XREAP 2008-02: The Causal Relationship between Individual’s Choice Behavior and Self-Reported Satisfaction: the Case of Residential Mobility in the EU

One of the most persistent and lasting debates in economic research refers to whether the answers to subjective questions can be used to explain individuals’ economic behavior. Using panel data for twelve EU countries, in the present study we analyze the causal relationship between self-reported housing satisfaction and residential mobility. Our results indicate that: i) households unsatisfied with their current housing situation are more likely to move; ii) housing satisfaction raises after a move, and; iii) housing satisfaction increases with the transition from being a renter to becoming a homeowner. Some interesting cross-country differences are observed. Our findings provide evidence in favor of use of subjective indicators of satisfaction with certain life domains in the analysis of individuals’ economic conduct.

Luis Diaz-Serrano, Alexandrina P. Stoyanova (CREB)


XREAP 2008-01: Economic effects of road accessibility in the Pyrenees: User perspective

At present, Spain faces one of the key moments in planning the future design of the infrastructure network. As a consequence of the critical role played by haulage in intra-European trade, the most important investments are those that guarantee that road haulage traffic can move freely at the borders. That is why it is necessary to make serious evaluations of the economic and social profitability of these investments. Normally the most significant social benefit of investment projects in transport infrastructure is time saving, which in turn changes traffic intensity. In this article we analyse the changes in the user excess caused by public investment in transport infrastructure planned by the Spanish government and which will be located on the border between Spain and France. In particular, we study the increase in network user surplus for HGV traffic in the Spanish and French border zones in the Pyrenees.

Christian Durán Weitkamp (GRIT), Mònica Martín Bofarull (GRIT), Federico Pablo Martí


XREAP 2008-06: Deconstructing Shocks and Persistence in OECD Real Exchange Rates

This paper analyzes the persistence of shocks that affect the real exchange rates for a panel of seventeen OECD developed countries during the post-Bretton Woods era. The adoption of a panel data framework allows us to distinguish two different sources of shocks, i.e. the idiosyncratic and the common shocks, each of which may have di¤erent persistence patterns on the real exchange rates. We first investigate the stochastic properties of the panel data set using panel stationarity tests that simultaneously consider both the presence of cross-section dependence and multiple structural breaks that have not received much attention in previous persistence analyses. Empirical results indicate that real exchange rates are non-stationary when the analysis does not account for structural breaks, although this conclusion is reversed when they are modeled. Consequently, misspecification errors due to the non-consideration of structural breaks leads to upward biased shocks’ persistence measures. The persistence measures for the idiosyncratic and common shocks have been estimated in this paper always turn out to be less than one year.

Syed A. Basher; Josep Lluis Carrión-i-Silvestre (AQR-IREA)


XREAP 2008-07: Portabilidad del capital humano y asimilación de los inmigrantes. Evidencia para España

La literatura sobre asimilación de los inmigrantes ha destacado la portabilidad imperfecta del capital humano acumulado por éstos en su país de origen (Chiswick, 1978; Friedberg, 2000). Ello explicaría la escasa asimilación en el momento de llegar al nuevo país, así como la gran brecha salarial inicial. Recientemente, una serie de trabajos (Chiswick y Miller, 2007 o Green, Kler y Leeves, 2007, entre otros) han abordado este tema desde la perspectiva de la sobreeducación. Enmarcado en esta literatura, el presente trabajo analiza la portabilidad del capital humano de los inmigrantes al mercado de trabajo español en función de su origen geográfico. Asimismo, trata de contrastar para el caso español las regularidades empíricas más destacables de dichos trabajos. Los resultados obtenidos señalan un distinto grado de transferibilidad del capital humano según origen geográfico, siendo superior la del capital humano acumulado en países de elevado desarrollo o de cultura e idioma próximos y menor la del procedente de países en desarrollo y culturas distantes. La evidencia es relativamente dispar para ambos componentes del capital humano: mientras que ello es especialmente claro para los estudios, resulta menos evidente para la experiencia. Se confirma, asimismo, para el caso español que los inmigrantes padecen una mayor sobreeducación, tanto en incidencia como en intensidad, y que ello implica una mayor penalización salarial relativa, con resultados siempre peores para inmigrantes del segundo grupo de países. A medida que los inmigrantes prolongan su estancia en España existe un proceso de asimilación, excepto para asiáticos y en algunas especificaciones tampoco para los procedentes del África subsahariana, si bien la velocidad de asimilación es notablemente lenta.

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