Publications: Working papers

Publications: Working papers 2007

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2007-1 "Impact de la fiscalité sur les IDE : Application à un panel d’entreprises françaises"

Vincent Delbecque

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Abstract
Based on French firm individual data, this paper examines the impact of Corporate Income Tax Rate on the probability of investments location over 18 countries including 14 European countries.With different models using panel data econometrics and subjet-specific effects, this paper indicates that a 10 percentage point increase in the effective average tax rate leads to a fall in investment probability of 8.1 percentage points. Moreover, the economic size and the providing of public good happen to have a positive and significant impact on investment. Besides, this paper highlights the greater sensitivity of investment facing high Corporate Income Tax Rate.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-2 "Coordination des Politiques Budgétaires dans une Union Monétaire Hétérogène: Modélisation et Application à l'UEM"

Christophe Schalck

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Abstract
This paper studies coordination of fiscal policies in a monetary union in terms of stabilization performance. We use a static model of closed monetary union and numerical simulations in which macroeconomic heterogeneities are introduced. Results show that the coordination is an efficient tool to increase EMU stabilization, even though coordination gains greatly varies according to macroeconomic heterogeneities. We then identify coalitions and free riding behaviours.
Classification-JEL
E61, E63, F42
Mot(s) clé(s)
coordination, politiques budgétaires, hétérogènes
File

2007-3 "Conventions and Exemplars: an alternative conceptual framework"

John Latsis

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Abstract
This paper proposes an alternative reading of what conventions are and how they might be used by social scientists in theoretical and empirical work. In the first section of the paper, I trace the modern conception of convention to two characterisations offered by David Hume. I claim that Hume’s two notions of convention provide the basic intuition behind the majority of modern approaches. The second section highlights an important and often implicit characteristic that most theories of convention share: the desire to explain the normativity of conventional practices has led commentators to characterise convention as a sub-category of social rules. I go on to argue that the Wittgensteinian literature on rule-following undermines this strategy and that rules cannot provide the normative guidance required of them by social theorists. The third section describes a promising alternative. I argue that the notion of exemplar, first proposed by Thomas Kuhn in the history and philosophy of science, can be used to clarify and advance the study of convention. The paper concludes with a illustration of how this alternative framework can be used by social scientists.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-4 "The Social Construction of Markets in a Transitional Economy: The Example of the Sugar Industry in China"

Louis Augustin-Jean

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Abstract
The entry of China into the WTO, in 2001, has generated a lot of research related to the marketization of China’s economy. This debate has overlooked a more important one, which is to analyse the shape taken by the organization of China’s economy, in relation to the reforms introduced by this country since the end of the 1970s and its integration into the world economy. In other words, the changes that are currently occurring, provide a unique chance to understand the role and the interaction of different agents in the (re)construction of a market.

For this purpose, a specific industry has been selected. The choice of the sugar industry allows us to understand its organization from the basic producer (the farmer) up to the final consumer (the food industry). It also allows us to take into account the changes that are currently underway in the international market of sugar (due to changes in the sugar regime of the European Union, an increasing production in Brazil, etc.), which exert considerable pressure on an industry that is undergoing complete restructuring in China.

Taking into account these changes, the paper makes use of the commodity value chain approach as well as of the sociology of organization. Based on a fieldwork conducted from 2004 to 2006, it shows that, while China’s central government seems committed to further liberalize its economy, the diverging interests of agents involved in the industry (farmers, mills, local and provincial authorities…) have in effect reinforced the role of the various levels of government agencies – despite the partial privatisation. It also shows that all the measures taken to protect the most vulnerable agents have led to increased instabilities and uncertainties in a market which, nonetheless, has been continuously expanding for the last 25 years.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-5 "L'internationalisation des firmes chinoises : Le cas européen"

Françoise Hay, Christian Milelli, Yunnan Shi

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Abstract
This contribution attempts to shed light on the rise of direct investment flows from 'thirdworld' to 'first-world' countries and aims to explain why and how third world companies are currently investing in advanced economies. To analyze this trend, we chose to focus on China as it has piled up large amounts of foreign currency reserves and shown a firm political commitment towards the support of Chinese outbound investment on a worldwide basis.
Even though the bulk of Chinese direct investment has been directed to developing countries - especially in Latin America and Africa over the past few years- more mature economies - particularly in Europe since 2003 - have now emerged as a new destination for Chinese investment.
Europe is therefore the focus of this paper which draws on a wide range of data from various sources. The issue is addressed empirically so as to provide a comprehensive understanding of Chinese investors' strategies and entry modes.
Classification-JEL
F14, F23
Mot(s) clé(s)
foreign direct investment, multinational firm, China, European economies
File

