nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
thirty papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Mapping Fuel Poverty Risk at the Municipal Level: A Small-Scale Analysis of Italian Energy Performance Certificate, Census and Survey Data By Riccardo Camboni; Alberto Corsini; Raffaele Miniaci; Paola Valbonesi
  2. Singling out the truly needy: the role of asset testing in European minimum income schemes By Sarah Marchal; Sarah Kuypers; Ive Marx; Verbist
  3. Switzer-Land of Opportunity:Intergenerational Income Mobility in the Land of Vocational Education By Chuard, Patrick; Grassi, Veronica
  4. Measuring Switching Costs in the Italian Residential Electricity Market By Marco Magnani; Fabio M. Manenti; Paola Valbonesi
  5. The effects of shop opening hours deregulation: evidence from Italy By Lucia Rizzica; Giacomo Roma; Gabriele Rovigatti
  6. The Financing of Investment: Firm Size, Asset Tangibility and the Size of Investment By Mathias Lé; Frédéric Vinas
  7. Healthcare consumption after a change in health insurance coverage: a French quasi-natural experiment By Christine Sevilla-Dedieu; Nathalie Billaudeau; Alain Paraponaris
  8. Software Development and Innovation ‒ Exploring the Software Shift in Innovation in Swedish Firms By Andersson, Martin; Kusetogullari, Anna; Wernberg, Joakim
  9. Older and ‘staying at home’ during lockdown: informal care receipt during the COVID-19 pandemic amongst people aged 70 and over in the UK By Evamdrou, Maria; Falkingham, Jane; Qin, Min; Vlachantoni, Athina
  10. A safety net that holds? Tracking minimum income protection adequacy for the elderly, the working and the non-working of active age By Sarah Marchal; Linus Siöland
  11. Does later retirement change your healthcare consumption ? Evidence from France By Elsa Perdrix
  12. COVID-19 and ethnic Inequalities in England and Wales* By Platt, Lucinda; Warwick, Ross
  13. The wealth-consumption channel: Evidence from a panel of Spanish households By Trivin, Pedro
  14. Age-Specific Entrepreneurship and PAYG Public Pensions in Germany By Burkhard Heer; Mark Trede
  15. Trainspotting: Board Appointments in Private Firms By Audinga Baltrunaite; Egle Karmaziene
  16. Stop invasion! The electoral tipping point in anti-immigrant voting By Massimo Bordignon; Matteo Gamalerio; Edoardo Slerca; Gilberto Turati
  17. The Spread of COVID-19 in Belgium: a Municipality-Level Analysis By Philip Verwimp
  18. Betrayed by the elites: how corruption amplifies the political effects of recessions By Carlos Sanz; Albert Solé-Ollé; Pilar Sorribas-Navarro
  19. Intergenerational transmission of fertility decisions in Spain By Morales, Marina
  20. Job-to-job flows and wage dynamics in France and Italy By Clémence Berson; Marta De Philippis; Eliana Viviano
  21. Safety at Work and Immigration By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Nicolau Martin Bassols; Judit Vall Castello
  22. The Wage Curve Across the Wealth Distribution By , Stone Center; Iacono, Roberto; Ranaldi, Marco
  23. Do Interactions with Candidates Increase Voter Support and Participation? Experimental Evidence from Italy By Enrico Cantoni; Vincent Pons
  24. Pay cycles and fuel price: a quasi experimental approach By Bergantino, Angela Stefania; Intini, Mario; Perdiguero, Jordi
  25. Restarting “normal” life after Covid-19 and the lockdown: Evidence from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy By codagnone, cristiano; Bogliacino, Francesco; Gómez, Camilo Ernesto; Folkvord, F.; Liva, Giovanni; Charris, Rafael Alberto; Montealegre, Felipe; Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Francisco; Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro Prof
  26. The effects of the 2012 Spanish law reform to protect mortgage debtors By González-Val, Rafael
  27. Are Dutch Old-Age Pensions Taxed Fairly and Efficiently? By Bernd Genser; Robert Holzmann
  28. Does the internet change attitudes towards immigrants? Evidence from Spain By Alessio Romarri
  29. Redistribution Preferences, Attitudes towards Immigrants, and Ethnic Diversity By Coban, Mustafa
  30. Are Executives in Short Supply? Evidence from Deaths' Events By Julien Sauvagnat; Fabiano Schivardi

  1. By: Riccardo Camboni (University of Padova, Italy; OIPE); Alberto Corsini (Université Côte d'Azur, France; CNRS, GREDEG; OIPE); Raffaele Miniaci (University of Brescia; OIPE); Paola Valbonesi (University of Padova, Italy; OIPE)
    Abstract: We use the nearest neighbour propensity score matching to link dwellings holding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in the Italian province of Treviso with information on the socio-economic characteristics of households most likely to inhabit them. We construct a database of 17,405 dwellings for which information on standardized energy needs is matched to data on (potential) inhabitants and their imputed income, based respectively on census records and survey data. Our analysis shows that EPC registers can be exploited to investigate how income and housing conditions affect fuel poverty and to identify municipal areas with higher fuel poverty risk. Our findings highlight that when designing interventions to reduce fuel poverty, policymakers should target households based not only on their income but also on type of heating fuel, and on efficiency and the size of their accommodation.
