nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒12‒07
twenty-six papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Distant but close in sight. Firm-level evidence on French-German productivity gaps in manufacturing By Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano; Lionel Nesta
  2. The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data By Karin Edmark; Lovisa Persson
  3. Are Italians getting multidimensionally poorer? Evidence on the lack of Equitable and Sustainable Well-being By Dalila de Rosa
  4. Gender Gaps and the Role of Bosses By Moritz Drechsel-Grau; Felix Holub
  5. The Impact of ICT on Working from Home: Evidence from EU Countries By Vahagn Jerbashian; Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi
  6. How ‘smart’ are Smart Specialisation strategies? By Di Cataldo, Marco; Monastiriotis, Vassilis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  7. Personalized Digital Information and Tax-favoured Retirement Savings: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Administrative Data By Claudio Daminato; Massimo Filippini; Fabio Haufler
  8. The Motherhood Penalties : Insights from Women in UK Academia By Troeger, Vera E.; Di Leo, Riccardo; Scotto, Thomas J.; Epifanio, Mariaelisa
  9. A Regional Perspective on Social Exclusion in European Regions: Context, Trends and Policy Implications By Ferraro, Aniello; Agovino, Massimilano; Garofalo, Antonio; Cerciello, Massimilano
  10. Keep Working and Spend Less? Collective Childcare and Parental Earnings in France By Pierre Pora
  11. Exploring Hospital Efficiency within and between Italian Regions: New Empirical Evidence. By Barra, Cristian; Lagravinese, Raffaele; Zotti, Roberto
  12. Big Five Personality Traits and Sex By Uwe Jirjahn; Martha Ottenbacher
  13. Cultural norms and corporate fraud: Evidence from the Volkswagen scandal By Hasan, Iftekhar; Noth, Felix; Tonzer, Lena
  14. The Labor Market Situation of Women in the Visegrad Countries By Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska; Anna Lovasz; Mariann Rigo
  15. Firm investments in skills and capital in the UK services sector By Josh De Lyon; Swati Dhingra
  16. Multinationals, industrial relatedness and employment in European regions By Cortinovis, Nicola; Crescenzi, Riccardo; Van Oort, Frank
  17. I will survive! The impact of place-based policies when public transfers fade out By Augusto Cerqua; Guido Pellegrini
  18. Evaluating the effectiveness of policies against a pandemic By Alemán, Christian; Busch, Christopher; Ludwig, Alexander; Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül
  19. The effect of quotas on female representation in local politics By Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Kantorowicz, Jarosław
  20. A Mixed-Method Landscape Analysis of SME-focused B2B Platforms in Germany By Tina Krell; Fabian Braesemann; Fabian Stephany; Nicolas Friederici; Philip Meier
  21. Mandatory integration agreements for unemployed job seekers: a randomized controlled field experiment in Germany By Gerard J. van den Berg; Barbara Hofmann; Gesine Stephan; Arne Uhlendorff
  22. Cheating in primary school: Experimental evidence on ego-depletion and individual factors By Tamás Keller; Hubert János Kiss; Szabolcs Számadó
  23. Dominant Currency Dynamics: Evidence on Dollar-invoicing from UK Exporters By Crowley, M. A.; Han, L.; Son, M.
  24. Employer responses to family leave programs By Ginja, Rita; Karimi, Arizo; Xia, Pengpeng
  25. Women’s Work, Housework and Childcare, before and during COVID-19 By Daniela Del Boca; Noemi Oggero; Paola Profeta; Maria Cristina Rossi
  26. Closing the Gap between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England By Steve Machin; Sandra McNally; Camille Terrier; Guglielmo Ventura

  1. By: Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano; Lionel Nesta
    Abstract: We study the productivity level distributions of manufacturing firms in France and Germany, and how these distributions evolved across the Great Recession. We show the presence of a systematic productivity advantage of German firms over French ones in the decade 2003-2013, but the gap has narrowed down after the Great Recession. Convergence is explained by the better growth performance of French firms in the post-recession period, especially of those located in the top percentiles of the productivity distribution. We also highlight the role of sectoral growth, firm size and export intensity in explaining the above convergence. In contrast, the contribution of allocative efficiency was small.
