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Governments often take unpopular measures. To minimize the political cost of such measures policy makers may strategically time them to coincide with other newsworthy events, which distract the media and the public. We test this hypothesis using data on the recurrent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Combining daily data on attacks on both sides of the conflict with data on the content of evening news for top U.S. TV networks, we show that Israeli attacks are more likely to be carried out when the U.S. news are expected to be dominated by important (non-Israel-related) events on the following day. In contrast, we find no evidence of strategic timing for Palestinian attacks. The timing of Israeli attacks minimizes the next-day news coverage which, as confirmed by comprehensive video content analysis, is especially charged with negative emotional content. We also find that: i) strategic timing is applied to retaliation only in periods of less intense fighting, when the urgency of retaliation is lower; ii) strategic timing is present only for the Israeli attacks that bear risk of civilians being affected; and iii) Israeli attacks are timed to newsworthy events that are predictable.

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We investigate the causal impact of broadband Internet on political participation using data from Italy. We show that this impact varies across different forms of political engagement and over time. Initially, broadband had a negative effect on turnout in national elections, driven by increased abstention of ideologically extreme voters. Meanwhile, however, broadband fostered other forms of online and offline participation. Over time, the negative effect was reverted due to the emergence of new political entrepreneurs who used the Internet to convert the initial “exit” back into “voice”. Overall, these nuanced effects underscore the general equilibrium dynamic induced by the Internet.

in The Economic Journal Publié en 2015-08
BUONANNO Paolo
PRAROLO Giovanni
VANIN Paolo
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With weak law-enforcement institutions, a positive shock to the value of natural resources may increase demand for private protection and opportunities for rent appropriation through extortion, favouring the emergence of mafia-type organisations. We test this hypothesis by investigating the emergence of the mafia in twentieth century Sicily, where a severe lack of state property-rights enforcement coincided with a steep rise in international demand for sulphur, Sicily's most valuable export commodity. Using historical data on the early incidence of mafia activity and on the distribution of sulphur reserves, we document that the mafia was more present in municipalities with greater sulphur availability.

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Cette thèse vise à améliorer notre compréhension de deux phénomènes importants dans les démocraties contemporaines: l'inégale représentation électorale de la population et la montée du populisme. Pour ce faire, elle explore empiriquement plusieurs expériences naturelles dans différents pays et contextes. Le premier chapitre explore l'impact de l'élection d'un politicien dynastique sur les politiques publiques. Il montre que les politiciens dynastiques ont des caractéristiques différentes des autres politiciens, et qu’ils gèrent leur budget de façon plus opportuniste. Le deuxième chapitre met l'accent sur les discriminations de genre dues aux électeurs, en exploitant une expérience naturelle lors des élections départementales françaises de 2015, lors desquelles les candidats ont dû se présenter par binômes paritaires. En utilisant le fait que l'ordre d'apparition est déterminé de façon quasi-aléatoire, il montre que les bulletins de droite où la candidate était inscrite en premier ont reçu moins de voix et ont eu moins de chance d’accéder au second tour. Cette discrimination est essentiellement due aux bulletins sur lesquels aucune information n'est indiquée, ce qui suggère qu’elle est de nature statistique. Le troisième chapitre étudie le lien entre les flux d'immigration et la montée du populisme. En utilisant comme expérience naturelle le démantèlement du camp de migrants de Calais en France entre octobre 2015 et octobre 2016, il montre que les municipalités qui ont accueilli un petit nombre de migrants de façon temporaire suite à cet évènement ont eu un taux de croissance du vote Front National plus faible entre les élections présidentielles de 2012 et 2017.

Publié en 2019-01
KOESSLER Frédéric
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This paper proposes an equilibrium concept, Language-Based Expectation Equilibrium, which accounts for partial language understanding in sender-receiver cheap talk games. Each player is endowed with a privately known language competence which represents all the messages that he understands. For the messages he does not understand, he has correct but only coarse expectations about the equilibrium strategies of the other player. In general, a language-based expectation equilibrium outcome differs from Nash and communication equilibrium outcomes, but is always a Bayesian solution. Partial language competence of the sender rationalizes information transmission and lies in pure persuasion problems, and facilitates information transmission from a moderately biased sender.

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This note gives a new proof of Blackwell’s celebrated result. The result is a bit stronger than the classical version since the action set and the prior are fixed, and only the utility of the decision maker varies. I show directly that a decision maker has access to a larger set of joint distributions over actions and states of the world if and only if her information improves in the garbling order.

