nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2022‒04‒11
23 papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. Job Protection and Mortgage Conditions: Evidence from Italian Administrative Data By Paolo Emilio Mistrulli; Tommaso Oliviero; Zeno Rotondi; Alberto Zazzaro
  2. Can public policy increase paternity acknowledgment? Evidence from earnings-related parental leave By Anna Raute; Andrea Weber; Galina Zudenkova
  3. Immigrant-native gap in risk and time preferences in Germany: Levels, socio-economic determinants, and recent changes By Deole, Sumit S.; Rieger, Marc Oliver
  4. Firm survival and gender of firm owner in times of COVID-19 Evidence from 10 European countries By Joachim Wagner
  5. Analyzing EU-15 immigrants’ language acquisition using Twitter data By B. Sofia Gil-Clavel; André Grow; Maarten J. Bijlsma
  6. Uncovered workers in plants covered by collective bargaining: Who are they and how do they fare? By Boris Hirsch; Philipp Lentge; Claus Schnabel
  7. Where do politicians send pork? Evidence from central government transfers to French municipalities By Brice Fabre; Marc Sangnier
  8. The labor market returns to 'first in family' university graduates By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Henderson, Morag; Shure, Nikki
  9. Can Emotional Intelligence promote Individual Wellbeing and protect from perceptions' traps? By Antonino Callea; Dalila De Rosa; Giovanni Ferri; Francesca Lipari; Marco Costanzi
  10. Foreign Ownership and Transferring of Gender Norms By Halvarsson, Daniel; Lark, Olga; Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik
  11. Why Do Temporary Workers Have Higher Disability Insurance Risks Than Permanent Workers? By Pierre Koning; Paul Muller; Roger Prudon
  12. Good or Bad? Short- versus Long-Term Effects of Multigrading on Child Achievement By Gian Paolo Barbetta; Patrick Chuard-Keller; Giuseppe Sorrenti; Gilberto Turati
  13. Gender inequality in paid and unpaid work during Covid-19 times By Lídia Farré; Yarine Fawaz; Libertad González; Jennifer Graves
  14. How to reduce vaccination hesitancy? The relevance of evidence and its communicator By Eger, Jens; Kaplan, Lennart; Sternberg, Henrike
  15. The influence of cousin order and cousin group size on educational outcomes By Kieron J. Barclay; Dalton Conley
  16. Formation of college plans: expected returns, preferences and adjustment process By Azmat, Ghazala; Kaufmann, Katja Maria
  17. Assortative Matching on Income By Pierre-André Chiappori; Carlo Fiorio; Alfred Galichon; Stefano Verzillo
  18. Immigrant Employment and the Contract Enforcement Costs of Offshoring By Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Karpaty, Patrik; Kneller, Richard; Lodefalk, Magnus
  19. Objectified Housing Sales and Rent Prices in Representative Household Surveys: the Impact on Macroeconomic Statistics By Denisa Naidin; Sofie R. Waltl; Michael Ziegelmeyer
  20. Innovation, Circular economy practices and organisational settings: empirical evidence from Italy By Davide Antonioli; Claudia Ghisetti; Stefano Pareglio; Marco Quatrosi
  21. The Female Happiness Paradox By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  22. Adoption of Eco and Circular Economy-Innovation in Italy: exploring different firm profiles By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Francesco Nicolli; Stefano Pareglio; Marco Quatrosi
  23. Making Subsidies Work: Rules vs. Discretion By Federico Cingano; Paolo Pinotti; Enrico Rettore; Filippo Palomba

  1. By: Paolo Emilio Mistrulli (Bank of Italy); Tommaso Oliviero (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Zeno Rotondi (Unicredit); Alberto Zazzaro (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF and MoFiR.)
    Abstract: In this paper we combine administrative data from the Italian National Institute for Social Security and proprietary data from a major Italian commercial bank to analyse the impact of job protection legislation on mortgage conditions. An exogenous change in the degree of job protection against individual dismissals of workers with open-ended contracts is identified by exploiting the 2015 Labor market reform, the so-called Jobs Act, which reduced employment protection of newly hired employees in medium and large private firms. We find that the weaker job security induced by the 2015 legislation change leads to a lower mortgage amount and a lower leveraging capacity, as measured by the loan-to-value ratio. Furthermore, the effect of job insecurity is mitigated by the presence of co-mortgagors while it is amplified for young and low-income mortgagors.
