nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒01‒27
thirty-one papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Labor market reforms and allocative efficiency in Italy By Nicolò Gnocato; Chiara Tomasi; Francesca Modena
  2. The heterogeneous employment outcomes of first- and second-generation immigrants in Belgium By Céline Piton; François Rycx
  3. Heterogeneity in Households’ Expectations of Housing Prices – Evidence from Micro Data By Hjalmarsson, Erik; Österholm, Pär
  4. New Evidence on Disability Benefit Claims in the UK: The Role of Health and the Local Labour Market By Roberts, Jennifer; Taylor, Karl
  5. Social Media Extensive Use and Emotional and Behavioural Outcomes in Adolescence: Evidence from British Longitudinal Data By McNamee, Paul; Mendolia, Silvia; Yerokhin, Oleg
  6. Merger Efficiency Gains: Evidence from a Large Transport Merger in France By Ariane Charpin; Joanna Piechuka
  7. Social Assistance Receipt among Young Adults Grown up in Different Neighbourhoods of Metropolitan Sweden By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Katz, Katarina; Österberg, Torun
  8. Building Bridges and Widening Gaps: Wage Gains and Equity Concerns of Labor Market Expansions By Bütikofer, Aline; Loken, Katrine Vellesen; Willén, Alexander
  9. Effect of Immigration on Depression among Older Natives in Western Europe By Escarce, José J.; Rocco, Lorenzo
  10. The Evolution of Inequality of Opportunity in Germany: A Machine Learning Approach By Paolo Brunori; Guido Neidhoefer
  11. Ride-Hailing Services in Germany: Potential Impacts on Public Transport, Motorized Traffic, and Social Welfare By David Ennnen
  12. Knowledge Complementarities and Patenting: Do New Universities of Applied Sciences Foster Regional Innovation? By Patrick Lehnert; Curdin Pfister; Dietmar Harhoff; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  13. The Effect of Grants on University Drop-Out Rates: Evidence on the Italian Case By Modena, Francesca; Rettore, Enrico; Tanzi, Giulia
  14. Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics : Evidence from EU countries By Giovanni Marin; Francesco Vona
  15. Finance, property rights and productivity in Italian cooperatives By Donald A R George; Eddi Fontanari; Ermanno Tortia
  16. The Tax Structure of an Economy in Crisis: Greece 2009-2017 By Chrysa Leventi; Fidel Picos
  17. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: Did Immigration Cause Brexit? By Max Viskanic
  18. Satisfaction with democracy and perceived performance of the welfare state in Europe By Sirovátka, Tomáš; Guzi, Martin; Saxonberg, Steven
  19. Urban land use fragmentation and human wellbeing By Bertram, Christine; Goebel, Jan; Krekel, Christian; Rehdanz, Katrin
  20. Is 'First in Family' a Good Indicator for Widening University Participation? By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Henderson, Morag; Shure, Nikki
  21. Hospitals' Strategic Behaviours and Patient Mobility: Evidence from Italy By Paolo Berta; Carla Guerriero; Rosella Levaggi
  22. Migration and the Location of MNEs Activities. Evidence from Italian Provinces By Luigi Benfratello; Davide Castellani; Anna D’Ambrosio
  23. Minimum Wage Non-Compliance: Evidence from Ireland By McGuinness, Seamus; Redmond, Paul; Delaney, Judith
  24. Perceived Immigration and Voting Behavior By Davide Bellucci; Pierluigi Conzo; Roberto Zotti
  25. Living arrangements across households in Europe By Chia Liu; Albert Esteve
  26. Do sustainable energy policies matter for reducing greenhouse gas emissions? By Donatella, Baiardi
  27. Ageing Calls for Shorter Full-Time Tertiary Education and Increased Continuing Education By Vincent Vandenberghe
  28. Follow the money! Combining household and firm-level evidence to unravel the tax elasticity of dividend By Laurent Bach; Antoine Bozio; Brice Fabre; Arthur Guillouzouic; Claire Leroy; Clément Malgouyres
  29. One swallow does not make a summer:Episodes and persistence in high-growth By Silviano Esteve-Pérez; Fabio Pieri; Diego Rodriguez
  30. From Micro to Macro: A Note on the Analysis of Aggregate Productivity Dynamics Using Firm-Level Data By Carlos Robalo Marques; Daniel A. Dias
  31. Career instability in a context of technological change By Lucas van der Velde

  1. By: Nicolò Gnocato; Chiara Tomasi; Francesca Modena
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which labour market reforms of temporary contracts introduced in Italy at the beginning of the century influenced aggregate productivity via their e↵ects on the eciency of resource allocation. Using firm-level data from the Italian manufacturing sector, we measure resource misallocation by computing the covariance between firm size and productivity at the sectoral-regional level. We then implement a di↵erence-in-di↵erences approach to study the impact of the reforms, exploiting the cross-region and sector di↵erences in the timing of adoption. Our results suggest that the e↵ect on allocative eciency depends on the policy considered. While the reform of apprenticeship contracts made the reallocation of resources across heterogeneous firms more eciency enhancing, the deregulation of the use of fixed-term contracts did not have, on average, the intended results. The apprenticeship reform might have induced more productive firms, in particular, to invest in human capital by hiring workers to whom they provided job training, gaining market shares in so doing. In contrast, the uncertainty related to the newly lawful motives under which firms were allowed to temporarily hire workers might have reduced the incentive to use fixed-term contracts.
