Fresh Research in Population Economics: National identity, single motherhood, clan culture, premature mortality and other issues of concern.

Journal of Population Economics. Volume 32 Number 2 is now available online.

Ten new articles in Population Economics are published, see listing and access below. Ten new Associate Editors have been appointed; see their names below. The freely accessible Lead Article is listed first.

Lead Article (free access for some weeks)

National identity under economic integration
Chun-Fang Chiang, Jin-Tan Liu & Tsai-Wei Wen

This study empirically investigates how economic integration influences individuals’ national identity. Due to historical reasons and unique cross-strait politics, some people in Taiwan identify themselves as Chinese while others identify themselves as Taiwanese. Using individual survey data with the outward investment data at the industry level from 1992 to 2009, we find that the rising investment in China has strengthened Taiwanese identity and has reduced the probability of voting for the Pan-Blue parties. The effects are much stronger for unskilled workers than for skilled workers, suggesting that outward investment in China may not only have economic impact on the economy but may also deepen the political polarization in Taiwan.

In this issue: TABLE OF CONTENT and article access
National identity under economic integration
Chun-Fang Chiang, Jin-Tan Liu & Tsai-Wei Wen
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OPEN ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC for a limited time!
Concrete measures: the rise of public housing and changes in young
single motherhood in the U.S.
Katharine L. Shester, Samuel K. Allen & Christopher Handy
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Does public insurance coverage for pregnant women affect prenatal
health behaviors?
Dhaval M. Dave, Robert Kaestner & George L. Wehby
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Closing or reproducing the gender gap? Parental transmission, social norms and education choice
Maria Knoth Humlum, Anne Brink Nandrup & Nina Smith
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Intergenerational income mobility: access to top jobs, the low-pay
no-pay cycle and the role of education in a common framework
Paul Gregg, Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vitto
» Abstract » Full text HTML » Full text PDF OPEN ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC
Family support or social support? The role of clan culture
Chuanchuan Zhang
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Revisiting the relationship between longevity and lifetime education: global evidence from 919 surveys
Mohammad Mainul Hoque, Elizabeth M. King, Claudio E. Montenegro & Peter F. Orazem
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Rising longevity, fertility dynamics, and R&D-based growth
Koichi Futagami & Kunihiko Konishi
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Premature mortality and poverty measurement in an OLG economy
Mathieu Lefèbvre, Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere
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Unequal hopes and lives in the USA: optimism, race, place, and
premature mortality
Carol Graham & Sergio Pinto
» Abstract » Full text HTML » Full text PDF

Newly appointed Associate Editors of the Journal of Population Economics

  • Quamrul Ashraf, Williams College, USA
  • Andrew Clark, Paris School of Economics, France
  • Avraham Ebenstein, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Shuaizhang Feng, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
  • Moshe Hazan, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Eliana La Ferrara, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
  • Terra McKinnish, University of Colorado, USA
  • Jessamyn Schaller, University of Arizon, USA
  • Kompal Sinha, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • Rainer Winkelmann, University of Zurich, Switzerland

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Anti-Minaret Votes and Migrants’ Location Choices in Switzerland – GLO Discussion Paper of the Month January 2019 and other GLO Discussion Papers in January

The new GLO Discussion Paper of the Month from January 2019 explores the vote on the Swiss minaret initiative in 2009 as a natural experiment to identify the effect of newly revealed reservations towards immigrants on their location choices. The research finds that the probability of  immigrants to relocate to  a municipality that unexpectedly revealed stronger negative attitudes towards them is significantly reduced in the time after the vote. The effect seems to apply to all immigrant groups – Muslim, non-European and European -, and to be stronger for high-skilled immigrants.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs downloadable for free.

GLO Discussion Paper of the Month: January

305 The Deterrent Effect of an Anti-Minaret Vote on Foreigners’ Location Choices – Download PDF
by Slotwinski, Michaela & Stutzer, Alois

Abstract: In a national ballot in 2009, Swiss citizens surprisingly approved an amendment to the Swiss constitution to ban the further construction of minarets. The ballot outcome manifested reservations and anti-immigrant attitudes in regions of Switzerland which had previously been hidden. We exploit this fact as a natural experiment to identify the causal effect of negative attitudes towards immigrants on foreigners’ location choices and thus indirectly on their utility. Based on a regression discontinuity design with unknown discontinuity points and administrative data on the population of foreigners, we find that the probability of their moving to a municipality which unexpectedly expressed stronger reservations decreases initially by about 40 percent. The effect is accompanied by a drop of housing prices in these municipalities and levels off over a period of about 5 months. Moreover, foreigners in high-skill occupations react relatively more strongly highlighting a tension when countries try to attract well-educated professionals from abroad. 

GLO Discussion Papers of January 2019

308 Technological Unemployment Revisited: Automation in a Search and Matching Framework – Download PDF
by Cords, Dario & Prettner, Klaus

307 Gender, culture and STEM: Counter-intuitive patterns in Arab society– Download PDF
by Friedman-Sokuler, Naomi & Justman, Moshe

306 Time preferences and political regimes: Evidence from reunified Germany– Download PDF
by Friehe, Tim & Pannenberg, Markus

305 The Deterrent Effect of an Anti-Minaret Vote on Foreigners’ Location Choices – Download PDF
by Slotwinski, Michaela & Stutzer, Alois

304 Tropical Storms and Mortality under Climate Change – Download PDF
by Pugatch, Todd

303 The Post-Crisis Phillips Curve: A New Empirical Relationship between Wage and Inflation  – Download PDF
by Voinea, Liviu

302 Marshallian vs Jacobs effects: which one is stronger? Evidence for Russia unemployment dynamics  – Download PDF
by Demidova, Olga & Kolyagina, Alena & Pastore, Francesco

301 The World at the Crossroad. Demographic Polarization and Mass Migration. Global threat or global opportunity  – Download PDF
by Bruni, Michele

300 The Belt and Road Initiative. Demographic trends, labour markets and welfare systems of member countries  – Download PDF
by Bruni, Michele

299  The unprotecting effects of employment protection: the impact of the 2001 labor reform in Peru – Download PDF
by Jaramillo, Miguel

298  Measuring the Statistical Capacity of Nations  – Download PDF
by Cameron, Grant J. & Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Dinc, Mustafa & Foster, James & Lokshin, Michael M.