    Keywords: Employment protection law; job stability; mortgage market.
    JEL: C21 G51 J41
    Date: 2022–03–31
  2. By: Anna Raute (Anna Raute); Andrea Weber (Andrea Weber); Galina Zudenkova (Galina Zudenkova)
    Abstract: A child’s family structure is a fundamental determinant of future well-being, making it essential to understand how public policies affect the involvement of fathers. In this paper, we exploit a reform of the German parental leave system—which increased mother’s income and reduced legal father’s financial support burden—to measure the impact on the relationship contract choices of parents who were unmarried at conception. Based on detailed birth record data, we demonstrate that short-run reform incentives during the first period after birth nudge unmarried fathers into the long-term commitment of acknowledging paternity. This shift reduces single motherhood by 6% but leaves the share of marriages at birth constant. Moreover, the change in relationship contract choices is mostly driven by parents of boys. These findings are compatible with predictions from a model where parents choose between three types of relationship contracts based on the mother’s and father’s incomes and support obligations. Our results highlight the necessity of studying intermediate relationship contracts (i.e., between the extremes of marriage and single motherhood) to improve our understanding of potential risk groups among the rising number of children growing up outside of marriage.
    Keywords: Paid parental leave, family structure, paternity establishment
    JEL: I38 J12 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Deole, Sumit S.; Rieger, Marc Oliver
    Abstract: We present new descriptive evidence on the immigrant-native gap in risk and time preferences in Germany, one of the most preferred host countries for immigration. Using the recent waves of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) dataset, we find that the immigrant-native gap in risk preferences has widened for recent immigration cohorts, especially around the 2015 European Refugee Crisis. We attribute the recent widening to decreased assimilation rates of new immigrants caused by a reduced integration due to sudden increases in immigrants flows from culturally diverse parts of the world, particularly around the year 2015. We also find that the immigrant-native gap varies across different migrant groups: "Opportunity seekers", which we define as economic immigrants who intend to stay in Germany only temporarily, are very similar in their risk preferences to natives. Other immigrants, however, are substantially more risk-averse than natives. A smaller gap in risk preferences is also found among migrants who are female, highly educated, proficient in the host language, self-employed and working in predominantly high-skilled jobs. Concerning time preferences, although a noticeably large immigrant-native gap is evident, the gap is not found to vary across most individual-level socio-economic variables.
    Keywords: Risk aversion,time discounting,immigration,assimilation
    JEL: J61 D91
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Joachim Wagner (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre)
    Abstract: This paper uses firm level data from the World Bank Enterprise surveys conducted in 2019 and from the COVID-19 follow-up surveys conducted in 2020 in ten European countries to investigate the link between the gender of the firm’s owner and firm survival until 2020.The estimated effect of female ownership is positive ceteris paribus after controlling for various firm characteristics that are known to be related to survival. Furthermore, the size of this estimated effect can be considered to be large on average. Having a female owner helped firms to survive.
    Keywords: Gender, female owned firms, firm survival, COVID-19, World Bank Enterprise Surveys
    JEL: D22 L20 L25 L29
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: B. Sofia Gil-Clavel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); André Grow (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Maarten J. Bijlsma (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The increasingly complex and heterogeneous immigrant communities settling in Europe have led European countries to adopt civic-integration measures. Among these, measures that aim to facilitate language acquisition are often considered crucial for integration and cooperation between immigrants and natives. Simultaneously, the rapid expansion of the use of online social networks is believed to change the factors that affect immigrants’ language acquisition. However, so far, few studies have analyzed whether this is the case. This article uses a novel longitudinal data source derived from Twitter to: (1) analyze differences between destination-countries in the pace of immigrants’ language acquisition depending on the citizenship and civic-integration policies of those countries; and (2) study how the relative size of migrant groups in the destination-country, and the linguistic and geographical distance between origin- and destination countries, are associated with language acquisition. We focus on immigrants whose destination countries were in the EU-15 between 2012 and 2016. We study time until a user mostly tweets in the language of the destination-country for one month as a proxy of language acquisition using survival analysis. Results show that immigrants who live in countries with strict requirements for immigrants’ language acquisition and low levels of liberal citizenship policies have the highest median times of language acquisition. Furthermore, on social media such as Twitter, language acquisition is associated with classic explanatory variables, such as size of the immigrant group in the destination country, linguistic distance between origin- and destination-language, and geographical distance between origin- and destination-country.
