nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
twenty-one papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Inequality in employment trajectories and their socio-economic consequences during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany By Moehring, Katja; Weiland, Andreas; Reifenscheid, Maximiliane; Naumann, Elias; Wenz, Alexander; Rettig, Tobias; Krieger, Ulrich; Fikel, Marina; Cornesse, Carina; Blom, Annelies G.
  2. Exploring how VET, skills and qualifications were used in the context of the EU Relocation Program, the case of France. By Assaf Dahdah; Delphine Mercier
  3. Local Labor Market Impacts of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies: Evidence from European Nuts-3 Regions. By Orsatti, Gianluca; Quatraro, Francesco
  4. Adolescence Development and the Math Gender Gap By Borra, Cristina; Iacovou, Maria; Sevilla, Almudena
  5. COVID-19 Relief Programs and Compliance with Confinement Measures By Deiana, Claudio; Geraci, Andrea; Mazzarella, Gianluca; Sabatini, Fabio
  6. Understanding the Reallocation of Displaced Workers to Firms By Paul Brandily; Camille Hémet; Clément Malgouyres
  7. Dream jobs By Giordano Mion; Luca David Opromolla; Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
  8. Unearned Income and Labor Supply: Evidence from Survivor Pensions in Austria By René Böheim; Michael Topf
  9. Center-based care and parenting activities By Jessen, Jonas; Spiess, C. Katharina; Waights, Sevrin
  10. On the productivity advantage of cities By Jacob, Nick; Mion, Giordano
  11. Socio-Economic Attitudes in the Era of Social Distancing and Lockdowns By Kerim Peren Arin; Juan A. Lacomba; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido; Marcel Thum
  12. Does Fake News Affect Voting Behaviour? By Michele Cantarella; Nicolò Fraccaroli; Roberto Volpe
  13. Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation By Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; José Montalbán; Felix Weinhardt
  14. A combined Nutri-Score and ‘Eco-Score’ approach for more nutritious and more environmentally friendly food choices? Evidence from a Belgian consumer experiment. By De Bauw, Michiel; Matthys, Christophe; Poppe, Veerle; Vranken, Liesbet
  15. Corporate Profit Shifting and the Role of Tax Havens: Evidence from German Country-By-Country Reporting Data By Clemens Fuest; Felix Hugger; Florian Neumeier
  16. Family background and the responses to higher SAT scores By Georg Graetz; Oskar Nordström Skans; Björn Öckert
  17. Detecting Coverage Bias in User-Generated Content By Anna Kerkhof; Johannes Münster
  18. Financial Fragility across Europe and the US: The Role of Portfolio Choices, Household Features and Economic-institutional Setup By Marianna Brunetti; Elena Giarda; Costanza Torricelli
  19. Automation, globalization and vanishing jobs: a labor market sorting view By Faia, Ester; Laffitte, Sebastien; Mayer, Maximilian; Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P.
  20. Covid-19 Financial Support to Small Businesses in Switzerland: Evaluation and Outlook By Marius Brülhart; Rafael Lalive; Tobias Lehmann; Michael Siegenthaler
  21. Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform in Britain By Disney, Richard; Gathergood, John; Machin, Stephen; Sandi, Matteo

  1. By: Moehring, Katja (University of Mannheim); Weiland, Andreas; Reifenscheid, Maximiliane; Naumann, Elias; Wenz, Alexander (University of Mannheim); Rettig, Tobias; Krieger, Ulrich; Fikel, Marina; Cornesse, Carina; Blom, Annelies G.
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the inequalities in employment trajectories during the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Germany. We assess individual-level panel data collected weekly between 20 March and 25 June (N=2,297), which allows us to examine the risks of short-time work, furlough, and job loss, as well as changes between working on-site and from home. Using sequence analysis, we detect typical patterns of employment trajectories and analyse how these vary between socio-demographic groups. Finally, we relate the types of employment trajectories to changes in income, subjective job security (compared to values in January and February 2020), and COVID-19 infection risks. Our results show clear gradients in employment risks: low-wage workers were severely affected by furlough and job loss, while highly qualified employees were able to work from home. Furthermore, in contrast to previous crises, service sector and female employees were more affected by short-time work; however, its timing and duration differs compared to male workers in manufacturing. Income loss was pronounced among those who became unemployed and those continuously in short-term work, while everybody—including employees continuously working from home—experienced a significant reduction in subjective job security compared to employees whose employment hours or location have not changed. The infection risk was only increased for individuals who changed from furlough to working on-site.
