technologies are not homogeneously profitable across Europe. This suggests that cooperation between European countries can be expected to achieve the overall targets at lower costs than nationally-driven approaches. We also find that in many countries, wind onshore and solar PV are profitable by 2030 in absence of any financial support. Wind offshore does not seem to be profitable without financial support.
    Keywords: Renewable Energy Targets, Renewable Electricity Generation, RES-E Target, EU Electricity Market, Profitability
    JEL: Q4 Q42
    Date: 2018–08
  5. By: Joachim Merz; Normen Peters
    Abstract: Neither market income nor consumption expenditure provides an adequate picture of individual standard of living. It is time which enables and restricts individual activities and is a further brick to a more comprehensive picture of individual well-being. In our study we focus on a prominent part of time use in non-market services: it is parental child care which contributes not only to individual but also to societal well-being. Within a novel approach we ask for multidimensional polarization effects of parental child care where compensation/substitution of time for parental child care versus income is interdependently evaluated by panel estimates of society’s subjective well-being. The new interdependent 2DGAP measure thereby provides multidimensional polarization intensity information for the poor and the rich and disentangles the single time and income contribution to subjective well-being ensuring at the same time the interdependence of the polarization dimensions. Socio-economic influences on the polarization pole risk and intensity will be quantified by two stage Heckman estimates. The analyses are based on the German Socio-Economic Panel with 21 waves and robust fixed effects estimates of subjective well-being as well as the German Time Use Surveys 1991/92 and actual 2012/13 with detailed diary time use data. The empirical results discover the interdependent relations between parental child care and income under a common evaluation frame and contribute to the question of dimension specific targeted policies in a multidimensional polarization approach. Prominent result: compensation between parental child care time and income proved to be significant, but there are multidimensional regions with no compensation, where parental child care time deficit is not compensated by income. Interdependent multidimensional polarization by headcount and intensity increased significantly over the twenty years under investigation with remarkable risk and intensity differences between the polarization poles with different disentangled parental child care time and income contributions to subjective well-being.
    Keywords: Parental child care, multidimensional polarization of interdependent time and income, subjective well-being, poverty and affluence, minimum multidimensional 2DGAP risk and intensity, German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), German Time Use Study (GTUS 1991/92 and 2012/13)
    JEL: I31 I32 J22 D10 D31
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Hundt, Christian; Holtermann, Linus; Steeger, Jonas; Bersch, Johannes
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the macro-to-micro-transition of cluster externalities to firms and how it is affected by the macroeconomic instability caused by the recessionary shock of 2008/2009. Using data from 16,166 manufacturing and business services firms nested in 390 German regions, we employ within-firm regression techniques to estimate the impact of cross-level interactions between firm- and cluster-level determinants on phase-related differences in firm performance between a pre-crisis (2004-2007) and a crisis period (2009-2011). The empirical results validate the existence of a macro-to-micro-transition that evolves best in the case of broad firm-level capabilities and variety-driven externalities. Furthermore, the results indicate that the transition strongly depends on the macroeconomic cycle. While the transition particularly benefits from a stable macroeconomic environment (2004-2007), its mechanisms are interrupted when being exposed to economic turmoil (2009-2011). Yet, the crisis-induced interruption of the transition is mainly restricted to the national recession in 2009. As soon as the macroeconomic pressure diminishes (2010-2011), we observe a reversion of the transmission mechanisms to the pre-crisis level. Our study contributes to the existing literature by corroborating previous findings that the economic performance of firms depends on a working macro-to-micro transition of external resources, which presupposes sufficient cluster externalities and adequate firm-level combinative capabilities. In contrast to previous studies on this topic, the transition mechanism is not modeled as time-invariant. Instead, it is coupled to the prevailing macroeconomic regime.