2007-6 "Les économistes et "La cité des femmes": le débat théorique sur l'accès des femmes au marché du travail (1850-1914)"

Loïc Charles, Nathalie Le Bouteillec

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Abstract
Historians of Economics use two main types of approaches. The first one interprets history of economic thought in terms of doctrines – mercantilism, socialism, liberalism, to name a few. Since the publication of Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis, this axiomatic has lost importance to an approach that focused on theoretical analysis as the main agency in the history of economics. There are however episodes of history of economics that stand in-between these two types of axiomatic, and neither one nor the other seem to offer an appropriate frame to un-derstand them. The debate on labour market legislation for women that spread across European countries at the end of the 19th century fits into this category. Because it concerned a major as-pect of labour market, it was in the core of the main economic theories (classical political econ-omy, marxism, marginalism) and doctrines (liberalism VS socialism) from mid-19th century on. However, the frontier between partisans of legal restrictions for women access to labour market and free market contenders did not correspond with those of historians of economic thought.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-7 "Sur quelques critiques récurrentes de l'Economie des Conventions"

Franck Bessis

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Abstract
Ce texte a été écrit en mai 2004. Il intervient dans le débat sur l'économie des Conventions amorcé par deux jeunes chercheurs régulationnistes avec un exposé critique au colloque << Conventions et Institutions >> de décembre 2003 (Amable et Palombarini, 2003). Leur communication remaniée a été publiée deux ans plus tard aux éditions Raisons d'agir (Amable et Palombarini, 2005). A la demande des auteurs, Olivier Favereau a entre-temps mis par écrit la réponse qu'il leur a été faite au cours du colloque (Favereau, 2004). Ces derniers ont ensuite réagi par une courte note (Amable et Palombarini, 2004a). Le présent texte intervient précisément à cette étape du débat. Il a fait l'objet d'une réponse directe de la part des auteurs (Amable et Palombarini, 2004b) et s'est trouvé cité dans la version publiée de leur critique (Amable et Palombarini, 2005). J'ai depuis mené à terme une thèse de doctorat consacrée aux possibilités d'articulation entre l'économie des Conventions et la Théorie de la Régulation autour de la question du changement institutionnel (Bessis, 2006). Celle-ci peut être lue comme une réponse, moins directe mais plus étayée, aux critiques formulées par les deux auteurs ainsi qu'à leur diagnostic d'un << inexorable déchirement >> entre ces deux grandes approches hétérodoxes. Ainsi le présent texte formule pour la première fois plusieurs des intuitions que j'ai depuis interrogées et développées dans ma thèse. Aussi peut-il être pris aujourd'hui comme un préambule à ce travail.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-8 "Le rôle de la dette dans le LBO : une revue de la littérature"

Ouidad Yousfi

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Abstract
After 1985, a large number of LBO project were not able to meet their debt. Among these cases, the Federated Department Stores LBO repurchased by Campeau and the Gateway LBO repurchased by Macy's. But, the conventional view of LBO transactions is that they are designed to improve the efficiency of the firm. The question raised in this paper is the following : What makes the buyout debt so advantageous ?
To answer to the question, we provide a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature based on two opposite sides : On the first side, debt is value enhancing (the agency theory, the tax savings theory, the asymmetric information theory, and the free cash flows theory). On the other side, debt creates private value captured by shareholders : The shareholders' gains come from the exploitation of financial market misevaluation, from the usage of tax benefits, and from rent expropriation from worker, suppliers and other corporate stakeholders (the transfer theory).
Classification-JEL
G14, G32, G34
Mot(s) clé(s)
Leverage buy out, asymmetric information, debt, capital structure, free cash-flows
File

2007-9 "Propositions for the Building of a Quantitative Austrian Modelling: An Answer to Prof. Rizzo and to Prof. Vriend"