    Keywords: Allocative efficiency, Resource allocation, Labor market reforms
    JEL: F10 F14 F36 G20 G32 L25
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Céline Piton (Economics and Research Department, National Bank of Belgium & Université libre de Bruxelles (SBS-EM, CEB and DULBEA), GLO, humanOrg, IRES and IZA); François Rycx (Université libre de Bruxelles (SBS-EM, CEB and DULBEA))
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the relationship between people’s migration background and their likelihood of being employed in Belgium. Using detailed quarterly data for the period 2008-2014, we find not only that first-generation immigrants face a substantial employment penalty (up to -36% points) vis-à-vis their native counterparts, but also that their descendants continue to face serious difficulties in accessing the labour market. The employment gap is, ceteris paribus, more pronounced for the first than for the second generation. Yet, intergenerational mobility patterns are found to be quite heterogeneous: although the children of immigrants from the European Union (EU) fare much better than their parents, the improvement is much more limited for those from EU candidate countries, and almost null for the second generation from the Maghreb. The situation of second-generation immigrants with only one foreign-born parent seems to be fairly good. In contrast, it appears that the social elevator is broken for descendants of two non-EU-born immigrants. Immigrant women are also found to be particularly affected, especially those originating from outside the EU. As regards education, it appears to be an important tool for fostering the labour market integration of descendants of non-EU-born immigrants. For firstgeneration immigrants, though, it proves to be much less effective overall. Focusing on the first generation, we find that: i) access to jobs increases with the duration of residence, though fairly slowly on average; ii) citizenship acquisition is associated with significantly better employment outcomes, for both EU and non-EU-born immigrants; iii) proficiency in the host country language is a key driver of access to employment, especially for non-EU-born immigrants; and iv) around a decade is needed for the employment gap between refugees and other foreign-born workers to be (largely) suppressed.
    Keywords: First- and second-generation immigrants, employment, moderating factors.
    JEL: J15 J16 J21 J24 J61
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Hjalmarsson, Erik (University of Gothenburg); Österholm, Pär (Örebro University)
    Abstract: Expectations about future housing prices are arguably an important determinant of actual housing prices, and an important input in decisions on whether and how to transact in the housing market. Using novel micro-level survey data on Swedish households, we analyse households’ expectations of housing prices and how these expectations relate to the characteristics of the respondents. Results show that age is significantly related to housing-price expectations, with the youngest households – whose adulthood largely corresponds to the extended period of rapid housing-price growth in Sweden – having the highest housing-price expectations, thus lending support to the hypothesis that expectations are influenced by personal experiences. Our findings suggest that aggregate measures of expectations might hide important features of the data, which could be of interest to policy makers when choosing regulatory actions or formulating macroprudential policies.
