XREAP2014-08: Public-private sector wage differentials by type of contract: evidence from Spain

The article examines public-private sector wage differentials in Spain using microdata from the Structure of Earnings Survey (Encuesta de Estructura Salarial). When applying various decomposition techniques, we find that it is important to distinguish by gender and type of contract. Our results also highlight the presence of a positive wage premium for public sector workers that can be partially explained by their better endowment of characteristics, in particular by the characteristics of the establishment where they work. The wage premium is greater for female and fixed-term employees and falls across the wage distribution, being negative for more highly skilled workers.

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


XREAP2014-09: The environmental effects of changing speed limits: a quantile regression approach

Two speed management policies were implemented in the metropolitan area of Barcelona aimed at reducing air pollution concentration levels. In 2008, the maximum speed limit was reduced to 80 km/h and, in 2009, a variable speed system was introduced on some metropolitan motorways. This paper evaluates whether such policies have been successful in promoting cleaner air, not only in terms of mean pollutant levels but also during high and low pollution episodes. We use a quantile regression approach for fixed effect panel data. We find that the variable speed system improves air quality with regard to the two pollutants considered here, being most effective when nitrogen oxide levels are not too low and when particulate matter concentrations are below extremely high levels. However, reducing the maximum speed limit from 120/100 km/h to 80 km/h has no effect – or even a slightly increasing effect –on the two pollutants, depending on the pollution scenario.

Bel, G. (GiM-IREA); Bolance, C. (RFA-IREA); Guillén, M. (RFA-IREA); Rosell, J. (GiM-IREA)


XREAP2014-06: Are we wasting our talent? Overqualification and overskilling among PhD graduates

Drawing on a very rich data set from a recent cohort of PhD graduates, we examine the correlates and consequences of qualification and skills mismatch. We show that job characteristics such as the economic sector and the main activity at work play a fundamental direct role in explaining the probability of being well matched. However, the effect of academic attributes seems to be mainly indirect, since it disappears once we control for the full set of work characteristics. We detected a significant earnings penalty for those who are both overqualified and overskilled and also showed that being mismatched reduces job satisfaction, especially for those whose skills are underutilized. Overall, the problem of mismatch among PhD graduates is closely related to demand-side constraints of the labor market. Increasing the supply of adequate jobs and broadening the skills PhD students acquire during training should be explored as possible responses.

Di Paolo, A. (AQR-IREA); Mañé, F.


XREAP2014-03: La importancia del control de los costes de la no-calidad en la empresa

Una gran parte de las empresas de todo el mundo, y especialmente las PYMES occidentales, están perdiendo mucho dinero, y como consecuencia de ello gran parte de su competitividad potencial, debido a que los costes totales de calidad en que incurren, son inaceptablemente elevados. En la mayoría de los casos no existe modelo coherente alguno para gestionar dichos costes, y en otros, los modelos aplicados se utilizan de forma parcial, rutinaria y con escaso convencimiento. El resultado de ello, como cabría esperar, es obviamente decepcionante. Evidentemente hay también empresas, generalmente las de gran tamaño (líderes del mercado y multinacionales), conocedoras de la gran importancia que para la disminución de sus costes supone disponer de un sistema adecuado de gestión de los costes de calidad. Invierten sistemáticamente en ello, obteniendo resultados satisfactorios, tanto en sus cuentas de resultados como en el nivel de motivación de sus empleados. Éstos, conscientes del interés de la Dirección por mejorar la calidad de sus productos y servicios, se sienten de alguna manera partícipes de ese proyecto, entendiendo que, en definitiva, el éxito de la empresa es también el suyo propio. Hemos analizado las causas de esta situación, utilizando las experiencias plasmadas en numerosos estudios llevados a cabo por expertos internacionales. Una vez localizados, acotados y definidos los aspectos débiles de los procedimientos aplicados en la actualidad, hemos diseñado un par de nuevos modelos de gestión de los costes totales de calidad, que tienen la virtud de haber eliminado aquellas etapas que, en la práctica, se han mostrado ineficaces, e incorporando otras, que han resultado ser muy útiles en diversos campos de la gestión de la calidad. El primero de los modelos, el más simple, puede ser utilizado para gestionar presupuestos de costes de calidad sencillos, mientras que el segundo contempla la posibilidad de lograr una mayor exactitud en las cifras de las previsiones, al tiempo que introduce alguna situación de incertidumbre.

