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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)


XREAP2007-02: Una propuesta de evaluación de las externalidades de capital humano en la empresa

Empleando la Encuesta de Estructura Salarial se plantea una propuesta de estimación de externalidades de capital humano intraempresa que permite relajar las restricciones introducidas por las especificaciones que la literatura empírica existente ha usado. En concreto, la metodología propuesta evalúa las externalidades de capital humano aprovechando al máximo la variabilidad en la muestra, al permitir que todos los coeficientes de las ecuaciones estimadas varíen con el nivel de capital humano del establecimiento, relajando la hipótesis implícita de linealidad entre el efecto de externalidad y el nivel educativo de los individuos.

José-Luis Raymond (GEAP); José-Luis Roig (GEAP)


CREAP2006-01: Economic development and changes in car ownership patterns

The contributions of this paper are twofold: On the one hand, the paper analyses the factors determining the growth in car ownership in Spain over the last two decades, and, on the other, the paper provides empirical evidence for a controversial methodological issue. From a methodological point of view, the paper compares the two alternative decision mechanisms used for modelling car ownership: ordered-response versus unordered-response mechanisms. A discrete choice model is estimated at three points in time: 1980, 1990 and 2000. The study concludes that on the basis of forecasting performance, the multinomial logit model and the ordered probit model are almost undistinguishable. As for the empirical results, it can be emphasised that income elasticity is not constant and declines as car ownership increases. Besides, households living in rural areas are less sensitive than those living in urban areas. Car ownership is also sensitive to the quality of public transport for those living in the largest cities. The results also confirmed the existence of a generation effect, which will vanish around the year 2020, a weak life-cycle effect, and a positive effect of employment on the number of cars per household. Finally, the change in the estimated coefficients over time reflects an increase in mobility needs and, consequently, an increase in car ownership.

Anna Matas (GEAP); Josep-Lluís Raymond (GEAP)


CREAP2006-15:The macroeconomics of the labor market: Three fundamental views

We distinguish and assess three fundamental views of the labor market regarding the movements in unempoyment: (i) the frictionless equilibrium view; (ii) the chain reaction theory, or prolonged adjustment view; and (iii) the hysteresis view. While the frictionless view implies a clear compartmentalization between the short- and long-run, the hysteresis view implies that all the short-run fluctuations automatically turn into long-run changes in the unemployment rate. We assert the problems faced by these conceptions in explaining the diversity of labor market experiences across the OECD labor markets. We argue that the prolonged adjustment view can overcome these problems since it implies that the short, medium, and long runs are interrelated, merging with one another along an intertemporal continuum. 

Marika Karanassou; Hector Sala (GEAP) and Dennis J. Snower