    Date: 2021–01–19
  2. By: Assaf Dahdah (UMR ART-Dev - Acteurs, Ressources et Territoires dans le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UM - Université de Montpellier - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement); Delphine Mercier (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Since the beginning of the 2000's French governments have elaborated seven laws on migrations and asylum, the last one voted in 2018 is known as "Loi immigration et asile" or "Loi Colomb" the name of the former Minister of interior Gérard Colomb. All these laws have strengthened the control on migration, threatened the rights of asylum seekers, generate a harsh environment without creating better conditions for the integration of the newcomers. The hard conditions of access to the labour market, to housing, and to basic needs and rights illustrate this situation. However, France was involved in the European programme for the relocation of asylum seekers between September 2015 and September 2017. In the French case, national authorities decided in 2015 to relocate from Italy and Greece around 30,000 individuals during the relocation process. However, at the end of the dispositive in 2017 less than 5,100 refugees had been relocated to France, mainly from Greece. At the same time, French authorities focused on Calais and Grande-Synthe (North of France) where almost 5,000 persons were waiting in camps and slums to reach Great Britain. The relocation dispositive of the migrants from Calais and Grande-Synthe to the other regions temporary halted the French implication in the European relocation programme. According to the French-Italian Summit in September 2017 and despite the tensions that appeared between both States during the relocation dispositive, both governments agreed to continue the relocation programme including 200 relocations per month. This agreement ended with the new elected Italian government.
    Keywords: migration,asylum,labour market,relocation,European programme
    Date: 2020–01–13
  3. By: Orsatti, Gianluca; Quatraro, Francesco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Based on the established literature about substitution and compensation effects, this paper provides one of the first analyses of the relationship between digital technologies and employment at the regional level in Europe. We posit that idiosyncratic factors of local labor markets are likely to generate place- specific responses to the introduction of new technologies. Spatial spillovers are also likely to emerge. The geographical level of analysis is therefore the most appropriate. Our analysis confirms that there is a significant relationship between the local specialization in advanced manufacturing technologies and employment. Mainly driven by automation-related technologies, we indeed estimate negative effects of advanced manufacturing technologies on local employment creation. Conversely, digital technologies play a positive role in enhancing local labor productivity. Finally, technological performances of neighbour regions play a significant role in shaping local labor productivity, while not significantly affecting local employment creation.
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Borra, Cristina (University of Seville); Iacovou, Maria (University of Cambridge); Sevilla, Almudena (University College London)
    Abstract: Using different production function models, we study the causal association between adolescence development and the increase in the gap in math performance between boys and girls. We use data from the 1958 British National Child Development Study, a longitudinal survey of all British children born in the first week of March 1958, containing unique information on puberty development and educational outcomes from childhood into adolescence. We first document a widening of about 10 percent of a standard deviation in the gender gap in maths from primary to secondary school in the UK, and show that adolescent development contributes to explain almost two thirds of the widening of the math gender gap during the adolescence years. We also explore the mechanisms behind these effects. Our evidence regarding differences in the impact of puberty development by age, subject and self-perceived math ability suggests that both social conditions and biological factors are behind the estimated relationships between adolescent development and the increase in the gender gap in math in secondary school.
