nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2021‒03‒01
twenty-six papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. A Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model for Personal Income Taxation in Italy By Elena Miola; Marco Manzo
  2. Changes in the employment structure and in job quality in Italy: a national and regional analysis By Luciana Aimone Gigio,; Silvia Camussi; Vincenzo Maccarrone
  3. Job Placement via Private vs. Public Employment Agencies: Investigating Selection Effects and Job Match Quality in Germany By Adam Ayaita; Christian Grund; Lisa Pütz
  4. Economic and Fiscal Additionality in Italian Tax Credit on Dwellings Renovation By Marco Manzo; Daniela Tellone
  5. The true returns to the choice of occupation and education By Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan; Richard Layard
  6. The Impact of Labor Market Reforms on Income Inequality: Evidence from the German Hartz Reforms By Lea Immel
  7. Wine consumption frequency during lockdown in the Iberian markets By João Rebelo; Raúl Compés; Samuel Faria; Tânia Gonçalves; Vicente Pinilla; Katrin Simón-Elorz
  8. Football spectator no-show behavior in Switzerland: Empirical evidence from season ticket holder behavior By Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgler
  9. The Final straw: High school dropout for marginal students By Andresen, Martin Eckhoff; Løkken, Sturla Andreas
  10. Common Agricultural Policy Beneficiaries: Evidence of Inequality from a New Data Set By Javier Garcia-Bernardo; Petr Jansky; Vojtech Misak
  11. Gender norms, fairness and relative working hours within households By Sarah Flèche; Anthony Lepinteur; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  12. Assessing the economic effects of lockdowns in Italy: a dynamic Input-Output approach By Severin Reissl; Alessandro Caiani; Francesco Lamperti; Mattia Guerini; Fabio Vanni; Giorgio Fagiolo; Tommaso Ferraresi; Leonardo Ghezzi; Mauro Napoletano; Andrea Roventini
  13. The impact of paternity leave on mothers' employment in Europe By Johanne Bacheron
  14. Worker well-being before and during the COVID-19 restrictions: A longitudinal study in the UK By Diane Pelly; Michael Daly; Liam Delaney; Orla Doyle
  15. Assessing the effects of seasonal tariff-rate quotas on vegetable prices in Switzerland By Loginova, Daria; Portmann, Marco; Huber, Martin
  16. Commuting for crime By Thomas Kirchmaier; Monica Langella; Alan Manning
  17. The impact of the COVID-19 shock on labour income inequality: evidence from Italy By Francesca Carta; Marta De Philippis
  18. Mortality Inequality in Finland By Huttunen, Kristiina; Lombardi, Stefano
  19. COVID-19: a crisis of the female self-employed By Graeber, Daniel; Kritikos, Alexander S.; Seebauer, Johannes
  20. Nudges and Threats: Soft vs Hard Incentives for Tax Compliance By Andersson, Henrik; Engström, Per; Nordblom, Katarina; Wanander, Susanna
  21. Mortgage regulation and financial vulnerability at the household level By Knut Are Aastveit; Ragnar Enger Juelsrud; Ella Getz Wold
  22. Digitalizing Firms: Skills, Work Organization and the Adoption of New Enabling Technologies By Valeria Cirillo; Lucrezia Fanti; Andrea Mina; Andrea Ricci
  23. Partial Order Algorithms for the Assessment of Italian Cities Sustainability By Arcagni, Alberto; Cavalli, Laura; Fattore, Marco
  24. School starting age, maternal age at birth, and child outcomes By Fredriksson, Peter; Huttunen, Kristiina; Öckert, Björn
  25. No Man is an Island - Trust, Trustworthiness, and Social Capital among Syrian Refugees in Germany By El-Bialy, Nora; Fraile Aranda, Elisa; Nicklisch, Andreas; Saleh, Lamis; Voigt, Stefan
  26. Mergers and Acquisitions in the Markets for Diagnostic Services: Evidence from the Finnish Private Health Care Sector By Mikko Nurminen

  1. By: Elena Miola (Ministry of Economy and Finance); Marco Manzo (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
    Abstract: The paper presents a static tax-benefit microsimulation model developed by combining the IT-SILC 2016 dataset, a survey on Italian incomes and living conditions, and administrative tax return micro data in the same year. The dataset derives from the exact matching of survey and administrative data. The microsimulation model reproduces in detail the features of Italian personal income tax and benefit system and is aimed at evaluating tax revenue and fiscal policies distributive impact. Redistribution analysis is carried out by using concentration, progressivity and redistribution indices for individual taxpayers and equivalent households. Inequality issues are analysed further through the computation of decile and quintile distribution of household gross and disposable income, by using the tax-benefit microsimulation model.
