The integration of young workers into the labour market in FranceJournal articleStephen Bazen and Khalid Maman Waziri, International Journal of Manpower, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp. 17-36, 2020

Using a representative survey of young persons having left full-time education in France in 1998 and interviewed in 2001 and 2005, the purpose of this paper is to examine the process of their integration into normal employment (a stable job with a standard employment contract) and the extent to which job matches are inefficient in the sense that the pay in a job is below an individual's potential earnings. The latter are determined principally by diploma level and educational specialisation, although other forms of training and labour market experience are relevant.

A stochastic earnings frontier approach is used in order to examine workers' ability to capture their full potential earnings in labour markets where there is inefficient job matching (due to the lack of information, discrimination, over-education or the process of integration).

The results suggest that young workers manage to obtain on average about 82 per cent of their potential earnings three years after leaving full-time education and earnings inefficiency had disappeared four years later. The results are robust to the treatment of selectivity arising from the exclusion of the unemployed in the estimation of the frontier.

The stochastic earnings frontier is a useful and appropriate tool for modelling the process of labour market integration of certain groups (young persons, migrants and the long-term unemployed) where over-education due to inefficient initial job matches occurs. Over time this situation tends to be rectified as job mobility leads to improved matching and less inefficiency.

Forecasting Bordeaux wine prices using state-space methodsJournal articleStephen Bazen and Jean-Marie Cardebat, Applied Economics, Volume 50, Issue 47, pp. 5110-5121, 2018

Generic Bordeaux red wine (basic claret) can be regarded as being similar to an agricultural commodity. Production volumes are substantial, they are traded at high frequency and the quality of the product is relatively homogeneous. Unlike other commodities and the top-end wines (which represent only 3% of the traded volume), there is no futures market for generic Bordeaux wine. Reliable forecasts of prices can to large extent replace this information deficiency and improve the functioning of the market. We use state-space methods with monthly data to obtain a univariate forecasting model for the average price. The estimates highlight the stochastic trend and the seasonality present in the evolution of the price over the period 1999 to 2016. The model predicts the path of wine prices out of sample reasonably well, suggesting that this approach is useful for making reasonably accurate forecasts of future price movements.

Federal minimum wage hikes do reduce teenage employment. A replication study of Bazen & Marimoutou (Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2002)Journal articleStephen Bazen and Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, International Journal for Re-Views in Empirical Economics (IREE), Volume 2, Issue 2018-5, pp. 1-13, 2018

In 2002 we published a paper in which we used state space time series methods to analyse the teenage employment-federal minimum wage relationship in the US (Bazen and Marimoutou, 2002). The study used quarterly data for the 46 year period running from 1954 to 1999. We detected a small, negative but statistically significant effect of the federal minimum wage on teenage employment, at a time when some studies were casting doubt on the existence of such an effect. In this note we re-estimate the original model with a further 16 years of data (up to 2015). We find that the model satisfactorily tracks the path of the teenage employment-population ratio over this 60 year period, and yields a consistently negative and statistically significant effect of minimum wages on teenage employment. The conclusion reached is the same as in the original paper, and the elasticity estimates very similar: federal minimum wage hikes lead to a reduction in teenage employment with a short run elasticity of around – 0.13. The estimated long run elasticity of between – 0.37 and – 0.47 is less stable, but is nevertheless negative and statistically significant.

Do earnings really decline for older workers?Journal articleKadija Charni and Stephen Bazen, International Journal of Manpower, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp. 4-24, 2017

Cross-section data suggest that the relationship between age and hourly earnings is an inverted U shape. Evidence from panel data does not necessarily confirm this finding suggesting that older workers may not experience a reduction in earnings at the end of their working life. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

In this paper the authors use panel data on males for Great Britain in order to examine why the two types of data provide conflicting conclusions. Concentrating on the over 50s, several hypotheses are examined: overlapping cohorts, job tenure, job-changing, labour supply behaviour, and selectivity bias.

Cohort and individual fixed effects partly explain the divergent conclusions. However, for fully, year-on-year employed individuals, there is no evidence of earnings decline at the end of working life. The authors find no role for selectivity due to retirement, although shorter working hours or partial retirement along with job-changing late in life does provide an explanation for why hourly earnings decline for certain older workers.

The authors find no evidence that the process of ageing itself leads to lower earnings as suggested by the cross-section profile.

