nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
25 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Competitive strategies, heterogeneous demand sources and firms’ growth trajectories By Caravella, Serenella; Crespi, Francesco; Guarascio, Dario; Tubiana, Matteo
  2. New evidence on disability benefit claims in the UK: The role of health and local labour market By Jennifer Roberts; Karl Taylor
  3. The 'Margin call'. Export experience and firm entry into new export markets By Matteo Bugamelli; Andrea Linarello; Roberta Serafini
  4. The Long-Term Costs of Government Surveillance: Insights from Stasi Spying in East Germany By Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
  5. Studying the Heterogeneity of European Higher Education Institutions By Renato Bruni; Giuseppe Catalano; Cinzia Daraio; Martina Gregori; Henk F. Moed
  6. Robots & the Rise of European Superstar Firms By Jens Suedekum; Nicole Woessner
  7. Anatomy of labour reserves in the Baltic countries: a snapshot 15 years after the EU accession By Olegs Krasnopjorovs
  8. Mark-up volatility in Food Value Chains: Evidence from France and Italy By Maria Garrone; Jo Swinnen
  9. Automation, offshoring, and the role of public policies By Schmidpeter, Bernhard; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  11. Female labour supply in Italy: the role of parental leave and child care policies By Francesca Carta
  12. Productivity & Innovation Competencies in the Midst of the Digital Transformation Age: A EU-US Comparison By Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
  13. The Automatisation Challenge Meets the Demographic Challenge: In Need of Higher Productivity Growth By Sandra Leitner; Robert Stehrer
  14. Does loneliness lurk in temp work? Exploring the associations between temporary employment, loneliness at work and job satisfaction By Eline Moens; Stijn Baert; Elsy Verhofstadt; Luc Van Ootegem
  15. Dissecting between plant and within-plant wage dispersion: Evidence from Germany By Baumgarten, Daniel; Felbermayr, Gabriel; Lehwald, Sybille
  16. Does Commuting Mode Choice Impact Health? By Nikita Jacob; Luke Munford; Nigel Rice; Jennifer Roberts
  17. Capital flows, real estate, and local cycles: Evidence from German cities, banks, and firms By Bednarek, Peter; te Kaat, Daniel Marcel; Ma, Chang; Rebucci, Alessandro
  18. Are There 'Ratatouille' Restaurants? On Anticorrelation of Food Quality and Hygiene By Hisayuki Yoshimoto; Andriy Zapechelnyuk
  19. The empirics of granular origins: some challenges and solutions with an application to the UK By Dacic, Nikola; Melolinna, Marko
  20. Differentiation of internal regions in the EU countries By Natalya Selivanova-Fyodorova; Vera Komarova; Jelena Lonska; Iveta Mietule
  21. Looking for the "Best and Brightest": Hiring difficulties and high-skilled foreign workers By Morgan Raux
  22. The effects of bank branch closures on credit relationships By Iconio Garrì
  23. Consumer Information and Price Transmission: Empirical Evidence By Jens-Peter Loy; Dieter Pennerstorfer; Daniela Rroshi; Christoph Weiss; Biliana Yontcheva
  24. How New Airport Infrastructure Promotes Tourism: Evidence from a Synthetic Control Approach in German Regions By Luisa Dörr; Florian Dorn; Stefanie Gäbler; Niklas Potrafke
  25. Place-based Policy and Local TFP. By Giuseppe Albanese; Guido de Blasio; Andrea Locatelli

  1. By: Caravella, Serenella; Crespi, Francesco; Guarascio, Dario; Tubiana, Matteo
    Abstract: The present paper explores the demand-pull effect of distinct demand sources (i.e. households and retailers, other firms and public sector) on Italian companies’ growth patterns. Data relies on the PEC (Indagine sulle Professioni e le Competenze) survey carried out by the Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP), which provides a rich set of information on a representative sample of Italian companies (~32.000) observed during the years 2012, 2014 and 2017. In particular, we investigate if and to what extent firm-level growth profiles are linked to the prevalent source of the demand flows that such firms face. The analysis contextually accounts for the role played by technological and knowledge-related heterogeneities in shaping the growth pattern-demand type relationship. The empirical analysis shows that the demand-pull effect on firms’ growth is heterogeneous across different types of demand sources and that the ability to seize the growth-related chances provided by distinct demand conditions is contingent on firms’ specific knowledge profiles.
