nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
27 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. On the foreign to native wage differential in Germany: Does the home country matter? By Brunow, Stephan; Jost, Oskar
  2. Stuck at a crossroads? The duration of the Italian school-to-work transition By Pastore, Francesco; Quintano, Claudio; Rocca, Antonella
  3. The Effects of EU-Funded Enterprise Grants on Firms and Workers By Muraközy, Balázs; Telegdy, Álmos
  4. The Heterogenous Regional Effects of Minimum Wages in Poland By Albinowski, Maciej; Lewandowski, Piotr
  5. Cream skimming by health care providers and inequality in health care access: Evidence from a randomized field experiment By Werbeck, Anna; Wübker, Ansgar; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
  6. Are Poles stuck in overeducation? Individual dynamics of educational mismatch in Poland By Jan Aleksander Baran
  7. Spanish regions in Global Value Chains: How important? How different? By Elvira Prades-Illanes; Patrocinio Tello-Casas
  8. Legal Drinking, Injury and Harm: Evidence from the Introduction and Modifications of Age Limits in Denmark By Datta Gupta, Nabanita; Nilsson, Anton
  9. The Problem of Earlier Rights: Evidence from the European Trademark System By Georg von Graevenitz; Stuart J.H. Graham; Amanda Myers
  10. Spatial and Social Mobility in England and Wales: Moving Out to Move On? By Buscha, Franz; Gorman, Emma; Sturgis, Patrick
  11. TBTs, Firm Organization and Labour Structure By Giorgio Barba Navaretti; Lionel Fontagné; Gianluca Orefice; Giovanni Pica; Anna Rosso
  12. Labour Force Participation and Job Polarization: Evidence from Europe during the Great Recession By Verdugo, Gregory; Allègre, Guillaume
  13. Social Security Reforms and the Changing Retirement Behavior in Germany By Axel H. Börsch-Supan; Johannes Rausch; Nicolas Goll
  14. Robots and employment: evidence from Italy By Davide Dottori
  15. (In)Efficiency of Employment Offices: A Study on Welfare Benefits Determination – Is There a Trade-off between Time Saving Case Management and Quality of Decisions? By Dyballa, Katharina; Kraft, Kornelius
  16. Intelligent lockdown, intelligent effects? The impact of the Dutch COVID-19 ‘intelligent lockdown’ on gendered work and family dynamics among parents By Yerkes, Mara A.; André, Stéfanie; Beckers, Debby G. J.; Besamusca, Janna; Kruyen, Peter Mathieu; Remery, Chantal; van der Zwan, Roos; Geurts, Sabine
  17. Working at Home in Greece: Unexplored Potential at Times of Social Distancing? By Pouliakas, Konstantinos
  18. Connected Italy By Emanuela Ciapanna; Giacomo Roma
  19. Welfare States, Labor Markets, Social Investment and the Digital Transformation By Eichhorst, Werner; Hemerijck, Anton; Scalise, Gemma
  20. Has immigration contributed to the rise of right-wing extremist parties in Europe? By Anthony Edo; Yvonne Giesing
  21. The Effect of Young People Not In Employment, Education or Training, On Poverty Rate in European Union By Ionut Jianu
  22. Dream Jobs By Giordano Mion; Luca David Opromolla; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
  23. Relative consent or presumed consent? Organ donation attitudes and behaviour By Costa-I-Font, Joan; Rudisill, Caroline; Salcher-Konrad, Maximilian
  24. Global race for robotisation - Looking at the entire robotisation chain By Zoltan Csefalvay; Petros Gkotsis
  25. Refugees and the Educational Attainment of Natives By Green, Colin P.; Vaag Iversen, Jon Marius
  26. Between Fear Mongers and Samaritans: Does Information Provision Affect Attitudes towards the Right of Asylum in Germany? By Bernd Hayo; Florian Neumeier
  27. How the COVID-19 Lockdown Affected Gender Inequality in Paid and Unpaid Work in Spain By Farré, Lídia; Fawaz, Yarine; Gonzalez, Libertad; Graves, Jennifer

  1. By: Brunow, Stephan; Jost, Oskar (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The German labour force is expected to shrink in the next two decades due to a decline in population. Therefore, the immigration of workers from abroad could compensate potential negative effects of such decline. Is Germany competitive for immigration – i. e., do German employers pay enough to make it attractive as a destination country? We explore the wage gap between foreigners and German employees in particular and focus on different countries of origin to better understand issues related to wage setting among these groups. For this purpose, a threefold Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition is performed using a comprehensive data with a vast amount of information on a large number of workers and firms. The results suggest that most of the wage gap can be explained by observed characteristics, and in most cases, very little difference remains unexplained. We provide evidence on differences specific to the country of origin which could be taken in into consideration to attract people from abroad to better integrate them into the German labour market." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
  2. By: Pastore, Francesco; Quintano, Claudio; Rocca, Antonella
