nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
thirteen papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The Impact of Working Conditions on Mental Health: Novel Evidence from the UK. By Belloni, Michele; Carrino, Ludovico; Meschi, Elena
  2. Uncooperative Society, Uncooperative Politics or Both? Trust, Polarisation, Populism and COVID-19 Deaths across European regions By Nicholas Charron; Victor Lapuente; Andres Rodriguez-Pose
  3. Drivers of skill mismatch among Italian graduates: The role of personality traits By Esposito, Piero; Scicchitano, Sergio
  4. Parental age gaps among immigrants and their descendants: adaptation across time and generations? By Uggla, Caroline; Wilson, Ben
  5. A full year COVID-19 crisis with interrupted learning and two school closures: The effects on learning growth and inequality in primary education By Haelermans, Carla; Jacobs, Madelon; van Vugt, Lynn; Aarts, Bas; Abbink, Henry; Smeets, Chayenne; van der Velden, Rolf; van Wetten, Sanne
  6. Cooperation, fairness and civic capital after an earthquake: Evidence from two Italian regions By Righi, Simone; , Francesca; Giardini, Francesca
  7. Inferring Occupation Arduousness from Poor Health Beyond the Age of 50 By Arno Baurin; Sandy Tubeuf; Vincent Vandenberghe
  8. Behavioural changes in urban mobility in Barcelona due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions By Peters, Corinna
  9. No Evidence that Siblings’ Gender Affects Personality Across Nine Countries By Thomas Dudek; Anne Ardila Brenoe; Jan Feld; Julia M. Rohrer
  10. Integrating Refugees by Addressing Labor Shortages? A Policy Evaluation By Mette Foged; Janis Kreuder; Giovanni Peri
  11. Can we Successfully Move a Cross-national Survey online? Results from a Large Three-country Experiment in the Gender and Generations Programme survey By Lugtig, Peter; Toepoel, Vera; Emery, Tom; Cabaço, Susana Laia Farinha; Bujard, Martin; Naderi, Robert; Schumann, Almut; Lück, Detlev
  12. Host type and pricing on Airbnb: Seasonality and perceived market power By Georges Casamatta; Sauveur Giannoni; Daniel Brunstein; Johan Jouve
  13. External validation of the Hospital Frailty Risk Score in France By Gilbert, Thomas; Cordier, Quentin; Polazzi, Stéphanie; Bonnefoy, Marc; Keeble, Eilìs; Street, Andrew; Conroy, Simon; Duclos, Antoine

  1. By: Belloni, Michele; Carrino, Ludovico; Meschi, Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of working conditions on mental health in the UK, combining new comprehensive longitudinal data on working conditions from the European Working Condition Survey with microdata from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (Understanding Society). Our empirical strategy accounts for the endogenous sorting of individuals into occupations by including individual fixed effects. It addresses the potential endogeneity of occupational change over time by focusing only on individuals who remain in the same occupation (same ISCO), exploiting the variation in working conditions within each occupation over time. This variation, determined primarily by general macroeconomic conditions, is likely to be exogenous from the individual point of view. Our results indicate that improvements in working conditions have a beneficial, statistically significant, and clinically meaningful impact on depressive symptoms for women. A one standard deviation increase in the skills and discretion index reduces depression score by 2.84 points, which corresponds to approximately 20% of the GHQ score standard deviation, while a one standard deviation increase in working time quality reduces depression score by 0.97 points. The results differ by age: improvements in skills and discretion benefit younger workers (through increases in decision latitude and training) and older workers (through higher cognitive roles), as do improvements in working time quality; changes in work intensity and physical environment affect only younger and older workers, respectively. Each aspect of job quality impacts different dimensions of mental health. Specifically, skills and discretion primarily affect the loss of confidence and anxiety; working time quality impacts anxiety and social dysfunction; work intensity affects the feeling of social dysfunction among young female workers. Finally, we show that improvements in levels of job control (higher skills and discretion) and job demand (lower intensity) lead to greater health benefits, especially for occupations that are inherently characterised by higher job strain.