Publié en 2018-05
SKRETA Vasiliki
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We characterize a receiver-optimal test when manipulations are possible in the form of type falsification. Optimal design exploits the following manipulator trade-off: while falsification may lead to better grades, it devalues their meaning. We show that optimal tests can be derived among falsification-proof ones. Our optimal test has a single ‘failing’ grade, and a continuum of ‘passing’ grades. It makes the manipulator indifferent across all moderate levels of falsification. Good types never fail, but bad types may pass. An optimal test delivers at least half of the full-information value to the receiver. A three-grade optimal test also performs well.

This paper studies the prevalence of vertical market foreclosure using a novel dataset on U.S. and international buyer-seller relationships, and across a large range of industries. We find that relationships are more likely to break when suppliers vertically integrate with one of the buyers’ competitors than when they vertically integrate with an unrelated firm. This relationship holds also, among other things, when conditioning on mergers that follow exogenous downward pressure on the supplier’s stock prices, suggesting that reverse causality is unlikely to explain the result. In contrast, the relationship vanishes when using rumored or announced but not completed integration events. Firms experience a substantial drop in sales when one of their suppliers integrates with one of their competitors. This sales drop is mitigated if the firm has alternative suppliers in place.

The strength of contract enforcement determines how firms source inputs and organize production. Using microdata on Indian manufacturing plants, we show that production and sourcing decisions appear systematically distorted in states with weaker enforcement. Specifically, we document that in industries that tend to rely more heavily on relationship-specific intermediate inputs, plants in states with more congested courts shift their expenditures away from intermediate inputs and appear to be more vertically integrated. To quantify the impact of these distortions on aggregate productivity, we construct a model in which plants have several ways of producing, each with different bundles of inputs. Weak enforcement exacerbates a holdup problem that arises when using inputs that require customization, distorting both the intensive and extensive margins of input use. The equilibrium organization of production and the network structure of input-output linkages arise endogenously from the producers’ simultaneous cost minimization decisions. We identify the structural parameters that govern enforcement frictions from cross-state variation in the first moments of producers’ cost shares. A set of counterfactuals show that enforcement frictions lower aggregate productivity to an extent that is relevant on the macro scale.

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This paper analyzes the determination of global equity portfolios and stock returns in the context of imperfectly integrated stock markets. We consider a continuous-time, two-country endowment economy, where the level of financial integration is captured by a proportional tax on foreign dividends. Despite the investor heterogeneity induced by this tax, we obtain approximate closed-form expressions for asset prices, and characterize equity holdings and the joint process followed by country-level stock returns in equilibrium. Our model is consistent with a broad range of empirical findings on international financial integration. When the (endogenous) cross-country return correlation is high, small frictions in equity markets can generate a substantial home bias in portfolios. In the baseline version of our model, the cross-country return correlation is driven by the fundamental correlation and portfolio rebalancing. In a two-good extension of the model, the adjustment of relative good prices can generate a high stock return correlation even for a low level of fundamental correlation, magnifying the impact of the financial friction on portfolios. We assess the quantitative performance of the model in a calibration exercise using data from G7 countries.

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Using aggregate data on bilateral cross-border equity holdings, we investigate whether investors correctly hedge their over-exposure to domestic risk (the well-known equity home bias) by investing in foreign stock markets that have low correlation with their home stock market. To deal with the endogeneity of stock return correlations, we instrument current correlations with past correlations. Controlling for many determinants of international portfolios, we find that, all else equal, investors do tilt their foreign holdings towards countries, which offer better diversification opportunities. The diversification motive that we uncover is stronger for source countries exhibiting a higher level of home bias.

Publié en 2011-11
GODEFROY Raphael
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Though a large literature on the determinants of turnout has ourished, there is scant evidence on the causal impact of turnout on policies implemented in practice. Using data on French municipalities and instrumental variables for turnout based on temperature and inuenza variations, we show that a one percent increase in turnout decreases on average the municipalities' yearly budget by 1.5 percent. This is mostly due to a decrease in spending on equipment or personnel. We show that this could be the result of a negative effect of turnout on the strength of the incumbent's majority combined with the fact that the incumbent promises higher budgets. We argue, in the context of a theoretical model, that these different facts could be natural consequences of the well documented incumbency advantage.

in Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Europe Sous la direction de ALGAN Yann Publié en 2013-01
LANDAIS Camilla
SENIK Claudia
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The French Republican model appears as a polar case among the different cultural integration models. Dating back to the French Revolution and the Third Republic, France has a long secular tradition imposing restrictive attitudes on the expression of religious and cultural identity in the public sphere. There are, however, growing concerns that this model, despite its claimed egalitarianism and universalism, fails to integrate the new immigrant minorities. The most illustrative example is the 2004 ruling against the display of conspicuous religious symbols in school, mainly targeted at Muslim schoolgirls who wished to wear the hijab. The main consequence of this refusal to acknowledge any minorities has been an inability to know whether the reality of equality matches the rhetoric of perfect cultural integration. While views on national identity and the integration model are very strongly held in France, the evidence base is rather weak. The goal of this chapter is to fill this gap.

in Journal of Comparative Economics Publié en 2015-08
VAKULENKO Elena
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We study barriers to labor mobility using panel data on gross region-to-region migration flows in Russia in 1996–2010. Using both parametric and semiparametric methods and controlling for region-to-region pairwise fixed effects, we find a non-monotonic relationship between income and migration. In richer regions, higher incomes result in lower migration outflows. However, in the poorest regions, an increase in incomes results in higher emigration. This is consistent with the presence of geographical poverty traps: potential migrants want to leave the poor regions but cannot afford to move. We also show that economic growth and financial development have allowed most Russian regions to grow out of poverty traps bringing down interregional differentials of wages, incomes and unemployment rates.

We develop an informational theory of dictatorship. Dictators survive not because of their use of force or ideology but because they convince the public--rightly or wrongly--that they are competent. Citizens do not observe the dictator's type but infer it from signals inherent in their living standards, state propaganda, and messages sent by an informed elite via independent media. If citizens conclude the dictator is incompetent, they overthrow him in a revolution. The dictator can invest in making convincing state propaganda, censoring independent media, co-opting the elite, or equipping police to repress attempted uprisings -- but he must finance such spending with taxes that depress the public's living standards. We show that incompetent dictators can survive as long as economic shocks are not too large. Moreover, their reputations for competence may grow over time. Censorship and co-optation of the elite are substitutes, but both are complements of propaganda. Repression of protests is a substitute for all the other techniques. In some equilibria the ruler uses propaganda and co-opts the elite; in others, propaganda is combined with censorship. The multiplicity of equilibria emerges due to coordination failure among members of the elite. We show that repression is used against ordinary citizens only as a last resort when the opportunities to survive through co-optation, censorship, and propaganda are exhausted. In the equilibrium with censorship, difficult economic times prompt higher relative spending on censorship and propaganda. The results illuminate tradeoffs faced by various recent dictatorships.

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This paper draws on a natural experiment to identify the relationship between income and trust. We use a unique panel dataset on Russia where GDP experienced an 8 percent drop in 2009. The effect of the crisis had been very uneven among Russian regions because of their differences in industrial structure inherited from the Soviet times. We find that the regions that specialize in producing capital goods, as well as those depending on oil and gas, had a more substantial income decline during the crisis. The variation in the industrial structure allows creating an instrument for the change in income. After instrumenting average regional income, we find that the effect of income on generalized social trust (the share of respondents saying that most people can be trusted) is statistically and economically significant. Controlling for conventional determinants of trust, we show that 10 percent decrease in income is associated with 5 percentage point decrease in trust. Given that the average level of trust in Russia is 25%, this magnitude is substantial. We also find that post-crisis economic recovery did not restore pre-crisis trust level. Trust recovered only in those regions where the 2009 decline in trust was small. In the regions with the large decline in trust during the crisis, trust in 2014 was still 10 percentage points below its pre-crisis level.

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In this paper Sergei Guriev focuses on the postcrisis slowdown, which mushroomed into the current crisis. The goal is to explain the origins of the slowdown, understand its political implications, and analyze its interaction with the 2014 crisis in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

in American Economic Review Publié en 2014-05
HEAD Keith
THOENIG Mathias
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Quantifications of gains from trade in heterogeneous firm models assume that productivity is Pareto distributed. Replacing this assumption with log-normal heterogeneity retains some useful Pareto features, while providing a substantially better fit to sales distributions-especially in the left tail. The cost of log-normal is that gains from trade depend on the method of calibrating the fixed cost and productivity distribution parameters. When set to match the size distribution of firm sales in a given market, the log-normal assumption delivers gains from trade in a symmetric two-country model that can be twice as large as under the Pareto assumption.

