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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 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.

Publié en 2016-08
BARTHÉLEMY Jean
MENGUS Eric
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This paper argues that central bankers should raise inflation when anticipating liquidity traps to signal their credibility to forward guidance policies. As stable inflation in normal times either stems from central banker's credibility, e.g. through reputation, or from his aversion to inflation, the private sector is unable to infer the central banker's type from observing stable inflation, jeopardizing the efficiency of forward guidance policy. We show that this signaling motive can justify level of inflation well above 2% but also that the low inflation volatility during the Great Moderation was insufficient to ensure fully efficient forward guidance when needed.

Publié en 2015-07
JOCHMANS Koen
DHAENE Geert
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We derive bias-corrected least-squares estimators of panel vector autoregressions with fixed effects. The correction is straightforward to implement and yields an estimator that is asymptotically unbiased under asymptotics where the number of time series observations grows at the same rate as the number of cross-sectional observations. This makes the estimator well suited for most macroeconomic data sets. Simulation results show that the estimator yields substantial improvements over within-group least-squares estimation. We illustrate the bias correction in a study of the relation between the unemployment rate and the economic growth rate at the U.S. state level.

Publié en 2016-02
JOCHMANS Koen
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We consider point estimation and inference based on modifications of the profile likelihood in models for dyadic interactions between agents featuring n agent-specific parameters. This setup covers the b-model of network formation and generalizations thereof. The maximum-likelihood estimator of such models has bias and standard deviation of O(n−1) and so is asymptotically biased. Estimation based on modified likelihoods leads to estimators that are asymptotically unbiased and likelihood-ratio tests that exhibit correct size. We apply the modifications to versions of the b-model for network formation and of the Bradley-Terry model for paired comparisons.

Publié en 2016-02
JOCHMANS Koen
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We consider a statistical model for network formation that features both node-specific heterogeneity parameters and common parameters that reflect homophily among nodes. The goal is to perform statistical inference on the homophily parameters while allowing the distribution of the node heterogeneity to be unrestricted, that is, by treating the node-specific parameters as fixed effects. Jointly estimating all the parameters leads to asymptotic bias that renders conventional confidence intervals incorrectly centered. As an alternative, we develop an approach based on a sufficient statistic that separates inference on the homophily parameters from estimation of the fixed effects. This estimator is easy to compute and is shown to have desirable asymptotic properties. In numerical experiments we find that the asymptotic results provide a good approximation to the small-sample behavior of the estimator. As an empirical illustration, the technique is applied to explain the import and export patterns in a cross-section of countries.

Publié en 2013-01
DHAENE Geert
JOCHMANS Koen
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We calculate the bias of the profile score for the regression coefficients in a multistratum autoregressive model with stratum-specific intercepts. The bias is free of incidental parameters. Centering the profile score delivers an unbiased estimating equation and, upon integration, an adjusted profile likelihood. A variety of other approaches to constructing modified profile likelihoods are shown to yield equivalent results. However, the global maximizer of the adjusted likelihood lies at infinity for any sample size, and the adjusted profile score has multiple zeros. We argue that the parameters are local maximizers inside or on an ellipsoid centered at the maximum likelihood estimator.

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.

Publié en 2015-04
HENRY Marc
JOCHMANS Koen
SALANIÉ Bernard
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Many econometric models can be analyzed as finite mixtures. We focus on two-component mixtures and we show that they are nonparametrically point identified by a combination of an exclusion restriction and tail restrictions. Our identification analysis suggests simple closed-form estimators of the component distributions and mixing proportions. We derive their asymptotic properties using results on tail empirical processes and we present a simulation study that documents their finite-sample performance.

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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.

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.

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.

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We consider collective decision problems given by a profile of single-peakedpreferences defined over the real line and a set of pure public facilities to be located on the line. In this context, Bochet and Gordon (2012) provide a large class of priority rules based on efficiency, object-population monotonicity and sovereignty. Each such rule is described by a fixed priority ordering among interest groups. We show that any priority rule which treats agents symmetrically - anonymity - , respects some form of coherence across collective decision problems - reinforcement - and only depends on peak information - peak-only -, is a weighted majoritarian rule. Each such rule defines priorities based on the relative size of the interest groups and specific weights attached to locations. We give an explicit account of the richness of this class of rules.

