nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
27 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Social capital and economic growth in the regions of Europe By Muringani, Jonathan; Dahl Fitjar, Rune; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  2. Life Satisfaction, Pro-Activity, and Employment By Alpaslan Akay; Gökhan Karabulut; Levent Yilmaz
  3. Non-Standard Work and Innovation: Evidence from European industries By Jelena Relijc; Armanda Cetrulo; Valeria Cirillo; Andrea Coveri
  4. Wage Determination in the Shadow of the Law: The Case of Works Councilors in Germany By Goerke, Laszlo; Pannenberg, Markus
  5. Working horizon and labour supply: the effect of raising the full retirement age on middle-aged individuals By Francesca Carta; Marta De Philippis
  6. Italian Families in the 21st Century: Gender Gaps in Time Use and their Evolution By Francesca Barigozzi; Cesare Di Timoteo; Chiara Monfardini
  7. Does education predict gender role attitudes?: Evidence from European datasets By Deole, Sumit S.; Zeydanli, Tugba
  8. Breaking Through the Digital Ceiling: ICT Skills and Labour Market Opportunities By David Pichler; Robert Stehrer
  9. Containment measures, employment and the spread of COVID-19 in Spanish municipalities By Eduardo Gutiérrez; Enrique Moral-Benito
  10. The impact of temporal framing on the marginal propensity to consume By Pauls, Thomas
  11. Welfare resilience at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in a selection of European countries: impact on public finance and household incomes By Cantó Sánchez, Olga; Figari, Francesco; Fiorio, Carlo; Kuypers, Sarah; Marchal, Sarah; de la Cruz, Marina Romaguera; Tasseva, Iva Valentinova; Verbist, Gerlinde
  12. From Patriarchy to Partnership: Gender Equality and Household Finance By Luigi Guiso; Luana Zaccaria
  13. Passthrough of Firm Performance to Income and Employment Stability By Maibom, Jonas; Vejlin, Rune Majlund
  14. Are working hours a new driver of inequality? By Stefanie Gerold; Ulrike Stein
  15. Spreading the disease: Protest in times of pandemics By Lange, Martin; Monscheuer, Ole
  16. Syndication networks and company survival: Evidence from European venture-capital deals By Christopoulos, Dimitris; Köppl, Stefan; Köppl-Turyna, Monika
  17. Do more chargers mean more electric cars? By Sommer, Stephan; Vance, Colin
  18. The Importance of Peer Quality for Completion of Higher Education By Humlum, Maria Knoth; Thorsager, Mette
  19. Joint Retirement of Couples: Evidence from Discontinuities in Denmark By Esteban García-Miralles; Jonathan M. Leganza
  20. Revisiting the causal effect of education on political participation and interest By Bömmel, Nadja; Heineck, Guido
  21. The Impact of Regulation on Innovation By Philippe Aghion; Antonin Bergeaud; John Van Reenen
  22. The Child Penalty: Implications of Parenthood on Labour Market Outcomes for Men and Women in Germany By Charlotte H. Feldhoff
  23. Home Sweet Home: Working from home and employee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK By Deole, Sumit S.; Deter, Max; Huang, Yue
  24. Social norms and market behavior: Evidence from a large population sample By Riehm, Tobias; Fugger, Nicolas; Gillen, Philippe; Gretschko, Vitali; Werner, Peter
  26. Machine Learning and Credit Risk: Empirical Evidence from SMEs By Alessandro Bitetto; Paola Cerchiello; Stefano Filomeni; Alessandra Tanda; Barbara Tarantino
  27. Maternal Postpartum Depression Effects on Child's Health By Lucia Schiavon

  1. By: Muringani, Jonathan; Dahl Fitjar, Rune; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Social capital is an important factor explaining differences in economic growth among regions. However, the key distinction between bonding social capital, which can lead to lock-in and myopia, and bridging social capital, which promotes knowledge flows across diverse groups, has been overlooked in growth research. In this paper, we address this shortcoming by examining how bonding and bridging social capital affect regional economic growth, using data for 190 regions in 21 EU countries, covering eight waves of the European Social Survey between 2002 and 2016. The findings confirm that bridging social capital is linked to higher levels of regional economic growth. Bonding social capital is highly correlated with bridging social capital and associated with lower growth when this is controlled for. We do not find significantly different effects of bonding social capital in regions with more or less bridging social capital, or vice versa. We examine the interaction between social and human capital, finding that bridging social capital is fundamental for stimulating economic growth, especially in low-skilled regions. Human capital also moderates the relationship between bonding social capital and growth, reducing the negative externalities imposed by excessive bonding.