    Keywords: Fuel Poverty, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Building and dwelling Efficiency, Energy: Government Residential Policy
    JEL: C21 I32 Q48
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Sarah Marchal; Sarah Kuypers; Ive Marx; Verbist
    Abstract: Means-tested transfer schemes in Europe and elsewhere tend to include not only income tests but also asset tests of various sorts. The role of asset tests in minimum income protection provisions has been extensively researched in the Anglo-Saxon context. Far fewer authors have assessed the role of asset tests on social policy in a continental European context. Although asset tests may be useful in singling out the more deserving of the poor, we know relatively little of their actual impact on eligibility and social outcomes in European welfare states. This paper looks at the prevalence and design of asset tests in European minimum income protection schemes. We distinguish between two main types of asset tests: outright disqualification when assets reach a certain value, versus a more gradual tapering at a fictional rate of return. We then analyze in greater detail how asset tests in Belgium and Germany, as representatives of these two types, affect minimum income protection eligibility and poverty outcomes. We use the EUROMOD microsimulation model on the Household Finance and Consumption Survey data in order to assess the effects of asset tests. This survey was explicitly designed to more realistically reflect assets and capital incomes.
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Chuard, Patrick; Grassi, Veronica
    Abstract: This paper documents intergenerational income mobility in Switzerland. We use a unique administrative data set which links the universe of labor incomes since 1982 over generations and is matched to census and survey data. We find that relative income mobility in terms of rank-rank slope (0.15) is substantially higher than in the US and even higher than in Sweden. At the same time, we find that (academic) educational mobility is low. This shows that high income mobility can be achieved even without high educational mobility. However, to reach the top from the bottom («American Dream»), academic education is still key: Children from the bottom quintile who went to gymnasium or got a master's degree are more likely to reach the top quintile compared to their peers in the vocational education track. Looking at regional variation in mobility, we find lower absolute, but higher relative mobility in French- and Italiancompared to German-speaking areas.
    Keywords: Social mobility, intergenerational income mobility, inequality
    JEL: H31 J13
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Marco Magnani (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Italy and Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Network and the Environment (ARERA)); Fabio M. Manenti (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Italy); Paola Valbonesi (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Italy and Higher School of Economics, National Research University, (HSE-NRU), Moscow)
    Abstract: Following Shy (2002), we develop a simple model to determine consumers’ switching costs in the liberalized residential electricity market. By exploiting an original dataset on electricity prices and consumers in Italy, we use the theoretical predictions to measure consumers’ switching costs across the three main firms acting in the liberalized market. Our empirical results confirm the theoretical prediction that firms in the liberalized market are posting lower prices than the regulated one. Consumer decisions are found to be heavily affected by switching costs; our results show that the number of consumers in the regulated market negatively influences them. Switching costs appear to be particularly relevant for the incumbent firm while they are of lower magnitude for competitors – a result consistent with reputation playing a significant role in influencing customer switching.