    Keywords: tax-benefit microsimulation model, personal income taxation, redistribution, inequality
    JEL: D31 H20 H24
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Luciana Aimone Gigio, (Banca d'Italia); Silvia Camussi (Banca d'Italia); Vincenzo Maccarrone (University College Dublin, School of Business)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on changes in the employment structure, focusing on the job quality created and destroyed in Italy and in its regions in the years 2011-17. To do so, we apply a ‘jobs-based’ approach methodology similar to the one developed by Eurofound researchers and we use Labour Force Survey data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). Our findings suggest that in the period, Italy experienced a polarisation pattern skewed towards lower-paid jobs, whereas we observe an upgrading trend at the average EU level. This pattern is the result of diverging trends across Italy: while the central and northern regions are responsible for the growth not only in the share of workers in low quality occupations but also in higher quality ones, southern Italy contributed exclusively to the increase in low-paid jobs. The latter area is the only one experiencing a clear downgrading trend over the years 2011-17. Sectoral trends are partially responsible for these patterns. Furthermore, we find that in recent years, the economic divide between northern-central and southern regions has widened. Within each macro-area, the contribution of different regions to the total trends was heterogeneous, in particular in the South of Italy, where some regions contributed positively to employment growth in higher paid jobs too, although their role was overshadowed by those that performed worse.
    Keywords: job quality, labour market
    JEL: J21 R11
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Adam Ayaita; Christian Grund; Lisa Pütz
    Abstract: Employment agencies aim to match individuals to appropriate jobs. There are public and private employment agencies, which co-exist in many countries. Selection effects may be relevant in the sense that private agencies potentially engage in ‘cream-skimming’ by prioritizing highly qualified workers. The resulting job match quality is also important from an individual, a firm, and a society perspective. We examine the selection into job placement via private and public employment agencies as well as the resulting job match qualities, taking a job-market reform in Germany into account: the introduction of vouchers for private job placements. Using representative German panel data, we find that cream-skimming is significantly less pronounced under the voucher policy, as private agencies shift the focus toward unemployed individuals with a voucher. In addition, we find evidence based on propensity score matching estimations that private agencies tend to create better matches than their public counterparts.
    Keywords: Cream-skimming, employment agencies, job match quality, job placement, job search, selection, vouchers
    JEL: J64 L33 M5
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Marco Manzo (Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy); Daniela Tellone (Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy)
    Abstract: In June 2012, the fiscal policy for the renovation of dwellings has changed considerably with respect to two main aspects: i) the tax credit share has increased from 36% to 50% and ii) the total amount of renovation costs that can benefit of the tax credit increased from 48000 euros to 96000 euros. The aim of this work is to provide an expost analysis of this policy change. The policy effect is evaluated on: the increase in dwellings renovation probability (economic additionality), the increase in the level of renovation expenses and the decrease in underground economy (fiscal additionality). We found that the policy stimulated the likelihood of renovation in terms of fiscal additionality but in terms of economic additionality had a limited effect.
    Keywords: Residential Sector, Tax Credit, Dwelling Renovation Policy, Italy
    JEL: D12 H31 E62
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan; Richard Layard
    Abstract: Which occupations are best for wellbeing? There is a large literature on earnings differentials, but less attention has been paid to occupational differences in non-pecuniary rewards. However, information on both types of rewards is needed to understand the dispersion of wellbeing across occupations. We analyse subjective wellbeing in a large representative sample of UK workers to construct a measure of "full earnings", the sum of earnings and the value of non-pecuniary rewards, in 90 different occupations. We first find that the dispersion of earnings underestimates the extent of inequality in the labour market: the dispersion of full earnings is one-third larger than the dispersion of earnings. Equally, the gender and ethnic gaps in the labour market are larger than data on earnings alone would suggest, and the true returns to completed secondary education (though not to a degree) are underestimated by earnings differences on their own. Finally, we show that our main results are similar, and stronger, for a representative sample of US workers.