    Keywords: social capital; bonding; bridging; regions; economic growth; EU; forthcoming
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–02–15
  2. By: Alpaslan Akay; Gökhan Karabulut; Levent Yilmaz
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), this paper investigates how pro-active time-use (e.g., in sports/arts/socializing) relates to subjective well-being of the unemployed and their probability of finding a new job. Allowing for a variety of socio-demographic and -economic observed characteristics, we find that pro-activity is negatively associated with the well-being loss upon unemployment. That is, the negative unemployment shock on their well-being is mitigated through various stress-reducing activities including, in particular, art participation, socializing, going on trips, and visiting a church. We also find that the probability of returning to the labor market later is positively associated with pro-activity during the unemployment period. The results are robust to various checks including estimators, measures, and individual personality characteristics which can correlate with time-use activities
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; pro-activity; employment; labor markets
    JEL: I31 J64 J69
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Jelena Relijc; Armanda Cetrulo; Valeria Cirillo; Andrea Coveri
    Abstract: Following a market-oriented approach, policies aimed at increasing labour flexibility by weakening employment protection institutions should enable firms to efficiently allocate resources, improve their capability to compete on international markets and adjust to economic cycle. This work documents the rise of non-standard (i.e. temporary and part-time) work in five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) over the period 1994-2016 and investigate the nexus between the use of non-standard work and innovation performance using data for 18 manufacturing and 23 service industries. Contrary to the objectives that market-oriented policy recommendations promised to achieve, we show that there is a significantly negative association between the share of workers employed under non- standard contractual arrangements and the introduction of both product and process innovation. Furthermore, we show that the harmful consequences of the spread of non-standard work on firms' product innovation propensity are more pronounced in high-tech sectors.
    Keywords: Non-standard work; Knowledge; Product innovation; Process innovation; Industry-level analysis.
    Date: 2021–02–21
  4. By: Goerke, Laszlo; Pannenberg, Markus
    Abstract: The German law on co-determination at the plant level (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz) stipulates that works councilors are neither to be financially rewarded nor penalized for their activities. This regulation contrasts with publicized instances of excessive payments. The divergence has sparked a debate about the need to reform the law. This paper provides representative evidence on wage payments to works councilors for the period 2001 to 2015. We find wage premia of 2% to 6% in OLS-specifications, which are more pronounced for long-term works councilors. Moreover, we observe no wage premia in linear fixed-effects panel data specifications, suggesting that the OLS-results capture the effect of selection into works councillorship. We obtain no evidence for a delayed compensation or a special treatment of works councilors released from work. Hence, our results indicate that payments to works councilors are broadly in line with legal regulations.
    Keywords: Labor Law,Wages,Works Councils,Socio-economic Panel (SOEP)
    JEL: J30 J51 J53 J83 K31
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Francesca Carta (Bank of Italy); Marta De Philippis (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of raising the statutory full retirement age on the labour force participation of middle-aged individuals and their partners. Identification relies on a difference-in-differences setting that exploits the large heterogeneous increase in the age eligibility for retirement caused by an unexpected Italian pension reform. We detect a sizeable increase in the participation rate of middle-aged women that spills over into their husbands' labour supply, who choose to postpone their retirement decision.
