The new geography of remote jobs: Evidence from Europe With Z. Wei (University of Cambridge), C. Özgüzel (OECD).
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic acceleration in the spread of remote work, which is often discussed as an opportunity for places outside of large cities to attract new residents and firms. But where are remote jobs located and why? This paper contributes to answering this question by offering the first systematic exploration of the uneven diffusion of remote jobs across Europe. Using a combination of rich individual micro-data from the European Union Labour Force Survey and regional-level characteristics from 29 European countries, the paper shows that cities and capital regions adapted faster to remote work than more peripheral and rural areas of the continent. This uneven geography is primarily explained by composition effects, i.e., by the fact that cities hosted more workers in occupations and sectors more amenable to working remotely.
Great or grim? Brexit and the polarisation of household expectations and spending. With Z. Wei (University of Cambridge), P. Kuang (Birmingham University) and Y. Yao (Birmingham University). Link to WP.
Does political polarization influence economic expectations and behaviour? Utilizing British household surveys and administrative data, we find a strong polarization of economic expectations and behaviour between pro- and anti-Brexit supporters after the once-in-a-lifetime EU Referendum. We show that the Brexit vote led to a large and long-lasting divergence between Leavers and Remainers in their assessment of the general economic situation, personal circumstances, and spending intentions. Furthermore, on average, a 10% difference in the share of leave voters across local authorities is respectively associated with a 5.98% and 0.78% increase in the gap in the per capita housing transaction volume and licensed automobile stock after the referendum.
Drifting apart? Urban density and the evolution of political disenchantment across 30 European countries. With M. Kenny (University of Cambridge).
We use the European Social Survey dataset, covering more than 200.000 respondents over the period 2002 to 2018, to present new evidence on the link between place of residence and differences in socio-political attitudes between urban and rural residents across 30 European countries. We complement recent research and show that the strong and significant differences between the populations in these different settings have grown after the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. We also provide new comparative cross-country evidence from across selected countries. While different countries show specific patterns, on average, we show, rural dwellers express stronger levels of dissatisfaction with democracy and with public health service provision, lower trust in the political system, and less optimist attitudes towards migration and the EU.
The geography of perceptions towards climate change and decarbonisation policies in Europe. With I. Tosato (University of Cambridge).
In recent years there has a been resurgence of interest in how the places where people live can predict a range of social, economic and political attitudes. Is place also strongly associated with views towards climate change and decarbonisation policies? Combining microdata from the European Social Survey with territorial-level statistics from Eurostat, this paper maps the geography of individual perceptions towards climate change and potential decarbonisation policies across 20 European countries. While climate perceptions are highly heterogenous across individual countries, the results show that individual environmental attitudes and concerns are closely linked to territorial conditions. Regardless of household income and controlling for a full host of individual characteristics, an individual living in a wealthier region is more inclined to hold pro-environmental attitudes. Similarly, urban dwellers are much more likely to believe in anthropogenic climate change and support decarbonisation policies.
Do shared e-bikes reduce urban carbon emissions? With Q. Li (University of Cambridge) and F. Fuerst (Cambridge).
Under the threat of climate change, many global cities are promoting shared commuting modes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Shared electric bikes (e-bikes) are emerging modes that compete with bikes, cars, or public transit. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence on the net effect of shared e-bikes on carbon emissions, as shared e-bikes can substitute for both higher carbon emissions modes and cleaner commuting modes. Using a large collection of spatio-temporal trajectory data of shared e-bike trips in two provincial cities (Chengdu and Kunming) in China, this study develops a travel mode substitution model to identify the changes in travel modes due to the introduction of shared e-bike systems and quantify the corresponding impact on net carbon emissions. We find that, on average, shared e-bikes decrease carbon emissions by 80–150 grams per trip. More interestingly, the reduction effect is much stronger in underdeveloped non-central areas with lower density, less diversified land use, lower accessibility, and lower economic level.