This paper shows that goods-market frictions drastically change the dynamics of the labor market, bridging the gap with the data both in terms of persistence and volatility. In a DSGE model with three imperfect markets - goods, labor and credit - we find that credit- and goods-market imperfections are substitutable in raising volatility. Goods-market frictions are however unique in generating persistence. The two key mechanisms generating autocorrelation in growth rates and the hump-shaped pattern in the response to productivity shocks are related to the goods market: i) countercyclical dynamics of goods market tightness and prices, which alter future profit flows and raise persistence and ii) procyclical search effort in the goods market, by either consumers, firms or both, raises both amplification and persistence. Expanding our knowledge of goods market frictions is thus needed for a full account of labor market dynamics.

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The renewal of interest in macroeconomic theories of search frictions in the goods market requires a deeper understanding of the cyclical properties of the intensive margins in this market. We review the theoretical mechanisms that promote either procyclical or countercyclical movements in time spent searching for consumer goods and services, and then use the American Time Use Survey to measure shopping time through the Great Recession. Average time spent searching declined in the aggregate over the period 2008-2010 compared to 2005-2007, and the decline was largest for the unemployed who went from spending more to less time searching for goods than the employed. Cross-state regressions point towards a procyclicality of consumer search in the goods market. At the individual level, time allocated to different shopping activities is increasing in individual and household income. Overall, this body of evidence supports procyclical consumer search effort in the goods market and a conclusion that price comparisons cannot be a driver of business cycles.

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In this paper, we show that sentencing norms vary widely even across geographically close units. By examining North Carolina’s unique judicial rotation system, we show that judges arriving in a new court gradually converge to local sentencing norms. We document factors that facilitate this convergence and show that sentencing norms are predicted by preferences of the local constituents. We build on these empirical results to analyze theoretically the delegation trade-off faced by a social planner: the judge can learn the local norm, but only at the cost of potential capture.

Publié en 2014-10
CAMPANTE Filipe R.
GUIMARAES Bernardo
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We investigate the links between capital cities, conict, and the quality of governance, starting from the assumption that incumbent elites are constrained by the threat of insurrection, and that this threat is rendered less e_ective by distance from the seat of political power. We develop a model that delivers two key predictions: (i) conict is more likely to emerge (and to dislodge incumbents) closer to the capital, and (ii) isolated capital cities are associated with misgovernance. We show evidence that both patterns hold true robustly in the data, as do other ancillary predictions from the model.

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What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types and across political parties? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that successfully deal with the endogeneity of campaign spending. We provide novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We propose two new instruments to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending; they rely on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on campaign funding depending on the source of funding they depend on the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate’s vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the party. In particular, we show that spending by extreme-right candidates has much lower returns than spending by other parties. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of the mechanisms at play.

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In this paper I study the relation between self-employment and the tax rates on wages and on self-employment income. Using variation in the statutory tax rates across countries, industries, and occupations, I find that while the share of self-employed is strongly positively correlated with the tax rate on wage income, it is weakly negatively correlated with the tax rate on self-employed income. The asymmetry between the effects of the tax rates suggests that those who choose self-employment partly do so in order to evade taxes. This extensive margin of adjustment – between employment and self-employment – should be taken into account when considering the effects of tax rates on labor income, on taxable income and on welfare.

Publié en 2014-03
DHAENE Geert
JOCHMANS Koen
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Maximum-likelihood estimation of nonlinear models with fixed effects is subject to the incidental-parameter problem. This typically implies that point estimates suffer from large bias and confidence intervals have poor coverage. This paper presents a jackknife method to reduce this bias and to obtain confidence intervals that are correctly centered under rectangular-array asymptotics. The method is explicitly designed to handle dynamics in the data and yields estimators that are straightforward to implement and that can be readily applied to a range of models and estimands. We provide distribution theory for estimators of index coefficients and average effects, present validity tests for the jackknife, and consider extensions to higher-order bias correction and to two-step estimation problems. An empirical illustration on female labor-force participation is also provided.

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The purpose of this paper is the presentation of distribution theory for generic estimators based on the pairwise comparison of observations in problems where identification is achieved through the use of control functions. The controls can be specified semi- or non-parametrically. The criterion function may be non-smooth. The theory is applied to the estimation of the coefficients in a monotone linear-index model and to inference on the link function in a partially-linear transformation model. A number of simulation exercises serve to assess the small-sample performance of these techniques.

Publié en 2014-12
BONHOMME Stéphane
JOCHMANS Koen
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A constructive proof of identification of multilinear decompositions of multiway arrays is presented. It can be applied to show identification in a variety of multivariate latent structures. Examples are finite-mixture models and hidden Markov models. The key step to show identification is the joint diagonalization of a set of matrices in the same non-orthogonal basis. An estimator of the latent-structure model may then be based on a sample version of this simultaneous-diagonalization problem. Simple algorithms are available for computation. Asymptotic theory is derived for this joint approximate-diagonalization estimator.