    Keywords: family economics, labour supply, retirement
    JEL: J16 J22 J26
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Francesca Barigozzi; Cesare Di Timoteo; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: We estimate gender gaps in the allocation of time by Italian adults and their trends over the years 2002-2014. We disentangle time use in weekdays and weekend days and analyse separately full-time working parents with young children, representing the subsample more mindful of gender parity. In the complete sample, the positive gap (females-males) in time devoted to Household work and the negative gap in Market work and Leisure have narrowed, while the positive gap in time devoted to Child care (Basic and Quality time together) remained constant. In 2014, family duties still appear heavily unbalanced. In the subsample, full-time working mothers devote to total work (paid and unpaid) 13 hours per week more and to Leisure 11 hours per week less than their partners. On the positive side, the gender gap in Quality child care exhibits a reversed sign, which is driven by fathers’ engagement in weekend days.
    Keywords: time use, gender gap, child care, household work.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Deole, Sumit S.; Zeydanli, Tugba
    Abstract: This paper presents the first empirical evidence of the causal impact of individuals' education on their attitudes towards traditional gender roles. We employ two national panel datasets from the UK and Switzerland and a repeated cross-sectional dataset with information from 13 Western European countries for the analysis. The causal impact of education on gender role attitudes is estimated by exploiting the exogenous variation in individuals' education induced by the compulsory school reforms undertaken in European countries in the second half of the 20th century. We find evidence that an additional year of education instigates egalitarian gender role attitudes equivalent of 0.1-0.3 of a standard deviation. While education's moderating effect is particularly prominent among women, no evidence of effect heterogeneity is found concerning the individuals' religiosity. Our findings are robust to numerous checks performed and are briefly discussed for their policy relevance.
    Keywords: Gender role attitudes,education,compulsory schooling reforms,IV strategy
    JEL: J16 J78 C26
    Date: 2021
  8. By: David Pichler; Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of ICT-skills on individuals’ labour market mobility patterns, in particular job-to-job, employment- to-unemployment and unemployment-to-employment transitions. Based on the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and longitudinal EU-SILC data, individuals’ labour market outcomes are examined over the period 2011-2017 in nine EU countries and the UK. Our results indicate that individuals with strong ICT skills have better opportunities and are therefore not only more likely to change jobs more frequently but are also less likely to face unemployment. Furthermore, ICT skills support unemployment exit towards medium and high digital occupations. A certain minimum level of ICT skills also supports unemployment exit towards low digital occupations but seems to make employment in such occupations less likely once this threshold is crossed. Overall, ICT skills have less predictive power for transition towards medium digital occupations. Thus, while ICT skills appear to improve labour market opportunities significantly, it seems that there are still jobs that require relatively few ICT skills.
    Keywords: digital skills, labour market transitions
    JEL: C25 J23
    Date: 2021–02
  9. By: Eduardo Gutiérrez (Banco de España); Enrique Moral-Benito (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In order to curb the advance of COVID-19, Royal Decree-Law 10/2020 of 29 March 2020 stipulated the temporary shutdown of all activities considered non-essential between 30 March and 9 April 2020. This paper uses municipal-level information to quantify the short-term effects of this measure both on employment and on containing the pandemic. Specifically, we analyse the relationship between the share of firms forced to shut down in each municipality and changes in Social Security registrations along with new COVID-19 cases in April. The results suggest that those municipalities most affected by the non-essential activity shutdown endured higher reductions in employment but, at the same time, they also witnessed a lower propagation of the pandemic during April. Finally, other characteristics such as ageing, colder temperatures, higher population density and proximity to the provincial capital are found to be associated with a higher incidence of COVID-19 at the municipality level.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, employment, Spanish municipalities
    JEL: I1 J21 C53
    Date: 2020–08
  10. By: Pauls, Thomas
    Abstract: We conducted a large-scale household survey in November 2020 to study how altering the time frame of a message (temporal framing) regarding an imminent positive income shock affects consumption plans. The income shock derives from the abolishment of the German solidarity surcharge on personal income taxes, effective in January 2021. We randomize across survey participants whether their extra disposable income is presented in Euros per month, Euros per year, or Euros per ten year-period. Our main findings are as follows: In General, we find our respondents' intended Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) is 28.2%. Across all three treatments, the MPC is a positive function of age and being female while it is a negative function of the income increase's size, self- control, and being unemployed. Temporal framing effects are statistically and economically highly significant as we find the monthly treatment groups' average MPC 5.6 and 8.7 percentage points higher compared to the yearly and 10-yearly treatment groups. We will be able to analyze the real consumption behavior of households throughout 2021 based on re-surveying the participants as well as by using transaction-based bank data.
