nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
twenty-six papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. : Does retirement affect secondary preventive care use? Evidence from breast cancer screening By Peter Eibich; Léontine Goldzahl
  2. Lift the Ban? Initial Employment Restrictions and Refugee Labour Market Outcomes By Fasani, Francesco; Frattini, Tommaso; Minale, Luigi
  3. Women on Top Management Teams and Firm Performance in German Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Moderating Role of Recruiting Source By Kristina Reineke; Holger Steinmetz; Rodrigo Isidor; Rüdiger Kabst
  4. Cultural Gender Norms and Neighbourhood Exposure: Impacts on the Gender Gap in Math By Ericsson, Sanna
  5. The geographical psychology of recent graduates in the Netherlands: Relating enviornmental factors and personality traits to location choice By Hooijen, Inge; Bijlsma, Ineke; Cörvers, Frank; Poulissen, Davey
  6. Digital technologies and firm performance: Evidence from Europe By Cathles, Alison; Nayyar, Gaurav; Rückert, Désirée
  7. Generation Z: A comparative study of the expectations of Gen Z and the perception of employers By Böhlich, Susanne; Axmann, Richard
  8. The growing digital divide in Europe and the United States By Rückert, Désirée; Veugelers, Reinhilde; Weiss, Christoph
  9. Exposure to Transit Migration, Public Attitudes and Entrepreneurship By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Ajzenman, Nicolás; Guriev, Sergei
  10. Working from Home, Wages, and Regional Inequality in the Light of COVID-19 By Michael Irlacher; Michael Koch
  11. Are Universities Important for Explaining Unequal Participation in Student Mobility? A Comparison between Germany, Hungary, Italy and the UK By Schnepf, Sylke V.; Bastianelli, Elena; Blaskó, Zsuzsa
  12. The German Job Search Panel By Hetschko, Clemens; Eid, Michael; Lawes, Mario; Schöb, Ronnie; Stephan, Gesine
  13. Redistribution within the tax-benefit system in Austria By Christl, Michael; Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Lorenz, Hanno; Kucsera, Dénes
  14. Corporate Hierarchies and Labor Institutions By Filippo Belloc; Gabriel Burdin; Fabio Landini
  15. The Timing of Early Interventions and Child and Maternal Health By Jonas Lau-Jensen Hirani; Hans Henrik Sievertsen; Miriam W�st; Johannes Wohlfart
  16. The Health Returns of University Eligibility By Heckley, Gawain; Nordin, Martin; Gerdtham, Ulf-G.
  17. Smart Specialization Strategies at National, Regional, or Local Levels? Synergy and Policy-making in German Systems of Innovation By Henriette Ruhrmann; Michael Fritsch; Loet Leydesdorff
  18. The Effect of Unfair Chances and Gender Discrimination on Labor Supply By Gagnon, Nickolas; Bosmans, Kristof; Riedl, Arno
  19. Do Female Role Models Reduce the Gender Gap in Science? Evidence from French High Schools By Breda, Thomas; Grenet, Julien; Monnet, Marion; Van Effenterre, Clémentine
  20. Modeling R&D spillovers to productivity. The effects of tax policy By Thomas von Brasch; Ådne Cappelen; Håvard Hungnes; Terje Skjerpen
  21. The Perceived Well-being and Health Costs of Exiting Self-Employment By Nikolova, Milena; Nikolaev, Boris; Popova, Olga
  22. The German housing market cycle: Answers to FAQs By Kajuth, Florian
  23. Foreign acquisitions – A shortcut to higher productivity and expansion in smaller firms? By Eliasson, Kent; Hansson, Pär; Lindvert, Markus
  24. Commitments and sunk costs in private mobility: A study of Swiss households facing green transport choices By Jeremy van Dijk; Mehdi Farsi; Sylvain Weber
  25. Reforming Tax and Welfare: Social Justice and Recovery after the Pandemic By FitzRoy, Felix; Jin, Jim
  26. The Wealth of Parents: Trends over Time in Assortative Mating Based on Parental Wealth By Sander Wagner; Diederik Boertien; Mette Goertz

  1. By: Peter Eibich; Léontine Goldzahl
    Abstract: Population ageing is expected to increase the burden of non-communicable diseases, e.g., cardiovascular diseases and cancer. These diseases are amenable to prevention, such as lifestyle changes (primary prevention) and early detection (secondary prevention), and thus prevention is considered to be one of the keys to maintaining the health of an ageing population. This paper examines the causal impact of retirement on secondary preventive care use. While we focus on breast cancer screening, we also provide evidence for other types of screening such as cervical cancer screening. We use five waves of data from the Eurobarometer surveys conducted between 1996 and 2006, covering 25 different European countries. We address the endogeneity of retirement by using age thresholds for pension eligibility as instrumental variables. We find that retirement reduces secondary preventive care use. This effect is not driven by changes in health or income. Instead, our evidence suggests that generosity of the social health insurance system and women’s beliefs concerning cancer prevention and treatment are important mechanisms.
