WORKING PAPERS 2024

2024-11

Price controls against “greedflation”: lessons from the debate over incomes policy

Basile Clerc

Abstract
Why do some economists support price controls in the face of inflation during peacetime? Our thesis is that, in the history of economic thought, understanding the role of profits in inflationary dynamics is the crucial variable. To demonstrate this, we investigate the extensive literature on incomes policy, insofar as much of the thinking on macroeconomic price controls in peacetime is part of this literature. This corpus is crossed by a major schism: some advocate price and wage controls while others limit control to wages alone. We show that the defense of price controls is always based on the thesis that profits play an autonomous role in inflationary dynamics. Conversely, the advocates of an incomes policy reduced to wage controls see margins as mere transmission belts for excessive wage increases into prices. Price controls are thus rejected ex ante, even before any criticism of the consequences of their application.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Price controls - Wage controls - Incomes policy - Inflation - Unemployment
2024-10

Product Liability Influences Incentives for Horizontal Mergers

Andreea Cosnita-Langlais, Tim Friehe, Eric Langlais

Abstract
This paper shows how product liability rules influence merger incentives. Consumers’ misperception of product risk critically influences which liability rule induces the strongest merger incentives. When consumers overestimate product risk, merger incentives under negligence and strict liability are similar and weaker than under no liability. When consumers underestimate product risk, merger incentives under negligence are weaker than those under strict liability but stronger than those under no liability.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Liability; Merger; Cournot; Market Structure
2024-9

Assessing the Impact of National Air Quality Standards on Agricultural Land Values: Insights from Corn and Soybean Regions

Cécile Couharde, Rémi Generoso

Abstract
We examine the impact of the National Ambient Air Quality Stan-
dards, as defined by the Clean Air Act, on agricultural land values
within the corn and soybean regions of the United States. To achieve
this objective, agricultural census data on farmland values are com-
bined with pollution exposure metrics as defined by the Environmen-
tal Protection Agency. Using a difference-in-differences approach and
conducting various robustness checks, we find that compliance with air
quality standards has a statistically significant negative effect on agri-
cultural land values at the county level. Moreover, evidence from quan-
tile regression analysis suggests that counties in the lower quantiles fail
to translate the economic and environmental benefits of pollution re-
duction into increased farmland values, unlike their counterparts with
the highest-valued lands.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Air Quality Standards; Agricultural Land Values; Difference- in-Differences; Quantile Regression
2024-8

Économie de guerre climatique : de quoi parle-t-on ?

Alexandre Chirat, Basile Clerc

Abstract
The concept of a necessary transition to a "war economy" in response to the ecological crisis is gaining traction. However, this discussion often overlooks the fact that a war economy primarily relies on policies such as price controls and rationing, as exemplified by the United States' economy during World War II. Whether it's for wartime efforts or addressing climate urgency, both scenarios seem justifying the suspension of market mechanisms in key sectors to achieve production goals while mitigating the social costs of transition. Nonetheless, a significant disparity lies in the social acceptability of such political measures, which proves to be considerably more challenging to establish within the context of the climate and ecological crisis.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Ecological transition - war economy - price controls
2024-7

Disposition à payer pour l’assurance contre les risques naturels: une étude de terrain au Burkina Faso

Guibril Zerbo

Abstract
This article examines the determinants of willingness to pay (WTP) for flood insurance, focusing on the role of information and information sources. We use data from a September 2022 field survey of 593 individuals in urban Burkina Faso. We find that 71.3% of individuals are willing to spend money on insurance. But many individuals have a lower willingness to pay than the expected loss. This suggests that individuals would appreciate insurance cover, but do not have sufficient income to pay the insurance premium. We also find that being well informed about flood risk increases the likelihood of paying the expected loss for insurance. However, obtaining flood information from television increases WTP whereas radio does not. These results suggest the need to take information sources into account when developing effective communication policies against these risks. Another result is that recourse to the family and risk aversion reduce PAD. Finally, trust in insurers and ambiguity aversion increase individuals' chances of paying the expected loss for insurance.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Natural disasters, Flood risk; Insurance, Willingness to pay; Information
2024-6

Moving apart: job-driven residential mobility and the gender pay gap Evidence from a large industrial firm.