    Keywords: pubertal development, educational outcomes, gender gap in mathematics
    JEL: I21 I24 J16
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Deiana, Claudio (University of Essex); Geraci, Andrea (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Mazzarella, Gianluca (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Sabatini, Fabio (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: We study the impact of a COVID-19 relief program on compliance with confinement measures in Italy, the early epicenter of the pandemic. We match information on the allocation of funds across Italian municipalities with data tracking citizens' movements drawn from mobile devices and vehicles' navigation systems, anonymized and aggregated at the municipality level. To assess the role of the program, we exploit a sharp kink schedule in the allocation of funds as a function of past income differentials that generated random treatment assignment in a neighborhood of the threshold point. We find robust evidence that, after the introduction of the program, mobility decreased with the amount of transfers. The impact is economically sizeable and resists bandwidth changes, with stronger effects holding in the proximity of the cut-off and the coefficient stabilizing with distance from the threshold. A battery of placebo tests supports the interpretation of results. Our evidence suggests that authorities could leverage targeted relief programs to nudge compliance with emergency measures at a relatively modest cost.
    Keywords: Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 policy response, lockdown, stay-at-home orders, mobility, compliance, social capital, Regression Kink Design, COVID-19
    JEL: D12 D83 H51 H31 I12 K40
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Paul Brandily (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, 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); Camille Hémet (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, 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); Clément Malgouyres (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, 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, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques)
    Abstract: We investigate the cost of job displacement using administrative data from France that covers employer and employee over both employment and unemployment spells. We find that displaced workers experience earnings losses both because of a decline in hours worked (especially in the short run) and because of lower re-employment hourly wages. In line with an active literature, we find that loss in employer-specific wage premium drives most of earnings losses in the long run. However, displaced workers tend to be re-employed by more productive firms. This result contrasts strikingly with the strong positive correlation between firms' productivity and wage premium in the cross-section. We further show that the re-employment firms also display lower labor shares. Overall, our results show that the commonly estimated loss in wage premium following job displacement does not reflect a reallocation toward low productivity firms. Instead they are most consistent with a loss in bargaining power and reallocation towards low-labor share firms.
    Keywords: Displaced workers,Wage,Reallocation,Labor share
    Date: 2020–12
  7. 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 framework 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: 2020–07
  8. By: René Böheim; Michael Topf
    Abstract: We study the effect of lower unearned income on labor supply. To identify the causal effect of an unexpected reduction in unearned income, we exploit a policy reform that lowered survivor pensions in Austria. Men widowed after the survivor pension reform received an approximately 34% lower survivor pension than men widowed before the reform. We follow the employment history of both groups for 150 months and estimate the reform’s effect on labor supply using a regression discontinuity design. The effect of the lower pension is evident immediately after the death of their spouse, is persistent over time, becomes more pronounced over time, and is robust across model specifications. Our baseline result suggests a 3.5 to 5.4 percentage point higher employment rate for survivors in the low pension regime in the long run. The estimated effect corresponds to a labor supply elasticity at the extensive margin with respect to the changes in total income of about –0.9 to –1.3.
    Keywords: labor supply, unearned income, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I38 J22 J48
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Jessen, Jonas; Spiess, C. Katharina; Waights, Sevrin
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of center-based care on parenting activities with children using data from time diaries and a family survey for Germany. Our estimates imply that usage of center-based care reduces the amount of time that a parent spends with their enrolled child, but only small negative effects on the amount of time spent on parenting activities. Correspondingly, center-based care increases parenting activities as a share of time spent with the child. Our estimates of direct (center hours) and indirect effects (evening and weekend) are more pronounced for parents in households where the mother has lower educational attainment.
    Keywords: child care; child development; time use; parenting investments; day care
    JEL: D13 I21 J13
    Date: 2020–08
  10. By: Jacob, Nick; Mion, Giordano
    Abstract: Ever since Marshall (1890) agglomeration externalities have been viewed as the key factor explaining the existence of cities and their size. However, while the various micro foundations of agglomeration externalities stress the importance of Total Factor Productivity (TFP), the empirical evidence on agglomeration externalities rests on measures obtained using firm revenue or value-added as a measure of firm output: revenue-based TFP (TFP-R). This paper uses data on French manufacturing firms' revenue, quantity and prices to estimate TFP and TFP-R and decompose the latter into various elements. Our analysis suggests that the revenue productivity advantage of denser areas is mainly driven by higher prices charged rather than differences in TFP. At the same time, firms in denser areas are able to sell higher quantities, and generate higher revenues, despite higher prices. These and other results we document suggest that firms in denser areas are able to charge higher prices because they sell higher demand/quality products. Finally, while the correlation between firm revenue TFP and firm size is positive in each location, it is also systematically related to density: firms with higher (lower) TFP-R account for a larger (smaller) share of total revenue in denser areas. These patterns thus amplify in aggregate regional-level figures any firm-level differences in productivity across space.