    Keywords: Europe; retirement; health behavior; instrumental variables; preventive care; breast cancer
    JEL: I12 I18 J26 C26
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Fasani, Francesco (Queen Mary, University of London); Frattini, Tommaso (University of Milan); Minale, Luigi (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This article investigates the medium to long-term effects on refugee labour market outcomes of the temporary employment bans being imposed in many countries on recently arrived asylum seekers. Using a newly collected dataset covering almost 30 years of employment restrictions together with individual data for refugees entering European countries between 1985 and 2012, our empirical strategy exploits the geographical and temporal variation in employment bans generated by staggered introduction and removal coupled with frequent changes at the intensive margin. We find that exposure to a ban at arrival reduces refugee employment probability in post-ban years by 15%, an impact driven primarily by lower labour market participation. These effects are not mechanical, since we exclude refugees who may still be subject to employment restrictions, are non-linear in ban length, confirming that the very first months following arrival play a key role in shaping integration prospects, and last up to 10 years post arrival. We further demonstrate that the detrimental effects of employment bans are concentrated among less educated refugees, translate into lower occupational quality, and seem not to be driven by selective migration. Our causal estimates are robust to several identification tests accounting for the potential endogeneity of employment ban policies, including placebo analysis of non-refugee migrants and an instrumental variable strategy. To illustrate the costs of these employment restrictions, we estimate a EUR 37.6 billion output loss from the bans imposed on asylum seekers who arrived in Europe during the so-called 2015 refugee crisis.
    Keywords: asylum policies, economic assimilation, asylum seekers
    JEL: F22 J61 K37
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Kristina Reineke (University of Paderborn); Holger Steinmetz (Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information); Rodrigo Isidor (University of Bayreuth); Rüdiger Kabst (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Despite substantial research, evidence regarding the relationship between the proportion of women on top management teams (TMTs) and firm performance is still inconclusive. Building on upper echelons theory, this paper expands the discussion of potential moderating effects in this regard by applying a complementary perspective to the commonly studied organization-oriented factors. Applying a person-oriented perspective to the composition of TMTs, this study argues that the recruiting source of TMT members – whether members were recruited from the owner’s family, from the internal job market or the external job market – leads to differences in the job-relevant characteristics of TMT members. Consequently, the recruiting source should moderate the relationship between TMT gender composition and performance. Our analysis of 1025 German medium-sized enterprises (MEs) shows that there is no main effect of the proportion of women on firm performance. However, recruiting from the owner’s family and the internal labor market have a significant negative moderating influence on the relationship between the proportion of women on TMTs and firm performance. Conversely, hiring externally exerts a significant positive effect.(abstract of the paper)
    Keywords: top management team; gender; proportion of women; performance; person-oriented moderators; recruiting
    JEL: J16 L25 M12 M14
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Ericsson, Sanna (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the interaction between cultural norms and neighbourhood characteristics. I estimate the effect of cultural gender norms on the gender gap in math, and explore whether this effect is mitigated by municipality gender equality. I use high-quality Swedish administrative data on the results of national standardised math tests. To separate the effect of cultural gender norms from formal institutions, I estimate the effect of mothers' source-country gender norms on the gender gap in math for second-generation immigrants. By contrasting the outcomes of opposite-sex siblings, I show that the sibling gender gap in math increases with mothers' adherence to traditional gender norms; such that girls with more gender-traditional mothers perform worse relative to their brothers. To investigate whether the cultural gender norm effect can be mitigated by municipality gender equality, I exploit a refugee placement policy to obtain random variation in municipality characteristics. I show that municipality gender equality can almost completely mitigate the negative cultural norm effect. Taken together, my results imply that while cultural gender norms play an important role for the gender gap in math, they are not immune to the effects of neighbourhood exposure.