    Keywords: Electricity Retail Markets, Liberalization in Electricity Markets, Switching Costs, Consumer Behaviour
    JEL: D12 L94 L98
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Lucia Rizzica (Bank of Italy); Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy); Gabriele Rovigatti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of the deregulation of shop opening hours on the market structure of the retail sector and on the size and composition of the labour force employed there. To identify these effects, we exploit the staggered implementation of a reform that allowed Italian municipalities to adopt fully flexible opening hours in the late 1990s. Our findings indicate that the possibility of opening shops 24/7 increased employment in the retail sector by about three per cent and raised the number of shops in the affected municipalities by about two per cent. The effects were concentrated amongst workers employed in larger commercial outlets that were better able to exploit the flexibility introduced by the new regime. An analysis of individual-level evidence suggests that the deregulation also produced a recomposition of employment towards regular employees rather than self-employed workers.
    Keywords: regulation, retail sector, employment
    JEL: J21 K20 L51 L81
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Mathias Lé; Frédéric Vinas
    Abstract: How do firms finance their investment? To what extent does the financing mix depends on the nature or the size of investment? To what extent does the funding mix of investment vary along firm size? Relying on a unique database of firms covering 72% of the value added in France over three decades, this paper addresses those questions and provides a comprehensive picture of the financial resources used by firms to finance their investment. We uncover significant cross-sectional heterogeneity in the financing mix of investment along firm size, asset tangibility and investment size. In particular, we show that the commonly held view that "firms strongly rely on bank credit in a bank-based economy" weakens significantly as we consider larger firms or when it comes to finance intangible investments or relatively small investments.
    Keywords: Investment, Working Capital, Firm Financing, Bank Credit, Equity Finance, Retained Earnings, Firm Size, Investment Spikes .
    JEL: E22 G21 G30 G31 G32
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Christine Sevilla-Dedieu (Fondation MGEN pour la santé publique); Nathalie Billaudeau (Fondation MGEN pour la santé publique); Alain Paraponaris (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université, ORS PACA - Observatoire régional de la santé Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur [Marseille])
    Abstract: Background: Compared to the number of studies performed in the United States, few studies have been conducted on the link between health insurance and healthcare consumption in Europe, likely because most European countries have compulsory national health insurance (NHI) or a national health service (NHS). Recently, a major French private insurer, offering voluntary complementary coverage in addition to the compulsory NHI, replaced its single standard package with a range of offers from basic coverage (BC) to extended coverage (EC), providing a quasi-natural experiment to test theoretical assumptions about consumption patterns. Methods: Reimbursement claim data from 85,541 insurees were analysed from 2009 to 2018. Insurees who opted for EC were matched to those still covered by BC with similar characteristics. Difference-indifferences (DiD) models were used to compare both the monetary value and physical quantities of healthcare consumption before and after the change in coverage. Results: As expected, the DiD models revealed a strong significant, though transitory (mainly during the first year), increase after the change in coverage for EC insurees, particularly for costly care such as dental prostheses and spectacles. Surprisingly, consumption seemed to precede the change in coverage, suggesting that one possible determinant of opting for more coverage may be previous unplanned expenses. Conclusion: Both catching-up behaviour and moral hazard are likely to play a role in the increase observed in healthcare consumption.
    Keywords: Complementary health insurance,Moral hazard,Healthcare consumption,Longitudinal data,Exact matching,Difference-in-differences
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Andersson, Martin (Department of Industrial Economics Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH)); Kusetogullari, Anna (Department of Industrial Economics Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH)); Wernberg, Joakim (Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum)
    Abstract: Several scholars as well as industry professionals have claimed that there is a “software-biased shift” in the nature and direction of innovation in that software development is a core part of innovation activities in firms across a wide array of industries. Empirical firm-level evidence of such a shift is still scant. We employ new and unique firm-level survey data on the frequency and nature of software development among firms in Sweden, matched with the Community Innovation Survey (CIS). We find robust evidence supporting a software-bias in innovation in that software development is associated with a higher likelihood of introducing innovations as well as higher innovation sales among firms in both manufacturing and services industries. Furthermore, this positive relationship is stronger for firms employing in-house software developers than for those that only use external developers, suggesting that there is a hierarchy but possibly also a complementarity between internal and external software development. We also find support for complementarity between software-based technology and human capital; the estimated marginal effect of software development on innovation is particularly strong for firms that combine in-house software development with a highly educated workforce in STEM as well as in other disciplines.
