nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
28 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Regional labour migration - Stylized facts for Germany By Mark Trede; Michael Zimmermann
  2. Incorporating quality in the efficiency assessment of hospitals using a generalized directional distance function approach By Calogero Guccio; Domenico Lisi; Marco Ferdinando Martorana; Giacomo Pignataro
  3. Financial Capital and Immigrant Self-Employment: Evidence from a Swedish Reform By Aldén, Lina; Hammarstedt, Mats; Miao, Chizheng
  4. Exploring effects of competitive tender for users in the regional railway market: evidence from Europe By Florent Laroche; Ayana Lamatkhanova
  5. Lift the Ban? Initial Employment Restrictions and Refugee Labour Market Outcomes By Francesco Fasani; Tommaso Frattini; Luigi Minale
  6. The Heterogeneous and Regressive Consequences of COVID-19: Evidence from High Quality Panel Data By Hamish Low; Thomas F. Crossley; Paul Fisher
  7. The effect of early childhood education and care services on the social integration of refugee families By Gambaro, Ludovica; Neidhöfer, Guido; Spieß, Christa Katharina
  8. Does local competition make a difference for store profitability?: An empirical study of 168 Swedish supermarkets By Hernant, Mikael; Julander, Claes-Robert
  9. Self-Selection in Physical and Mental Health among Older Intra-European Migrants By Amelie F. Constant; Nadja Milewski
  10. Saving for retirement through the public pension system: Evidence from the self-employed in Spain By Ander Iraizoz
  11. Work, Care and Gender during the COVID-19 Crisis By Hupkau, Claudia; Petrongolo, Barbara
  12. Dispersion estimation; Earnings risk; Censoring; Quantile regression; Occupational choice; Sorting; Risk preferences; SOEP; IABS By Daniel Pollmann; Thomas Dohmen; Franz Palm
  13. All I have to do is dream? The role of aspirations in intergenerational mobility and well-being By Warn N. Lekfuangfu; Reto Odermatt
  14. Labor Supply and Automation Innovation By Alexander M. Danzer; Carsten Feuerbaum; Fabian Gaessler
  15. Reallocation Effects of the Minimum Wage By Christian Dustmann; Attila Lindner; Uta Schönberg; Matthias Umkehrer; Philipp vom Berge
  16. Self-employment by gender in the EU: convergence and clusters By João Ricardo Faria; Juan Carlos Cuestas; Luis Gil-Alana; Estefania Mourelle
  17. Exposure to ethnic minorities changes attitudes to them By Sabina Albrecht; Riccardo Ghidoni; Elena Cettolin; Sigrid Suetens
  18. The Expected (Signaling) Value of Higher Education By Ehrmantraut, Laura; Pinger, Pia; Stans, Renske
  19. Ethnic Employment Gaps of Graduates in the Netherlands By Bisschop, Paul; ter Weel, Bas; Zwetsloot, Jelle
  20. Framing the Predicted Impacts of COVID-19 Prophylactic Measures in Terms of Lives Saved Rather Than Deaths Is More Effective for Older People By Biroli, Pietro; Bosworth, Steven J.; Della Giusta, Marina; Di Girolamo, Amalia; Jaworska, Sylvia; Vollen, Jeremy
  21. The Transition to Self-Employment and Perceived Skill-Mismatches: Panel Data Evidence from Eleven EU Countries By Albiol Sanchez, Judit; Diaz-Serrano, Luis; Teruel, Mercedes
  22. Do Skilled Migrants Compete with Native Workers? Analysis of a Selective Immigration Policy By Sara Signorelli
  23. Happy Pills? Mental Health Effects of the Dramatic Increase of Antidepressant Use By Masiero, Giuliano; Mazzonna, Fabrizio; Steinbach, Sandro
  24. Financial Distress and the Role of Management in Micro and Small-Sized Firms By Alexandre, Fernando; Cruz, Sara; Portela, Miguel
  25. Did decentralisation affect citizens' perception of the European Union? The impact during the height of decentralisation in Europe By Tselios, Vassilis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  26. COVerAGE-DB: a database of age-structured COVID-19 cases and deaths By Timothy Riffe; Enrique Acosta; José M. Aburto; Diego Alburez-Gutierrez; Ugofilippo Basellini; Anna Altová; Simona Bignami; Didier Breton; Eungang Choi; Jorge Cimentada; Gonzalo De Armas; Emanuele Del Fava; Alicia Delgado; Viorela Diaconu; Jessica Donzowa; Christian Dudel; Antonia Fröhlich; Alain Gagnon; Mariana Garcia Cristómo; Victor M. Garcia-Guerrero; Armando González-Díaz; Irwin Hecker; Dagnon Eric Koba; Marina Kolobova; Mine Kühn; Chia Liu; Andrea Lozer; Mădălina Manea; Muntasir Masum; Ryohei Mogi; Saskia Morwinsky; Ronald Musizvingoza; Mikko Myrskylä; Marilia R. Nepomuceno; Michelle Nickel; Natalie Nitsche; Anna Oksuzyan; Samuel Oladele; Emmanuel Olamijuwon; Oluwafunke Omodara; Soumaila Ouedraogo; Mariana Paredes; Marius Pascariu; Manuel Piriz; Raquel Pollero; Federico Rehermann; Filipe Ribeiro; Silvia Rizzi; Francisco Rowe; Isaac Sasson; Jiaxin Shi; Rafael Silva-Ramirez; Cosmo Strozza; Catalina Torres; Sergi Trias-Llimos; Fumiya Uchikoshi; Alyson A. van Raalte; Paola Vazquez-Castillo; Estevão Vilela; Iván Williams; Virginia Zarulli