    Abstract: Purpose – There is a long period from completing studies to finding a permanent or temporary (but at least satisfactory) job in all European countries, especially in Mediterranean countries, including Italy. This paper aims to study the determinants of this duration and measure them, for the first time in a systematic way, in the case of Italy. Design/methodology/approach – This paper provides several measures of duration, including education level and other criteria. Furthermore, it attempts to identify the main determinants of the long Italian transition, both at a macroeconomic and an individual level. It tests for omitted heterogeneity of those who are stuck at this important crossroads in their life within the context of parametric survival models. Findings – The average duration of the school-to-work transition for young people aged 18–34 years was 2.88 years (or 34.56 months) in 2017. A shorter duration was found for the highly educated; they found a job on average 46 months earlier than those with compulsory education. At a macroeconomic level, the duration over the years 2004–2017 was inversely related to spending in the labour market policy and in education, GDP growth, and the degree of trade-union density; however, it was directly related to the proportion of temporary contracts. At the individual level, being a woman, a migrant, or living in a densely populated area in the South are the risk factors for remaining stuck in the transition. After correcting for omitted heterogeneity, there is clear evidence of positive duration dependence. Practical implications – Positive duration dependence suggests that focusing on education and labour policy, rather than labour flexibility, is the best way to smooth the transition. Originality – This study develops our understanding of the Italian STWT regime by providing new and detailed evidence of its duration and by studying its determinants.
    Keywords: School-to-work transition,Passive and active labour policy,Survival models,Positive duration dependence,Italy
    JEL: H52 I2 I24 J13 J24
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Muraközy, Balázs (University of Liverpool); Telegdy, Álmos (Corvinus University of Budapest)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of non-repayable enterprise grants financed from the European Union's Structural and Cohesion Funds on firm outcomes in Hungary using firm- and worker-level information on all rejected and successful grant applications between 2004-2014. In our model, after paying the fixed cost of applying, firms can purchase capital at a reduced marginal cost and they share the rent generated from the grant with their workers. In line with the model's predictions, larger than average, more productive and faster growing firms are more likely to apply for a grant. We combine panel regression methods with matching techniques to estimate the effect of grants by comparing successful and unsuccessful applicants' outcomes. Subsidized firms increase their employment, sales, capital-to-labor ratio and labor productivity, but not total factor productivity. The skill composition of workers is not affected by the grant but wages grow, especially for skilled workers. Firms winning multiple grans benefit more already from the first grant and successive grants have even larger effects. According to our simple calculations, each year's subsidy program created jobs in grant winning firms equivalent to 0.3-0.5 percent of total SME employment and contributed by 0.3-0.7 percentage points to aggregate SME productivity growth – with an annual cost often in excess of 1 percent of total SME value added. These results suggest that these grants promote firm growth, but do not lead firms to introduce new forms of production or upgrade technology.
    Keywords: enterprise grants, EU grants, worker effects, matched employer-employee data, Hungary
    JEL: H25 D22 O16 J21
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Albinowski, Maciej (Institute for Structural Research (IBS)); Lewandowski, Piotr (Institute for Structural Research (IBS))
    Abstract: Since 2008, Poland has been among the EU countries that have increased their minimum wage levels the most, following period in the mid-2000s during which the country's minimum wage was barely raised. We evaluate the impact of these minimum wage hikes on employment and wage growth in Poland between 2004 and 2018. We estimate panel data models utilising the considerable variation in wage levels, and in minimum wage bites, across 73 Polish NUTS 3 regions. We find that minimum wage hikes had a significant positive effect on wage growth and a significant negative effect on employment growth only in regions of Poland that were in the first tercile of the regional wage distribution in 2007. These effects were moderate in size, and appear to be more relevant for wages. Specifically, we show that if the ratio of minimum wage to average wage had remained constant after 2007, by 2018, the average wages in these regions would have been 3.4% lower, while employment would have been 1.2% higher. On the other hand, in the remaining two-thirds of Polish regions, we find no significant effects of minimum wage hikes on average wages or on employment. We also find indicative evidence that the effects on employment growth differ between groups of workers: i.e., that they are negative for men and for workers in industry, but they are positive for women and for workers in services.