    Keywords: Innovation; Software; Software development; Digitalization; Human capital; Software bias; Digital technology; Absorptive capacity
    JEL: L25 O15 O32 O33 O43
    Date: 2020–06–30
  9. By: Evamdrou, Maria; Falkingham, Jane; Qin, Min; Vlachantoni, Athina
    Abstract: On 23 March 2020 the UK went into lockdown in an unprecedented step to attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus. Government advice at that time was that all older people aged 70 and over should stay at home and avoid any contact with non-household members. This study uses new data from the Understanding Society COVID 19 survey collected in April 2020, linked to Understanding Society Wave 9 data collected in 2018/19, in order to examine the extent of support received by individuals aged 70 and over in the first four weeks of lockdown from family, neighbours or friends not living in the same household, and how that support had changed prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The research distinguishes between different types of households as, given with guidance not to leave home and not to let others into the household, those older people living alone or living only with a partner also aged 70 and above are more likely to be particularly vulnerable. The results highlight both positive news alongside causes for concern. The receipt of assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), especially shopping, has increased particularly among those living alone or with an older partner, reflecting the rise of volunteering and community action during this period. However, not all older people reported a rise, and the majority reported ‘no change’, in the support received. Moreover, amongst those older people reporting that they required support with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL) task prior to the pandemic, around one-quarter reported receiving no care from outside the household and one-in-ten of those with two or more ADL care needs reported receiving less help than previously. Although formal home care visits have continued during the pandemic to those who have been assessed by the local government to be in need, it is important to acknowledge that some older people risk not having the support they need.
    Date: 2020–06–22
  10. By: Sarah Marchal; Linus Siöland
    Abstract: This paper for the first time compares trends in minimum income protection for three different target groups: the working, the non-working (but able to work) of active age and the elderly. It aims to provide an inventory of recent changes in minimum income protection, while at the same time highlighting differences in policy treatment in the latest decennium, offering an exploration of the potential concerns and reasoning behind benefit setting for different target groups. We use new data tracking minimum income protection generosity for the period 2009-2018, with indicators carefully calibrated in order to reflect the legally guaranteed minimum situation in each EU Member State.
    Date: 2019–09
  11. By: Elsa Perdrix (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques)
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal impact of later retirement on doctor visits among the French elderly. This question is of interest since spillover effects may arise if later retirement increases healthcare expenditure. I exploit the 1993 French pension reform in a two-stage least square to deal with the endogeneity of retirement. This reform leads to a progressive increase in claiming age, cohort by cohort from 1934 to 1943. I use a two-part model to disentangle between extensive and intensive margin. I use the administrative data HYGIE to observe both healthcare consumption between 2005 and 2015 and past careers. I find that an increase in retirement by four months decreases significantly the probability to have at least one doctor visit per year by 0.815 percentage point and decreases the number of doctor visits by 1.14% between ages 67 and 75. This effect is driven by the consumption of generalist doctor visits, and tends to be stronger for the first ages of consumption observed.
    Keywords: Pension reform,Health,Healthcare consumption
    Date: 2020–07
  12. By: Platt, Lucinda; Warwick, Ross
    Abstract: The economic and public health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed existing inequalities between ethnic groups in England and Wales, as well as creating new ones. We draw on current mortality and case data, alongside pre-crisis labour force data, to investigate the relative vulnerability of different ethnic groups to adverse health and economic impacts. After accounting for differences in population structure and regional concentration, we show that most minority groups suffered excess mortality compared with the white British majority group. Differences in underlying health conditions such as diabetes may play a role; so too may occupational exposure to the virus, given the very different labour market profiles of ethnic groups. Distinctive patterns of occupational concentration also highlight the vulnerability of some groups to the economic consequences of social distancing measures, with Bangladeshi and Pakistani men particularly likely to be employed in occupations directly affected by the UK's ‘lockdown’. We show that differences in household structures and inequalities in access to savings mean that a number of minority groups are also less able to weather short-term shocks to their income. Documenting these immediate consequences of the crisis reveals the potential for inequalities to become entrenched in the longer term.