  27. Do Public Subsidies of Union Membership Increase Union Membership Rates? By Barth, Erling; Bryson, Alex; Dale-Olsen, Harald
  28. Happier with Vocational Education? By Brunello, Giorgio

  1. By: Mark Trede; Michael Zimmermann
    Abstract: We present stylized facts of the local German labour markets in a systematic way. Using a large German administrative dataset and newly available regional price level data, we study workers' biographies at the local level. Huge regional variation is documented in: unemployment rates and nominal as well as real wages. The distinction between urban and rural areas plays a substantial role. We show that the real wage gap between East and West Germany still persists 30 years after reunification whereas unemployment rates tend to converge. We investigate monthly worker flows across 328 regions (roughly equivalent to NUTS 3 regions or "Landkreise"). Unemployed workers in depressed regions are less likely to move to a new working place in another region than unemployed workers in prosperous regions. The most (and increasingly) mobile group are unemployed workers in dense and active regions. Employed workers are less willing to move and have procyclical fluctuations in their moving rates.
    Keywords: labour mobility; business cycle fluctuations; regional disparities
    JEL: R23 J61 J63 C55
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Calogero Guccio (Università di Catania); Domenico Lisi (Università di Catania e University of York); Marco Ferdinando Martorana (Università di Catania); Giacomo Pignataro (Università di Catania, University of York e Politecnico di Milano)
    Abstract: The increasing pressure to cost containment in the public sector and, specifically, in health care provision raises concern on the potential adverse effects on the hospital quality that would imply the existence of an efficiency-effectiveness trade-off. This hypothesis calls for taking into account explicitly the relationship between efficiency and quality when analyzing hospitals’ performance. This paper adopts a non-parametric approach to study the whole performance in the provision of hospital services in Italy. We employ a generalized directional distance function that allows incorporating both desirable outputs and undesirable outcomes (i.e. risk-adjusted mortality rates) in the estimation of efficiency, thus enabling for studying hospital performance thoroughly, and assess the impact of integrating quality in the efficiency assessment. We find that including quality does matter. In addition, considering that patients in the Italian National Health System do not directly pay for treatments and, thus, hospitals presumably compete on quality in a catchment area, we also study whether taking into account quality matters in studying spatial dependence in hospital performance.
    Keywords: hospital efficiency, directional distance function, undesirable outputs, tradeoff effectiveness-efficiency, spatial dependence
    JEL: I12 I18 H75 D22
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Aldén, Lina (Department of Economics and Statistics); Hammarstedt, Mats (Linnæus University and); Miao, Chizheng (Department of Economics and Statistics)
    Abstract: We study the role of capital requirement in immigrants’ self-employment decision with the help of a reform implemented in Sweden in 2010 which reduced capital requirements for limited liability companies. For both men and women, the reform increased both the probability of starting a limited liability firm and the probability of changing corporate form for those self-employed prior to the reform. We found that the reform affected immigrants and natives differently. Natives primarily responded to the reform by changing corporate form whereas immigrant men, especially those originating from the Middle East, responded to the reform by starting limited liability firms. Small differences emerge when we compare native women with immigrant women. Finally, it is the wage employed who start a limited liability business in the post-reform period, underlining the fact that access to financial capital is an obstacle for wage-employed individuals who opt for self-employment. This is true for both immigrants and natives. In contrast, more marginalised groups (i.e. unemployed immigrants), do not respond to the reform by starting limited liability firms.