    Keywords: International productivity gaps; productivity distributions; firm level comparisons.
    Date: 2020–11–26
  2. By: Karin Edmark; Lovisa Persson
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive study on how attending a Swedish independent upper secondary school, instead of a public school, affects students’ academic and short-term post-secondary outcomes. We apply two estimation methods to data on upper secondary applicants: 1) A value-added model (VAM), where we, in addition to detailed student background characteristics, also control for student preferences for independent provision, as stated in the application forms. 2) A regression-discontinuity (RD) estimation around admission cutoffs to independent versus public schools. As the RD-results are overall too imprecise to provide much guidance, they are presented in an appendix to the paper. The more precisely estimated results using VAM suggest a positive independent school effect on: final GPA, test results in English and Swedish, the likelihood of graduating on time, and attending post-secondary education. We however also find indications of more lenient grading practices among independent schools, and we cannot rule out that all of the independent school advantage reflects more generous grading standards. Results from a school level analysis reveals that the average independent school impact masks substantial variation. Notably, schools with a higher share of qualified teachers tend to exhibit smaller GPA-gains, but also show signs of adhering to stricter grading standards.
    Keywords: private provision, mixed markets, voucher school reform, upper secondary education
    JEL: H44 I21 I26 I28
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Dalila de Rosa (Ministry of Economic and Finance, Department of Finance)
    Abstract: According to official statistics, the last decade has seen the incidence of absolute poverty in Italy sharply growing from 3.3 in 2005 to 7.3 in 2013 and 7.9 in 2016. Still, standard poverty measures consider only the monetary aspect of poverty, neglecting the multidimensional nature of the phenomenon. In this context, solid empirical evidence, as well as a sounded policy interest, fostered national governments and international institutions on tackling multidimensional poverty. Italy has put very low effort on multidimensional poverty. The goal of this paper is to derive a national MPI (multidimensional poverty index) as according to the Alkire-Foster method, by using the National Italian BES framework (equitable and sustainable wellbeing) as the normative basis for the construction of the index. The contribution of the paper is threefold: i) it aims at enhancing the debate on building national MPIs (especially in developed countries) by proposing as normative ground a national framework for measuring wellbeing; ii) it aims at providing empirical evidence on the level, the composition, and the trends of multidimensional poverty in Italian regions; and iii) it wishes to inform policymakers on the nature of such a multidimensional phenomenon. Results highlight that multidimensional poverty boosts over time with the percentage of individuals considered as multidimensionally poor increasing from 9.5 per cent in 2005 to 17.5 per cent in 2015. Moreover, dimensional breakdown report mixed figures across regions and logistic regression shows that being older, female, from the South and married or widowed increase the probability of facing multidimensional poverty.
    Keywords: multidimensional poverty index; equitable and sustainable wellbeing; monetary poverty
    JEL: H12
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Moritz Drechsel-Grau; Felix Holub
    Abstract: This paper investigates the contribution of managers to gender gaps and analyzes whether the over-representation of men in management positions puts women at a disadvantage. Relying on personnel data from one of the largest European manufacturing firms, we separate out the factors explaining gender gaps. Adjusted pay gaps are positive, which means that men earn more than observationally equivalent women. A significant share of pay gaps can be explained by the sorting of men and women to different managers. More importantly, gender gaps in bonus payments causally depend on the manager's gender. Accounting for worker and manager heterogeneity, bonus gaps are larger when the manager is male. This is driven by the fact that performance ratings are more favorable to men if handed out by a male manager. We present suggestive evidence that the relevance of manager gender for pay gaps is driven by discrimination rather than same-gender complementarities in productivity. However, independent of the root cause of these differences in evaluations by manager gender, the findings imply that a lower number of female managers increases gender gaps and thus constitutes a structural disadvantage for women.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, performance ratings, managers, manager gender, sorting, personnel data, unconscious discrimination
    JEL: J16 J31 J33 J71 M5 D83
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Vahagn Jerbashian (Universitat de Barcelona); Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We use data from 14 European countries and provide evidence that the fall in prices of information and communication technologies (ICT) is associated with a significant increase in the share of employees who work from home. Similar results hold within age, gender, and occupation groups. There are notable differences across age groups, however. The effect of the fall in ICT prices on working from home increases with age. A rationale for such a result is that the preference for working from home increases with age.