    Keywords: firms,growth,demand-pull,innovation
    JEL: L1 L21 L22 L25
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Karl Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: During the 1980s and 1990s there was a steep rise in disability benefit claims in the UK, especially among older male workers, and the debate centred on the relative generosity of these benefits as well as the effects of deindustrialisation and job destruction. Since that time the disability benefit system has been subject to a series of reforms all largely aimed at reducing the number of claims and targeting benefits more closely to those with the greatest health need. At the same time the UK labour market has also evolved and in particular now has an historically low level of unemployment, accompanied by falling real earnings. In this paper we use individual longitudinal data from 2009 to 2018 in a dynamic panel framework to explore the relative importance of health status, benefit generosity and local labour market conditions for disability benefit claims in the modern UK labour market. We focus particularly on spatial variation in claims, and find that, in line with older evidence, while health status is clearly important, geographic variation in labour market conditions and benefit generosity still influence the propensity to claim those disability benefits that are conditional on not working. In addition, local benefit work capability re-assessment rates, which reflect the stringency that new procedures are being implemented locally, are an important factor. The average effects also mask important heterogeneity by sex, age, education level, income and across regions.
    Keywords: Adaptation; health; disability; employment support allowance; local labour markets
    JEL: I12 I38 J23
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Matteo Bugamelli (Bank of Italy); Andrea Linarello (Bank of Italy); Roberta Serafini (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: We use firm-level data on the universe of Italian exporters to characterize the evolution of aggregate goods exports during the period 2000-15. We first decompose aggregate annual export dynamics into the intensive and the extensive margin, where the latter is further broken down into its firm, product and market components. We document that the intensive margin and, to a lesser extent, net market entry have been the main drivers of export growth, counterbalancing the negative effect coming from firms ceasing their exporting activity. The contribution of the intensive margin comes mostly from medium-large and, especially, more productive firms, while that of net market entry is concentrated among medium-sized firms. We then focus on market entry and ask which characteristics are more significant in affecting the probability that an already-exporting firm enters a new destination market. We focus in particular on the role of export experience and show that firm-destination specific dimensions, such as the distance between the new market and the closest market already served by the firm and the contiguity between the two, play an important role. These results show the prevalence of expansion strategies that follow a proximity principle.
    Keywords: firm level data, intensive and extensive trade margins, entry into foreign markets, export experience
    JEL: F10
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Andreas Lichter; Max Löffler; Sebastian Siegloch
    Abstract: We investigate the long-run effects of government surveillance on civic capital and economic performance, studying the case of the Stasi in East Germany. Exploiting regional variation in the number of spies and administrative features of the system, we combine a border discontinuity design with an instrumental variables strategy to estimate the long-term, post-reunification effect of government surveillance. We find that a higher spying density led to persistently lower levels of interpersonal and institutional trust in post-reunification Germany. We also find substantial and long-lasting economic effects of Stasi surveillance, resulting in lower income, higher exposure to unemployment, and lower self-employment.