    Keywords: Self-employment; Financial capital; Limited liability; Immigrants
    JEL: J15 J68 L26 L51
    Date: 2020–09–29
  4. By: Florent Laroche (LAET - Laboratoire Aménagement Économie Transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Ayana Lamatkhanova
    Abstract: The paper explores the effect of the competitive tender for users through prices and frequencies in the regional railway passenger market. The analysis is original by an extended perimeter to seven European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, UK) and a total of 103 routes mixing market open to competition by tendering with market still under monopoly. Data are cross sectional and have been selected for one day. The method is based on an econometric analysis (Sureg) developed for other modes (air, coach) but never yet applied to the rail market and its specificities in terms of competition. For the regional services where competition is "for the market", the competition is analyzed through a dummy as a threat to lose the tender. Intermodal competition is limited to the coach services (dummy) and carpooling services (dummy). Results show that the threat of intra-modal competition can increase price for users but have no significant effect on frequencies. The analysis country by country highlights a similar performance for Sweden and Switzerland in spite of high differences in terms of competition. It suggests that the ability to negotiate contracts of public authorities and political choices can be more determinant than potential competition. Finally, effect of intermodal competition are weak mainly because of a limited offer. Results show that the probability to find a carpooling service increases when prices of train are increasing.
    Keywords: market structure,competition,tender,regional train,Railway competition,Regional Economy,Tender offer regulation
    Date: 2020–09–04
  5. By: Francesco Fasani (QMUL, CEPR, CReAM and IZA); Tommaso Frattini (University of Milan, LdA, CEPR, CReAM and IZA); Luigi Minale (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CReAM and IZA)
    Abstract: This article investigates the medium to long-term effects on refugee labour market outcomes of the temporary employment bans being imposed in many countries on recently arrived asylum seekers. Using a newly collected dataset covering almost 30 years of employment restrictions together with individual data for refugees entering European countries between 1985 and 2012, our empirical strategy exploits the geographical and temporal variation in employment bans generated by staggered introduction and removal coupled with frequent changes at the intensive margin. We find that exposure to a ban at arrival reduces refugee employment probability in post-ban years by 15%, an impact driven primarily by lower labour market participation. These effects are not mechanical, since we exclude refugees who may still be subject to employment restrictions, are non-linear in ban length, confirming that the very first months following arrival play a key role in shaping integration prospects, and last up to 10 years post arrival. We further demonstrate that the detrimental effects of employment bans are concentrated among less educated refugees, translate into lower occupational quality, and seem not to be driven by selective migration. Our causal estimates are robust to several identification tests accounting for the potential endogeneity of employment ban policies, including placebo analysis of non-refugee migrants and an instrumental variable strategy. To illustrate the costs of these employment restrictions, we estimate a EUR 37.6 billion output loss from the bans imposed on asylum seekers who arrived in Europe during the so-called 2015 refugee crisis.
    Keywords: asylum seekers, economic assimilation, asylum policies
    JEL: F22 J61 K37
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Hamish Low; Thomas F. Crossley; Paul Fisher
    Abstract: Using new data from the Understanding Society COVID-19 Study collected in two waves in April and in May 2020 in the UK, we make three contributions. First, Understanding Society is based on probability samples and the Covid-19 Study is carefully constructed to support valid population inferences. Second, the panel allows a long-run measure of income to characterise regressivity. Third, we have novel data on the mitigation strategies that households use. Our key findings are that those with precarious employment, under 30 and from minority ethnic groups face the biggest labour market shocks. Almost 50% of individuals have experienced declines in household earnings of at least 10%, but declines are most severe in the bottom income quintiles. Methods of mitigation vary substantially across groups: borrowing and transfers from family and friends are most prevalent among those most in need.
    Keywords: COVID-19, job loss, inequality, mitigation, financial distress
    JEL: C83 D31 J63
    Date: 2020–09–29
  7. By: Gambaro, Ludovica; Neidhöfer, Guido; Spieß, Christa Katharina
    Abstract: Devising appropriate policy measures for the integration of refugees is high on the agenda of many governments. This paper focuses on the social integration of families seeking asylum in Germany between 2013 and 2016. Exploiting regional differences in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services as an exogenous source of variation, and controlling for local level heterogeneity that could drive the results, we estimate the effect of ECEC attendance by refugee children on their parents' integration. We find a significant and substantial positive effect, in particular on the social integration of mothers. The size of the estimate is on average around 52% and is particularly strong for improved language proficiency and employment prospects.
