nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
28 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Impact of national lockdown on COVID-19 deaths in select European countries and the US using a Changes-in-Changes model By Mudit Kapoor; Shamika Ravi
  2. Combining Microsimulation and Optimization to Identify Optimal Flexible Tax-Transfer Rules By Colombino, Ugo; Islam, Nizamul
  3. Differences in composition of seemingly identical branded products: Impact on consumer purchase decisions and welfare By Liesbeth Colen; George Chryssochoidis; Pavel Ciaian; Federica Di Marcantonio
  4. Supporting innovative entrepreneurship: an evaluation of the Italian "Start-up Act" By Francesco Manaresi; Carlo Menon; Pietro Santoleri
  5. Social Capital and the Spread of COVID-19: Insights from European Countries By Bartscher, Alina Kristin; Seitz, Sebastian; Siegloch, Sebastian; Slotwinski, Michaela; Wehrhöfer, Nils
  6. The size, socio-economic composition and fiscal implications of the irregular immigration in Spain By Gálvez Iniesta, Ismael
  7. Does university performance have an economic payoff for their home regions? Evidence for the Spanish provinces By Joan Crespo; Jesús Peiró-Palomino; Emili Tortosa-Ausina
  8. The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership By Andrew E. Clark; Hippolyte d'Albis; Angela Greulich
  9. My Home Is my Castle – The Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis Evidence from Germany By Jean-Victor Alipour; Harald Fadinger; Jan Schymik
  10. Unemployment: The Coming Story, Who Gets Hit, Who Gets Hurt, and Policy Remedies By Jake Anders; Andy Dickerson; Paul Gregg; Lindsey Macmillan
  11. Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany: A Synthetic Control Method Approach By Mitze, Timo; Kosfeld, Reinhold; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
  12. Dying to Work: Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Health By Alexander Ahammer; Analisa Packham
  13. The effect of business cycle expectations on the German apprenticeship market: Estimating the impact of Covid-19 By Muehlemann, Samuel; Pfeifer, Harald; Wittek, Bernhard
  14. Make Sure the Kids are OK: Indirect Effects of Ground-Level Ozone on Well-Being By Julia Rechlitz; Luis Sarmiento; Aleksandar Zaklan
  15. The Social Cost of Contacts: Theory and Evidence for the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany By Martin F. Quaas; Jasper N. Meya; Hanna Schenk; Björn Bos; Moritz A. Drupp; Till Requate
  16. What do lost wallets tell us about survey measures of social capital? By David Tannenbaum; Alain Cohn; Christian Lukas Zünd; Michel André Maréchal
  17. The Cultural Origin of Saving Behavior By Costa Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Ozcan, Berkay
  18. Assessing Market Power in the Italian Electricity Market: A synthetic supply approach By Francesco Rossetto; Luigi Grossi; Michael Pollitt
  19. Workers' Job Mobility in Response to Severance Pay Generosity By Jose Garcia-Louzao
  20. Health and Employment amongst Older Workers By Britton, Jack; French, Eric Baird
  21. Baby Steps: The Gender Division of Childcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Sevilla, Almudena; Smith, Sarah
  22. Electricity Use as a Real Time Indicator of the Economic Burden of the COVID-19-Related Lockdown: Evidence from Switzerland By Benedikt Janzen; Doina Radulescu
  23. There's More to Marriage than Love: The Effect of Legal Status and Cultural Distance on Intermarriages and Separations By Adda, Jérôme; Pinotti, Paolo; Tura, Giulia
  24. The Gender Pay Gap: What Can We Learn from Northern Ireland? By Jones, Melanie K.; Kaya, Ezgi
  25. Do schools discriminate against single parents? Evidence from a randomized correspondence experiment By Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Flamand, Sabine
  26. If Sick-Leave Becomes More Costly, Will I Go Back to Work? Could It Be Too Soon? By Marie, Olivier; Vall-Castello, Judit
  27. Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Children’s Dynamic Skill Accumulation: Evidence from a UK Longitudinal Study By Dan Anderberg; Gloria Moroni
  28. Apprenticeship and Youth Unemployment By Pierre Cahuc; Jérémy Hervelin

  1. By: Mudit Kapoor; Shamika Ravi
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the impact of national lockdown on COVID-19 related total and daily deaths, per million people, in select European countries. In particular, we compare countries that imposed a nationwide lockdown (Treatment group); Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom (UK), and the US, to Sweden (Control group) that did not impose national lockdown using a changes-in-changes (CIC) estimation model. The key advantage of the CIC model as compared to the standard difference-in-difference model is that CIC allows for mean and variance of the outcomes to change over time in the absence of any policy intervention, and CIC accounts for endogeneity in the choice of policy intervention. Our results indicate that in contrast to Sweden, which did not impose a national lockdown, Germany, and to some extent, the US were the two countries where nationwide lockdown had a significant impact on the reduction in COVID-19 related total and daily deaths per million people. In Norway and Denmark, there was no significant impact on total and daily deaths per million people relative to Sweden. Whereas in other countries; Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK, the effect of the lockdown was in the opposite direction, that is, they experienced significantly higher COVID-19 related total and daily deaths per million people, post the lockdown as compared to Sweden. Our results suggest that the impact of nationwide lockdown on COVID-19 related total and daily deaths per million people varied from one country to another.
