Structural analysis

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 19/11/2020
    Effects of e-commerce on prices and business competition (312 KB) Aitor Lacuesta, Pau Roldan and Darío Serrano-Puente

    This article describes the boom of recent years in e-commerce in Spain, which reached a 14% share of sales in 2016, similar to the euro area average. The COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated this trend, with some authors indicating a 6 pp increase in the share of sales during March of this year to over 20%. This article reviews the academic literature analysing potential price differences for the same product depending on whether it is sold in a traditional establishment or through a digital platform. The papers assessed do not observe significant price differences between the two markets. They also show that online markets display some of the same characteristics that are observed in traditional markets, such as a low frequency of price changes and high price dispersion for the same product sold in different online points of sale. Lastly, it is estimated that the development of e-commerce has nurtured business competition in Spain, reducing mark-ups. However, there is no evidence that corporate profits have been affected, which may reflect lower fixed costs associated with the sourcing of certain inputs for digital channels.

  • 11/08/2020
    An estimate of Pension System financial returns (390 KB) María Moraga and Roberto Ramos

    This article estimates the financial return provided by the Spanish pension system for a sample of new retirees in 2017, calculated on the basis of the Muestra Continua de Vidas Laborales. The findings show an average real annual return (understood as the discount factor that equates the present value of the contributions paid over a working life with the value of the expected pension) of 3.5%, the 25th and 75th percentiles of the distribution of the estimated returns being 2.5% and 4.2%, respectively. By type of pension, the lowest returns are associated with early retirement, while late retirement produces higher returns, although these are still lower than for ordinary retirement. In terms of pension unit cost, the system would provide more than €1 of benefit for each euro of contribution for most of the individuals in the sample. The findings show that, on average, 2017 retirees receive €1.74 of pension for each euro of contribution; the 25th and 75th percentiles of the distribution are €1.25 and €2.03, respectively.

  • 22/07/2020
    The financial position of the workers most affected by the pandemic: an analysis drawing on the Spanish Survey of Household Finances (381 KB) Pilar Alvargonzález, Myroslav Pidkuyko and Ernesto Villanueva

    In the European economies, employment in the retail sector, in accommodation and food services and in the arts and recreation activities has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, so it is important to ascertain the financial resources that the individuals working in these sectors have available to withstand a possible fall in their income. This article draws on the Banco de España’s Survey of Household Finances (EFF, by its Spanish abbreviation) to characterise the financial position of the workers most affected by the present crisis. In 2017, these sectors employed approximately half of all women and the under-35s, two population groups with relatively lower labour income levels. In many cases, these workers lived in households that included higher income earners, which may partially mitigate the incidence of possible job losses. Even so, in 2017, 28% of those employed in the sectors affected lived in households whose financial assets amounted to less than one month’s income, and one in 12 lived in households for which debt repayments amounted to more than 40% of their pre-tax income. Among the workers in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, the financial position of those who were less able to work from home and those employed in the accommodation and food services and arts and recreation sectors was relatively more vulnerable.

  • 27/05/2020
    The heterogeneous economic impact of COVID-19 among euro area regions and countries (488 KB) Elvira Prades Illanes and Patrocinio Tello Casas

    The global spread of COVID-19 and, above all, the social distancing measures adopted to contain the health crisis have resulted in a significant standstill in economic activity in most economies. The economic impact on different countries’ or regions’ economies may vary significantly depending on their respective productive structures and will also be influenced by the cross-sectoral customer-supplier relationships in the domestic and international supply chains. This article investigates how the impact of the shock triggered by COVID-19 may vary depending on these two characteristics: differences in the productive structure and cross-sectoral connections. First, the impact of two different scenarios envisaged for Spain on the value added of its different regions (Comunidades Autónomas) is quantified. Then, those same scenarios are used to estimate the impact of an identical shock on the largest euro area countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain). The findings confirm that the effects of the restrictions imposed on economic activity in Spain to contain the pandemic vary according to the region on account of the different productive structures and cross-sectoral relationships. Broadly speaking, it appears that the estimated impact is significantly higher in the regions most exposed to the sectors related to accommodation and food service activities, such as the island regions. The impact would also be high in other regions, which tend to be those where the manufacturing of vehicles is of particular importance, due not only to the closure of production plants, but also to the spillover effect on other sectors. By applying to the main euro area economies the same degree of sectoral shutdowns as that observed in the Spanish economy, the impact on Germany, France and, to a lesser extent, Italy is comparatively smaller than in Spain. The differences in productive structure and cross-sectoral connections render the Spanish economy relatively more vulnerable to a common shock such as the current pandemic due to its greater reliance on those sectors particularly stricken by the social distancing measures.

  • 25/05/2020
    Intergenerational employment trends in Spain in recent decades (512 KB) Sergio Puente and Ana Regil

    This article analyses the employment possibilities of the new generations, in comparison with those of previous generations at a similar age. The generational standpoint offers several interesting findings. First, in each age bracket, average real wages received by skilled workers have declined over the generations, while those received by less skilled workers have scarcely changed. Second, when these wage data are combined with the amount of time worked, it is found that in recent times there has been a widespread drop in average annual wages. This decline in annual employment income experienced by the younger generations appears to have a certain cyclical component. Lastly, in terms of job insecurity, the younger generations face a slightly lower temporary employment ratio, but those who continue with temporary contracts suffer a higher degree of turnover. The rate of growth of part-time employment has increased, especially among the younger generations with a low or medium level of education.