    Keywords: asylum seekers,refugees,childcare,early education,integration
    JEL: I26 J13 J15
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Hernant, Mikael (Högskolan i Skövde (HIS), Institutionen för Handel och Företagande); Julander, Claes-Robert (Center for Retailing)
    Abstract: Much of what we know about the effects of competition on store performance emanate from SCP studies of grocery retail stores located in different geographical markets. These studies have provided empirical support for the notion that low competition endows firms with market power, enabling them to set higher prices compared to firms located in more competitive markets. However, to what extent the effect of competition on prices translates into higher gross margins and higher profits and profitability on the store level appears to be an unanswered question. One reason being that valid and reliable data on the profitability of individual stores never or very seldom are disclosed for research by retail companies. This study takes previous empirical research on the effects of local competition in retailing one step further, by investigating the relationships between competition and various aspects of economic performance of 168 supermarkets, all owned and managed by individual retailers affiliated to the voluntary ICA chain in Sweden. A unique database has been created by pooling data from income statements and balance sheets with details on local competition. Local competition is depicted in three dimensions: concentration, horizontal vs. intertype competition, and spatial monopoly. The main contribution of this study is that it establishes an empirical relationship between competition and bottom-line economic performance. The results show that competition has a significant effect on conduct and financial performance. In more competitive markets, supermarkets price lower, conduct “more” on non-price attributes, and achieve lower profitability compared to stores facing little competition. This study thus validates the SCP-paradigm and it explicitly shows that market power opportunities on the local market level is translated into higher profitability performance of stores. As such, the study has important implications for competition authorities’ actions as well as for retail management decisions.
    Keywords: Retailing; Competition; store profitability
    Date: 2020–09–28
  9. By: Amelie F. Constant; Nadja Milewski
    Abstract: The Healthy Immigrant Paradox found in the literature by comparing the health of immigrants to that of natives in the host country, may suffer from serious cultural biases. Our study evades such biases by utilizing a destination-origin framework, in which we compare the health of emigrants to that of their compatriots who stay in the country of origin. Isolating cultural effects can best gauge self-selection and host country effects on the health of emigrants with longer time abroad. We study both the physical and mental dimensions of health among European-born emigrants over 50, who originate from seven European countries and now live elsewhere in Europe. We use the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and apply multi-level modeling. Regarding the physical health we find positive self-selection, beneficial adaptation effects, and effects from other observables for some but not all countries. With the notable exception of the German émigrés, we cannot confirm selection in mental health, while additional years abroad have only weak effects. Overall, living abroad has some favorable effects on the health of older emigrants. The economic similarity of countries and the free intra-European mobility mitigate the need for initial self-selection in health and facilitate the migration experience abroad.
    Keywords: panel data, physical health, mental health, older population, emigrants, multi-level models, Europe
    JEL: C23 F22 J11 J14 J15 J61 I12 I14 O52
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Ander Iraizoz (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - 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)
    Abstract: Using the fact that the Spanish self-employed voluntarily choose their contributions to Social Security, I study the effect of financial incentives on public pension savings for self-employed workers in Spain. For this, I implement a difference-in-differences approach exploiting the change in public pension saving incentives induced by the 1997 pension reform. I find that the Spanish self-employed significantly respond to the financial incentives for public pension savings. However, the estimated response could be considered modest relative to the magnitude of the return to contributions provided by pension formulas in Spain. I provide evidence suggesting that the lack of salience of the return to contributions could be one of the main drivers of such a modest response, highlighting the importance of information and salience on the responsiveness of self-employed workers to saving incentives.
    Keywords: Public Pension,Self-Employed,Social Security,Retirement Savings
    Date: 2020–09
  11. By: Hupkau, Claudia (CUNEF, Madrid); Petrongolo, Barbara (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We explore impacts of the pandemic crisis and associated restrictions to economic activity on paid and unpaid work for men and women in the UK. Using data from the Covid-19 supplement of Understanding Society, we find evidence that labour market outcomes of men and women were roughly equally affected at the extensive margin, as measured by the incidence of job loss or furloughing, but if anything women suffered smaller losses at the intensive margin, experiencing slightly smaller changes in hours and earnings. Within the household, women provided on average a larger share of increased childcare needs, but in an important share of households fathers became the primary childcare providers. These distributional consequences of the pandemic may be important to understand its inequality legacy over the longer term.