    Keywords: European Union, computational social science, culture, immigration policy, international migration, languages
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Boris Hirsch (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre); Philipp Lentge (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre); Claus Schnabel (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
    Abstract: In Germany, employers used to pay union members and non-members in a plant the same union wage in order to prevent workers from joining unions. Using recent administrative data, we investigate which workers in firms covered by collective bargaining agreements still individually benefit from these union agreements, which workers are not covered anymore, and what this means for their wages. We show that about 9 percent of workers in plants with collective agreements do not enjoy individual coverage (and thus the union wage) anymore. Econometric analyses with unconditional quantile regressions and firm-fixed-effects estimations demonstrate that not being individually covered by a collective agreement has serious wage implications for most workers. Low-wage non-union workers and those at low hierarchy levels particularly suffer since employers abstain from extending union wages to them in order to pay lower wages. This jeopardizes unions’ goal of protecting all disadvantaged workers.
    Keywords: collective bargaining, union wage, uncovered workers, Germany
    JEL: J31 J53
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: Brice Fabre (Paris School of Economics (PSE) and Institut des Politiques Publiques (IPP)); Marc Sangnier
    Abstract: This paper uses French data to simultaneously estimate the impact of two types of connections on government subsidies allocated to municipalities. We distinguish between municipalities in which ministers held office before being appointed to the government, and those where they lived as children. Exploiting ministers’ entries into and exits from the government, we show that cities where a minister was mayor receive 30% more investment subsidies when the politician they are linked to enters into the government, and a similar size decrease when the minister leaves. We do not find these outcomes for cities that ministers lived in as children.
    Date: 2022–02
  8. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Henderson, Morag; Shure, Nikki
    Abstract: The labor market returns to 'first in family' university graduates We examine how first in family (FiF) graduates (those whose parents do not have university degrees) fare on the labor market. We find that among women, FiF graduates earn 7.4% less on average than graduate women whose parents have a university degree. For men, we do not find a FiF wage penalty. A decomposition of the wage difference between FiF and non-FiF graduates reveals two interesting findings. First, two-thirds of the female FiF penalty are explained by certain characteristics, including: having lower attainment in school, attending an elite university, selecting particular degree courses, working in smaller firms, working in jobs that do not require their degree, and motherhood. Second, FiF graduate men also differ in their endowments from non-FiF graduate men; however, FiF men earn higher returns on their endowments than non-FiF men and thus compensate for their relative social disadvantage, while FiF women do not. We also estimate the returns to graduation for potential FiF and non- FiF young people. We find that the wage returns to graduation are not lower among FiF graduates compared to those who match their parents with a degree. The effects of coming from a lower educated family are large and positive for men and large and negative for women in general, irrespective of graduation. We provide some context, offer explanations, and suggest implications of these findings.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps,intergenerational educational mobility,higher education,labor market returns,gender economics
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Antonino Callea (LUMSA University); Dalila De Rosa (Ministero dell'Economia); Giovanni Ferri (LUMSA University); Francesca Lipari (Carlos III University of Madrid); Marco Costanzi (LUMSA University)
    Abstract: Rising income inequality has become a major worry in rich countries’ societies and a focus for remedial policy action to protect individual wellbeing. However, cognitive biases, misconceptions and emotions might detach inequality, as perceived by individuals, from the real measures of inequality. On a unique survey of 627 Italian respondents to a questionnaire tailor-made to embrace individuals’ Emotional Intelligence (EI), and perceptions about various socio-economic variables, we study the determinants of wellbeing. Specifically, we quantify wellbeing alternatively through Happiness – hedonic measure – or through Flourishing – eudemonic measure – and investigate its relationship with an individual’s perceived inequality (PI) and EI. Via an instrumental variable approach to tackle the intrinsic endogeneity of wellbeing with PI and EI, we reach two main results: i) Happiness responds (negatively) to PI, and positively to EI; ii) Flourishing is positively related to EI, but not to PI. Moreover, we find that PI depends negatively on individual’s trust, and income comparison. Finally, Happiness, Flourishing and PI are all related to real measures of income inequality such as the Gini index. Thus, reducing perceived inequality and promoting the capability to recognize other’s emotions are the true channels through which policies could promote society’s wellbeing while protecting it from perception traps.