    Keywords: Macro-to-micro-transition, combinative capabilities, agglomeration economies, cluster-level externalities, unrelated variety, related variety, macroeconomic regimes, Great Recession, eco-nomic resilience
    JEL: C33 R11 R58
    Date: 2019–01–28
  7. By: Benjamin Montmartin (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Marcos Herrera (Universidad Nacional de Salta); Nadine Massard (Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Based on a spatial extension of an R&D investment model, this paper measures the macroeconomic impact of the French R&D policy mix on business R&D using regional data. Our measure takes into account not only the direct effect of policies but also indirect effects generated by the existence of spatial interaction between regions. Using a unique database containing information on the levels of various R&D policy instruments received by firms in French NUTS3 regions over the period 2001–2011, our estimates of a spatial Durbin model with structural breaks and fixed effects reveal the existence of a negative spatial dependence among R&D investments in regions. In this context, while a-spatial estimates would conclude that all instruments have a crowding-in effect, we show that national subsidies are the only instrument that is able to generate significant crowding-in effects. On the contrary, it seems that the design, size and spatial allocation of funds from the other instruments (tax credits, local subsidies, European subsidies) lead them to act (in the French context) as beggar-thy-neighbor policies.
    Keywords: Policy mix evaluation; R&D investment; Spatial panel; French NUTS 3 regions
    JEL: H25 O31 O38 C23
    Date: 2018–12
  8. By: Valeria Di Cosmo (Economic and Social Research Institute and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Elisa Trujillo-Baute (University of Barcelona and Barcelona Institute of Economics)
    Abstract: The benefits of smoothing demand peaks in the electricity market has been widely recognised. European countries such Spain and some of the Scandinavian countries have recently given to the consumers the possibility to face the spot prices instead of having a fixed tariffs determined by retailers. This paper develops a theoretical model to study the relations between risk averse consumers, retailers and producers, both in the spot and in the forward markets when consumers are able to choose between fixed tariffs and the wholesale prices. The model is calibrated on a real market case - Spain - where since 2014 spot tariffs were introduced beside the flat tariffs for household consumers. Finally, simulations of agents behavior and markets performance, depending on consumers risk aversion and the number of producers, are used to analyse the implications from the model. Our results show that the quantities the retailers and the producers trade in the forward market are positively related with the loss aversion of consumers. The quantities bought by the retailers in the forward market are negatively related with the skewness of the spot prices. On the contrary, quantity sold forward by producers are positively related with the skewness of the spot prices (high probability of getting high prices increase the forward sale) and with the total market demand. In the spot market, the degree of loss aversion of consumers determine the quantity the retailers buy in the spot market but does not have a direct effect on the spot prices.
    Keywords: Electricity Spot Market, Electricity Forward Market, Risk Aversion
    JEL: D40 L11 Q41
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Rafik Abdessalam (Université de Lyon, Lumière Lyon 2, COACTIS, EA 4161, 69365 Lyon Cedex 07, France); Patricia Renou-Maissant (Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, CNRS, CREM, F-14000 Caen, France et EconomiX, UMR CNRS 7235, Université de Paris Nanterre, 92001 Nanterre, France); Ferdaous Roussafi (Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, CNRS, CREM, F-14000 Caen, France)
    Abstract: The energy transition towards low-carbon energies is today a dominant paradigm of public policies related to energy. This article aims to propose an inventory of the energy transition in France and more precisely to evaluate the performances of regions in terms of diversification of the energy mix. Multidimensional data analysis methods have been implemented. A typology of French regions relating to the regional development of the renewable energies (RE) in France in 2015 is proposed; it highlights the emergence of five typical profiles of RE development sharply contrasted according to RE sectors and regions. The various statistical models realized underlines the importance of economic factors (economic performance and sector specialization), demographic specificities and geographical characteristics to explain contrasted performances of renewable energy development in French regions. By contrast, environmental and political factors do not discriminate between the five types of RE development.