Rodolphe Buda

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Abstract
In this paper, we try to promote the building of a Quantitative Austrian Modelling
(QAM). QAM must be viewed as a complementary quantitative prolongation of the Austrian
methods and as a complementary approach to the already existing quantitative approaches
- especially we would like here to answer to the appeal of Prof. N.J.Vriend [61].
As we explain it in the first part, our approach resulted from a critical view of the econometric
procedures by Austrian methods and, from a theoretical instrumental study of the
econometric models. We define the main properties to quantitative approaches and especially
to the QAM. In the second part, we present QAM principles and equations (of the
AUSTRIAN model), and justify it according to the classical Austrian point of view. The
QAM could be viewed as an answer to Prof. M.J.Rizzo [49] about the relationship between
the Praxeology and the Econometrics. Indeed, according to its properties, even if QAM
won't be able to recreate any observable data, it could give a consistent pattern where the
other quantitative approaches could fit. Especially, QAM could help, we hope so, to answer
the question we asked about the quality of the econometric behavioral equations [8],
in providing two levels of data, from where we could extract a relationship useful to correct
observable econometric data. QAM is in building.
Classification-JEL
B41, B53, C5, C63, C87, C88
Mot(s) clé(s)
Austrian Economics - Agent-based Computational Economics - Methodological Individualism - Quantitative approaches - Econometrics - Micro-Macroeconomic Bridge
File

2007-10 "Primitive Accumulation, Growth and the Genesis of Social Classes"

Jean-François Jacques, Antoine Rebeyrol

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Abstract
Unlike Stiglitz, we show that an inegalitarian long run equilibrium can emerge in a Solow growth
model framework, assuming a linear consumption function. We then interpret this result in line with
Marxian economics, showing that this dynamic framework is consistent with Roemer's idea of
endogenous class stratification. We extend this calculation by incorporating some features of the
Pasinetti-Samuelson-Modigliani model, and provide an example of possible microfoundations.
Classification-JEL
B50, E25, O40
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-11 "La décision est-elle arbitraire ? Le rôle des conventions dans les processus de décision"

Philippe Abecassis, Philippe Batifoulier

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Abstract
This text proposes to address the issue of the arbitrariness of decision-making, by using the concept of convention. We use the analytical framework of the (French) Conventions economics to define convention as an "interpretation scheme" We show the role of the representations, in the decision-making process and in the coordinating activity, upstream. The interpretation of the context by the decision-maker relies on such conventions, the normative support of which attenuates their fundamentally arbitrary character.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
Convention; Arbitrary; Interpretation
File

2007-12 "Funding source and soft budget constraint"

Marie-Laure Breuillé, Thierry Madiès, Emmanuelle Taugourdeau

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Abstract
This paper analyses the impact of funding source of the bailout on the softness of the regional budget constraint. We show that the funding source of the bailout has a considerable impact both on the credibility of the federal government's commitment and on the regional opportunistic behaviour. By choosing the adequate tax tool, the federal government turns out to be able to limit the soft budget constraint phenomenon.
Classification-JEL
E62; H7
Mot(s) clé(s)
Tax Competition, Soft Budget Constraint, Fiscal Federalism
File

2007-13 "The structuring of markets for infomediation: horizontal versus vertical dynamics"

Kevin Mellet

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Abstract
Two factors play a decisive role in the structuring of Internet based markets for infomediation (informational intermediation) : network externalities and information processing. First, these are examined separately. The two-sided markets literature focuses on the impact of network externalities in a context of competition among 2-sided platforms. It explains the level of concentrationfragmentation of those markets, and explores its welfare implications. We shall call this model the "horizontal" model of structuring. Symetrically, a "vertical" process of division of labour among the infomediaries' value chain is observed. It results of the complexification of intermediation in a context of strong quality uncertainty and high codification investments. Intermediaries specialize and develop cooperative relationships with each others. Secondly, the paper examines the implications of the simultaneous co-existence of H and D dynamics on the structuring of the market for infomediation. This co-existence generates frictions. Two levels of frictions are distinguished : i) market governance (standards and certifications) ; ii) commercial interactions (the so-called 'coopetition'). Empirical illustrations are taken from the analysis of Internet based labour market intermediaries.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
Two-sided markets; competition; vertical specialization; regulation; coopetition; labour market intermediaries.
File

2007-14 "Marchés obligataires et crises bancaires dans les pays émergents"