    Keywords: Perceived Inequality; Emotional Intelligence; Individual Wellbeing; Analysis of Survey Data
    JEL: D91 D63 I31 C83
    Date: 2022–03
  10. By: Halvarsson, Daniel (Ratio Institute); Lark, Olga (Department of Economics, Lund University); Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik (National Board of Trade, Södertörn University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study foreign ownership as a vehicle for transferring gender norms across international borders. Specifically, we analyze how the wage differential between men and women in Swedish firms is affected by the degree of gender inequality in the home country of foreign investors. The results suggest that gender norms of the home country matter—the gender wage gap in foreign-owned subsidiaries appears to increase with the degree of gender inequality prevailing in the investors' home market. This finding is identified from within job-spell variation in wages and proves robust across a series of specifications.
    Keywords: Foreign ownership; Gender inequality; Gender wage gap; Internationalization; Gender norms
    JEL: F66 J16 J31
    Date: 2022–03–25
  11. By: Pierre Koning (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Paul Muller (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Roger Prudon (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Workers with fixed-term contracts typically have worse health than workers with permanent contracts. We show that these differences in health translate into a substantially higher (30%) risk of applying for disability insurance (DI) in the Netherlands. Using unique administrative data on health and labor market outcomes of all employees in the Netherlands, we decompose this differential into: (i) selection of workers types into fixed-term contracts; (ii) the causal impact of temporary work conditions on worker health; (iii) the impact of differential employer incentives to reintegrate ill workers; and (iv) the differential impact of labor market prospects on the decision to apply for DI benefits. We find that selection actually masks part of the DI risk premium, whereas the causal impact of temporary work conditions on worker health is limited. At the same time, the differences in employer commitment during illness and differences in labor market prospects between fixed-term and permanent workers jointly explain more than 80% of the higher DI risk.
    Keywords: Disability Insurance, Temporary Work, Employer Incentives, Worker Health
    JEL: H53 J08 I1
    Date: 2022–03–22
  12. By: Gian Paolo Barbetta (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Patrick Chuard-Keller (University St. Gallen); Giuseppe Sorrenti (University of Amsterdam); Gilberto Turati (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of multigrading—mixing children of different ages in the same classroom—on students’ short- versus long-term academic achievement in Italy. We cope with the endogeneity of multigrading (and class size) through an instrumental variable identification strategy based on a law that disciplines class composition. By relying on longitudinal data that follow a cohort of Italian students over their compulsory school career, we show that multigrading has a positive short-term effect on achievements. This effect fades away over time to become negative in the long run if students spend several years in a multigrade class. The analysis of mechanisms points to the fundamental role of teachers and suggests that no negative long-term effect arises when multigrade classes are taught by more experienced and motivated teachers. These results reconcile contrasting findings in the literature based on cross-sectional data and a short-term focus.
