This week from CEPR: February 10

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Highlights from some of the latest research reports published in the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) network’s long-running series of discussion papers, as well as some other recent CEPR publications.

Also, links to some of the latest columns on Vox, the Centre’s policy portal, which provides ‘research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists’.

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    • New Discussion Papers


    • WHY DO PEOPLE REFUSE THE COVID VACCINE? Evidence from the US, France, Italy, Austria, UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia and New Zealand 

    FROM ANTI-VAX INTENTIONS TO VACCINATION: Panel and Experimental Evidence from Nine Countries
    Michael Becher, Sylvain Brouard, Martial Foucault, Vincenzo Galasso, Vincent Pons, Paola Profeta
    CEPR DP No. 17007 | February 2022

    Despite large take-up rates in most OECD countries, millions of people still refuse COVID-19 vaccination. Using original data from nine OECD countries, a CEPR study by Michael Becher, Sylvain Brouard, Martial Foucault, Vincenzo Galasso, Vincent Pons and Paola Profeta analyse the determinants of anti-vax intentions in December 2020 and show that half of the anti-vax individuals were vaccinated by summer 2021. Among the findings: 

    • Vaccinations were more likely among individuals aged 50+, exposed to COVID-19, compliant with public restrictions, more informed on traditional media, trusting scientists, and less concerned about vaccines' side effects. 
    • Vaccination intentions are lower among people who have low trust in scientists, who believe that there was not enough time to assess vaccines’ side effects, and that COVID-19 was created by large corporations to profit from it.
    • Blue collar workers and inactive people are less likely to have been vaccinated than white collar workers.
    • Living with one’s family and traditional media consumption matter mostly in EU countries, whereas trust in scientists is crucial in Anglo-Saxon countries. Blaming COVID-19 on large corporations is a crucial impeding factor in EU countries.
    • In EU countries, a message about protecting health largely increases vaccinations, even among anti-vax individuals. 
    • In the UK and US, a message about protecting the economy generates similar effects. 
    • The percentage of individuals favouring mandatory vaccination is significantly smaller in EU countries.

    These findings suggest that informational campaigns should adopt adequate narratives and address concerns about vaccines' side effects.

    Figure: Distribution of Vaccination Intentions

    Notes: Distribution of vaccination intentions on a 0 (not at all likely) to 1 (extremely likely) scale, by country.


    • SCIENTIFIC RATIONALES AND THEIR LIMITATIONS IN ENABLING DISSENT ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM

    JUSTIFYING DISSENT
    Leonardo Bursztyn, Georgy Egorov, Ingar Haaland, Aakaash Rao, Christopher Roth

    CEPR DP No. 17005 | February 2022

    From speaking out against injustice to victimizing protected groups, dissent plays an important role in society, but dissenters are often silenced through social sanctions. Fundamental to dissent are rationales – narratives disseminated by political entrepreneurs, social movements, and media outlets – that provide arguments supporting dissenters' causes. Beyond their persuasive effects, rationales providing arguments supporting dissenters' causes can increase the public expression of dissent by providing a "social cover" for voicing otherwise-stigmatised positions. 

    A new CEPR study by Leonardo Bursztyn, Georgy Egorov, Ingar Haaland, Aakaash Rao and Christopher Roth explores the power and potential limitations of rationales in facilitating the expression of dissent, by studying opposition to police reform among liberals, and conservative support for anti-immigration policies.  

    The findings show that liberals are more willing to post a Tweet opposing the movement to defund the police, are seen as less prejudiced, and face lower social sanctions when their Tweet implies they had first read scientific evidence supporting their position. Experiments with conservatives demonstrate that the same mechanisms facilitate anti-immigrant expression. 

    These findings highlight both the power of rationales and their limitations in enabling dissent across the political spectrum and shed light on phenomena such as social movements, political correctness, propaganda, and anti-minority behaviour.