    Keywords: occupation, wages, non-pecuniary benefits, inequality
    JEL: I31 J31
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Lea Immel
    Abstract: In this paper, I study the distributional consequences of the German Hartz reforms, a set of four comprehensive labor market reforms implemented in Germany between 2003 and 2005. I exploit regional variation in the intensity German counties were affected by the reforms to estimate the causal effect of the Hartz reforms on income inequality. My results suggest that the Hartz reforms have led to a small increase in income inequality. Testing for potential transmission channels, I find that the increase in inequality is partly due to a direct monetary impact of the last Hartz reform, Hartz IV, on the income of households relying on government transfers. Another part can be explained by a rise in the share of transfer recipients. In contrast, the Hartz reforms did not increase income inequality via a rise in labor supply or part-time work, via an increase in (full-time) wage inequality nor via an increase in the number of income earners per household.
    Keywords: Labor market policy, income inequality, wages, Germany, Hartz reforms
    JEL: D31 J08 J31 J68
    Date: 2021
  7. By: João Rebelo (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD)); Raúl Compés (Universitat Politècnica de València); Samuel Faria (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD)); Tânia Gonçalves (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD)); Vicente Pinilla (University of Zaragoza); Katrin Simón-Elorz (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
    Abstract: This study aims to analyse how psychological factors related to the Covid-19 lockdown affected wine consumption frequency among Iberian consumers. To achieve this goal, data collected from an online survey in Europe was used, comprising 4489 observations for Portuguese and Spanish samples. Using an ordered probit model, the wine consumption frequency is analysed as a function of a set of explanatory variables related to psychological factors and also sociodemographic variables, motivations related variables, and consumption characterization. Results allowed us to conclude that the fear of isolation was important for Spanish respondents to increase the probability of rising the frequency of consumption of wine, while in Portugal the fear of an economic crisis was the psychological factor leading to a higher consumption frequency. In both countries, psychological factors have influenced the frequency of wine consumption during the lockdown due to Covid-19. However, the impact of Covid-19 was felt differently in Spain and Portugal, with differences both in psychological and behavioural attitudes that have influenced the frequency of wine consumption that could indicate also significative cultural differences.
    Keywords: Covid-19; consumer behaviour; lockdown; psychological factors; wine consumption, frequency
    JEL: C2 D12 L66
    Date: 2021–02
  8. By: Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: For football executives, understanding the determinants of spectator no-show behavior better is of utmost importance. Recent research efforts, however, have primarily focused on exploring the potential effects of determinants that the club management can hardly influence (e.g., potential scheduling effects, the visiting team's quality, and the weather). In contrast, our understanding of factors relating to both accommodation (e.g., the ticket price), socio-demographics (e.g., age), and also emerging no-show habits, in predicting no-show behavior is still limited. Here, departing from more traditional survey-approaches, we address this shortcoming by exploring disaggregated behavioral season ticket holder data provided by an established Swiss Super League club. Analyzing a rich data set containing roughly 2.09 million attendance decisions made by ticket holders in Switzerland between 2013 and 2016, we observe that both a season ticket holder’s accommodation and his (or her) socio-demographic information can help predict subsequent no-show behavior. In particular, we notice an important role of a season ticket holders’ age, his (or her) domicile, and emerging no-show habits, as well as the season ticket price. Although our results suggest that the management of clubs with a strong demand for tickets might be well-advised to begin experimenting with strategies to exploit emerging no-show habits among their season ticket holders, most executives, i.e., those operating at clubs that sell-out their stadium only occasionally, might want to prioritize efforts to increase the inherent ticket value (e.g., by reducing the ticket supply).
    Keywords: attendance; decision-making; demand; football/soccer; no-shows; season tickets; spectator sports; stadiums
    JEL: D12 L83 R22 Z20
    Date: 2021–02
  9. By: Andresen, Martin Eckhoff; Løkken, Sturla Andreas
    Abstract: We investigate the consequences of failing a high-stakes exam in Norwegian high schools. Second-year high school students are randomly assigned to either a locally graded oral exam or a centrally graded written exam. Students assigned to written exams consistently receive lower grades and have a greater probability of failing, particularly in the case of already low-performing students. Because passing the exam is required to obtain a high school diploma, this translates into a reduction in high school graduation rates that remains significant over time, permanently shifting a group of marginal students into dropping out of high school altogether. We show that these marginal students are severely disadvantaged across several dimensions, even more so than dropouts in general. Our analysis of what predicts dropout among these marginal students suggests that effective policies for combating high school dropout should target students exclusively on the basis of poor academic performance, rather than other measures of disadvantage such as socioeconomic status, even though these characteristics are associated with dropout among students in general.