297  Inequality and Welfare Dynamics in the Russian Federation during 1994-2015  – Download PDF
by Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Lokshin, Michael M. & Abanokova, Kseniya & Bussolo, Maurizio

296  A Beveridge curve decomposition for Austria: what drives the unemployment rate?  – Download PDF
by Christl, Michael

295 Health, Cognition and Work Capacity Beyond the Age of 50   – Download PDF
by Vandenberghe, Vincent

GLO DP Team
Senior Editors: Matloob Piracha (University of Kent) & GLO; Klaus F. Zimmermann (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University and Bonn University).
Managing Editor: Magdalena Ulceluse, University of GroningenDP@glabor.org

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Hartz IV überwinden: SPD bastelt weiter an ihrem Untergang. Nun sollen die erfolgreichen Arbeitsmarktreformen daran glauben.

Die SPD beschließt, das Hartz-IV-System hinter sich zu lassen

Arbeitsökonom Klaus F. Zimmermann, Bonn: “Die SPD hat sich selbst ein Bein gestellt, und die Grünen haben die Gnade der Geschichte, dass sie nicht in eine Regierung mussten. Die SPD konnte sich nach Schröder nicht entscheiden, erfolgreiche Regierungspartei oder linke Kultpartei zu sein. So wurden die massiven Erfolge sozialdemokratischer Minister auch unter Kanzlerin Merkel konsequent zerpflückt. Frau Nahles muss sich auch fragen lassen, warum ihre massiven Korrekturen als Arbeitsministerin an der Reformpolitik in der Partei und bei den Wählern nicht zu größerer Akzeptanz geführt haben. So hat etwa die Einführung des Mindestlohns, immerhin die zentrale Einstiegsbedingung in die letzte große Koalition, den weiteren Absturz der SPD nicht verhindert. Der Glaube muss groß sein, wenn die Versagensursachen fortgesetzt auch weiter für die Rettung eingesetzt werden sollen.”

Dieses Zitat stammt aus einem Interview, das Zimmermann bereits Anfang Dezember Dieter Hintermeier für die Frankfurter Neue Presse gegeben hat: “Die SPD hat sich selbst ein Bein gestellt.”  Text s. auch unten. Frankfurter Neue Presse vom 7. 12. 2018

Arbeitsökonom Klaus F. Zimmermann, der heute als Präsident die weltweit tätige Global Labor Organization (GLO) leitet, war über ein Jahrzehnt Präsident des Deutschen Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin) und fast zwei Dekaden (Gründungs-) Direktor des Instituts zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA) in Bonn. Er ist emeritierter Professor für Wirtschaftliche Staatswissenschaften der Universität Bonn.

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Zimmermann war Berater so unterschiedlicher Politiker wie Gerhard Schröder und Wolfgang Clement (zu Arbeitsmarktreformen), sowie Thilo Sarrazin (über die Sanierung Berlins in seiner Zeit als Berliner Finanzsenator) und Jürgen Rüttgers (über die Zukunft des Arbeitsmarktes in Nordrhein-Westfalen). Er tritt für die Fortsetzung der erfolgreichen Arbeitsmarktreformen unter Kanzler Schröder ein, hält geregelte Zuwanderung für nötig und die Flüchtlingspolitik Angela Merkels für angemessen.

Herr Zimmermann, warum gibt es, wie aktuell auch wieder, Diskussionen um die Sozialreform „Hartz IV“?

KLAUS F. ZIMMERMANN: Hartz IV ist zunächst einmal die Umsetzung der Grundgesetzgarantie, dass in Deutschland keiner unter die Armutsgrenze fallen kann. Dabei handelt es sich also zunächst einmal um den Betrag, der finanziert aus Steuermitteln jedem Anspruchsberechtigten in Deutschland zur Sicherung seines Existenzminimums zusteht. Dieser Betrag wird nach objektiven statistischen Kriterien politisch fixiert und differenziert. Er muss regelmäßig überprüft werden, was regelmäßig Diskussionen auslöst.

Was führt noch bei Hartz IV zu Debatten?

ZIMMERMANN: Ein anderes Thema ist die Problematisierung des Bezieherkreises, zu dem Langzeitarbeitslose und anerkannte Flüchtlinge gehören, sowie Kürzungen oder der Wegfall der Unterstützung, wenn andere Finanzierungsquellen vorliegen oder Strafen wegen nicht erfüllter Auflagen unter anderem bei der Jobsuche ausgesprochen werden. Diese Anreize werden häufig als ungerecht empfunden. Auch ist Hartz IV ein Symbol für den Gesamtkomplex der Arbeitsmarktreformen unter Kanzler Schröder, deren oberstes Ziel war, die Anreize zur Arbeitsaufnahme zu stärken. Dieses Ziel ist klar erreicht worden, wie man an der langfristigen Entwicklung der deutschen Arbeitsmarktstatistik unschwer erkennen kann.

Macht es Sinn, wie es die SPD und die Grünen fordern, Hartz IV „abzuschaffen“?

ZIMMERMANN: Man möchte ja gar nicht die Förderung abschaffen, sondern nur den Namen und die Anforderungen, sich anzustrengen.

Ist das schlimm?

ZIMMERMANN: Dies ignoriert die Interessen der Steuerzahler, die die Mittel bereitstellen müssen, und ist auch nicht im Interesse der Betroffenen, die eine baldige Rückkehr in den Arbeitsmarkt verdienen. Da nun Anreize einmal wirken, wird ihre Abschaffung auf lange Sicht dazu führen, dass die Arbeitslosigkeit der Problemgruppen wieder steigt. Wir sollten uns daran erinnern, welche hartnäckigen Schwierigkeiten wir in Deutschland über viele Jahre lang deshalb hatten.

Treibt dabei zum Beispiel die SPD die Angst, noch mehr Wähler zu verlieren?

ZIMMERMANN: Die SPD hat sich selbst ein Bein gestellt, und die Grünen haben die Gnade der Geschichte, dass sie nicht in eine Regierung mussten. Die SPD konnte sich nach Schröder nicht entscheiden, erfolgreiche Regierungspartei oder linke Kultpartei zu sein. So wurden die massiven Erfolge sozialdemokratischer Minister auch unter Kanzlerin Merkel konsequent zerpflückt. Frau Nahles muss sich auch fragen lassen, warum ihre massiven Korrekturen als Arbeitsministerin an der Reformpolitik in der Partei und bei den Wählern nicht zu größerer Akzeptanz geführt haben. So hat etwa die Einführung des Mindestlohns, immerhin die zentrale Einstiegsbedingung in die letzte große Koalition, den weiteren Absturz der SPD nicht verhindert. Der Glaube muss groß sein, wenn die Versagensursachen fortgesetzt auch weiter für die Rettung eingesetzt werden sollen.

Hat Hartz IV den Populismus in Deutschland gefördert?