    Keywords: cultural gender norms; math gender gap; epidemiological approach; refugee placement policy; sibling fixed effects
    JEL: I21 I24 J15 J16 Z13
    Date: 2020–04–15
  5. By: Hooijen, Inge (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work); Bijlsma, Ineke (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Dynamics of the labour market); Cörvers, Frank (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE, ROA / Human capital in the region, RS: FdR Institute ITEM); Poulissen, Davey (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Training and employment)
    Abstract: There is ample evidence from different research disciplines that location factors such as employment opportunities or the availability of amenities and facilities are a powerful predictor of settlement behaviour. Recent research suggests that citizens’ mean personality traits could be an additional predictor of where young people settle. We therefore explore 1) the extent to which recent graduates in the Netherlands are geographically clustered with respect to five different personality traits, 2) whether the geographical clustering of graduates is intensified as they grow older, 3) how regional environmental characteristics are related to personality traits, and 4) the extent to which personality traits play a role in graduates’ location choices. Our results reveal a distinct geographical clustering of personality traits among the different regions in the Netherlands. We also show that this geographical clustering becomes more blurred as graduates age. The results furthermore show robust associations between personality traits and several environmental characteristics with respect to demographic, economic, health, political, sociocultural, crime, and religious outcomes. In addition, we show that personality traits play a role in graduates’ location choices. Economic factors seem to have a larger impact in determining location choices than personality traits.
    JEL: J61 R23 D91
    Date: 2020–02–17
  6. By: Cathles, Alison; Nayyar, Gaurav; Rückert, Désirée
    Abstract: As the productivity of the European economy shows signs of slowing down, many hopes are pinned on digital technologies to reverse this trend. This study uses data from the EIBIS 2019 survey to examine whether the adoption of different digital technologies (such as advanced robotics, 3D printing, or Internet of Things) by firms in the EU have different impacts on productivity. It also examines whether these different technologies have different implications for employment growth, and whether there are complementarities between technologies when it comes to firm performance.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Böhlich, Susanne; Axmann, Richard
    Abstract: Employers currently encounter more and more members of Generation Z - who finished their school as well as university education - without knowing exactly what this generation wishes and needs. This paper verifies current assumptions about Generation Z with a quantitative study in Germany, consisting of two parts. As a first step, members of Generation Z (n = 103) were queried upon their work attitudes while in a second step, company representatives (n = 48) were asked about their assumptions on the adolescents' preferences. Thus, not only conclusions on young adults could be drawn, but also on the (lack of) knowledge about Generation Z of their employers. The prior assumption that the young generation would be difficult to employ inter alia due to their refusal of a work-life blending, lacking career orientation, and inability to take feedback could not be supported. In fact, Generation Z seems to be committed as well as motivated to work for their professional success. Employers showed a decent understanding of their young employees, though there seem to be a couple of misapprehensions.
    Keywords: Generation Z,work attitudes,desired workplace design,leadership,feedback culture
    JEL: M12 M50
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Rückert, Désirée; Veugelers, Reinhilde; Weiss, Christoph
    Abstract: Using a new survey on digitalisation activities of firms in the EU and the US, we identify digitalisation profiles based on the current use of digital technologies and future investment plans in digitalisation. Our analysis confirms the trend toward digital polarisation and a growing digital divide in the corporate landscape with, on one side, many firms that are not digitally active, and on the other side, a substantial number of digitally active firms forging ahead. Old small firms, with less than 50 employees and more than 10 years old, are significantly more likely to be persistently digitally non-active. We show that these persistently non-digital firms are less likely to be innovative, increase employment or command higher mark-ups. These trends are likely to exacerbate the digital divide across firms in the EU and the US.