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Nicholas Charron; Victor Lapuente; Andres Rodriguez-Pose
    Abstract: Why have some territories performed better than others in the fight against COVID-19? This paper uses a novel dataset on excess mortality, trust and political polarization for 165 European regions to explore the role of social and political divisions in the remarkable regional differences in excess mortality during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we investigate whether regions characterized by a low social and political trust witnessed a higher excess mortality. Second, we argue that it is not only levels, but also polarisation in trust among citizens – in particular, between government supporters and non-supporters – what matters for understanding why people in some regions have adopted more pro-healthy behaviour. Third, we explore the partisan make-up of regional parliaments and the relationship between political division – or what we refer to as ‘uncooperative politics’. We hypothesize that the ideological positioning – in particular those that lean more populist – and ideological polarization among political parties is also linked to higher mortality. Accounting for a host of potential confounders, we find robust support that regions with lower levels of both social and political trust are associated with higher excess mortality, along with citizen polarization in institutional trust in some models. On the ideological make-up regional parliaments, we find that, ceteris paribus, those that lean more ‘tan’ on the ‘gal-tan’ spectrum yielded higher excess mortality. Moreover, although we find limited evidence of elite polarization driving excess deaths on the left-right or gal-tan spectrums, partisan differences on the attitudes towards the EU demonstrated significantly higher deaths, which we argue proxies for (anti)populism. Overall, we find that both lower citizen-level trust and populist elite-level ideological characteristics of regional parliaments are associated with higher excess mortality in European regions during the first wave of the pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19; trust, polarization, populism, regions
    JEL: E02 H75 R58
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Esposito, Piero; Scicchitano, Sergio
    Abstract: It is now well accepted that human capital is a heterogeneous aggregate and that non-cognitive skills are at least as relevant as cognitive abilities. In spite of this growing interest in the labour market consequences of personality traits, the relationship between these and educational and skill mismatch is scant. In this paper, we investigate the impact of the five main personality traits (Big 5) on educational and skill mismatch in Italian graduates. To this aim, we use the 2018 wave of the INAPP-PLUS survey, which contains information on skill mismatch, on the Big 5 personality traits, and on a large number of other individual and job-specific characteristics. The empirical analysis takes into account both demand and supply variables mediating the effect of personality on skill mismatch and controls for non-random selection into employment and tertiary education. We find that some personality traits reduce the probability of overeducation, suggesting complementarity between cognitive and non-cognitive skills. In addition, we find a positive effect of conscientiousness on both overeducation and overqualification. The evidence regarding job satisfaction suggests that individuals with high scores for conscientiousness voluntarily decide to be mismatched when this entails higher satisfaction in other dimensions of the job.
    JEL: C25 J24 J31 J82
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Uggla, Caroline; Wilson, Ben
    Abstract: Age gaps between partners have undergone dramatic changes in high-income countries over the past century. Yet, there has been little focus on age gaps for immigrants and their descendants. This is an important omission because age gaps can be interpreted as a macro-level indicator of intergenerational adaptation. We examine the age gaps of biological parents (childbearing partners) among immigrants and their descendants in Sweden, a country with high gender equality and a stable mean age gap. Using longitudinal, whole-population data, we examine changes in age gaps for cohorts born 1950–86. Cohort trends in age gaps often follow very different patterns for male and female immigrants, with limited evidence of adaptation across cohorts. However, there is considerable evidence of adaptation towards the Swedish norm among the second generation, including from direct comparison between immigrants and their children. The largest differences between women and men are seen among the first generation with a Swedish-born partner.
    Keywords: adaptation; age difference; binational partnership; descendants of immigrants; immigrants; intermarriage; partnership; 948727 (REFU-GEN
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–12–23
  5. By: Haelermans, Carla; Jacobs, Madelon; van Vugt, Lynn; Aarts, Bas; Abbink, Henry; Smeets, Chayenne; van der Velden, Rolf; van Wetten, Sanne
    Abstract: After more than a year of COVID-19 crisis and the school closures that followed all around the world, the concerns about lower learning growth and exacerbated inequalities are larger than ever. In this paper, we use unique data to analyse how one full year of COVID-19 crisis in Dutch primary education has affected learning growth and pre-existing inequalities. We draw on a dataset that includes around 330,000 Dutch primary school students from about 1,600 schools, with standardized test scores for reading, spelling and mathematics, as well as rich (family) background information of the students. The results show a lower learning growth over a full year for all three domains, varying from 0.06 standard deviations for spelling to 0.12 for maths and 0.17 standard deviations for reading. Furthermore, we find that the lower learning growth is (much) larger for vulnerable students with a low socioeconomic background. This implies that pre-existing inequalities between students from different backgrounds have increased. These results are quite alarming and suggest that distance learning could not compensate for classroom teaching, although it prevented some damage that would have occurred if students had not enjoyed any formal education at all.