    Keywords: Housing prices; Survey data
    JEL: R20
    Date: 2019–12–01
  4. By: Roberts, Jennifer (University of Sheffield); Taylor, Karl (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: health, disability, employment support allowance, local labour markets
    JEL: I12 I38 J23
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: McNamee, Paul (University of Aberdeen); Mendolia, Silvia (University of Wollongong); Yerokhin, Oleg (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between social media use and emotional and behavioural outcomes in adolescence using data from a large and detailed longitudinal study of teenagers from the UK. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study in economics to analyse the effect of social media use on adolescents' mental health. We use individual fixed effects, propensity score matching and treatment effects with Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjustment, controlling for a rich set of children's and family's characteristics and using comprehensive sensitivity analyses and tests to assess the potential role of unobserved variables. Our results show that prolonged use of social media (more than 4 hours per day) is significantly associated with poorer emotional health and more behavioural difficulties, and in particular decreased perception of self-value and increased incidence of hyperactivity, inattention and conduct problems. However, limited use of social media (less than 3 hours per day) has some positive effect on peer relationships.
    Keywords: social media, mental health, fixed effects
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2019–12
  6. By: Ariane Charpin; Joanna Piechuka
    Abstract: Many industries are seeing an increase in concentration, leading to a discussion on the effectiveness of horizontal merger enforcement. The policy debate shows that one of the key arguments put forward when supporting potential mergers is the possibility of realization of merger efficiency gains, specifically in the transport industry. Yet, there exists little empirical evidence on the actual effects of realized mergers on cost efficiencies. We exploit a large and highly debated merger that took place in the French transport industry to evaluate whether a merger between two major transport groups may give rise to merger efficiency gains. We exploit the industry setting to employ a difference-in-differences methodology evaluating the effect of the merger on operating costs of merging transport groups. Our results show that the merger did not lead to any merger specific efficiency gains for the merging parties. Our study relies on the use of several control groups and is robust to a great number of robustness checks as well as to the introduction of heterogeneous treatment effects, depending on the identity of the merging party, the contract type in place, as well as the closeness of competition of local operators. Overall, our study contributes to a growing number of case studies undertaken by economists that can help determine whether horizontal merger policy is being properly enforced.
    Keywords: Ex-post Evaluation; Mergers; Transport industry; Merger cost efficiencies
    JEL: C31 L40 L50 L92
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Katz, Katarina (Karlstad University); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Using large samples of persons born in 1985 we investigate the relationship between characteristics of the neighbourhood where young people lived as adolescents and the probability that they will receive social assistance when aged 19, 20, and 21, for the three Swedish metropolitan regions – Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. We estimated logistic regressions separately for the majority population and "visible immigrants" and included several characteristics of the neighbourhood and of the parental home in the specification. The probability of social assistance receipt as a young adult is strongly positively linked to social assistance receipt in the parental home and to several other factors. The major result is that the association with social assistance receipt in the neighbourhood where a person lived at age 16 remains strong when parental receipt and a number of other neighbourhood characteristics are controlled for. We conclude that measures to increase the education qualifications and various efforts to create jobs for young adults have a potential of decrease social assistance receipt among young adults. In addition there is also room for spatially focused measures aiming to reduce residential segregation and the demand for social assistance in locations with a comparably high rate of social assistance receipt.
    Keywords: neighbourhoods, Sweden, social assistance, young adults, immigrants
    JEL: I38 J15 R23
    Date: 2020–01
  8. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Norwegian School of Economics); Loken, Katrine Vellesen (Norwegian School of Economics); Willén, Alexander (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: We exploit the construction of the Öresund bridge, which connects a medium-sized city in Sweden to the capital of Denmark, to study the labor market effects of gaining access to a larger labor market. Using unique cross-country matched registry data that allow us to follow individuals across the border, we find that the bridge led to a substantial increase in cross-country commuting among Swedish residents. This effect is driven both by extensive and intensive margin employment responses, and translates into a 15% increase in the average wage of Swedish residents. However, the wage effects are unevenly distributed: the effect is largest for high-educated men and smallest for low-educated women. Thus, the wage gains come at the cost of increased income inequality and a widening of the gender wage gap, both within- and across-households. We show that these inequality effects are driven not only by differences in the propensity to commute, but also by educational specialization.
