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Active Ageing Index, New Emphasis Within the Same Methodology. The Role of the Internet

Abstract

Our paper focuses on the role of the Internet in older people’s lives and suggests that the weighting given to Internet usage should be increased when calculating the Active Ageing Index (AAI). We analyse the results of two weighting systems, which differ from the original one created by an expert group. First, we use the coefficients calculated by Djurovic et al. (2017), then create our own system in which the Internet usage component is given a very high coefficient value, ceteris paribus. Evaluations are done for AAI 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. The rank order of countries differs in the alternative weighting systems, but these differences are slight, and decrease year by year, suggesting the robustness of the original weighting system. This also shows that older EU citizens are using the Internet more and more, and that Internet usage is becoming a category similar to basic literacy. Finally, we recommend that AAI include a more sophisticated indicator of Internet usage instead of just asking respondents if they have used the Internet at least once a week in the previous three months.

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Assessment of the Insolvency Risk in Companies Listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange

Abstract

The present study presents, from the theoretical and pragmatic point of view, 6 of the established score models regarding the assessment of the insolvency risk, belonging to the Anglo-Saxon, Continental and Romanian schools. The research sample is made up of 26 companies belonging to the hotel industry and restaurants, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The research was carried out over a period of 11 years (2007-2017). Following the application of the score models, it was found that during the period covered by the research, a number of 14 companies had a relatively high insolvency risk and 12 of them had a relatively low insolvency risk.

Open access
Effects of Energy Use on Socioeconomic Predictors in Africa: Synthesizing Evidence

Abstract

The paper examined the effects of energy use on socioeconomic predictors in Africa. The Gary Becker hypothesis and the Michael Grossman demand for healthcare model were used to interact with energy related predictors on socioeconomic essentials. Our experimented model foretold the urgent need for government intervention programmes to resolve the energy misery in the African region.

Open access
The Impact of Gender on Food Waste at the Consumer Level

Abstract

Food waste is one of the main contributors to economic disparities, social inequalities and environmental pollution. Numerous studies have sought to understand the drivers of food waste at various stages in the food supply chain, including the consumption stage. Based on a quantitative analysis of 252 Romanian consumers, the present study shows that gender is an important factor that affects the individuals’ attitudes and behaviours in regard to food and a potential factor that could affect the amount of food wasted. The study found that attitudes towards food waste evolve as individuals age, and that, at each stage, women tend to be more concerned about the negative impact of food waste on social equity or the family budget than men. In addition, women were found to display behaviours in regard to food acquisition and preparation that can result in higher food waste in a larger degree than men, even though the study found no differences in the actual amount of food wasted by the two genders. The results of the study are important because they show the need to adapt the public awareness campaigns on food waste on the particularities of each gender across several age groups.

Open access
Double Jeopardy: How Refugees Fare in One European Labor Market

Abstract

This paper examines the labor market trajectories of refugees who arrived in Belgium between 1999 and 2009. Belgium offers a relatively easy formal labor market access to refugees and other types of migrants but they face many other barriers in this strongly regulated and institutionalized labor market. Based on a longitudinal dataset that links respondents’ information from the Belgian Labor Force Survey with comprehensive social security data on their work histories, we estimate discrete-time hazard models to analyze refugees’ entry into and exit out of the first employment spell, contrasting their outcomes with family and labor migrants of the same arrival cohort. The analysis shows that refugees take significantly longer to enter their first employment spell as compared with other migrant groups. They also run a greater risk of exiting out of their first employment spell (back) into social assistance and into unemployment. The low employment rates of refugees are thus not only due to a slow integration process upon arrival, but also reflect a disproportional risk of exiting the labor market after a period in work. Our findings indicate that helping refugees into a first job is not sufficient to ensure labor market participation in the long run, because these jobs may be short-lived. Instead, our results provide clear arguments in favor of policies that support sustainable labor market integration.

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Sympathy for the Devil? Exploring Flexicurity Win–Win Promises

Abstract

Flexicurity is the combination of more flexibility for employers and more security for workers. It is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that lacks a well-developed monitoring framework or a statistically consistent grouping of the indicators. First, this paper proposes a conceptual framework by building upon the Wilthagen and Tros (2004) flexicurity matrix and the Danish Golden Triangle. It constructs flexicurity “drivers” by pooling together variables that are conceptually related to each other and a specific type of flexibility or security. Then, it obtains statistically consistent aggregate measures for each driver and selects three drivers that represent the three corners of the Danish “golden triangle”: external numerical flexibility, employment security, and income security. It conducts an empirical analysis on the evolution of the selected flexicurity drivers over time and across European Union (EU) countries and on the relationship between selected flexicurity drivers and social outcomes from the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It finds evidence of convergence on external numerical flexibility and polarization on employment and income security across the EU. It finds that higher flexibility at the onset of the crisis contributed to a reduction in the unemployment rates after the crisis, while a more generous welfare system contributed to reducing poverty. Employment security, however, appears to be linked to the presence of higher levels of income inequality after the crisis.