    Keywords: Working from Home, ICT, Age, Gender, Occupations.
    JEL: J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Di Cataldo, Marco; Monastiriotis, Vassilis; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: The introduction of Smart Specialisation (S3) as a fundamental pillar of the 2014 reform of the European Union (EU) Cohesion Policy has represented a significant strategic shift in European development intervention. S3 strategies are aimed at mobilising the economic potential of each country and region of the EU, by allowing a more place-based and bottom-up approach to development. However, despite the salience that S3 has acquired in a short period of time, there has been no Europeanwide evaluation of the extent to which S3 strategies truly reflect the economic characteristics and potential of the territories where they are being implemented. This paper examines the characteristics of S3 strategies across Europe – by focusing on their development axes, economic/scientific domains, and policy priorities – to assess whether this is the case. The results show that S3 strategies display a proliferation of objectives, a problem which particularly affects those areas with weaker government quality. Moreover, strategies are generally loosely connected with the intrinsic conditions of each region and mostly mimic what neighbouring areas are doing. The lack of more concise and focused S3 strategies is likely to undermine the effectiveness of what is, otherwise, a very interesting and worthwhile policy experiment.
    Keywords: smart specialisation; EU policy; regions; Europe
    JEL: R58 O52
    Date: 2020–11
  7. By: Claudio Daminato (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Massimo Filippini (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich and Department of Economics, University of Lugano, Switzerland); Fabio Haufler (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of making personalized digital information available through a pension app on contributions to tax-favored retirement accounts. Using Swiss administrative pension fund data, we document limited take-up of fiscal incentives for retirement savings. Exploiting the staggered introduction of the pension app across occupational pension funds, we show that its availability increases individual tax-favored contributions. Men and higher-income earners are more likely to access the digital environment and respond to its introduction. These findings suggest that providing access to a pension app reduces information and transaction costs and facilitates the take-up of financial incentives for retirement saving.
    Keywords: Defined contribution plans, Fiscal incentives, Pension app, Savings
    JEL: D14 G51 H31 H55
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Troeger, Vera E. (University of Warwick & University of Hamburg); Di Leo, Riccardo (University of Warwick); Scotto, Thomas J. (University of Glasgow); Epifanio, Mariaelisa (University of Liverpool)
    Abstract: We use an original survey of academic women in the UK to investigate different dimensions of the motherhood penalty. Being a mother has no effect on salaries, but still slows down career progression even in such a high-skilled sector. Motherhood has an ambivalent impact on women’s perception of their working environment: improving satisfaction, but reducing perception of salary fairness relative to men. Our paper also explores how different policies can mitigate the motherhood penalties. We find that more generous maternity provisions are associated with higher salary, potentially because generosity reduces the crowding out of research activity. Better availability of childcare and an even distribution of responsibilities within the household correlate positively with earnings. Our findings also highlight the importance of a supportive work environment for mothers’ career and well-being at the workplace. Taken together, these findings suggest the necessity of a multi-faceted policy response to the motherhood penalties.
    Keywords: satisfaction ; salary ; career ; exclusion ; gender pay gap ; academia
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Ferraro, Aniello; Agovino, Massimilano; Garofalo, Antonio; Cerciello, Massimilano
    Abstract: Social exclusion represents a popular topic in the policy agendas of European governments, especially after the Great Recession. The existing literature highlights the presence of spatial patterns, although previous contributions consist of local or national level studies, lacking a broader continental perspective. This work resorts to regional data covering 22 EU countries and aims to characterise the nature of spatial patterns, controlling for socio-economic covariates. Using the Spatial Markov Chain Matrix, we find that the strong clusterisation process unfolded by previous studies tends to become less intense if socio-economic covariates are taken into account. Socio-economic factors represent in other words a containment cage that reduces the extent of neighbour influence.