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Colombino, Ugo (University of Turin); Islam, Nizamul (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: We use a behavioural microsimulation model embedded in a numerical optimization procedure in order to identify optimal (social welfare maximizing) tax-transfer rules. We consider the class of tax-transfer rules consisting of a universal basic income and a tax defined by a 4th degree polynomial. The rule is applied to total taxable household income. A microeconometric model of household, which simulates household labour supply decisions, is embedded into a numerical routine in order to identify – within the class defined above – the tax-transfer rule that maximizes a social welfare function. We present the results for five European countries: France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and United Kingdom. For most values of the inequality aversion parameter, the optimized rules provide a higher social welfare than the current rule, with the exception of Luxembourg. In France, Italy and Luxembourg the optimized rules are significantly different from the current ones and are close to a Negative Income Tax or a Universal basic income with a flat tax rate. In Spain and the UK, the optimized rules are instead close to the current rule. With the exception of Spain, the optimal rules are slightly disequalizing and the social welfare gains are due to efficiency gains. Nonetheless, the poverty gap index tends to be lower under the optimized regime.
    Keywords: empirical optimal taxation, microsimulation, microeconometrics, evaluation of tax-transfer rules
    JEL: H21 C18
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Liesbeth Colen (European Commission - JRC); George Chryssochoidis (University of Kent); Pavel Ciaian (European Commission - JRC); Federica Di Marcantonio (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The issue of Differences in Composition of Seemingly Identical branded products (DC-SIP) refers to the case of “goods [being] marketed in the Single Market under the same brand or trademark but with differences in content, composition or quality in individual EU Member States†(European Commission, 2017a). The main concern is that “in some parts of Europe, people are sold food of lower quality than in other countries, despite the packaging and branding being identical†, as stated by President Juncker (European Commission, 2017b). In this report we aim to analyse whether and how this issue affects consumers. We do so in economic terms, by analysing how consumer purchase decisions and consumer welfare are affected by the fact that the same brand owner offers seemingly identically branded food products but having different properties. Based on the conceptual and empirical knowledge developed in the fields of economics, marketing and consumer psychology, we build a conceptual framework to analyse the formation of consumer quality perceptions, purchasing decisions and welfare. We look into the different factors that shape food quality perception, how these may differ across countries and individual consumers, and relate these to the issue of DC-SIP. Finally, we analyse the impact of disconfirmation of consumers' expectations and the role of unfairness in consumer decision making and welfare to understand consumers' reactions to DC-SIP.
    Keywords: dual food quality, food chain, branded food products, differences in composition, consumers, unfairness, quality perception
    JEL: D12 D91 L15 L66
    Date: 2020–05
  4. By: Francesco Manaresi (Directorate General for Economics, Statistics and Research, Bank of Italy); Carlo Menon (Laterite); Pietro Santoleri (Institute of Economics and EMbeDS, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: The role of innovative start-ups in contributing to aggregate economic dynamism has attracted increased attention in recent years. While this has translated into several public policies explicitly targeting them, there is little evidence on their e ectiveness. This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of the "Start-up Act", a policy intervention aimed at supporting innovative start-ups in Italy. We construct a unique database encompassing detailed information on firm balance-sheets, employment, firm demographics, patents and bank-firm relationships for all Italian start-ups. We use conditional difference-in-differences and instrumental variable strategies to evaluate the impact of the "Start-up Act" on firm performance. Results show that the policy induces a significant increase in several firm outcomes whereas no effect is detected in patenting propensity and survival chances. We also document that the policy alleviates nancial frictions characterizing innovative start-ups through the provision of tax credits for equity and a public guarantee scheme which, respectively, trigger an increase in the probability of receiving VC and accessing bank credit.