Jamel Boukhatem

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Abstract
This paper deals with the question of knowing if countries with bank based financial activity face
crises more expensive than those where bond markets are broader and more developed. Based on
the work of Arteta (2005), the results of the empirical tests on a panel of emerging countries suggest
that bank based financial systems are associated with slightly more expensive crises, whereas the
relation between bond markets and the costs of crises is fragile. Besides, market based financial
systems with a stronger confidence in bond markets are associated with a higher growth of
production independently of the presence or not of crises. The originality which we carry to Arteta's
work consists in considering the joint effect of financial liberalization and institutional environment
on the development of bond markets. Our results show the importance of the order of financial
liberalization. We join in this direction one of the most significant aspects of the "sequencing"
theorized by McKinnon (1973). Moreover, effective prudential regulation tends to reduce
significantly the probability of occurrence of banking crises. An effective internal and external
regulation is necessary to contain the increase in the risk inherent to the expansion of the new
activities dictated by the aforementioned liberalization, to which financial managers and analysts of
various institutions are often badly prepared.
Classification-JEL
E44, G0, G21
Mot(s) clé(s)
bond financing, banking crisis, financial liberalization, institutional framework, panel data.
File

2007-15 "A note the cost of pollution abatement"

Thierry Bréchet, Pierre-André Jouvet

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Abstract
We show that the common assumption that innovation reduces
the marginal abatement cost is wrong. We draw some implications
about the incentives to innovate under environmental regulation. In
particular, we find that adopting an environmental friendly technology
may lead to more pollution and less profit at the firm level.
Classification-JEL
H23, L51
Mot(s) clé(s)
innovation, pollution abatement cost, production function, environmental regulation
File

2007-16 "Fiscal federalism and soft budget constraint: does the nature of public spending matter?"

Marie-Laure Breuillé, Thierry Madiès, Emmanuelle Taugourdeau

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Abstract
This paper analyses the impact of both the nature of regional public spending and
the federal government's fiscal tools on the softness of the regional budget constraint
and the regional provision of public good. We show that i) whatever the nature of
regional public spending, the regional budget constraint is harder when the federal
government can no longer manipulate its lump sum tax and ii) under the assumption
that the federal government can no longer manipulate its lump sum tax, the federal
bailout is lower when the region provides a public input rather than a public good but
the regional budget constraint can be either softer or harder.
Classification-JEL
E62; H7
Mot(s) clé(s)
Soft Budget Constraint, Fiscal Federalism, Tax Competition, Public Input
File

2007-17 "Tradable deficit permits: a way to ensure sub-national fiscal discipline?"

Marie-Laure Breuillé

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Abstract
This paper proposes a system of tradable deficit permits for implementing budgetary austerity at the local level. We evaluate the efficiency of the fiscal retrenchment
allocation in a dynamic setting with a commitment problem. The way rights are allcated and traded on the market turns out to be decisive for the cost-effectiveness of the
system. Indeed, the inability of the State to commit dynamically to a sharing rule of
deficit rights generates perverse incentives which affect the local market. The market
turns out to be ineffcient - with heterogeneous jurisdictions - unless the State allows
local decision-makers to trade permits through time.
Classification-JEL
E61; E62; G14; H6; H7
Mot(s) clé(s)
Policy Coordination, Tradable Permits Market, Soft budget constraint
File

2007-18 "A differential game of intertemporal emissions trading with market power"

Julien Chevallier

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Abstract
In international emissions trading schemes such as the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, the suboptimal
negotiation of the cap with respect to total pollution minimization
leads us to critically examine the proposition that generous
allocation of grandfathered permits by the regulator based on recent
emissions might pave the way for dominant positions.
Stemming from this politically given market imperfection, this paper
develops a differential Stackelberg game with two types of noncooperative
agents: a large potentially dominant agent and a competitive
fringe whose size are exogenously determined. The strategic
interactions are modelled on an intra-industry permits markets where
agents can freely bank and borrow permits.
This paper contributes to the debate on initial permits allocation
and market power by focusing on the effects of allowing banking and
borrowing. A documented appraisal on whether or not such provisions
should be included is frequently overlooked by the debate to introduce
the permits market itself among other environmental regulation tools.
Results are presented under perfect information.
Classification-JEL
C73, L11, Q52
Mot(s) clé(s)
emissions trading, banking borrowing, market power.
File

2007-19 "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model"