    Keywords: Multigrade, Child development, Education, Class size, Peer effects
    JEL: I26 I28 R53 H52
    Date: 2022–03–22
  13. By: Lídia Farré (Universitat de Barcelona); Yarine Fawaz (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros); Libertad González (Universitat Pompeu Fabra y the Barcelona GSE); Jennifer Graves (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: We employ real-time household data to study the impact of the pandemic lockdown on paid and unpaid work in Spain. We document large employment losses that affected more severely low-skilled workers and to some extent college educated women. We show that the pandemic resulted in an increase in the gender gap in total hours worked, including paid and unpaid work. This is due to the smaller decrease in paid work hours among women that was not compensated by a smaller increase in unpaid work. We also examine the impact of the lockdown on within-household specialization patterns. We find that while men slightly increased their participation in home production, the burden continued to be borne by women, irrespective of their labor market situation. This evidence suggests that traditional explanations cannot account for the unequal distribution of the domestic workload. Additional analysis supports gender norms as a plausible explanation for our findings
    Keywords: Covid-19, Labor market, Household work, Childcare, Gender.
    JEL: D13 J13 J16
    Date: 2021–11
  14. By: Eger, Jens; Kaplan, Lennart; Sternberg, Henrike
    Abstract: While the world faces unprecedented COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination rates in many countries are stagnating. A differentiated understanding of the concerns of the unvaccinated population seems urgently needed to design successful communication strategies. We conducted an original survey experiment among 2,100 unvaccinated respondents from Germany where a substantial population share remains unvaccinated. Guided by the elaboration likelihood model, this paper has two objectives: First, it explores by means of a latent class analysis how unvaccinated individuals might be characterised by their attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. The results suggest three different subgroups: Vaccination opponents, sceptics and those receptive to be vaccinated. Second, we investigate to what extent (i) communicators (scientists/politicians) can employ (ii) varying types of evidence (none/anecdotal/statistical) to improve vaccination intentions across these subgroups. While vaccination opponents seem largely unreachable, sceptics value information by scientists, particularly if supported by anecdotal evidence. Receptives seem to instead value statistical evidence from politicians.
    Keywords: vaccination hesitancy,COVID-19,Elaboration Likelihood Model,Latent ClassAnalysis,Persuasive messaging,Evidence provision
    JEL: D91 H12 I12 I18
    Date: 2022
  15. By: Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Dalton Conley
    Abstract: Despite growing interest in the potential influence of grandparents on grandchild status attainment, research has not addressed whether the ordinal position or number of grandchildren affects outcomes. We apply sibling- and cousin-fixed effects analyses to Swedish population data to examine how cousin order and cousin group size influence grade point average (GPA) percentile rank at the end of compulsory school. We study cohorts born 1972-2003 (N=1,591,979). In cousin fixed effects analyses, second-born, fifth-born, and tenth or later born maternal cousins achieve GPA ranked scores 1.04, 2.17, and 4.97 percentile points lower than first-born cousins, respectively. Amongst paternal cousins the differences relative to the first-born cousin are 0.02, 0.46, and 1.86 percentile points lower, respectively—suggesting the greater influence of the mother’s extended family. In further analyses we examine whether an arguably exogenous shock to cousin group size, a twin birth to an aunt or uncle, has any impact on GPA percentile rank. Instrumental variable analyses indicate that an increase in maternal cousin group size has a statistically significant negative effect on GPA rank, lowering GPA rank in percentile points by 0.27, but an increase in paternal cousin group size does not negatively affect GPA rank.
    Keywords: Sweden, birth order, education, extended family, family size
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Azmat, Ghazala; Kaufmann, Katja Maria
    Abstract: We exploit a large exogenous shock to study the determinants of college attendance and the role played by one's environment. We analyze whether, and how quickly, adolescents' college plans are adapted, explore factors leading to the adjustment, and examine how these factors ultimately impact later educational attainment. Using differences across East German cohorts induced by the timing of the German Reunification (a change for the East from state socialism to capitalist democracy), we show that shortly after relative to before that time, college plans among high-school students increased substantially, which was followed by sizable increases in the completion of the college entrance certificate five years later. Our analysis sheds light on the elasticity of beliefs and preferences of different cohorts of youths in the case of a large shock. Perceived educational returns, economic preferences ("consumerism") and sociopolitical attitudes ("individualism") adapt quickly in response to the shock and are directly linked to changes in plans and outcomes. Cohorts closer to critical educational junctions at the time of Reunification, however, adjusted their plans to a much lesser extent. While they similarly updated the expected returns to education, they exhibited a slower adjustment in their preferences relative to younger cohorts.
