nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2021‒09‒27
27 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Employment quality, economic performance and wages in Europe. Exploring the virtuous circle By Pianta, Mario; Reljic, Jelena
  2. Are Industrial Robots a new GPT? A Panel Study of Nine European Countries with Capital and Quality-adjusted Industrial Robots as Drivers of Labour Productivity Growth By Kariem Soliman
  3. The Faster the Better? The Effect of Ultra-Fast Broadband on Students’ Performance By Carlo Cambini; Lorien Sabatino; Sarah Zaccagni
  4. Does Sports Make People Happier, or Do Happy People More Sports? By Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
  5. Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment By Henning Hermes; Philipp Lergetporer; Frauke Peter; Daniela Simon Wiederhold
  6. Voting, contagion and the trade-off between public health and political rights: quasi-experimental evidence from the Italian 2020 polls By Mello, M.; Moscelli, G.
  7. Does the Gender Mix Influence Collective Bargaining on Gender Equality? Evidence from France By Anne‐sophie Bruno; Nathalie Greenan; Jeremy Tanguy
  8. Vanishing social classes? Facts and figures of the Italian labour market By Armanda Cetrulo; Angelica Sbardella; Maria Enrica Virgillito
  9. How prices guide investment decisions under net purchasing – An empirical analysis on the impact of network tariffs on residential PV By Arnold, Fabian; Jeddi, Samir; Sitzmann, Amelie
  10. Credit demand versus supply channels: Experimental- and administrative-based evidence By Michelangeli, Valentina; Peydró, José-Luis; Sette, Enrico
  11. The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses after Job Displacement By Hannah Illing; Johannes F. Schmieder; Simon Trenkle
  12. The Impact of Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants on Their Integration in the Host Country By Pia Schilling; Steven Stillman
  13. The reassuring effect of firms' technological innovations on workers' job insecurity By Caselli, Mauro; Fracasso, Andrea; Marcolin, Arianna; Scicchitano, Sergio
  14. Human Resources in Europe. Estimation, Clusterization, Machine Learning and Prediction By Leogrande, Angelo; Costantiello, Alberto
  15. Gender differences in re-contesting decisions: New evidence from French municipal elections By Julieta Peveri; Marc Sangnier
  16. Unemployment transitions and the role of minimum wage: from pre-crisis to crisis and recovery By Andriopoulou, Eirini; Karakitsios, Alexandros
  17. Agency Costs in Small Firms By Bianchi, Milo; Luomaranta, Henri
  18. Retailer-driven value chain in agri-food sector: analysis of the participation of French firms By Kossi Messanh Agbekponou; Angela Cheptea; Karine Latouche
  19. The impact of COVID-19 on mobility choices in Switzerland By Hintermann, Beat; Schoeman, Beaumont; Molloy, Joseph; Schatzmann, Thomas; Tchervenkov, Christopher; Axhausen, Kay W.
  20. Does Devolution Alter the Choice of Public versus Private Health Care? By Costa-Font, J.; Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A.
  21. The Covid-19 containment effects of public health measures: A spatial difference-in-differences approach By Kosfeld, Reinhold; Mitze, Timo; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
  22. Share Repurchases and Board Independence By Grosman, Anna; Amore, Mario Daniele
  23. Web Scraping Housing Prices in Real-time: the Covid-19 Crisis in the UK By Jean-Charles Bricongne; Baptiste Meunier; Sylvain Pouget
  24. How effective are hiring subsidies to reduce long-term unemployment among prime-aged jobseekers? Evidence from Belgium By Sam Desiere; Bart Cockx
  25. Drawing a Line: Comparing the Estimation of Top Incomes Between Tax Data and Household Survey Data By Nishant Yonzan; Branko Milanovic; Salvatore Morelli; Janet Gornick
  26. Digital tools for worker management and psycho-social risks in the workplace: evidence from the ESENER survey By Cesira Urzi Brancati; Maurizio Curtarelli
  27. The Consequences of Chronic Pain in Mid-Life: Evidence from the National Child Development Survey By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson

  1. By: Pianta, Mario; Reljic, Jelena
    Abstract: This paper investigates the existence of a virtuous circle between industries’ employment quality, the ability to introduce new products, increase labour productivity and pay higher wages. We first present descriptive evidence of these trends in Europe. We then develop a simultaneous four-equation model investigating empirically four related variables: first, the rise of non-standard work as a proxy of low employment quality; second, the success of firms in translating their R&D efforts into new products and services; third, labour productivity growth driven by technological activities; fourth, wage increases and the factors supporting their rise. The model is tested empirically for 41 manufacturing and service sectors of six European economies (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK) over the period 1996-2016. The findings provide novel evidence of mutually reinforcing relationships, where higher employment quality complements technological activities, leading to more product innovations that increase productivity growth. In turn, the latter allows wage increases that contribute to higher employment quality, resulting in a good jobs-high innovation virtuous circle.