    Keywords: labor market expansions, wages, distributional consequences
    JEL: J3 J61
    Date: 2020–01
  9. By: Escarce, José J. (University of California, Los Angeles); Rocco, Lorenzo (University of Padova)
    Abstract: To our knowledge, no study has examined the effect of immigration on the health of older natives. We use the Study of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to investigate whether immigration affects depression among natives 65-80 years old. Immigration may increase the supply and lower the price of personal and household services, a term that refers to care services and non-care services such as cleaning, meal preparation, and domestic chores. Higher consumption of personal and household services by older natives may help maintain health through a variety of pathways including reduced loneliness, greater participation in meaningful social activities, and improved physical functioning. Using a shift-share IV, we find a beneficial effect of immigration on reducing the number of depression symptoms and the probability of clinically significant depression among older natives. We also find some evidence for the hypothesized mechanisms, although our ability to come to definitive conclusions about mechanisms is limited in our data.
    Keywords: health, immigration, aging, social determinants
    JEL: I12 I14 J61
    Date: 2019–12
  10. By: Paolo Brunori (Università degli Studi di Firenze); Guido Neidhoefer (ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research)
    Abstract: We show that measures of inequality of opportunity fully consistent with Roemer (1998)’s inequality of opportunity theory can be straightforwardly estimated adopting a machine learning approach. Following Roemer, inequality of opportunity is generally defined as inequality between individuals exerting the same degree of effort but characterized by different exogenous circumstances. Due to difficulties of measuring effort, most empirical contributions so far identified groups of individuals sharing same circumstances, and then measured inequality of opportunity as between-group inequality, without considering the e↵ort exerted. Our approach uses regression trees to identify groups of individuals characterized by identical circumstances, and a polynomial approximation to estimate the degree of effort exerted. To apply our method, we take advantage of information contained in 25 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel. We show that in Germany inequality of opportunity declined immediately after the reunification, surged in the first decade of the century, and slightly declined again after 2010. The level of estimated unequal opportunity is today just above the level recorded in 1992.
    Keywords: Inequality, Opportunity, SOEP, Germany
    JEL: D63 D30 D31
    Date: 2020–01
  11. By: David Ennnen (Institute of Transport Economics, Muenster)
    Abstract: In the policy debate on ride-hailing services such as Uber, the impacts on traffic, emissions, and public transport are hotly discussed. The regulatory framework in Germany has so far prevented a widespread entry of ride-hailing providers. In this paper, we use a mode choice model and trip data to determine the likely impacts of ride-hailing services for a representative region in Germany. We find that the significantly lower fares compared to taxis lead to strong substitution of public transport, cycling, and walking. As a consequence, motorized traffic increases, despite the pooling of individual rides by ride-hailing providers. However, the total impact on mode choice and traffic remains modest, and a widespread displacement of public transport is not to be expected. The final welfare analysis shows that the emergence of ride-hailing services is beneficial for society as a whole. In particular, the benefits from lower fares exceed the external costs arising from additional motorized traffic.
    Keywords: Ride-hailing, Transportation Network Company, TNC, Taxi, Regulation, Germany
    JEL: L92 L98
    Date: 2020–01
  12. By: Patrick Lehnert; Curdin Pfister; Dietmar Harhoff; Uschi Backes-Gellner
    Abstract: This study analyzes how universities of applied sciences (UASs) - bachelor-granting three-year colleges teaching and conducting applied research - affect regional innovation. We particularly focus on regional complementarities between such applied research institutions and basic ones. We exploit variation in the location and timing of UAS establishments in Germany. To account for endogeneity, we apply fixed effects estimations and control for regional economic activity by implementing a proxy based on 30 years of satellite data. We find that UASs increase innovation with a substantially larger effect in regions where other (basic and applied) public research organizations coexist. This result indicates strong knowledge complementarities. In an additional analysis, we also find that UASs accelerate innovation in the regions belonging to the former German Democratic Republic.
    JEL: I23 O31 O38 R11
    Date: 2020–01
  13. By: Modena, Francesca (Bank of Italy); Rettore, Enrico (University of Padova); Tanzi, Giulia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the impact of need-based grants on university drop-out rates in the first year of enrollment, using student-level administrative data from all Italian universities in the period 2003-2013. We exploit the fact that not all eligible students receive financial aid due to limited resources to generate a treatment and a control group. Using this partition, we estimate the average treatment effect, i.e. the average effect on low income students, controlling for a set of observable characteristics by running regressions on blocks defined on the propensity score. Results point towards a sizeable effect of grants in reducing dropping out from higher education: around one third of these students would have left university in the first year in absence of the grants. This evidence is robust to a variety of specifications and sample selection criteria.