    Keywords: COVID-19, gender gaps, home production
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J31
    Date: 2020–10
  12. By: Daniel Pollmann (Department of Economics, Harvard University); Thomas Dohmen (University of Bonn, Maastricht University, IZA, DIW and CESifo); Franz Palm (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: We present a semiparametric method to estimate group-level dispersion, which is particularly effective in the presence of censored data. We apply this procedure to obtain measures of occupation-specific wage dispersion using top-coded administrative wage data from the German IAB Employment Sample (IABS). We then relate these robust measures of earnings risk to the risk attitudes of individuals working in these occupations. We find that willingness to take risk is positively correlated with the wage dispersion of an individual's occupation.
    Keywords: Dispersion estimation; Earnings risk; Censoring; Quantile regression; Occupational choice; Sorting; Risk preferences; SOEP; IABS
    JEL: C14 C21 C24 J24 J31 D01 D81
    Date: 2020–09
  13. By: Warn N. Lekfuangfu (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CReAM, and CEP); Reto Odermatt (University of Basel)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the determinants and consequences of educational and occupational aspirations. Basing our enquiry on the British NCDS 1958 cohort data, we assess the importance of aspirations for social mobility above and beyond other established determinants. We document educational and occupational inequalities in young individuals’ aspirations, whereby parental aspirations are a strong predictor of children’s aspiration-levels. While we find a positive correlation between aspirations and later achievement, we also provide evidence for reduced well-being in adulthood if aspirations in adolescence were higher than actual achievements later in life.
    Keywords: Aspirations, intergenerational mobility, life satisfaction, longitudinal study,CAMSIS score, UK
    JEL: I21 I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Alexander M. Danzer (KU Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, IZA Bonn, CReAM, CESifo); Carsten Feuerbaum (KU Eichstaett-Ingolstadt , Max Planck Institute); Fabian Gaessler (Max Planck Institute)
    Abstract: While economic theory suggests substitutability between labor and capital, little evidence exists regarding the causal effect of labor supply on inventing labor-saving technologies. We analyze the impact of exogenous changes in regional labor supply on automation innovation by exploiting an immigrant placement policy in Germany during the 1990s and 2000s. Difference-in-differences estimates indicate that one additional worker per 1,000 manual and unskilled workers reduces automation innovation by 0.05 patents. The effect is most pronounced two years after immigration and confined to industries containing many low-skilled workers. Labor market tightness and external demand are plausible mechanisms for the labor-innovation nexus.
    Keywords: Labor supply, automation, innovation, patents, labor market tightness, quasi-experiment
    JEL: O31 O33 J61
    Date: 2020–07
  15. By: Christian Dustmann (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, University College London); Attila Lindner (University College London (UCL), CReAM, CEP, IFS, IZA, MTA-KTI, CEPR); Uta Schönberg (University CollegeLondon (UCL), Institute for Employment Research Nuremberg (IAB), Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), CEPR and IZA); Matthias Umkehrer (Institute for Employment Research Nuremberg (IAB)); Philipp vom Berge (Institute for Employment Research Nuremberg (IAB))
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the wage, employment and reallocation effects of the introduction of a nationwide minimum wage in Germany that affected 15% of all employees. Based on identification designs that exploit variation in exposure across individuals and regions, we find that the minimum wage raised wages, but did not lower employment. At the same time, the minimum wage lead to reallocation effects. At the individual level, the minimum wage induced low wage workers (but not high wage workers) to move from small, low paying firms to larger, higher paying firms. This worker upgrading to better firms can account for up to 25% of the wage increase induced by the minimum wage. Moreover, at the regional level, average firm quality (measured as firm size or fixed firm wage effect) increased in more affected regions in the years following the introduction of the minimum wage.
    Date: 2020–02
  16. By: João Ricardo Faria (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University, USA); Juan Carlos Cuestas (Department of Economics and Finance, Tallinn University of Technology and Research Unit, Eesti Pank, Estonia; IEI and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain); Luis Gil-Alana (Department of Economics, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain); Estefania Mourelle (Department of Economics, University of A Coruna, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper studies the convergence of self-employment by gender in the European Union, through tests for the order of integration and cluster analysis, in order to investigate the occurrence of two types of convergence: between genders and among European countries. The paper makes two contributions to the literature: 1) theoretically, it provides useful insights into the macroeconomic determinants of self-employment; 2) methodologically, it uses unit roots, fractional integration and cluster analysis to assess convergence. The empirical results point at mixed evidence of convergence, but with clear differences between the core and the periphery of Europe.