Cristóbal Cebolla, A. R.; Gil-Lafuente, A. M. (RFA-IREA); Merigó-Lindahl, J. M. (RFA-IREA)


XREAP2014-02: Spatial Polarization of the Ecological Footprint distribution

he international allocation of natural resources is determined, not by any ethical or ecological criteria, but by the dominance of market mechanisms. From a core-periphery perspective, this allocation may even be driven by historically determined structural patterns, with a core group of countries whose consumption appropriates most available natural resources, and another group, having low natural resource consumption, which plays a peripheral role. This article consists of an empirical distributional analysis of natural resource consumption (as measured by Ecological Footprints) whose purpose is to assess the extent to which the distribution of consumption responds to polarization (as opposed to mere inequality). To assess this, we estimate and decompose different polarization indices for a balanced sample of 119 countries over the period 1961 to 2007. Our results points toward a polarized distribution which is consistent with a core-periphery framework.

Teixidó-Figueres, J. (GRIT); Duró, J.A. (GRIT)


XREAP2014-04: Optimal stop-loss reinsurance: a dependence analysis

The stop-loss reinsurance is one of the most important reinsurance contracts in the insurance market. From the insurer point of view, it presents an interesting property: it is optimal if the criterion of minimizing the variance of the cost of the insurer is used. The aim of the paper is to contribute to the analysis of the stop-loss contract in one period from the point of view of the insurer and the reinsurer. Firstly, the influence of the parameters of the reinsurance contract on the correlation coefficient between the cost of the insurer and the cost of the reinsurer is studied. Secondly, the optimal stop-loss contract is obtained if the criterion used is the maximization of the joint survival probability of the insurer and the reinsurer in one period.

Castañer, A. (CREB); Claramunt, M.M. (CREB)


XREAP2014-05: Job accessibility, employment and job-education mismatch in the metropolitan area of Barcelona

This paper analyses the effect of job accessibility by public and private transport on labour market outcomes in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Beyond employment, we consider the effect of job accessibility on job-education mismatch, which represents a relevant aspect of job quality. We adopt a recursive system of equations that models car availability, employment and mismatch. Public transport accessibility appears as an exogenous variable in the three equations. Even though it may reflect endogenous residential sorting, falsification proofs suggest that the estimated effect of public transport accessibility is not entirely driven by the endogenous nature of residential decisions.

Di Paolo, A. (AQR-IREA); Matas, A. (GEAP); Raymond, J.Ll. (GEAP)


XREAP2014-07: A territorial approach to R&D subsidies: Empirical evidence for Catalonian firms

Using a database of 2,263 responses to R&D public calls in Catalonia, during the period 2007–2010, this paper proceeds to analyse the potential interaction of the territorial and policy dimensions with the propensity to apply for, and be awarded, a public R&D subsidy. Controlling for characteristics at the firm and project level, we estimate models using a twostep procedure. In the first step, our results suggest that large firms which export and which belong to high-tech manufactures are more likely to participate in a public R&D call. Furthermore, both urban location and past experience of such calls have a positive effect. Our territorial proxy of information spillovers shows a positive sign, but this is only significant at intra-industry level. Membership of one of the sectors prioritized by the Catalan government, perhaps surprisingly, does not have a significant impact. In the second step, our results show that cooperative projects, SMEs or old firms shows a positive effect on the probability of obtaining a public subsidy. Finally, the cluster policy does not show a clear relationship with the public R&D call, suggesting that cluster policies and R&D subsidies follow different goals. Our results are in line with previous results in the literature, but they highlight the unequal territorial distribution of the firms which apply and the fact that policymakers should interlink the decision criteria for their public call with other policies.

Segarra, A. (GRIT); Teruel, M. (GRIT); Bovè, M.A. (GRIT)