Pierre-André Jouvet, Pierre Pestieau, Grégory Ponthière

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Abstract
Whereas existing OLG models with endogenous longevity neglect
the impact of environmental quality on mortality, this paper studies
the design of the optimal public intervention in a two-period OLG
model where longevity is influenced positively by health expenditures,
but negatively by pollution due to production. It is shown that if
individuals, when choosing how much to spend on health, do not internalize
the impact of their decision on environmental quality (i.e.
the space available for each person), the decentralization of the social
optimum requires a tax not only on capital income, but also, on
health expenditures. The sensitivity of the optimal second-best public
intervention is also explored numerically.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
File

2007-20 "Maximizing minimal rights for sustainability: a viability approach"

Vincent Martinet

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Abstract
This paper examines how the viability approach can be used to define
sustainability goals. In an economic model with a non renewable natural resource,
we define minimal rights to be guaranteed for all generations. These
rights can include a minimal consumption (economic goal) and the preservation
of natural resources (environmental goal). From a given economic
state, it is possible to define the set of minimal rights that can be provided
for all generation. To address the intergenerational equity issue, we propose
to use a criterion that define the set of minimal rights that provide the
maximal utility, in a Rawlsian perspective (Rawls, 1971). We describe how
this criterion can be applied and computed, and discuss it with respect to
usual criteria, including the maximin criterion, the Green Golden Rule, the
Chichilnisky approach and the Mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion.
Classification-JEL
Q01, Q32, O13, C61
Mot(s) clé(s)
sustainability, intergenerational equity, minimal rights, viability.
File

2007-21 "L'éthique médicale peut-elle être indépendante de la politique économique ?"

Philippe Abecassis, Philippe Batifoulier

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Abstract
Health economics often portrays medical ethics as a source of resistance to cost cutting measures within the
health system. This paper challenges the opposition by showing that medical ethics is influenced by a welfare
state that is in the process of constructing a market in health provision. In this increasingly mercantile context,
medical ethics themselves have come to reflect market values.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
Health, Health system, medical ethics, political frame of reference
File

2007-22 "Financial Intermediation in Developed Countries: Heterogeneity, Lengthening and Risk Transfer"

Michel Boutillier, Nathalie Lévy, Valérie Oheix

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Abstract
We built an original database of flow of funds financial accounts in order to assess the final destination of households' financial wealth. Our method based on matrix calculation stepwise makes all financial intermediaries transparent. We reject the usual dichotomy between bankand market-based systems. The diversity of monetary and non-monetary financial intermediaries' roles includes various ways of interpenetration - consolidation in Europe, credit risk transfer techniques in the U.S. - and the lengthening of the intermediation chain. Based on the same function of transformation of indirect debt securities, it reinforces the Gurley and Shaw's unifying definition of financial intermediation.
Classification-JEL
C67, E01, E21, G2, G32, L16
Mot(s) clé(s)
Financial intermediation, risk management, input-output matrix, households’ wealth, bank-based systems, market-based systems, cross-sectoral activities
File

2007-23 "Une méta-analyse des études d’évaluation monétaire par la méthode des prix hédoniques du coût externe des installations de traitement des déchets"

Benoît Chèze

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Abstract
Cet article présente les résultats d’une méta-analyse dont le but est d’étudier les
facteurs influençant les évaluations monétaires du coût externe des installations de traitement
des déchets. Les décharges et les incinérateurs sont sources de nuisances importantes qui
expliquent en partie l’opposition croissante face aux projets d’implantation de nouveaux sites.
Une recherche bibliographique nous a permis d’identifier 12 études utilisant la méthode des
prix hédoniques (toutes réalisées sur le continent nord-américain) pour estimer en termes
monétaires le coût externe des installation de traitement des déchets. Cette méta-analyse est
réalisée sur les 45 estimations fournies par ces études primaires. Une méta-analyse est une
méthode de recherche quantitative utilisant des outils économétriques afin d’analyser les
résultats d’un ensemble de travaux antérieurs portant sur une question donnée. Le premier but
de cette communication consiste à mettre en avant une estimation monétaire moyenne du coût
externe des installations de traitement des déchets. Le second but est d’étudier les facteurs
influençant la variabilité des différentes estimations. Nous montrons que la distance, le
revenu, les caractéristiques des installations de traitement des déchets, la spécification de la
forme fonctionnelle de l’équation de prix hédonique et l’information publique expliquent en
grande partie cette variabilité des différentes estimations.
Classification-JEL
Q53, Q51
Mot(s) clé(s)
Méta-analyse, méthode des prix hédoniques, évaluation environnementale, déchets
File