    Keywords: Self-employment, gender, European Union, convergence, cluster analysis
    JEL: J16 J24 O57
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Sabina Albrecht; Riccardo Ghidoni; Elena Cettolin; Sigrid Suetens
    Abstract: Does exposure to ethnic minorities change the majority’s attitudes towards them? We investigate this question using novel panel data on attitudes from a general-population sample in the Netherlands matched to geographical data on refugees. We find that people who live in neighborhoods of refugees for a sufficiently long time acquire a more positive attitude. Instead, people living in municipalities hosting refugees, but not in their close neighborhood, develop a more negative attitude. The positive neighborhood effect is particularly strong for groups that are likely to have personal contact with refugees suggesting that contact with minorities can effectively reduce prejudice.
    Keywords: prejudice, ethnic diversity, attitudes to immigrants, discrimination, intergroup contact, refugee crisis, individual-level fixed-effects regressions, lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: J15 R23 D91 C23
    Date: 2020–08
  18. By: Ehrmantraut, Laura (University of Bonn); Pinger, Pia (University of Cologne); Stans, Renske (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper explores students' expectations about the returns to completing higher education and provides first evidence on perceived signaling and human capital effects. We elicit counterfactual labor market expectations for the hypothetical scenarios of leaving university with or without a degree certificate among a large and diverse sample of students at different stages of higher education. Our findings indicate substantial perceived returns to higher education. Moreover, by exploiting within-individual variation, we document sizeable expected labor market returns from signaling, whereas perceived productivity-enhancing (human capital) returns seem to be less pronounced. Over the expected course of career, we find lasting education premia as well as evidence consistent with employer learning.
    Keywords: signaling, returns to education, higher education, educational attainment, licensing
    JEL: I21 I23 I26 J24 J31 J32 J44
    Date: 2020–09
  19. By: Bisschop, Paul (SEO Economic Research); ter Weel, Bas (SEO Amsterdam); Zwetsloot, Jelle (SEO Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This research documents ethnic employment gaps for labour-market entrants in the Netherlands in the period 2006-2016. We compare short-term and long-term differences in employment of Dutch graduates with graduates from Moroccan, Turkish, Antillean and Surinamese origin and other (non-)western countries. The analyses focus on graduates from secondary vocational education, which is a group of graduates with many people from ethnic minorities. We document ethnic employment gaps by using an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. Our findings suggest that there exist persistent ethnic employment gaps. The gaps are largest for female workers. Part of the ethnic employment gaps are explained by observed characteristics, such as the level of secondary vocational education and the field of study or socioeconomic background and household and neighbourhood characteristics. The substantial unexplained part is present among all ethnic groups and does not disappear over time.
    Keywords: employment, labour-market entry, ethnic minorities
    JEL: J15 J2 J70
    Date: 2020–09
  20. By: Biroli, Pietro (University of Zurich); Bosworth, Steven J. (University of Reading); Della Giusta, Marina (University of Reading); Di Girolamo, Amalia (University of Birmingham); Jaworska, Sylvia (University of Reading); Vollen, Jeremy (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on public health communication by studying how the framing of a message relaying the forecast impact of COVID-19 prevention measures affects compliance behaviour amongst both the young and old. A representative sample of survey respondents in the UK and US, along with selected respondents in Italy, were presented with forecasts for the number of deaths from COVID-19 in their countries with and without public adherence to various preventive behaviours. We experimentally varied whether this information was presented in terms of likely deaths or lives saved. The lives saved frame increases reported protective behaviours, but only amongst older respondents. We present evidence consistent with the hypothesis that framing is likelier to affect decisions whose consequences are felt by oneself (i.e. protective behaviours by the elderly) rather than solely others (i.e. protective behaviours amongst the young).
