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  • Publication
    Motherhood, pregnancy or marriage effects?
    (Elsevier, 2022-05-01) Machado, Matilde P.; Berniell, Inés; Berniell, Lucila; de la Mata, Maria Dolores; Edo, Maria; Fawaz, Yarine; Marchionni, Mariana; Comunidad de Madrid; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España)
    The existence of large child penalties on women’s labor market outcomes has been documented for multiple countries and time periods. In this paper, we assess the extent to which marriage decisions and pregnancies may partly explain these child penalties. Using data from 29 countries drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we show that although marriage has a negative effect on women’s employment (3.3%), its magnitude is much smaller than that of the negative effect of a first child (23%). Moreover, we find that pregnancies that end in non-live births have non-statistically significant effects on employment in the following years, supporting the exogeneity assumption underlying the identification in child penalty studies. These new results lend support to the hypothesis that child-rearing, rather than marriage or pregnancy, is responsible for women exiting the labor force upon motherhood.
  • Publication
    Effect of class size on student achievement in the COVID-19 "new normal"
    (Wiley, 2023-10-14) Carro, Jesús M.; Gallardo Sanchez, Pedro; Comunidad de Madrid; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España)
    The COVID-19 pandemic implied measures, such as school closures at the outbreak of the pandemic, negatively affected children's human capital. However, in some places, the situation later resulted in a reduction in class sizes in order to avoid the spread of SARS-Cov-2 in schools. We take advantage of this unexpected event to evaluate the effect on school performance of a significant class size reduction implemented in Spain, when schools were reopened. We find a positive and significant effect of the class size reduction of 0.11 standard deviations on overall students' performance. Given the situation and nature of our data, we interpret our estimates as a lower bound for the true effect of the reduction in class size. We conclude that the reduction in class size served, on average, to at least compensate for the other negative effects on learning. Our findings also point out the importance of evaluating the quality of the new and inexperienced additional teachers that need to be hired when implementing a general reduction of class size.
  • Publication
    The Impact of a Permanent Income Shock on the Situation of Women in the Household: the case of a pension reform in Argentina
    (University of Chicago, 2020-07-01) Machado, Matilde P.; Berniell, Maria Inés; de la Mata, Dolores; Comunidad de Madrid; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España); Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (España)
    Income transfers from social programs are often not gender neutral, according to the vast literature on intrahousehold decision-making and allocation, and should affect the distribution of bargaining power within the household. This result, however, was by and large established under the assumption of marriage stability. If this assumption does not hold (because of divorce or separation), then the positive response of bargaining power to income found in the empirical research may be the artifact of sample selection. In this paper, we prove that the marriage stability assumption is wrong, even when applied to seniors. We use a noncontributory pension reform in Argentina, which resulted in an unexpected and substantial increase in permanent income for at least 1.8 million women, to study its effects on outcomes related to both marital stability and women's bargaining power within the household. We find that the reform increased the probability of divorce or separation among highly educated senior women but had no impact on those with less education. Instead, the latter gained considerable bargaining power within the household by decreasing the probability of being the only one in charge of household chores along with an increase in their husbands' participation in these chores.
  • Publication
    Coverage of infertility treatment and fertility outcomes
    (Springer, 2015-10-01) Machado, Matilde P.; Anna, Sanz de Galdeano; Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (España); Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (España); Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Policy interventions that increase insurance coverage for infertility treatments may affect fertility trends, and ultimately, population age structures. However, such policies have ignored the overall impact of coverage on fertility. We examine short-term and long-term effects of increased insurance coverage for infertility on the timing of first births and on women’s total fertility rates. Our main contribution is to show that infertility mandates enacted in the United States during the 80s and 90s did not increase the total fertility rates of women by the end of their reproductive lives. We also show evidence that these mandates induced women to put off motherhood.
  • Publication
    Non-Gaussian score-driven conditionally heteroskedastic models with a macroeconomic application
    (Cambridge University Press., 2023-03-09) Blazsek, Szabolcs; Escribano, Álvaro; Licht, Adrián; Comunidad de Madrid; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España); Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    We contribute to the literature on empirical macroeconomic models with time-varying conditional moments, by introducing a heteroskedastic score-driven model with Student's t-distributed innovations, named the heteroskedastic score-driven -QVAR (quasi-vector autoregressive) model. The -QVAR model is a robust nonlinear extension of the VARMA (VAR moving average) model. As an illustration, we apply the heteroskedastic -QVAR model to a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, for which we estimate Gaussian-ABCD and -ABCD representations. We use data on economic output, inflation, interest rate, government spending, aggregate productivity, and consumption of the USA for the period of 1954 Q3 to 2022 Q1. Due to the robustness of the heteroskedastic -QVAR model, even including the period of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we find a superior statistical performance, lower policy-relevant dynamic effects, and a higher estimation precision of the impulse response function for US gross domestic product growth and US inflation rate, for the heteroskedastic score-driven -ABCD representation rather than for the homoskedastic Gaussian-ABCD representation.