  • 20/05/2020
    Transferability of workers' skills in sectors potentially affected by Covid-19 (372 KB) Brindusa Anghel, Aitor Lacuesta and Ana Regil

    This article analyses the characteristics of workers who are potentially more affected by the COVID-19 crisis and their employment possibilities in other productive sectors. Sectors related to travel, accommodation and food services, leisure and wholesale and retail trade, which have been particularly affected by the measures adopted to limit the impact of the pandemic, concentrate 19.6% of total employment in Spain. On the other hand, sectors related to distribution, logistics and information and communication –demand for which appears to be less affected or might even have increased during the lockdown– account for 7.4% of total employment. Among the workers from sectors that are most affected, the proportion of women, young adults, the lesser-skilled, and workers with less experience and with temporary contracts, is especially high. The analysis based on the tasks performed by workers in the different sectors suggests that the potential mobility of the employees that have been hardest hit by the crisis is scarce, especially in accommodation and food services and in wholesale and retail trade, in part owing to the limited intensity of use in those sectors of tasks associated with information and communication technologies, writing, reading and numerical skills. However, workers in sectors related to shipping and leisure or entertainment activities might have more opportunities of finding a job in other areas. These results point to the need to support training in certain skills for the potentially unemployed in the sectors most affected by the pandemic in order to facilitate their transition to new vacancies.

  • 13/05/2020
    Foreign investment in the residential real estate market in Spain between 2007 and 2019 (375 KB) Laura Álvarez, Roberto Blanco and Miguel García-Posada

    This article analyses changes in investment by foreigners in the residential real estate market in Spain between 2007 and 2019. Two indicators are used for this purpose: gross purchases by foreigners as a percentage of total transactions and net purchases (purchases less sales) relative to the housing stock. A distinction is made between resident foreigners and non-resident foreigners. Non-resident foreigners who invest in the Spanish real estate market mainly come from high-income European countries, while resident foreigner buyers are mostly from countries from which Spain receives immigration, such as Romania and Morocco. The article also shows how non-resident foreigners concentrated their purchases in the islands and in the Mediterranean coastal provinces, while residents distributed their purchases more evenly throughout Spain. Finally, there is no statistical evidence supporting the hypothesis that investment by non-resident foreigners has in itself contributed significantly to an increase in house prices. However, the high correlation between population growth and the increase in real estate prices suggests that the increase in the foreign population resident in certain provinces, particularly in the islands, appears to have contributed to raising house prices through its effect on the demand for property.

  • 12/05/2020
    Teleworking in Spain (434 KB) Brindusa Anghel, Marianela Cozzolino and Aitor Lacuesta

    As a result of the boost given to teleworking by the current crisis, this article analyses the potential of this form of work in Spain and the capacity of different socio-demographic groups to benefit from it. According to the Spanish Labour Force Survey, the percentage of the employed who, at least occasionally, work from home amounted to 8.3% in 2019, up 2.4 percentage points (pp) from 2009. By occupation type, remote working is more frequent among the self-employed, small companies and skilled occupations. Furthermore, this form of work is still infrequently used in certain sectors of activity which could have been bolstered by new technological developments, such as manufacturing, public administration, transportation and storage, administrative activities, wholesale and retail trade and other service activities. The types of workers, having taken into account the characteristics of their jobs, who work remotely are usually individuals aged between 35 and 65 and those with university studies. An analysis of the intrinsic characteristics of each occupation estimates that about 30% of persons employed could telework, at least occasionally, and, consequently, there is considerable room for improvement in the application of these working arrangements. However, this potential increase is asymmetrical and not all workers are going to be able to take advantage of these arrangements since those with a lower level of educational attainment will find it difficult to be able to benefit from them.

  • 05/03/2020
    Population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Spain, according to the European Council definition (215 KB) Aitor Lacuesta and Brindusa Anghel

    This article describes the concept of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion that is used to quantify the targets set in this respect for the countries of the European Union. Drawing on this definition, the article analyses how poverty in Spain has evolved. It also examines the factors that have contributed to poverty levels in Spain still being above the official targets for 2020 and the average of the rest of the countries of the European Union. Lastly, some aspects of the definition are identified that suggest that the concept of economic poverty should be addressed from several complementary standpoints.

  • 06/02/2020
    Ageing, productivity and employment status (596 KB) Brindusa Anghel and Aitor Lacuesta

    The article analyses how labour market participation and the type of work performed change with age. Drawing on data from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), it is documented that as people age they gradually lose certain skills relating to their ability to do physical work or use new technologies, or their literacy and numeracy skills. By contrast, as they build up experience, older workers develop better planning skills and a greater ability to supervise the work of others and respond to setbacks. However, the transition between these tasks is not problem-free, especially in certain sectors, such as agriculture, small retail trade, hotels and restaurants and domestic help, which in Spain are more likely to have a higher concentration of older workers with a lower level of education than in the rest of the euro area. In this respect, larger firm size, flexible working environments, retirement schemes with certain specificities relating to skills required in different occupations and an increase in continuing training would all be conducive to a lower decline in productivity and a higher degree of employability of older workers. This is particularly important in Spain’s current demographic context of a gradually ageing population.

Contact Us

Publications Unit

Related Information

Publications Search