    Keywords: social exclusion; spatial spillovers; spatial markov chain matrix; European regions.
    JEL: A14 E0 E24 E25 I3 J6 R5
    Date: 2020–10–20
  10. By: Pierre Pora
    Abstract: I leverage the staggered expansion of subsidized childcare facilities across municipalities in response to a succession of national plans to investigate the effect of collective childcare on parents' labor outcomes and childcare choices in France between 2007 and 2015. These plans did not lead to any substantial change in parents' labor outcomes or in paid parental leave take-up. Instead, these collective childcare expansions crowded out more costly formal childcare solutions, such as childminders or at-home childcare. These crowding-out effects highlight a downside of family policy strategies that foster the coexistence of multiple childcare arrangements.
    Keywords: Labor supply, childcare, event-study, parental leave
    JEL: J13 J16 J18 J22
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Barra, Cristian; Lagravinese, Raffaele; Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the eciency of Italian hospitals and how their performances have changed over the years 2007-2016, characterized by the great economic recession and budget constraints. We apply the Benefit of Doubt (BoD) approach to determine a composite index that considers the multi-dimensionality of the hospital outcome to be used as main output in a metafrontier production function based on a stochastic frontier framework. The effciency score distribution is then used to construct a Theil index in order to compare over time the inequality of the estimated effciency between hospitals, both within and between regions. The main findings show that the primary source of ineciency comes from managerial ineciency especially for hospitals located in southern regions. A clear and persistent North-South gap in eciency performances of hospitals has been found along with an increase in the inequality in terms of eciency between the areas of the country mostly determined by between region inequality.
    Date: 2020–10
  12. By: Uwe Jirjahn; Martha Ottenbacher
    Abstract: Sexual well-being plays an important role in the quality of life. Against this background, we provide an economics-based approach to the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and various dimensions of sexuality. From a theoretical viewpoint, personality influences sexual well-being not only by how a person feels about sex, but also by how the person behaves in a sexual relationship. Personality shapes information sharing about sexual preferences, the way dissonant sexual preferences of the partners are handled, and the extent to which the person is committed to promises made to the partner. Using a large representative dataset from Germany, we find that personality traits play a role in a person’s own sexual satisfaction, in (the self-assessment of) fulfilling the partner’s sexual needs and desires, in sexual communication, in actual and desired frequency of sex, and in extradyadic affairs.
    Keywords: Big Five Personality Traits, Sexual Satisfaction, Frequency of Intercourse, Sexual Infidelity, Sexual Communication, Family Economics
    JEL: D10 D91 J10 J12
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Hasan, Iftekhar; Noth, Felix; Tonzer, Lena
    Abstract: We investigate whether cultural norms shaped by religion drive consumer decisions after a corporate scandal. We exploit the notice of violation by the US Environmental Protection Agency in September 2015 accusing Volkswagen (VW) of using software to manipulate car emission values during test phases. We show that new registrations of VW cars decline significantly in German counties with a high share of Protestants following the VW scandal. Our findings document that the enforcement culture in Protestantism facilitates penalising corporate fraud. We corroborate this channel with a survey documenting that Protestants respond significantly different to fraud but not to environmental issues.
    Keywords: religion,corporate scandal,consumer choice,climate change
    JEL: D12 O30 Q50 Z12
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, ul. Dluga 44/50, 00-241, Warsaw, Poland); Anna Lovasz (KRTK-KTI, 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán u. 4., Hungary and University of Washington Tacoma, 1900 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA); Mariann Rigo (Institute of Medical Sociology, Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty, University of Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5., 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany)
    Abstract: The Visegrad 4 countries are characterized by low female and maternal employment rates compared to other Western and Nordic countries. Employment rates of mothers with children aged 0-2 years old are especially low, except in Poland. Work-family balance indicators and gender wage gaps are also unfavorable. The poor labor market situation of mothers in V4 countries has to do with the peculiarities of the national family policies: excessively long parental leaves coupled with poor childcare coverage for children under the age of 2. The only exception is Poland, which provides a shorter leave of 1 year. Though parental leaves are aimed at both parents, the provision of leaves for the exclusive use of fathers is low. Company-level corporate attitudes also play a role. Specifically, part-time work and time flexibility of working hours could be useful tools, however, they are scarcely used in V4 countries compared to other countries in Europe.