ZIMMERMANN: Nein, der Populismus und der Abstieg der „alten“ Parteien ist ein ganz globales Phänomen, von dem wir in Deutschland erst relativ spät erfasst wurden. Migration, Europa, gesellschaftliche Orientierungslosigkeit und Angst vor einem sozialen Abstieg sind viel wichtigere Zugpferde des Populismus. Es fehlt an überzeugenden Visionen, die die Menschen auch emotional mitnehmen. An der sozialen Vermittlung krankte natürlich auch die Präsentation der Arbeitsmarktreformen.

Hätte sich die Politik mehr um die Verlierer des Wirtschaftsbooms kümmern müssen?

ZIMMERMANN: Es ist richtig, dass zu viel Kraft auf Scheinthemen wie den Mindestlohn verwendet wurde. Dieser hat ja den Armen-Haushalten nicht wirklich geholfen. Bei der Aufgabe, die Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit weiter wirksam abzubauen, ist man genauso gescheitert, wie bei der Nutzung der Potenziale des digitaler Zeitalters für gute Jobs.

Bleiben wir beim „Thema“. Haben Kinder- und Altersarmut, prekäre Beschäftigungsverhältnisse etwas mit Hartz IV zu tun ?

ZIMMERMANN: Hartz IV ist nicht die Ursache dieser Probleme, sondern der (vielleicht unvollkommene) Versuch der Hilfe.

Die Strafen, die Hartz IV vorhält, werden immer wieder kritisiert. Sind diese zu hart?

ZIMMERMANN: Zunächst sind sie einmal wirksame Anreize zur Arbeitsaufnahme. Das ist dann im Sinne der politisch festgelegten Regelung fair. Natürlich wird es von den Betroffenen in der Regel als zu hart empfunden werden. Sie hätten aber die Strafe vermeiden können, hätten sie sich an die Auflagen gehalten.

Fällt derjenige, der arbeitslos wird, zu schnell durch Hartz IV in „die Armut“ und muss dabei noch sein ganzes Vermögen opfern?

ZIMMERMANN: Hartz IV wird ja nicht bei Eintritt in die Arbeitslosigkeit bezahlt, sondern erst nach einem Jahr, wenn die Person langzeitarbeitslos ist. Das Arbeitslosengeld I wird also zunächst aus der Arbeitslosenversicherung getragen, Hartz IV oder das Arbeitslosengeld II wird aus Steuermitteln getragen. Dann kann man kaum von „zu schnell“ sprechen und man „fällt auch nicht in die Armut“, denn das wird ja geprüft.

Hartz IV sollte Armut beenden, heute ist der Begriff ein Synonym für Armut. Stimmt das?

ZIMMERMANN: Hier lügt man sich einfach in die Tasche. Hartz IV definiert ja zunächst einfach die Armutsgrenze. Insofern ist es eine Tautologie. Wem das Niveau nicht passt, muss Argumente finden, warum die Grenze verschoben werden soll. Das „System Hartz IV“ beziehungsweise die Arbeitsmarktreformen haben dazu beigetragen, dass die Arbeitslosigkeit wirksam gefallen ist. Die Bedrohung durch Armut ist tatsächlich erheblich zurückgegangen. Die ganze Welt bewundert die deutschen Erfolge, nur wir glauben, sie als Ursache für Armut brandmarken zu können.

Was ist die soziale Lösung der Zukunft: Grundsicherung oder Rückkehr zum „alten“ Arbeitslosengeld?

ZIMMERMANN: Wir haben eine vernünftige Grundstruktur der Grundsicherung. Das schließt Anpassungen im Detail nicht aus. Andere Formen der Grundsicherung sind entweder nicht finanzierbar, oder sie führen über falsche Anreize zur Mittelverschwendung.

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GLO Fellow Robert Holzmann will head the Austrian National Central Bank.

Robert Holzmann, an Austrian economist and Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), has been nominated this week by the Austrian government to head the National Central Bank in his country. As a Professor of Economics, he had taught at the universities of Graz, Vienna, Saarland/Saarbrücken, Malaya/Kuala Lumpur, and New South Wales/Sydney. He worked at the OECD, the IMF and the World Bank — mostly on labor markets, pensions and social-security systems. As World Bank Director he created together with the IZA Founding Director Klaus F. Zimmermann, now the President of GLO, a research program combining the then separated research fields of development economics and labor economics. Last year, Zimmermann and Holzmann analyzed together in a public debate the migration policy of the new Austrian government. The panel discussion was organized by DIE WEIS[S]E WIRTSCHAFT in Vienna.

Holzmann is a conservative economist of high academic competence and standing. He is an independent thinker, and it can only be of value for the European Central Bank when a pension expert sits in the central monetary committee. An important future challenge for monetary and fiscal policies will be the large forthcoming burden of pensions for European societies”, Zimmermann said.

Zimmermann & Holzmann (right) confirming the merger of development economics and labor economics in 2013

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“No Return” from Italian Labor and Pension Reforms: An Insider View Back at Italian Government Policies by Marco Leonardi. A New Book, an Author Summary and Interview.

Marco Leonardi, economic advisor of two prime ministers in the Italian government from 2014 to 2018, has just published a new book on his experience in office during the Italian labor market reforms and the threatened future perspectives of those changes:

The hijacked reforms: why there is no coming back from labor and pension reform. Le Riforme Dimezzate, EGEA 2018 (in Italian).

Here you get an authentic summary with additional insights directly from the author!

Italy has passed three important reforms in the past four years—of the labor market, of the pension system and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. All these reforms are already being undone, and yet this book explains, from the perspective of someone who worked within the Prime Minister’s policy unit, why there should not be any coming back from the main changes in the labor market and in the pension system.  

The author – The book – The Interview

The author

Marco Leonardi

Former Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Italian Government and Full Professor of Economics at the University of Milan, Italy. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and spent visiting periods at MIT, Georgetown and Berkeley. His research interests are in labor economics, inequality and education.

The book

To buy the book

“In this book I describe the birth of labor market reform from within the policy unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. In addition, I discuss two other major reforms undertaken in the past four years: the pension reform and the introduction of a universal measure against poverty. I approach these topics from both the political (how and why certain policy decisions were taken) and the technical perspective. I refer to the many (at times difficult) relations between the government and other administrations, as well as the unions, and the lengthy political and administrative process required to enact a law, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online (in the case of the new subsidy for the poor). No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and several steps are required to reach that point. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to drive  the laws through their implementation process.

Marco Leonardi

The most important reform has been the labor market reform (called the “Jobs Act”). This reform is recognized internationally because it was adopted amid the international debate on “flexsecurity” and the increasing protection of the open-ended contract (or single contract).