    Keywords: human capital, higher education, university dropout, student financial aid, blocking with regression adjustment
    JEL: I22 I23 C21 C35
    Date: 2020–01
  14. By: Giovanni Marin (Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo); Francesco Vona (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: The political acceptability of climate policies is undermined by job-killing arguments, especially for the least-skilled workers. However, evidence of the distributional impacts for different workers remains scant. We examine the associations between climate policies, proxied by energy prices, and workforce skills for 14 European countries and 15 industrial sectors over the period 1995–2011. Using a shift-share instrumental variable estimator and controlling for the influence of automation and globalization, we find that climate policies have been skill biased against manual workers and have favoured technicians. The long-term change in energy prices accounted for between 9.2% and 17.5% (resp. 4.2% and 8.0%) of the increase (resp. decrease) in the share of technicians (resp. manual workers).
    Keywords: Climate policies; Workforce skills; Employment impact; Cluster analysis; Energy prices; Shift-share instruments
    JEL: J42 Q52
    Date: 2019–11
  15. By: Donald A R George; Eddi Fontanari; Ermanno Tortia
    Abstract: Standard economic theory predicts that the accumulation of capital by means of indivisible reserves would lead to underinvestment and undercapitalization due to the truncated temporal horizon of worker members in cooperatives (the so called Furubotn-Pejovich effect). To test the real effects of collective capital on productivity, we use a large panel of Italian worker and social cooperatives to estimate the productivity effects of collective and individual reserves of capital. The panel puts together firm-level balance sheet data from Bureau van Dijk Aida database, with social security data concerning employment contracts in all Italian enterprises. Differently from previous contributions, we are able to single out firm-level employment in terms of full-time worker equivalents. We investigate the determinants of total factor productivity by means of an augmented Cobb-Douglas production function. After controlling for factor productivity, individual capital ownership, age of the organization and other standard firm-level and sectoral controls, we find a positive and significant relation between the extent of collective ownership andtotal factorproductivity. This result is robust to different specifications of the model. We interpret the result by highlighting the positive role of collective capital in strengthening financial sustainability, patrimonial and employment stability in the long run, and in favouring specific investments.
    Keywords: cooperatives, total factor productivity, self-finance, undercapitalization, collective capital, individual capital
    Date: 2019
  16. By: Chrysa Leventi (Greek Council of Economic Advisors); Fidel Picos (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The 2010 Economic Adjustment Programme initiated a period of strict international supervision with respect to tax policy in Greece. The country implemented a large-scale fiscal consolidation package, aiming to reduce its public deficit below 3% of GDP by 2016. Since the beginning of the crisis, the provisions of the ‘Greek Programme’ have been revised several times, and personal income tax reform has figured prominently on almost each of the revision agendas. This paper aims to provide an assessment of the effects of the four major structural reforms that took place in Greece during and in the aftermath of the economic crisis; using microsimulation techniques, we simulate the (ceteris paribus) first-order impact of these reforms on the distribution of incomes, the state budget and work incentives, while also trying to identify the main gainers and losers of these policy changes. Our results suggest that all reforms had a revenue-increasing rationale, with the one of 2011 being designed to have the largest fiscal gains. The latter also strengthened redistribution and achieved the highest decrease in income inequality. The 2013 reform went to the opposite direction by reducing both the redistributive strength and the progressive nature of the Greek tax system. The striking discrepancies in the ways in which different household categories have been affected by the four reforms call for a deeper investigation of the possibility of moving towards more uniform personal income tax rules.
