RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI - 2011 - 2 - autori-vari - Vita e Pensiero - Fascicolo digitale Rivista internazionale di Scienze Sociali


Digital issue
Issue 2 - 2011
Publisher Vita e Pensiero
Format Digital issue | Pdf

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The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data
by Carmen Aina pages: 24 € 6.00
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.
The Analysis of Determinants of Public Transport Demand in the City of Perugia
by Simona Bigerna, Paolo Polinori pages: 34 € 6.00
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.
Water and common goods: community management as a possible alternative to the public-private model
by Margherita Cervio, Alba Distaso pages: 23 € 6.00
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.
Adverse Selection in the Private Health Insurance Markets: a Two-Step Approach
by Cinzia Di Novi pages: 24 € 6.00
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 bias.

JEL Classification: I11, I18, D82.
The Italian Pension System from the Firs Oil Shock to the Treaty of Maastricht: Facts and Debate at the Origin of the 1990s Reforms
by Luca Spataro pages: 43 € 6.00
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.

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