During the 1990s there was considerable continuity in the employment protection legislation of OECD countries, with one major exception: the deregulation of fixed-term contracts and other non-standard labor relationships. Particularly in Southern Europe, changes in labor market policy consisted mainly of measures aimed at introducing “flexibility at the margin,” that is, making the utilization of non-permanent contracts more loosely regulated while leaving the discipline of permanent employment unchanged. Flexibility at the margin, however, amplified the two-tier nature of labor markets, raising concerns over the risk of labor market “dualism” or “segmentation.” Triggered by these concerns, public opinion and policy-makers have repeatedly stressed the importance of searching for “an appropriate balance between flexibility and security” (the so-called “flexsecurity,” as pointed to by the European Commission in multiple documents).

The Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach to flexibility at the margin by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both (a) predictable ex ante and (b) increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm. By doing so, the Jobs Act aims at reducing dualism in the labor market, fostering human capital accumulation, increasing job mobility to cope with structural adjustment, and favoring workers’ protection “in the market.”

The most controversial aspect of the reform has certainly been the abolition of the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement (“reintegro”) after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives. This provision is limited to contracts signed after the reform (March 7, 2015) and entails a drastic limitation to the possibility of reinstatement, even in case of disciplinary dismissal. This substantial uniformity of firing costs for both disciplinary and economic cases is necessary to curb the incentive to surreptitiously justify dismissals so that they allow for reinstatement, an outcome that would have certainly increased the number of cases litigated in court. For consistency, the ability to reinstate workers has also been excluded for collective dismissals, as they have in essence an economic motivation. The abolition of the possibility of reinstatement has certainly given birth to a clear-cut reform, a fact that has been welcomed by international investors. Besides the new rules on firing costs, generous employment subsidies were introduced to incentivize the use of open-ended contracts.

Another qualifying aspect of the reform scheme is the introduction of a fast track for the settlement of dismissals (“conciliazione rapida”). The aim is to promote consensual resolution of disputed terminations (as well as other possible disputes). Contrary to other proposals for a “single contract” with increasing firing costs, which would have introduced non-appealable compensation, the reform scheme embraces the fast-track settlement model introduced by the German and French employment protection legislations. The latter, though, are different from the solution adopted in the Italian Jobs Act as they don’t bind the court to award compensation according to a predetermined schedule (which in the Jobs Act amounts to two months for each year of contract tenure, up to a maximum of 24 months).

Unfortunately, this feature of the reform was declared illegitimate after three years, in spring 2018, by the Italian Constitutional Court, and therefore today the reforms are “dimezzate” (or “hijacked”: the title of the book refers to the reversal of many reforms under the new government, of which this case is  among the most serious).

The success of the reform is measured by the reduction of court litigation in cases of dismissal (which was reduced by 80%, but unfortunately began to rise again after the decision of the Constitutional Court), and by the shortening of the amount of time young workers spend in temporary contracts (that is, the average length of the initial part of one’s career regulated by fixed-term contracts) and the resulting share of permanent hiring among total hires. The expected substitution of fixed-term contracts unfortunately has not happened: in 2014, roughly 70% of hiring was through fixed-term contracts, and only 17% open-ended; in 2015 and 2016, the share of open-ended contracts increased considerably, but in 2018, when the generous employment subsidies ended, the share of new hiring in open-ended contracts went back to the 2014 levels.

We made a mistake in allowing the coexistence of a very liberal regime for fixed-term contracts and of the new open-ended contract with increasing protection. Employers are reluctant to hire on open-ended contracts, and if left with the easy outlet of fixed-term contracts, they will not change their preferences. Furthermore, after having established a national system of active labor market policies to favor the reallocation of workers (after 20 years of debate, Italy finally has a national agency and a common measure to manage active labor market policies across 20 regions), we were too slow in the implementation process; as a result, public opinion has become aware of the more liberal regime on firings but not the new policy of support through active labor market policies.

While much of the reform process is now in reversal, when these very incisive labor market reforms were introduced they faced no opposition and Italy enjoyed four continuous years of employment growth (which has now been interrupted under the new government).

Further details of the labor market reforms and my suggestions regarding future action can be found in the interview below. Additional information on some of the other reforms, including pensions, wage bargaining and measures against poverty, can be found in the book, only available currently in Italian.”

The interview

GLO: What were the essential elements of the Italian labor market reforms?

Marco Leonardi: The main policy tools of the Jobs Act (and the main reversals under the new government since June 2018) can be summarized as follows:

First, “Contratto a tutele crescenti,” i.e., the open-ended contract for new hires (from March 7, 2015), which eliminates the possibility of a worker’s reinstatement after illegitimate dismissal for economic motives (the so-called “article 18”)  and embeds increasing monetary compensation in the case of separation. In this respect the Jobs Act marks a stark change with respect to the approach of flexibility at the margin (i.e., the tendency to liberalize the use of fixed-term contracts and leave open-ended contracts untouched by reforms) by reducing firing costs for permanent employment and by making them both predictable ex ante and increasing according to the worker’s tenure within the firm (two months for every month of tenure, starting from a minimum of four months and up to a maximum of 24 months). The Jobs Act is an example of “flexsecurity” in practice: it reduces dualism in the labor market and favors workers’ protection “in the market.”

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Recently (in June 2018) the Constitutional Court declared illegitimate the rigid link between tenure and months of compensation in case of illegitimate firing, thus restoring the full discretion of judges in determining  the amount of compensation (this will make firing costs uncertain again and the hiring permanent workers less convenient).

Second, restrictions on self-employment arrangements (“co.co.co.,” “co.co.pro.,” etc.) used in the past to hire dependent workers while saving on both firing costs and social security contributions. In the three years during which the reforms were applied (2015–2018) we witnessed an increase in dependent employment and a decrease in the number of self-employed workers (from a record share of 25% of total employment): most of them took up a fixed-term contract but some of them transitioned to an open-ended contract, exploiting the very generous tax break for open-ended contracts activated in 2015 and 2016. Under the new government this trend has been reversed by a combination of three factors: the limits set by the new government on fixed-term contracts; the sentence of the Constitutional Court which has rendered dependent permanent employment contracts less convenient; and new tax breaks exclusively for the self-employed, which will soon cause the composition of employment to revert to a large share of self-employed.

Third, the reform of unemployment benefits, which have been extended both in terms of eligibility criteria and maximum coverage length, and the concurrent reduction of the short-time work compensation scheme that subsidizes employers that reduce hours of work during a temporary period of falling demand. The unemployment benefit reform aims to make benefits more generous and long-lasting and to include those with discontinuous or uneven employment histories. The reform of 2015 extended the benefits period to exactly half the number of weeks of contribution, up to 24 months. Employees can activate their individual right to a benefit if they have contributed for at least 13 weeks over the previous four years; this criterion has significantly relaxed the contributions requirement and has increased the number of potential beneficiaries to more than 95% of the employed population. The current government has not touched the benefits reform, but it has gone back to a generous regime of subsidies for firms that reduce hours of work. A generous short-time work scheme with loose rules on contributions risks keeping “zombie” firms alive for too long and keeping workers attached to them with little incentive to search for a new job.