    Keywords: Start-ups; Entrepreneurship policy; Policy Evaluation; Firm performance
    JEL: M13 L25 L53 D04
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Bartscher, Alina Kristin (University of Bonn); Seitz, Sebastian (ZEW Mannheim); Siegloch, Sebastian (University of Mannheim); Slotwinski, Michaela (University of Basel); Wehrhöfer, Nils (ZEW Mannheim)
    Abstract: We explore the role of social capital in the spread of the recent Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Exploiting within-country variation, we show that a one standard deviation increase in social capital leads to 12% and 32% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until mid-May. Using Italy as a case study, we find that high-social-capital areas exhibit lower excess mortality and a decline in mobility. Our results have important implications for the design of local containment policies in future waves of the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, social capital, collective action, health costs, Europe
    JEL: D04 A13 D91 H11 H12 I10 I18
    Date: 2020–05
  6. By: Gálvez Iniesta, Ismael
    Abstract: This paper estimates the total number of irregular immigrants residing in Spain from 2002 to2019 and studies their nationality, sex, gender and sectoral composition. Using the residualmethod and combining microdata sources from the Spanish Labour Force Survey and SocialSecurity registers I find that by the end of 2019 there was around 390,000-470,000 irregularimmigrants in Spain, which account for 11-13% of the total non-EU immigrants. Irregularimmigrants are younger than the regular ones, they are predominantly from South and CentralAmerica and they are concentrated in the accommodation and food activities and the activitieshousehold sector. Using the most updated wave of the EU-SILC data for Spain, I find a positivedirect fiscal impact of the non-EU immigration. This impact is 75% higher than for the natives'households, mainly explained by their younger age structure. Once education and health publicsystems are taken into account, the fiscal impact gap between the two type of householdsvanishes. I also find large fiscal costs associated to maintaining the irregularity status. Last,my estimates suggest that the potential positive gains from legalising the current status of theirregular immigrants are around 3,300 euros yearly by regularized worker.
    Keywords: Fiscal; Irregular Immigrants; Immigration
    JEL: E62 J61 J32
    Date: 2020–07–24
  7. By: Joan Crespo (Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Jesús Peiró-Palomino (INTECO & Department of Applied Economics II, University of Valencia, Spain); Emili Tortosa-Ausina (IVIE, Valencia and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of the university system performance on labor productivity growth for Spanish regions during the period 2009–2016. Using a frontier approach, we decompose changes in university performance into efficiency changes (approximations to the frontier) and changes due to technical progress (shifts of the frontier). Our results show a positive link between university performance and the productivity growth of their home regions. We also find that this impact is driven by shifts in the frontier rather than by approximation to the frontier. This effect is robust across stages of the economic cycle (crisis and recovery), as well as across different estimation methods, and when including spatial spillovers, although it is only significant for provinces with productivity levels above the median. This suggests that the inefficiency of the Spanish university system can be one of the factors slowing down the convergence path of Spanish provinces.
    Keywords: university performance, productivity, provinces
    JEL: C61 J24 R11
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Hippolyte d'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Angela Greulich (OSC - Observatoire sociologique du changement - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We here ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age is flatter for those who are partnered. This is the case in cross-section EU-SILC data, where the drop in life satisfaction from the teens to the 50s is almost four times larger for the non-partnered than for the partnered, whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age. However, the same analysis in three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP and HILDA) reveals a U-shape for both marital groups, although still somewhat flatter for the partnered than for the non-partnered. We suggest that the difference between the cross-section and panel results reflects compositional effects: there is in particular a significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. These composition effects will flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered in cross-section data.