    Keywords: digital technology,investment,firm performance
    JEL: D22 E22 L25
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Ajzenman, Nicolás; Guriev, Sergei
    Abstract: Does exposure to mass migration affect economic behavior, attitudes and beliefs of natives in transit countries? In order to answer this question, we use a unique locality-level panel from the 2010 and 2016 rounds of the Life in Transition Survey and data on the main land routes taken by migrants in 18 European countries during the refugee crisis in 2015. To capture the exogenous variation in natives’ exposure to transit migration, we construct an instrument that is based on the distance of each locality to the optimal routes that minimize travelling time between the main origin and destination cities. We first show that the entrepreneurial activity of natives falls considerably in localities that are more exposed to mass transit migration, compared to those located further away. We then explore the mechanisms and find that our results are likely to be explained by a decrease in the willingness to take risks as well as in the confidence in institutions. We also document an increase in the anti-migrant sentiment while attitudes towards other minorities remained unchanged. We rule out the possibility of out-migration of natives or of trade-related shocks (potentially confounded with the mass-transit migration) affecting our results. Using locality-level luminosity data, we also rule out any effect driven by changes in economic activity. Finally, we find no statistically significant effects on other labor market outcomes, such as unemployment or labor force participation.
    Date: 2020–04–21
  10. By: Michael Irlacher; Michael Koch
    Abstract: We use the most recent wave of the German Qualifications and Career Survey and reveal a substantial wage premium in a Mincer regression for workers performing their job from home. The premium persists within narrowly defined jobs and after controlling for workplace activities and accounts to more then 10%. In a next step, we provide evidence on substantial regional variation in the share of jobs that can be done from home across NUTS2 districts in Germany. Our results suggest that the COVID-19 crisis might affect already poorer regions more heavily as a lower share of workers can work from home there. Hence, looking at regional disparities in terms of different types of occupations is central for policy makers in choosing the right economic policies to mitigate the consequences of the crisis.
    Keywords: working from home, COVID-19, regional disparities, home office, BIBB-BAuA
    JEL: J31 J22 J61 R10
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Schnepf, Sylke V. (European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre); Bastianelli, Elena (University of Turin); Blaskó, Zsuzsa (European Commission)
    Abstract: Policies supporting international student mobility prepare young people for the challenges of global and multicultural environments. However, disadvantaged students have lower participation rates in mobility schemes, and hence benefit less from their positive impacts on career progression. Therefore, policy makers aim to make mobility programmes more inclusive. Nevertheless, it is far from clear how policy design can achieve this aim. This study investigates factors driving unequal mobility uptake. It goes beyond existing research by not only focusing on individual choices but also on university characteristics, like university segregation, excellence and student support. In addition, the study is novel in comparing rich graduate survey and administrative data merged with university level ETER data across four countries. Multilevel regression results show consistently across all countries that disadvantaged students do not only lose out on mobility experience due to their background but also due to them being clustered in universities with lower mobility opportunities. Universities' support and excellence while important for explaining mobility uptake do not appear to mitigate unequal uptake in any of the countries examined.
    Keywords: student support, segregation, inequality, unequal uptake, Erasmus+, international student mobility, university excellence, Germany, Hungary, Italy, UK
    JEL: I23 I24 D63 D02
    Date: 2020–04
  12. By: Hetschko, Clemens; Eid, Michael; Lawes, Mario; Schöb, Ronnie; Stephan, Gesine
    Abstract: This report introduces the German Job Search Panel, a longitudinal survey that follows people who register as job seeking over the course of up to two years. The focus of the survey is on job seekers’ well-being and health. An innovative survey app is used to allow for frequent measurement every month and for conducting the experience sampling method. The collected data may be linked to administrative records of the Federal Employment Agency, provided that people give their consent. A subsample of surveyed job seekers took part in hair sampling to measure their cortisol levels. In this report, we describe the sampling procedure, adjustments over the recruitment period and the collected data. We moreover examine selective participation in the panel. It turns out that high-skilled workers, young individuals and women were more likely to sign up. Age increases the probability to take part in the hair sampling. People working in East Germany were more likely to consent to the linkage of survey data and administrative records.