    Keywords: EUROMOD, personal income tax, reform, Greece, redistribution, work incentives
    JEL: H24 H23 I32
    Date: 2019–12
  17. By: Max Viskanic (Sciences Po)
    Abstract: Can large immigration inflows impact electoral outcomes and specifically, what impact did immigration have on the vote in favour of leaving the European Union (Brexit) in the United Kingdom? In particular, I focus on how the increase in Polish immigration, the major group of immigrants post 2004, affected votes in favour of leaving the EU. I find a percentage point increase in Polish immigration to the UK to have caused an increase in votes in favour of Brexit of about 2.72-3.12 percentage points, depending on the specification. To obtain exogenous variation in Polish immigration, I collect data from the archives that reveals the location of Polish War Resettlement Camps after Word War II, which location is plausibly exogenous to current political outcomes. Discussing potential mechanisms, I examine public opinion data in the British Election Study 2015 and find evidence of adversity towards immigration to be a root cause. Other considerations such as the National Health Service (NHS), incumbency and the general trust in politicians as well as the political institutions seem not to play a role.
    Keywords: Political Economy; Voting; Migration; Brexit; EU; UK
    Date: 2020–01
  18. By: Sirovátka, Tomáš; Guzi, Martin; Saxonberg, Steven
    Abstract: This paper tests several hypotheses to explain the link between satisfaction with democracy and welfare state performance. In conducting multilevel analysis we use data on the contextual and institutional conditions including the welfare state regimes as well as data from European Social Survey 2012 special module on democracy. Our results show that a discrepancy between the desired policy goal and perceived policy outcome of the welfare state (policy deficit) influences the perceptions of citizens of how democracy works. In particular, social policies aimed at reducing poverty correlates positively with one’s satisfaction with democracy.
    Keywords: satisfaction with democracy, welfare state, policy deficit, welfare regimes, post-communist countries
    JEL: H53 I3
    Date: 2019–05–01
  19. By: Bertram, Christine; Goebel, Jan; Krekel, Christian; Rehdanz, Katrin
    Abstract: We study how urban land use fragmentation affects the subjective wellbeing of city residents. Therefore, we calculate fragmentation metrics based on the European Urban Atlas for 15,000 households in the German Socio-Economic Panel. Using random and fixed effects specifications, we find that fragmentation has little impact on wellbeing when aggregating over all land use types. Looking at particular land use types, however, we find that wellbeing is positively affected by lower average degrees of soil sealing, larger shares of vegetation, and a more heterogeneous configuration of medium and low density urban fabric, especially in areas with above average population density.
    Keywords: Urban Land Use,Urban Land Use Fragmentation,Subjective Wellbeing,Life Satisfaction,Spatial Analysis,SOEP,GIS
    JEL: C23 Q51 Q57 R20
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (UCL Institute of Education); Henderson, Morag (UCL Institute of Education); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: Universities use 'first in family' or 'first generation' as an indicator to increase the diversity of their student intake, but little is known about whether it is a good indicator of disadvantage. We use nationally representative, longitudinal survey data linked to administrative data from England to provide the first comprehensive analysis of this measure. We employ parametric probability (logit) and non-parametric classification (random forest) models to look at its relative predictive power of university participation and graduation. We find that being first in family is an important barrier to university participation and graduation, over and above other sources of disadvantage. This association seems to operate through the channel of early educational attainment. Our findings indicate that the first in family indicator could be key in efforts to widen participation at universities.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, higher education, widening participation, first in family, first generation, educational mobility, machine learning, predictive models
    JEL: I23 I24 J24
    Date: 2019–12
  21. By: Paolo Berta (Università di Milano-Bicocca); Carla Guerriero (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Rosella Levaggi (Università di Brescia)
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to explore hospitals' behaviours in attracting extra-regional patients and to investigate the effects of these behaviours on the quality of care to resident patients in a context where choices by regional patients are constrained by a budget cap and extra-regional patients are unconstrained source of revenue. Empirical results suggest that, controlling for hospital fixed effects, patients' demographic and health characteristics, hospitals use waiting times and length of stay to attract exra-regional patients. Regional patients admitted in both private and public hospitals with higher proportions of extra-regional patients show lower mortality rates and reimbursement costs. These results suggest that competition increases the quality of care and reduces costs through spillover effects produced by the market for extra-regional patients. Finally, the pattern of reimbursement asked for extra-regional care generates a financial flow in favour of richer regions, exacerbating the north-south gradient in the Italian NHS.
    Keywords: Hospital competition, patient mobility, mixed market, quality of care.
