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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.

Open access
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
Colourability and word-representability of near-triangulations

Abstract

A graph G = (V;E) is word-representable if there is a word w over the alphabet V such that x and y alternate in w if and only if the edge (x; y) is in G. It is known [6] that all 3-colourable graphs are word-representable, while among those with a higher chromatic number some are word-representable while others are not.

There has been some recent research on the word-representability of polyomino triangulations. Akrobotu et al. [1] showed that a triangulation of a convex polyomino is word-representable if and only if it is 3-colourable; and Glen and Kitaev [5] extended this result to the case of a rectangular polyomino triangulation when a single domino tile is allowed.

It was shown in [4] that a near-triangulation is 3-colourable if and only if it is internally even. This paper provides a much shorter and more elegant proof of this fact, and also shows that near-triangulations are in fact a generalization of the polyomino triangulations studied in [1] and [5], and so we generalize the results of these two papers, and solve all open problems stated in [5].

Open access
The Deletion-Insertion model applied to the genome rearrangement problem

Abstract

Permutations are frequently used in solving the genome rearrangement problem, whose goal is finding the shortest sequence of mutations transforming one genome into another. We introduce the Deletion-Insertion model (DI) to model small-scale mutations in species with linear chromosomes, such as humans. Applying one restriction to this model, we obtain the transposition model for genome rearrangement, which was shown to be NP-hard in [4]. We use combinatorial reasoning and permutation statistics to develop a polynomial-time algorithm to approximate the minimum number of transpositions required in the transposition model and to analyze the sharpness of several bounds on transpositions between genomes.

Open access
Enumeration of permutations avoiding a triple of 4-letter patterns is almost all done

Abstract

This paper basically completes a project to enumerate permutations avoiding a triple T of 4-letter patterns, in the sense of classical pattern avoidance, for every T. There are 317 symmetry classes of such triples T and previous papers have enumerated avoiders for all but 14 of them. One of these 14 is conjectured not to have an algebraic generating function. Here, we find the generating function for each of the remaining 13, and it is algebraic in each case.

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Generalized Jacobsthal numbers and restricted k-ary words

Abstract

We consider a generalization of the problem of counting ternary words of a given length which was recently investigated by Koshy and Grimaldi [10]. In particular, we use finite automata and ordinary generating functions in deriving a k-ary generalization. This approach allows us to obtain a general setting in which to study this problem over a k-ary language. The corresponding class of n-letter k-ary words is seen to be equinumerous with the closed walks of length n − 1 on the complete graph for k vertices as well as a restricted subset of colored square-and-domino tilings of the same length. A further polynomial extension of the k-ary case is introduced and its basic properties deduced. As a consequence, one obtains some apparently new binomial-type identities via a combinatorial argument.

Open access