    Keywords: Non-standard work, Product Innovation, Labour productivity, Wages, Virtuous circles, European industries
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J50 L6 L8 O31 O33 O52
    Date: 2021–09–19
  2. By: Kariem Soliman (Europäisches Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW))
    Abstract: In recent years, the interest in the field of economic research in studying the effect of robots on economic outcomes, i.e., labour productivity, labour demand and wages, has increased from an individual country perspective as well as for country groups. By using a fixed effects panel modeling approach, this study of nine robot intensive European countries shows that the core characteristics of a general purpose technology (GPT) are already satisfied by industrial robots. In 2019, seven countries in the panel, i.e. Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK (top 5), Sweden (7th) and Austria (10th) - in terms of operational stocks - were among the top 10 of robot using European countries (excl. Turkey). Following the understanding of a GPT of Bresnahan/Trajtenberg (1995), six panel regression models were estimated and linked to the four main characteristics of a GPT. Accordingly, two new measures are proposed in this paper; the first one is named the Division of Labour (or DoL) and is constructed by building the ratio of labour productivity inside the manufacturing industry to labour productivity across all industries. The second one is the Robot Task Intensity Index (RTII), which accounts for the number of tasks that a robot was used for in different production processes across the nine European countries. A high level of fulfilled tasks implies a higher quality of robot as the number of potential tasks, which the robot can perform, is an important criterion for the quality of that robot. In accordance with the GPT literature, both measures showed the expected (in) significances. At the bottom line, all six models underlined the economic relevance of industrial robots for the nine European countries included in the analysis and give a strong indication that robots can indeed be seen as a new general purpose technology.
    Keywords: Industrial Robots, General Purpose Technology, Labour Productivity Growth, Robot Task Intensity Index (RTII), Fixed Effects Model, EU KLEMS
    JEL: D24 J24 O11 O14 O33
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Carlo Cambini (Department of Production and Management Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy); Lorien Sabatino (Department of Production and Management Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy); Sarah Zaccagni (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the impact of ultra-fast broadband (UBB) access on student performance. These networks are based on optical fiber, allowing significantly higher speed compared to traditional copper-line connections. Our empirical analysis leverages on a unique dataset that combines information on broadband diffusion with data on student performance in 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade for the period 2012-2017. We exploit the staggered roll-out of UBB, starting from 2015. Through an event study approach, we find evidence of endogeneity between student performance and broadband diffusion. We deal with this issue through an instrumental variable approach that exploits plausibly exogenous variation in the diffusion of the essential UBB input. Our results suggest that ultra-fast connections significantly decrease students’ performance in Mathematics and Italian language in 8th grade. Instead, we do not find any significant effect in 2nd and 5th grade. Male students from low-educated parental backgrounds are those more adversely affected, especially if they attend schools with a low IT usage.
    Keywords: ultra-fast broadband, internet, student performance, instrumental variables
    JEL: C23 C26 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2021–09–16
  4. By: Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
    Abstract: We contribute to the happiness literature by analyzing the causal relationship between sports and happiness. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio- Economic Panel (GSOEP), we find a positive correlation between sports participa- tion and reported life satisfaction. This relationship is stronger at younger and older ages than in middle age, and for people in bad health compared to those in average health. We further provide evidence for both causal directions. It turns out that the causal impact of engaging in sports on happiness is about four times higher than the effect of happiness on engaging in sports.