    Keywords: Female employment, maternal employment, gender gaps, family policies, company level institutions
    JEL: J08 J16 J21
    Date: 2020–11
  15. By: Josh De Lyon; Swati Dhingra
    Abstract: Investments in both human and physical capital are key drivers of economic growth and productivity gains. The United Kingdom has had a turbulent recent history, being strongly affected by the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and more recently voting to leave the European Union, its largest trading partner. We use firm-level survey data for the UK services sector to show that firms were less likely to increase expenditure on worker training in the periods following each event. In the period following the EU Referendum, firms were 9% less likely to increase expenditure on worker training relative to the period before the referendum. The effects were most severe for larger firms and for those located in London and the South East. The impacts also varied across industries, with firms in real estate, professional, scientific and technical activities among those most negatively affected, while administrative activities and accommodation services were least negatively affected. We see similar changes in expenditure on all forms of physical capital available in the data: IT; vehicles, plants and machinery; and land and buildings. Following the EU Referendum, firms were also more likely to reduce training expenditure, although the magnitudes of the changes were smaller than those following the Financial Crisis of 2008.
    Keywords: EU exit, Financial Crisis, Human capital, physical capital, training
    JEL: E22 F66 M53
    Date: 2020–11–23
  16. By: Cortinovis, Nicola; Crescenzi, Riccardo; Van Oort, Frank
    Abstract: This paper investigates the link between multinational enterprises (MNEs) and employment in their host regions by cross-fertilizing the literature on MNE externalities with the emerging body of research on industrial relatedness. The link between employment and MNE presence in the same and related industries is tested for European regions. The results suggest that cross-sectoral MNE spillovers are mediated through industrial relatedness and that they are positively and significantly associated with higher employment levels, independently of input-output relations. Our results indicate that regions characterized by lower factor prices are likely to benefit the most from the presence of multinationals in terms of employment, but these benefits are concentrated in high knowledge-intensive sectors, potentially fostering inequalities within less developed economies.
    Keywords: employment; foreign direct investment; relatedness; Europe; regions; 639633-MASSIVE-ERC-2014-STG)
    JEL: O33 F22
    Date: 2020–09–01
  17. By: Augusto Cerqua (Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome); Guido Pellegrini (Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: Are place-based policies capable of taking lagging areas to a higher growth trajectory permanently? We answer this key question by investigating what happens when strongly subsidised regions suddenly experience a substantial reduction in external funding. We analyse an extensive database and estimate the average causal impact of exiting the convergence region status of the EU regional policy via the mean balancing approach, an econometric technique created appositely to fully exploit time-series cross-sectional data. Such an approach also allows us to investigate the heterogeneity of the impact concerning relevant covariates. We find that regions which experienced a considerable reduction in funding in a period of economic expansion did not suffer from the loss of such funding. On the other hand, we find that the sharp reduction in funding during the crisis led to a negative, but not statistically significant, impact on economic growth. However, the impact varies with the features of the regions and the local economic context. These findings differ from previous literature and signal a long-term positive effect of the EU funds on growth and employment.
    Keywords: Place-based policy, European Union, mean balancing, regional growth
    JEL: C23 O47 R11
    Date: 2020–11
  18. By: Alemán, Christian; Busch, Christopher; Ludwig, Alexander; Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül
    Abstract: We develop a novel empirical approach to identify the effectiveness of policies against a pandemic. The essence of our approach is the insight that epidemic dynamics are best tracked over stages, rather than over time. We use a normalization procedure that makes the pre-policy paths of the epidemic identical across regions. The procedure uncovers regional variation in the stage of the epidemic at the time of policy implementation. This variation delivers clean identification of the policy effect based on the epidemic path of a leading region that serves as a counterfactual for other regions. We apply our method to evaluate the effectiveness of the nationwide stay-home policy enacted in Spain against the Covid-19 pandemic. We find that the policy saved 15.9% of lives relative to the number of deaths that would have occurred had it not been for the policy intervention. Its effectiveness evolves with the epidemic and is larger when implemented at earlier stages.
