XREAP2010-17: Why do educated mothers matter? A model of parental help

The paper investigates the role of mothers in affecting childrens’ performance at school. It develops a theoretical model in which household is treated as an individual, whose utility depends on the performance at school of the student and on consumption. The model focuses on the possibilities through which mother’s help may affect pupil’s performance in terms of time devoted to supervision and spillover effects. Empirical evidence, using Italian PISA 2006, shows that highly educated mothers have a positive impact on students’ score only when they are highly qualified in the job market.

Canova, L., Vaglio, A.


XREAP 2010-2: Which firms want PhDs? The effect of the university-industry relationship on the PhD labour market

PhD graduates hold the highest education degree, are trained to conduct research and can be considered a key element in the creation, commercialization and diffusion of innovations. The impact of PhDs on innovation and economic development takes place through several channels such as the accumulation of scientific capital stock, the enhancement of technology transfers and the promotion of cooperation relationships in innovation processes. Although the placement of PhDs in industry provides a very important mechanism for transmitting knowledge from universities to firms, information about the characteristics of the firms that employ PhDs is very scarce. The goal of this paper is to improve understanding of the determinants of the demand for PhDs in the private sector. Three main potential determinants of the demand for PhDs are considered: cooperation between firms and universities, R&D activities of firms and several characteristics of firms, size, sector, productivity and age. The results from the econometric analysis show that cooperation between firms and universities encourages firms to recruit PhDs and point to the existence of accumulative effects in the hiring of PhD graduates.

García-Quevedo, J. (IEB), Mas-Verdú, F. (IEB), Polo-Otero, J. (IEB)


XREAP 2010-3: An introduction to parametric and non-parametric models for bivariate positive insurance claim severity distributions

We present a real data set of claims amounts where costs related to damage are recorded separately from those related to medical expenses. Only claims with positive costs are considered here. Two approaches to density estimation are presented: a classical parametric and a semi-parametric method, based on transformation kernel density estimation. We explore the data set with standard univariate methods. We also propose ways to select the bandwidth and transformation parameters in the univariate case based on Bayesian methods. We indicate how to compare the results of alternative methods both looking at the shape of the overall density domain and exploring the density estimates in the right tail.

Pitt, D.; Guillén, M. (RFA-IREA)


XREAP 2010-4: Modelling dependence in a ratemaking procedure with multivariate Poisson regression models

When actuaries face with the problem of pricing an insurance contract that contains different types of coverage, such as a motor insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy, they usually assume that types of claim are independent. However, this assumption may not be realistic: several studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between types of claim. Here we introduce di®erent multivariate Poisson regression models in order to relax the independence assumption, including zero-in°ated models to account for excess of zeros and overdispersion. These models have been largely ignored to date, mainly because of their computational di±culties. Bayesian inference based on MCMC helps to solve this problem (and also lets us derive, for several quantities of interest, posterior summaries to account for uncertainty). Finally, these models are applied to an automobile insurance claims database with three different types of claims. We analyse the consequences for pure and loaded premiums when the independence assumption is relaxed by using different multivariate Poisson regression models and their zero-inflated versions.     

Bermúdez, Ll. (RFA-IREA), Karlis, D.


XREAP 2010-6: Movilidad ocupacional de los inmigrantes en una economía de bajas cualificaciones. El caso de España

Esta investigación analiza la movilidad ocupacional de los inmigrantes entre sus países de origen y España, así como sus principales determinantes. La misma se basa en los microdatos de la Encuesta Nacional de Inmigrantes y el uso de una escala de estatus ocupacional de carácter internacional (ISEI). La evidencia muestra que, por lo general, los inmigrantes sufren una fuerte degradación ocupacional en España con respecto a sus países de origen. Ésta se explica en buena medida por la intensa degradación que suelen experimentar al incorporarse al mercado de trabajo español, puesto que la mejora ocupacional asociada a su estancia en nuestro país es limitada. La degradación ocupacional al llegar es mayor para las mujeres, los inmigrantes de mayor nivel educativo y los procedentes de países en desarrollo. La recuperación posterior confirma la hipótesis de una movilidad ocupacional en forma de U profunda para los dos últimos colectivos, mientras que las mujeres padecen mayores dificultades para progresar ocupacionalmente. Residir en España, convalidar estudios extranjeros, aprender castellano y regularizar la situación documental mejoran el estatus ocupacional, pero, excepto en el último caso, de forma lenta. Acceder al primer empleo en España a través de redes informales tiene un efecto negativo sobre el logro ocupacional. Por último, mayor tiempo buscando empleo y una búsqueda de trabajo que incluya la movilidad geográfica se traducen en una mejora ocupacional mayor, mientras que el desempleo tiene un efecto negativo.

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


XREAP 2010-5:Parental education and family characteristics: educational opportunities across cohorts in Italy and Spain

Drawing on data contained in the 2005 EU-SILC, this paper investigates the disparities in educational opportunities in Italy and Spain. Its main objective is to analyse the predicted probabilities of successfully completing upper-secondary and tertiary education for individuals with different parental backgrounds, and the changes in these probabilities across birth cohorts extending from 1940 to 1980. The results suggest that the disparities in tertiary education opportunities in Italy tend to increase over time. By contrast, the gap in educational opportunity in Spain shows a marked decrease across the cohorts. Moreover, by using an intuitive decomposition strategy, the paper shows that a large part of the educational gap between individuals of different backgrounds is “composed” of the difference in the endowment of family characteristics. Specifically, it seems that more highly educated parents are more able to endow their children with a better composition of family characteristics, which accounts for a significant proportion of the disparities in educational opportunity.

Di Paolo, A. (GEAP & IEB)  Published in Revista de Economía Aplicada, forthcoming


XREAP 2010-7: Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia

This paper investigates the economic value of Catalan knowledge for national and foreign first- and second-generation immigrants in Catalonia. Specifically, drawing on data from the “Survey on Living Conditions and Habits of the Catalan Population (2006)”, we want to quantify the expected earnings differential between individuals who are proficient in Catalan and those who are not, taking into account the potential endogeneity between knowledge of Catalan and earnings. The results indicate the existence of a positive return to knowledge of Catalan, with a 7.5% increase in earnings estimated by OLS; however, when we account for the presence of endogeneity, monthly earnings are around 18% higher for individuals who are able to speak and write Catalan. However, we also find that language and education are complementary inputs for generating earnings in Catalonia, given that knowledge of Catalan increases monthly earnings only for more educated individuals.

Di Paolo, A. (GEAP & IEB); Raymond, J. Ll. (GEAP & IEB)  Publicat a Journal of Applied Economics, forthcoming