Monday, January 20, 2014

Wieviel verdient denn wer in Österreich?

Der neo-Politiker Egon Freund hat in einem Interview das durchschnittliche Bruttoeinkommen eines Arbeiters auf rund Euro 3.000,- pro Monat geschätzt. Das hat eine heftige Diskussion losgetreten--die Journalistinnen Eva Linsinger und Rosemarie Schwaiger haben im Artikel den Betrag mit rund Euro 2.000,- angegeben.

Die beste Quelle für derartige Zahlen ist der "Allgemeine Einkommensbericht des Rechnungshofes" (genauer: "Bericht des Rechnungshofes über die durchschnittlichen Einkommen der gesamten Bevölkerung gemäß Art. 1 § 8 Abs. 4 des Bezügebegrenzungsgesetzes, BGBl. I Nr. 64/1997, getrennt nach Branchen, Berufsgruppen und Funktionen für die Jahre 2010 und 2011").

Hier findet sich auf Seite 211 folgende Übersicht für Personen, die 2011 vollzeitlich beschäftigt waren (ohne Lehrlinge), die Daten basieren auf den Lohnsteuermeldungen und Sozialversicherungsdaten:

Median Durchschnitt
Arbeiter und -innen 26.264 26.486
Angestellte 35.803 42.954
Vertragsbedienstete 35.251 37.686
Beamte und -innen 50.657 53.896

Der Brutto-Netto-Rechner des BM für Finanzen gibt für einen Arbeiter in OÖ, bei einem monatlichen Bezug von Euro 3.000,- (ohne Kinder, ohne Pendlerpauschale) ein Jahreseinkommen für 2011 von Brutto Euro 42.000,- an. Ein derartiger Monatsbezug von Euro 2000 resultiert in einem Jahreseinkommen von Euro 28.000,-, was ungefähr dem durschnittlichen Bruttojahreseinkommen von (männlichen) Arbeitern im Jahr 2011 entspricht (Euro 28.082,-, Seite 215).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

interpreting scientific claims

Nature has a great list of

20 concepts that should be part of the education of civil servants, politicians, policy advisers and journalists — and anyone else who may have to interact with science or scientists. Politicians with a healthy scepticism of scientific advocates might simply prefer to arm themselves with this critical set of knowledge.

Let's improve the "education of civil servants, politicians, policy advisers and journalists"--they seem to need it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

keeping the doctor away

New research investigates the effect of preventive health using field experiments.

Results have important policy conclusions:
1. poor households do not take preventative health measures because they are unwilling to pay for them.
2. information campaigns have relatively low impact
3. peer effects matter, however, only when information asymmetry is likely to matter

There is more: Jennifer M. Meredith, Jonathan Robinson, Sarah Walker, Bruce Wydick, "Keeping the Doctor Away: Experimental Evidence on Investment in Preventative Health Products", NBER Working Paper No. 19312.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who can afford to discriminate against women?

Short answer: only firms that operate in a non-competitive environment can afford to discriminate (unfairly), a competitive market forces firms that are not profit-maximizing to leave the market.

To find convincing evidence for this is difficult, however, economists have come up with several strategies (e.g., the degree of competion in an industry, variation over time, et cetera).

My colleagues Mario Lackner and Christine Zulehner have a new working paper where they exploit a market where some firms have market power due to an institutionalized cartel: Universites that automatically qualify for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in collegiate football have greater market power than those which do not qualify automatically.

They show that a higher market share results in a greater wage difference between male and female head coaches. In addition, female coaches are being crowded out by men.

Only firms with market power can sustain the cost disadvantages resulting from discriminating against a certain type of employee.

Monday, July 1, 2013

some history of mortgage-covered bonds

Kirsten Wandschneider describes the history of mortgage-covered bonds by looking at "Landschaften", public non-profit institutions that issued covered bonds and formalized the mortgage market in Prussia. These bonds still serve as a template for todays financial intermediaries.

What is particularly striking is the success of these bonds as the market was dominated by borrowers who were a poor credit risk, aka "lemons", hence the title of the paper "Lending to Lemons". The landed gentry after the Seven Years War and the credit crisis of 1763 was heavily indebted and to overcome adverse selection, the risk of lending was spread over a larger area, the "Landschaften", automatically including all noble estates.

The historical example highlights successful financial innovation but also shows, which institutional features made covered bonds successful to this day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

big data and economic research

Liran Einav and Jonathan D. Levin highlight how "big data" could change economic research. Being a regular data cruncher myself, this is a welcome contribution as (applied micro-)economists have been skilled in the use of large data for quite some time.

Some highlights:
  • "Government administrative data are almost certainly under-utilized, both by government agencies and, because of limited and restricted access, by researchers" [my emphasis!]--hear, hear!
  • "Many government agencies are increasingly smart about using data analytics to improve their operations and services. However, most agencies almost surely lag behind"...

For all my students, this is good news---quantitative skills and analytical minds will be in demand, probably increasingly so, whether you'll be working in a private firm, in the public administration or as an academic.

Monday, May 13, 2013

boys and girls

Maybe parents treat their female and male children differently. Previous evidence indicates that parents spend more time with pre-teen sons than with pre-teen daughters, a difference that is caused by fathers spending more time with their sons.

Michael Baker and Kevin Milligan have new evidence that this extra time from fathers only emerges with age, and is not present when children are very young:
It is [pre-school] girls, not boys, who systematically, in three leading developed countries [i.e., Canada, the UK, and the US], receive more of these time inputs from their parents

But does this matter for academic achievement? They show that these differences in time are indeed important:
in each country the boy-girl difference in inputs can account for a non-trivial proportion of the boy-girl difference in preschool reading and math scores