    Keywords: behavioral economics,saving,marginal propensity to consume,tax intervention,tax cut
    JEL: E2 E6
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Cantó Sánchez, Olga; Figari, Francesco; Fiorio, Carlo; Kuypers, Sarah; Marchal, Sarah; de la Cruz, Marina Romaguera; Tasseva, Iva Valentinova; Verbist, Gerlinde
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact on household incomes of the COVID-19 pandemic and governments’ policy responses in April 2020 in four large and severely hit European countries: Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK. We provide comparative evidence on the level of relative and absolute welfare resilience at the onset of the pandemic, by creating counterfactual scenarios using the European-wide tax-benefit model EUROMOD combined with COVID-related household surveys and timely labour market data. We find that income poverty increases in all countries due to the pandemic while inequality remains broadly the same. Differences in the impact of policies across countries arise from four main sources: the asymmetric dimension of the shock by country, the different protection offered by each tax-benefit system, the diverse design of discretionary measures and the differences in the household level circumstances and living arrangements of individuals at risk of income loss in each country.
    Date: 2021–02–25
  12. By: Luigi Guiso (EIEF); Luana Zaccaria (EIEF)
    Abstract: We estimate a novel measure of gender norms on intra-household financial decision making by leveraging dramatic variation across Italian cohorts and regions in the gender of the spouse in charge of household finances that occurred over the last 30 years. We use these estimates to identify the effects of gender parity on household financial decisions. We find that more egalitarian norms increase household participation in financial markets, equity holdings and asset diversification. Egalitarian couples earn higher returns on investments which can raise wealth at retirement up to 15% compared to couples that strictly comply with patriarchal norms. This evidence suggests that gender roles in household financial management can have large economic costs. Consistent with this view, we show that patriarchal norms began receding in the early 1990s, when a pension reform made it too costly to comply with traditional roles.
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Maibom, Jonas (Aarhus University); Vejlin, Rune Majlund (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: To what extent do firms pass through idiosyncratic shocks to their workers? In this paper, we investigate this question focusing on passthrough to income for workers that stay in the firm and passthrough to employment stability. We take an empirical approach and use matched employer-employee data from Denmark, three different measures of firm performance (sales, value added, and value added per worker), and two measures of income (earnings and hourly wages). We distinguish between unemployment and job-to-job transitions. We find that passthrough to income is much higher for permanent (5-9 percent) than transitory (1 percent) shocks. Income passthrough is higher for blue collar workers and workers in small firms. On the employment margin, we find that worse firm performance increases both unemployment and job-to-job transitions. The unemployment risk is especially pronounced for blue collar, low-educated, low tenure workers, while the effect on job-to-job transitions is larger for managers and high-educated workers. We also find clear evidence of non-linearities with negative shocks driving both unemployment and job-to-job transitions.
    Keywords: firm shocks, passthrough, income, employment stability
    JEL: C33 D22 J31 J33
    Date: 2021–02
  14. By: Stefanie Gerold; Ulrike Stein (Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK))
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between inequalities in working hours and overall earnings inequality in Germany between 2006 and 2014, and the role of declining collective bargaining coverage. Using data from the German Structure of Earnings Survey (GSES), a variance decomposition of earnings inequality reveals that hours inequality and the covariance between wages and hours become more important over time in determining earnings inequality. Based on unconditional quantile regressions, we show that the presence of collective agreements tends to increase working hours at the bottom of the distribution, and lowers them at the top end of the distribution, while controlling for individual and firm-specific characteristics. These findings imply that union presence is not only able to compress wage inequality, but might reduce earnings inequality through a compression of working hours.