    Keywords: happiness; life satisfaction; well-being; sports; causality
    Date: 2021–09
  5. By: Henning Hermes (NHH Bergen, FAIR & Department of Economics); Philipp Lergetporer (Technical University of Munich & ifo Institute at the University of Munich and CESifo); Frauke Peter (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) & DIW Berlin); Daniela Simon Wiederhold (KU EichstŠtt-Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt School of Management & ifo Institute Munich)
    Abstract: Children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to benefit more from early child care, but are substantially less likely to be enrolled. We study whether reducing behavioral barriers in the application process increases enrollment in child care for lower-SES children. In our RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (n > 600), treated families receive application information and personal assistance for applications. For lower-SES families, the treatment increases child care application rates by 21 pp and enrollment rates by 16 pp. Higher-SES families are not affected by the treatment. Thus, alleviating behavioral barriers closes half of the SES gap in early child care enrollment.
    Keywords: Child care, early childhood, behavioral barriers, information, educational inequality, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: I21 J13 J18 J24 C93
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: Mello, M.; Moscelli, G.
    Abstract: In September 2020, a national-level constitutional referendum held alongside local administrative elections took place in Italy, resulting in a 22% average increase in the referendum turnout rate where more than one poll occurred. We exploit this quasi-experimental setting to estimate the e ect of voters' turnout on the spread of COVID-19, by employing an event-study design with a two-stage Control Function strategy. The estimated elasticities show that post-poll new COVID infections increased by an average of 1.1% for each additional percentage point of turnout. The findings suggest that national-level polls have the possibility to amplify nation-wide waves of contagion if held during peak periods of an epidemic. A cost-benefit simulation based on our estimates and real political events shows that averting an early general election in Spring 2021 has spared Italy up to about 362 million euros in additional hospital care costs and 22,900 deaths from COVID.
    Keywords: COVID-19; voting; civic capital; Control Function;
    JEL: C23 D72 H51 I18
    Date: 2021–09
  7. By: Anne‐sophie Bruno (CHS - Centre d'histoire sociale des mondes contemporains - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nathalie Greenan (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEET - Centre d'études de l'emploi et du travail - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM] - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé, LIRSA - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche en sciences de l'action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM]); Jeremy Tanguy (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc)
    Abstract: Gender equality at work has become in recent years a priority for governments. In France, collective bargaining is the main lever to achieve progress on gender equality issues. In a two-tier bargaining framework, industries and firms are required by law to negotiate on the reduction of gender inequalities. Using firmlevel survey data on labor relations issues combined with administrative data, this paper seeks to better understand the dynamics of collective bargaining on gender equality at the firm level by questioning the role played by the gender mix. We find that gender diversity favors gender equality bargaining at the firm level. Underrepresentation and overrepresentation of women reduce the probability of firms negotiating an agreement on gender equality. The introduction of sanctions in the recent period has prompted low-feminized firms to negotiate more on gender equality but had little impact on highly feminized firms.
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Armanda Cetrulo; Angelica Sbardella; Maria Enrica Virgillito
    Abstract: This paper analyses medium-term labour market trends from 1983 to 2018 in Italy relying on the 'Rilevazione dei contratti di lavoro' from INPS archive which provides information on average salaries by professional category, age, gender, and geographical origin. Within an overall pattern of exacerbated inequalities, documented by means of different indicators, the empirical analysis highlights how the within-component of the wage variation prevails in the gender, age and geographical dimensions. By contrast, the between-component in terms of professional categories (trainees, blue-collar jobs, white-collar jobs, middle managers, executives) is the only between-variation attribute to prevail, corroborating the role played by class schema in explaining wage inequality. Regression-based inequality estimations confirm the role played by social classes. Stratification of wage losses is recorded being largely concentrated among blue-collar professional categories, women, youth, and in the Southern regions.
    Keywords: Inequality; wages; occupations.
    Date: 2021–09–20
  9. By: Arnold, Fabian (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI)); Jeddi, Samir (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI)); Sitzmann, Amelie (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI))
    Abstract: Within the regulation of net purchasing, investment incentives for residential PV depend on the remuneration for grid feed-in and the consumption costs that households can save by self-consumption. Network tariffs constitute a substantial part of these consumption costs. We use postcode-level data for Germany between 2009 and 2017 and exploit the regional heterogeneity of network tariffs to investigate whether they encourage to invest in PV installations and evaluate how the nonlinear tariff structure impacts residential PV adoption. Our results show that network tariffs do impact PV adoption. The effect has increased in recent years when self-consumption has become financially more attractive, and the results confirm the expectation that PV investments are driven by the volumetric tariff. Policy reforms that alter the share between the price components are, thus, likely to affect residential PV adoption. Further, with self-consumption becoming a key incentive, price signals can effectively support the coordination of electricity demand and supply in Germany.