Finally, fourth: Reform of active labor market policies, with the establishment of a national agency to coordinate the work of the regions (which have the competence over active labor market policies) and of a “re-training and placement voucher” (i.e., a voucher for placement services provided by both public and private operators), which introduces a quasi-market approach in active labor market policies. Unfortunately, the reform of active labor market policies never actually took off. The popular referendum, which should have moved the competence from the regions to the central state, failed, and the regions are jealous of their autonomy, with the result that the performance of the services is very patchy across Italy.

GLO: What are your recommendations for effective and successful labor reform policies?

Marco Leonardi:  Use your political capital fast on your priorities, compensate unpopular reforms with popular ones and spend money to make reforms effective.

First, when you win an election, you may want to use your political capital immediately on your priorities before it is depleted. I think that the absence of strikes during the reform of the labor market was due to the “surprise” effect. Unions were prudent and waited to see what a young new leader of the center-left would bring about. If you aim at important issues (such as removing article 18) you may hope the reforms will endure, but you should expect that the next government will at least want to change the names of things in order to get credit for them.

Second, compensate for unpopular reforms with popular ones. We compensated for firing cost reforms with more unemployment benefits and active labor market policies. Unfortunately, we did not do enough on active labor market policies and we got the timing wrong: active labor market policies should have come prior to firing cost reform, because first you offer the carrot and then the stick and because active labor market policies require a long implementation period and the interaction of various actors: public employment services, the regional governments and private employment agencies.

Third, spend money to make reforms effective. We accompanied the abolition of article 18 with two dedicated measures in the 2015 budget law: (a) a three-year tax break for social security contributions, and (b) a corporate tax (IRAP) cut on labor costs applicable only to permanent contracts. This meant creating a cost wedge between permanent and temporary contracts. Conventional wisdom has it that one of the best ways to make the former more appealing is to make it cheaper than the latter. A generous tax break made a difference by incentivizing the use of permanent contracts and encouraged the perception that the reform was working.

GLO: What is your advice for the current phase of anti-reform sentiments?

Marco Leonardi: There could be two reasons why people seem to be adverse to reforms in many countries. The first might be because the reforms did not work or because they did not work for all in the same way. To make reforms work we need to focus on implementation: you may do less, but what you do must affect people’s lives in a simple way. Politicians often forget that somebody must take care of all the details of the implementation. Let’s take the example of a new measure against poverty for which the beneficiaries must fill in a new request module. Somebody must follow all the administrative processes that bring the law into effect, from the first parliamentary draft up to the implementation of the software to request the new subsidy online. No law produces real effects until the moment it is “online,” and there are several steps that must be taken to achieve this, including the involvement of the many administrations that have to do with the measure at various steps. Very often the laws are ineffective because their implementation is flawed, and a policy unit’s job is to watch over the laws until their implementation is complete.

The second issue regards the distribution of benefits. Many reforms are perceived as targeted at a few people rather than at everyone. In our time, when information is available to everybody through many of the same channels (TV and social media), it is important to stress the redistributive characteristics of all policy measures. In our case, the reform of the labor market occurred concurrently with a significant increase in the number of employed people (probably in part due to the reform itself), and yet people perceived the precariousness of the new jobs that had been created rather than their number. We should have highlighted more the redistributive feature of the reform (more people having a chance to find a job) rather than merely the increase in the number of those employed.

GLO: Thank you very much. (Questions by Klaus F. Zimmermann)

Pre-publication of a GLO post (glabor.org).


Klaus F. Zimmermann & Marco Leonardi

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WageIndicator movement celebrates 20 years of successful activities

The WageIndicator, Pauline Osse, the WageIndicator Foundation and all the teams in the participating countries celebrate 20 years of successful activities around the globe. The Glabor Labor Organization (GLO), affiliated with WageIndicator, takes this opportunity to congratulate a great institution that has contributed to global transparency, understanding and well-being. In an interview with GLO, the Director has answered a few questions about the organization, vision and work of WageIndicator.

The Interview

Pauline Osse

Director Pauline Osse has been a journalist for all her life. She worked for various magazines, the Dutch trade union and as a freelancer before she created the WageIndicator movement.

Now, the WageIndicator Foundation is a global player producing an international trademark.

In 2017, Pauline Osse and her organization were supporters of the newly created Global Labor Organization (GLO) from the first hour.

GLO: To collect wage microdata through the internet was quite innovative two decades ago. What was the origin of your initiative?

The first trigger was the insight that working people everywhere lacked access to adequate wage information. This became clear to me back in 1999 when I set up the website for the Dutch trade unions. People wanted to know ‘what should I earn, what can I ask, what is the going market rate for someone like me, trucker, cleaning lady?’ And the unions could not give that information. What the Collective Agreement said, yes, maybe, but not the real wage the market would pay. For the real wages one needed large scale research. And nobody did this for a lower level then CEO’s.

The second trigger was a small benchmark tool available online at the time for the Dutch highly educated white male employee. But what about me, a working women? And what about all the other working women, taking care for our children, houses, family? Why only information for the rich and highly educated? What about vulnerable groups at the lower end of the labor market? And indeed, what about labor markets in poorer countries? Why wasn’t there such a benchmark tool for everyone?

So I got in touch with Kea Tijdens, a specialist in gender studies at the University of Amsterdam and we sat together. Kea is great at designing surveys and knows how to structure data sets and handle microdata. I knew a bit about the internet already. We put 2 and 2 together and came up with our first online survey. It was 2000, the internet was still young. But it worked. The data we collected was enough to build a salary check, reflecting the real wages for specific occupations. We put our salary check online as a benchmark on a dedicated website and promoted it. This worked too. Ever since we have been refining and extending the salary check, the occupations covered, and the number of national websites. After 20 years – and over 100 countries –  the salary check is still very much at the core of our activities.

GLO: You are about to become a truly global player. What brought the breakthrough and what are the major products?

We did not stop at collecting microdata on real wages and – later – cost of living. Our websites today have much more to offer than just microdata. We offer statutory minimum wages, we have living wages for countries and regions within, we have a full text – and coded Collective Agreement-database and sample Collective Agreements to draw on, we have built and keep extending a country specific labor law database with tailor-made information on social security and the like, now covering 100 countries. Every step, every extension has been a response to what our web visitors told us they needed. The pressing problems of people we met in the field while doing offline research were also key in directing our work.