    Keywords: Inequality, working hours, collective bargaining, decomposition, unconditional quantile regression, RIF regressions, Structure of Earnings Survey
    JEL: J22 J31 J52 C31 D31
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Lange, Martin; Monscheuer, Ole
    Abstract: This study analyzes the impact of COVID-19 deniers on the spread of COVID-19 in Germany. In a first step, we establish a link between regional proxies of COVID-19 deniers and infection rates. We then estimate the causal impact of large anti-lockdown protests on the spread of COVID-19 using an event study framework. Employing novel data on bus stops of travel companies specialized in driving protesters to these gatherings, and exploiting the timing of two large-scale demonstrations in November 2020, we find sizable increases in infection rates in protesters' origin regions after these demonstrations. Individual-level evidence supports the main results by documenting that COVID-19 deniers engage less in health protection behavior. Our results contribute to the debate about the public health costs of individual behavior that has detrimental externalities for the society.
    Keywords: COVID-19 deniers,protests,public health
    JEL: I18 I12 D62 P16
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Christopoulos, Dimitris; Köppl, Stefan; Köppl-Turyna, Monika
    Abstract: We look at syndication in the venture capital industry. Investments conducted by syndicates are believed to have better chances of being successful, measured by the survival probability of portfolio companies or by successful exits. Using a novel and large dataset, covering several countries, our analysis shows that strong network ties of investors are associated with success of portfolio companies in Europe. We also show that there are differences in the association of network centrality with survival between different financing rounds, the former being more important in early-stage investments. Finally, we show a strong association of network ties of investors with sales growth of portfolio companies, before and after the deal.
    Keywords: Venture Capital,Networks,Europe,Investment Syndication
    JEL: G11 G24 M13
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Sommer, Stephan; Vance, Colin
    Abstract: Drawing on panel data from Germany, this paper estimates the relationship between charging infrastructure and the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). We specify models with fixed effects and instrumental variables to gauge the robustness of our findings in the face of alternative channels through which endogeneity bias may emerge. We find that charging infrastructure has a statistically significant and positive impact on EV uptake, with the magnitude of the estimate increasing with population density. The evidence further suggests that although the incidence of charging points in Germany far exceeds the European Union's recommended minimum ratio of one point to ten EVs, inadequate infrastructure coverage remains a binding constraint on EV uptake. We use the model estimates to illustrate the relative cost effectiveness of normal and fast chargers by region, which supports a geographically differentiated targeting of subsidies.
    Keywords: Transport policy,electric vehicles,charging infrastructure,Germany
    JEL: H54 H71 Q58 R40 R58
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Humlum, Maria Knoth (Aarhus University); Thorsager, Mette (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science)
    Abstract: Using detailed Danish administrative data covering the entire population of students entering higher education in the period 1985 to 2010, we investigate the importance of a student's peers in higher education for the decision to drop out. We use high school GPA as a predetermined measure of student ability and idiosyncratic variation in peer composition across cohorts within the same education and institution. Our findings suggest that peer ability is an important determinant of students' drop out decisions as well as later labor market outcomes. Overall, we find that a one standard deviation increase in peers' high school GPA reduces the probability of dropping out by 4.6 percentage points. This number masks considerable heterogeneity by level and field of study. Allowing for a more flexible specification, we find that low quality peers have adverse effects on the probability of dropping out while high quality peers have beneficial effects. These effects are more pronounced for lower ability students.
    Keywords: dropout, peer effects, peer quality, higher education
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2021–02
  19. By: Esteban García-Miralles (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Jonathan M. Leganza (University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: We study how social security influences joint retirement of couples. We exploit three decades of administrative data from Denmark to explore joint retirement in two complementary settings. In the first setting, we exploit the discontinuous increase in retirement observed when individuals become eligible for public pension benefits to identify the causal effects on their spouses. We find that spouses are more likely to retire right when their partners reach pension eligibility age, with a spillover effect across spouses of 7.5%. We further unpack this result by studying additional margins of adjustment such as benefit claiming and earnings, and by documenting meaningful response heterogeneity. We find age differences within couples to be a crucial determinant of joint retirement, which is primarily driven by older spouses who continue to work until their younger partners reach pension eligibility. Controlling for these age differences uncovers a gender gap where female spouses are more likely to adjust their behavior to retire jointly, and this gap remains after controlling for earnings shares within couples. In the second setting, we study to what extent couples adapt their behavior to retire jointly after a reform increases pension eligibility ages. We find spillover effects across spouses comparable to those from the first setting, in which eligibility ages were stable and known by couples well in advance. This suggests that spouses do not face adjustment costs limiting their capacity to retire together after the reform.