    Date: 2020–04–22
  13. By: Christl, Michael; Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Lorenz, Hanno; Kucsera, Dénes
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyze redistribution within the Austrian tax-benefit system. In this work we take a comprehensive view and include not only direct taxation and cash benefits, but also indirect taxes and in-kind transfers. We look at two kinds of redistribution: between the households belonging to different income groups, and between generations, taking the life-cycle perspective. Our analysis shows that indirect taxes, as known from the previous literature, have a regressive effect on the tax-benefit system. On the contrary, in-kind benefit seem to have a progressive effect. To analyse the impact of both, we extend our income concept by both, indirect taxes and in-kind benefits. If we look on the distributional impact, we find that the inequality-enhancing effect of indirect taxes is more than off-set by the inequality-reducing effect of in-kind benefits. The Gini coefficient increases form 0.24 to 0.26 due to indirect taxes, but when adding in-kind ben- efits, the Gini coefficient is reduced to 0.23. The overall effect of both, indirect taxes and in-kind benefits is progressive.
    Keywords: tax-benefit model,EUROMOD,welfare state,Austria,in-kind benefits
    JEL: I38 H24 D31
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Filippo Belloc; Gabriel Burdin; Fabio Landini
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether labor institutions affect the design of firm hierarchies. We rationalize the role of workplace employee representation (ER) within an otherwise standard knowledgebased model of hierarchies as developed by Garicano (2000), where the firm’s optimal choice of hierarchical layers depends on the trade-off between communication and knowledge acquisition costs. To explore the empirical validity of our framework, we rely on establishment-level data on a sample of more than 18000 private-sector workplaces in Europe. We uncover a set of novel descriptive facts regarding the structure and change in corporate hierarchies under the presence of employee representatives. In particular, ER is positively correlated with the depth of hierarchy (number of vertical layers), while there is no significant association between ER and delayering. These relationships appear to be mediated by firm size. We also document that delayering does not translate into greater worker empowerment, although the presence of ER reduces the probability of functional centralization among delayered establishments. Moreover, the presence of ER correlates with the frequency of staff meetings and the accumulation of noncodifiable productive knowledge through job training and skill development. The analysis of managers’ perceptions suggests the higher frequency of meetings in firms with ER does not lead to more delays in the implementation of organizational changes. Taken together, our findings indicate that the effect of ER on the firm hierarchy is driven by a reduction in communication costs rather by an increase in knowledge acquisition costs, facilitating the flow of information to top decision makers possibly through skip-level reporting.
    Keywords: Firm hierarchy, Delayering, Employee representation, European Company Survey
    JEL: J51 L23 M11
    Date: 2020–04
  15. By: Jonas Lau-Jensen Hirani (The Danish Center for Social Science Research (VIVE)); Hans Henrik Sievertsen (The Danish Center for Social Science Research (VIVE)); Miriam W�st (Goethe University, Frankfurt); Johannes Wohlfart (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: What is the impact of timing of early-life investment policies on child and maternal health? Exploiting variation from a 2008 Danish nurse strike, we study this question in the context of universal nurse home visiting. We show that early but not later strike exposure increases child (and mother) general practitioner contacts in the first four years after childbirth. Mothers, who forgo an early nurse visit (rather than a later one), have a higher probability of mental health specialist contacts in the first two years after childbirth. We highlight two channels for these results, screening and information provision: We show that nurses perform well in identifying maternal mental health risks during early home visits in control years (likely preventing longer-term problems). Finally, we show that first-born children and children of parents without a health-related education drive our results. A stylized calculation confirms that shortrun health benefits from early universal home visiting outweigh costs.