    Keywords: Network tariffs; PV investments; self-consumption; price perception; panel data; prosumer; non-linear prices
    JEL: C33 D12 L51 Q42
    Date: 2021–09–20
  10. By: Michelangeli, Valentina; Peydró, José-Luis; Sette, Enrico
    Abstract: We identify the relative importance for lending of borrower (demand) versus bank (supply) factors. We submit thousands of fictitious mortgage applications, changing one borrower-level factor at time, to the major Italian online mortgage platform. Each application goes to all banks. We find that borrower and bank factors are equally strong in causing and explaining loan acceptance. For pricing, borrower factors are instead stronger. Moreover, banks supplying less credit accept riskier borrowers. Exploiting the administrative credit register, we show borrower-lender assortative matching, and that the bank-level strength measure, estimated on the experimental data, determines credit supply and risk-taking to real firms.
    Keywords: credit,banks,mortgages,SMEs,risk-taking
    JEL: G21 G51 E51
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Hannah Illing; Johannes F. Schmieder; Simon Trenkle
    Abstract: Existing research has shown that job displacement leads to large and persistent earnings losses for men, but evidence for women is scarce. Using administrative data from Germany, we apply an event study design in combination with propensity score matching and a reweighting technique to directly compare men and women who are displaced from similar jobs and firms. Our results show that after a mass layoff, women’s earnings losses are about 35% higher than men’s, with the gap persisting five years after job displacement. This is partly explained by a higher propensity of women to take up part-time or marginal employment following job loss, but even full-time wage losses are almost 50% (or 5 percentage points) higher for women than for men. We then show that on the household level there is no evidence of an added worker effect, independent of the gender of the job loser. Finally, we document that parenthood magnifies the gender gap sharply: while fathers of young children have smaller earnings losses than men in general, mothers of young children have much larger earnings losses than other women.
    JEL: J0 J16 J3 J63 J64 J65
    Date: 2021–09
  12. By: Pia Schilling; Steven Stillman
    Abstract: Exploiting the random allocation of asylum seekers to different locations in Germany, we study the impact of right-wing voting on refugees’ integration. We find that in municipalities with more voting for the right-wing AfD, refugees have worse economic and social integration. These impacts are largest for groups targeted by AfD campaigns and refugees are also more likely to suffer from harassment and right-wing attacks in areas with greater AfD support. Positive interactions with locals are also less likely in these areas.
    Keywords: immigrants’ integration, refugees, hostile attitudes, voting behaviour
    JEL: J15 J61 Z13
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Caselli, Mauro; Fracasso, Andrea; Marcolin, Arianna; Scicchitano, Sergio
    Abstract: We analyse how the adoption of technological innovations correlates with workers' perceived levels of job insecurity, and what factors mediate such relationship, by exploiting a recent, large and dedicated survey distributed to a representative sam- ple of Italian workers. The dedicated survey allows us to look at both cognitive and affective job insecurity as well as different technological innovations actually adopted by the companies where the workers are employed. The results show that the adoption of technological innovations by companies is related to a reduction in the level of job insecurity perceived by their workers and suggest that technological innovation is perceived by active workers as a signal of firms' health and of their commitment to preserving the activity. We also find that the reassuring effect of technological innovations is differentiated across companies and workers, due to the mediating role played by a number of factors, such as specific training and signifi- cant changes in workers' usual activities.