2007-24 "Evidences on inter-firm R&D partnerships in three high-tech industries"

Frédéric Deroïan, Zouhaïer M'Chirgui , Christian Milelli

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Abstract
This paper describes inter-firm partnerships in three major high-tech industries over the
1985-2005 period. We found that the architecture of the respective networks had evolved
toward a 'small world' in the early 1990s. We also found that the number of alliances
collapsed in the late 1990s. This result roughly follows the number of patents granted in the
respective industries and is correlated to an increase in market concentration, and to some
extent to the rising number of mergers and acquisitions.
Classification-JEL
L24, L6, O31
Mot(s) clé(s)
Innovation, R&D Partnerships, High-Tech Industries, Network Architecture
File

2007-25 "Outward expansion by Indian firms: the European route"

Christian Milelli

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Abstract
This contribution attempts to shed light on the surge of direct investment flows from
India because of the limited understanding of this huge country in the context of
liberalization of inward and outward foreign direct investment. As far as the latter is
concerned, India cannot be described as an underdeveloped country since it can
mobilize substantial native capital and it hosts flourishing multinational companies.
The liberalization of the national economy in the early 1990s and the resulting arrival
of large foreign multinationals have prompted domestic companies to engage in a
restructuring path along with to seek new business opportunities overseas in order to
expand market share. If the bulk of Indian outward direct investment is still directed
toward developing countries, mature economies are emerging as a growing host
place.
The paper focuses on Europe and draws on a wide range of data from various
sources, and tackles the question empirically in order to provide a more
comprehensive understanding on entry modes and strategies followed by Indian
investors.
Classification-JEL
F14, F23
Mot(s) clé(s)
foreign direct investment, multinational firm, India, European economies
File

2007-26 "Poverty traps: a perspective from development economics"

Alice Nicole Sindzingre

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Abstract
The concepts of coordination and cooperation are widely used in economics, and particularly in game theory.
They were also at the foundation of development economics at the time of WWII, with Paul Rosenstein-Rodan
highlighting the existence of intersectoral spillovers effects, multiple equilibria and underdevelopment traps.
These concepts returned to the forefront of development theory in the 1970s with the notions of coordination
failure and poverty traps, as well as the research on social norms. One example was Samuel Bowles' seminal
concept of 'institutional poverty traps', i.e. highly inegalitarian institutions that persist even though they are
inefficient. Membership institutions are of particular relevance in developing countries, and therefore in
development economics. The paper explores the cognitive dimensions of coordination failures and institutional
traps; it reveals that local institutions in developing countries may be efficient and examines the conditions in
which norms create poverty traps, in particular membership norms. Firstly, it is argued that institutions and
norms are key causes of the formation and persistence of poverty traps. Institutions and norms are complex
cognitive devices, some beliefs and norms appear to be particularly resilient and difficult to revise. Secondly, it
is shown that no particular institutional form is ex ante a cause of poverty traps: depending on contexts, the same
institutional forms can be efficient or inefficient. It is the combination of multiple elements - economic and
political environment, and social norms - that create thresholds effects and entrap groups into low equilibria.
Thirdly, it is argued that the norms that organise group membership, because they involve beliefs that are
difficult to revise, are typical factors of poverty traps.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
poverty traps, coordination failures, social norms
File

2007-27 "Delivering flexibility:working time and contractual status in the food processing industry in France and the UK"