    Keywords: joint retirement, pension eligibility age, couples labor supply
    JEL: J14 J26 D10 H55
    Date: 2021–01–29
  20. By: Bömmel, Nadja; Heineck, Guido
    Abstract: A substantial number of studies suggests a strong relationship between education and aspects of political participation and interest. Only a small body of literature, however, addresses whether these patterns represent causal effects. We add to this research and re-examine the question in the German context. For identification, we exploit an exogenous increase in lower secondary compulsory schooling between 1949 and 1969 in former West Germany, and use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to identify individuals' educational biographies more precisely than prior research. Our results reinforce findings from Siedler (2010): multiple regression analyses first indicate a positive, statistically significant correlation between schooling and our measures of political activities. IV estimates, however, are all trivial, for both compliers and the full sample, indicating that the reform did not stimulate longterm changes in political participation and interest.
    Keywords: school reform,political participation,IV estimation,returns to education,Germany
    JEL: I2 H4 H23
    Date: 2020
  21. By: Philippe Aghion; Antonin Bergeaud; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Does regulation affect the pace and nature of innovation and if so, by how much? We build a tractable and quantifiable endogenous growth model with size-contingent regulations. We apply this to population administrative firm panel data from France, where many labour regulations apply to firms with 50 or more employees. Nonparametrically, we find that there is a sharp fall in the fraction of innovating firms just to the left of the regulatory threshold. Further, a dynamic analysis shows a sharp reduction in the firm's innovation response to exogenous demand shocks for firms just below the regulatory threshold. We then quantitatively fit the parameters of the model to the data, finding that innovation at the macro level is about 5.4% lower due to the regulation, a 2.2% consumption equivalent welfare loss. Four-fifths of this loss is due to lower innovation intensity per firm rather than just a misallocation towards smaller firms and lower entry. We generalize the theory to allow for changes in the direction of R&D, and find that regulation's negative effects only matter for incremental innovation (as measured by citations and text-based measures of novelty). A more regulated economy may have less innovation, but when firms do innovate they tend to “swing for the fence” with more radical (and labour saving) breakthroughs.
    Keywords: Innovation, regulation, patents, firm size.
    JEL: O31 L11 L51 J8 L25
    Date: 2021
  22. By: Charlotte H. Feldhoff
    Abstract: Whilst gender inequality has been falling in the developed world, child-related gender inequality in pay has stayed constant. In this paper I use German panel data spanning across 33 years from 1984 until 2017 including over 50,000 individuals. The main contribution of this paper is the analysis of the effect of parenthood on women’s and men’s earnings using propensity score matching. I estimate the annual average treatment effect of parenthood over the 20 years following the birth of the first child to be -10500€ for women and +6800€ for men. When comparing the percentage loss of potential earnings, I find that women suffer a long-run child penalty of 63% compared to men. I then examine the relationship between the treatment effect and gender norms, willingness to take on risk for your career and priorities regarding job characteristics. There exists evidence which suggests that all of these factors are associated with changes in the individual treatment effects.
    Keywords: Gender Economics, Child Penalty, Propensity Score Matching
    JEL: J13 J16 J21 J31 C12 C13
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Deole, Sumit S.; Deter, Max; Huang, Yue
    Abstract: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced governments in many countries to ask employees to work from home (WFH) where possible. Using representative data from the UK, we show that increases in WFH frequency are associated with a higher self-perceived productivity per hour and an increase in weekly working hours among the employed. The WFH-productivity relationship is stronger for employees residing in regions worse affected by the pandemic and those who previously commuted longer distances, while it is weaker for mothers with childcare responsibilities. Also, we find that employees with higher autonomy over job tasks and work hours and those with childcare responsibilities worked longer hours when working from home. With prospects that WFH possibility may remain permanently open for some employees, we discuss our results' labor market policy implications.