    Keywords: Age U-shape,Subjective Well-being,Marriage,EU-SILC
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Jean-Victor Alipour; Harald Fadinger; Jan Schymik
    Abstract: This paper studies the relation between work and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Combining administrative data on SARS-CoV-2 infections and short-time work registrations, firm- and worker-level surveys and cell phone tracking data on mobility patterns, we find that working from home (WFH) is very effective in economic and public health terms. WFH effectively shields workers from short-term work, firms from COVID-19 distress and substantially reduces infection risks. Counties whose occupation structure allows for a larger fraction of work to be done from home experienced (i) much fewer short-time work registrations and (ii) less SARSCoV-2 cases. Health benefits of WFH appeared mostly in the early stage of the pandemic and became smaller once tight confinement rules were implemented. Before confinement, mobility levels were lower in counties with more WFH jobs and counties experienced a convergence in traffic levels once confinement was in place.
    Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, working from home, labor supply shock, infections, mitigation, BIBB-BAuA
    JEL: J22 H12 I18 J68 R12 R23
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Jake Anders (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Andy Dickerson (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Paul Gregg (Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath); Lindsey Macmillan (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London)
    Abstract: While recent forecasts have pointed to an employment shock of a similar magnitude to that seen in the previous Great Recession, many of the circumstances this time round suggest we may be facing a more severe experience. This is likely to disproportionately affect young people, those from deprived families both in adulthood and in childhood, ethnic minorities, and those with low levels of education. Evidence shows that there are long-term costs to spells out of work, including reduced employment opportunities and wages, alongside lower job satisfaction, health and happiness. A combined response of macro-level interventions, alongside individually-targeted education, skills and active labour market policy responses are required. Targeted cuts to National Insurance, changing the incentives of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), increasing access courses to higher education, funding further education routes, and combined interventions including targeted job support schemes and high quality work placements are all policies that can aid recovery and minimise the costs of scarring.
    Keywords: unemployment, COVID-19, scarring, ALMP, education policy
    JEL: E24 I28 J68
    Date: 2020–07
  11. By: Mitze, Timo (University of Southern Denmark); Kosfeld, Reinhold (University of Kassel); Rode, Johannes (Darmstadt University of Technology); Wälde, Klaus (University of Mainz)
    Abstract: We use the synthetic control method to analyze the effect of face masks on the spread of Covid-19 in Germany. Our identification approach exploits regional variation in the point in time when face masks became compulsory. Depending on the region we analyse, we find that face masks reduced the cumulative number of registered Covid-19 cases between 2.3% and 13% over a period of 10 days after they became compulsory. Assessing the credibility of the various estimates, we conclude that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 40%.
    Keywords: COVID-19, public health measures, face masks, synthetic control method, Germany
    JEL: I18 C23
    Date: 2020–06
  12. By: Alexander Ahammer; Analisa Packham (Economics Department at Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: Using administrative data for Upper Austrian workers from 2003–2013, we show that an extension in unemployment insurance (UI) duration increases unemployment length and impacts worker physical and mental health. These effects vary by gender. Specifically, we find that women eligible for an additional 9 weeks of UI benefits fill fewer opioid and antidepressant prescriptions and experience a lower likelihood of filing a disability claim, as compared to non-eligible unemployed women. Moreover, estimates indicate within-household spillovers for young children. For men, we find that extending UI benefit duration increases the likelihood of a cardiac event and eventual disability retirement filing.
    Keywords: Unemployment insurance, health, disability, opioids
    JEL: I38 I18 J18
    Date: 2020–06
  13. By: Muehlemann, Samuel; Pfeifer, Harald; Wittek, Bernhard
    Abstract: A firm’s expectation about the future business cycle is an important determinant of the decision to train apprentices. As German firms typically train apprentices to either fill future skilled worker positions, or as a substitute for other types of labor, the current coronavirus crisis will have a strong and negative impact on the German economy according to the current business cycle expectations of German firms. To the extent that the training decision of a firm depends on its perception of the business cycle, we expect a downward shift in the firm’s demand for apprentices and consequently also a decrease in the equilibrium number of apprenticeship contracts. We analyze German data on the apprenticeship from 2007 to 2019 and apply first-differences regressions to account for unobserved heterogeneity across states and occupations, allowing us to identify the association between changes in two popular measures of business cycle expectations (the ifo Business Climate Index and the ifo Employment Barometer) and subsequent changes in the demand for apprentices, the number of new apprenticeship contracts, unfilled vacancies and unsuccessful applicants. Taking into account the most recent data on business cycle expectations up to May 2020, we estimate that the coronavirus-related decrease in firms’ expectations about the business cycle can be associated with a predicted 9% decrease in firm demand for apprentices and an almost 7% decrease in the number of new apprenticeship positions in Germany in 2020 (-34,700 apprenticeship contracts; 95% confidence interval: +/- 8,800).