  • Publication
    Assessing scale-wise similarity of curves with a thick pen: As illustrated through comparisons of spectral irradiance
    (2018-10-01) Robson, Thomas Matthew; Jach, Agnieszka Ewelina; Grané Chávez, Aurea; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Forest canopies create dynamic light environments in their understorey, where spectral composition changes among patterns of shade and sunflecks, and through the seasons with canopy phenology and sun angle. Plants use spectral composition as a cue to adjust their growth strategy for optimal resource use. Quantifying the ever-changing nature of the understorey light environment is technically challenging with respect to data collection. Thus, to capture the simultaneous variation occurring in multiple regions of the solar spectrum, we recorded spectral irradiance from forest understoreys over the wavelength range 300-800 nm using an array spectroradiometer. It is also methodologically challenging to analyze solar spectra because of their multi-scale nature and multivariate lay-out. To compare spectra, we therefore used a novel method termed thick pen transform (TPT), which is simple and visually interpretable. This enabled us to show that sunlight position in the forest understorey (i.e., shade, semi-shade, or sunfleck) was the most important factor in determining shape similarity of spectral irradiance. Likewise, the contributions of stand identity and time of year could be distinguished. Spectra from sunflecks were consistently the most similar, irrespective of differences in global irradiance. On average, the degree of cross-dependence increased with increasing scale, sometimes shifting from negative (dissimilar) to positive (similar) values. We conclude that the interplay of sunlight position, stand identity, and date cannot be ignored when quantifying and comparing spectral composition in forest understoreys. Technological advances mean that array spectroradiometers, which can record spectra contiguously over very short time intervals, are being widely adopted, not only to measure irradiance under pollution, clouds, atmospheric changes, and in biological systems, but also spectral changes at small scales in the photonics industry. We consider that TPT is an appl
  • Publication
    Combining Entropy Measures for Anomaly Detection
    (MDPI, 2018-09-01) Muñoz García, Alberto; Hernández Banadik, Nicolás Jorge; Martinez Moguerza, Javier; Martos Venturini, Gabriel Alejandro
    The combination of different sources of information is a problem that arises in several situations, for instance, when data are analysed using different similarity measures. Often, each source of information is given as a similarity, distance, or a kernel matrix. In this paper, we propose a new class of methods which consists of producing, for anomaly detection purposes, a single Mercer kernel (that acts as a similarity measure) from a set of local entropy kernels and, at the same time, avoids the task of model selection. This kernel is used to build an embedding of data in a variety that will allow the use of a (modified) one-class Support Vector Machine to detect outliers. We study several information combination schemes and their limiting behaviour when the data sample size increases within an Information Geometry context. In particular, we study the variety of the given positive definite kernel matrices to obtain the desired kernel combination as belonging to that variety. The proposed methodology has been evaluated on several real and artificial problems.
  • Publication
    Does dual employment protection affect TFP? Evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms
    (Springer, 2016-01-01) Dolado, Juan José; Ortigueira Silva, Salvador; Stucchi, Rodolfo Mario
    This paper analyzes how changes in the firing-costs gap between permanent and temporary workers affect firms¿ TFP in a dual labour market. We argue that, under plausible conditions, firms¿ temp-to-perm conversion rates go down when this gap increases. Temporary workers respond to lower conversion rates by exerting less effort, while firms react by providing less paid-for training. Both channels lead to a decline in TFP. We test these implications in a large panel of Spanish manufacturing firms from 1991 to 2005, looking at the effects of three labour market reforms which entailed substantial changes in the firing-costs gap. Our empirical findings provide some support for the above-mentioned mechanism. © 2016, The Author(s).