Open access
Frontal assault versus incremental change: A comparison of collective bargaining in Portugal and the Netherlands

Abstract

Collective bargaining has come under renewed scrutiny, especially in Southern European countries, which rely predominantly on sectoral bargaining supported by administrative extensions of collective agreements. Following the global financial crisis, some of these countries have implemented substantial reforms in the context of adjustment programmes, seen by some as a ‘frontal assault’ on collective bargaining. This paper compares the recent top-down reforms in Portugal with the more gradual evolution of the system in the Netherlands. While the Dutch bargaining system shares many of the key features that characterise the Portuguese system, it has shown a much greater ability to adjust to new challenges through concerted social dialogue. This paper shows that the recent reforms in Portugal have brought the system more in line with Dutch practices, including in relation to the degree of flexibility in sectoral collective agreements at the worker and firm levels, the criteria for administrative extensions, and the application of retro- and ultra-activity. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the top-down approach taken in Portugal will change bargaining practices, and importantly, the quality of industrial relations.

Open access
The Impact of Parental Leave Policy on Child-Rearing and Employment Behavior: The Case of Germany

Abstract

Parental leave and child care are important instruments of family policies to improve work–family balance. This paper studies the impact of the substantial change in Germany’s parental leave system on maternal employment. The aim of the reform was to decrease birth-related maternal employment breaks by providing more generous parental benefits for a shorter period of time. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel data for 2002–2015, I exploited quasi-experimental variation in the benefits to estimate the impact of the reform. I incorporated the mother’s decision to substitute her care time with the public child care. To control for the availability of child care, I used spatial and temporal variation in the availability of childcare slots. Overall, I did not find significant changes in maternal employment during the first three years of motherhood after the reform implementation. Only for high-income mothers, the reform produced a significant decrease in the employment participation during the first year of leave and an increase in employment probability after the benefits expired. The empirical findings suggest that the restriction in the childcare availability became an important constraint for the employment effect of the reform.

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The Marginal Benefit of an Active Labor Market Program Relative to a Public Works Program: Evidence from Papua New Guinea

Abstract

Policymakers typically try to address youth unemployment in developing countries through either active labor market programs (ALMPs) or labor-intensive public works programs (LIPWs). We examine whether there is any additional benefit for unemployed youth from participating in a comprehensive ALMP compared to a LIPW. We exploit an unanticipated intervention in the largest employment program in Papua New Guinea, which resulted in one intake of the program completing a LIPW and missing out on a comprehensive ALMP. We conduct a difference-in-difference analysis between participants in the intake that missed out on the ALMP component of the program and participants in the intakes immediately before and after. In contrast to most impact evaluations of ALMPs, we show youth that completed the comprehensive ALMP were around twice as likely to be employed in the formal sector 9–12 months after the program compared to similar youth in the intake that only completed a LIWP. This effect was entirely driven by 20% of youth who participated in the ALMP staying with the employer they were placed with following the end of the program. Surveys of these employers illustrate that they use the ALMP as a low-cost, low-risk, and relatively low-effort way of hiring new employees.

Open access
Unemployment Impact of Product and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from European Countries

Abstract

This paper provides robust estimates of the impact of both product and labor market regulations on unemployment using data from 24 European countries over the period 1998–2013. Controlling for country fixed effects, endogeneity, and a large set of covariates, results show that product market deregulation overall reduces the unemployment rate. This finding is robust across all specifications and in line with theoretical predictions. However, not all types of reforms have the same effect: deregulation of state controls and in particular involvement in business operations tend to push up the unemployment rate. Labor market deregulation, proxied by the employment protection legislation index, is detrimental to unemployment in the short run, while a positive impact (i.e., a reduction in the unemployment rate) occurs only in the long run. Analysis by sub-indicators shows that reducing protection against collective dismissals helps in reducing the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate equation is also estimated for different categories of workers. Although men and women are equally affected by product and labor market deregulations, workers distinguished by age and educational attainment are affected differently. In terms of employment protection, young workers are almost twice as strongly affected as older workers. Regarding product market deregulation, highly educated individuals are less impacted than low- and middle-educated workers.

Open access