Matthieu Bunel, Dominique Meurs, Élisabeth Tovar

Abstract
This article uses a 15-year panel data set from a large French industrial firm to investigate the role of intra-firm job-driven residential mobility on the gender pay gap of executives. We find that job-driven residential mobility is highly profitable for both male and female workers due to a generous mobility bonus policy, but that it does not affect their careers. We also find that female executives are less likely than males to experience job-driven residential mobility, and that it brings higher gains to male relative to female executives. However, these differences between men and women linked to the mobility allowance make limited contribution to the total gender pay gap, which is almost entirely due to other bonuses linked to the positions held.
Mot(s) clé(s)
insider econometrics, personnel economics, gender pay gap, job mobility, residential mobility
2024-5

Gender Differences in Early Occupational Choices: Evidence from Medical Specialty Selection

Josep Amer-Mestre, Noémi Berlin, Agnès Charpin, Magali Dumontet

Abstract
This paper analyses gender differences in occupational choices in a setting in which observed matches are solely determined by supply-side factors: the French centralised medical residency selection mechanism. We show that men and women facing the same occupational choice set make drastically different occupational choices. Medical specialties selected by women pay less, have lower time requirements, and are less competitive. To understand these differences and estimate how much of the gender gap in specialty sorting can be explained by individual preferences for job attributes, we administer a survey to prospective medical residents just before their specialty choice. Using both a hypothetical job choice framework and stated preferences, we show that while “hard” job characteristics (earnings, time requirements) only slightly reduce the gender gap in sorting, “soft” characteristics (daily tasks, contact with patients, willingness to help others) play a larger role in reducing the gap. We also find suggestive evidence of an anticipation effect of fertility on women’s career choices. Our results suggest that individual preferences play a determinant role in explaining gender-based occupational segregation.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Occupational segregation, Gender, Labour market, Job attributes, Willingness to pay
2024-4

Global Value Chains and Productivity: Causal Evidence for Firms Worldwide

Ivan Ledezma, Antonia Lopez Villavicencio

Abstract
We study how global value chain participation causally affects productivity at the firm level. We utilize an extensive dataset encompassing firms from countries of different income levels over the period 2006-2021, together with matching approaches to control for endogeneity. Our primary finding underscores that the simultaneous coordination of importing and exporting activities within a single firm leads to an increase in labor productivity. Positive effects on TFP are significant only within the subgroup of firms in the less developed countries and those operating in low-tech industries. Increased capital intensity appears as a plausible explanation of labor productivity gains. We also find higher innovation propensity, quality enhancements, and labor-cost reductions for two-way traders as channels through which GVC participation influences firms' technical change. The lower responsiveness of TFP in advanced countries can be explained by the different nature of technical change for firms operating closer to the world technology frontier.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Global value chains, productivity, firm, development, endogeneity
2024-3

Evaluating criticality of strategic metals: Are the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index and usual concentration thresholds still relevant?

Pauline Bucciarelli, Emmanuel Hache, Valérie Mignon

Abstract
This paper aims to evaluate the criticality of strategic metals by (i) investigating the validity of the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) for assessing the supply risk aspect of criticality and (ii) determining an appropriate threshold for using this indicator in the context of criticality studies. Relying on a large panel of 33 strategic metals over the 1995-2021 period, our findings show that the variation of HHI has more impact on metal prices at lower HHI levels and question the existence of a threshold that clearly distinguishes high-risk markets from less risky ones based on their concentration levels. Overall, we show that using the HHI as a supply risk indicator, especially in conjunction with a threshold, may result in underestimating risks in less concentrated markets.
Mot(s) clé(s)
Strategic metals; Criticality; Herfindahl–Hirschman Index; Metal prices; Panel regression
2024-2

Que nous apprennent les fichiers SISE au sujet des inégalités de réussite dans l'enseignement supérieur ?

Guillaume Pierné

Abstract
This study offers a cross sectional assessment of inequalities of success related to gender, nationality and socio professional category in higher education. To this purpose, it uses the exhaustiveness of the data contained in the files of the student monitoring information system for the year 2017-2018. On the basis of meta-regressions, the results suggest that inequalities of success are generalized across subjects and educational establishments, that they are stronger in the first years of training and in medical fields and that their magnitude may vary with the demographic composition of the group of attending students , in particular with the share of students belonging to the references demographic groups
Mot(s) clé(s)
inequalities, academic success, higher education, meta analysis
2024-1

Synergy in environmental compliance, innovation and export on SMEs' growth

Phu Nguyen-Van, Tuyen Tiet, Quoc Tran-Nam

Abstract
Although numerous studies examine the impacts of environmental compliance and innovation on a firm's economic performance, the role of export activities in this nexus has remained unanswered. In this study, we revisit the Porter hypothesis by investigating synergy strategies of dierent environmental and economic practices (i.e., environmental compliance, product innovation, process innovation and having export activities) on total factor productivity (TFP) of Vietnamese manufacturing SMEs. Our results suggest that while encouraging either product or process innovation is also essential in the environment-promoting policy, joint implementation of these two practices should be carefully considered by managers. Moreover, entering export markets positively impacts rms' productivity; complying with the domestic/local environmental standards could signicantly increase the chances for SMEs to enter the export markets
Mot(s) clé(s)
Environmental compliance; Export; Product innovation; Process innovation; Productivity; SMEs
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