    Keywords: Civic capital, government surveillance, trust, economic performance, East Germany
    JEL: H11 N34 N44 P20
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Renato Bruni (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Giuseppe Catalano (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Martina Gregori (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMA), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Henk F. Moed (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: The heterogeneity of the Higher Education (HE) Institutions is one of the main critical issues in the assessment of their performance. A multi-level and multi-dimensional perspective is adopted, combining national (macro) and institution (micro) level data, and measuring both research and teaching activity integrated with performance indicators derived from the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER), CWTS Leiden Ranking, and PATSTAT patent database. Clustering and efficiency analysis are combined to characterize the heterogeneity of national HE systems in European countries, revealing the potential of using micro level data to characterize national level performance. We discover large differences between the European countries, partially due to the fact that they are in different phases of their scientific (and economic) development and of the re-structuring of their HE systems. We find evidence that universities specializing either in teaching or in research tend to have a higher efficiency than those institutions balancing research and teaching. We observe tradeoffs between undergraduate and post-graduate activities, and a “Matthew cumulative effect†seems in place on the European institutions analyzed: high quality research is able to attract external funds that stimulate innovative and patenting activities that in turn are self-reinforcing to the scientific activities. The results reveal once more the limits and dangers of one-dimensional approaches to the performance of HEIs.
    Keywords: university ; heterogeneity ; clustering ; efficiency analysis ; Europe
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Jens Suedekum; Nicole Woessner
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of a recent digital automation technology - industrial robotics - on the distribution of productivity and markups within industries. Our empirical analysis combines data on the industry-level stock of industrial robots with firms' balance sheet data for six European countries from 2004 to 2013. We find that robots dis-proportionally raise productivity in those firms that are already most productive to begin with. Those firms are able to increase their markups, while markups tend to decline for less profitable firms within the same industry, country and year. We also show that industrial robots contribute to the falling aggregate labour income share through a rising concentration of industry sales. In short, our paper suggests that robots boost the emergence of superstar firms within European manufacturing, and thereby shifts the functional income distribution away from wages and towards profits.
    JEL: D4 L11 O33
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Olegs Krasnopjorovs (Bank of Latvia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates internal and external labour reserves in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. We find considerable internal labour reserves in the form of still high natural rate of unemployment and in hidden unemployment as many economically inactive people are available for work but are not actively engaged in job seeking. The employment rate is particularly low for upper-middle-aged men, especially those without a tertiary education degree, which is likely to reflect a low incidence of lifelong learning, low digital skills and rapidly deteriorating health condition. We document low employment of youth, mirroring low prevalence of apprenticeships. In Lithuania and Latvia, there is also a postponed entry of young women into the labour market. Moreover, the employment rate of Estonian women of fertile age who hold a tertiary education degree is consistently lower than that of their EU counterparts. These internal labour reserves total more than 25 thousand people in Estonia, 55 thousand in Latvia and 85 thousand in Lithuania, corresponding to 4%–7% of the total employment in these countries. Particular targeting on ethnic minorities and people living in disadvantaged regions is essential for activating these labour reserves. Moreover, we point to considerable external labour reserves in the form of more than a half million Baltic nationals currently residing in wealthier EU countries.
    Keywords: labour market, employment, unemployment, participation, migration
    JEL: J21 J82 E24
    Date: 2019–09–30
  8. By: Maria Garrone; Jo Swinnen
    Abstract: This paper estimates firm-level mark-ups and their volatility along the agri-food value chain using the methodology of De Loecker and Warzynski (2012). We estimate mark-ups of farmers, processors, wholesalers and retailers, how they change over time, and their volatility. We use detailed micro-level data from companies from Italy and France for the period 2006-2014. We find that farmers have a significantly higher volatility of mark-ups than other agents in the agri-food value chain, such as food processors, wholesalers and retailers. The volatility is negatively related with firm size in all sectors, and especially in agriculture.
    Date: 2018–06–06
  9. By: Schmidpeter, Bernhard; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
    Abstract: We provide comprehensive evidence on the consequences of automation and offshoreability on the career of unemployed workers and the role of public policies. Using almost two decades of administrative data for Austria, we find that risk of automation is reducing the job finding probability; a problem which has increased over the past years. We show that this development is associated with increasing re-employment wages and job stability. Taken together, our findings imply a trade off between quantity and quality in these jobs. Provided training is beneficial in counteracting the negative impact of automation on the job finding rate but we find mixed effects in terms of post-unemployment wages.
