During the last two decades there has been an increase in using dynamic tariffs for billing household electricity consumption. This has questioned the suitability of traditional pricing schemes, such as two-part tariffs, since they contribute to create marked peak and off-peak demands. The aim of this paper is to assess if two-part tariffs are an efficient pricing scheme using Spanish household electricity microdata. An ordered probit model with instrumental variables on the determinants of power level choice and non-paramentric spline regressions on the electricity price distribution will allow us to distinguish between the tariff structure choice and the simultaneous demand decisions. We conclude that electricity consumption and dwellings’ and individuals’ characteristics are key determinants of the fixed charge paid by Spanish households Finally, the results point to the inefficiency of the two-part tariff as those consumers who consume more electricity pay a lower price than the others.
Laura Fernàndez-Villadangos (GPRE-IREA)
Privatization of local public services has been implemented worldwide in the last decades. Why local governments privatize has been the subject of much discussion, and many empirical works have been devoted to analyzing the factors that explain local privatization. Such works have found a great diversity of motivations, and the variation among reported empirical results is large. To investigate this diversity we undertake a meta-regression analysis of the factors explaining the decision to privatize local services. Overall, our results indicate that significant relationships are very dependent upon the characteristics of the studies. Indeed, fiscal stress and political considerations have been found to contribute to local privatization specially in the studies of US cases published in the eighties that consider a broad range of services. Studies that focus on one service capture more accurately the influence of scale economies on privatization. Finally, governments of small towns are more affected by fiscal stress, political considerations and economic efficiency, while ideology seems to play a major role for large cities.
Germà Bel (GPRE-IREA); Xavier Fageda (GPRE-IREA)
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
En aquest article es duu a terme el contrast de la hipòtesi de paritat entre tipus d.interès reals (RIRP) entre dinou dels majors paísos de la OCDE al llarg del període 1978:Q2-1998:Q4. La metodologia economètrica aplicada es basa en la combinació de l.ús de diversos contrastos d.arrel unitària i d.estacionarietat dissenyats per un entorn de dades de panell que són vàlids sota la presència de dependència entre els individusi presència de múltiples canvis estructurals. Els nostres resultats donen fort suport al compliment de la versió dèbil de la RIRP en el període analitzat un cop la dependencia i els canvis estructurals són tinguts en compte.
Mariam Camarero; Josep Lluis Carrion-i-Silvestre (AQR-IREA) and Cecilio Tamarit
Quality of life is increasingly becoming a concept researched empirically and theoretically in the field of economics. In urban economics in particular, this increasing interest stems mainly from the fact that quality of life affects urban competitiveness and urban growth: research shows that when households and businesses decide where to locate, quality of life considerations can play a very important role. The purpose of the present paper is to examine the way economic literature and urban economic literature in particular, have adopted quality of life considerations in the economic thinking. Moreover, it presents the ways various studies have attempted to capture the multidimensional nature of the concept, and quantify it for the purposes of empirical research. Additionally we focus on the state of the art in Spain. Looking at the experiences in the last years we see very important possibilities of developing new studies in the field.
Vicente Royuela (AQR-IREA); Diona Lambiri and Bianca Biagi
The 1998 Spanish reform of the Personal Income Tax eliminated the 15% deduction for private medical expenditures including payments on private health insurance (PHI) policies. To avoid an undesirable increase in the demand for publicly funded health care, tax incentives to buy PHI were not completely removed but basically shifted from individual to group employer-paid policies. In a unique fiscal experiment, at the same time that the tax relief for individually purchased policies was abolished, the government provided for tax allowances on policies taken out through employment. Using a bivariate probit model on data from National Health Surveys, we estimate the impact of said reform on the demand for PHI and the changes occurred within it. Our findings suggest that the total probability of buying PHI was not significantly affected. Indeed, the fall in the demand for individual policies (by 10% between 1997 and 2001) was offset by an increase in the demand for group employer-paid ones, so that the overall size of the market remained virtually unchanged. We also briefly discuss the welfare effects on the state budget, the industry and society at large.
Marisol Rodríguez (CREB); Alexandrina Stoyanova (CREB)
En este documento se analizan comparativamente algunos aspectos relativos al capital humano de la economía catalana y española. En primer lugar se compara la dotación de capital humano tanto desde una metodología más tradicional, como es el caso de años de educación, como desde el punto de vista de la valoración del activo mediante actualización de flujos salariales a lo largo del ciclo vital de los individuos. Los resultados muestran indicios de una cierta desaceleración en el crecimiento del stock de capital humano. Adicionalmente, se lleva a cabo una estimación de la existencia de externalidades de capital humano intra-establecimiento, con datos de la Encuesta de Estructura Salarial, desarrollando una metodología menos restrictiva que la tradicional. Los resultados muestran comportamientos similares de la economía española y catalana, apuntando a la existencia de externalidades.
Josep Lluís Raymond Bara (GEAP); José Luis Roig Sabaté (GEAP)
It has traditionally been argued that the development of telecommunications infrastructure is dependent on the quality of countries’ political institutions. We estimate the effect of political institutions on the diffusion of three telecommunications services and find it to be much smaller in cellular telephony than in the others. By evaluating the importance of institutions for technologies rather than for industries, we reveal important growth opportunities for developing countries and offer policy implications for alleviating differences between countries in international telecommunications development.
Veneta Andonova; Luis Díaz-Serrano (CREB-GRIT-IZA)