    Keywords: total factor productivity (TFP); density; agglomeration externalities; revenue-based TFP; prices; demand; quality
    JEL: R12 R15 D24 L11
    Date: 2020–04
  11. By: Kerim Peren Arin; Juan A. Lacomba; Francisco Lagos; Ana I. Moro-Egido; Marcel Thum
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide movement restrictions on socio-economic attitudes in four European countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom). We conducted large-scale surveys while the pandemic rapidly spread before and after nationwide lockdowns were implemented. We investigate the impact in three different categories of attitudes: i) economic perceptions (economic insecurity and views on globalization); ii) political attitudes (trust in domestic and international institutions, populism and immigration); and iii) social aspects (authoritarianism and loneliness). We find that overall, the pandemic/social-distancing, but not the lockdowns, has increased economic insecurity, loneliness, and acceptance of authoritarianism while decreasing support for globalization. On the bright side, there is a sensible increase in trust in domestic institutions. We also document that the pandemic had heterogeneous and disproportional effects both at the country level and at the demographic group level. In terms of societal groups, our results suggest that the aggregate results are mostly driven by a number of groups, most notably women, families with children, and the labor force.
    Keywords: lockdown, Covid-19, Europe, economic insecurity, globalization, trust, populism, authoritarianism, social loneliness
    JEL: D70 H11 H12 H41 I18
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Michele Cantarella (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and University of Helsinki); Nicolò Fraccaroli (Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Roberto Volpe (LUISS Guido Carli)
    Abstract: We study the impact of fake news on votes for populist parties in the Italian elections of 2018. Our empirical strategy exploits the presence of Italian- and German-speaking voters in the Italian region of Trentino Alto-Adige/Südtirol as an exogenous source of assignment to fake news exposure. Using municipal data, we compare the effect of exposure to fake news on the vote for populist parties in the 2013 and 2018 elections. To do so, we introduce a novel indicator of populism using text mining on the Facebook posts of Italian parties before the elections. We find that exposure to fake news is positively correlated with vote for populist parties, but that less than half of this correlation is causal. Our findings support the view that exposure to fake news (i) favours populist parties, but also that (ii) it is positively correlated with prior support for populist parties, suggesting a self-selection mechanism.
    Keywords: Fake News, Political Economy, Electoral Outcomes, Populism
    JEL: C26 D72 P16
    Date: 2020–06–17
  13. By: Rosa Sanchis-Guarner; José Montalbán; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of home high-speed internet on national test scores of students at age 14. We combine comprehensive information on the telecom network, administrative student records, house prices and local amenities in England in a fuzzy spatial regression discontinuity design across invisible telephone exchange catchment areas. Using this strategy, we find that increasing broadband speed by 1 Mbit/s increases test scores by 1.37 percentile ranks in the years 2005-2008. This effect is sizeable, equivalent to 5% of a standard deviation in the national score distribution, and not driven by other technological mediating factors or school characteristics.