    Keywords: multidimensional data analysis, regional disparities, Renewable Energies
    JEL: C38 P25 Q48 R11
    Date: 2018–12
  10. By: Sorana Toma (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique (GENES)); Gregory Verdugo (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: Recent decades have seen a rapid increase in the share of non-European immigrants in public housing in Europe, which has led to concern regarding the rise of ghettos in large cities. Using French census data over three decades, we examine how this increase in public housing participation has affected segregation. While segregation levels have increased moderately, on average, the number of immigrant enclaves has grown. The growth of enclaves is being driven by the large increase in non-European immigrants in the census tracts where the largest housing projects are located, both in the housing projects and the surrounding nonpublic dwellings. As a result, contemporary differences in segregation levels across metropolitan areas are being shaped by the concentration of public housing within cities, in particular the share of non-European immigrants in large housing projects constructed before the 1980s. Nevertheless, the overall effect of public housing on segregation has been ambiguous. While large projects have increased segregation, the inflows of non-European immigrants into small projects have brought many immigrants into census tracts where they have previously been rare and, thus, diminished segregation levels.
    Keywords: Social housing ; Public housing; Immigration; Segregation; France
    Date: 2018–10
  11. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Papps, Kerry L. (University of Bath); Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) take-up tends to increase during recessions. We exploit variation across immigrant groups in the non-pecuniary costs of participating in SSDI to examine the role that costs play in applicant decisions across the business cycle. We show that immigrants from country-of-origin groups that have lower participation costs are more sensitive to economic conditions than immigrants from high cost groups. These results do not seem to be driven by variation across groups in sensitivity to business cycles or eligibility for SSDI. Instead, they appear to be primarily driven by differences in work norms across origin countries.
    Keywords: disability insurance, immigrants, unemployment rates, ethnic networks
    JEL: E32 J61 H55 I18
    Date: 2019–01
  12. By: Bertoni, Fabio; Brault, Julien; Colombo, Massimo G.; Quas, Anita; Signore, Simone
    Abstract: This working paper investigates the economic effects of guaranteed loans granted under the EU programmes MAP and CIP on SMEs' growth in Italy, the Benelux and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) from 2002 to 2016. In these macro-regions, the facilities supported 174,107 loans to SMEs, for a total of EUR 15.58bn. Using a sample of these loans with corresponding firm-level data, this study estimates the average treatment effect on firms' growth, profitability, assets intangibility and survival. The analysis compares beneficiary SMEs to similar firms that were not supported by the programmes, identified through coarsened exact matching (CEM) and propensity score matching (PSM). Overall, guaranteed loans are found to positively affect the growth in assets (+19.6 percentage points over the two years after the end of the signature year), sales (+14.8 percentage points), employment (+16.9 percentage points) and the share of intangible assets (+1 percentage point). No significant effect on profits is observed. Beneficiary SMEs also have lower bankruptcy rates compared to control firms. Consistent with the literature on financing constraints, positive effects are stronger for smaller, younger SMEs. Treatment effects are more pronounced in the Benelux and Nordic countries, mostly due to the sample composition of treated firms in each macro-region.
    Keywords: EIF,credit guarantees,credit constraints,real effects,small and medium-sized enterprises
    JEL: G2 H25 O16
    Date: 2019
  13. By: Matthias Efing; Harald Hau; Patrick Kampkötter; Jean-Charles Rochet
    Abstract: We argue that risk sharing motivates the bank-wide structure of bonus pay. In the presence of financial frictions that make external financing costly, the optimal contract between shareholders and employees involves some degree of risk sharing whereby bonus pay partially absorbs earnings shocks. Using payroll data for 1:26 million employee-years in all functional divisions of Austrian, German, and Swiss banks, we uncover several empirical patterns in bonus pay that are difficult to rationalize with incentive theories of bonus pay - but support an important risk sharing motive. In particular, bonuses respond to performance shocks that are outside the control of employees because they originate in other bank divisions or even outside the bank.