    Keywords: Early-life health, early interventions, nurse home visiting, parental investments
    JEL: I11 I12 I14 I18 I21
    Date: 2020–03–23
  16. By: Heckley, Gawain (Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Sweden); Nordin, Martin (AgriFood Economics Centre, Lund University); Gerdtham, Ulf-G. (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper exploits an arbitrary university eligibility rule in Sweden combined with regression discontinuity to estimate the impact of university education on health derived demand for medical care. We find a clear jump in university attendance due to university eligibility of between 10 and 14 percentage points. For females this implies a 30-40% drop in self-harm. For males it coincides with reduced use of prescribed pain killers, implying reduced risky behaviour. Males also observe a 30% increase in mental disorders, almost exclusively related to alcohol. The spillovers of university education on to health for the marginal student are therefore significant.
    Keywords: Health returns to education; demand for medical care; Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: I10 I23 I26
    Date: 2020–04–24
  17. By: Henriette Ruhrmann (Technical University of Berlin); Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Faculty of Economics); Loet Leydesdorff (Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Employing a quantitative, data-driven tool - the Triple Helix Indicator - to microdata of firms in Germany, we develop an evidence base for innovation-policy strategies. We aim to answer the question which level of government (local, regional, national) might be most effective for strategic innovation policy-making based on smart specialization in Germany. The empirical results show that the country is decentralized to the extent that it cannot be considered a "national" innovation system. More than two-thirds of innovation-system synergy is generated at the lower levels of districts (NUTS3) and Governmental Regions (NUTS2). In high-tech and medium-tech manufacturing, former East and West Germany, as well as North and South Germany, can be considered separate sub-national innovation systems. These findings strengthen the case for region- and context-specific innovation policies. The results illustrate the value of the Triple Helix Indicator for systematic regional mapping and serve as evidence for policy-makers to expand RIS3 policy strategies to the regional and local level in Germany.
    Keywords: Innovation systems, Triple Helix, Germany, Redundancy, Synergy
    JEL: O30 R11 O38 O52
    Date: 2020–04–22
  18. By: Gagnon, Nickolas (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, General Economics 1 (Micro)); Bosmans, Kristof (RS: GSBE Theme Human Decisions and Policy Design, General Economics 1 (Micro)); Riedl, Arno (RS: GSBE Theme Human Decisions and Policy Design, General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: Labor market opportunities and wages may be unfair for various reasons, and how workers respond to different types of unfairness can have major economic consequences. Using an online labor platform, where workers engage in an individual task for a piece-rate wage, we investigate the causal effect of neutral and gender-discriminatory unfair chances on labor supply. We randomize workers into treatments where we control relative pay and chances to receive a low or a high wage. Chances can be fair, unfair based on an unspecified source, or unfair based on gender discrimination. Unequal pay reduces labor supply of low-wage workers, irrespective of whether the low wage is the result of fair or unfair chances. Importantly, the source of unfair chances matters. When a low wage is the result of gender-discriminatory chances, workers matched with a high-wage worker substantially reduce their labor supply compared to the case of equal low wages (−22%). This decrease is twice as large as those induced by low wages due to fair chances or unfair chances coming from an unspecified source. In addition, exploratory analysis suggests that in response to unequal pay, low-wage male workers reduce labor supply irrespective of the source of inequality, whereas low-wage female workers reduce labor supply only if unequal pay is due to gender-discriminatory chances. Our results concerning gender discrimination indicate a new reason for the lower labor supply of women, which is a prominent explanation for the gender gap in earnings.