    JEL: J23 J24 M53
    Date: 2020–07–09
  14. By: Julia Rechlitz; Luis Sarmiento; Aleksandar Zaklan
    Abstract: This paper uses a panel of German individuals and highly granular pollution data to test if air pollution affects adults’ well-being indirectly through the health of their children. Results show that ozone decreases the well-being of individuals with children while not affecting persons without kids. We confirm the same effect for fine particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. Concerning the mechanism, we find that above-median earners drive this effect and that ozone causes losses in workdays to care for a sick child, providing evidence on the children’s health channel to adults’ welfare losses.
    Keywords: Air pollution, ozone, well-being, subjective health, children’s health, parental in- vestments
    JEL: Q53 I31 I18 J22
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Martin F. Quaas; Jasper N. Meya; Hanna Schenk; Björn Bos; Moritz A. Drupp; Till Requate
    Abstract: Building on the epidemiological SIR model we present an economic model with heterogeneous individuals deriving utility from social contacts creating infection risks. Focusing on social distancing of individuals susceptible to an infection we theoretically analyze the gap between private and social cost of contacts. To quantify this gap, we calibrate the model using German survey data on social distancing and impure altruism from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The optimal policy reduces contacts drastically in the beginning, to almost eradicate the epidemic, and keeps them at around a third of pre-pandemic levels with minor group-specific differences until a vaccine becomes tangible. Private protection efforts stabilize the epidemic in the laissez faire, though at a prevalence of infections much higher than optimal. Impure altruistic behaviour closes more than a quarter of the initial gap towards the social optimum. Our results suggests that private actions for self-protection and for the protection of others contribute substantially toward alleviating the problem of social cost.
    Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, economic-epidemiology, private public good provision, impure altruism, uncertainty, SIR, social distancing, epidemic control
    JEL: I18 D62 D64
    Date: 2020
  16. By: David Tannenbaum; Alain Cohn; Christian Lukas Zünd; Michel André Maréchal
    Abstract: We validate survey measures of social capital with a new data set that examines whether citizens report a lost wallet to its owner. Using data from more than 17,000 lost wallets across 40 countries, we find that survey measures of social capital - especially questions concerning generalized trust or generalized morality - are strongly and significantly correlated with country-level differences in wallet reporting rates. A second finding is that lost wallet reporting rates predict unique variation in economic development and government effectiveness not captured by existing measures, suggesting this data set also holds promise as a useful indicator of social capital.
    Keywords: Social capital, trust, honesty, field experiment, surveys
    JEL: C93 C83 Z10 O10
    Date: 2020–06
  17. By: Costa Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Ozcan, Berkay
    Abstract: Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. A seminal paper in economics (1) however did not find any effect of culture on savings. We revisit this evidence using a novel dataset, which allows us to study the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations.
    Keywords: Culture; Saving
    JEL: D0 Z1
    Date: 2020–02
  18. By: Francesco Rossetto (Department of Economics, University of Verona); Luigi Grossi (Department of Economics, University of Verona); Michael Pollitt (EPRG, CJBS, University of Cambridge)
    Keywords: Electricity Wholesale Market, Market Power, Bidding Strategy, Synthetic Supply
    JEL: L94
    Date: 2019–07
  19. By: Jose Garcia-Louzao (Bank of Lithuania)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of severance pay generosity on workers' voluntary mobility decisions. The identification strategy exploits a major labor market reform in Spain in February 2012 together with the exposure of some workers to a layoff shock. I rely on rich administrative data to estimate a discrete time duration model with dynamic treatment effects. The results show that a decrease in mobility costs induced by a reduction in severance pay made workers who expected to be displaced in the near future more likely to voluntarily leave their employers. The results indicate that policies targeting employers may also affect workers' behavior. They further reveal the relevance of taking into account interactions between employment protection and unemployment insurance.