    Keywords: job insecurity,technology,innovation,automation
    JEL: J28 O33
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Leogrande, Angelo; Costantiello, Alberto
    Abstract: We estimate the relationships between innovation and human resources in Europe using the European Innovation Scoreboard of the European Commission for 36 countries for the period 2010-2019. We perform Panel Data with Fixed Effects, Random Effects, Pooled OLS, Dynamic Panel and WLS. We found that Human resources is positively associated to “Basic-school entrepreneurial education and training”, “Employment MHT manufacturing KIS services”, “Employment share Manufacturing (SD)”, “Lifelong learning”, “New doctorate graduates”, “R&D expenditure business sector”, “R&D expenditure public sector”, “Tertiary education”. Our results also show that “Human Resources” is negatively associated to “Government procurement of advanced technology products”, “Medium and high-tech product exports”, “SMEs innovating in-house”, “Venture capital”. In adjunct we perform a clusterization with k-Means algorithm and we find the presence of three clusters. Clusterization shows the presence of Central and Northern European countries that has higher levels of Human Resources, while Southern and Eastern Europe has very low degree of Human Resources. Finally, we use seven machine learning algorithms to predict the value of Human Resources in Europe Countries using data in the period 2014-2021 and we show that the linear regression algorithm performs at the highest level.
    Keywords: Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives, Management of Technological Innovation and R&D, Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital, Open Innovation, Government Policy.
    JEL: O30 O31 O32 O33 O34 O38
    Date: 2021–09
  15. By: Julieta Peveri (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Marc Sangnier (University of Namur & Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: This paper studies differences across genders in the re-contesting decisions of politicians following electoral wins or defeats. Using close races in mixed-gender French local elections, we show that women are less likely to persist in competition when they lose compared to male runners-up, but are equally or more prone than male winners to re-contest when they win. Differences in observable characteristics or in the expected electoral returns of running again cannot fully account for these gender gaps in persistence. In contrast, the heterogeneity of the results across political ideology, age, experience and occupation suggests that behavioural explanations are at play. Additionally, we provide evidence that a woman's victory encourages former female challengers to re-contest but does not trigger the entry of new female candidates.
    Keywords: gender, competition, persistence, candidates, self-selection, elections
    JEL: D72 J24
    Date: 2021–09
  16. By: Andriopoulou, Eirini; Karakitsios, Alexandros
    Abstract: During the last decade, unemployment in Greece climbed up to 28%, almost quadrupling due to the economic crisis that hit Greece. In the present paper, we examine the determinants of the unemployment dynamics and the impact of the minimum wage on the probability of making a transition into and out of unemployment. We use micro-level data from the Greek Labour Force Survey for the period 2004-2019 and control for several demographic factors, macro-economic conditions, regional differences and changes in statutory minimum wage. The results suggest that individual-level characteristics play an important role in making a transition into or out of unemployment. Changes in the real minimum wage are estimated to have either a statistically insignificant or a very small impact on unemployment entries and exits. Further, the impact of economy's growth rate follows the theoretical predictions as higher growth rates increase unemployment outflows and decrease inflows, while the regional differences are also important. Our findings persist even when we split the sample in three periods (pre-crisis, crisis, recovery). The results have important policy implications. Given that the disemployment effect of the minimum wage seems to be very limited in the Greek labour market, while the socioeconomic characteristics and regional characteristics play an important role, improving the skills of individuals through the educational system and reskilling or up-skilling programs, while targeting specific regions, may facilitate labour market mobility.
    Keywords: minimum wage,unemployment transitions,labour mobility,Greek crisis
    JEL: J08 J21 J38 I38
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Bianchi, Milo; Luomaranta, Henri
    Abstract: We explore how the separation between ownership and control a§ects Örm productivity. Using administrative panel data on the universe of limited liability Örms in Finland, we document a substantial increase in productivity when the CEO obtains majority ownership or when the majority owner becomes the CEO. We exploit plausibly exogenous variations to CEO turnover, induced by shocks to the CEO spouseís health. Extending the analysis beyond typical samples of large public Örms, we show that our e§ects are stronger in medium-sized private Örms. We also investigate possible mechanisms and provide suggestive evidence that increased ownership boosts CEOís e§ort at work.
    Keywords: agency costs;Örm productivity,;CEO ownership.
    JEL: G30 M12 D24 E23 L25
    Date: 2021–08
  18. By: Kossi Messanh Agbekponou (SMART-LERECO - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Angela Cheptea (SMART-LERECO - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Karine Latouche (SMART-LERECO - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: The present paper investigates the link between the participation of French agri-food firms to retailer-driven value chains and their integration in global value chains (GVCs). We propose an empirical methodology based on the econometric estimation of firms' extensive trade margins with multivariate models. We combine firm-level data from the AMADEUS database, French customs and the exhaustive list of firms certified with the private International Featured Standard (IFS) over the period 2006-2011. Our results show that firms that participate to retailer-driven value chains (IFS-certified firms) are by 8.35% more likely to integrate GVCs, i.e. jointly import and export, than other firms in the sector. This premium is primarily driven by the higher probability to export of these firms.
