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Documents de travail

Political connections and insider trading
avec T. Bourveau et R. Coulomb
Résumé [+] | Document de travail | Media briefing | Couverture presse This paper investigates whether political connections affect individuals' propensity to engage in illegal activities in financial markets. We use the 2007 French presidential election as marker of change in the value of political connections, in a difference-in-differences research design. We examine the behavior of directors of publicly listed companies who are connected to the future president through campaign donations or direct friendships, relative to that of other non-connected directors, before and after the election. We uncover indirect evidence that connected directors do more illegal insider trading after the election. More precisely, we find that purchases by connected directors trigger larger abnormal returns, and that connected directors are more likely not to comply with trading disclosure requirements and to trade closer to major corporate events.

What motivates French pork: Political career concerns or private connections?
avec B. Fabre
Résumé [+] | Document de travail | Media briefing | Couverture presse This paper uses the detailed curricula of French ministers and the detailed accounts of French municipalities to identify governmental investment grants targeted to specific jurisdictions. We distinguish between municipalities in which a politician held office before being appointed as a government's member and those in which current ministers lived during their childhood. We provide evidence that municipalities in which a minister held office during her career experience a 45% increase in the amount of discretionary investment subsidies they receive during the time the politician they are linked to serves as minister. In contrast, we do not find any evidence that subsidies flow to municipalities from which ministers originate. Additional evidence advocate in favor of a key role of network and knowledge accumulated through connections, illustrated by a persistence of the impact of intergovernmental ties.


Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries
avec Y. Zylberberg, Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 152, pp. 55-67, 2017
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Annexe en ligne This paper provides empirical evidence that, after protests, citizens substantially revise their views on the current leader, but also their trust in the country's institutions. The empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of an individual level survey and the proximity to social protests in 13 African countries. First, we find that trust in political leaders strongly and abruptly decreases after protests. Second, trust in the country monitoring institutions plunges as well. Both effects are much stronger when protests are repressed by the government. As no signs of distrust are recorded even a couple of days before the social conflicts, protests can be interpreted as sudden signals sent on a leaders' actions from which citizens extract information on their country fundamentals.

The wild West is wild: The homicide resource curse
avec M. Couttenier et P. Grosjean, Journal of the European Economic Association, Vol. 15(3), pp. 558-585, 2017
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Annexe en ligne | Données et programmes We document interpersonal violence as a dimension of the resource curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, where mineral discoveries occurred sometimes before, sometimes after formal institutions were established in the county of discovery. In places where mineral discoveries occurred before formal institutions were established, there were more homicides per capita historically and the effect has persisted to this day. Today, the share of homicides and assaults explained by the historical circumstances of mineral discoveries is comparable to the effect of education or income. Our results imply that short-term and quasi-exogenous variations in the institutional environment can lead to large and persistent differences in cultural and institutional development.

Scrambled questions penalty in multiple choice tests: New evidence from French undergraduate students
avec M. Raux et T. van Ypersele, Economics Bulletin, , Vol. 37(1), pp. 347-351, 2017
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail This note evaluates the scrambled questions penalty using multiple choice tests taken by first-year undergraduate students who follow a microeconomics introductory course. We provide new evidence that students perform worse at scrambled questionnaires than at logically ordered ones. We improve on previous studies by explicitly modeling students individual skills thanks to a fixed effects regression. We further show that the scrambled questions penalty does not differ along gender but varies along the distribution of students' skills and mostly affects students with lower-intermediate skills.

Trust and the welfare state: The twin peaks curve
avec Y. Algan et P. Cahuc, The Economic Journal, Vol. 126(593), pp. 861-883, 2016
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Couverture presse | Annexe en ligne | Données et programmes We show the existence of a twin peaks relation between trust and the size of the welfare state that stems from two opposing forces. Uncivic people support large welfare states because they expect to benefit from them without bearing their costs. But civic individuals support generous benefits and high taxes only when they are surrounded by trustworthy individuals. We provide empirical evidence for these behaviors and this twin peaks relation in the OECD countries.

Star wars: The empirics strike back
avec A. Brodeur, M. Lé et Y. Zylberberg, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Vol. 8(1), pp. 1-32, 2016
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Couverture presse | Annexe en ligne | Données et programmes Using 50,000 tests published in the AER, JPE, and QJE, we identify a residual in the distribution of tests that cannot be explained solely by journals favoring rejection of the null hypothesis. We observe a two-humped camel shape with missing p-values between 0.25 and 0.10 that can be retrieved just after the 0.05 threshold and represent 10-20% of marginally rejected tests. Our interpretation is that researchers inflate the value of just-rejected tests by choosing ``significant'' specifications. We propose a method to measure this residual and describe how it varies by article and author characteristics.