    JEL: H51 H77 D6 C70
    Date: 2020–01–23
  22. By: Luigi Benfratello (Politecnico di Torino and CSEF); Davide Castellani (Henley Business School, University of Reading); Anna D’Ambrosio (Politecnico di Torino)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the link between migration and inward FDI in narrow geographies. Our results, based on 1,147 greenfield investment projects made by 895 MNEs into Italian provinces (NUTS3) over the 2003-2015 period, confirm a positive effect of the stock of immigrants on FDI, but no robust effects of emigrants. However, beyond this average effect lies significant heterogeneity. By unraveling this heterogeneity, we shed light on the potential mechanisms underlying this relation. Our results are consistent with an important role of demand and information channels, but not with an effect through the labour market. On the one hand, immigrants are not a factor that attracts more labour-intensive investments. On the other hand, the effect of immigrants is stronger when information and, to a lesser extent, market demand are more important. Overall, our paper bears significant implications for local development policy that partially contrast with the current public discourse on immigration.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Migration, Location Choice, Information Effect, Demand Effect, Conditional Logit, Mixed Logit
    JEL: F22 F21 R30
    Date: 2019–12
  23. By: McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin); Redmond, Paul (ESRI, Dublin); Delaney, Judith (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: We use a unique question from the Irish Labour Force Survey that captures the reasons for workers being paid below the minimum wage. Compared to existing work, this allows us to more precisely identify sub-minimum wage workers. We find that 5.6 percent of minimum wage workers are paid below the minimum wage for reasons other than those permitted under legislation. This is considerably lower than estimates reported in the existing literature.
    Keywords: non-compliance, minimum wage
    JEL: J22 J23 J31 J32
    Date: 2020–01
  24. By: Davide Bellucci; Pierluigi Conzo; Roberto Zotti
    Abstract: A growing number of studies have found significant effects of inflows of migrants on electoral outcomes. However, the role of perceived immigration, which in many European countries is above official migration statistics, is overlooked. This paper investigates the effects of perceived threat of immigration on voting behavior, by looking at whether local elections in Italy were affected by sea arrivals of refugees before the election day. While, upon arrival, refugees cannot freely go to the destination municipality, landing episodes were discussed in the media especially before the elections, thereby influencing voters’ perceptions about the arrivals. We develop an index of exposure to arrivals that varies over time and across municipalities depending on the nationality of the incoming refugees. This index captures the impact of perceived immigration on voting behavior, on top of the effects of real immigration as proxied for by the stock of immigrants and the presence of refugee centers. Results show that, in municipalities where refugees are more expected to arrive, participation decreases, whereas protest votes and support for extreme-right, populist and anti-immigration parties increase. Since these effects are driven by areas with fast broadband availability, we argue that anti-immigration campaigns played a key role.
    Keywords: Immigration; Voting; Political Economy; Populism; Electoral campaigns; Media exposure.
    JEL: D62 P16 J61
    Date: 2019
  25. By: Chia Liu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Albert Esteve
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Donatella, Baiardi
    Abstract: Yes, they matter. To reply to this question, we assess the impact of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies on six different air pollutants: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxides (N2O), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), nitrogenoxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the case of the Italian provinces in the decade 2005-2015. The empirical analysis is performed in a panel data context by means of propensity score matching with multiple treatment, since our framework is characterized by the presence of two treatments, corresponding to the two different energy policies analyzed, i.e. energy efficiency policy and renewable policy. These two policies can be applied by each province as mutually exclusive strategies or as joint strategies. Our results show that renewable policies are the most effective in terms of climate goals especially when implemented on a local scale, while energy efficiency policies alone are in effective. Moreover, the success of these policies depends on the type of pollutant to be reduced. Finally, we note that the effect of these two policies was reinforced by the counter-cyclical fiscal policies implemented to contrast the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency policies; Renewable energy policies; Global air pollutants; Local air pollutants; Propensity score matching with multiple treatment; Italian provinces.