    Keywords: Global value chains,Retailers,Private standards,Multivariate econometric models
    Date: 2021–07–20
  19. By: Hintermann, Beat (University of Basel); Schoeman, Beaumont (University of Basel); Molloy, Joseph; Schatzmann, Thomas; Tchervenkov, Christopher; Axhausen, Kay W.
    Abstract: We study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government measures on individual mobility choices in Switzerland. Our data is based on over 1,000 people for which we observe all trips during eight weeks before the pandemic and again for up to 6 months after its onset. We find an overall reduction of travel distances by 60 percent, followed by a gradual recovery during the subsequent reopening of the economy. Whereas driving distances have almost completely recovered, public transport remains under-used. The introduction of a requirement to wear a mask in public transport had no measurable impact on ridership. We study the heterogeneity of the individual travel response to the pandemic and find that it varies along socio-economic dimensions such as education and household size, with mobility tool ownership, and with personal values and lifestyles.
    Keywords: COVID-19; mobility; tracking; causal forest; PPML
    JEL: H12 H40 I18 R41 R48
    Date: 2021–09–15
  20. By: Costa-Font, J.; Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A.
    Abstract: Government decentralisation (GD) can provide an alternative to the ‘build in’ accountability mechanism of markets by influencing the choice of and preference for public versus private health care. To test this hypothesis, this paper exploits the gradual decentralisation of the political stewardship of the Spanish National Health System (NHS) to study the effect of GD on the individual choice of public (NHS) and private health care drawing on a difference-in-differences design. We find that ‘turning on’ the decentralization treatment (abandoning centralised governance) increases the preference for public health care (NHS) compared to control regions that did not exhibit any major change in the health care governance in the least a decade. Specifically, we find that GD increases the perceptions of, satisfaction with, and preference for the NHS. Consistently, we also find that the GD reduces the uptake of private health insurance among higher income and education groups. The effects are mainly driven by improvements in health care quality as well as policy innovation and diffusion.
    Keywords: devolution; National Health Service (NHS); private health care; private health insurance; health system satisfaction; health care quality;
    JEL: H7 I18
    Date: 2021–09
  21. By: Kosfeld, Reinhold; Mitze, Timo; Rode, Johannes; Wälde, Klaus
    Abstract: The paper studies the containment effects of public health measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020 in Germany. To identify the effects of six compound sets of public health measures, we employ a spatial difference-in-differences approach. We find that contact restrictions, mandatory wearing of face masks and closure of schools substantially contributed to flattening the infection curve. The significance of the impact of restaurant closure does not prove to be robust. No incremental effect is evidenced for closure of establishments and the shutdown of non-essential retail stores.
    Date: 2021–04–13
  22. By: Grosman, Anna; Amore, Mario Daniele
    Abstract: Share repurchases have come under criticism as they may be used for earnings management and take capital away from productive investment. However, share repurchases can also reduce the agency costs of free cash flow and offset the dilution of current shareholders. Whether firms engage in good or manipulative share repurchases can crucially hinge on the quality of corporate governance. Using UK firm panel data, we study the effect of independent directors on repurchase policies. Our results indicate that board independence increases the propensity to engage in share repurchases. Moreover, board independence attenuates the harmful effect of manipulative share repurchases on employment growth. Our approach exploits the passage of a corporate governance reform which provided a unique opportunity to tease out the causal impact of independent directors on share repurchases. Our findings advocate in favor of more active involvement of independent directors in payout policies.
    Keywords: corporate governance; boards; share repurchases; independent directors; employment; earnings management; UK
    JEL: G30 G35 J3
    Date: 2021–09–19
  23. By: Jean-Charles Bricongne; Baptiste Meunier; Sylvain Pouget
    Abstract: While official statistics provide lagged and aggregate information on the housing market, extensive information is available publicly on real-estate websites. By web scraping them for the UK on a daily basis, this paper extracts a large database from which we build timelier and highly granular indicators. One originality of the dataset is to provide the sellers’ perspective, allowing to compute innovative indicators of the housing market such as the number of new posted offers or how prices fluctuate over time for existing offers. Matching selling prices in our dataset with transacted prices from the notarial database using machine learning techniques allows us to measure the negotiation margin of buyers – an innovation to the literature. During the Covid-19 crisis, these indicators demonstrate the freezing of the market and the “wait-and-see” behaviour of sellers. They also show that prices have been increasing in rural regions after the lockdown but experienced a continued decline in London.