    Keywords: minimum wage, spatial heterogeneity, panel data
    JEL: J21 J23 J38
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Werbeck, Anna; Wübker, Ansgar; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
    Abstract: Using a randomized field experiment, we show that health care specialists cream-skim patients by their expected profitability. In the German two-tier system, outpatient reimbursement rates for both public and private insurance are centrally determined but are more than twice as high for the privately insured. In our field experiment, following a standardized protocol, the same hypothetical patient called 991 private practices in 36 German counties to schedule appointments for allergy tests, hearing tests and gastroscopies. Practices were 7% more likely to offer an appointment to the privately insured. Conditional on being offered an appointment, wait times for the publicly insured were twice as long than for the privately insured. Our findings show that structural differences in reimbursement rates lead to structural differences in health care access.
    Keywords: health care inequality,reimbursement rates,health care access,discrimination,cherry picking,gastroscopy,audiometry,allergy test,allergists,otorhinolaryngologist,gastroenterologist
    JEL: I14 I11 I18
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Jan Aleksander Baran (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: The paper investigates persistency of overeducation from individual perspective. Following aspects of mobility are analysed: probability of staying in employment, upward occupational mobility and wage dynamics. Data for Poland are used. The results show that overeducated individuals are more likely to stay in employment compared to their properly matched colleagues. The overeducated workers as well as undereducated ones tend to move toward jobs for which they are more properly matched. However, the rate of this adjustment is low and one can fairly claim that in Poland overeducation is a persistent phenomenon from individual perspective. In line with other studies, the overeducated workers are found to experience faster wage growth compared to properly matched individuals. However, it can be largely attributed to overeducated workers improving their match status over time. It means that initially overeducated workers can expect faster wage growth than properly matched workers especially when they move to jobs requiring more schooling.
    Keywords: overeducation, educational mismatch, occupational mobility, earnings mobility
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Elvira Prades-Illanes (Banco de España); Patrocinio Tello-Casas (Banco de España)
    Abstract: The recent release of EUREGIO, a novel global input-output database with regional detail for EU countries, allows to analyze the participation of EU regions in Global Value Chains and their implications for the propagation of sector-specific shocks. We focus on Spanish regions to exploit the granular information embedded in this database. We first characterize foreign and domestic trade inter-linkages of Spanish regions and sectors. Using an extended version of the Leontief scheme, we compute upstream output and value added multipliers. Then, we calculate indicators developed in the Global Value Chain literature to breakdown each region trade flows, both exports and outflows, into value added components. Finally, by means of examples, we analyze the role of networks (domestic or foreign) in the propagation of demand shocks (from customers to suppliers), to evaluate the heterogeneous impact across regions and to illustrate the potential of this approach. Our findings indicate that Spanish regions participate differently in Global Value Chains and this fact may have important implications in the propagation of shocks. According with our results, the strongest user-supplier linkages are usually within the same sector, and, in general, with industries within the same region or other Spanish regions. The Basque Country is the region with sectors with the largest total output-multipliers and Catalonia with the lowest ones. Concerning their participation in Global Value Chains, the Basque Country is the most integrated region in the backward segment of the value chain, closely followed by Madrid, while Catalonia –and a lesser extent Canary Islands– shows a comparatively low participation. Concerning the forward participation, Catalonia shows the largest one on exports, while Madrid and the Basque Country in outflows.
    Keywords: Global Value Chains, input-output structure, networks, EUREGIO
    JEL: F14 F15
    Date: 2020–08
  8. By: Datta Gupta, Nabanita (Aarhus University); Nilsson, Anton (Lund University)
    Abstract: Alcohol is considered one of the most serious threats to population health, and to mitigate its negative consequences, most countries have implemented policies such as minimum legal drinking ages (MLDAs). Denmark, a country with an exceptionally liberal youth alcohol culture, introduced a minimum age for purchasing alcoholic beverages as late as in 1998, prohibiting those below 15 to buy alcohol. Previous studies from the U.S. and a few other contexts have provided substantial evidence that MLDA legislations influence outcomes such as car accidents, but there is little evidence from Europe. Moreover, there is limited evidence for injuries other than those due to vehicle accidents. We exploit the introduction and changes in the MLDA in Denmark to estimate effects on all classes of injuries, as well as alcohol-related outcomes such as intoxication and poisoning. We bring comprehensive evidence on the effects of a total of three reforms, which affected alcohol availability along different margins – 1) establishing an off-premise alcohol purchase age of 15 (1998), 2) raising the off-premise alcohol purchase age to 16 (2004), and 3) increasing the purchase age of beverages exceeding 16.5% in alcohol content from 16 to 18 (2011). Our findings show significant impacts of all the three reforms on injuries. We find that girls responded more to two first two reforms influencing alcohol availability, whereas boys responded more to the last reform, influencing availability of strong liquor. On the other hand, no consistent differences were found across different socioeconomic groups, perhaps reflecting similar patterns of drinking.
