XREAP 2009-7; The Black Box of Business Dynamics

Research in business dynamics has been advancing rapidly in the last years but the translation of the new knowledge to industrial policy design is slow. One striking aspect in the policy area is that although research and analysis do not identify the existence of an specific optimal rate of business creation and business exit, governments everywhere have adopted business start-up support programs with the implicit principle that the more the better. The purpose of this article is to contribute to understand the implications of the available research for policy design. Economic analysis has identified firm heterogeneity as being the most salient characteristic of industrial dynamics, and so a better knowledge of the different types of entrepreneur, their behavior and their specific contribution to innovation and growth would enable us to see into the ‘black box’ of business dynamics and improve the design of appropriate public policies. The empirical analysis performed here shows that not all new business have the same impact on relevant economic variables, and that self-employment is of quite a different economic nature to that of firms with employees. It is argued that public programs should not promote indiscriminate entry but rather give priority to able entrants with survival capacities. Survival of entrants is positively related to their size at birth. Innovation and investment improve the likelihood of survival of new manufacturing start-ups. Investment in R&D increases the risk of failure in new firms, although it improves the competitiveness of incumbents.

Callejón, M. (PPRE-IREA), Ortún, V


XREAP 2009-4: Los salarios de los inmigrantes en el mercado de trabajo español. ¿Importa el origen del capital humano?

El objetivo del trabajo es analizar el papel de los diferentes componentes del capital humano comodeterminantes de los ingresos de los inmigrantes recientes en el mercado de trabajo español. A partir de los microdatos de la Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes 2007, se examina la rentabilidad del capital humano de este colectivo, distinguiendo el adquirido en origen del acumulado en destino, así como el impacto salarial de la situación documental. La evidencia obtenida muestra que el capital humano adquirido en España tiene una mayor rentabilidad marginal que el acumulado en origen, lo que refleja la limitada transferibilidad de este último. La única excepción se da en el caso de los inmigrantes procedentes de países desarrollados o que han estudiado en España, independientemente de su procedencia, los cuales obtienen una rentabilidad de sus estudios –incluso de aquéllos cursados en origen– comparativamente elevada. Una situación legal en España está asociada, por su parte, con una sustancial prima salarial positiva (15%). Por último, el conjunto de la evidencia confirma la presencia de una fuerte heterogeneidad, tanto en la rentabilidad de las diferentes formas de capital humano como en la magnitud de la prima por trabajar legalmente, en función de la zona de origen de los inmigrantes.

Sanromá, E. (IEB); Ramos, R. (AQR-IREA); Simón, H.


XREAP 2009-2: Exploring Determinants of Urban Motorcycle Accident Severity: The Case of Barcelona

Public authorities and road users alike are increasingly concerned by recent trends in road safety outcomes in Barcelona, which is the European city with the highest number of registered Powered Two-Wheel (PTW) vehicles per inhabitant,. In this study we explore the determinants of motorcycle and moped accident severity in a large urban area, drawing on Barcelona’s local police database (2002-2008). We apply non-parametric regression techniques to characterize PTW accidents and parametric methods to investigate the factors influencing their severity. Our results show that PTW accident victims are more vulnerable, showing greater degrees of accident severity, than other traffic victims. Speed violations and alcohol consumption provide the worst health outcomes. Demographic and environment-related risk factors, in addition to helmet use, play an important role in determining accident severity. Thus, this study furthers our understanding of the most vulnerable vehicle types, while our results have direct implications for local policy makers in their fight to reduce the severity of PTW accidents in large urban areas.

Albalate, D. (PPRE-IREA), Fernández-Villadangos, L. (PPRE-IREA


XREAP 2009-5: (No)competition in the Spanish retailing gasoline market: a variance filter approach

Various methodologies in economic literature have been used to analyse the international hydrocarbon retail sector. Nevertheless at a Spanish level these studies are much more recent and most conclude that generally there is no effective competition present in this market, regardless of the approach used. In this paper, in order to analyse the price levels in the Spanish petrol market, our starting hypothesis is that in uncompetitive markets the prices are higher and the standard deviation is lower. We use weekly retail petrol price data from the ten biggest Spanish cities, and apply Markov chains to fill the missing values for petrol 95 and diesel, and we also employ a variance filter. We conclude that this market demonstrates reduced price dispersion, regardless of brand or city.

Jiménez, J. L.; Perdiguero, J. (PPRE-IREA, XREAP)