34 EALE Conference

The Department of Economics and Management "Marco Fanno" of the University of Padova hosted the 34 EALE (European Association of Labour Economists) Conference, with the support of Prometeia Associazione and the collaboration of Banca d'Italia.

Over 360 economists attended the EALE Conference, where more than 300 papers were discussed in 65 parallel sessions, poster sessions and flash talks. The first two days took place in the premises of the “Marco Fanno” Department of Economics and Management in via Bassi, and were followed by the third and final day in the historical rooms of Palazzo Bo and in the magnificent Sala dei Giganti.

Watch the video interviews with the President of EALE Michele Belot, with the local Chair Organizer of the conference Lorenzo Rocco and with the two keynote speakers Paolo Pinotti and Andrea Weber.

Click here to see the video recording of the plenary session with Paolo Pinotti, "Making Subsidies Work".

Click here to see the video recording of the plenary session with Andrea Weber "Corporate Governance, Workforce Organization and Gender Gaps".

Flash talk is an innovative format of research dissemination at the annual conference of the European Labour Economists. Each flash talk gets together eight speakers. Each speaker presents the key idea of his/her research in five minutes, followed by five minutes of intense discussion guided by a moderator.

Please find below the policy briefs of the "flash talk" sessions:

  Flash talk "Automation, robots, and the future of labor"

The consequences of automation and digitalization for the production process and the organization of work were the main themes of the flash talk on “Automation, robots, and the future of labor”, moderated by Giorgio Brunello (Padova).

According to Harald Dale-Olsen (ISF, Oslo), investments in digital and automation technologies are higher during recessions, including the one triggered by the COVID pandemic and are often encouraged by government incentives. For instance, in 2017 Italy introduced a hyper-depreciation scheme for investments in Advanced Digital Production (ADP) technologies, that, as illustrated by Paolo Acciari (Italian Ministry of Treasury), was mostly used by firms that had never invested in ADP before.

But does automation reduce the demand for labour? Apparently, it does. Rosario Crinò (Bergamo), pointed to a negative effect of employment, and Harald Dale-Olsen (ISF, Oslo) showed that this effect concentrates on the unskilled. Moreover, firms investing in automation tend to spend less in employee training, a concern for those advocating lifelong learning as a response to displacement. In the longer run, the introduction of robots may even reduce the incentive to unionize, as pointed out by Massimo Anelli (Bocconi).

Digitalization also affects the possibility to work from home. The evidence presented by Piotr Lewandowski (IBS, Warsaw) showed that there are substantial disparities in the “price” that workers are willing to pay in order to work from home and the price that managers ask to allow them staying home, implying that widespread remote working might not be behind the corner. Perhaps such discrepancy has to do with the fact that the effect of remote working on productivity sizeably varies depending on the measure of productivity being considered, as Marta Angelici (Bicocca) documented.

  Flash talk "Migration"

The flash talk on "Migration" was moderated by Albrecht Glitz (UPF, Barcelona) and shed light on the effects of immigration and immigration policies on several economic outcomes, offering a broad overview of recent advances in the field.

Matti Sarvimäki (Aalto), showed that the children of immigrants participating in active labour market policies in Finland acquire more education, suggesting that integration policies could have important intergenerational effects. Mette Foged (Copenhagen) and Tommaso Frattini (Milan) focused on refugees. Mette Foged compared the effects of alternative integration policies in Denmark and found that language training and initially placement in strong labour markets improve refugees’ long-run occupational prospects. Tommaso Frattini showed that naturalization helps refugees bridging the gap in employment rates with comparable migrants, making naturalization a relatively unexpensive integration policy.

From a different perspective, Hillel Rapoport (Paris) underlined the importance of migrants as agents of cultural change. Migrants act as vectors of cultural diffusion who, in principle, might either increase or decrease cultural similarities between countries. Empirical results indicate that cultural similarity actually increases. Sara Signorelli (Amsterdam) showed that immigration policies favouring inventor mobility fosters patenting of multinational subsidiaries located in emerging markets, with important consequences for innovation. The combination of labour market and fiscal effects of both legal and illegal migrants in the US was discussed by Andri Chassamboulli (Cyprus), who concluded that either directly or indirectly both legal and illegal immigration has positive effects on natives’ income. However, Jan Stuhler (Carlos III, Madrid) also pointed out that immigrants crowd out natives from low paid jobs and this effect is more intense when firms have the power to set wages.

  Flash talk "Crime"

The flash talk session on "Crime", moderated by Katrine Løken (NHH, Bergen) provided a multifaceted picture on the importance of crime in many socio-economic aspects of the society, and relevant guidance for the improvement of related policies. Hanna Virtanen (ETLA, Helsinki) showed that admission to any secondary education has a sizable crime-reducing effect among men. Diego Zambiasi (Newcastle) provided insights on how extreme events, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, might have led people to buy more guns for self-defence, leading in turn to a higher murder rate. Nadine Ketel (Amsterdam) warned on the unintended effects of granting rights at early age on juvenile criminal victimization, pushing the need for information-related policies. Diogo Britto (Bocconi) documented that job loss by both men and women leads to a strong increase in domestic violence; unconditional unemployment benefits might even exacerbate the effect once they expire. Analysing the stop-and-frisk interactions of officers, Anna Bindler (Cologne) showed that hiring more women in a male-dominated office can affect the male officers’ behaviour. Crime recidivism was studied by Julian Johnsen (Bergen), who detected a higher probability of committing crimes by ex-offenders imprisoned with more experienced or similar peers. Adverse effects of public labelling of vulnerable areas on local school performance were pointed out by Magdalena Dominguez (Uppsala), who suggested that even simple policies aimed at sanitizing perceptions may rebuild areas’ reputation. The last presentation by Oliver Marie (Rotterdam) addressed the puzzling observation of having overrepresentation of immigrants among criminals with the null effect of immigrants on crime by providing evidence which suggests a substitution effect at work among native and immigrants in committing crimes.