    Keywords: alcohol, minimum legal drinking ages, Difference-in-Differences, Denmark
    JEL: H00 I00 I12
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Georg von Graevenitz (Queen Mary University, CCP and CREATe); Stuart J.H. Graham (Georgia Institute of Technology); Amanda Myers (United States Patent and Trademark Office)
    Abstract: Laws protecting intellectual property rights balance interests of earlier and later rights holders. The tradeoffs are well established for patents. We argue that similar considerations apply to trademarks. Jurisdictions differ in how strongly they protect earlier rights, with EU trademark law protecting the registered use of an earlier right for much longer than US trademark law. Laws in both jurisdictions seek to eventually align registered use of earlier rights with their actual use, creating space on the trademark register for later rights. Data from a recent reform of trademark fees reveal that registered and actual use of EU marks frequently fail to align as intended. We analyse trademark opposition cases at EUIPO to test whether this creates costs for owners of later rights. We find that a subset of firms relies on the protection afforded to earlier rights to permanently expand the breadth of their marks beyond actual use, limiting access to trademarks for later applicants. We discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: Trademark, Clutter, Opposition, Non-use, Barriers to entry.
    Date: 2020–03–11
  10. By: Buscha, Franz (University of Westminster); Gorman, Emma (University of Westminster); Sturgis, Patrick (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Social mobility—the extent to which social and economic position in adulthood is facilitated or constrained by family origins—has taken an increasingly prominent role in public and policy discourse. Recent studies have documented that not only who your parents are, but also where you grow up, influences subsequent life chances. We bring these two concepts together to study trends in social mobility in England and Wales, in three post-war generations, using linked Decennial Census data. We estimate rates of occupational social class mobility by sex and region of origin. Our findings show considerable spatial variation in rates of absolute and relative mobility as well as how these have changed over time. While rates of upward mobility increased in every region between the mid-1950s and the early 1980s, this upward shift varied across different parts of the country, and tailed off for more recent cohorts. We also explore the role of domestic migration in understanding these temporal and spatial patterns, finding that those who stayed in their region of origin had lower rates of upward mobility compared to those who moved out, although this difference also narrowed over time. While policy discussion has focused almost entirely on national-level trends in social mobility, our results emphasise the need to also consider persistent spatial inequalities.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, social mobility, regional economics, spatial mobility
    JEL: J62 J61 J21 I24 I26 R12
    Date: 2020–07
  11. By: Giorgio Barba Navaretti (Universita degli Studi di Milano and LdA); Lionel Fontagné (Paris School of Economics, Université Paris I & CEPII); Gianluca Orefice (University of Paris-Dauphine, CEPII and CESifo); Giovanni Pica (Universita della Svizzera Italiana, LdA and CSEF); Anna Rosso (Universita degli Studi di Milano, LdA and CEP)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects on firms' occupational structure of shocks induced by the intro- duction of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) in importing countries. We rely on the Specific Trade Concern (STC) data released by the WTO to identify trade-restrictive TBT measures, combined with matched employer-employee data for the population of French exporters over the period 1995- 2010, and with information on the list of product-destinations served by each French exporter. Con- trolling for time-invariant firm/occupation effects and for time-varying sector/occupation shocks, IV estimates show that exporters respond to increased complexity associated with restrictive TBTs at destination by raising the share of managers at the expense of blue collars, white collars and professionals. This evidence is consistent with the growing literature exploring how firms organize their workforce composition in presence of exogenous (foreign) shocks; and it is also related to the well-beaten literature on the labour market effects of trade.
    Keywords: skill composition, labor demand, trade barriers, non-tariff measures
    JEL: F13 F14 J53
    Date: 2020–06
  12. By: Verdugo, Gregory (University of Evry); Allègre, Guillaume (OFCE)
    Abstract: We document how differences in labour demand by gender explain the contrasting evolutions of labour force participation between men and women during the Great Recession in Europe. We first highlight that Europe is characterized by high levels of occupational segregation by gender. As a result, the large job losses in middle-paid occupations during the Great Recession affected male workers disproportionally. In contrast, the fact that higher- and lower-paid occupations were less affected was more favourable to women. Using individual panel data, we investigate how the labour force participation and regional mobility of men and women responded to these shocks. We find that the labour force participation of women increased considerably in the regions most affected by the destruction of men's jobs and with relatively higher labour demand in occupations more likely to employ women. Women with higher levels of education were also more likely to move to regions with higher labour demand in these occupations. We find that not considering the mobility of women with higher education levels can bias the estimates of the impact of labour demand shocks on participation. For men, unemployment increased in response to regional declines in male labour demand. However, regional shocks explain none of the decline in male labour force participation.