    Keywords: labor market polarization,technological change,offshoring,active labor market programs,unemployment
    JEL: J64 J68 J31 J24
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Shivani Taneja (University of Essex)
    Abstract: Patterns of work have changed over the years in Britain and increasing flexibility in the labour market has been introduced. The implementation of the European Union directives in 2002 and the introduction of the Minimum Wage in 1999 as well as the New Deal programme have contributed to changes in the labour market. And growth in non-standard work has resulted in choices available to the workforce and workers can choose to work full-time or part-time, maximising their utility subject to their constraints. This is likely to have an impact on the trends in job satisfaction of the workers. Thus, using data from the British Household Panel Survey from 1991-2008, this paper addresses the following questions: are patterns of weekly working hours contributing to the narrowing gender gap in satisfaction from work of British workers? Are changes in employment profiles i.e. switching from full-time hours into part-time hours in two consecutive years or changes in economic activity, such as switching from unemployment into part-time hours or switching from unemployment into full-time jobs enhancing welfare of workers? Using logistic regression techniques, the results show that men?s hours of work are steadily declining whereas smaller variations are seen among female workers. This decline in working hours as well its negative correlation with job satisfaction suggests that hours of work play a role in narrowing gender gap in current job satisfaction of British workers. And transitions in economic activity and employment profiles affect satisfaction from work.
    Keywords: Part-time hours, National Minimum Wage, Unemployment
    JEL: J28 J16 I31
    Date: 2019–10
  11. By: Francesca Carta (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Parental leave and child care policies are the two main family-friendly programs adopted in developed countries intended to provide parents with a satisfactory work-family balance. An important goal is to foster the labour supply of mothers, usually the primary caregivers in the family. In Italy female and maternal labour supply are historically low, and the inadequacy of the parental leave and child care systems is often called into question. Based on the features of existing public policies in this area and on the international empirical evidence, we conclude that there is scope to foster quality child care support to further improve female labour supply in Italy. Moreover, increasing the length of paternity leave may help to re-balance the domestic workload among genders and overcome stereotypes.
    Keywords: Family Law, Child care, Gender, Female Labour Supply
    JEL: H40 J13 J16 J22 K36
    Date: 2019–12
  12. By: Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
    Abstract: This paper reviews the latest evidence on productivity growth by industry and innovation competencies by occupation to observe whether, beneath the productivity slowdown of the past decade in both the European Union and the United States, signs can be detected of structural performance improvements due to digital transformation. We find that in the United States, the digital-producing sector has continued to contribute strongly to aggregate productivity in recent years. While labour productivity growth in the US was only 0.6 percent from 2013-2017, as much as 0.5 percentage point (or 86 percent) was coming from digital-producing industries representing only 8.2 percent of US GDP. Other industries, which account for the remaining 92 percent of the US economy, including some of the most digital intensive-using industries, have seen a dramatic decline in their contribution to productivity growth. In the European Union, the digital-producing sector has seen a strong decline in its contribution to productivity growth, which by 2013-2017 was only one third of the US contribution at 0.15 percentage points. However, the most digital intensive-using industries contributed 4 times as much to labor productivity as in the United States, driving overall labour productivity growth from 2013-2017 up to 0.9 percentage point – 0.3 percentage points higher than in the US. A positive factor, both in the EU and in the US, is that total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the most intensive digital-producing industries, notably trade and business services has improved. Digital intensiveusing manufacturing industries generally contribute less to productivity than digital intensive-using services, partly because of slower productivity growth and partly because of their smaller size. A novel measure of innovation competencies by occupation shows that, when applied to industries, those industries with the highest competencies, also show positive productivity contributions, and the most intensive digital-using industries are strongly represented in this category. Overall, while the evidence is still thin due to time lags in the data, there are signs of positive contributions to productivity growth related to digital transformation even though those effects are still not widespread observable across the economy.