    Date: 2021–11–08
  6. By: Righi, Simone; , Francesca; Giardini, Francesca
    Abstract: Natural disasters put an enormous strain on civic capital, which can result in a decrease in trust and cooperation in the affected communities. However, the existing level of civic capital can buffer the effects of the disaster, determining completely different dynamics even in neighboring regions. In order to investigate the determinants of long-term resilience to natural disasters, we designed a 2x2 lab in the field experiments conducted in Marche and Emilia-Romagna, two Italian regions that were affected by major earthquakes in 2016 and 2012, respectively. We collected data in neighboring and comparable municipalities that were affected or not by earthquakes and we compared inhabitants’ prosocial choices in a Public Good Game and a Distribution game. Our results show that people affected by the earthquake were more prosocial in general, while at the individual level the effect of the earthquake is present only in people who suffered material damage via their increased desire for redistribution. We also show that civic capital was not different among regions or among people living inside or outside the earthquake area.
    Date: 2022–02–16
  7. By: Arno Baurin (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Sandy Tubeuf (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Institute of Health and Society (IRSS, UCLouvain)); Vincent Vandenberghe (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: This paper shows that the analyst with no information on occupation arduousness could reasonably infer it from poor health beyond 50. Using retrospective lifetime data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), including the respondents' professional career described with ISCO 2-digit, this paper finds a statistically significant link between many occupations and the risk of poor health beyond the age of 50. Next, we quantify the relative contribution of professional occupation to poor health compared to other factors decomposing the variance of health disparities between sources. We find that occupation's arduousness - although a significant predictor of poor health - is less consequential than initial health endowment, demographics or country fixed effects in explaining differences in health at an older age.
    Keywords: Health, Work, Occupation Arduousness, Variance Decomposition
    JEL: I10 J26 J28
    Date: 2022–03–02
  8. By: Peters, Corinna
    Abstract: This study assesses changes in mobility behaviour in the City of Barcelona due the COVID‐19 pandemic and its impact on air pollution and GHG emissions. Urban transport is an important source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Improving urban mobility patterns is therefore crucial for mitigating climate change. This study combines quantitative survey data and official government data with in‐depth interviews with public administration officials of the City. Data illustrates that Barcelona has experienced an unprecedented reduction in mobility during the lockdown (a 90% drop) and mobility remained at comparatively low levels throughout the year 2020. Most remarkable is the decrease in the use of public transport in 2020 compared to pre‐pandemic levels, whereas road traffic has decreased to a lesser extent and cycling surged at times to levels up to 60% higher than pre‐pandemic levels. These changes in mobility have led to a radical and historic reduction in air pollution, with NO2 and PM10 concentration complying with WHO guidelines in 2020. Reductions in GHG emissions for Barcelona’s transport sector are estimated at almost 250.000 t CO2eq in 2020 (7% of the City’s overall annual emissions). The study derives policy implications aimed at achieving a long‐term shift towards climate‐friendlier, low‐emission transport in Barcelona, namely how to recover lost demand in public transport and seize the opportunity that the crisis brings for reform by further reducing road traffic and establishing a 'cycling culture' in Barcelona, as already achieved in other European cities.
    Date: 2021–12–01
  9. By: Thomas Dudek (School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington); Anne Ardila Brenoe (Department of Economics, University of Zurich); Jan Feld (School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington); Julia M. Rohrer (Department of Psychology, Leipzig University)
    Abstract: Does growing up with a sister rather than a brother affect personality? In this paper, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the effects of siblings’ gender on adults’ personality, using data from 85,887 people from 12 large representative surveys covering 9 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Mexico, China, and Indonesia). We investigated the personality traits risk tolerance, trust, patience, locus of control, and the Big Five. We found no meaningful causal effects of the gender of the next younger sibling, and no associations with the gender of the next older sibling. Based on high statistical power and consistent results in the overall sample and relevant subsamples, our results suggest that siblings’ gender does not systematically affect personality.
    Keywords: personality, economic preferences, sibling gender, sibling sex
    JEL: J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2022–03–10
  10. By: Mette Foged; Janis Kreuder; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect on newly arrived refugees' employment of a policy, introduced in Denmark in 2013, that matched refugees to occupations with local labor shortages after basic training for those jobs. Leveraging the staggered roll-out across municipalities, we find that the policy increased employment by 5-6 percentage points one year after arrival and 10 percentage points two years after. The policy was especially effective for male refugees and refugees with some secondary education. The findings suggest that this type of policy could alleviate long-term labor shortages and integrate low-skilled immigrants, while having minimal competition effects on natives.