  • Publication
    Interfaces determined by capillarity and gravity in a two-dimensional porous medium
    (EMS Press, 2016-01-01) Calle García, María; María Cuesta, Carlota; Velázquez, Juan J.L.; Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (España)
    We consider a two-dimensional model of a porous medium where circular grains are uniformly distributed in a squared container. We assume that such medium is partially filled with water and that the stationary interface separating the water phase from the air phase is described by the balance of capillarity and gravity. Taking the unity as the average distance between grains, we identify four asymptotic regimes that depend on the Bond number and the size of the container. We analyse, in probabilistic terms, the possible global interfaces that can form in each of these regimes. In summary, we show that in the regimes where gravity dominates the probability of configurations of grains allowing solutions close to the horizontal solution is close to one. Moreover, in such regimes where the size of the container is sufficiently large we can describe deviations from the horizontal in probabilistic terms. On the other hand, when capillarity dominates while the size of the container is sufficiently large, we find that the probability of finding interfaces close to the graph of a given smooth curve without self-intersections is close to one.
  • Publication
    The extent and cyclicality of career changes: Evidence for the U.K.
    (Elsevier, 2016-05) Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos; Hobijn, Bart; She, Powen; Visschers, Ludo; Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (España)
    Using quarterly data for the U.K. from 1993 through 2012, we document that the extent of worker reallocation across occupations or industries (a career change, in the parlance of this paper) is high and procyclical. This holds true after controlling for workers' previous labour market status and for changes in the composition of who gets hired over the business cycle. Our evidence suggests that a large part of this reallocation reflect excess churning in the labour market. We also find that the majority of career changes come with wage increases. During the economic expansion wage increases were typically larger for those who change careers than, for those who do not. During the recession this is not true for career changers who were hired from unemployment. Our evidence suggests that understanding career changes over the business cycle is important for explaining labour market flows and the cyclicality of wage growth.
  • Publication
    Multiple Openings and Competitiveness of Forward Markets: Experimental Evidence
    (PLOS, 2016-07-21) Ferreira, José Luis; Kujal, Praveen; Rassenti, Stephen; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    We test the competition enhancing effect of selling forward in experimental Cournot duopoly and quadropoly with multiple forward markets. We find that two forward periods yields competitive outcomes and that the results are very close to the predicted theoretical results for quantity setting duopolies and quadropolies. Our experiments lend strong support to the hypothesis that forward markets are competition enhancing. We then test a new market that allows for endogenously determined indefinitely many forward periods that only close when sellers coordinate on selling a zero amount in a forward market. We find that the outcomes under an endogenous close rule are also very competitive. These results hold for both duopolies and quadropolies.We test the competition enhancing effect of selling forward in experimental Cournot duopoly and quadropoly with multiple forward markets. We find that two forward periods yields competitive outcomes and that the results are very close to the predicted theoretical results for quantity setting duopolies and quadropolies. Our experiments lend strong support to the hypothesis that forward markets are competition enhancing. We then test a new market that allows for endogenously determined indefinitely many forward periods that only close when sellers coordinate on selling a zero amount in a forward market. We find that the outcomes under an endogenous close rule are also very competitive. These results hold for both duopolies and quadropolies.
  • Publication
    Sequential PET/CT with [F-18]-FDG predicts pathological tumor response to preoperative short course radiotherapy with delayed surgery in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer using logistic regression analysis
    (PLOS, 2017-01-06) Pecori, Biagio; Lastoria, Secondo; Caraco, Corradina; Celentani, Marco; Tatangelo, Fabiana; Avallone, Antonio; Rega, Daniela; De Palma, Giampaolo; Mormile, Maria; Budillon, Alfredo; Muto, Paolo; Bianco, Francesco; Aloj, Luigi; Petrillo, Antonella; Delrio, Paolo
    Previous studies indicate that FDG PET/CT may predict pathological response in patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemo-radiotherapy for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Aim of the current study is evaluate if pathological response can be similarly predicted in LARC patients after short course radiation therapy alone. Methods: Thirty-three patients with cT2-3, N0-2, M0 rectal adenocarcinoma treated with hypo fractionated short course neoadjuvant RT (5x5 Gy) with delayed surgery (SCRTDS) were prospectively studied. All patients underwent 3 PET/CT studies at baseline, 10 days from RT end (early), and 53 days from RT end (delayed). Maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax), mean standardized uptake value (SUVmean) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) of the primary tumor were measured and recorded at each PET/CT study. We use logistic regression analysis to aggregate different measures of metabolic response to predict the pathological response in the course of SCRTDS. Results: We provide straightforward formulas to classify response and estimate the probability of being a major responder (TRG1-2) or a complete responder (TRG1) for each individual. The formulas are based on the level of TLG at the early PET and on the overall proportional reduction of TLG between baseline and delayed PET studies. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that in the course of SCRTDS it is possible to estimate the probabilities of pathological tumor responses on the basis of PET/CT with FDG. Our formulas make it possible to assess the risks associated to LARC borne by a patient in the course of SCRTDS. These risk assessments can be balanced against other health risks associated with further treatments and can therefore be used to make informed therapy adjustments during SCRTDS.