    Keywords: Exam type, high school dropout, school performance
    JEL: I21 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–12–19
  10. By: Javier Garcia-Bernardo (University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Spui 21, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Petr Jansky (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Vojtech Misak (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Although the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the largest expenditure programme of the European Union, not much is currently known either about its beneficiaries or about how unequally payments are distributed among them. We thus create a novel – and currently the most extensive – publicly available data set of CAP’s beneficiaries. We exploit a recent EU regulation which requires member states to disclose the identities and amounts allocated to all beneficiaries. We succeed in collecting data for 21 member states for up to 4 years between 2015 and 2018. We find that the extent of payment inequality among CAP beneficiaries differs among member states and that old member states generally tend to exhibit lower inequality while new member states tend to suffer from higher inequality. Specifically, Gini coefficients are lowest in Belgium, Finland, France and Denmark and highest in Slovakia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Czechia. In an additional exploratory analysis, we combine the amassed data with a company ownership database, which enables us to identify owners that are either foreign or common for multiple beneficiaries.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy; Common Agricultural Policy beneficiary; inequality; agriculture; European Union
    JEL: D63 H25 L11 Q14 Q18
    Date: 2021–02
  11. By: Sarah Flèche (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Nattavudh Powdthavee (WBS - Warwick Business School - University of Warwick [Coventry], IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)
    Abstract: Using data in the United States, UK and Germany, we show that women whose working hours exceed those of their male partners report lower life satisfaction on average. By contrast, men do not report lower life satisfaction from working more hours than their female partners. An analysis of possible mechanisms shows that in couples where the woman works more hours than the man, women do not spend significantly less time doing household chores. Women with egalitarian ideologies are likely to perceive this unequal division of labour as unfair, ultimately reducing their life satisfaction.
    Keywords: gender identity,housework,life satisfaction,relative working hours,fairness
    Date: 2020–08
  12. By: Severin Reissl; Alessandro Caiani; Francesco Lamperti; Mattia Guerini; Fabio Vanni; Giorgio Fagiolo; Tommaso Ferraresi; Leonardo Ghezzi; Mauro Napoletano; Andrea Roventini
    Abstract: The unprecedented lockdown measures implemented by many countries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a need for tools to assess their economic costs. For this purpose, we present a novel dynamic input-output modelling framework which we apply to an estimation of the economic impact of lockdowns in Italy. Lockdown measures are treated as shocks to available labor supply, being calibrated on regional and sectoral employment data coupled with the prescriptions of the prime ministerial decrees mandating the closure of specific industries. Using input-output tables for the Italian regions, we estimate the model on data from the first lockdown during spring 2020 and then simulate it to assess the regional and sectoral impacts. We find that, despite the simplicity of our framework, the model is able to reproduce the observed dynamics during the lockdown-induced downturn and subsequent recovery fairly closely for most sectors. This ability to match the empirical data is also confirmed by a small out-of-sample forecasting exercise. We subsequently also simulate the second set of ''softer'' lockdown measures implemented during autumn and winter of 2020 in order to evaluate their impact and compare them to the first, ''hard'' lockdown. Overall, we believe the simplicity and parsimony of our framework make it suitable for providing quick and reasonably accurate evaluations of the economic effects of different lockdown measures.
    Keywords: Input-output; Covid-19; Lockdown; Italy.
    Date: 2021–02–03
  13. By: Johanne Bacheron (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: In this paper, I use a pseudo-panel approach with data from the European Union Labour Force Survey to study the impact of paternity leave policies on mothers' employment in ten countries. Using a dynamic Difference-inDifference strategy, I show that paternity leave increased mothers' employment rate by up to 17% in the long run, and average hours worked by 2 to 4%. There is substantial heterogeneity across countries in the effect of paternity leave policies. The impact on employment rates is positive and significant in eight of the ten countries of the sample, while the impact on hours worked can be either positive or negative. I find no evidence that the reforms had any impact on Greece or Portugal.