    Keywords: Covid-19; ethnicity; inequality; mortality; occupational segregation; coronavirus; WEL/43603
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–06–03
  13. By: Trivin, Pedro
    Abstract: Understanding the way households modify their consumption is essential to address the impact of different economic policies. In this paper we use a panel of Spanish households spanning the period 2002-2011 to study the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of wealth. The wealth effect is identified by exploiting within-household variations in a period of relatively large volatility in asset prices. We estimate a MPC out of total wealth of around 1 cent with changes in housing wealth affecting consumption more than other assets. We also find supporting evidence on the concavity of the consumption function, showing that the MPC is a decreasing function of net wealth. Finally, in line with theoretical models accounting for liquidity constraints and precautionary savings, our results confirm the existence of sign and magnitude asymmetries in the MPC.
    Keywords: Marginal propensity to consume out of wealth; Wealth distribution; Household survey; Panel data.
    JEL: D12 E21
    Date: 2020–07–07
  14. By: Burkhard Heer; Mark Trede
    Abstract: We present new empirical evidence on the distribution of earnings, income and wealth among entrepreneurs in Germany. We document that both earnings and income are more concentrated among entrepreneurs than among workers and describe a large-scale overlapping-generations model that can replicate these findings. As an application, we compute the equilibrium effects of a reform of the German pay-as-you-go pension system in which entrepreneurs must also contribute and receive a pension. We show that in the presence of mobility between workers and entrepreneurs, the expected lifetime utility of all newborn households unanimously declines due to the general equilibrium effects of lower aggregate savings, and welfare losses amount to approximately 5% of total consumption. In addition, the integration of self-employed workers into the social security system in Germany does not help to improve its fiscal sustainability, and only an increase in the retirement age to 70 years will help to finance pensions at the present level beyond the year 2050.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, aging, income distribution, overlapping generations, social security, fiscal sustainability
    JEL: H55 D31 D91 J11 L26 C68
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Audinga Baltrunaite (Bank of Italy); Egle Karmaziene (VU University Amsterdam; Swedish House of Finance; Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: We examine how the size of the corporate directors’ labor market affects the quality of board appointments in Italian private firms. To establish the causality of the relationship, we exploit exogenous variations in firms’ access to non-local potential directors following the gradual introduction of a high-speed train, which improved rail connections between cities. Using administrative data on board members belonging to the universe of limited liability companies and a two-way fixed-effects model, we obtain time-invariant measures of firm and director quality. We demonstrate that a positive shock to the non-local director supply increases positive assortative matching between firms and directors. High-quality firms improve the quality of their boards, while lower-quality firms attract lower quality directors. The effect arises from a more active re-matching along the high-speed train line. Our results further suggest that the private firms’ boards with higher quality directors are associated with higher firm growth and productivity, and a lower probability of default.
    Keywords: director supply, board of directors, match quality.
    JEL: G32 G34
    Date: 2020–06
  16. By: Massimo Bordignon (Catholic University, Milan); Matteo Gamalerio (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Edoardo Slerca (Universita' della Svizzera Italiana); Gilberto Turati (Catholic University, Rome)
    Abstract: Why do anti-immigrant political parties have more success in areas that host fewer immigrants? Using regression discontinuity design, structural breaks search methods and data from a sample of Italian municipalities, we show that the relationship between the vote shares of anti-immigrant parties and the share of immigrants follows a U-shaped curve, which exhibits a tipping-like behavior around a share of immigrants equal to 3.35 %. We estimate that the vote share of the main Italian anti-immigrant party (Lega Nord) is approximately 6 % points higher for municipalities below the threshold. Using data on local labor market characteristics and on the incomes of natives and immigrants, we provide evidence which points at the competition in the local labor market between natives and immigrants as the more plausible explanation for the electoral success of anti-immigrant parties in areas with low shares of immigrants. Alternative stories find less support in the data.
    Keywords: Migration, extreme-right parties, anti-immigrant parties, populism, tipping point, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D72 J61 R23
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: In this contribution I analyse socio-economic and demographic correlates of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic across Belgian municipalities. I am interested in the onset of the epidemic, its intensity early on as well as the growth of contaminations in April. The paper uses contamination data from Sciensano, the Belgian health agency in charge of epidemiological information. In the period under investigation, March and April 2020, Belgium used a uniform and restrictive test policy for COVID-19, which changed on May 4th. The data are completed with socio-economic and demographic data published by governmental agencies. Employing linear and log-linear models I find that COVID-19 spread faster in larger, more densely populated, higher income municipalities with more elderly people and a larger share of the elderly population residing in care homes. Richer municipalities managed to slow down the epidemic in April more compared to poorer ones. Municipalities which were more exposed to migration, foreign travel for business, leisure or family affairs were affected earlier on in the epidemic. Income correlates with the contamination rate in particular in the Flemish Region whereas the share of foreign nationalities correlates with the contamination rate in particular in the Walloon Region.