Our work essentially is piecemeal engineering, really. So it is difficult to pinpoint breakthroughs. But, as I remember it, a few moments stand out. Take for instance our first extension abroad. In 2004 we rolled out national WageIndicator websites in 9 European countries. All had a salary check, our prime product. That first extension abroad may be called a breakthrough: our idea worked there too!

By then we had already decided that every next step, every extension should be designed and constructed in such a way that all data was internally consistent and compatible. Right from the start every tool we use has been of our own making to make sure that all data and all information we elaborate adds up and is internationally comparable. All data is coded, all clauses are annotated. As a result of this early decision, today, as we speak, we run similar operations in over 100 countries. And we hope to serve people in 150 countries in 2020.

I also remember vividly Paraguay 2006. We met trade union members there, very poor people, and explained what we were doing. Their reaction was: what is this talk about minimum wage, maximum wage. The maximum here is the minimum wage, if we get it at all. And we don’t even know what the minimum is! If there ever was an eye opener, it was this one. So we started our collection of minimum wages and we started it in India, with its highly complex patchwork of minimum wages. Today, as a result, we offer the largest minimum wage database in the world within easy reach of everyone, anywhere, including Paraguay. On average each month 50,000 people consult our website there: in Paraguay alone! And a majority visit the minimum wage page first.

Around 2010 it became clear that living wage data was in great demand too. But how to come by living wages? What is a living wage? I thought that the best reference would have been the wages from Collective Agreements. If anything, that wage level should be enough to guarantee a decent living. If one supposed that the legal minimum wage was too low, then one might use the Collective Agreement-wages as a benchmark to eventually arrive at living wages. We should therefore offer a simple negotiating tool, based on existing Collective Agreements. This internal discussion resulted in two databases that we added to our salary check, minimum wages and labor law database: a living wage concept of our own design and a Collective Agreement-database from which we derive sample Collective Agreements.

Which brings me to our Decent Work Check. It is based on labor law and has been inspired by people’s pressing needs. During 2007 and 2008 in a dozen or so countries in Latin America, East and West Africa we organized fact finding sessions in remote rural areas. In order to structure the debate we handed out a small questionnaire. It took participants a few minutes to fill out by ticking multiple choice boxes. The answers added up to a score. This score told them right away where they stood in terms of compliance with working conditions as in their national labor law. Ten years later this tried and tested tool has been used to create a factory-level survey for both Indonesia and Ethiopia, where it has been applied to conduct face-to-face interviews with workers and hr-staff in the garment sector. After consultation with factory owners the compliance-with-the-law-results are published as factory pages on our national websites in those two countries. The factory pages are seen as so called Worker Driven Social Responsibility.  

GLO: Nowadays, WageIndicator is a trademark. But it is not protected, so how do you survive?

Well, I don’t know about the trademark, I couldn’t tell. But in Holland, after 20 years, we surely are a household-name. And we know that our data is widely drawn upon and used by policy makers, many small employers, multinationals, journalists and academics. Even after 20 years, we stick to our policy of putting all our data online as soon as we have double checked that it is accurate, factual and up to date. We just have to offer more than others, be faster, better and transparent.

We always try to come up with creative answers to people’s questions, even like: if you can do this, can you also do that? Such questions also come from governments and multinationals, but these don’t pay always. They simply assume that the data we publish is for free, since it is published. Doing projects together is one way to raise income. Selling data another.

GLO: Your venture has limited funds. So one does not get rich working for WageIndicator. How do you keep the spirit alive?

We want our data to reach as many people as possible. We are motivated by the urge to liberate the ordinary working women and men through empowerment by providing them with clear cut information that helps them in taking their own decisions. To never take no for an answer. So that they no longer depend on their parents, the trade union, the government or any other authority to tell them what is possible and what not.

This questioning reflex surely comes from journalism, my trade. Why don’t workers automatically get the information from the Collective Agreements concluded on their behalf, why do we have to unearth legal minimum wage information and decipher labor law? Why is is not made accessible in understandable language in the first place? This information belongs to the people, by definition. It is unfair to keep it from them. The way we present it makes them say: ah, now I understand what is in the law for me, finally. And: I feel respected, thank you for that. This certainly motivates our team.

We are an internet-based micro multinational. Our team spirit is highly entrepreneurial. We are builders. The gender angle that has been with us from the beginning is reflected in the composition of our global team. Most have children. We make our own creative flow. If we have the money, we invest in improvement and extension. If we have less money we continue building and updating anyhow. You can also look at us as a family enterprise. Even when some cherished team members leave us, because of an attractive job offer elsewhere, they keep in touch with the family, and continue with us by offering coaching and mentorship for free, for ever. They stay with us in the same spirit. We are all about diversity and inclusion. And the fact that in our daily work we do something meaningful to liberate simple working people by giving them the information they need, is a binding force as well.

GLO: What next innovations may we expect?

Perfect websites, perfect databases in 150 countries, many countries with good Collective Agreement databases, factory pages giving overviews of compliance with the labor law. And a platform with social protection tools for the platform workers.

The interviewer from GLO has been Klaus F. Zimmermann.

The Scientific coordinator of WageIndicator is GLO Fellow Kea Tijdens

Kea Tijdens
Share and Compare Wages, Labor Laws and Career

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#Brexit has become a cliffhanger! But both most likely outcomes of the challenge may also bring long-term chances.

Many people think that a leave of the UK from the European Union is something like the largest mistake in a lifetime after decades of European integration efforts. Still there is hope that the Brits could correct the decision in a second referendum. After the rejected Brexit deal of Theresa May in the British Parliament, such hopes became stronger.

A recent survey among 1,693 adults in the UK has investigated the options for the situation after a rejection of May’s Brexit deal in the British parliament. The “no-deal”, cold Brexit is expected by 35%, while a “second referendum” ranks only third with 21% behind 23% for “don’t know”. This means that the chances are low. How big is the disaster?

Reference Link.

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Klaus F. Zimmermann is Professor Emeritus of Bonn University, Honorary Professor of Maastricht University, the Free University of Berlin and Renmin University of China, Beijing. He is Co-Director of POP at UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, and President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

Interview

GLO: Are you surprised about the large rejection of the Brexit deal?

Klaus F. Zimmermann: Yes, this is kind of a Kamikaze behavior, untypical for a Parliament at fairly normal times. It has been know that the British MPs are quite critical about the EU, and the UK was never a friend of a political union in Europe. An acceptance of the May deal with the EU would have finalized the move out on March 29, at least on paper. Once out, one could have acted more radical. Now those responsible have to fear that the potentially large damage of a cold Brexit generates a stronger desire for a second referendum.