  • Publication
    Playing with words: do people exploit loaded language to affect others' decisions for their own benefit?
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023-01-01) Capraro, Valerio; Vanzo, Andrea; Cabrales Goitia, Antonio; Comunidad de Madrid
    We report on three pre-registered studies testing whether people in the position of describing a decision problem to decision-makers exploit this opportunity for their benefit, by choosing descriptions that may be potentially beneficial for themselves. In Study 1, recipients of an extreme dictator game (where dictators can either take the whole pie for themselves or give it entirely to the receiver) are asked to choose the instructions used to introduce the game to dictators, from six different instructions known from previous research to affect dictators" decisions. The results demonstrate that some dictator game recipients tend to choose instructions that make them more likely to receive a higher payoff. Study 2 shows that people who choose descriptions that make them more likely to receive a higher payoff indeed believe that they will receive a higher payoff. Study 3 shows that receivers are more likely than dictators to choose these self-serving descriptions. In sum, our work suggests that some people choose descriptions that are beneficial to themselves; we also found some evidence that deliberative thinking and young age are associated with this tendency
  • Publication
    Score-driven threshold ice-age models: Benchmark models for long-run climate forecasts
    (Elsevier, 2023-02-01) Escribano, Álvaro; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España); Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España); Comunidad de Madrid
    Climate variables are known to be subject to abrupt changes when some threshold levels are surpassed. We use data for the last 798,000 years on global ice volume (Ice), atmospheric carbon dioxide level (CO2), and Antarctic land surface temperature (Temp) to model and measure those long-run nonlinear climate effects. The climate variables have very long and asymmetric cycles, created by periods of upward trends, followed by periods of downward trends driven by exogenous orbital variables. The exogenous orbital variables considered by the Milankovitch cycles are eccentricity of Earth's orbit, obliquity, and precession of the equinox. We show that our new score-driven threshold ice-age models improve the statistical inference and forecasting performance of competing ice-age models from the literature. The drawback of using our 1000-year frequency observations, is that we cannot measure the nonlinear climate effects of humanity created during the last 250 years, which are known to have generated abrupt structural changes in the Earth's climate, due to unprecedented high levels of CO2 and Temp, and low levels of Ice volume. On the other hand, the advantage of using low-frequency data is that they allow us to obtain long-run forecasts on what would have occurred if humanity had not burned fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution. These long-run forecasts can serve as benchmarks for the long-run evaluation of the impact of humanity on climate variables. Without the impact of humanity on climate, we predict the existence of turning points in the evolution of the three climate variables for the next 5,000 years: an upward trend in global ice volume, and downward trends in atmospheric CO2 level and Antarctic land surface temperature.
  • Publication
    Dual employment protection and (lack of) on-the-job training: PIAAC evidence for Spain and other European countries
    (Springer, 2017-11) Cabrales Goitia, Antonio; Dolado, Juan José; Mora, Ricardo; Comunidad de Madrid; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    Using micro data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), we first document how having a temporary contract in Spain is associated to lower levels of on-the-job training (OJT). Next, we find that this OJT gap is positively correlated with gaps in the literacy and numeracy scores achieved by these two types of workers in the PIAAC study. Although we choose Spain as a case study of a dual labor market, we also provide cross-country evidence showing that OJT gaps are lower in those European labor markets where dualism is less entrenched than in those where it is more extended.
  • Publication
    Geographic cross-sectional fiscal spending multipliers and the role of local autonomy: evidence from European regions
    (Wiley, 2022-09-15) Brueckner, Markus; Pappa, Evi; Valentinyi, Akos; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España)
    Using a panel of 268 European regions during 1990–2014, we document that the degree of local government's autonomy, measured with the “Local Autonomy Index,” has a significant positive effect on the fiscal spending multiplier. The estimated geographic cross-sectional fiscal spending multiplier is on average close to zero in countries with the lowest degree of local autonomy, and around unity in countries with the highest degree of local autonomy. Multipliers are state-dependent: larger when gross domestic product is below trend and when there is slack in the labor market; in those states, local autonomy has a particularly large positive effect on the multiplier. To interpret the empirical findings, we build a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model where both local and central government spending contribute to a public good that enhances private labor productivity. Local governments are more efficient in producing the public good and the multiplier is higher in countries where local government spending has a larger share in the production of the public good.