    Keywords: COVID-19; regression analysis; municipality; Belgium
    Date: 2020–07
  18. By: Carlos Sanz (Bank of Spain); Albert Solé-Ollé (University of Barcelona & IEB); Pilar Sorribas-Navarro (University of Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: We investigate whether corruption amplifies the political effects of economic crises. Using Spanish municipal-level data and a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that local unemployment shocks experienced during the Great Recession (2008-2015) increased political fragmentation. This effect was four times larger in municipalities exposed to malfeasance than in municipalities without a history of political corruption. We bolster this evidence by showing that, conditional on province and population-strata fixed effects, there is no evidence of differential pre-trends. We also find that the interaction of unemployment and corruption harms the two traditional main parties and benefits especially the new party on the left (Podemos).
    Keywords: Accountability, Corruption, Political Fragmentation, Economic Crisis
    JEL: D72 D73 H12
    Date: 2020
  19. By: Morales, Marina
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze whether parents' fertility decisions may be an important determinant of the future fertility decisions of their children in Spain. To address this issue, we use data from the Survey of Living Conditions (2011). Our results confirm the intergenerational transmission of fertility decisions in Spain. The higher the parents’ number of children, the higher the number of children that individuals have.
    Keywords: Fertility, Intergenerational transmission, Spain
    JEL: D10 J13 Z13
    Date: 2020–07–25
  20. By: Clémence Berson (Banque de France); Marta De Philippis (Banca d'Italia); Eliana Viviano (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: Some recent literature about the U.S. shows that wage dynamics are more influenced by job-to-job flows than by flows into or out of employment. In this paper, we evaluate whether this result holds also for France and Italy, characterized by a different labor market structure. Using comparable administrative data we find that, as in the U.S., in both France and Italy realized job-to-job transitions contribute positively to wage growth. However, since these flows are smaller and display much lower cyclicality than in the U.S., their contribution to aggregate wage dynamics is low, while the contribution of flows into and out of employment remains sizeable. We then look closely at the heterogeneity in the probability of changing job and in the associated wage premium by types of workers and firms. We find that job-to-job flows and the associated gain tend to be larger in high-skilled occupations and for permanent workers. Moreover, as in the U.S., individuals are more likely to move to younger firms, which intensively poach workers from other firms.
    Keywords: wage dynamics, job-to-job flows, transition probabilities, Phillips curve
    JEL: E24 E32 J63
    Date: 2020–06
  21. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Nicolau Martin Bassols; Judit Vall Castello
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of immigration on workplace safety, a new and previously unexplored outcome in the literature. We use a novel administrative dataset of the universe of workplace accidents reported in Spain from 2003 to 2015 and follow an IV strategy based on the distribution of early migrants settlements across provinces. Our results show that the massive inflow of immigrants between 2003 and 2009 reduced the number of workplace accidents by 10,980 for native workers (7% of the overall reduction during that period). This is driven by Spanish-born workers shifting away from manual occupations to those involving more interpersonal interactions. Immigrant flows during the economic crisis (2010-2015) had no impact on natives’ workplace safety. The scarcity of jobs during that period could have prevented shifts between occupations. Finally, we find no effects of immigration on the workplace safety of immigrants. These results add a previously unexplored dimension to the immigration debate that should be taken into account when evaluating the costs and benefits of migration flows.
