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Poor Institutions, Rich Mines: Resource Curse and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia - Buonanno, Paolo; Durante , Ruben; Prarolo, Giovanni; Vanin, Paolo
This study explains the emergence of the Sicilian mafia in the XIX century as the product of the interaction between natural resource abundance and weak institutions. We advance the hypothesis that the mafia emerged after the collapse of the Bourbon Kingdom in a context characterized by a severe lack of state property-right enforcement in response to the rising demand for the protection of sulfur - Sicily's most valuable export commodity - whose demand in the international markets was soaring at the time. We test this hypothesis combining data on the early presence of the mafia and on the distribution of...
Self-Financing of Traditional and R&D Investments: Evidence from Italian SMEs - Brighi, Paola; Patuelli, Roberto; Torluccio, Giuseppe
Self-financing has often been seen as an important source for research-and-development (R&D) funding. However, an in-depth comparison between the determinants of self-financing in the case of traditional investments versus those in R&D has not been provided yet. We use a comprehensive data set of Italian manufacturing firms to investigate this issue. We analyse the role of a wide number of financial variables in driving the rate of self-financing of firms, in both traditional and R&D investments, and we focus on public subsidies and firm size as critical factors explaining heterogeneity. First, we perform logit and logistic regressions separately for traditional...
Does inequality harm democracy? An empirical investigation
on the UK - Soci, Anna; Maccagnan, Anna; Mantovani, Daniela
This paper presents an empirical investigation about the effect of an increase in economic inequality on some aspects of the quality of a democracy. The main novelty of the paper lies in its methodology: it applies to a single country (instead of a pool of countries) - the UK - in a long run perspective. Using survey data, we select three questions and check whether an increase in inequality alters the answers to these questions, subject to other control variables. Another novelty is the use of several measures of inequality (rather than the usual GINI only) both for disentangling what...
La responsiveness dei sistemi sanitari: un’analisi empirica sull’assistenza ospedaliera nel Servizio Sanitario Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna - Robone, Silvana; Fiorentini, Gianluca; Nicoli, M. Augusta; Stefania, Rodella
The release of the World Health Report 2000 has brought to the fore the concept of responsiveness as an indicator of
health system performance. Responsiveness relates to a system’s ability to respond to the legitimate expectations of potential users about non-health enhancing aspects of care (Valentine et al. 2003). A few studies have investigated how standard socio-demographic characteristics (such as income or education) have an influence on the evaluation of responsiveness by health care users (Puentes Rosas et al. 2006, Sirven et al. 2012, Rice et al. 2012). However, we are not aware of any study investigating the relationship between the...
Are bad health and pain making us grumpy? An empirical evaluation of reporting heterogeneity in rating health system responsiveness - Fiorentini, Gianluca; Ragazzi, Giovanni; Robone, Silvana
This paper considers the influence of patients’ characteristics on their evaluation of a health system’s responsiveness, that is, a system’s ability to respond to the legitimate expectations of potential users regarding non-health enhancing aspects of care (Valentine et al. 2003a). Since responsiveness is evaluated by patients on a categorical scale, their selfevaluation can be affected by the phenomenon of reporting heterogeneity (Rice et al. 2012).
A few studies have investigated how standard socio-demographic characteristics influence the reporting style of health care users with regard to the question of the health system’s responsiveness (Sirven et al. 2012, Rice et al. 2012). However,...
Separating Gender Composition Effect from Peer Effects in Education - Jahanshahi, Babak
This paper aims to highlight the importance of considering endogenous peer effects, as defined by Manski (1993), in order to identify gender composition effect on education outcome appropriately. Using Manski (1993) linear-in-means model, this paper illustrates that the gender composition effect that is currently estimated in education function is the function of three parameters: social multiplier, gender differences in outcome and gender composition effect (known as a gender peer effect). The appropriate gender peer effect is identified after using Graham's variance restriction method to identify and rule out a social multiplier effect. The findings suggest that a social multiplier plays...
Production theory: accounting for firm heterogeneity and technical change - Dosi, Giovanni; Grazzi, Marco; Marengo, Luigi; Settepanella, Simona
The paper presents a new framework to assess firm level heterogeneity and to study the rate and direction of technical change. Building on the analysis of revealed short-run production functions by Hildenbrand (1981), we propose the (normalized) volume of the zonotope composed by vectors-firms in a narrowly defined industry as an indicator of inter-firm heterogeneity. Moreover, the angles that the main diagonal of the zonotope form with the axes provide a measure of the rates and directions of technical change over time. The proposed framework can easily account for n-inputs and m-outputs and, crucially, the measures of heterogeneity and technical...