    JEL: Q50 Q40 Q53 Q58 Q48 Q20
    Date: 2020–01
  27. By: Vincent Vandenberghe (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Population ageing requires a better-educated workforce capable of producing more of the goods and services consumed by a fast-rising number of old dependent individuals. At the same time, an ageing society badly needs its educated youth to rapidly become economically productive. In other words, the opportunity cost of educating young adults, particularly on a full-time basis, is on the rise. This paper argues that, in an ageing society, the challenge of policy-making is to find ways to foster education while limiting the time young adults spend in full-time tertiary education. In many countries, this probably implies compressing the theoretical duration of degrees (BA in 2 years instead of 3, MA in 4 years instead of 5) and introducing age-based financial incentives to reduce the time to graduation. For instance, the State subsidy (a grant) could be turned into an interest-charging loan beyond the age of 22. In all countries, the challenge is also to rediscover the virtues of massive continuing/part-time/evening education : a formula that enables people who work to acquire/update skills at a very low opportunity cost. The financing of the direct costs of massive continuing education could take the form of State/employer-subsidised educational stipends granted to adults every 5 years beyond the age of 22.
    Keywords: Ageing, Time to Degree, Tertiary Education, Incentives
    JEL: I22 J1 H52
    Date: 2020–01–02
  28. By: Laurent Bach (ESSEC Business School - Essec Business School, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics); Antoine Bozio (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, Institute for Fiscal Studies); Brice Fabre (PSE - Paris School of Economics, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Arthur Guillouzouic (PSE - Paris School of Economics, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, IEP Paris - Sciences Po Paris - Institut d'études politiques de Paris); Claire Leroy (IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Clément Malgouyres (IPP - Institut des politiques publiques - PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the tax elasticity of dividends using two recent French re- forms: a hike in the dividend tax rate followed, five years later, by a cut. To follow the cash movements within the balance sheets of households and firms caused by these reforms, we use newly-accessible personal and cor- porate tax registries. Following the tax increase, the elasticity of dividends equals four and there is no shifting towards other personal income cate- gories. We find instead an increase in companies' spending. After the tax decrease, payouts revert to their initial level, but not enough to offset the amounts received during the high-tax period.
    Keywords: Firm behavior,Dividend tax,Intertemporal income shifting
    Date: 2019–12
  29. By: Silviano Esteve-Pérez; Fabio Pieri; Diego Rodriguez
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the episodes (spells) of high-growth in firm size and tracks their length in a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms observed over about two decades. The use of duration models allows us (i) to take a year-on-year perspective in the analysis of episodes and persistence in high-growth, (ii) to study the determinants of the transitions to and from the high-growth state, and (iii) to check if these factors change their role across the business cycle.
    Date: 2020–01
  30. By: Carlos Robalo Marques; Daniel A. Dias
    Abstract: In the empirical literature, the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level productivity has mostly been based on changes in the mean of log-productivity. This paper shows that there can be substantial quantitative and qualitative differences in the results relative to when the analysis is based on changes in the mean of productivity, and discusses the circumstances under which such differences are likely to happen . We use firm-level data for Portugal for the period 2006-2015 to illustrate the point. When the mean of productivity is used, we estimate that TFP and labor productivity for the whole economy increased by 17.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, over this period. But, when the mean of log-productivity is used, we estimate that these two productivity measures declined by 4.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Similarly disparate results are obtained for productivity decompositions regarding the contributions for productivity growth of surviving, entering and exiting rms.
    JEL: D24 E32 L25 O47
    Date: 2019
  31. By: Lucas van der Velde (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE); Warsaw School of Economics)
    Abstract: Previous literature shows similar changes in employment structure in several developed economies over the last two decades: notably an increase in employment shares of occupations at the top and at the bottom of the income distribution. Yet, evidence comes mostly from aggregated data, whereas individual level analysis are lacking. As such, relevant questions on the mechanisms suggested by theory are left unanswered. This research proposes to close this gap in the literature by analyzing panel data from Germany and Great Britain. By studying two dissimilar countries, that nonetheless experienced a similar pace of technological progress, one can test how general results are to varying institutional configurations. The analysis suggests there is a relation between technological progress and career patterns. Workers in those occupations where a greater share of tasks can be automated present more unstable careers (in Great Britain) and longer unemployment spells (in Germany). This finding is statistically significant, and to some extent robust to several specification tests; however, the effect is small in economic terms. These results are at odds with theoretical insights and suggest the need to improve existing models of technological change and employment dynamics.
    Keywords: technological change, career changes, non-employment spells, Great Britain, Germany
    JEL: J23 J24
    Date: 2020

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