    Keywords: college plans; perceived returns; economic; social and political preferences
    JEL: I21 D91 Z10
    Date: 2021–05–05
  17. By: Pierre-André Chiappori (Columbia University); Carlo Fiorio (University of Milan); Alfred Galichon (New York University and Sciences Po); Stefano Verzillo (European Commission)
    Abstract: We analyze marital matching on income using an extremely rich Dutch data set containing all income tax files over four years. We develop a novel methodology that directly extends previous contributions to allow for highly flexible matching patterns. Investigating all marriages that took place between 2011 and 2014, we find that marital patterns remain remarkably stable over the period. While a majority of couples match assortatively, a small but significant minority display negative assortative matching. We also show that standard approaches, which consider all married couples using current incomes, may generate misleading conclusions. Finally, we find that, in contrast with recent results, whether his income exceeds her does not seem to play any significant role.
    Keywords: Marriage, The Netherlands, income disparities in marriage
    JEL: J12 H24 C78
    Date: 2022–03
  18. By: Hatzigeorgiou, Andreas; Karpaty, Patrik; Kneller, Richard; Lodefalk, Magnus
    Abstract: Offshoring continues to be an important dimension of firms' internationalization choices. However, offshoring also increases contract enforcement costs by inhibiting the coordination and monitoring of performance. Immigrant employees may reduce such costs through their specific knowledge of the employer, their country of birth and access to foreign networks. We develop a heterogeneous firm framework with immigrants and offshoring costs, including technology leakage. In the model, immigrant employees augment the supervisory services of headquarters and limit technology leakage, thereby reducing contract enforcement costs. Then, we bring our conjectures to rich administrative Swedish microlevel data that include specific information about the characteristics of employees, manufacturing firms and their bilateral offshoring. Our results support the hypothesis that immigrant employees increase offshoring intensity by lowering contract enforcement costs. Hiring one additional immigrant employee can increase offshoring by up to three percent on average, with the strongest effects found for skilled immigrant employees.
    Keywords: Offshoring,contract enforcement,immigrant employees,networks,information
    JEL: F22 F23 F14 D21 D83
    Date: 2022
  19. By: Denisa Naidin; Sofie R. Waltl; Michael Ziegelmeyer
    Abstract: Reliable macroeconomic housing and wealth statistics as well as counterfactual analyses across housing tenure status require hypothetical sales and rent prices for properties off the market reflecting current market conditions and representing the entire housing stock. We replace subjective values reported by participants in the Luxembourg Household Finance and Consumption Survey by objectified values imputed via hedonic models estimated on observable market data. We find that the participants’ tendency to over- and under-report values is strongly correlated with tenure length, tenure type, type of dwelling, household income and wealth. We find shifts in the wealth distribution, detect large regional variation in price-to-rent, price-to-income and rent-to-income ratios as well as stark affordability concerns: only 18% of all renting households could theoretically afford to purchase the dwelling they rent given current market conditions. These renters are usually younger, placed at the top of the wealth and income distribution, and reside outside Luxembourg City.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Statistics; Housing Wealth; Subjective Assessments; Affordability; Surveys; Measurement Errors; Housing and Rent Markets
    JEL: E58
    Date: 2022–03
  20. By: Davide Antonioli (University of Ferrara); Claudia Ghisetti (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca); Stefano Pareglio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Marco Quatrosi (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: This paper builds on the available knowledge on what drives firms’ production choices towards circular economy practices to shed new light on a so far quite neglected dimension: the role of organizational settings. Being the transition to a more circular economy systemic in nature, itdraws not only on technological but also on organizational changes and new set-ups. Coherently, the paper investigates how certain organizational settings (such as practices of communication to employees on critical aspects of the life of the company, the implementation of new performance evaluation mechanisms and incentive-based payment methods and the implementation of changes in recruitment and training of (new) employees affect the adoption of circular economy innovation. The work is empirical, and it draws on a newly collected dataset representative for Italian manufacturing firms in 2017-2018. Results show new light on the role of such organizational set-ups, which are found to be making the transition towards a circular economy more effective.