GLO: What do you expect to happen now, general elections, a new referendum, a cold Brexit, or else?

Klaus F. Zimmermann: Now Theresa May wants to speak with all sides among the MPs. This seems a bit too late. Everybody in the Parliament fears general elections, not even the labor party can be sure to win in such a divided situation. The country is split in two nearly equal blocks with opposite positions. It is not even obvious that a second referendum will bring a strong majority for one side. Hence, my best guess is that the outcome is a cold Brexit. However, I think that this would be really a big problem. With such an important decision with very long-term consequences for the well – being of the people it is not a shame to think twice and to correct a mistake.

GLO: What are the consequences for Europe?

Klaus F. Zimmermann: Never waste a crisis! Europe has better things to do, but forced to adjust there are two potentials: First, in the likely case of a cold Brexit, the damage for the UK will be substantial, and also the remaining EU will suffer. At least Scotland will try to leave the UK and seek to join the EU. This will signal to the 27 member states that it does not pay to leave. Further, it increases the incentives to develop the EU stronger and faster, in particular since the UK was always hesitant about a stronger political and economic integration and can no longer object. Second, if a cold Brexit does not happen because the British MPs fear the consequences, another referendum is likely. It can lead to a “Remain” and start a cultural change in the UK, where the British people better understand the benefits of the larger European Union. The EU could then be more dynamic than it otherwise would have been.

See GLO Website of January 18, 2019.

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After the Brexit vote: Martin Kahanec of the Central European University of Budapest analyzes the consequences for the European continent, and Eastern Europe in particular.

Stability in a dramatic phase of instability: Theresa May remains Prime Minister in a parliamentary vote the day after she has experienced “the largest defeat for a sitting government in history” on her Brexit deal with the EU in the British Parliament on Tuesday night (January 15, 2019). The country is deeply divided, the political system looks like a lame duck. What are the consequences for continental Europe?

Some people argue that the Brexit situation and the uncertainty will also harm the countries on the European continent. Martin Kahanec has written many scientific contributions and policy briefs on the European integration and the role of migration in particular from Eastern Europe. His early insights matter a lot at this stage of the Brexit process.

Martin Kahanec is a Professor and Head of the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest. He is Founder and Scientific Director of CELSI, Bratislava, a Chairperson of the Slovak Economic Association and Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

The Interview

KFZ: Are you surprised about the large rejection of the Brexit deal?

Martin Kahanec: The landslide is perhaps a bit surprising, but there are several well-defined groups who had every reason to vote against the Brexit deal. One group are those, mainly from the Labor camp, who oppose May, or saw a “nay” as the only way to have a second referendum, or both. Among those who wish for a second referendum are probably a good number of conservatives, too. The other group is composed of those, primarily conservatives, who consider it a bad deal, not protecting the UK’s interests adequately. And then there is the DUP, who oppose the Northern Ireland backstop. It is hard to imagine a deal that would be accepted by some majority in the House of Commons and by the 27 EU member states as well, and with May investing very little in cross-party consensus building, the “nay” result was to be expected.

KFZ: What do you expect to happen now, general elections, a new referendum, a cold Brexit, or else?

Martin Kahanec: I have no crystal ball. I hope for a new referendum, resulting in the UK remaining in the EU. With Corbyn as a staunch Brexiter at the helm of Labor, one important question is what is needed for him to reflect on the preferences of the majority of his party’s constituency, and turn Labor determinedly in favor of Remain. Whereas postponing Brexit by several months can give some time for what I see as forces of reason to take their effects, I am also afraid that a prolonged agony may further deepen the cleavages and sharpen the tensions in the British society, furthering its polarization, and leaving little space for consensus building. But a cross-party consensus, and strong leadership of the Speaker of the House, are very much needed to avoid a crash-Brexit and explore the options for a new deal or a second, possibly binding referendum.

KFZ: What are the consequences for Europe?

Martin Kahanec: On the one hand, the rejection of the deal is a lifeline for Remain hopes. On the other hand, the ultimate outcome is as unclear as ever. This uncertainty is very unhelpful for the European economy. If the UK leaves the EU, the economic consequences for the EU (and even more so for the UK) will be very much on the negative side. In particular, it will be a major challenge for the eastern member states of the EU. Hundreds of thousands of eastern Europeans work in the UK. Some of them will consider returning to their home countries. As they are primarily young, and have acquired many hard and soft skills in the UK, their return would help the labor markets and public budgets back home. However, they would likely be less productive in their home countries than in the UK, and so their incomes would go down. This and the reduced interstate mobility would also decrease productivity in Europe and hurt its capacity to absorb economic shocks. An abrupt return of large numbers of workers to the sending countries could exceed the capacity of their labor markets, social security and health care systems, and social services to absorb them, creating temporary congestion and resulting in tensions between returnees and their compatriots. The UK will also be hurt: it will lose many thousands of skilled, hard working men and women and talented students from eastern Europe. The UK is also a major trading partner and source of investment for the eastern member states. Brexit would significantly reduce the gains from that trade and investment for both parties. 

Martin Kahanec (left) and Klaus F. Zimmermann in front of the Central European University in Budapest

Note: KFZ here is Klaus F. Zimmermann, UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University and President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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Coventry, United Kingdom: 28th EBES Conference.

28th EBES Conference. May 29-31, 2019 in Coventry, United Kingdom
Hosted by the Centre for Financial and Corporate Integrity (CFCI), Coventry University
. Supported by the Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Interested researchers are cordially invited to submit abstracts or papers for presentation consideration at the 28th EBES Conference in Coventry. It will take place on May 29th, 30th, and 31st, 2019 at Coventry University in Coventry, United Kingdom. The conference will be organized with the support of the Istanbul Economic Research Association and will be hosted by the Centre for Financial and Corporate Integrity (CFCI) in collaboration with the Coventry Business School Trading Floor. To support the event, the Global Labor Organization (GLO) will organize three invited paper sessions.

Invited Speakers are David B. Audretsch, Marco Vivarelli and Klaus F. Zimmermann.

David B. Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University, where he also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies. He is an Honorary Professor of Industrial Economics and Entrepreneurship at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and a Research Fellow of the CEPR in London. He has also worked as a consultant to the UN, World Bank, OECD, EU Commission, and U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Prof. Audretsch’s research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development, and global competitiveness. He is co-author of The Seven Secrets of Germany (Oxford University Press) along with several other books. He is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal and many other journals. He was awarded the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum (Entreprenörskapsforum). He has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Augsburg in Germany and Jonköping University in Sweden. Prof. Audretsch was also awarded the Schumpeter Prize from the University of Wuppertal in Germany. He has served as an advisory board member to a number of international research and policy institutes, including Chair of the Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Berlin(German Institute for Economic Analysis Berlin), Chair of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Foundation for the Promotion of German Science) in Berlin, Germany, and the Center for European Economic Research (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) in Mannheim, Germany etc. He has authored numerous papers which were published in prestigious journals such as American Economic Review, European Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, and Journal of Management and his researches have been cited more than 77,000 (Google Scholar). He holds a PhD in economics from University of Wisconsin, Madison in U.S.A.