    • COMPETITIVE MOTHERS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES COMPETITIVENESS AND EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS OF DAUGHTERS, ESPECIALLY FOR LOW SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS INDIVIDUALSU      

    THE ORIGINS OF GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COMPETITIVENESS AND EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS: Causal evidence from a mentoring intervention
    Teodora Boneva, Thomas Buser, Armin Falk, Fabian Kosse
    CEPR DP17008 | February 2022

    A new CEPR study by Teodora Boneva, Thomas Buser, Armin Falk and Fabian Kosse provides evidence on the role of the social environment at a young age for the development of gender differences in competitiveness and earnings expectations. Among the findings:   

    • The gender gap in competitiveness and earnings expectations is more pronounced among adolescents with low socioeconomic status (SES). 
    • There is a positive association between the competitiveness of mothers and their daughters, but not between the competitiveness of mothers and their sons. 
    • Low-SES children exposed to predominantly female role models causally affects girls' willingness to compete and narrows both the gender gap in competitiveness as well as the gender gap in earnings expectations.

    Together, the results highlight the importance of the social environment in shaping willingness to compete and earnings expectations at a young age. 



    EXCESSIVE IMF FINES ARE HAMPERING GLOBAL RECOVERY

    Joseph Stiglitz, Kevin P. Gallagher              
    07 February 2022

    The IMF has imposed significant surcharges on countries that have had to undertake large borrowings during Covid-19 and are unable to pay their debts back quickly. Writing at Vox, Joseph Stiglitz and Kevin P. Gallagher describe how these surcharges are pro-cyclical financial penalties imposed on countries precisely at a time when they can least afford them. 

    The research shows that surcharges worsen potential outcomes for both the borrowing country and its investors, with gains accruing to the IMF at the expense of both. This transfer of resources to the IMF affects not just the level of poverty, health, education, and overall wellbeing in the country in crisis, but also its potential growth.

     

    THE IMPACT OF WORKING FROM HOME ON PRODUCTIVITY, HAPPINESS, AND CAREERS: Views of leading economists

    Romesh Vaitilingam                  
    04 February 2022

    The pandemic has led to a big shift to working from home in occupations where the jobs, or some part of them, can be done remotely. The IGM Forum at Chicago Booth asked its panels of leading US and European economists about the potential impact of this continuing over the longer term. 

    As Romesh Vaitilingam reports, a majority of the experts consider that staff who work two days a week from home are, on average, likely to report higher levels of job satisfaction over the longer term. The respondents are more uncertain about the long-term impact on productivity and women’s career progression relative to their male counterparts.


    SURGING INFLATION IN THE UK

    Ethan Ilzetzki                  
    10 February 2022

    Consumer prices in the UK rose by 5.4% (year-on-year) in December 2021, the highest annual rate of inflation since the UK adopted an inflation target in 1992. The January CfM survey asked a panel of experts on the UK economy to evaluate the causes and prospects of the current inflation surge. The panel was nearly unanimous in thinking it was caused by supply side factors that are mostly global in nature (commodity prices, supply chain disruptions) and fall outside government control. The majority of the panel believes that inflation will not persist beyond 2022. 


    WOMEN ARE "HARDWORKING", MEN ARE "BRILLIANT": Stereotyping in the economics job market

    Markus Eberhardt, Giovanni Facchini, Valeria Rueda              
    08 February 2022

    Academia faces significant scrutiny because of its gender imbalance. Analysing reference letters written for candidates for entry-level positions in the economics job market, a study by Markus Eberhardt, Giovanni Facchini and Valeria Rueda reveals that women are systematically more likely to be praised for being hardworking and at times less likely to be praised for their ability. Given the time and effort letter writers devote to supporting their students, the authors suggest this gender stereotype is likely due to unconscious biases.