    Keywords: Macroeconomics,Pandemic,Stages,Covid-19,Stay-Home,Policy Effects,Identification
    JEL: E01 E22 E25
    Date: 2020
  19. By: Köppl-Turyna, Monika; Kantorowicz, Jarosław
    Abstract: This work looks at the policies aimed at promoting female participation in local legislative bodies using a series of changes to electoral law in Poland. We use a difference-in-discontinuities design to examine the effect of an introduction of a female quota on female participation in local councils. We find that the female quota has a strong positive effect on the percentage of females in the local council by increasing the pool of female candidates. It does not, however, affect the individual probability of being elected as a female, suggesting that its effect on voters' preferences is limited.
    Keywords: female quota,electoral rules,female representation,regression discontinuity,difference in discontinuities
    JEL: D72 B52
    Date: 2020
  20. By: Tina Krell; Fabian Braesemann; Fabian Stephany; Nicolas Friederici; Philip Meier
    Abstract: Digital platforms offer vast potential for increased value creation and innovation, especially through cross-organizational data sharing. It appears that SMEs in Germany are currently hesitant or unable to create their own platforms. To get a holistic overview of the structure of the German SME-focused platform landscape (that is platforms that are led by or targeting SMEs), we applied a mixed method approach of traditional desk research and a quantitative analysis. The study identified large geographical disparity along the borders of the new and old German federal states, and overall fewer platform ventures by SMEs, rather than large companies and startups. Platform ventures for SMEs are more likely set up as partnerships. We indicate that high capital intensity might be a reason for that.
    Date: 2020–11
  21. By: Gerard J. van den Berg; Barbara Hofmann; Gesine Stephan; Arne Uhlendorff
    Abstract: In the German unemployment insurance system, Integration Agreements (IA) are mandatory contracts between the employment agency and the unemployed, jointly signed by the latter and the caseworker. IAs stipulate rights and obligations but are generally perceived as instruments to control search behavior. We designed and implemented a Randomized Controlled Trial involving thousands of newly unemployed workers, where we randomize the timing of the IA as well as the extent to which this timing is announced prior to the meeting. Randomization is at the individual level. We use administrative registers to observe outcomes. A theoretical analysis of anticipation of prior announcements provides suggestions to empirically detect this. The results show that IAs early in the spell have on average a small positive effect on entering employment within a year. When classifying individuals using an employability indicator, we find that this result is driven by individuals with adverse prospects. Among them, being assigned to an early IA increases the probability of re-employment within a year from 45% to 53%.
    Date: 2020–11–23
  22. By: Tamás Keller (Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4.); Hubert János Kiss (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Department of Economics, Corvinus University of Budapest. 1093 Budapest Fõvám tér 8.); Szabolcs Számadó (Department of Sociology and Communication, Budapest University of Technology and Economics. 1111 Budapest, Egry J. u. 1. E.71. and Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences. 1097 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4. and Evolutionary Systems Research Group, Centre for Ecological Research)
    Abstract: We contribute to the experimental literature on primary school students’ cheating behavior by studying i) how cheating is influenced by ego depletion; ii) how it correlates with different individual factors. We carried out a large-scale, pre-registered experiment in the field of 28 Hungarian primary schools (126 classrooms) on a voluntary subsample of 1,143 students at grade levels 4 to 8. Students’ cheating behavior was measured by the incentivized dice-roll experiment. We find suggestive evidence that our light-touch treatment on ego-depletion increased students’ deceptive behavior. Cheating behavior correlated weakly with students’ individual characteristics. In a multivariate context controlling for between-classroom differences, we document that students’ cognitive ability correlated negatively, while their age positively, with their cheating behavior. We found students’ social context (their classroom belonging) as a more decisive determinant of students’ cheating behavior than individual characteristics.