    JEL: O40 O47 O30
    Date: 2019–10
  13. By: Sandra Leitner; Robert Stehrer
    Abstract: The future of employment and labour demand growth in the dawning era of intelligent robots and other new technologies is heavily debated. This paper argues that this discussion needs to be complemented by a second trend which has been unfolding in Europe for some time, namely the demographic decline. Various demographic scenarios for many EU countries point towards a significant decline in the working-age population in the near future which puts the functioning of labour markets at risk as labour shortages become increasingly more likely and subsequently threaten economic growth. In this context, this paper gives an overview of recent trends in the growth of real value added, labour productivity and employment as well as of demographic scenarios. Based on these trends, the hypothetical increase of labour productivity growth which would be required to keep real GDP growth at its current level, despite the projected reduction in the workforce, is calculated. Results show that the hypothetical labour productivity growth rate required is about one percentage point higher than the actual growth rate, suggesting that the current labour productivity growth rate in the EU needs to more than double. A complementary econometric analysis shows that even though robots exhibit a positive impact on labour productivity growth, this is not (yet) strong enough to close the gap between the recent and the hypothetical labour productivity trend growth rate which would be required.
    JEL: J11 O33 O47
    Date: 2019–10
  14. By: Eline Moens; Stijn Baert; Elsy Verhofstadt; Luc Van Ootegem (-)
    Abstract: This research contributes to the limited literature concerning the determinants of loneliness at work, as well as to the literature on psychological outcomes associated with temporary work. More specifically, we are adding to the literature by exploring whether there is an association between working temporarily and loneliness at work and whether loneliness at work partly explains the association between working temporarily and job satisfaction. To this end, we analyse—by means of a mediation model—a unique sample of Flemish employees in the private sector. We find that employees with a temporary contract experience more loneliness at work as opposed to employees with a permanent contract. In addition, we discover that loneliness at work mediates the association between working temporarily and job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Loneliness at work, temporary work, job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J41 I31
    Date: 2019–12
  15. By: Baumgarten, Daniel; Felbermayr, Gabriel; Lehwald, Sybille
    Abstract: Using rich linked employer-employee data for (West) Germany between 1996 and 2014, we conduct a decomposition analysis based on recentered influence function (RIF) regressions to analyze the relative contributions of various plant and worker characteristics to the rise in German wage dispersion. Moreover, we separately investigate the sources of between-plant and within-plant wage dispersion. We find that industry effects and the collective bargaining regime contribute the most to rising wage inequality. In the case of collective bargaining, both the decline in collective bargaining coverage and the increase in wage dispersion among the group of covered plants have played important roles.
    Keywords: Wage inequality,Decomposition,RIF-regression,Linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J31 J51 C21 F16
    Date: 2019
  16. By: Nikita Jacob (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Luke Munford (School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, UK); Nigel Rice (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Governments around the world are encouraging people to switch away from sedentary modes of travel towards more active modes, including walking and cycling. The aim of these schemes is to improve population health and to reduce emissions. There is considerable evidence on the latter, yet relatively little on the former. This paper investigates the impact of mode choice on measures of physical and mental health as well as satisfaction with health. Using data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study from 2009-2016, our empirical strategy exploits changes in the mode of commute to identify health outcome responses. Individuals who change modes are matched with those whose mode remains constant. Overall we find that mode switches affect both physical and mental health. Specifically we find an increase in physical health for women and an increase in mental health for both genders, when switching from car to active travel. In contrast, both men and women who switch from active travel to car are shown to experience a significant reduction in their physical health and health satisfaction, and a decline in their mental health when they change from active to public transport.