    Keywords: banker compensation, risk sharing, bonus pay, operating leverage
    JEL: G20 G21 D22
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Chadi, Cornelia (University of Trier); Jirjahn, Uwe (University of Trier)
    Abstract: Previous international research has shown that women are more risk averse than men. This gives rise to the question whether the gender gap in risk attitudes is shaped by the social environment. We address this question by examining risk attitudes among East and West Germans. Originated from different family policies during Germany's separation, East Germans have more equal gender roles than West Germans. Thus, if the gender gap reflects socially constructed norms, it should be smaller among East Germans. Using data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), our empirical analysis confirms this prediction. Specifically with respect to career and financial matters, the gender gap in risk tolerance is smaller among East Germans. We find no evidence that the East German gender gap has converged to the higher West German level after reunification. By contrast, the West German gap has narrowed over time.
    Keywords: risk preferences, gender roles, nurture, family policy
    JEL: D91 J16 P51
    Date: 2019–01
  15. By: Maria Bas; Pamela Bombarda; Sébastien Jean; Gianluca Orefice
    Abstract: Inequalities between workers of different skills have been growing in the era of globalization. Firms’ internationalization mode has an impact on job stability. Exporting firms are not only exposed to different foreign shocks, they also pay skill-intensive fixed costs to serve foreign markets. This implies that, for larger exporters, the labor demand for skilled workers is expected to be less volatile than for unskilled workers. In this paper we study the relationship between firms’ export activity and job stability across employment skills. Relying on detailed firm-level data from France for the period 1996-2007, we show that firms with higher export intensity exhibit a lower volatility of skilled labor demand relative to the volatility of unskilled labor demand. Our identification strategy is based on an instrumental variable approach to provide evidence on the causal effect of the export performance of the firm on the volatility of employment of different skills. Our findings suggest that exporting increases the stability of skilled jobs, but feeds the precariousness of unskilled ones.
    Keywords: exports, employment volatility, skilled labor, firm-level data
    JEL: F10 F16 L25 L60
    Date: 2019
  16. By: Cellini, Roberto; Cuccia, Tiziana; Lisi, Domenico
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate whether the services offered by museums are affected by the choices of neighbors, and we discuss whether the evidence can document that competition processes are at work. Specifically, we take into account the Italian case, where governmental and private museums co-exist. Resorting to Spatial Autoregressive Models, we show that a significant influence of neighbors’ choice concerning service supply does emerge. However, we cast several doubts that this piece of evidence can be solely due to sound competition among museums.
    Keywords: Museum; Services; Competition; Spatial dependence; Italy
    JEL: C21 L33 L83 Z10
    Date: 2019–02–09
  17. By: Wiljan van den Berge (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: We provide the first estimate of the impacts of automation on individual workers by combining Dutch micro-data with a direct measure of automation expenditures covering firms in all private non-financial industries over 2000-2016. Using an event study differences-indifferences design, we find that automation at the firm increases the probability of workers separating from their employers and decreases days worked, leading to a 5-year cumulative wage income loss of about 8% of one year’s earnings for incumbent workers.
    JEL: J23 J31 J62 J63 O33
    Date: 2019–02
  18. By: Elena Claudia Meroni; Daniela Piazzalunga; Chiara Pronzato
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of extra-school activities on children’s non-cognitive development, using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK) and focusing on children aged 7-11 years old. We classify the time spent out of school into six homogenous groups of activities, using principal component analysis, and estimate the relationship thereof with five behavioural dimensions drawn from the Strength and Difficulties questionnaire, exploiting the panel structure of the data. Results show the beneficial effects on children’s behaviour of sports, school-related activities, time with parents and household chores, while a small detrimental effect of video-screen time is detected. We test the robustness of our estimates against omitted variable bias, and the results are confirmed. We also observe that children from more advantaged backgrounds have easier access to more beneficial activities. Overall, our results suggest that different uses of time may reinforce inequalities across children from different backgrounds.