    Keywords: Employment protection, Severance Pay, Job mobility, Quits, Plant closures, Mass layoffs
    JEL: J62 J63 J65
    Date: 2020–06–18
  20. By: Britton, Jack; French, Eric Baird
    Abstract: Health and employment are strongly correlated. This paper reviews the existing evidence and brings in new evidence on the following issues: (a) the measurement of health; (b) the impact of health on employment rather than just the association between health and employment; (c) the mechanisms by which health impacts employment; and (d) the likely effect of recent retirement and disability policy changes in the UK. Although the magnitude of the estimated effect of health on employment varies greatly from study to study, some of this variation is driven by the health measure used. Given our preferred measure, the evidence suggests that 5-10 percent of the employment decline between ages 50 and 70 is due to declining health in England, with the largest effects among low-educated men. Most of the effect comes through declining preferences for work and lower productivity when in bad health, although some of the effect is from government-provided incentives to not work when in bad health, such as from disability benefits.
    Keywords: health; Labour Supply; retirement
    JEL: I10 I18 J26
    Date: 2020–02
  21. By: Sevilla, Almudena (University College London); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: The COVID19 pandemic has caused shocks to the demand for home childcare (with the closure of schools and nurseries) and the supply of home childcare (with many people not working). We collect real-time data on daily lives to document that UK families with young children have been doing the equivalent of a working week in childcare. Women have been doing the greater share, but overall, the gender childcare gap (the difference between the share of childcare done by women and the share done by men) for the additional, post-COVID19 hours is smaller than that for the allocation of pre-COVID19 childcare. However, the amount of additional childcare provided by men is very sensitive to their employment – the allocation has become more equal in households where men are working from home and where they have been furloughed/ lost their job. There are likely to be long-term implications from these changes – potentially negative for the careers of parents of young children; but also, more positively for some families, for sharing the burden of childcare more equally in the future.
    Keywords: gender, childcare, COVID-19, Coronavirus
    JEL: J21 J22 J24 J33 J63
    Date: 2020–05
  22. By: Benedikt Janzen; Doina Radulescu
    Abstract: We employ hourly electricity load data for Switzerland as a real time indicator of the economic e ects of the lockdown following the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Our findings reveal that following the drastic lockdown, overall electricity use decreased by 4 per cent, with a reduction of even 11.3 per cent in the Canton of Ticino where the number of confirmed cases per capita was one of the highest in Switzerland and also stricter measures such as closures of construction sites and industrial companies were implemented on top of federal regulations. Looking at working days only, we estimate a Swiss-wide decrease in electricity consumption of 6.3 per cent. Assuming industry, services, transport and agriculture account for 67 per cent of electricity demand, the 4 per cent decrease in electricity use implies a 6 per cent output reduction in these sectors. In addition, the reduced electricity imports and the change in the generation mix of neighbouring countries, also translates into reduced CO2 emissions related to these imports.
    Keywords: COVID-19, economic indicator, electricity load, CO2 emissions
    JEL: C53 Q4 C3
    Date: 2020–06
  23. By: Adda, Jérôme; Pinotti, Paolo; Tura, Giulia
    Abstract: This paper analyses the marriage decisions of natives and migrants focusing on the role of legal status and cultural distance. We exploit the successive enlargements of the European Union as a natural experiment that granted legal status only to some groups of foreign immigrants. Using Italian administrative data on the universe of marriages and separations, we show that access to legal status reduces by 60 percent the probability of immigrants intermarrying with natives, and it increases by 20 percent the hazard rate of separation for mixed couples formed before legal status acquisition. Building on this evidence, we develop and structurally estimate a multidimensional equilibrium model of marriage and separation, where individuals match on observed and unobserved characteristics. Allowing for trade-offs between cultural distance, legal status, and other socio-economic spousal characteristics, we quantify the role of legal status and the strength of cultural affinity. Through the evaluation of counterfactual policies, we show that granting legal status to migrants to foster their inclusion in the legal labor market paradoxically slows down the integration of minorities along cultural lines. We also show how recent migration waves will foster a gender marital imbalance within those communities.
