XREAP2013-09: Testing extreme value copulas to estimate the quantile

Testing weather or not data belongs could been generated by a family of extreme value copulas is difficult. We generalize a test and we prove that it can be applied whatever the alternative hypothesis. We also study the effect of using different extreme value copulas in the context of risk estimation. To measure the risk we use a quantile. Our results have motivated by a bivariate sample of losses from a real database of auto insurance claims. Methods are implemented in R.

Bahraou, Z.(RFA); Bolancé, C.(RFA); Pérez-Marín, A.M.


XREAP2013-02: Social Determinants of Child Health in Colombia: Can Community Education Moderate the Effect of Family Characteristics?

Contextual effects on child health have been investigated extensively in previous research. However, few studies have considered the interplay between community characteristics and individual-level variables. This study examines the influence of community education and family socioeconomic characteristics on child health (as measured by height and weight-for-age Z-scores), as well as their interactions. We adapted the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) framework to the context of child health. Using data from the 2010 Colombian Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), weighted multilevel models are fitted since the data are not self-weighting. The results show a positive impact of the level of education of other women in the community on child health, even after controlling for individual and family socioeconomic characteristics. Different pathways through which community education can substitute for the effect of family characteristics on child nutrition are found. The interaction terms highlight the importance of community education as a moderator of the impact of the mother’s own education and autonomy, on child health.  In addition, the results reveal differences between height and weight-for-age indicators in their responsiveness to individual and contextual factors. Our findings suggest that community intervention programmes may have differential effects on child health. Therefore, their identification can contribute to a better targeting of child care policies.

Osorio, A. M. (RFA-IREA, XREAP); Bolancé, C. (RFA-IREA, XREAP); Madise, N.; Rathmann, K.


XREAP2013-03: The building blocks of international ecological footprint inequality: a regression-based decomposition

This paper performs an empirical Decomposition of International Inequality in Ecological Footprint in order to quantify to what extent explanatory variables such as a country’s affluence, economic structure, demographic characteristics, climate and technology contributed to international differences in terms of natural resource consumption during the period 1993-2007. We use a Regression-Based Inequality Decomposition approach. As a result, the methodology extends qualitatively the results obtained in standard environmental impact regressions as it comprehends further social dimensions of the Sustainable Development concept, i.e. equity within generations. The results obtained point to prioritizing policies that take into account both future and present generations.

Teixidó-Figueras, J. (GRIT); Duró, J. (GRIT)


XREAP2013-4: An Analysis of Black-box Optimization Problems in Reinsurance: Evolutionary-based Approaches

 Black-box optimization problems (BBOP) are de ned as those optimization problems in which the objective function does not have an algebraic expression, but it is the output of a system (usually a computer program). This paper is focussed on BBOPs that arise in the eld of insurance, and more speci cally in reinsurance problems. In this area, the complexity of the models and assumptions considered to de ne the reinsurance rules and conditions produces hard black-box optimization problems, that must be solved in order to obtain the optimal output of the reinsurance. The application of traditional optimization approaches is not possible in BBOP, so new computational paradigms must be applied to solve these problems. In this paper we show the performance of two evolutionary-based techniques (Evolutionary Programming and Particle Swarm Optimization). We provide an analysis in three BBOP in reinsurance, where the evolutionary-based approaches exhibit an excellent behaviour, nding the optimal solution within a fraction of the computational cost used by inspection or enumeration methods.

Salcedo-Sanz, S.; Carro-Calvo, L.; Claramunt, M.; Castañer, A.; Mármol, M.


XREAP2013-05: Prevalence of alcohol-impaired drivers based on random breath tests in a roadside survey

                  Sobriety checkpoints are not usually randomly located by traffic authorities. As such, information provided by non-random alcohol tests cannot be used to infer the characteristics of the general driving population. In this paper a case study is presented in which the prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving is estimated for the general population of drivers. A stratified probabilistic sample was designed to represent vehicles circulating in non-urban areas of Catalonia (Spain), a region characterized by its complex transportation network and dense traffic around the metropolis of Barcelona. Random breath alcohol concentration tests were performed during spring 2012 on 7,596 drivers. The estimated prevalence of alcohol-impaired drivers was 1.29%, which is roughly a third of the rate obtained in non-random tests. Higher rates were found on weekends (1.90% on Saturdays, 4.29% on Sundays) and especially at night. The rate is higher for men (1.45%) than for women (0.64%) and the percentage of positive outcomes shows an increasing pattern with age. In vehicles with two occupants, the proportion of alcohol-impaired drivers is estimated at 2.62%, but when the driver was alone the rate drops to 0.84%, which might reflect the socialization of drinking habits. The results are compared with outcomes in previous surveys, showing a decreasing trend in the prevalence of alcohol-impaired drivers over time.

Alcañiz, M. (RFA, XREAP), Guillén, M. (RFA, XREAP), Sánchez-Moscona, D. (RFA, XREAP), Santolino, M. (RFA, XREAP), Llatje, O., Ramon, Ll.


XREAP2013-06: How market access shapes human capital investment in a peripheral country

Human capital endowment is one of the main factors influencing the level of development of a region. This paper analyses whether remoteness from economic activity has a negative effect on human capital accumulation and, consequently, on economic development. Making use of microdata this research proves that remoteness from economic activity has contributed to explain the divergences in the level of education observed across Spanish provinces over the last 50 years. The effect is significant even when controlling for the improvement of education supply. Nonetheless, the accessibility effect has been petering out since the 1960s due to the decreasing barriers to mobility.

Matas, A. (GEAP & IEB), Raymond, J. Ll. (GEAP & IEB), Roig J. L. (GEAP)


XREAP2013-07: Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey

Foreign language skills represent a form of human capital that can be rewarded in the labor market. Drawing on data from the Adult Education Survey of 2007, this is the first study estimating returns to foreign language skills in Turkey. We contribute to the literature on the economic value of language knowledge, with a special focus on a country characterized by fast economic and social development. Although English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Turkey, we initially consider the economic value of different foreign languages among the employed males aged 25 to 65. We find positive and significant returns to proficiency in English and Russian, which increase with the level of competence. Knowledge of French and German also appears to be positively rewarded in the Turkish labor market, although their economic value seems mostly linked to an increased likelihood to hold specific occupations rather than increased earnings within occupations. Focusing on English, we also explore the heterogeneity in returns to different levels of proficiency by frequency of English use at work, birth-cohort, education, occupation and rural/urban location. The results are also robust to the endogenous specification of English language skills.

Di Paolo, A. (AQR-IREA); Tansel, A.


XREAP2013-08: The Impact of Cooperation on R&D, Innovation andProductivity: an Analysis of Spanish Manufacturing and Services Firms

This paper investigates relationships between cooperation, R&D, innovation and productivity in Spanish firms. It uses a large sample of firm-level micro-data and applies an extended structural model that aims to explain the effects of cooperation on R&D investment, of R&D investment on output innovation, and of innovation on firms’ productivity levels. It also analyses the determinants of R&D cooperation. Firms’ technology level is taken into account in order to analyse the differences between high-tech and low-tech firms, both in the industrial and service sectors. The database used was the Technological Innovation Panel (PITEC) for the period 2004-2010. Empirical results show that firms which cooperate in innovative activities are more likely to invest in R&D in subsequent years. As expected, R&D investment has a positive impact on the probability of generating an innovation, in terms of both product and process, for manufacturing firms. Finally, innovation output has a positive impact on firms’ productivity, being greater in process innovations.

Fernández Gual, V. (GRIT); Segarra, A. (GRIT)