  • Publication
    Behind the curtain: How did women's work history vary across Central and Eastern Europe?
    (Wiley, 2023-04-01) Pérez Izquierdo, Telmo Juan; Pronkina, Elizaveta; Comunidad de Madrid; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España)
    This paper investigates the differences in female work experience across Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). We use retrospective SHARELIFE data to analyse women's work history from 1950 to 1990. We provide descriptive evidence that women's work experience varied across CEECs. Furthermore, we argue that comparing the former provinces of the Russian Empire in Lithuania and Poland provides a natural experiment, allowing us to disentangle the effect of the differential implementation of the Soviet regime from the pre-existing differences. We find that during communism, Lithuanian women worked 2 years more by age 50 relative to their Polish counterparts. This effect is one-third of that found in the East–West Germany comparison. We propose several potential mechanisms behind this finding: the degree of land collectivization, the Church's influence and the sectoral composition. Accordingly, this study's findings highlight the importance of country differences in CEECs.
  • Publication
    Learning from electricity markets: How to design a resilience strategy
    (Elsevier, 2022-09-01) Fabra, Natalia; Motta, Massimo; Peitz, Martín; European Commission; Agencia Estatal de Investigación (España)
    Security of supply concerns are at the forefront of the public debate. The pandemic and post-pandemic times have demonstrated that preparing for global shocks requires the quick availability of some essential goods and services, including energy. Private incentives are typically insufficient for an economy to be prepared for rare events with large negative impacts. Instead, governments and preferably supranational institutions should implement mechanisms that make sure that prevention, detection and mitigation measures are taken. The economics of electricity capacity mechanisms provides valuable lessons for the provision of essential goods in such events, which need to be complemented with other elements aimed at mitigating the causes and impacts of potential crises.
  • Publication
    Minimum age requirements and the role of the school choice set
    (Springer, 2023-03-01) Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio; Giolito, Eugenio Pedro; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España); Comunidad de Madrid
    Using several data sources from Chile, we study the impact of the size of the school choice set at the time of starting primary school. With that purpose, we exploit multiple cutoffs defining the minimum age at entry, which not only define when a student can start elementary school, but also the set of schools from which she/he can choose. Moreover, differences across municipalities in the composition of the schools according to these cutoffs allow us not only to account for municipality fixed factors (educational markets) but also for differences in the characteristics between schools choosing different deadlines. That is, we compare the difference in outcomes for children living in the same municipality around the different cutoffs with those for children in other municipalities that experience a different change in the available set of schools across cutoffs (double difference in RD). We show that a larger set of schools increases the probability of starting in a better school, measured by a non-high-stakes examination. Moreover, this quasi-experimental variation reveals an important reduction in the likelihood of dropping out and a reduction in the probability that a child would switch schools during her/his school life. Second, for a subsample of students who have completed high school, we observe that a larger school choice set at the start of primary school increases students' chances of taking the national examination required for higher education and the likelihood of being enrolled in college.
  • Publication
    Anticipating extreme losses using score-driven shape filters
    (De Gruyter, 2022-01-01) Ayala, Astrid; Blazsek, Szabolcs Istvan; Escribano, Álvaro; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (España)
    We suggest a new value-at-risk (VaR) framework using EGARCH (exponential generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity) models with score-driven expected return, scale, and shape filters. We use the EGB2 (exponential generalized beta of the second kind), NIG (normal-inverse Gaussian), and Skew-Gen-t (skewed generalized-t) distributions, for which the score-driven shape parameters drive the skewness, tail shape, and peakedness of the distribution. We use daily data on the Standard & Poor"s 500 (S&P 500) index for the period of February 1990 to October 2021. For all distributions, likelihood-ratio (LR) tests indicate that several EGARCH models with dynamic shape are superior to the EGARCH models with constant shape. We compare the realized volatility with the conditional volatility estimates, and we find two Skew-Gen-t specifications with dynamic shape, which are superior to the Skew-Gen-t specification with constant shape. The shape parameter dynamics are associated with important events that affected the stock market in the United States (US). VaR backtesting is performed for the boom (January 1997 to October 2020), the 2008 US Financial Crisis (October 2007 to March 2009), and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic (January 2020 to October 2021). We show that the use of the dynamic shape parameters improves the VaR measurements