by Carmen Aina
We use unique administrative data from a large private Italian university to estimate whether individual
characteristics, academic performance, geographical mobility and family size may affect
completion of a degree course or not. Several outcomes are taken into account, namely the probability
of withdrawal for voluntary or involuntary reasons, of graduating within the minimum period,
and graduating with top marks. Our estimates highlight that all the above aspects drive the outcomes
analysed. Poor high school performance in particular increases the chances of non-completion and
graduation after the legal length of the course. In contrast, higher final high school marks, a more
academic-oriented diploma, living in a small family and being commuters result in a higher probability
of gaining a degree with top marks and within the minimum period.
Key words: survival analysis, dropout, stopouts, time-to-degree, undergraduate performance.
JEL Classification: J24, I23.
by Simona Bigerna, Paolo Polinori
There are several ways to promote public transport demand. Perugia achieved a leading national
position in the last decade by a tariff reform and by developing an integrated local public transport
network that includes lifts and escalators. Since 1996, the number of passengers has continually increased,
with an increase in demand of 41%. This paper has two objectives. The first is to identify
the factors underlying the performance of local public transport in Perugia. To this end, an aggregate
demand function is estimated for bus and urban railway trips in order to present evidence on demand
elasticities with respect to the main attributes of local public transport and to the socio-demographic
characteristics of its users. The second aim is to evaluate the impact of the tariff reform and
the consequences of the introduction of cards and multi-ride tickets by estimating a system of ownand
cross-price elasticities for different ticket types.
Key words: Public transport, demand function, ticket types.
JEL Classification: R31, L92.
by Alba Distaso, Margherita Cervio
In this paper we demonstrate that in economic systems characterised by social structures founded on reciprocal trust and interpersonal relations, water is a common good. In order to verify this, we refer to an economy of reciprocity practiced by some indigenous communities of the Bolivian Andes. We compare water management in these communities with another case of collective provision of water services now present and functioning in some areas of the Italian Alps and Apennines. In the examined case studies, we find that any kind of water property regime other than that the indigenous communities practice represents not only an inefficient system of management of the resource but also a reduction in relational goods. In both cases, water is a resource to exploit, and also a means to strengthen the interpersonal relations and the identity of the community.
Key words: Water, Economy of Common Goods, Economy of Reciprocity, Community Management.
JEL Classification: A13, D13, Q15, Q25.
by Cinzia Di Novi
We use the 2003/2004 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey in conjunction with the 2002 National
Health Interview Survey to test for adverse selection in the private U.S. health insurance markets.
The key idea is to test whether individuals who are more exposed to health risks also buy insurance
contracts with more coverage or higher expected payments. The critical statistical problem is that
the extension of insurance is only measured for those who are insured and face positive health care
expenditure, so there is a possible sample selection bias effect. The procedure used is based on a
method suggested by Wooldridge (1995). The method also accounts for heterogeneity across individuals.
The simultaneous account taken of both possible sources of bias is new for this kind of application.
Key words: adverse selection, health insurance, risk profile, two-step estimation, sample-selection
JEL Classification: I11, I18, D82.
by Luca Spataro
This article surveys the most significant steps in the history of the Italian pension and social protection
system from the early 1970s up to the beginning of the period of the great reforms launched
in the 1990s. First and foremost, it provides a quantitative analysis of the phenomenon under study,
on the basis of the historical series produced by ISTAT (2002), and evaluates both the extent and
composition of the increments that characterized the pattern of expenditure during this period. Secondly,
the analysis seeks to shed light on the underlying causes of this increase and of the distributive
distortions present in the Italian pension system. To this end, the debate among the economists
of the era is reconstructed, with focus on the positions assumed by some of the most authoritative
figures. Finally, the article addresses the problems and the debate concerning the institutional framework
that contributed to the runaway expenditure.
Key words: Italian Pension system; Crisis; Reforms.
JEL Classification: H55; B25.