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Acta Oeconomica
Patricio Pérez
Marta Bengoa
, and
Adolfo Fernández

This paper uses the Jones (1995) framework to examine the contribution of imitation activities and innovative research effort on productivity growth for the US and some European leading economies. We carry out a comparative analysis for the last 50 years, with two model specifications, assuming country differences in the parameters associated with R&D effort. In the first one, the technological frontier position is determined by the country with the highest productivity, the United States. Alternatively, in the second specification, we alter the definition of the technological frontier, allowing it to transcend the leader. The empirical analysis leads to very different outcomes. The first specification estimation, using GMM techniques, indicates that American researchers are more technology growth enhancing than their European counterparts. In contrast, the results obtained for the second, using Kalman’s filter, show that when using an alternative definition of technological frontier, it is possible to observe a boost in innovation that reduces the dispersion among countries. Then, the leading European countries can take advantage; in this case, Germany exhibits the best performance, followed by the US.

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This paper examines the paradox between high relative levels of job satisfaction and the characteristics of women's jobs compared to men's in Spain. Three hypothesis are considered: i) the existence of a selection bias when participating in the labour market; ii) of the presence of adaptive job satisfaction; and iii) the existence of differences related to preferences of different nature to strictly labour issues.

The study shows that, although having lower working conditions, women are more likely to be satisfied at work than men are. This paradox persists regardless of the inclusion of a great range of variables of different nature (objective and subjective), the age group and educational level under consideration. The Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition suggests that women's preferences are actually influencing the differences in job satisfaction. However, it is not demonstrated that these differences disappear as age decreases or educational level increases. The probable existence of a “glass ceiling” that prevents women from having access to posts of greater responsibility and higher wages could cause that women who actually reach them are more satisfied than their male colleagues. As the labour market and society become more equal, this paradox might dilute.

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