    Keywords: Child time use, Extra-curricular activities, Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire, Millennium Cohort Study, Non-cognitive development, Omitted variable bias
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2019–02
  19. By: Campbell, Stuart (University of London); Nuevo-Chiquero, Ana (University of Edinburgh); Popli, Gurleen (University of Sheffield); Ratcliffe, Anita (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between parental ethnic identity and cognitive development in ethnic minority children. This aspect of parental identity may shape children's cognitive outcomes through a direct influence on parenting behaviour, or by mediating parental access to social resources. Drawing an ethnic minority sample from a detailed UK cohort study, we find a negative association between maternal majority identity and children's cognitive test scores. This result is driven by poor households, by those who lack local family support networks, and by those who mostly speak a foreign language at home. We suggest that differential access to social resources is the most persuasive explanation of this result. Differences in parenting behaviour do not seem to play an important role.
    Keywords: ethnic identity, national identity, child development
    JEL: I21 J13 J15
    Date: 2019–01
  20. By: Haan, Peter (DIW Berlin); Hammerschmid, Anna (DIW Berlin); Schmieder, Julia (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: Case and Deaton (2015) document that, since 1998, midlife mortality rates are increasing for white non-Hispanics in the US. This trend is driven by deaths from drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol-related diseases, termed as deaths of despair, and by the subgroup of low-educated individuals. In contrast, average mortality for middle-aged men and women continued to decrease in several other high-income countries including Germany. However, average mortality rates can disguise important differences between subgroups and the phenomenon of increasing mortality rates might also be present for subpopulations in these countries. Hence, we analyze how mortality in midlife is changing for several important demographic subgroups in Germany over the 1990 to 2015 period with a focus on deaths of despair. Our results show a very clear pattern: We find that mortality rates declined between 1990 and 2015, with no increases in deaths of despair for any of the subgroups. Thus, our findings starkly contrast with those for the US.
    Keywords: mortality, lifetime inequality, causes of death, deaths of despair, Germany
    JEL: I10 I14 J11
    Date: 2019–01
  21. By: Couttenier, Mathieu; Hatte, Sophie; Thoenig, Mathias; Vlachos, Stephanos
    Abstract: We study how news coverage of immigrant criminality impacted municipality-level votes in the November 2009 "minaret ban" referendum in Switzerland. The campaign, successfully led by the populist Swiss People's Party, played aggressively on fears of Muslim immigration and linked Islam with terrorism and violence. We combine an exhaustive violent crime detection dataset with detailed information on crime coverage from 12 newspapers. The data allow us to quantify the extent of pre-vote media bias in the coverage of migrant criminality. We then estimate a theory-based voting equation in the cross-section of municipalities. Exploiting random variations in crime occurrences, we find a first-order, positive effect of news coverage on political support for the minaret ban. Counterfactual simulations show that, under a law forbidding newspapers to disclose a perpetrator's nationality, the vote in favor of the ban would have decreased by 5 percentage points (from 57.6% to 52.6%).
    Keywords: Immigration; populism; Violent Crimes; Vote
    JEL: D72 K42 L82 Z12
    Date: 2019–01
  22. By: Lisette Swart (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Wiljan van den Berge (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Karen van der Wiel (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: When children start school, parents save time and/or money. In this paper, we empirically examine the impact of these changes to the family's budget constraint on parents' working hours. Labor supply is theoretically expected to increase for parents who used to spend time taking care of their children, but to decrease for fulltime working parents because of an income effect: child care expenses drop. We show that the effect of additional time dominates the income effect in the Netherlands, where children start school (kindergarten) for approximately 20 hours a week in the month that they turn 4. Using detailed administrative data on all parents, we fi nd that the average mother's hours worked increases by 3% when her youngest child starts going to school. For their partners, who experience a much smaller shock in terms of time, the increase in hours worked is also much smaller at 0.4%.