Marco Vivarelli, Ph.D. in Economics and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Policy, is full professor at the Catholic University of Milano, where he is also Director of the Institute of Economic Policy. He is Professorial Fellow at UNU-MERIT, Maastricht; Research Fellow at IZA, Bonn; Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO). He is member of the Scientific Executive Board of the Eurasia Business and Economics Society (EBES, Istanbul); member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO, Vienna) and has been scientific consultant for the International Labour Office (ILO), World Bank (WB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the European Commission. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Eurasian Business Review, Editor of Small Business Economics, Associate Editor of Industrial and Corporate Change, Associate Editor of Economics E-Journal, member of the Editorial Board of Sustainability and he has served as referee for more than 70 international journals. He is author/editor of various books and his papers have been published in journals such as Cambridge Journal of Economics, Canadian Journal of Economics, Economics Letters, Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economics, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Labour Economics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Regional Studies, Research Policy, Small Business Economics, Southern Economic Journal, World Bank Research Observer, World Development. His current research interests include the relationship between innovation, employment and skills; the labor market and income distribution impacts of globalization; the entry and post-entry performance of newborn firms.

Abstract/Paper Submission: Authors are invited to submit their abstracts or papers no later than February 28, 2018. For submission, please visit the EBES website at https://www.ebesweb.org/Conferences/28th-EBES-Conference-Coventry/Abstract-Submission.aspx. No submission fee is required. General inquiries regarding the call for papers should be directed to ebes@ebesweb.org.

Publication Opportunities: Qualified papers can be published (after refereeing) in the EBES journals (no submission and publication fees). EBES journals (Eurasian Business Review and Eurasian Economic Review) are published by Springer Nature and indexed by SCOPUS, EBSCO EconLit with Full Text, Google Scholar, ABI/INFORM, ABS Academic Journal Quality Guide, CNKI, EBSCO Business Source, EBSCO Discovery Service, EBSCO TOC Premier, Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate Analytics), International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), OCLC, ProQuest Business Premium Collection, ProQuest Central, ProQuest Turkey Database, Research Papers in Economics (RePEc), Summon by ProQuest, Cabell’s Directory, and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.

Furthermore, qualified papers after review will be recommended to be considered for publication in regular issues of the Journal of Corporate Finance after a review process. However, presentation at the EBES Conference does not guarantee publication in the Journal of Corporate Finance.

Also all accepted abstracts will be published electronically in the Conference Program and the Abstract Book (with an ISBN number). It will be distributed to all conference participants at the conference via USB. Although submitting full papers are not required, all the submitted full papers will also be included in the conference proceedings in the USB. After the conference, participants will also have the opportunity to send their paper to be published in the Springer’s series Eurasian Studies in Business and Economics (no submission and publication fees).

This will also be sent to Clarivate Analytics in order to be reviewed for coverage in the Conference Proceedings Citation Index – Social Science & Humanities (CPCI-SSH). Please note that the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 19th EBES Conference Proceedings were accepted for inclusion in the Conference Proceedings Citation Index – Social Science & Humanities (CPCI-SSH). 18th, 20th and subsequent conference proceedings are in progress.

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Deadline: February 28, 2019
Decision Communicated by: March 8, 2019*
Registration Deadline: April 19, 2019
Announcement of the Program: April 30, 2019
Paper Submission Deadline (Optional): April 19, 2019**
Paper Submission for the EBES journals: July 31, 2019
* The decision regarding the acceptance/rejection of each abstract/paper will be communicated with the corresponding author within a week of submission.
** Full paper submission is optional. If you want to be considered for the Best Paper Award or your full paper to be included in the conference proceedings in the USB, after submitting your abstract before February 28, 2018, you must also submit your completed (full) paper by April 19, 2019.

Contact: Ugur Can (ebes@ebesweb.org); Ender Demir (demir@ebesweb.org)

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Quo vadis, Brexit? Economics Professor Jonathan Portes has some first answers.

A majority of 230 votes in the British Parliament has rejected the Brexit deal of Theresa May with the EU late evening of Tuesday (January 15, 2019). This has been called by BBC as “the largest defeat for a sitting government in history”.

While some now expect a hard Brexit without a transition phase others push for a second referendum to reverse the Brexit vote. Jonathan Portes is a long-term analyst of the Brexit vote, and has warned early about its dangers. He has published many research articles and policy briefs on the matter. His early insights matter so much about this challenge for the long-term well being of Europe.

Jonathan Portes is Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe, King’s College, London, and Fellow of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

The Interview

KFZ: Are you surprised about the large rejection of the Brexit deal?

Jonathan Portes: Yes. Few expected quite such a heavy defeat – more than half of Conservative backbenchers rejected it as did almost the entire Parliamentary Labour Party. But the key is that while there was a huge majority against the deal, there is no majority for any particular alternative. Most Conservatives who voted against did so because they prefer No Deal, or think the EU27 will agree under the threat of No Deal to remove the so-called backstop. But most Labour MPs voted against because they want a permanent customs union, Single Market membership, or to remain in the EU.

KFZ: What do you expect to happen now, general elections, a new referendum, a cold Brexit, or else?

Jonathan Portes: Nobody knows. The vote clearly increases the probability of No Deal – it also increases the probability of a second referendum. The key is whether the majority in Parliament that rejects No Deal will be able to decide on a single way forward, whether that’s Single Market membership/the “Norway option” or a second referendum. And that will depend on whether enough Conservative MPs are prepared to defy the strong views of their own membership and the obstinacy of Theresa May, who so far has proved entirely unwilling to seek a cross-party compromise.

KFZ: What are the consequences for Europe?

Jonathan Portes: The EU27 can do little except wait for the UK to sort itself out. There is little point in making minor changes to the deal on the table when the UK is so divided. We simply are not currently in a position to negotiate in a credible way. The sensible thing for the EU to do is to continue to prepare for No Deal, while being prepared to response positively when the UK – perhaps under a different Prime Minister or government – actually demonstrates that there is a Parliamentary majority for a specific way forward, particularly if it involves extending Article 50 to allow a second referendum, a general election, or some other process.

Note: KFZ here is Klaus F. Zimmermann, UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University and President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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