Eve Caroli, Jérôme Gautié, Susan James, Annie Lamanthe, Caroline Lloyd

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Abstract
In this paper, we investigate to what extent labour market institutions influence the way firms respond to
flexibility requirements in terms of human resource management. In order to do so, we consider two contrasting
economies: France and the UK. France is highly regulated, whereas the UK is more clearly a ‘liberal market
economy’. We focus on the food processing sector which is subject to very similar competitive pressure in both
countries. Our methodology is based upon plant-level case studies. We explore numerical and functional labour
flexibility in terms of outcomes at the firm level. How and to what extent are firms able to deliver flexibility in
different institutional contexts? Does this matter in terms of outcomes for workers?
We find evidence that firms use a combination of different forms of numerical flexibility although there appears
to be a slight move away from internal flexibility (overtime) to external flexibility (agency workers) in the UK
and possibly in the opposite direction in France. The research also seems to suggest that there is not a simple
trade-off between numerical and functional flexibility. In France, the organisation of work indicates a more
functionally flexible core, with a less skilled, numerically flexible periphery. However, in the UK there is little
evidence that firms are utilising the core workforce in a similar way. Part of this may be due to the more stable
workforce found in most of the French plants. But perhaps more importantly, this is likely to be due to the high
cost of labour in France which creates an incentive for firms to replace many of the lowest skilled jobs by
machines.
Classification-JEL
J53, J81, O17
Mot(s) clé(s)
labour flexibility, food processing, labour market institutions
File

2007-28 "Autorité et flexibilité : quand la théorie des options interroge"

Camille Chaserant

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Abstract
Continental Law defines the employment contract by the notion of « subordination » of the employee to the employer. Since Simon (1951), economics defines authority as the opportunity for the employer to postpone the selection of the tasks the employee should perform. This paper shows that these definitions do not fit. It proposes to use the framework of option pricing in order to interpret Simon’s model and to analyze the economic conceptions of authority, flexibility and renegotiation. When states are not verifiable, the economic concept of employment contract is a specific case of the broader set of sale contracts. It can be formalized as a spot contract paired with a call option on the worker tasks. Therefore, the economic formalization of the employment contract does not implement what lawyers define as an employment relationship. The economic formalization of the subordination notion used by Law is still to be done.
Classification-JEL
D86, K31, G12, J41
Mot(s) clé(s)
droit et économie, option financière, autorité, renégociation, subordination
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2007-29 "SME financing in China"

Chen Xiang Liu

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Abstract
SMEs have a great contribution in China’s economic expansion. However, the financing
predicament currently faced by SMEs constitutes a great bottleneck for their development. Banks
are reluctant to lend to them, mainly due to the lack of collateral and their poor capability in
pricing risk. This is the reason why credit guarantee institutions play a key role in SME financing
and the perfection of the credit guarantee system is important for promoting their access to credit.
In addition, the lifting of the ceiling on lending rates as well as other steps taken by banking
authorities will encourage bank lending to SMEs. Finally, informal finance has a significant part
in SME financing.
Classification-JEL
E26, E51, G21, O53
Mot(s) clé(s)
SME financing, credit guarantee, informal finance
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2007-30 "Assiste-t-on à une transformation des carrières professionnelles vers plus de mobilité ?Une exploitation de l'enquête "Histoire de vie""

Delphine Remillon, Guillemette de Larquier

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Abstract
This paper considers whether there has been an increase in mobility in the French
labour market over the past 60 years. We use data on 6618 careers from a French survey
called Histoire de vie – Construction des identités (INSEE). We find a small increase in
mobility mainly due to the transformation of career trajectories. We show that the main
transformation in carreers is not a generalization of mobility but rather an increase in the risk
of unemployment.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
Careers, professional mobility, unemployment
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2007-31 "Public and private environmental spending.A political economy approach"

Pierre-André Jouvet, Philippe Michel, Pierre Pestieau

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Abstract
This paper studies the determination of public investment in environmental
quality when there are private alternatives. Public investment is chosen by
majority voting. When consumption and environmental quality are
complementary one may observe a solution of the type "ends against the
middle."
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
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2007-32 "European carbon prices and banking restrictions: evidence from phase I (2005-2007)"

Emilie Alberola, Julien Chevallier

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Abstract
The price of European Union Allowances (EUAs) has been declining
at far lower levels than expected during Phase I (2005-2007). Previous
literature identifies among its main explanations over-allocation
concerns, early abatement efforts in 2005 and possibly decreasing abatement
costs in 2006. We advocate low allowance prices may also be
explained by banking restrictions between 2007 and 2008 which undermine
the ability of the EU ETS to provide an efficient price signal.
Based on a Hotelling-type analysis, our results suggest EUA prices do
not reflect adequately abatement costs. We also give evidence that the
French ban on banking and the expected allowance scarcity at the end
of Phase I computed by the Ellerman-Parsons ratio contribute to the
explanation of low EUA prices. This situation may be interpreted as
a sacrifice of the temporal flexibility offered to industrials in Phase I
to give a chance to correct design inefficiencies and achieve an efficient
price pattern leading to effective abatement efforts in Phase II.
Classification-JEL
Q28, Q52, Q58
Mot(s) clé(s)
Carbon emissions trading, EU ETS, Banking, Borrowing, Hotelling rule, Ellerman-Parsons ratio.
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2007-33 "European carbon prices fundamentals in 2005-2007: the effects of energy markets, temperatures and sectorial production"