    Keywords: broadband, education, student performance, spatial regression discontinuity
    JEL: J24 I21 I28 D83
    Date: 2021
  14. By: De Bauw, Michiel; Matthys, Christophe (KU Leuven); Poppe, Veerle; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: The application of Nutri-Score on food products is ubiquitous throughout Europe and studies demonstrating its potential to stimulate healthier food choices are accumulating. At the same time, there remains a strong need to evenly harmonize and activate the communication of environmental impacts on food products, in synergy with the Nutri-Score. This brings up the question of whether the potential of Nutri-Score could be expanded to a similar ‘Eco-Score’ and equivalently encourage more environmentally friendly food choices. The present study investigated the effect of a combined NutriScore and Eco-Score on the nutritional quality and environmental impact of consumers’ food choices. This effect was compared to, on the one hand, dietary recommendations (both general and specific) and on the other hand, more detailed impact tables. Since visual distraction often plays a role in informative persuasion, the treatments were evaluated subject to different levels of distraction. A randomized control trial was conducted with a representative sample of 805 Belgian consumers in a mock-up E-grocery environment. Respondents were randomly allocated to treatments in which they were asked to hypothetically buy ingredients to prepare one meal. An average nutritional quality index (NQI) and environmental impact index (EII) of the selected baskets were calculated to evaluate outcomes. We find that a joint Nutri-Score and Eco-Score label improves the NQI but not the EII. The general- and specific recommendation as well as the detailed information also improved the NQI. However, the specific recommendation was the only treatment that also improved the EII. We find mild indications that the effectiveness of Nutri-Score is affected by the nearby presence of food product images. This study provided some first evidence and support for the use of dual Nutri-Score – Eco-Score label to induce transitions towards healthier and more sustainable diets. We also find that recommendations outside the classic Front-Of-Package label framework are also a promising way to realize such transition. However, the effect in real E-groceries and on longer terms remains to be explored.
    Date: 2021–01–22
  15. By: Clemens Fuest; Felix Hugger; Florian Neumeier
    Abstract: This paper is the first to use information from individual country-by-country (CbC) re-ports to assess the extent of profit shifting by multinational enterprises. Unlike other data often used to evaluate the extent of profit shifting and tax avoidance, CbC reports pro-vide a complete coverage of the global distribution of profits and indicators of economic activity for multinationals exceeding a certain revenue threshold. We show that 82% of the German multinationals subject to CbC reporting have tax haven subsidiaries and that these subsidiaries are notably more profitable than those in non-havens. However, only 9% of the global profits of German multinationals are reported in tax havens. Results from regression analysis suggest that approximately 40% of the profits reported in tax havens are a result of tax-induced profit shifting. The associated annual tax base loss for Germany amounts to EUR 5.4 billion. Adding estimates of profit shifting by multinationals not covered by the CbC data yields an overall estimate for profits shifted out of Germany to tax havens of EUR 19.1 billion per year, corresponding to 4.3% of the profits reported by these firms in Germany. This implies a tax revenue loss due to corporate profit shifting to tax havens of EUR 5.7 billion per year.
    Keywords: corporate taxation, tax avoidance, profit shifting, multinational enterprises, country-by-country reporting
    JEL: F23 H25 H26
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Georg Graetz; Oskar Nordström Skans; Björn Öckert
    Abstract: Using discontinuities within the Swedish SAT system, we show that additional admission opportunities causally affect college choices. Students with high-educated parents change timing, colleges, and fields in ways that appear consistent with basic economic theory. In contrast, very talented students with low-educated parents react to higher scores by increasing overall enrolment and graduation rates. Remarkably, most of this effect arises from increased participation in college programs and institutions that they could have attended even with a lower score. This suggests that students with low-educated parents face behavioral barriers even in a setting where colleges are tuition-free, student grants are universal and application systems are simple.
    Keywords: Educational choice, intergenerational transmission of education, regression discontinuity design
    JEL: I21 I23 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  17. By: Anna Kerkhof; Johannes Münster
    Abstract: The importance of user-generated content is growing as media consumption is moving online; yet, investigations of media bias on user-generated content platforms are rare. We develop a novel procedure to detect coverage bias – i.e., bias in the amount of coverage certain topics or issues receive – on user-generated content platforms. We proceed in two steps. First, we focus on a sample of homogeneous observations and control for observable differences. Second, we compare the coverage of our observations between different language versions of the same platform in a difference-in-differences framework, which allows us to disentangle coverage bias from unobserved heterogeneity between observations. We apply our procedure to Wikipedia and examine whether it has a coverage bias in its biographies of German (and French) Members of Parliament (MPs). Our analysis reveals a small to medium size coverage bias against MPs from the center-left parties in Germany and in France. A plausible explanation are partisan contributions to the Wikipedia biographies, as we show by analyzing patterns of authorship and Wikipedia’s talk pages for the German case. Practical implications of our results include raising users’ awareness of coverage bias when searching for and processing information obtained on user-generated content platforms.