    Keywords: labor force participation, Great Recession, job polarization
    JEL: J21 J23 J24
    Date: 2020–06
  13. By: Axel H. Börsch-Supan; Johannes Rausch; Nicolas Goll
    Abstract: As much like other industrialized countries, in recent decades the employment rate in Germany for those aged 55 to 69 had been declining first to considerably rise again afterwards. This paper investigates the role of structural policy changes, in particular reforms of the pension system, since 1980 in explaining this trend reversal. We summarize the institutional changes and pension reforms that may account for the trend reversal, and calculate an “implicit tax on working longer”. We find that for both men and women the increase in the employment rate coincides with a reduction in the early retirement incentive. The reduction of incentives mainly stems from the introduction of actuarial deductions for early retirement and from the abolishment of specific early retirement pathways.
    JEL: H55 J26
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Davide Dottori (Bank of Italy, Ancona regional branch)
    Abstract: Increased robot diffusion has raised concerns for its possible negative impact on employment. Following an empirical approach in line with those applied to the US and Germany with contrasting results, this paper provides evidence about the effect of robots on employment outcomes in Italy (second European economy for robot stock) from the early 1990s up to 2016, both at the local labour market (LLM) level and at the worker level. In order to purge from demand and other confounding shocks, the identification relies on an instrumental variables strategy based on robots’ sectoral growth in other European countries. No harmful impact on total employment emerges from the LLM analysis; the estimated effect is negative when limited to manufacturing employment, but its statistical significance is weak or absent once concurrent trends relating to trade and ICT are controlled for. Results at the worker level show that incumbent workers in manufacturing were not damaged on average, with an overall positive (though not large) employment effect, driven by longer working relationships with the original firm; conditional on them remaining at the original firm, the impact is also positive on wages. On the other hand, robot diffusion turns out to have contributed to reshaping the sectoral distribution of the new labour force inflows towards less robot intensive industries.
    Keywords: robot, automation, employment, local labour markets, wages
    JEL: J23 J31 L11 L60 O33 R11
    Date: 2020–07
  15. By: Dyballa, Katharina (TU Dortmund); Kraft, Kornelius (TU Dortmund)
    Abstract: This study investigates the efficiency of the process of benefit determination for welfare recipients in Germany. A stochastic frontier analysis is used to compute (in)efficiency of Jobcenter (employment offices) in terms of average processing time used for determining benefit levels per case. Next, the quality of the process of welfare benefits determination is considered by analyzing the share of upheld opposition because of misapplication of the laws. No effect of the (in)efficiency term on quality is estimated such that the quality of decision is unrelated to the time input. Manning of the employment offices seems to be to a large extent determined by other factors than a fair allocation of scarce resources in relation to demand for them. However in the case of treatment of one particular group (newly registered unemployed) and one organizational measure (offices that arrange specific appointments) a trade-off is estimated. Moreover, better skilled employees need less time for servicing cases and produce less erroneous decision.
    Keywords: employment offices, efficiency, processing time, quality of decisions
    JEL: J65 I38 H53 H55 C54
    Date: 2020–06
  16. By: Yerkes, Mara A.; André, Stéfanie; Beckers, Debby G. J.; Besamusca, Janna; Kruyen, Peter Mathieu; Remery, Chantal; van der Zwan, Roos; Geurts, Sabine
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of the Dutch ‘intelligent lockdown’ during the COVID-19 pandemic on work and family dynamics among parents. This ‘intelligent lockdown’ relied on a combination of restrictive measures and an emphasis on individual responsibility as a means of lessening the spread and health impact of the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is more than a public health crisis. Lockdown measures had substantial societal effects, including a significant impact on parents with (young) children. Given gender inequality existent prior to the pandemic, the question arises to what extent the consequences of the lockdown varied for mothers and fathers. Using representative survey data gathered among Dutch parents in April 2020, we explore changes in three areas: paid work, the division of care and household work, and quality of life (leisure, work-life balance, relationship dynamics). Our linear probability and multinomial logistic models demonstrate that the way in which families were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic reflects a complex gendered reality. We find that gender inequality patterns in the division of paid work, care work, and housework continue to exist. Moreover, the unique situation created by restrictive lockdown measures magnified some inequalities while others were lessened. We find evidence of increased gender inequality in relation to paid work and quality of life, yet a decrease in gender inequality in the division of care and household tasks. During the lockdown, Dutch fathers reported doing more care and household tasks than before. The insights provided here offer key comparative references for understanding the broader impact of lockdown measures on work and family dynamics, as well as quality of life as we move forward in the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Date: 2020–07–21