    Keywords: Working from home,productivity,working hours,COVID-19 pandemic
    JEL: J22 J24
    Date: 2021
  24. By: Riehm, Tobias; Fugger, Nicolas; Gillen, Philippe; Gretschko, Vitali; Werner, Peter
    Abstract: We test the importance of social norms for market interactions associated with negative real-world externalities in a large-scale experiment with a heterogeneous population sample from Germany. The majority of experimental participants refuses to trade, thus behaving in a moral way. Our data suggest the importance of norm conformity for the decision to trade as a significant share of buyers and sellers condition market entry on the decisions of others. Moreover, a majority of observers is willing to incur personal costs to sanction trading. Moral behavior is significantly linked to demographic characteristics and stated preferences and attitudes of the participants.
    Keywords: Markets,moral behavior,negative externalities,social norms,punishment,large population sample,experiment
    JEL: D01 D62 D64 C93
    Date: 2021
  25. By: Raffaella Santolini (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche)
    Abstract: The decision to end a marriage may depend on economic reasons such as more advantageous tax breaks obtained through a divorce. The paper examines the role played by property tax in influencing decisions of marital separation and divorce in Italian municipalities over the years 2001-2007. Empirical analysis shows that there is a significant increase in divorces and marital separations as the difference between the municipal secondary and primary home tax rate increases. Women are more inclined than men to separate and divorce when the municipal property tax rates differences become larger.
    Keywords: property tax; divorce; marital separation; Italian municipalities
    JEL: H30 H31 J12
    Date: 2021–02
  26. By: Alessandro Bitetto (University of Pavia); Paola Cerchiello (University of Pavia); Stefano Filomeni (University of Essex); Alessandra Tanda (University of Pavia); Barbara Tarantino (University of Pavia)
    Abstract: In this paper we assess credit risk of SMEs by testing and comparing a classic parametric approach fitting an ordered probit model with a non-parametric one calibrating a machine learning historical random forest (HRF) model. We do so by exploiting a unique and proprietary dataset comprising granular firm-level quarterly data collected from a large European bank and an international insurance company on a sample of 810 Italian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the time period 2015-2017. Our results provide novel evidence that a dynamic Historical Random Forest (HRF) approach outperforms the traditional ordered probit model, highlighting how advanced estimation methodologies that use machine learning techniques can be successfully implemented to predict SME credit risk. Moreover, by using Shapley values for the first time, we are able to assess the relevance of each variable in predicting SME credit risk. Traditionally, credit risk evaluation of informationally-opaque SMEs has relied on soft information-intensive relationship banking. However, the advent of large banking conglomerates and the limits to successfully "harden" and transmit soft information across large banking organizations, challenge the traditional role of relationship banking, urging the need to evaluate SME credit risk by implementing alternative methodologies mostly based on hard information.
    Keywords: Credit Rating, SME, Historical Random Forest, Machine Learning, Relationship Banking, Soft Information
    JEL: C52 C53 D82 D83 G21 G22
    Date: 2021–02
  27. By: Lucia Schiavon
    Abstract: Several studies indicate that children, whose mother experienced postpartum depression, are at greater risks of emotional, behavioural, cognitive and interpersonal problems later in life. However, maternal postpartum depression might influence child’s development by affecting his health outcomes. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK data service), we investigate whether maternal postpartum depression has any impact on early child health development and if differences exist when the child is the first-born. In detail, we study the effects of maternal postpartum depression on a range of potential child health diseases at ages of 3, 5, 7 and 11 years and on the number of injuries or accidents occurred at the child, for which he was taken to the hospital. Our findings show a non-negligible impact of maternal postpartum depression for first-born children on those health issues enhanced by a stressful environment: wheezing (throughout childhood) and hay fever (at early ages). At later ages (7 and 11 years), children with a mother who experienced postpartum depression are also more likely to suffer from asthma. Furthermore, results indicate a significant strong effect of maternal postpartum depression on the accident rate at the ages of 3 and 5 years (the incidence-rate ratios are of 1.205 and 1.289 respectively).
    Keywords: maternal postpartum depression, early childhood development, children health.
    Date: 2020

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