    Keywords: Immigration, Workplace Accidents, Safety at Work
    JEL: J61 J28 I1
    Date: 2020–06
  22. By: , Stone Center (The Graduate Center/CUNY); Iacono, Roberto (Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Ranaldi, Marco
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between wage and unemployment rate across the wealth distribution. Using microdata from Norway covering the entire Norwegian population of residents between 2000 and 2015, we introduce four novel findings on this relationship. First, the share of unemployed individuals belonging to the bottom decile of the gross wealth distribution is tenfold larger than the share belonging to the top decile (34% and 3.2%). Second, the former moves in a specular manner to the latter. Third, the negative slope of the wage curve is confirmed. Fourth, the wage-to-unemployment ratio increases monotonically with gross wealth, and decreases monotonically with net wealth for negative values of net wealth. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2020–07–29
  23. By: Enrico Cantoni; Vincent Pons
    Abstract: We test whether politicians can use direct contact to reconnect with citizens, increase turnout, and win votes. During the 2014 Italian municipal elections, we randomly assigned 26,000 voters to receive visits from city council candidates, canvassers supporting the candidates' list, or to a control group. While canvassers’ visits increased turnout by 1.8 percentage points, candidates’ had no impact on participation. Candidates increased their own vote share in the precincts they canvassed, but only at the expense of other candidates on the list. This suggests that their failure to mobilize nonvoters resulted from focusing on securing the preferences of active voters.
    JEL: C93 D72
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Bergantino, Angela Stefania (Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro); Intini, Mario (Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro); Perdiguero, Jordi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper studies the daily price fixing behaviour of the Spanish fuel stations. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we show that low-cost and independent operators take advantage of needier consumers. Their prices increase on the day the unemployed workers receive their subsidy from the government, whereas, on the same day, branded companies decrease their prices. Retailers, aware of this, raise the price when they know demand increases. This phenomenon emphasises the effect of pay cycles on consumer choices and their related economic impact. Findings are also relevant for Antitrust authorities which generally focus on the activities of major brands’ stations.
    Keywords: retail fuel pricing ; subsidy recipients ; low-cost stations ; pay-cycles JEL codes: D12 ; H53 ; L11 ; L22 ; L40
    Date: 2020
  25. By: codagnone, cristiano; Bogliacino, Francesco (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Gómez, Camilo Ernesto (Centro de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo); Folkvord, F.; Liva, Giovanni; Charris, Rafael Alberto (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Montealegre, Felipe (Universidad Nacional de Colombia); Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Francisco; Veltri, Giuseppe Alessandro Prof (University of Trento)
    Abstract: Currently, unprecedented series of events are taking place that affect the institutional structure of the world economy and the social fabric of our societies. In this article, we examine the expectations of the economic outlook, fear of the future, and behavioural change during the lockdown, for three European countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy) that have been severely hit by Covid-19. We use a novel data source that we collected to monitor the three countries during the pandemic. As outcome variables, we use expectations (e.g., economic outlook, labour market situation, recovery), fear (e.g., scenario of new outburst, economic depression, restriction to individual rights and freedom), and behavioural change across the following dimensions: savings, cultural consumption, social capital, and risky behaviour. After providing descriptive evidence that is representative of the population of interest, using longitudinal data from the same survey on exposure to shocks and matching techniques, we estimate the impact of exposure to shock occurred during the crisis on the same outcome variables.
    Date: 2020–06–20
  26. By: González-Val, Rafael
    Abstract: We examine the effects of the legal reform passed in 2012 in Spain to protect mortgage debtors. Under the new regime, it is difficult for low-income debtors who meet certain requirements to be evicted. In the case of default, the bank is forced to offer the debtor a restructuring of the debt, or the debtor can even, as a last resort, transfer the property to the bank as an alternative to having the lender foreclose on it, thus being allowed to stay in the property as a tenant and paying a reduced rent, and avoiding eviction even after foreclosure. We consider quarterly data from 50 Spanish provinces (NUTS III regions) from 2001 to 2019(Q3). We use panel data models with regional, year, and quarter fixed effects, linear and quadratic region-specific time trends, and other relevant control variables at the regional level (house prices, inflation, and unemployment rates), and our results reveal that the reform significantly reduced the number of foreclosures, but that this effect was transitory, fading six years after the reform. However, the negative effect on the mortgage loans market was permanent throughout the period under consideration.