    Keywords: honesty, cheating, individual factors, ego depletion, dice-roll exercise, pre-registered experiment
    JEL: A13 C91 D91
    Date: 2020–11
  23. By: Crowley, M. A.; Han, L.; Son, M.
    Abstract: How do the choices of individual firms contribute to the dominance of a currency in global trade? Using export transactions data from the UK over 2010-2016, we document strong evidence of two mechanisms that promote the use of a dominant currency: (1) prior experience: the probability that a firm invoices its exports to a new market in a dominant currency is increasing in the number of years the firm has used the dominant currency in its existing markets; (2) strategic complementarity: a firm is more likely to invoice its exports in the currency chosen by the majority of its competitors in a foreign destination market in order to stabilize its residual demand in that market.
    Date: 2020–11–26
  24. By: Ginja, Rita (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Karimi, Arizo (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Xia, Pengpeng (Yale University)
    Abstract: Search frictions make worker turnover costly to firms. A three-month parental l eave expansion in Sweden provides exogenous variation that we use to quantify firms’ adjustment costs upon worker absence and exit. The reform increased women’s leave duration and likelihood of separating from prebirth employers. Firms with greater exposure to the reform hired additional workers and increased incumbent hours, incurring additional wage costs. These adjustment costs varied by firms’ availability of internal and external substitutes. Economy-wide analyses show that a higher reform exposure is correlated with fewer hires and lower starting wages of young women compared to men and older women.
    Keywords: Parental Leave; Firm-Specific Human Capital; Statistical Discrimination
    JEL: J13 J16 J21 J22 J31
    Date: 2020–11–02
  25. By: Daniela Del Boca; Noemi Oggero; Paola Profeta; Maria Cristina Rossi
    Abstract: Evidence from past economic crises indicates that recessions often affect men’s and women’s employment differently, with a greater impact on male-dominated sectors. The current COVID-19 crisis presents novel characteristics that have affected economic, health and social phenomena over wide swaths of the economy. Social distancing measures to combat the spread of the virus, such as working from home and school closures, have placed an additional tremendous burden on families. Using new survey data collected in April 2020 from a representative sample of Italian women, we analyse jointly the effect of COVID-19 on the working arrangements, housework and childcare of couples where both partners work. Our results show that most of the additional workload associated to COVID-19 falls on women while childcare activities are more equally shared within the couple than housework activities. According to our empirical estimates, changes to the amount of housework done by women during the emergency do not seem to depend on their partners’ working arrangements. With the exception of those continuing to work at their usual place of work, all of the women surveyed spend more time on housework than before. In contrast, the amount of time men devote to housework does depend on their partners’ working arrangements: men whose partners continue to work at their usual workplace spend more time on housework than before. The link between time devoted to childcare and working arrangements is more symmetric, with both women and men spending less time with their children if they continue to work away from home. For home schooling, too, parents who continue to go to their usual workplace after the lockdown are less likely to spend greater amounts of time with their children than before. Similar results emerge for our sample of women not working before the emergency. Finally, analysis of work-life balance satis faction shows that working women with children aged 0-5 are those who say they find balancing work and family more difficult during COVID-19. The work-life balance is especially difficult to achieve for those with partners who continue to work outside the home during the emergency.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Work arrangements, Housework, Childcare
    JEL: J13 J16 J21
    Date: 2020
  26. By: Steve Machin; Sandra McNally; Camille Terrier; Guglielmo Ventura
    Abstract: Some countries, notably those which have long had a weak history of vocational education like the UK and the US, have recently seen a rapid expansion of hybrid schools which provide both general and vocational education. England introduced ‘University Technical Colleges’ (UTCs) in 2010 for students aged 14 to 18. 49 UTCs have been created since then. We use a spatial instrumental variable approach based on geographical availability to evaluate the causal effect of attending a UTC on student academic and vocational achievement and on their labour market outcomes. For those pupils who enter the UTC at a non-standard transition age of 14, UTCs dramatically reduce their academic achievement on national exams at age 16. However, for students who enter at a more conventional transition age of 16, UTCs boost vocational achievement without harming academic achievement. They also improve achievement in STEM qualifications, and enrolment in apprenticeships. By age 19, UTC students are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to study STEM at university.
    Keywords: technical education, tracking, school value-added
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2020

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