    Keywords: Housing, Real-time, Big Data, Web Scraping, High Frequency, United Kingdom
    JEL: E01 R30
    Date: 2021
  24. By: Sam Desiere; Bart Cockx (-)
    Abstract: Hiring subsidies are widely used to create (stable) employment for the long-term unemployed. This paper exploits the abolition of a hiring subsidy targeted at long-term unemployed jobseekers over 45 years of age in Belgium to evaluate its effectiveness in the short and medium run. Based on a triple difference methodology the hiring subsidy is shown to increase the job finding rate by 13% without any evidence of spill-over effects. This effect is driven by a positive effect on individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree. However, the hiring subsidy mainly created temporary short-lived employment: eligible jobseekers were not more likely to find employment that lasted at least twelve consecutive months than ineligible jobseekers.
    Keywords: hiring subsidies, long-term unemployment, prime-aged jobseekers, triple difference, temporary help agencies
    JEL: H22 J08 J18 J23 J38 J64 J65 J68
    Date: 2021–08
  25. By: Nishant Yonzan; Branko Milanovic; Salvatore Morelli; Janet Gornick
    Abstract: The paper uses the flexibility of household survey data to align their income categories and recipient units with the income categories and units found in data produced by tax authorities. Our analyses, based on a standardized definition of fiscal income, allow us to locate, for top-income groups, the sources of discrepancy. We find, using the cases of the United States, Germany, and France, that the results from survey-based and tax data correspond extremely well (in terms of total income, mean income, composition of income, and income shares) above the 90th percentile and up to the top 1 percent of the distribution. Information about income composition, available in the US, allows us to investigate the determinants of this gap in the US. About three-fourths of the tax/survey gap is due to differences in non-labor incomes, especially self-employment (business) income. The gap itself may be due to tax-induced re-classification of income from corporate to personal or/and to lower ability of surveys to capture top 1 percent incomes.
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2020–12
  26. By: Cesira Urzi Brancati (European Commission – JRC); Maurizio Curtarelli (EU-OSHA)
    Abstract: This article explores the association between digital technologies that enable new forms of management and the presence of psychosocial risks in the workplace, drawing on a representative survey of European establishments (ESENER 2019). It also ascertains whether occupational safety and health (OSH) preventive measures and policies may play a mitigating role in managing risks and reducing the potentially negative impact of technology. In line with the literature and with prior expectations, our analysis reveals that digital technologies enabling the new forms of management are associated to increased psychosocial risks, which in turn can result in work-related stress and other mental health issues. It also confirmed that OSH measures, such as having an action plan to prevent work related stress, help reducing psychosocial risks in the workplace, but do not mitigate the relationship between psychosocial risks and management technologies.
    Keywords: algorithmic management; digitalisation; workplace monitoring; psychosocial risks; work related stress
    JEL: I10 I12 I18 O33
    Date: 2021–09
  27. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3514. Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: Using data from all those born in a single week in 1958 in Britain we track the consequences of short pain and chronic pain in mid-life (age 44) on health, wellbeing and labor market outcomes in later life. We examine data taken at age 50 in 2008, when the Great Recession hit and then five years later at age 55 in 2013. We find those suffering both short-term and chronic pain at age 44 continue to report pain and poor general health in their 50s. However, the associations are much stronger for those with chronic pain. Furthermore, chronic pain at age 44 is associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes, pessimism about the future and joblessness at age 55 whereas short-duration pain at age 44 is not. Uniquely, we also show that pain experienced in childhood, at ages 11 and 16, reported by a parent and a teacher respectively, collected decades earlier, predicts pain in mid-life, indicating just how persistent pain can be over the life-course.
    Keywords: pain; mental health; general health; sleep; paid work; wellbeing; life-course; birth cohort; NCDS
    JEL: I12 I31
    Date: 2021–09–01

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