Publié en 2015-03
COMBES Pierre-Philippe
DÉMURGER Sylvie
LI Shi
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We analyse the impact of internal migration in China on natives’ labour market outcomes. We find evidence of a large positive correlation of the city share of migrants with natives’ wages. Using different sets of control variables and instruments suggests that the effect is causal. The large total migrant impact (+10% when one moves from the first to the third quartile of the migrant variable distribution) arises from gains due to complementarity with natives in the production function (+6.4%), and from gains due to agglomeration economies (+3.3%). Finally, we find some evidence of a stronger effect for skilled natives than for unskilled, as expected from theory. Overall, our findings support large nominal wage gains that can be expected from further migration and urbanisation in China.

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Previous literature shows that internal migration rates are strongly procyclical. This would seem to imply that geographic relocation does not help mitigate negative local economic shocks during recessions. This paper shows that this is not the case. I document that net in-migrationrates decreased in areas more affected by the Great Recession. Using various IV strategies that rely on the importance of the construction sector and the indebtedness of households before the crisis, I conclude that internal migration might help to alleviate up to one third of the effects of the crisis on wages in the most affected locations. This is due to a disproportionate decrease in in-migration into those locations rather than an increase in out-migration. More generally, I show that differences in population growth rates across locations are mainly explained by differences in in-migration rates rather than in out-migration rates. I introduce a model to guide the empirical analysis and to quantify the spill-over effects caused by internal migration.

How does the US labor market absorb low-skilled immigration? I address this question using the 1995 Mexican Peso Crisis, an exogenous push factor that raised Mexican migration to the US. In the short run, high-immigration states see their low-skilled labor force increase and native low-skilled wages decrease, with an implied local labor demand elasticity of -.7. Internal relocation dissipates this shock spatially. In the long run, the only lasting consequences are for low-skilled natives who entered the labor force in high-immigration years. A simple quantitative many-region model allows me to obtain the counterfactual local wage evolution absent the immigration shock.

Publié en 2018-01
ANTIPA Pamfili
BIGNON Vincent
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Macroeconomic analysis is not just a game of equations; it is a narrative of the real. We argue in this article for a re-evaluation of the importance of narratives. Because each financial crisis is a unique event, the narrative is the natural form of analysis. In addition, the effects of economic policies can no longer be analysed independently of the narratives appropriated by economic agents (Schiller, 2017) and policy makers (Friedman and Schwartz, 1963). There is a twofold value in adding the historical dimension. Economic history is instructive by multiplying case studies, i.e. by increasing the variety of policy successes and failures analysed. History also loosens the shackles of our preconceptions, since comparing the past and present calls into question the exceptional nature of what we are living.

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This chapter focuses on the estimation and interpretation of gravity equations for bilateral trade.

Publié en 2016-05
BOROWCZYK-MARTINS Daniel
LALÉ Etienne
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We construct new monthly time series of U.S. labor market stocks and flows from 1976 onwards. These data reveal an upward secular trend in turnover between full-time and part-time employment, and a large cyclical component chiefly explained by fluctuations in involuntary part-time work. Both short-run and long-run reallocations occur mostly without an intervening spell of non-employment, and therefore cannot be uncovered without splitting employment into finer categories. We emphasize the importance of our findings for several active debates, such as the slowdown in U.S. labor-market dynamism, changes in job stability and security, and the assessment of labor-market slack.

Publié en 2016-06
BOROWCZYK-MARTINS Daniel
LALÉ Etienne
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Employed individuals in the U.S. are increasingly more likely to work part-time involuntarily than to be unemployed. Spells of involuntary part-time work are different from unemployment spells: a full-time worker who takes on a part-time job suffers an earnings loss while remaining employed, and is unlikely to receive income compensation from publicly-provided insurance programs.We analyze these differences through the lens of an incomplete-market, job-search model featuring unemployment risk alongside an additional risk of involuntary part-time employment.A calibration of the model consistent with U.S. institutions and labor-market dynamics shows that involuntary part-time work generates lower welfare losses relative to unemployment. This finding relies critically on the much higher probability to return to full-time employment from part-time work. We interpret it as a premium in access to full-time work faced by involuntary part-time workers, and use our model to tabulate its value in consumption-equivalent units.

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