    INHERITANCES AND INTER VIVOS GIFTS, PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN UNDERPINNING WEALTH INEQUALITY: Evidence from France, Spain, the UK, and the US

    Juan C. Palomino, Gustavo A. Marrero, Brian Nolan, Juan Gabriel Rodríguez                  
    09 February 2022

    Data from France, Spain, the UK, and the US shows that intergenerational transfers, such as inheritances and inter vivos gifts, play a significant role in underpinning wealth inequality. Writing at Vox, Juan Palomino, Gustavo Marrero, Brian Nolan and Juan Gabriel Rodríguez show that when inheritances and gifts exceed a certain threshold, the opportunities to accumulate more wealth are greatly expanded.


    THE PERSISTENT ROLE OF MONEY IN UK POLITICS

    Julia Cagé, Edgard Dewitte           
    04 February 2022


     

    Writing at Vox, Julia Cagé and Edgard Dewitte analyse UK electoral campaigns from 1857 to 2017 to investigate the role played by money in politics. The findings reveal that while the amounts spent on candidates’ campaigns have decreased dramatically since 1880, the correlation between this spending and the votes candidates received has in fact risen. The authors argue that this is due at least partly to the introduction of decentralised media technologies, such as local radio and the internet.


    BECOMING A VICTIM OF A CRIME LEADS TO PERSISTENT LOSS IN EARNINGS: Evidence from the Netherlands

    Anna Bindler, Nadine Ketel        
    06 February 2022

    New data from the Netherlands shows that being a victim of crime leads to a significant and persistent loss in earnings and increase in social benefit receipt, and shorter-lived responses in health expenditure. Writing at Vox, Anna Bindler and Nadine Ketel show these findings have important implications about the social cost of crime, more high-quality data is needed to fill the knowledge gap and to learn about important policy lessons.


    INVENTORY MANAGEMENT HELPED FIRMS WEATHER COVID SUPPLY SHOCK: Evidence from France 

    Raphaël Lafrogne-Joussier, Julien Martin, Isabelle Mejean                  
    05 February 2022

    Using data on French firms, a study by Raphaël Lafrogne-Joussier, Julien Martin and Isabelle Mejean finds that inventory management helped firms mitigate the Covid-19  supply shock, but the geographic diversification of input sourcing did not. Governments should give incentives to firms to depart from just-in-time production processes, especially for those engaged in the production of critical products.


    SUPRANATIONAL COOPERATION AND REGULATORY ARBITRAGE

    Thorsten Beck, Consuelo Silva-Buston, Wolf Wagner                    
    09 February 2022

    Large cross-border banking groups dominate the global banking landscape. A study by Thorsten Beck, Consuelo Silva-Buston and Wolf Wagner shows that supervisory cooperation can result in regulatory arbitrage by these global banking groups, shifting risky activities into third-country subsidiaries not covered by cooperation. 

    The findings suggest that supervisory cooperation agreements can have negative externalities on third countries, undermining their overall effectiveness and pointing to a need to ‘cooperate on cooperation’. 



    CREATIVE DESTRUCTION DURING CRISES: Generating a cleaner energy mix

    Jonathan D. Ostry interviewed by Tim Phillips, 08 February 2022

    How much do economic downturns affect the amount of energy we use and the source of that energy? New research suggests that the shock from Covid-19 might create a permanent increase in our use of renewable sources.
    Read more about this research and download the free DP: Deb, P, Furceri, D, Ostry, J and Tawk, N. 2021. 'Creative Destruction During Crises: An Opportunity for a Cleaner Energy Mix'. CEPR


     


    MACRO-FINANCIAL POLICIES IN AN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE

    Thorsten Beck interviewed by Tim Phillips, 04 February 2022

    Since the GFC the UK has used innovative macroprudential and monetary policy tools to maintain stability. But the UK is an international financial centre, and so does this policy framework create spillovers in other places, and do influences from elsewhere affect stability in the UK? Yes and yes, says Thorsten Beck.
    Read more about this research and download the free DP: Beck, T, Lloyd, S, Reinhardt, D and Sowerbutts, R. 2022. 'Macro-financial policy in an international financial centre: the United Kingdom experience since the global financial crisis'. CEP