    Keywords: framing, protective behaviours, cooperation, age, gender, COVID-19
    JEL: D03 D83 D84 D85 J16 J24
    Date: 2020–09
  21. By: Albiol Sanchez, Judit (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Teruel, Mercedes (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: Some studies using either objective or subjective indicators, find that self-employed individuals are less likely to be or to report being skill-mismatched in comparison with salaried employees. The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of the transition from salaried employment to self-employment on self-reported skill mismatches. To do so, this article uses eight waves of the European Community Household Panel covering the period 1994–2001. The panel data nature of this rich dataset, allows us to track individuals over time and measure self-reported skill-mismatches before and after the transition for the same individuals, using as the comparison group those individu-als who remain in salaried employment during the whole sample period. Our empirical findings indicate that those individuals who transit from salaried employment to self-employment reduce their probability to report being skill-mismatched after the transition. Interestingly, we also observe that this effect vanish if the transition is done from an unemployment status, and that the effect is quite heterogenous across countries.
    Keywords: self-employment, skill mismatches, salaried employment, job transitions
    JEL: L26 J24 B23
    Date: 2020–10
  22. By: Sara Signorelli
    Abstract: In recent years high-skill immigration has been often encouraged by governments aiming to support their economy, but its impact on native workers facing a direct increase in competition is still debated. This paper addresses the question by taking advantage of a reform facilitating the hiring of foreign workers within a list of technical occupations. The analysis relies on administrative employer-employee data and applies a difference-in-differences approach. Results show that the reform was successful in boosting migrants' hires without affecting native employment. Wages decrease following the supply shift but, in contrast with the standard model predictions, do so twice as much for migrants than for natives. I find that two channels explain this differential effect: imperfect degree of substitution in production and differences in bargaining power. Overall, this paper provides evidence that policies encouraging high-skill migration do not excessively harm the native labor force.
    JEL: J61 J62 J63
    Date: 2020–09–22
  23. By: Masiero, Giuliano (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana); Mazzonna, Fabrizio (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana); Steinbach, Sandro (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Despite the growing skepticism regarding the efficacy of antidepressants, global consumption has increased at an unprecedented rate with unknown implications for society. We estimate the causal effect of this increase on mental health outcomes using an instrumental variable strategy that exploits pharmaceutical company local market power and the availability of detailed drug sales data from Switzerland between 2002 and 2014. Our main instrument, a modified version of the popular shift-share instrument, relies on the national growth in antidepressant sales for pharmaceutical companies (the shift) – mainly due to product innovation – and assigns it locally using regional non-antidepressant market shares. Our estimates show that an increase in antidepressant sales causes a sharp increase of hospital admissions related to depression symptoms. An alternative instrument, which exploits prescribing practice spillovers from neighboring countries, leads to very similar point estimates providing further evidence about the validity of our results.
    Keywords: depression, antidepressant treatment, suicides, mental health
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2020–09
  24. By: Alexandre, Fernando (University of Minho); Cruz, Sara (University of Minho); Portela, Miguel (University of Minho)
    Abstract: In this paper, we focus on managerial characteristics of micro and small-sized firms. Using linked employer-employee data on the Portuguese economy for the 2010-2018 period, we estimate the impact of management teams' human capital on the probability of firms becoming financially distressed and on their subsequent recovery. Our estimates show that the relevance of management teams' formal education on the probability of firms becoming financially distressed depends on firms' size and the type of education. We show that management teams' formal education and tenure reduces the probability of micro and small-sized firms becoming financially distressed and increases the probability of their subsequent recovery. The estimates also suggest that those impacts are stronger for micro and small-sized firms. Additionally, our results show that functional experience previously acquired in other firms, namely in foreign-owned and in exporting firms and in the area of finance, may reduce the probability of micro firms becoming financially distressed. On the other hand, previous functional experience in other firms seems to have a strong and highly significant impact on increasing the odds of recovery of financially distressed firms. We conclude that policies that induce an improvement in the managerial human capital of micro and small-sized firms have significant scope to improve their financial condition, reducing the likelihood of firms entering a state of financial distress.
    Keywords: financial distress, human capital, firm performance
    JEL: G32 J24 L25
    Date: 2020–09
  25. By: Tselios, Vassilis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to assess the extent to which different levels of decentralisation across regions of the European Union (EU) affected citizens' perceptions about European integration over the period 1973-2002. The paper uses Eurobarometer Surveys to explore by means of multinomial logistic regressions whether decentralisation was an important factor behind the varying perceptions about Europe. Two dimensions of decentralization-political and fiscal-are considered in the analysis, alongside several compositional and contextual effects. The results of the analysis show that fiscal decentralisation was fundamental for citizens' support for European integration, while there is limited evidence that political decentralisation played a similar role. Hence, while fiscal decentralisation may have given prominence to the economic benefits of European integration, political decentralisation was more associated with its economic costs. Taking into account that history matters, this paper raises potentially interesting insights for the design of policies aimed at promoting social cohesion.
