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Working Papers

Disparities in premature and old age mortality in Europe in the first decade of the 2000s

Mária Lackó


This study presents disparities in mortality rates of 38-41 European countires and attempts at giving explanations for these. Explanatory factors of premature (0-64 ages) and old age (above 65 years old) mortality rates are compared accordig to cause-specific diseases and genders for 2009. In addition, mortality disparities due to avoidable (preventable and treatable) diseases are analyzed on a narrower sample of countries for 2015.

The model applied in the investigations takes into account the living conditions and life-styles of the population in the given countries i.e. GDP per capita, geographical location, air-pollution, educational level, tobacco and spirit consumption habits, and health care expenditures.

The most astonishing result is connected with the effect of air pollution: this factor has a similarly big weight in increasing premature male mortality as the well-known factor, tobacco consumption. Moreover, in the case of old age male mortality air pollution even dominate the effect of smoking.


Does trust associate with political regime?

Sára Khayouti – Hubert János Kiss – Dániel Horn


Since trust correlates with economic development and in turn economic development associates with political regime, we conjecture that there may be a relationship between trust and political regime. We investigate if trust aggregated on the country level correlates with the political regime. We do not find any significant association, with or without taking into account other factors (e.g. regional location, economic development, geographic conditions, culture) as well.


Patient democracies?

Sára Khayouti – Hubert János Kiss – Dániel Horn


We test if the political regime of a country associates with the patience of the citizens. Recent findings indicate that i) more democratic countries tend to have higher growth, and ii) patience correlates positively with economic development, suggesting a potential link between the political regime and patience. We document a positive association between the level of democracy and patience for most of the political regime indices that we use, even after controlling for region, economic development, geographical conditions, and culture. We report some evidence that political participation is behind our findings.


On the welfare effects of differential pricing

Krisztina Antal-Pomázi


The paper discusses the economic aspects of the most important questions (such as demand response or capacity allocation) related to differential pricing. First, we consider a revenue-neutral introduction of peak-load pricing. We examine under what circumstances does peak-load pricing lead to a Pareto improvement compared to uniform pricing. Second, we analyze what properties of customers make it profitable for a firm to introduce peak-load pricing. We find that on the supply side, incentives to introduce differential pricing may be technology-driven (i. e. high on-peak marginal costs) or demand-driven (i.e. low elasticity of substitution). Consumers benefit more if they can adopt to prices more flexibly. Innovative technology, such as smart meters, may help consumers benefit from real-time pricing. Such technology is expensive to install. This makes it necessary that consumers cover part of the costs. If they are myopic, or other effects of bounded rationality hinder their commitment, regulatory intervention might be needed to increase welfare. The more accessible enabling technology (price comparison websites, cheap smart meters etc.) will be, the more everyone will benefit from time-varying pricing.


Do individuals with children value the future more?

Dániel Horn - Hubert János Kiss


In recent years public and political debate suggested that individuals with chil- dren value the future more. We attempt to substantiate the debate and using a representative survey we investigate if the number of children (or simply having children) indeed is associated with a higher valuation of the future that we proxy with an aspect of time preferences, patience. We find that in general there is no correlation between having children and patience, though for young women with below-median income we find some weak evidence in line with the conjecture. We also show some evidence that for this subpopulation it is not having children that matters, but marital status. More precisely, young single women are less patient than other young non-single women.