Publié en 2014-02
HEAD Keith
THOENIG Mathias
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This paper investigates the consequences of replacing the assumption of Pareto heterogeneity with log-normal heterogeneity. This case is interesting because it (a) maintains some desirable analytic features of Pareto, (b) ts the complete distribution of rm sales rather than just approximating the right tail, and (c) can be generated under equally plausible processes (see online appendix). The log-normal is reasonably tractable but its use sacrices some \scale-free" properties conveyed by the Pareto distribution. Aspects of the the calibration that do not matter under Pareto lead to important dierences in the gains from trade under log-normal.

in American Economic Review Publié en 2014-02
MELITZ Marc J.
OTTAVIANO Gianmarco
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We build a theoretical model of multi-product firms that highlights how competition across market destinations affects both a firm's exported product range and product mix. We show how tougher competition in an export market induces a firm to skew its export sales toward its best performing products. We find very strong confirmation of this competitive effect for French exporters across export market destinations. Theoretically, this within-firm change in product mix driven by the trading environment has important repercussions on firm productivity. A calibrated fit to our theoretical model reveals that these productivity effects are potentially quite large.

Models of heterogeneous firms with selection into export market participation generically exhibit aggregate trade elasticities that vary across country-pairs. Only when heterogeneity is assumed Pareto-distributed do all elasticities collapse into an unique elasticity, estimable with a gravity equation. This paper provides a theory-based method for quantifying country-pair specific elasticities when moving away from Pareto, i.e. when gravity does not hold. Combining two firm-level customs datasets for which we observe French and Chinese individual sales on the same destination market over the 2000-2006 period, we are able to estimate all the components of the dyadic elasticity: i) the demand-side parameter that governs the intensive margin and ii) the supply side parameters that drive the extensive margin. These components are then assembled under theoretical guidance to calculate bilateral aggregate elasticities over the whole set of destinations, and their decomposition into different margins. Our predictions fit well with econometric estimates, supporting our view that micro-data is a key element in the quantification of non-constant macro trade elasticities.

in American Economic Review Publié en 2017-04
LISE Jeremy
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We develop an equilibrium model of on-the-job search with ex ante heterogeneous workers and firms, aggregate uncertainty, and vacancy creation. The model produces rich dynamics in which the distributions of unemployed workers, vacancies, and worker-firm matches evolve stochastically over time. We prove that the surplus function, which fully characterizes the match value and the mobility decision of workers, does not depend on these distributions. This result means the model is tractable and can be estimated. We illustrate the quantitative implications of the model by fitting to US aggregate labor market data from 1951-2012. The model has rich implications for the cyclical dynamics of the distribution of skills of the unemployed, the distribution of types of vacancies posted, and sorting between heterogeneous workers and firms.

in COGITO, la lettre de la recherche à Sciences Po Publié en 2018-04
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Y a t-il plus de chômeurs qualifiés lorsque l’économie est en récession ? Les chômeurs sont-ils alors plus souvent contraints d’accepter des emplois de moindre qualité ? À l’inverse, les employés trouvent-ils plus facilement de meilleurs emplois lorsque l’économie rebondit ? Pour répondre à ces questions, Jean-Marc Robin, chercheur au Département d’économie de Sciences Po, et Jeremy Lise, Associate Professor à l’Université du Minnesota, ont élaboré un modèle macroéconomique très riche qu’ils ont calibré sur données américaines. Ils en ont fait l’exposé dans la très prestigieuse The American Economic Review : The Macro-dynamics of Sorting between Workers and Firms. Aperçu.

Publié en 2011-09
JACQUEMET Nicolas
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We propose a search-matching model of the marriage market that extends Shimer and Smith (2000) to allow for labor supply. We characterize the steady-state equilibrium when exogenous divorce is the only source of risk. The estimated matching probabilities that can be derived from the steady-state flow conditions are strongly increasing in both male and female wages. We estimate that the share of marriage surplus appropriated by the man increases with his wage and that the share appropriated by the woman decreases with her wage. We find that leisure is an inferior good for men and a normal good for women.

in The Review of Economic Studies Publié en 2018-10
BUCHARDI Konrad B
HASSAN Tarek A
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We use 130 years of data on historical migrations to the United States to show a causal effect of the ancestry composition of US counties on foreign direct investment (FDI) sent and received by local firms. To isolate the causal effect of ancestry on FDI, we build a simple reduced-form model of migrations: Migrations from a foreign country to a US county at a given time depend on (i) a push factor, causing emigration from that foreign country to the entire United States, and (ii) a pull factor, causing immigration from all origins into that US county. The interaction between time-series variation in origin-specific push factors and destination-specific pull factors generates quasi-random variation in the allocation of migrants across US counties. We find that doubling the number of residents with ancestry from a given foreign country relative to the mean increases the probability that at least one local firm engages in FDI with that country by 4 percentage points. We present evidence that this effect is primarily driven by a reduction in information frictions, and not by better contract enforcement, taste similarities, or a convergence in factor endowments.