Emilie Alberola, Julien Chevallier, Benoît Chèze

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Abstract
This article aims at characterizing the daily price fundamentals of European Union Allowances (EUAs) traded since 2005 as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). First, the presence of two structural changes on April, 2006 following the disclosure of 2005 verified emissions and on October, 2006 following the European Commission announcement of stricter Phase II allocation allow to isolate distinct fundamentals evolving overtime. The results extend previous literature by showing that spot prices react not only to other energy markets and temperatures, but also to economic activity within the main sectors covered by the EU ETS such as proxied by sectoral production indices. Besides, the sub-period decomposition of the pilot phase gives a better grasp of institutional and market events that drive allowance price changes.
Classification-JEL
Q40, Q48 Q54
Mot(s) clé(s)
Carbon Emissions Trading, Market Price Fundamentals, EU ETS
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2007-34 "Intergenerational inequalities in GPs’ earnings: experience, time and cohort effects"

Brigitte Dormont, Anne-Laure Samson

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Abstract
This paper analyses the regulation of ambulatory care and its impact on physicians' careers, using a representative panel of 6,016 French self-employed GPs over the years 1983 to 2004. The beginning of their activity is influenced by the regulated number of places in medical schools, named in France numerus clausus. We show that the policies aimed at manipulating the numerus clausus strongly affect physicians' permanent level of earnings.
Our empirical approach allows us to identify experience, time and cohort effects in GPs' earnings. The estimated cohort effect is very large, revealing that intergenerational inequalities due to fluctuations in the numerus clausus are not negligible. GPs beginning during the eighties have the lowest permanent earnings: they faced the consequences of an unlimited number of places in medical schools in the context of a high density due to the baby-boom numerous cohorts. Conversely, the decrease in the numerus clausus led to an increase in permanent earnings of GPs who began their practice in the mid nineties. Overall, the estimated gap in earnings between "good" and "bad" cohorts may reach 25%.
We performed a more thorough analysis of the earnings distribution to examine whether individual unobserved heterogeneity could compensate for average differences between cohorts. Our results about stochastic dominance between earnings distributions by cohort show that it is not the case.
Classification-JEL
C2, D63, I18
Mot(s) clé(s)
GPs, self-employed, longitudinal data, earnings, stochastic dominance
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2007-35 "Legal vs economic explanations of the rise in bankruptcies in XIXth century France"

Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, Nadine Levratto

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Abstract
This paper aims at giving an explanation of the changes in the number of bankruptcies
during the second part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. We firstly study the
evolution of the French insolvency law and then we introduce some regional aspects. We indeed
observe that the court of the District of the Seine is more tolerant than the others; however this kind
of use of the law will spread in the other courts until the reform in 1889 that creates the judicial
liquidation. The special analysis permits us to show that the changes in the law do not explain the
total variations of the total amount of bankruptcies. The local practices and, thus, the way the
judicial agents act are also essential in the explanation.
Classification-JEL
Mot(s) clé(s)
Bankruptcy, Code de commerce, 19th century
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2007-36 "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins"

Matthieu Crozet, Pamina Koenig

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Abstract
New trade models with heterogeneous firms have had a consequent influence on
gravity equations. According to Chaney (2007) and Melitz and Ottaviano (2005), the theoretical relationship between trade costs and trade flows is the sum of the effect of trade costs
on the number of exporting firms (the extensive margin) and the value of individual exports
(the intensive margin). The distinctive effect of distance on the two margins deeply modifies
predictions of the trade literature, among which the sectoral effect of trade policies. Using
French firms-level export data to 61 countries, on the period 1989-1992, we provide unbiased structural estimates of the three parameters governing trade elasticities with respect
to distance. This dissection of the gravity equation provides consistent evidence in favor of
heterogeneous firms models of trade.
Classification-JEL
F12
Mot(s) clé(s)
Gravity equation, International trade, Firm heterogeneity.
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