  17. By: Pouliakas, Konstantinos (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the incidence, trend and determinants of remote work in Greece. A crisis-stricken country in the years preceding the Covid-19 crisis, Greece entered the first wave of the public health shock as a laggard in digitalisation and remote work arrangements among European countries. While Covid-19 induced a spike in the use of remote work arrangements in many countries, this paper presents evidence that working from home (WfH) in Greece was subdued in the past decade. By analysing the profile of the job tasks and skill needs of Greek homeworkers, the paper also shows marked deviations in homeworking patterns and determinants in Greece, relative to other EU countries. This includes a higher prevalence of WfH among Greek females and non-nationals, limited use by young workers and families with children and a stronger relation with atypical work hours. While remote workers in Greece receive a 7% monthly wage premium, their jobs are found to involve standardised and moderate ICT tasks and to rely more on social serving tasks. The paper highlights that there is significant scope to enhance remote work in Greece, which can amount to up to 37% of all salaried jobs, subject to changing work organisation, norms and policies. In the coronavirus era, overcoming barriers to remote work will be key for the Greek labour market to adapt to social distances practices and digitalisation.
    Keywords: work at home, remote work, teleworking, tasks, skills, COVID-19, Greece
    JEL: C25 J01 J23 J24 J31
    Date: 2020–06
  18. By: Emanuela Ciapanna (Bank of Italy); Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The purpose of this work is to describe the present conditions and possible development of telecommunication networks in Italy, with particular reference to new generation networks. We review the main technological solutions adopted from a cross-country perspective and investigate the determinants of the Italian lag on both the supply and demand side. We also assess the congestion risk associated with the COVID-19 emergency. The latter is interpreted as a large demand shock, whose effects on some sectors ? namely smart working, e-commerce and e-government ? are already visible. The main message from our analysis is that our country has shown varying degrees of resilience and adaptability to the shock: areas covered with high-speed broadband and clusters of firms and public administrations that had invested in digitalization in the past found themselves well equipped to face the shock. On the contrary, areas without an adequate bandwidth coverage, as well as firms and public administrations devoid of a settled digital culture, were caught unprepared. Our study reiterates the urgent need to maximize the coverage of the whole territory with high-speed internet broadband, and to invest in digital human capital development.
    Keywords: telecommunication networks, telecommunication regulation, broadband, 5G, digital skills, smart working, e-commerce, e-government, Covid-19
    JEL: K21 K23 L4 L96
    Date: 2020–07
  19. By: Eichhorst, Werner (IZA); Hemerijck, Anton (European University Institute); Scalise, Gemma (University of Bergamo)
    Abstract: Barely having had the time to digest the economic and social aftershocks of the Great Recession, European welfare states are confronted with the even more disruptive coronavirus pandemic as probably, threatening the life of the more vulnerable, while incurring job losses for many as the consequence of the temporal "freezing of the economy" by lockdown measures. Before the Covid-19 virus struck, the new face of the digital transformation and the rise of the 'platform' economy already raised existential questions for future welfare provision. The Great Lockdown - if anything - is bound to accelerate these trends. Greater automation will reinforce working from home to reduce Covid-19 virus transmission risks. At the same time, the Great Lockdown will reinforce inequality, as the poor find it more difficult to work from home, while low-paid workers in essential service in health care, supermarket retail, postal services, security and waste disposal, continue to face contagion risks. And although popular conjectures of 'jobless growth' and 'routine-biased' job polarization, driven by digitization and artificial intelligence, may still be overblown, intrusive change in the nature of work and employment relations require fundamental rethinking of extant labour market regulation and social protection. Inspired more by adverse family demography than technological change, social investment reform has been the fil rouge of welfare recalibration since the turn of the century. Is social investment reform still valid in the new era of 'disruptive' technological transformation in aftermath of Coronavirus pandemic that is likely to turn into the worst recession since the second world war? Empirically, this chapter explores how Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, in terms of the strengths and vulnerabilities of their labour market to digitization, together with their respective social investment aptitude, are currently preparing their welfare states for the intensification of technological change in the decade ahead.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Italy, technological change, Netherlands, social investment, digital transition, Germany
    JEL: J21 J24 J42
    Date: 2020–06
  20. By: Anthony Edo; Yvonne Giesing
    Abstract: Alongside a range of already well documented factors such as deindustrialization, technological progress and international trade, a series of recent empirical econometric studies show that immigration has contributed to the rise of extreme right-wing parties in Europe. Our study highlights, however, that there is no mechanical link between the rise of immigration and that of extreme right-wing parties. Exploiting French presidential elections from 1988 to 2017, we show that the positive impact of immigration on votes for extreme right-wing parties is driven by low-skilled immigration and immigration from non-European countries. Our results moreover show that high-skilled immigration from non-European countries has a negative impact on extreme right-wing parties. These findings suggest that the degree of economic and social integration of immigrants plays an important role in the formation of anti-immigrant sentiment. Fostering integration should therefore reduce negative attitudes toward immigrants and preserve national cohesion at a time when the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic could reinforce mistrust and xenophobia.