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Le premier chapitre de cette thèse, intitulé « Optimal Vote Buying » (co-écrit avec Leon Musolff, Princeton University) s’intéresse à la corruption de comités. Il s’agit d’une contribution théorique dans laquelle nous montrons qu’il est généralement peu onéreux de corrompre une large majorité de membres du comité. En effet, lorsque le comité est largement corrompu, les membres considèrent que l’option soutenue par celui qui corrompt le comité sera probablement plébiscitée. Aucun vote ne peut alors faire basculer l’élection et les membres du comité sont prêts à accepter un pot-de-vin modeste en échange de leur vote. Dans le deuxième chapitre (co-écrit avec Emeric Henry, Sciences Po) nous étudions les interactions entre le vote et les normes sociales. Nous analysons un modèle dans lequel un groupe choisit sa propre règle. Dans une première étape, chaque membre vote pour ou contre une règle. Une fois le règlement établi, les membres du groupes choisissent une action dont les conséquences dépendent de la règle choisie. Nous étudions comment le vote et le comportement ultérieur interagissent. Enfin, le dernier chapitre (co-écrit avec Etienne Fize) traite de l’impact du service militaire obligatoire en France sur les comportements politiques. Nous trouvons d’une part que les individus ayant fait leur service militaire sont plus enclins à voter. Pour les élections de 2012, nous estimons que l’effet est de l’ordre de 4 points de pourcentage pour les élections présidentielles et atteint les 9 points pour le second tour des élections législatives. Nous étudions également les conséquences sur les préférences politiques. Nous trouvons que les anciens conscrits sont plus à droite.

in Regional science and urban economics Publié en 2012-11
DE SOUSA José
ZIGNAGO Soledad
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This paper develops a method to measure difficulties in market access over a large set of industries and countries (both developing and developed), during the period 1980-2006. We use a micro-founded heterogeneous-consumers model to estimate the impact of national borders on global and regional trade flows. Results show that difficulties faced by developing countries' exporters in accessing developed markets are 50% higher than those faced by Northern exporters. These difficulties have however experienced a noticeable fall since 1980 in all industries. It is twenty three times easier to enter Northern and Southern markets for a Southern country exporter in 2006 than in 1980. Expressed in tariff-equivalent, the level of protection implied when crossing a border fell from 180% to 89% for this same sample. While tariffs still have an influence on trade patterns, they do not seem to explain an important part of the border effect. Last, our theory-based measure offers a renewal of the assessment of the impact of regional trading arrangements. The EU, NAFTA, ASEAN and MERCOSUR agreements all tend to reduce the estimated degree of market fragmentation within those zones, with the expected ranking between their respective trade impact.

in Review of World Economics Publié en 2018-08
MALGOUYRES Clément
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We investigate the role that labor costs hold in exporters’ performance. To do so, we exploit a large-scale French reform that granted most firms a tax credit proportional to the wagebill of their employees paid below a given threshold. This policy effectively translated into a cut in labor cost whose magnitude varies depending on firm-specific wage structures. We use the predicted treatment intensity based on pre-reform composition of the labor force as an instrument for the actual policy-induced firm-level change in labor costs. Although our point estimates are consistent with commonly estimated firm-level trade elasticities combined with reasonable labor shares in total costs, coefficients are found to be very noisy, suggesting lack of robust evidence of a causal effect of the policy. We discuss several potential explanations for our results as well as their implications.

This paper estimates the role of country/variety comparative advantage in the decision to offshore assembly of more than 2000 models of 197 car brands headquartered in 23 countries. While offshoring in the car industry has risen from 2000 to 2016, the top five offshoring brands account for half the car assembly relocated to low wage countries. We show that the decision to offshore a particular car model depends on two types of cost (dis)advantage of the home country relative to foreign locations. The first type, the assembly costs common to all models, is estimated via a structural triadic gravity equation. The second effect, model-level comparative advantage, is an interaction between proxies for the model's skill and capital intensity and headquarter country's abundance in these factors.

in American Economic Review Publié en 2019
HEAD Keith
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Following the 2016 Leave vote in the referendum on UK membership in the EU and the election of Donald Trump, trade agreements have entered a period of great instability. To predict the impact of possible disruptions to existing arrangements requires counterfactual analysis that takes into account the complex set of factors influencing the production and marketing strategies of multinational corporations. We estimate a model of multinational decisionmaking in the car industry. This model predicts the production reallocation and consumer surplus consequences of changes in tariffs and non-tariff barriers induced by US-led protectionism, Brexit, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic integration agreements.

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