    Keywords: Commuting mode; health; panel data econometrics
    JEL: C1 I1
    Date: 2019–12
  17. By: Bednarek, Peter; te Kaat, Daniel Marcel; Ma, Chang; Rebucci, Alessandro
    Abstract: Capital flows and real estate are pro-cyclical, and real estate has a substantial weight in economies' income and wealth. In this paper, we study the role of real estate markets in the transmission of bank flow shocks to output growth across German cities. The empirical analysis relies on a new and unique matched data set at the city level and the bank-firm level. To measure bank flow shocks, we show that changes in sovereign spreads of Southern European countries (the so-called GIPS spread) can predict German cross-border bank flows. To achieve identification by geographic variation, in addition to a traditional supply-side variable, we use a novel instrument that exploits a policy assigning refugee immigrants to municipalities on an exogenous basis. We find that output growth responds more to bank flow shocks in cities that are more exposed to tightness in local real estate markets. We estimate that, during the 2009-2014 period, for every 100-basis point increase in the GIPS spread, the most exposed cities grow 15-2 basis points more than the least exposed ones. Moreover, the differential response of commercial property prices can explain most of this growth differential. When we unpack the transmission mechanism by using matched bank-firm-level data on credit, employment, capital expenditure and TFP, we find that firm real estate collateral as measured by tangible fixed assets plays a critical role. In particular, bank flow shocks increase the credit supply to firms and sectors with more real estate collateral. Higher credit supply then leads firms to hire and invest more, without evidence of capital misallocation.
    Keywords: BIS Cross-border flows,Capital Flows,Collateral,City Business Cycles,Credit,Germany,Misallocation,GIPS Spread,Real Estate,Tangible Assets
    JEL: F3 R3 E3
    Date: 2019
  18. By: Hisayuki Yoshimoto (University of Glasgow); Andriy Zapechelnyuk (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: We study the empirical relationship between hygiene conditions in restaurants and their food quality rated by professional reviewers. Using evidence from the UK, we show that this relationship is negative and statistically significant. So, a higher food quality rating is generally associated with a less sanitary kitchen. We find that 3% of Michelin starred restaurants in our dataset have poor hygiene conditions, while the same is true for only 2% of non-Michelin starred restaurants.
    Keywords: Food quality, restaurants, reviews, hygiene standards, food hygiene certification
    JEL: H75 L15 D22 I18
    Date: 2019–12–19
  19. By: Dacic, Nikola (Goldman Sachs & Co); Melolinna, Marko (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We study the effects of firm-level microeconomic fluctuations on aggregate productivity in the United Kingdom. We show that a standard measure of residual productivity growth of the largest UK firms (the ‘granular residual’) produces results that are counter-intuitive and not statistically significant. To combat this, we introduce a unique production function approach to estimate firm-specific technology shocks, accounting for firm-level heterogeneity and common shocks. Using this measure, we find that firm-level shocks matter; the ‘granular residual’ explains around 30% of aggregate UK productivity dynamics. We also show that simplifications of our approach, which omit controlling for firm-level heterogeneity or do not account for common shocks, do not perform well, highlighting the importance of identifying firm-specific shocks correctly in order to properly test the ‘granularity hypothesis’.
    Keywords: business cycle; aggregate volatility; granularity hypothesis; firm-level productivity
    JEL: E23 E24 E32
    Date: 2019–12–20
  20. By: Natalya Selivanova-Fyodorova (Daugavpils University); Vera Komarova (Daugavpils University); Jelena Lonska (Rezekne Academy of Technologies); Iveta Mietule (Rezekne Academy of Technologies)
    Abstract: The aim of the article is to study safety and sustainability of differentiation of performance of internal regions (NUTS 3) in the EU countries measured by the Sub-national Human Development Index (SHDI). The authors examine differentiation of the SHDI of internal regions in the EU countries by means of correspondence of distribution of this indicator [SHDI] of regional performance to Gauss curve, as well as by analyzing the SHDI of internal regions in the EU countries with the help of the coefficient of variation. As follows from the research, the authors proved that differentiation of regional performance in the EU over the last three decades were not chaotic but they were subjected to certain regularities: the distribution of performance of internal regions is normal, with metropolitan areas almost always being leaders of regional performance; regional differences in the area that is now the EU were increasing during the collapse of the Eastern European Socialist Bloc in the early 1990s, and they were declining later, as the regions adapted to the new conditions. So, identified regularities in performance of internal regions (NUTS 3) in the EU countries-normal distribution and spatial convergence-have been considered by the authors as safe and sustainable for further development of the whole EU and its countries.