    Keywords: Cultural distance; Intermarriages; legal status; Marital Matching; Separations
    JEL: J11 J12 J15
    Date: 2020–02
  24. By: Jones, Melanie K. (Cardiff University); Kaya, Ezgi (Cardiff University)
    Abstract: Northern Ireland forms an important outlier to the established international pattern of a pronounced gender pay gap in favour of men. Using contemporary data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey we provide a comprehensive analysis of the gender pay gap in Northern Ireland and make comparisons to the rest of the UK. Despite the relatively common institutional and policy context, the gender pay gap in Northern Ireland is found to be far smaller than in the rest of the UK. This can largely be attributed to the superior productivity-related characteristics of women relative to men in Northern Ireland, which partially offset the influence of gender differences in the returns to these characteristics. Our analysis highlights the importance of occupation – both in terms of occupational allocation and the returns to occupations – in explaining the cross-country differential. This is reinforced by the impact of lower earnings inequality in Northern Ireland.
    Keywords: Labour Force Survey, decomposition analysis, pay discrimination, gender pay gap, Northern Ireland
    JEL: J16 J31 J24
    Date: 2020–05
  25. By: Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Flamand, Sabine
    Abstract: Single parenthood is on the rise everywhere in the world. Previous studies show that acceptance of single parent headed households is increasing, although some authors point out that single-parent families are often considered as a reality rather than as an ideal. This circumstance may cause negative attitudes against single parents, who are among the most vulnerable groups of society. Motivated by these findings, in this study, we examine for the first time whether schools are more reluctant to give feedback to single parents than to heterosexual couples during children's pre-registration period in Catalonia (Spain). To do so, we design a correspondence experiment to be conducted in schools. We create three types of fictitious families (heterosexual couple, single mother and single father) and send e-mails to schools in which the family structure is explicit. Our results indicate that single parents benefit from positive discrimination. Schools are more prone to interact with single parents than with heterosexual couples. Further, single mothers receive more answers than single fathers. Keywords: Single parents, heterosexual couples, schools, discrimination, field experiment
    Keywords: Família monoparental, Discriminació, Escola, 316 - Sociologia. Comunicació,
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Marie, Olivier (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Vall-Castello, Judit (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact on work absence of a massive reduction in paid sick leave benefits. We exploit a policy change that only affected public sector workers in Spain and compare changes in the number and length of spells they take relative to unaffected private sector workers. Our results highlight a large drop in frequency mostly offset by increases in average duration. Overall, the policy did reduce number of days lost to sick leave. For some, however, return to work may have been premature as we document huge increases in both the proportion of relapses and working accidents rates.
    Keywords: sickness insurance, paid sick leave, absenteeism, presenteeism, relapses contagious diseases, benefit displacement, working accidents, negative externalities, Spain, COVID-19
    JEL: I12 I13 I18 J22 J28 J32
    Date: 2020–06
  27. By: Dan Anderberg (Royal Holloway); Gloria Moroni (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Children are increasingly recognized as secondary victims of intimate partner violence. This paper uses a unique UK longitudinal child development survey to study the relationship between verbal and physical abuse experienced by mothers and children’s development up to the age of seven. Estimating production functions for cognitive, social, and socio-emotional skills we find that exposure during pre-school years has a quantitatively important negative effect on socio-emotional skills among toddlers and negatively affects cognitive and social skills after age three. The estimated impact on cognitive development is consistent with measures of cognitive skills based on school-based tests.
    Keywords: Domestic violence, child development, skills, ALSPAC
    JEL: J12 I14 I24
    Date: 2020–06–29
  28. By: Pierre Cahuc (Département d'économie); Jérémy Hervelin (Centre recherche d'économie et de statistique (CNRS) (CREST))
    Abstract: In France, two years after school completion and getting the same diploma, the employment rate of apprentices is about 15 percentage points higher than that of vocational students. Despite this difference, this paper shows that there is almost no difference between the probability of getting a callback from employers for unemployed youth formerly either apprentices or vocational students. This result indicates that the higher employment rate of apprentices does not rely, in the French context, on better job access of those who do not remain in their training firms. The estimation of a job search and matching model shows that the expansion of apprenticeship has very limited effects on youth unemployment if this is not accompanied by an increase in the retention of apprentices in their training firm.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship; School-to-work transitions; Field experiment
    JEL: J24 M53 M51
    Date: 2020–04

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