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2019–02
  23. By: Jérôme Blanc (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie Fare (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This text contemplates the difficulties of French local currencies and the pathways to improvement, in the event of greater sustainability at the local level. After a panorama of the French local currencies , and the observation of a disappointment from a quantity viewpoint, the paper discusses requirements and improvements for a local currency (LC) to contribute to a greater sustainability at the local level. It presents the notion of the relevant territory for a local currency. It then discusses a few crucial points of improvement and the difficulties they face: the role of local governments as major partners; the need for employees in order to constitute a permanent basis for the scheme's activity and development; the need for an digital counterpart of the currency; the need for financing activities. The conditions for a ripple effect are eventually discussed.
    Keywords: France,local currencies,improvement,sustainability,ripple effects
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Weinand, Sebastian; von Auer, Ludwig
    Abstract: Over the last three decades the supply of economic statistics has vastly improved. Unfortunately, statistics on regional price levels (sub-national purchasing power parities) have been exempt from this positive trend, even though they are indispensable for meaningful spatial comparisons of regional output, income, wages, productivity, standards of living, and poverty. To improve the situation, our paper demonstrates that a highly disaggregated and reliable regional price index can be compiled from data that already exist. We use the micro price data that have been collected for Germany's Consumer Price Index in May 2016. For the computation we introduce a multi-stage version of the Country-Product-Dummy method. The unique quality of our price data set allows us to depart from previous spatial price comparisons and to compare only exactly identical products. We find that the price levels of the 402 counties and cities of Germany are largely driven by the cost of housing and to a much lesser degree by the prices of goods and services. The overall price level in the most expensive region, Munich, is about 27 percent higher than in the cheapest region. Our results also reveal strong spatial autocorrelation.
    Keywords: spatial price comparison,regional price index,PPP,CPD-method,hedonic regression,consumer price data
    JEL: C21 C43 E31 O18 R10
    Date: 2019
  25. By: Andreas Kuhn; Juerg Schweri; Stefan C. Wolter
    Abstract: Apprenticeship systems are essentially based on the voluntary participation of firms that provide (and usually also finance) training positions, often incurring considerable net training costs. One potential, yet under-researched explanation for this behavior is that firms act in accordance with the norms and expectations they face with in the local labor market in which they operate. In this paper, we focus on the Swiss apprenticeship system and ask whether local norms towards the private, rather than the public, provision of training influence firms’ decisions to offer apprenticeship positions. In line with this hypothesis, we find that the training incidence is higher in communities characterized by a stronger norm towards the private provision of training, which we measure using local results from two national-level plebiscites that explicitly dealt with the role of the state in the context of the apprenticeship system. This finding turns out to be robust to a series of alternative specifications and robustness checks, as well as to an instrumental-variable strategy that tackles the issue of potential endogeneity of normative attitudes.
    Keywords: public goods, private provision of training, social norms, normative attitudes towards the role of the state, vocational education and training, apprenticeship training
    JEL: D22 D63 H41 I22 J24
    Date: 2019
  26. By: Serratos-Sotelo, Luis (Lund University); Bengtsson, Tommy (Lund University); Nilsson, Anton (Lund University)
    Abstract: This study explores the impact an exogenous improvement in childhood health has on later-life outcomes. Using extensive and detailed register data from the Swedish Interdisciplinary Panel, we follow individuals exposed to the introduction of the first vaccine against polio in Sweden (birth cohorts 1937-1966) until adulthood in order to quantify the causal effect of polio vaccination on long-term economic outcomes. The results show that, contrary to what has been found in the literature for other health-related interventions, including other vaccines, exposure to the vaccine against polio did not seem to have any long-term effects on the studied adult economic outcomes. Upon closer inspection of how the disease affects children, this might be explained by the fact that no scarring effects from exposure to high incidence of polio were found on adult income, educational achievement, or hospitalizations, which seems to suggest that those who contracted the illness but suffered only the milder symptoms of the disease made a full recovery and had no lifelong sequels as a consequence of the condition. The absence of scarring effects is hypothesized to be related to the pathology and epidemiology of the disease itself, which infects many, but scars only those who suffer the most recognizable paralytic symptoms.