    Keywords: EU countries,internal regions,differentiation,normal distribution,spatial convergence
    Date: 2019–12–15
  21. By: Morgan Raux (Paris School of Economics & Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: This paper shows that firms' demand for high-skilled foreign workers partly results from their hiring difficulties. Relying on a within-firm identification strategy, I compare recruitment decisions made by a given employer for similar jobs differing in recruitment difficulties. I quantify how the time to fill a vacancy affects the employer's probability to look for recruiting a foreign worker. To identify this relationship, I have collected and assembled a new and original dataset at the job level. It matches online job postings to administrative data on H-1B visas applications in the US. I find that a standard deviation increase in job posting duration increases employers' probability to look for a foreign worker by 1.5 percentage points. This effect is mainly driven by firms sending only a few visa applications. It increases to 3 to 4 percentage points for architects, engineers and computer scientists.
    Keywords: H-1B work permit, hiring difficulties, web scraping
    JEL: J61 J2 C26
    Date: 2019–11
  22. By: Iconio Garrì (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of bank branch closures on individual business borrowers, using a sample of events that occurred in Italy between 2010 and 2014. I find that a branch closing down increases the probability of a credit relationship terminating. The impact is weaker the shorter the distance from an alternative branch of the bank, the longer the duration of the relationship and the greater the bank’s share of loans to the firm. However, branch closure is not generally associated with a decrease in the total amount of credit available for the firms formerly served by the closed branch. A temporary shrinkage of loans only occurs for small borrowers and short-term credit lines.
    Keywords: bank branch, closures, lending relationship, matching
    JEL: G21 D82
    Date: 2019–12
  23. By: Jens-Peter Loy; Dieter Pennerstorfer; Daniela Rroshi; Christoph Weiss; Biliana Yontcheva
    Abstract: We investigate how consumer information affects price adjustment in the Austrian retail gasoline market. Our measure of consumer information is obtained from detailed census data on commuting behavior, as commuters can freely sample prices on their commuting route and are thus better informed about prices. A threshold error-correction model suggests that prices adjust more quickly if cost shocks exceed certain thresholds. Parametric and semiparametric regressions show that a larger share of informed consumers increases both transmission speed and pass-through elasticity. Better informed consumers reduce the asymmetry in thresholds, but have no effect on the asymmetry in the speed of adjustment.
    Keywords: Price Transmission, Consumer Information, Commuters, Gasoline Market, Threshold Error-Correction Model
    JEL: D43 D83 L13
    Date: 2019–12
  24. By: Luisa Dörr; Florian Dorn; Stefanie Gäbler; Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: We examine how new airport infrastructure influences regional tourism. Identification is based on the conversion of a military air base into a regional commercial airport in the German state of Bavaria. The new airport opened in 2007 and promotes travelling to the touristic region Allgäu in the Bavarian Alps. We use a synthetic control approach and show that the new commercial airport increased tourism in the Allgäu region over the period 2008-2016. The positive effect is especially pronounced in the county where the airport is located. Our results suggest that new transportation infrastructure promotes regional economic development.
    Keywords: Airports, tourism, regional development, transportation infrastructure, synthetic control method
    JEL: O18 Z38 L93
    Date: 2019
  25. By: Giuseppe Albanese (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Andrea Locatelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Total Factor Productivity (TFP) explains most of the differences in income levels between territories. A major policy issue is whether place-based policies are capable of promoting TFP growth in backward areas. We provide some evidence of the effect of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) on local TFP growth in Southern Italy. Although TFP growth is on average rather unresponsive to EU programs, we provide some evidence of a positive effect for ERDF infrastructure investments and for areas with higher institutional quality and population density.
    Keywords: ERDF programs, TFP, manufacturing firms
    JEL: R58 O47 D24
    Date: 2019–12

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