    Keywords: Voting;Immigration;Political Economy
    JEL: D72 F22 J15 P16
    Date: 2020–07
  21. By: Ionut Jianu
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate the effect of young people who are not in employment, education or training (neets rate) on the people at risk of poverty rate in the European Union. Statistical data covering the 2010-2016 period for all EU-28 Member States have been used. Regarding the methodology, the study was performed by using Panel Estimated Generalized Least Squares method, weighted by Period SUR option. The effect of neets rate on poverty rate proved to be positive and statistically significant in European Union, since this indicator includes two main areas which are extremely relevant for poverty dimension. Firstly, young unemployment rate was one of the main channels through which the financial crisis has affected the population income. Secondly, it accounts for the educational system coverage and its skills deficiencies.
    Date: 2020–07
  22. By: Giordano Mion; Luca David Opromolla; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
    Abstract: Understanding why certain jobs are ‘better’ than others and what implications they have for a worker’s career is clearly an important but still relatively unexplored question. We provide both a theoretical frame-work and a number of empirical results that help distinguishing ‘good’ from ‘bad’ jobs in terms of their impact on a worker’s lifetime wage income profile through wage jumps occurring upon changing job (‘static effects’) or through increases in the wage growth rate (‘dynamic effects’). We find that the distinction between internationally active firms and domestic firms is a meaningful empirical dividing line between employers providing ‘good’ and ‘bad’ jobs. First, in internationally active firms the experience-wage profile is much steeper than in domestic firms, especially for managers as opposed to blue-collar workers. Second, the higher lifetime wage income for managers in internationally active firms relies on the stronger accumulation of experience that these firms allow for and on the (almost) perfect portability of the accumulated dynamic wage gains to other firms. Static effects are instead much more important for blue-collar workers. Finally, the distinction between internationally active and domestic firms is relevant also at a more aggregate level to explain cross-sectional differences in wages among workers and spatial differences in average wages across regions within a country.
    Keywords: good jobs, international experience, managers, sorting, wage growth, wage premium
    JEL: J30 M12 J62 F16
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Costa-I-Font, Joan; Rudisill, Caroline; Salcher-Konrad, Maximilian
    Abstract: Legislation, in the form of presumed consent, has been argued to boost organ donation but most evidence disregards the practice of seeking relative’s consent, which can either ‘veto’ donation decisions, or ‘legitimize them’, by removing any possible conflict with the donor’s family. We study the effect of presumed consent alongside family consent on individu- als’ willingness to donate (WTD) one’s own and relatives’ organs, and on actual organ donation behaviours. Using data from 28 European countries for the period 2002–2010, we found that presumed consent (PC) policies are associated with increased willingness to donate organs, but this effect was attenuated once internal family discussions on organ donation were controlled for. Our findings indicate that relative’s consent acts as a veto of donation intentions and attenuates the effect of regulation on actual donations. More specifically, PC increases WTD one’s own and relatives’ organs in countries where no family consent is required. Consistently, we find that family consent attenuates the influence of regulatory environment on actual donations. The effect is driven by the influence of family discussions which increased WTD, and in combination with presumed consent translated into higher organ donation rates.