Trade, externalities, and the impact of asymmetric information on trade policy - Gori, Giuseppe Francesco; Lambertini, Luca
This paper investigates the relationship between trade liberalisation, consumers' environmental awareness and a negative environmental externality in consumption. We adopt an international Hotelling duopoly setup, where firms are located in two asymmetric countries. We find that, if the intensity of environmental externality is common knowledge for country governments, this setup delivers no need of accompanying trade policies in order to enforce trade liberalisation. In the opposite case, in which information is asymmetric, i.e., the small country's Government cannot observe the positive enviromental effects of its firm's exports to foreign consumers, we find that: (i) the Pareto optimum is always enforced,...
R&D for green technologies in a dynamic oligopoly: Schumpeter, Arrow and inverted-U’s - Feichtinger, Gustav; Lambertini, Luca; Leitmann, George; Wrzaczek, Stefan
We extend a well known differential oligopoly game to encompass the possibility for production to generate a negative environmental externality, regulated through Pigouvian taxation and price caps. We show that, if the price cap is set so as to fix the tolerable maximum amount of emissions, the resulting equilibrium investment in green R&D is indeed concave in the structure of the industry. Our analysis appears to indicate that inverted-U-shaped investment curves are generated by regulatory measures instead of being a "natural" feature of firms’ decisions.
Bankruptcy Remoteness and Incentive-compatible Securitization - Chiesa, Gabriella
ecuritization performs two functions. One refers to the risk allocation between the bank and outside investors; the other consists of creating transferable/liquid securities. A key ingredient of liquid/claimtransferability is bankruptcy remoteness - the insolvency of the sponsor (the loan originator) has no impact on the securities. We explore the implications of bankruptcy remoteness on risk allocation and regulatory/policy issues. Under traditional banking, when debt/deposits coexist with securitization, bankruptcy remoteness amounts to: i) a seniority structure when debt/deposits (the claim that insist on the bank as a whole) have the lowest priority; ii) the bank finds it optimal to grant securities...
Safe Assets’ Scarcity, Liquidity and Spreads - Chiesa, Gabriella
This paper constructs a simple general equilibrium model to analyse the interactions between the financial and the real sector in an environment where liquidity holdings is an input of the credit/investment process. The supply of liquidity is constrained in that income pledgeability limits inside liquidity, and not all sovereign debt is safe/liquid. We pin down the determinants of liquidity/collateral premia and bond spreads, and with reference to the eurozone: (i) the implications of the ECB’s policies on liquidity provision and credit, and (ii) the debt management policy that would increase welfare with
no need for transfer payments.
Arts vs Engineering: The Choice among Consumption of and Investment in Education - Romano, Richard; Tampieri, Alessandro
In this paper we develop a model in which students choose their university coursework based on both investment and consumption incentives. We show that these education decisions are socially inefficient. This result is driven by the fact that students do not consider an externality in the working environment of acquiring education for investment purposes. We show when and how it is possible to design tuition fees in such a way that students acquire the socially optimal level of education.
Process Innovation and Product Quality Improvement in a Dynamic Monopoly - Lambertini, Luca; Orsini, Raimondello
We investigate the optimal R&D portfolio of a single-product monopolist investing in cost-reducing activities accompanied by efforts improving the quality of its product. There emerges that the firm’s relative incentives along the two directions are conditional upon market affluency, measured by consumers’ willingness to pay for quality, and R&D efforts are complements at equilibrium. We also perform the stability analysis, showing that a stable branch exists along the quality dimension only.
Dealing with minor illnesses: the link between primary care
characteristics and First Aid Clinics’ attendancesA - Donatini, Andrea; Fiorentini, Gianluca; Lippi Bruni, Matteo; Mammi, Irene; Ugolini, Cristina
The reformulation of existing boundaries between primary and secondary care, in order to shift selected services traditionally provided by Emergency Departments to community-based alternatives has determined a variety of organisational solutions aimed at reducing the ED overcrowding. One innovative change has been the introduction of fast-track systems for minor injuries or illnesses, whereby community care providers are involved in order to divert patients away from EDs. These facilities offer an open-access service for patients not requiring hospital treatments, and may be staffed by nurses and/or primary care general practitioners operating within, or alongside, the ED. To date little research has...
Time Preference Instability, Financial and Working Status - Giannetti, Caterina
In this paper we study the drivers of change in individuals’ discount rates. Our panel dataset allows us to jointly consider socio-demographics, financial status and literacy, as well as job characteristics among the possible determinants. Our results suggest that individual time-preferences are not stable over time, especially among individuals who hold debts. Labour market variables do not play any direct role. A large part of the variation, however, is not explained by none these drivers. This supports the view that discount rates are related to an underlying unobservable individual trait.
Fiscal Rules and Public Spending: Evidence from Italian Municipalities - Gregori, Wildmer Daniel
The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent to which local budget spending composition reacts to fiscal rules variations. I consider the budget of Italian municipalities and exploit specific changes in the Domestic Stability Pact’s rules, to perform a difference-in-discontinuities analysis. The results show that not all rules are equally effective: imposing a cap on the total amount of consumption and investment is not as binding as two caps, one specific for consumption and a different one for investment spending. More specifically, the consumption variation is triggered by changes in the level of wages and services spending, while...