    Keywords: paternity leave, labour supply, gender equality
    JEL: J16 J18 J48
    Date: 2021–02
  14. By: Diane Pelly; Michael Daly; Liam Delaney; Orla Doyle
    Abstract: The potential impact of COVID-19 restrictions on worker well-being is currently unknown. In this study we examine 15 well-being outcomes collected from 621 full-time workers assessed before (November, 2019 - February, 2020) and during (May-June, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixed effects analyses are used to investigate how the COVID-19 restrictions and involuntary homeworking affect well-being and job performance. The majority of worker well-being measures are not adversely affected. Homeworkers feel more engaged and autonomous, experience fewer negative emotions and feel more connected to their organisations. However, these improvements come at the expense of reduced homelife satisfaction and job performance.
    Keywords: COVID-19 restrictions; Workers; Homeworking; Subjective well-being; Productivity; Mental health; Job satisfaction; Engagement
    JEL: J08 J24 I31
    Date: 2021–02
  15. By: Loginova, Daria (Agroscope); Portmann, Marco (Administration fédérale des contributions); Huber, Martin
    Abstract: Causal estimation of the short-term effects of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on vegetable producer prices is hampered by the large variety and different growing seasons of vegetables and is therefore rarely performed. We quantify the effects of Swiss seasonal TRQs on domestic producer prices of a variety of vegetables based on a difference-in-differences estimation using a novel dataset of weekly producer prices for Switzerland and neighbouring countries. We find that TRQs increase prices of most vegetables by more than 20% above the prices in neighbouring countries during the main harvest time for most vegetables and even more than 50% for some vegetables. The effects are stronger for more perishable vegetables and for conventionally produced ones compared with organic vegetables. However, we do not find clear-cut effects of TRQs on the week-to-week price volatility of vegetables although the overall lower price volatility in Switzerland compared with neighbouring countries might be a result of the TRQ system in place.
    Keywords: agricultural trade policies, price volatility, Swiss agriculture, seasonal production, vegetable production, price stability, stabilisation policies, tariff-rate quotas, difference-indifferences, inverse probability weighting
    JEL: Q02 P52
    Date: 2021–02–26
  16. By: Thomas Kirchmaier; Monica Langella; Alan Manning
    Abstract: People care about crime, with the spatial distribution of both actual and perceived crime affecting the amenities from living in different areas and residential decisions. The literature finds that crime tends to happen close to the offender's residence but does not clearly establish whether this is because the location of likely offenders and crime opportunities are close to each other or whether there is a high commuting cost for criminals. We use a rich administrative dataset from one of the biggest UK police forces to disentangle these two hypotheses, providing an estimate of the cost of distance and how local socio-economic characteristics affect both crimes that are committed and the offenders' location. We find that the cost of distance is very high and has a great deterrence effect. We also propose a procedure for controlling for the selection bias induced by the fact that offenders' location is only known when they are caught.
    Keywords: crime, commuting
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2021–02
  17. By: Francesca Carta (Bank of Italy); Marta De Philippis (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The spread of the pandemic and the consequent adoption of lockdown measures to prevent infections had severe consequences for business activity and employment. By using data from the Italian Labour Force Survey, this paper simulates the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on the dynamics and distribution of equivalized labour income in the first two quarters of 2020. Moreover, it assesses the effectiveness in smoothing labour income losses of the social insurance benefits that were in place before the crisis and of the temporary measures adopted by the Italian Government to face it. We find that the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 shock impacted low-income households more heavily than higher income families, implying a substantial increase in labour income inequality. However, our results show that the social insurance benefits temporarily introduced by the Italian Government were able, at least in the short term, to compensate for these income losses and for the increased inequality significantly more than the pre-crisis measures.
    Keywords: labour market, inequality, social insurance benefits, recessions, coronavirus, Covid-19
    JEL: H20 J20 D31
    Date: 2021–02
  18. By: Huttunen, Kristiina; Lombardi, Stefano
    Abstract: We study inequality in mortality in Finland using registry data that covers the whole population for years 1990-2018. We create municipality-level indexes of regional deprivation (poverty rate), and show how age-specifc mortality rates have evolved across regions and over time. The inequality in mortality has been remarkably low over the time period for most age groups. However, among young and prime-age males the mortality rates have been persistently higher in the poorer areas. For these age groups the leading causes of death are deaths of despair (alcohol and suicides) and accidents. For the cohorts that were young during the deep early-1990's recession, we also document higher inequality in middle-age mortality than for cohorts entering the labor market in recovery periods.