    Keywords: European Union; fiscal decentralisation; perceptions of attitudes; political decentralisation; regions
    JEL: H30 H72
    Date: 2020–06–01
  26. By: Timothy Riffe (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Enrique Acosta (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); José M. Aburto (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Diego Alburez-Gutierrez (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ugofilippo Basellini (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Anna Altová; Simona Bignami; Didier Breton; Eungang Choi; Jorge Cimentada (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gonzalo De Armas; Emanuele Del Fava (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Alicia Delgado; Viorela Diaconu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Jessica Donzowa; Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Antonia Fröhlich; Alain Gagnon (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mariana Garcia Cristómo; Victor M. Garcia-Guerrero; Armando González-Díaz; Irwin Hecker; Dagnon Eric Koba; Marina Kolobova; Mine Kühn (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Chia Liu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Andrea Lozer; Mădălina Manea; Muntasir Masum; Ryohei Mogi; Saskia Morwinsky; Ronald Musizvingoza; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Marilia R. Nepomuceno (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Michelle Nickel; Natalie Nitsche (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Anna Oksuzyan (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Samuel Oladele; Emmanuel Olamijuwon; Oluwafunke Omodara; Soumaila Ouedraogo; Mariana Paredes; Marius Pascariu; Manuel Piriz; Raquel Pollero; Federico Rehermann; Filipe Ribeiro; Silvia Rizzi; Francisco Rowe; Isaac Sasson; Jiaxin Shi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Rafael Silva-Ramirez; Cosmo Strozza (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Catalina Torres; Sergi Trias-Llimos; Fumiya Uchikoshi; Alyson A. van Raalte (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Paola Vazquez-Castillo; Estevão Vilela; Iván Williams (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Virginia Zarulli (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: COVerAGE-DB is an open access database including cumulative counts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, and tests by age and sex. Original data and sources are provided alongside data and measures in age-harmonized formats. The database is still in development, and at this writing, it includes 87 countries, and 195 subnational areas. Cumulative counts of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and tests are recorded daily (when possible) since January 2020. Many time series thus fully capture the first pandemic wave and the beginning of later waves. An international team, composed of more than 60 researchers, contributed to the collection of data and metadata in COVerAGE-DB from governmental institutions, as well as to the design and implementation of the data processing and validation pipeline. We encourage researchers interested in supporting this project to send a message to the email:
    Keywords: World, age-sex distribution, data collection, data comparability, epidemics, infectious diseases
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  27. By: Barth, Erling (Institute for Social Research, Oslo); Bryson, Alex (University College London); Dale-Olsen, Harald (Institute for Social Research, Oslo)
    Abstract: Using administrative linked employer-employee data for Norway we estimate the impact of changes in tax subsidies for union membership on individuals' membership probabilities. Increased subsidisation of the union good increases union take-up, while increased union fees reduce the demand for membership. The price elasticity of demand for union membership is - 7 percent in 2012 (the last year for which we have data) though effects are heterogeneous across types of worker. In the absence of the hikes in tax subsidies and holding workforce composition constant aggregate private sector union membership density would have fallen by 5 percentage points between 2001 and 2012. Since membership fees are a substantial part of unions' total revenues the findings have important implications for unions' viability. They are also significant because union bargaining strength, which is often proxied by union density, affects a range of social, economic and political outcomes.
    Keywords: trade unions, union membership, wages, tax subsidies
    JEL: J01 J08 J50 J51
    Date: 2020–09
  28. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova)
    Abstract: Using Italian data, I study the relationship between vocational education and self-reported happiness by focusing on individuals with at least a five-years high school degree, either vocational or academic. My instrumental variable strategy shows that individuals who have completed a vocational high school are more likely to report a high level of happiness than individuals who have completed an academic degree. I find no clear evidence that vocational graduates have a lower probability to be employed or earn lower wages than other graduates. I show that they live more than other graduates in small towns, where prices are lower and social life more rewarding, and have a less privileged parental background. Both facts may lead to more moderate aspirations and therefore contribute to higher happiness.
    Keywords: happiness, vocational education, Italy
    JEL: I21 D90
    Date: 2020–09

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