    JEL: D90 E24 J22 J31 J71 M50
    Date: 2020–02–20
  19. By: Breda, Thomas (Paris School of Economics); Grenet, Julien (Paris School of Economics); Monnet, Marion (Paris School of Economics); Van Effenterre, Clémentine (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper, based on a large-scale field experiment, tests whether a one-hour exposure to external female role models with a background in science affects students' perceptions and choice of field of study. Using a random assignment of classroom interventions carried out by 56 female scientists among 20,000 high school students in the Paris Region, we provide the first evidence of the positive impact of external female role models on student enrollment in STEM fields. We show that the interventions increased the share of Grade 12 girls enrolling in selective (male-dominated) STEM programs in higher education, from 11 to 14.5 percent. These effects are driven by high-achieving girls in mathematics. We find limited effects on boys' educational choices in Grade 12, and no effect for students in Grade 10. Evidence from survey data shows that the program raised students' interest in science-related careers and slightly improved their math self-concept. It sharply reduced the prevalence of stereotypes associated with jobs in science and gender differences in abilities, but it made the underrepresentation of women in science more salient. Using machine learning methods, we leverage the diversity of role model profiles to document substantial heterogeneity in the effectiveness of role models and shed light on the channels through which they can influence female students' choice of study. Results suggest that emphasis on the gender theme is less important to the effectiveness of this type of intervention than the ability of role models to convey a positive and more inclusive image of STEM careers.
    Keywords: role models, gender gap, STEM, stereotypes, choice of studies
    JEL: C93 I24 J16
    Date: 2020–04
  20. By: Thomas von Brasch; Ådne Cappelen; Håvard Hungnes; Terje Skjerpen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We study the role of R&D spillovers when modelling total factor productivity (TFP) by industry. Using Norwegian industry level data, we find that for many industries there are significant spillovers from both domestic sources and from technological change at the international frontier. International spillovers contributed with 38 per cent to the total growth in TFP from 1982 to 2018 while domestic channels contributed with 44 per cent. The remaining 18 per cent is due to interaction effects. We include these channels into a large-scale econometric model of the Norwegian economy to study how R&D policies can promote economic growth. We find that current R&D policies in the form of generous tax deductions have increased growth in productivity and income in the Norwegian economy. The simulation results lend some support to the view that there are fiscal policy instruments that may have very large multipliers, even in the case of a fully financed policy change.
    Keywords: R&D spillovers; total factor productivity; innovation policies
    JEL: C32 C51 D24 E17 O32
    Date: 2020–04
  21. By: Nikolova, Milena; Nikolaev, Boris; Popova, Olga
    Abstract: We explore how involuntary and voluntary exits from self-employment affect life and health satisfaction. To that end, we use rich longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel from 1985 to 2017 and a difference-in-differences estimation. Our findings suggest that while transitioning from self-employment to salaried employment (i.e., a voluntary self-employment exit) brings small improvements in health and life satisfaction, the negative psychological costs of business failure (i.e., switching from self-employment to unemployment) are substantial and exceed the costs of involuntarily losing a salaried job (i.e., switching from salaried employment to unemployment). Meanwhile, leaving self-employment has no consequences for selfreported physical health and behaviors such as smoking and drinking, implying that the costs of losing self-employment are largely psychological. Moreover, former business owners fail to adapt to an involuntary self-employment exit even two or more years after this traumatic event. Our findings imply that policies encouraging entrepreneurship should also carefully consider the costs of business failure.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship,self-employment,health,well-being,unemployment,job switches
    JEL: E24 I10 I31 J28 L26
    Date: 2020
  22. By: Kajuth, Florian
    Abstract: This paper analyses the behaviour of prices and supply on the German housing market taking into account the interaction between prices and quantities. A novel price index for residential property prices covering the whole country going back to 1993 is used in a macroeconomic model to estimate key housing market elasticities for Germany. A decomposition suggests that the land price component of house prices is relatively elastic with respect to income and interest rates, while the construction price component responds to income and the level of construction activity. The decomposition also highlights countervailing house price effects of a supply increase: A dampening effect via land prices and a stimulating effect via construction prices.