    Keywords: Income inequality, mortality, Finland, Local public finance and provision of public services, I14, I12,
    Date: 2021
  19. By: Graeber, Daniel; Kritikos, Alexander S.; Seebauer, Johannes
    Abstract: We investigate how the economic consequences of the pandemic, and of the governmentmandated measures to contain its spread, affect the self-employed – particularly women – in Germany. For our analysis, we use representative, real-time survey data in which respondents were asked about their situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings indicate that among the self-employed, who generally face a higher likelihood of income losses due to COVID-19 than employees, women are 35% more likely to experience income losses than their male counterparts. Conversely, we do not find a comparable gender gap among employees. Our results further suggest that the gender gap among the self-employed is largely explained by the fact that women disproportionately work in industries that are more severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our analysis of potential mechanisms reveals that women are significantly more likely to be impacted by government-imposed restrictions, i.e. the regulation of opening hours. We conclude that future policy measures intending to mitigate the consequences of such shocks should account for this considerable variation in economic hardship.
    Keywords: Self-employed,COVID-19,income,gender,representative real-time survey data,decomposition methods
    JEL: J16 L26 J31 J71 I18
    Date: 2021
  20. By: Andersson, Henrik (Uppsala University); Engström, Per (Uppsala University); Nordblom, Katarina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wanander, Susanna (The Swedish Tax Agency)
    Abstract: We study what induces delinquent taxpayers to pay their taxes due. We use high quality administrative data from the Swedish Tax Agency. We find a strong effect of the standard enforcement regime: a threat of having the debt handed over to the Enforcement Agency increases payments by roughly 10 percentage points. When including actual enforcement, payment increases by around 20 percentage points compared to those who do not risk enforcement. In a field experiment, we compare these effects of standard enforcement to those of much milder nudges, consisting of letters reminding tax delinquents to pay their taxes due. We find that a “pure nudge”, i.e., the inclusion of an extra piece of paper with no valuable information, has an effect of 7-8 percentage points for those who do not risk enforcement upon non-payment. However, the same nudge has no detectable effect for the group at risk of enforcement. Social-norm messages in turn increase payments both for those who risk enforcement and for those who do not, but to a much smaller degree. We also find that a pure nudge works much better for those who receive a physical letter than for those who receive information electronically, while the reaction to the social-norm nudge is significant for those who get the electronic information.
    Keywords: tax compliance; RCT; nudge; quasi-experiment; regression discontinuity
    JEL: C21 D03 D91 H24 H26
    Date: 2021–02
  21. By: Knut Are Aastveit; Ragnar Enger Juelsrud; Ella Getz Wold
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of mortgage regulation on credit volumes, household balance sheets and the reaction to adverse economic shocks. Using a comprehensive dataset of all housing transactions in Norway matched with buyers' balance sheet information from official tax records, we identify causal effects of mortgage loan-to-value (LTV) limits. Our results show that LTV-requirements have substantial effects on credit volumes, especially on the extensive margin. As a result, such requirements contribute to dampening aggregate credit growth. We find that affected households lower their debt uptake and face lower interest expenses, thereby reducing their vulnerability to adverse shocks. However, affected households also deplete liquid assets when purchasing a home, in order to meet the new requirement. This negative effect on liquid savings persists in the years following the house purchase, suggesting that the impact on financial vulnerability at the household level is in fact ambiguous. We illustrate this further by documenting that households affected by the regulation are more likely to sell their home when becoming unemployed compared to non-affected households.
    Keywords: household leverage, financial regulation, macroprudential policy, mortgage markets
    JEL: E21 E58 G21 G28 G51
    Date: 2020–06
  22. By: Valeria Cirillo; Lucrezia Fanti; Andrea Mina; Andrea Ricci
    Abstract: New enabling technologies are shaping the transformation of production activities. This process of change is characterised by growing digitization, inter-connectivity and automation. The diffusion of new technologies is, however, very uneven, and firms display different adoption behaviours. By using panel data on a large representative sample of Italian firms, we explore the patterns and determinants of new digital technology adoption. We build our theoretical framework on the nexus between technology, skills and the organisation of work. We then provide novel econometric evidence on the positive effects of human capital and training. Among the notable results of the paper, labour flexibility does not seem to favour new technology adoption, whereas second-level collective bargaining plays a positive role in the process. Results also show heterogeneous effects between large vs. small and medium-size firms, and between manufacturing and service sectors.