    Keywords: Circular Economy, Sustainable Production, Environmental Innovation, Organisational Change
    JEL: O30 O44 O55
    Date: 2022–02
  21. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow; NBER and Bloomberg); Alex Bryson (University College London; IZA, Bonn; NIESR, London)
    Abstract: Using data across countries and over time we show that women are unhappier than men in unhappiness and negative affect equations, irrespective of the measure used – anxiety, depression, fearfulness, sadness, loneliness, anger – and they have more days with bad mental health and more restless sleep. Women are also less satisfied with many aspects of their lives such as democracy, the economy, the state of education and health services. They are also less happy in the moment in terms of peace and calm, cheerfulness, feeling active, vigorous, fresh and rested. However, prior evidence on gender differences in happiness and life satisfaction is less clear cut. Differences vary over time, location, and with model specification and the inclusion of controls especially marital status. We also show that there are significant variations by month in happiness data regarding whether males are happier than females but find little variation by month in unhappiness data. It matters which months are sampled when measuring positive affect but not with negative affect. These monthly data reveal that women’s happiness was more adversely affected by the COVID shock than men’s, but also that women’s happiness rebounded more quickly suggesting resilience. As a result, we now find strong evidence that males have higher levels of both happiness and life satisfaction in recent years even before the onset of pandemic. As in the past they continue to have lower levels of unhappiness. A detailed analysis of several data files, with various metrics, for the UK confirms that men now are happier than women.
    Keywords: happiness; subjective wellbeing; life satisfaction; gender
    JEL: J16 I31
    Date: 2022–04–01
  22. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Francesco Nicolli (University of Ferrara); Stefano Pareglio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Marco Quatrosi (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: Applying clustering techniques, this paper identifies homogeneous groups of enterprises within the heterogeneous landscape of the italian manufacturing tissue. The algorithm will be fed with data from a survey on a cross-section of SMEs in 2019. The set of questions span from economic and financial performances to innovation adoption (product, process, organization), to circular economy implementation and environmental protection. Clustering has been chosen to identify groups of firms with respect to multiple and diverse characteristics without any preexisting hypothesis on a possible relationship among the variables. Results will group profiles of enterprises considering the information on multi-dimensional aspects of a firm. Indeed, the overarching aim of this work is to single out common characteristics among the diverse landscape of enterprises within the manufacturing sector. This will in turn support (local and national) policy makers in better designing and targeting an appropriate set of policy instruments with respect to the relevant areas (i.e., circular economy, environmental protection, eco-innovation) of the ecological/sustainability transition. If the one-size-fits-all has not been proved a viable approach in policy making, a more targeted intervention at policy level tackling the consistent heterogeneity of the manufacturing tissue might improve the effectiveness of (sectorial) policies.
    Keywords: Circular Economy, Sustainable production, Environmental Innovation, Cluster analysis, Firm profile
    JEL: O30 O44 O55
    Date: 2022–02
  23. By: Federico Cingano (Federico Cingano); Paolo Pinotti (Paolo Pinotti); Enrico Rettore (Enrico Rettore); Filippo Palomba (Filippo Palomba)
    Abstract: We estimate the employment effects of a large program of public investment subsidies that ranked applications on a score reflecting both objective criteria and local politicians’ preferences. Leveraging the rationing of funds as an ideal RDD, we characterize the heterogeneity of treatment effects and cost-per-new-job across inframarginal firms, and we estimate the cost effectiveness of subsidies under factual and counterfactual allocations. Firms ranking high on objective criteria and firms preferred by local politicians generated larger employment growth on average, but the latter did so at a higher cost-per-job. We estimate that relying only on objective criteria would reduce the cost-per-job by 11%, while relying only on political discretion would increase such cost by 47%.
    Keywords: Public subsidies, investment, employment, political discretion, regression discontinuity
    JEL: H25 J08
    Date: 2022–03

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