    Keywords: coverage bias, media bias, media economics, social media, user-generated content
    JEL: L82 L86 P16
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Marianna Brunetti (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Elena Giarda (Prometeia & CEFIN); Costanza Torricelli (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia & CEFIN)
    Abstract: This paper investigates households’ financial fragility in twelve European countries and in the US by employing the first wave of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) and the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), respectively. Financial fragility is defined by taking into account both income constraints and portfolio composition (liquidity and indebtedness). Three main results emerge. First, the estimation of bivariate probit models reveals that in all countries holding an illiquid portfolio increases the likelihood of being financially fragile, while having a mortgage generally reduces it. Second, there are relevant differences among countries in their estimated average probability of financial fragility. Finally, decomposition of these differences by means of counterfactual methods provides evidence of a significant role of the country’s economic-institutional setup in providing a safety net against financial fragility. This is more true in Europe than in the US.
    Keywords: household financial fragility, portfolio liquidity, mortgage, HFCS, SCF
    JEL: D12 D14 C25
    Date: 2020–05–28
  19. By: Faia, Ester; Laffitte, Sebastien; Mayer, Maximilian; Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P.
    Abstract: We show, theoretically and empirically, that the effects of technological change associated with automation and offshoring on the labor market can substantially deviate from standard neoclassical conclusions when search frictions hinder efficient assortative matching between firms with heterogeneous tasks and workers with heterogeneous skills. Our key hypothesis is that better matches enjoy a comparative advantage in exploiting automation and a comparative disadvantage in exploiting offshoring. It implies that automation (offshoring) may reduce (raise) employment by lengthening (shortening) unemployment duration due to higher (lower) match selectivity. We find empirical support for this implication in a dataset covering 92 occupations and 16 sectors in 13 European countries from 1995 to 2010.
    Keywords: automation; offshoring; two-sided heterogeneity; positive assortativity; wage inequality; horizontal specialization; core-task-biased technological change
    JEL: O33 O47 F16 J64
    Date: 2020–05–29
  20. By: Marius Brülhart (Department of Economics, HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne); Rafael Lalive (Department of Economics, HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne, Switzerland); Tobias Lehmann (Department of Economics, HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne, Switzerland); Michael Siegenthaler (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: What determines small businesses’ recourse to public support measures during the Covid-19 crisis? We analyse this question using a survey of 1,011 self-employed workers and small business owners in Switzerland, linked to information pre-dating the crisis. We find that “objective†measures of lockdown affectedness and economic structure explain fairly well how businesses availed of support measures to cover labour costs. Recourse to government-backed Corona loans, however, is less well explained by objective characteristics and appears to be driven to a larger degree by behavioural idiosyncrasies across firms. Specifically, previously indebted businesses took out Corona loans more readily than those who had been debt-free before the pandemic. Since Corona uptake is not well in line with firm fundamentals, we propose making loan repayments contingent on future profits. This will more effectively target and sustain businesses that are in trouble today but would be viable in the absence Covid-19. Looking ahead, we also suggest that public support measures should gradually switch from “freezing†the economy towards facilitating structural reallocation. Support to firms whose activity continues to be constrained by the pandemic should be gradually lowered.
    Keywords: Corona
    Date: 2020–06
  21. By: Disney, Richard; Gathergood, John; Machin, Stephen; Sandi, Matteo
    Abstract: “Right to Buy” (RTB), a large-scale natural experiment by which incumbent tenants in public housing could buy properties at heavily-subsidised prices, increased the homeownership rate in Britain by over 10 percentage points between 1980 and the late 1990s. This paper studies its impact on crime, showing that RTB generated significant reductions in property and violent crime that persist up to today. The gentrification of incumbent tenants and their behavioural changes were the main drivers of the crime reduction. This is evidence of a novel means by which gentrification, and housing provision, may have contributed to the sizable crime drops observed in several Western economies in the 1990s and early 2000s.
    Keywords: crime; homeownership; public housing
    JEL: H44 K14 R31
    Date: 2020–03

This nep-eur issue is ©2021 by Giuseppe Marotta. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.