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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Ivan Todorov, Kalina Durova and Aleksandar Aleksandrov

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Kristóf Gyódi, Maciej Sobolewski and Michał Ziembiński

Abstract

An important aspect of economic integration of the European Union is price convergence on digital single market. In this study, we propose a novel way to measure price dispersion in the e-commerce industry, using a custom made web-scraping tool. We target all the major price comparisons sites in the 26 EU member states, which enables us to collect price signals from thousands of retail shops operating on-line. We analyse pricing data of 182 branded products sold on-line across the EU, representing the most popular categories: fashion, consumer electronics, gaming and software, and cosmetics. We find considerable dispersion of both pre and post-vat on-line prices ranging from 20% to 40%, depending on the product category. The observed on-line price dispersion is driven by both cost factors and the level of per capita income, which is consistent with the view that producers or large distributors might engage in strategic price discrimination induced by income heterogeneity.

At first look, our results point to the unexplored potential for cross-border trade, which could be released by policy interventions with regards to delivery, payment or law harmonization. However, under strategic price discrimination, reduced costs of arbitrage for consumers might induce discriminating firms to lower the magnitude of price dispersion between high and low income countries, bringing adverse welfare changes of a priori unknown net effect.

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Edyta Marcinkiewicz

Abstract

The study provides some quantitative information on voluntary pension plans in 10 CEE countries obtained from various local sources. The comparative analysis shows that there is a considerable variation in this group in terms of participation and contributions to the voluntary pension plans. In addition, this study empirically examines several factors that can possibly affect the development of voluntary pensions: income per capita and poverty rate, income inequality, replacement rate from the pension system, education attainment, interest rate and demographic burden. It uses a panel regression framework for the period of 2006–2014. The results reveal that, in the case of participation in voluntary pension plans, only income level per capita is associated with a greater number of pension plan members. As far as contributions are concerned, education seems to be the most important determinant of additional pension savings. Other factors do not seem to explain well both of the studied variables reflecting the development of voluntary pension schemes. However, as individual fixed effects are proven to be significant in the estimated models, one could conclude that country-specific characteristics play a significant role in explaining the development of voluntary pension schemes. They can be referred to the design and parametric settings of the non-mandatory pension system.