An Oaxaca decomposition for nonlinear modelsJournal articleStephen Bazen, Xavier Joutard and Brice Magdalou, Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp. 101-121, 2017

The widely used Oaxaca decomposition applies to linear models. Extending it to commonly used nonlinear models such as duration models is not straightforward. This paper shows that the original decomposition that uses a linear model can also be obtained by an application of the mean value theorem. By extension, this basis provides a means of obtaining a decomposition formula which applies to nonlinear models which are continuous functions. The detailed decomposition of the explained component is expressed in terms of what are usually referred to as marginal effects. Explicit formulae are provided for the decomposition of some nonlinear models commonly used in applied econometrics including binary choice, duration and Box-Cox models.

Musicians and the Creative Commons: A survey of artists on JamendoJournal articleStephen Bazen, Laurence Bouvard and Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, Information Economics and Policy, Volume 32, Issue C, pp. 65-76, 2015

Piracy and the peer-to-peer diffusion of music deprive artists of income and constitute a challenge to music industry. Many consumers, especially in younger age groups, consider that is normal not to pay in order to listen to music yet artists have intellectual property rights. The reconciliation of these two features of the music market is increasingly difficult within the traditional business model of the music industry. This paper uses an original survey of artists whose music is diffused freely on the online platform Jamendo (the largest of its kind) and which uses Creative Commons (CC) licences rather than copyright firstly to examine why so many artists would adhere to such an approach and secondly what the artists feel about CC. Age is clearly a factor in the choice of CC licence type, as well as whether artists derive income from their music. The choice of CC over copyright is also found to be related to its greater flexibility, its role in the development of musical creation and its function as means of sharing. It can be seen as a basis for an alternative business model in the music industry, in which sales of albums no longer constitute the main source of artists’ remuneration.

The measurement of unemployment using completed durations: evidence on the gender gap in unemployment in FranceJournal articleStephen Bazen, Xavier Joutard and Mouhamadou M. Niang, Journal of Economic Inequality, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp. 517-534, 2014

This paper examines how unemployment can be measured in a normative fashion - taking into account the mean and inequality of spell lengths - and how the extent of unemployment can be estimated from cross section data of the type found in labour force surveys. The issue is not straightforward since in these surveys completed durations of unemployed individuals are not observed yet they constitute the basis for calculating the kind of index that has been proposed to measure the extent of unemployment in a way that goes beyond the unemployment rate. The index proposed by Shorrocks has robust normative foundations and has an equivalent representation in terms of average complete duration and the density of completed durations. Building upon earlier work applied in the United States for estimating the average completed duration, we present a method that enables the index to be calculated based on an estimate of the density of completed durations. The approach is illustrated in the context of comparing male-female unemployment differences in France, where historically female unemployment has been higher than that of males. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Elitism and stochastic dominanceJournal articleStephen Bazen and Patrick Moyes, Social Choice and Welfare, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp. 207-251, 2012

Stochastic dominance has been typically used with a special emphasis on risk and in-equality reduction something captured by the concavity of the utility function in the expected utility model. We claim that the applicability of the stochastic dominance ap-proach goes far beyond risk and inequality measurement provided suitable adaptations be made. We apply in the paper the stochastic dominance approach to the measurement of elitism which may be considered the opposite of egalitarianism. While the usual stochastic dominance quasi-orderings attach more value to more equal and more effi-cient distributions, our criteria ensure that, the more unequal and the more efficient the distribution, the higher it is ranked. Two instances are provided by (i) comparisons of scientific performance across institutions like universities or departments, and (ii) com-parisons of affluence as opposed to poverty between countries.

Econometric Methods for Labour EconomicsBookStephen Bazen, OUP Catalogue - Practical Econometrics, 2011, 160 pages, Oxford University Press, 2011

This book provides an accessible presentation of the standard statistical techniques used by labour economists. It emphasises both the input and the output of empirical analysis and covers five major topics concerning econometric methods used in labour economics: regression and related methods, choice modelling, selectivity issues, duration analysis, and policy evaluation techniques. Each of these is presented in terms of model specification, possible estimation problems, diagnostic checking, and interpretation of the output. It aims to provide guidance to practitioners on how to use the techniques and how to make sense of the results that are produced. It covers methods that are considered to be 'standard' tools in labour economics, but which are often given only a brief and highly technical treatment in econometrics textbooks. It will be a useful reference for postgraduates and advanced undergraduates, researchers embarking on empirical labour market analysis, and for more experienced economists wishing to apply these techniques for the first time. Available in OSO:

The impact of parental health on child labor: the case of BangladeshJournal articleStephen Bazen and Claire Salmon, Economics Bulletin, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp. 2549-2557, 2010

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies that examine the economics of child labor and more particularly the determinants of children's labor supply in developing countries. This paper provides a new angle on the causes of child labor force participation by showing that parents' health affects child labor through family labor supply decisions. Using a survey with detailed information on health matters for Bangladesh, we find that child labor supply is sometimes takes the form of an added worker effect in reaction to certain types of health shock.