nep-ias New Economics Papers
on Insurance Economics
Issue of 2014‒08‒02
three papers chosen by
Soumitra K Mallick
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management

  1. Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms: Worldwide Evidence By Andrew Ellul; Marco Pagano; Fabiano Schivardi
  2. Survival Analysis of Very Low Birth Weight Infant Mortality in Taiwan By Chia-Lin Chang; Wei-Chen Chen; Michael McAleer
  3. Tremors and Tenants: Does earthquake proneness affect demand for office space? By Filippova, Olga; Curtis, Adam

  1. By: Andrew Ellul (Indiana University); Marco Pagano (Università di Napoli Federico II CSEF, EEIF, CEPR and ECGI); Fabiano Schivardi (LUISS, EIEF and CEPR)
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of firms’ implicit employment and wage insurance to employees against industry-level and idiosyncratic shocks. We rely on differences between family and non-family firms to identify the supply of insurance, and between national public insurance programs to gauge workers’ demand for insurance. Using firm-level data from 41 countries, we find that family firms provide greater employment protection but less wage stability. Employment protection comes at a price: family firms pay 5 percent lower wages, controlling for country, industry and time effects. The additional protection afforded by family firms is greater, and the wage discount larger, the less generous the public unemployment insurance program, indicating that firm and government employment insurance are substitutes. The cross-country evidence is broadly confirmed by Italian employee-employer matched data, which also show that in family firms the adjustment to shocks occurs mostly through the hiring margin, while separations are not responsive to shocks. JEL Classification: G31, G32, G38, H25, H26, M40.
    Keywords: risk-sharing, insurance, social security, unemployment, wages, family firms.
    Date: 2014–07–22
  2. By: Chia-Lin Chang (Department of Applied Economics, Department of Finance, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Wei-Chen Chen (Department of Applied Economics National Chung Hsing University); Michael McAleer (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands, Department of Quantitative Economics, Complutense University of Madrid, and Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University.)
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of very low birth weight infant (or neonatal) mortality using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research database from 1997 to 2009. After infants are discharged from hospital, it is not possible to track their mortality, so the Cox proportional hazard model is used to analyze the very low birth weight infant mortality rate. In order to clarify treatment responsibility and to avoid selective referral effects, we use the number of infants treated in the preceding five years to observe the effect of a physician’s and hospital’s medical experience on the mortality rate of hospitalized minimal birth weight infants. The empirical results show that, given disease control variables, a higher infant weight, higher quality hospitals, increased hospital medical experience, and higher investment in pediatrics can reduce the mortality rate significantly. However, an increased physician’s medical experience does not seem to influence significantly the very low birth weight infant mortality rate.
    Keywords: Very low birth weight, Neonatal mortality, Physician’s infant experience, Hospital infant experience, Statistical analysis, Cox proportional hazard model, Selective referral, Taiwan National Health Insurance Scheme.
    JEL: N C41 I10 I13 I18
    Date: 2014–06
  3. By: Filippova, Olga; Curtis, Adam
    Abstract: According to Auckland office leasing agents, the effects of the Christchurch earthquakes have rippled to New Zealand’s largest office market. We conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews with property professionals representing five large real estate firms to explore the impact that the Government’s earthquake prone building policy is having on the country’s office markets.Very clear themes emerged from the interviews including a distinct shift in focus from Green Stars (voluntary environmental rating scheme for commercial buildings in New Zealand) to Seismic Grades. The degree to which a building meets the current New Building Standard (NBS) is now the most important consideration for tenants looking for new space in the Auckland CBD. Driving this are factors such as a concern for the health and safety of employees and tenants’ exposure to OPEX increases associated with insurance premium hikes. The latter concern is being mitigated in part through a mix of gross leases and net leases that incorporate OPEX capping.It also emerged that it is now standard practice for landlords to provide tenants with Initial Evaluation Process (IEP) reports which indicate the building’s percentage NBS and Seismic Grade. Whereby some tenants simply do not consider buildings categorised as earthquake prone (below 34% of NBS). Those willing to negotiate with these building owners are insisting on clauses stipulating that the building be strengthened.Broad views of the market ascertained through the interviews include a general ‘flight to quality’, given that the newer, higher quality building stock tends to feature the highest Seismic Grades. This presents a dilemma to owners of older, earthquake prone buildings which tend to be lower quality. Many such owners find little financial reward for carrying out upgrades being restricted by rent increases irrespective of seismic issues.It remains to be seen whether the ‘spill over’ effect from the Christchurch earthquakes will continue to dominate the Auckland market, a place not usually known for earthquakes. Study participants indicate a notable increase in the tenants’ due diligence process. Due to this awareness, the agent’s role is changing. Whereby traditionally they act on behalf of landlords, to succeed they need to address the concerns of tenants as well.
    Date: 2014

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