    Keywords: House prices; mortgage loans; default; law reform; panel data models
    JEL: K00 K11 R21
    Date: 2020–07–05
  27. By: Bernd Genser; Robert Holzmann
    Abstract: The Dutch pension system is internationally top-ranked as a well-designed three-pillar system. Moreover, almost all forms of pension benefits are expenditure taxed in line with the European Commission’s recommendations. Consequently, the Dutch pension policy approach could be regarded as a welcome blueprint for pension policy reform, currently on the agenda of all EU member countries. This paper focuses on the taxation of Dutch pensions and identifies two classes of problems that challenge the suitability of deferred pension taxation. First, cash flow taxation of pensions erodes the tax equity objectives of a progressive income tax. Second, deferred pension taxation generates a double fairness dilemma in a world with free cross-border migration and double taxation treaties in accordance with the OECD Model Tax Convention. The paper argues that these problems, as well as other minor problems in Dutch pension taxation, could be solved by replacing the Netherlands’ current system of deferred income taxation of pensions with a frontloaded expenditure tax system.
    Keywords: pension taxation, front-loaded expenditure taxation, progressivity erosion, international migration, OECD model tax convention
    JEL: H24 H55 H87 F22
    Date: 2020
  28. By: Alessio Romarri (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: In this paper, I empirically evaluate the effect of exposure to the Internet on Spanish attitudes towards immigrants. Exploiting a confidential, innovative survey dataset, I am able to identify a relationship between Internet access and attitudes towards immigrants at the micro (municipal) level. I address the endogeneity of Internet availability by looking at pre-existing voice telecommunication characteristics and using outcome variables before and after the arrival of the Internet. Results show that Internet availability between 2008 and 2012 is associated with a better knowledge of (national) immigration dynamics and that it leads to an overall improvement in attitudes towards immigrants. This result is particularly strong among young and urban individuals. Additionally, I find that access to the Internet reduces political support for the Partido Popular, Spain’s traditional right-wing party.
    Keywords: Internet, attitudes, voting
    JEL: J15 J17
    Date: 2020
  29. By: Coban, Mustafa (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Ethnic diversity plays a crucial role in shaping national economic and social policy. A change in the ethnic composition of a country affects citizens' everyday life and social environment and may challenge present societal values, such as solidarity with and trust in fellowcitizens. Based on the European Social Survey, I showthat more contact with members of other ethnic groups in daily life is positively related to more open attitudes of natives towards immigrants. More interethnic contact of natives reduces their social distance to immigrants, their perception of immigrants as a threat to society, and their opposition to future immigration. In turn, an open-minded and tolerant attitude promotes mutual trust and solidarity within society. Since attachment to fellow residents and a feeling of fellowship are essential drivers for supporting governmental redistribution measures, I argue that there is no direct, but an indirect relationship between ethnic diversity and natives' support for redistribution, with attitudes towards immigrants and immigration acting as mediators. By applying bivariate recursive probit estimations, I can decompose the predictors' marginal effects on natives' support for redistribution into a direct effect and an indirect effect that works through natives' attitudes towards immigrants. A decompositionmethod that has so far been relatively unnoticed in the empirical literature. Our results reveal that perception of immigrants as a threat to societal values or country's economy decrease natives' support for redistribution substantially by 15 to 22 percent. The same applies to natives who reject future inflows of immigrants. Natives' desire for social distance to immigrants in private and working life, however, does not affect their demand for redistribution. Thus, the diffuse fear of losing intangible goods triggered by immigration is substantial in the formation of natives' socio-political attitudes. Living in ethnically more diverse neighborhoods, though, increases natives' support for redistribution by 0.4 to 1.5 percent through the promotion of pro-immigrant attitudes and stronger solidarity with fellow residents. These results are robust to IV estimation strategies, which control for reverse causality and the possibility of natives' selective out-migration." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: C30 D31 D63 D72 F22 H20
  30. By: Julien Sauvagnat (Bocconi University); Fabiano Schivardi (Luiss University)
    Abstract: Using exhaustive administrative data on Italian social security records, we construct measures of local labor market tightness for executives that vary by industry and location. We then show that firm performance is negatively a ected by executives death, but only in thin local labor markets. Death events are followed by an increase in the separation rate for the other executives, in particular for those with a college degree. Consistent with the hypothesis that the drop in performance is due to executives' short supply, we find that after a death event executives wages in other firms increase, but only in thin markets.
    Keywords: Executives supply, firm performance, local growth
    JEL: J24 M51 R11
    Date: 2020

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