    JEL: J24 J61
    Date: 2022–02
  11. By: Lugtig, Peter; Toepoel, Vera; Emery, Tom (NIDI); Cabaço, Susana Laia Farinha (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute); Bujard, Martin; Naderi, Robert; Schumann, Almut; Lück, Detlev
    Abstract: Face-to-face interviews are still the standard in conducting cross-national surveys. Although web surveys have many advantages, so far they have rarely been used in cross-national surveys. The main problem of using web in cross-national surveys are coverage error of people without internet access and problems with the availability of sampling frames. This study reports on a large-scale experiment with a push-to-web survey design in Croatia, Germany and Portugal to overcome these problems. We experimentally assigned individuals to a face-to-face only condition or a push-to-web condition, in which non-respondents to the web-phase of the study were followed-up by face-to-face interviewers. We additionally conducted three within-country experiments to better understand how incentive structures (in Germany) and the spacing of reminders (In Croatia) affected response rates and nonresponse bias. In Portugal, we test different within-household selection procedures. We find that in Germany and Croatia the push-to-web design was equally or more successful than the face-to-face survey in terms of the response rate and nonresponse bias. In Portugal, the push-to-web design was not successful, leading to low response rates and problems in the respondent selection process. We also find that a mix of unconditional and conditional incentives works best, and that weekly reminders work better than two-weekly reminders. Overall, we conclude that it is possible to use a push-to-web design as long as a sampling frame of individuals is available.
    Date: 2022–02–13
  12. By: Georges Casamatta (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Sauveur Giannoni (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Daniel Brunstein (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Johan Jouve (LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The literature on short-term rental emphasises the heterogeneity of the hosts population. Some argue that professional and opportunistic hosts differ in terms of their pricing strategy. This study highlights how differences in market perception and information create a price differential between professional and non-professional players. Proposing an original and accurate definition of professional hosts, we rely on a large dataset of almost 9,000 properties and 73,000 observations to investigate the pricing behaviour of Airbnb sellers in Corsica (France). Using OLS and the double-machine learning methods, we demonstrate that a price differential exists between professional and opportunistic sellers. In addition, we assess the impact of seasonality in demand on the size and direction of this price differential. We find that professionals perceive a higher degree of market power than others during the peak season and it allows them to enhance their revenues.
    Keywords: Short-term rental,Pricing,Professionalism,Double machine learning,Seasonality,Market-power
    Date: 2022
  13. By: Gilbert, Thomas; Cordier, Quentin; Polazzi, Stéphanie; Bonnefoy, Marc; Keeble, Eilìs; Street, Andrew; Conroy, Simon; Duclos, Antoine
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Hospital Frailty Risk Score (HFRS) has made it possible internationally to identify subgroups of patients with characteristics of frailty from routinely collected hospital data. OBJECTIVE: To externally validate the HFRS in France. DESIGN: A retrospective analysis of the French medical information database. SETTING: 743 hospitals in Metropolitan France. SUBJECTS: All patients aged 75 years or older hospitalised as an emergency in 2017 (n = 1,042,234). METHODS: The HFRS was calculated for each patient based on the index stay and hospitalisations over the preceding 2 years. Main outcome measures were 30-day in-patient mortality, length of stay (LOS) >10 days and 30-day readmissions. Mixed logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between outcomes and HFRS score. RESULTS: Patients with high HFRS risk were associated with increased risk of mortality and prolonged LOS (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.38 [1.35-1.42] and 3.27 [3.22-3.32], c-statistics = 0.676 and 0.684, respectively), while it appeared less predictive of readmissions (aOR = 1.00 [0.98-1.02], c-statistic = 0.600). Model calibration was excellent. Restricting the score to data prior to index admission reduced discrimination of HFRS substantially. CONCLUSIONS: HFRS can be used in France to determine risks of 30-day in-patient mortality and prolonged LOS, but not 30-day readmissions. Trial registration: Reference ID on ID: NCT03905629.
    Keywords: frailty; hospitalisation; length of stay; mortality; older people; risk assessment; statistics and numerical data
    JEL: G32
    Date: 2022–01–06

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