    Keywords: Digital technologies; Industry 4.0; skills; human capital; work organisation.
    Date: 2021–02–05
  23. By: Arcagni, Alberto; Cavalli, Laura; Fattore, Marco
    Abstract: In this paper, we introduce some recent non-aggregative algorithms, for the construction of synthetic indicators on multi-indicators systems, and exemplify them on data pertaining to the sustainability of main Italian cities. The procedure employs tools from Partial Order Theory and computes the final synthetic scores, without the compensation effects of classical composite indicators, so better preserving the nuances of city sustainability. Since turning multi-indicator systems into single synthetic indicators is unavoidably forcing, the procedure provides also ways to assess the degrees of “rankability” of statistical units, so to help researchers evaluating the soundness of the synthesis process. The algorithms introduced in the paper can be easily implemented, using the package Parsec, freely available in the R ecosystem.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2021–02–03
  24. By: Fredriksson, Peter; Huttunen, Kristiina; Öckert, Björn
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of maternal school starting age and maternal age-at-birth on children’s short and long-term outcomes using Finnish register data. We exploit a school-starting-age rule for identification. Mothers who are born after the school entry cut-off give birth at higher age, but total fertility and earnings are unaffected. Being born after the cut-off reduces gestation and, hence, child birth weight. The effects on birth weight and gestation are rather small, however, suggesting that the long-run impacts are limited. Accordingly, we find no impacts on longer-term child outcomes, such as educational attainment and adolescent crime rates. Overall, we interpret this evidence as saying that there are no favorable effects of maternal age at birth on child outcomes.
    Keywords: school starting age, fertility, maternal age, birth outcomes, education, crime, Local public finance and provision of public services,
    Date: 2021
  25. By: El-Bialy, Nora; Fraile Aranda, Elisa; Nicklisch, Andreas; Saleh, Lamis; Voigt, Stefan
    Abstract: We analyze possible links between both trust and trustworthiness among Syrian refugees in Germany in relation to the refugees' involvement in two different forms of social networking (forming bonding ties with other refugees vs. forming bridging ties between refugees and Germans). We implement treatment conditions in which Syrian refugees play a trust game either with another Syrian refugee or with a German participant. Our results show that Syrians who engage in bonding networks show higher levels of trust and (un)conditional trustworthiness when they interact with a Syrian compared to when interacting with a German participant. In turn, the negative discrimination refugees display towards Germans decreases regarding trust and conditional trustworthiness, and vanishes regarding unconditional trustworthiness, for refugees engaged in bridging networks. The type of social ties created by the refugees correlates with their living conditions: newly arrived Syrian refugees tend to engage in bonding networks, whereas both staying longer in Germany and having a private home in Germany coincide with increased engagement in bridging networks. Thus, residence in a refugee camp appears to be an important barrier to the proliferation of social networks between hosts and refugees.
    Keywords: bonding,bridging,refugees,traumatic experience,trust,trustworthiness,social capital,experiments
    JEL: C93 D91 J15 Z13
    Date: 2021
  26. By: Mikko Nurminen (Turku School of Economics, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland)
    Abstract: Health care markets in developed countries have become increasingly concentrated, while at the same time there has been an increasing trend of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in these markets. I study the impact of M&As in the diagnostic procedure market, a market that is an important part of the health care industry and patient care, but has received little attention in this context. I use detailed nationwide register data from the Finnish private health care sector. My difference-in-difference estimates show that M&As increased prices in blood tests in both the acquiring and acquired units, but not in X-rays and MRIs. I additionally estimate a patient demand model that reveals that prices have little impact on the choice of provider while the referring physician's influence is large, potentially contributing to the firms' ability to increase their price margins.
    Keywords: Diagnostic Services, Mergers and Acquisitions, Market Power, Private Health Care
    JEL: L11 I11 J21 K21
    Date: 2021–01

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.