    Keywords: organ donation; relative consent; family veto; European countries; presumed consent
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2020–06–22
  24. By: Zoltan Csefalvay (European Commission - JRC); Petros Gkotsis (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Where does Europe stand in the global robotisation race? This paper aims to answer this question by developing a novel theoretical and analytical framework which applies the concept of a global value chain to robotisation. By doing this, we investigate in detail the entire robotisation chain, from robotics developers to robot manufacturers, and companies that deploy industrial robots. For the research and development (R&D)-intensive part of the chain (robotics development), we analyse the robotics patent data of the Worldwide Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT) combined with ORBIS, while for the capital-intensive part (deployment of robots), our information is sourced from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). Our results show that although the ‘big five’ (Europe, USA, China, Japan, and Korea) dominate the global robotisation landscape they do not all hold equally strong positions across the whole robotisation chain. Japan and Korea are the early first-movers and today’s global leaders, as they are robustly engaged in every part of the chain. Europe is very strong in robot manufacturing and robot deployment, but is behind global leaders in robotics development. The USA has its firm competitive advantages in robotics development, while at present the latecomer China is a rival only in the industrial deployment of robots. Nevertheless, in Europe, some smaller and advanced economies are specialising in certain parts of the robotisation chain, as Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden are performing well in robotics development; not only this, Belgium, Italy, and Spain are making extensive use of industrial robots for various kinds of manufacturing. European economies which are lagging behind the rest – largely consisting of Central and Eastern European countries – are involved in the robotisation chain only insofar as they are involved in robot deployment. Since there are only 43 countries globally who are taking part in robotisation, the eminent policy challenge remains to find ways for countries to become integrated into the robotisation chain, and for those countries already engaged in robotisation, the main focus is to create policies which support upgrading across the chain, as the reshoring of previously offshored production becomes more prevalent.
    Keywords: robotisation, global value chain, robotics patent, industrial transformation, territorial development, Europe
    JEL: O3 O14 O30 O25
    Date: 2020–07
  25. By: Green, Colin P. (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)); Vaag Iversen, Jon Marius (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU))
    Abstract: There has been a recent rapid increase in immigration into Europe, specifically in the form of refugees and asylum seekers. This raises a range of social challenges and a particular focus is education and school systems. A growing body of research investigates the impact of immigrants on native test score performance. In practice this reports very mixed results and a difficulty is that immigrant groups are often pooled together due to data restrictions. We return to this issue using Norwegian register data that allows us to distinguish refugees from other immigrants. Using narrow within-school, within-family comparisons combined with the Norwegian refugee settlement system we demonstrate marked negative effects of refugee children on the test score performance of their native school children classmates. These effects are simply not present for other immigrants, and stem primarily from refugee children who themselves are most at risk of low performance. These negative effects are concentrated on students at most risk of underperformance, boys and children from lower educated backgrounds, and may reflect a lack of compensatory inputs at schools.
    Keywords: refugees, educational attainment
    JEL: J15 I21
    Date: 2020–07
  26. By: Bernd Hayo; Florian Neumeier
    Abstract: We utilise information experiments embedded in a representative population survey to elicit the German public’s attitude towards the right of asylum. We randomly assign the interviewees to different groups and ‘treat’ each group with different information about the asylum-seekers that came to Germany in 2015 and 2016. The treatments involve information about (i) the total number of asylum-seekers, (ii) the fiscal costs as well as (iii) the potential long-term economic benefits associated with accepting refugees, (iv) the share of Muslim asylum-seekers, and (v) the share of war refugees. We find that providing information about the fiscal costs associated with accepting refugees, and about the share of Muslim refugees, significantly increases the likelihood of opposing the right of asylum by roughly 5 and 7 percentage points, respectively. These effects are more pronounced for middle-income earners and respondents with a low level of education. Deviations of people’s beliefs from the actual numbers provided by the treatments can affect their attitudes: respondents who underestimated the share of Muslim refugees are 18 percentage points more likely to call for abolishing the right of asylum when informed about the actual share.
    Keywords: refugee crisis, right of asylum, immigration, perception bias, survey experiment, Germany
    JEL: C90 J15 K37 Z13
    Date: 2020
  27. By: Farré, Lídia (University of Barcelona); Fawaz, Yarine (CEMFI, Madrid); Gonzalez, Libertad (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Graves, Jennifer (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: The covid-19 pandemic led many countries to close schools and declare lockdowns during the Spring of 2020, with important impacts on the labor market. We document the effects of the covid-19 lockdown in Spain, which was hit early and hard by the pandemic and suffered one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. We collected rich household survey data in early May of 2020. We document large employment losses during the lockdown, especially in "quarantined" sectors and non-essential sectors that do not allow for remote work. Employment losses were mostly temporary, and hit lower-educated workers particularly hard. Women were slightly more likely to lose their job than men, and those who remained employed were more likely to work from home. The lockdown led to a large increase in childcare and housework, given the closing of schools and the inability to outsource. We find that men increased their participation in housework and childcare slightly, but most of the burden fell on women, who were already doing most of the housework before the lockdown. Overall, we find that the covid-19 crisis appears to have increased gender inequalities in both paid and unpaid work in the short-term.
    Keywords: COVID-19, gender roles, labor market, household work, childcare
    JEL: D13 J13 J16
    Date: 2020–07

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