Living in the garden of Eden: Mineral resources foster individualism
avec M. Couttenier, Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 43(2), pp. 243-256, 2015
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Annexe en ligne This paper provides empirical evidence that mineral resources abundance is associated to preferences for redistribution in the United States. We show that individuals living in states with large mineral resources endowment are more opposed to redistribution than others. We take advantage of both the spatial and the temporal distributions of mineral resources discoveries since 1800 to uncover two mechanisms through which mineral resources can foster ones' opposition to redistribution: either by transmission of values formed in the past, or by the exposure to mineral discoveries during individuals' life-time. We show that both mechanisms matter to explain respondents' preferences.

The impact of political majorities on firm value: Do electoral promises or friendship connections matter?
avec R. Coulomb, Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 115, pp. 158-170, 2014
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | Couverture presse | Annexe en ligne This paper simultaneously estimates the impact of political majorities on the values of firms that would benefit from the platforms of the two main candidates at the 2007 French presidential election, Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy, and of those that are ruled or owned by Sarkozy's friends. We use prediction-market data to track each candidate's victory probability, and investigate how this relates to firms' abnormal returns. Our estimates suggest that the value of firms that would likely benefit from the platforms of Royal and Sarkozy changed by 1% and 2%, respectively, with the candidates' victory probabilities, and that firms connected to Sarkozy out-performed others by 3% due to his election.

Allocation of ordered exclusive choices
Stata Journal, Vol. 13(3), pp. 618-624, 2013
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail | alloch.ado This note describes the Stata command alloch which helps to allocate exclusive choices among individuals who have ordered preferences over available alternatives.

Does trust favor macroeconomic stability?
Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 41(3), pp. 653-668, 2013
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail This paper investigates the relationship between trust and macroeconomic volatility. An illustrative model rationalizes the relationship between trust and volatility. In this model, trust relaxes credit constraints and diminishes investment's procyclicality. I provide empirical evidence for the basic predictions of the model. Then, I show that higher trust is associated with lower macroeconomic volatility in a cross section of countries. This relationship persists when various covariates are taken into account. I use inherited trust of Americans as an instrumental variable for trust in their origin country to overcome reverse causality concerns. Using changes in inherited trust over the 20th century, I do not find clear evidence that increasing trust is also associated with decreasing volatility across time at the country level.

Senior activity rate, retirement incentives, and labor relations
avec H. Blake, Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Vol. 5(8), pp. 1-32, 2011
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail In order to face the aging of their populations governments of developed countries reformed their retirement systems during the last two decades, by discouraging early retirement and increasing incentives to work for older workers. Senior participation rates to the labor force not only differ strikingly in level from one country to another, they also differ in their reaction to retirement incentives set by governments. This paper highlights how disutility to work can merely influence the effectiveness of such reforms. We build a highly stylized model according to which the reaction of senior activity rate to monetary incentives to work depends on the properties of the specific distribution of working conditions in the country. Second, taking the quality of labor relations as a proxy for working conditions, we show empirically that aggregate reactions to retirement incentives depend on the distribution of labor relations at country level. We use panel data for nineteen OECD countries from 1980 to 2004. We show that the elasticity of senior male labor force participation rate to retirement incentives is stronger in countries with better and more homogeneously distributed labor relations.

The co-evolution of social capital and financial development
Economics Bulletin, Vol. 31(2), pp. 1063-1081, 2011
Résumé [+] | Article | Document de travail This paper documents the co-evolution of social capital, measured as generalized trust, and financial development over the twentieth century. I use cross generations inherited trust of Americans with foreign ancestors to track trust in their home country in 1913 and 1990. The paper documents a positive cross-section relationship between trust and financial development in 1913. Then, I show that increasing trust is also associated with increasing financial development at the country level over the twentieth century. In other words, countries that experienced larger improvements in trust also experienced a stronger financial development. These results are robust to the introduction of real GDP per capita and trade openness as alternative determinants of financial development.


Analyse Macroéconomique Approfondie
de M. Wickens, avec H. Tabarraei et M. Sy, De Boeck, 2010
Quatrième de couverture [+] | Site de l'éditeur | Errata Cet ouvrage est le manuel de macroéconomie le plus proche des développements récents de la discipline. Cet ouvrage propose aux étudiants et aux chercheurs une approche de l'ensemble de l'économie en terme d'équilibre général dynamique. Michael Wickens présente les principales idées de la macroéconomie moderne et ses liens avec la finance. L'ouvrage débute par la présentation du modèle d'équilibre général dynamique pour une économie fermée. Ce modèle est par la suite étendu pour prendre en compte les nombreuses problématiques de la macroéconomie. L'ouvrage couvre ainsi les questions importantes que sont la croissance, les cycles économiques, la politique budgétaire et son financement, l'économie ouverte, la valorisation des actifs, la détermination des taux de change et la politique monétaire. Cet ouvrage comporte en outre une annexe et des raisonnements détaillés qui permettent d'appréhender l'ensemble des outils mathématiques utilisés. Il s'adresse aux étudiants de niveau master, ainsi qu'aux doctorants et aux chercheurs en économie.

    Dernière mise à jour : Juin 2017