    Keywords: Residential property prices,residential investment,housing market cycle
    JEL: R21 R31 E32
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Eliasson, Kent (Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis); Hansson, Pär (Örebro University School of Business); Lindvert, Markus (Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of foreign acquisitions on the productivity of acquired Swedish firms. However, because an acquisition is an opportunity to restructure a business and because such changes, in turn, can result in increased productivity, the effects may be observed in other outcome variables. Therefore, we also study the effects after an acquisition on employment, share of skilled labor, and export and import intensities in Swedish firms taken over by foreign multinationals (MNEs). As we examine the effects on both acquired manufacturing and service firms, we also analyze the effects in small firms, e.g., those with one or more employees. To control for the possible endogeneity of foreign direct investment decisions, propensity score matching is combined with a difference-in-difference approach. The positive effects on productivity, the share of skilled labor, employment and the export and import intensities of foreign acquisitions are most pronounced among small service firms. We also find positive productivity effects of foreign acquisitions in large manufacturing firms. A contributing factor is the investment in human capital, i.e., increasing the share of skilled labor. Foreign acquisitions appear to involve expansion in the acquired firms, particularly with respect to employment increases in small firms. Thus, being acquired by a foreign MNE appears to be a conceivable alternative for small firms with strong future growth potential, especially when dealing with the growth barriers that such firms usually encounter.
    Keywords: foreign acquisition; restructuring; cherry-picking; labor productivity; skilled labor; export and import intensities
    JEL: D22 F21 F23 J24
    Date: 2020–04–24
  24. By: Jeremy van Dijk; Mehdi Farsi; Sylvain Weber
    Abstract: This paper experimentally investigates the existence of behavioural deviations from the oft-assumed rationality in private transport decisions, avoiding the selection-biases in revealed data. Through a choice experiment answered by 995 Swiss respondents, we explore the linkages between long- and medium-term travel investment decisions, and the choice of transport mode. We test the existence of commitment device usage in car and public transport pass purchases, and the sunk cost fallacy, as well as the impact of electric vehicles on mode choice. We find little evidence to support the existence of commitment devices, and no sunk cost fallacy. We further show that electric vehicle owners are equally likely to commute in their car, however use a greater mix of transport modes for leisure and long-distance trips. Our results support the importance of marginal travel costs in transport policy, as well as demonstrate the wide impact of rising EV consumption.
    Keywords: Transport, Behaviour, Choice experiment, Commitment, Sunk cost, Electric vehicles, Energy technology adoption, Environmental policy.
    Date: 2020–04
  25. By: FitzRoy, Felix (University of St. Andrews); Jin, Jim (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: Capital income subsidies, and reliance on indirect consumption taxes have created an increasingly regressive overall tax system in the UK, US and elsewhere, with proportionately much greater impact on the poor than on the rich, and welfare cuts under ten years of austerity have had the largest impact on the most vulnerable and poorest, now magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic. We show how a progressive wealth tax combined with a uniform, linear tax on all incomes and a modest basic income, with no exemptions or reliefs and no indirect taxes except excise taxes such as fuel duties, could be highly progressive overall, as well as much fairer and simpler than the present system. Such reform would render the economy much more resilient, and potentially devastating economic consequences of the pandemic could be mitigated by an emergency basic income and suspension of rental payments.
    Keywords: COVID-19, tax, welfare, policy, pandemic
    JEL: H2 I3
    Date: 2020–05
  26. By: Sander Wagner (CREST/ENSAE, Université' Saclay Paris); Diederik Boertien (Center for Demographic Studies, Barcelona); Mette Goertz (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper describes trends in parental wealth homogamy among union cohorts formed between 1987 and 2013 in Denmark. Using high-quality register data on the wealth of parents during the year of partnering, we show that the correlation between partners� levels of parental wealth is considerably lower compared to estimates from earlier research on other countries. Nonetheless, parental wealth homogamy is high at the very top of the parental wealth distribution, and individuals from wealthy families are relatively unlikely to partner with individuals from families with low wealth. Parental wealth correlations among partners are higher when looking only at parental assets rather than net wealth, implying that the former might be a better measure for studying many social stratification processes. Most specifications indicate that homogamy increased in the 2000s relative to the 1990s, but trends can vary depending on methodological choices. The increasing levels of parental wealth homogamy raise concerns that, over time, partnering behavior has become more consequential for wealth inequality between couples.
    Keywords: Wealth; Inequality; Assortative Mating; Intergenerational Processes; Partnering
    JEL: D31 J12 J60
    Date: 2020–02–18

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