    Keywords: vaccine, polio, income, education, early-life, Sweden
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2019–01
  27. By: Thomas Cornelissen (Department of Economics, University of York, and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM)); Christian Dustmann (Department of Economics, University College London and CReAM)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of receiving additional schooling before age 5 on cognitive and noncognitive outcomes, exploiting unique school entry rules in England that cause variation in the age at school entry and the effective length of the first school year, and combining survey data with administrative school records up to 6 years after exposure. We find significant effects on both cognitive and noncognitive outcomes at ages 5 and 7, particularly so for boys with a disadvantaged parental background. At age 11, effects on cognitive outcomes have disappeared, while there is still evidence for effects on noncognitive outcomes.
    Keywords: Returns to early schooling, school entry age, child development
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2019–02
  28. By: Cummins, Neil
    Abstract: This paper analyses a newly constructed individual level dataset of every English death and probate from 1892-2016. The estimated top wealth shares match closely existing estimates. However, this analysis clearly shows that the 20th century's `Great Equalization' of wealth stalled in mid-century. The probate rate, which captures the proportion of English with any significant wealth at death rose from 10% in the 1890s to 40% by 1950 and has stagnated to 2016. Despite the large declines in the wealth share of the top 1%, from 73% to 20%, the median English person died with almost nothing throughout. All changes in inequality after 1950 involve a reshuffling of wealth within the top 30%. Further, I find that a log-linear distribution fits the empirical data better than a Pareto power law. Finally, I show that the top wealth shares are increasingly and systematically male as one ascends in wealth, 1892-1992, but this has equalized over the 20th century.
    Keywords: Big Data; economic history; inequality
    JEL: D31 N00 N33 N34
    Date: 2019–01
  29. By: Clément Malgouyres (Banque de France); Thierry Mayer (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: We investigate the role that labor costs hold in exporters’ performance. To do so, we exploit a large-scale French reform that granted most firms a tax credit proportional to the wagebill of their employees paid below a given threshold. This policy effectively translated into a cut in labor cost whose magnitude varies depending on firm-specific wage structures. We use the predicted treatment intensity based on pre-reform composition of the labor force as an instrument for the actual policy-induced firm-level change in labor costs. Although our point estimates are consistent with commonly estimated firm-level trade elasticities combined with reasonable labor shares in total costs, coefficients are found to be very noisy, suggesting lack of robust evidence of a causal effect of the policy. We discuss several potential explanations for our results as well as their implications.
    Keywords: Labor costs; Firm-level exports; Competitiveness
    JEL: H32 F14 F16 D04
    Date: 2018–08
  30. By: Julia Cage (Département d'économie); Yasmine Bekkouche (Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics (PSE))
    Abstract: What is the price of a vote? This paper investigates this consequential controversy by analyzing a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We begin by documenting the evolution of campaign finance in France, and show that both the amount and sources of campaign contributions vary widely from one candidate to another, in particular depending on their political party. We then turn to the empirical analysis and tackle a number of empirical challenges. First, we rely on recent methodological innovations to handle the special characteristics of multiparty data. Second, to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending, we propose a new instrument based on a change in legislation. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate's vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the parties and on the sources of campaign funding. According to our estimations, the price of a vote is about 6 euros for the legislative elections, and 32 euros for the municipal ones. Simulations show that small changes in spending patterns and caps can have a large impact on electoral outcomes and seats. Our results suggest that political finance needs to be tightly regulated.
    Keywords: Campaign expenditures; Campaign finance reform; Campaign financing; Elections; Multiparty electoral data
    JEL: D72 H72 P48
    Date: 2018–01

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