Entry-regulation and corruption: grease or sand in the wheels of entrepreneurship? Fresh evidence according to entrepreneurial motivesJournal articleMarcus Dejardin and Hélène Laurent, Small Business Economics, 2023

The relationship between entry-regulation, corruption, and entrepreneurship is controversial in the literature. Using a broad cross-country dataset to deepen the investigation, this paper distinguishes opportunity and necessity-motivated entrepreneurship in different development contexts. Corruption might grease the wheels of ineffective administrative machinery in developing countries with heavy entry-regulation. Yet, the marginal effect of corruption will generally be non-significant in other developing countries and in developed countries. Moreover, our results suggest that corruption deters opportunity-motivated entrepreneurship—the type of entrepreneurship that may contribute the most to productivity, economic growth, and development—in developed countries.

Traffic safety and norms of compliance with rules: An exploratory studyJournal articleHélène Laurent, Marc Sangnier and Carole Treibich, Economics Bulletin, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp. 2464-2483, 2021

We use a simple model of drivers' vigilance effort choice to show that drivers' propensity to follow traffic rules has two opposite effects on road safety. On the one hand, it lowers the frequency of dangerous situations. On the other hand, it also reduces drivers' vigilance effort as each driver anticipates that dangerous situations will be less frequent. These two opposite effects may lead to a non-monotonic relationship between compliance with road rules and the incidence of road traffic accidents. We present cross-country estimates that support the existence of a bell-shaped relationship between norms of compliance with rules and traffic fatalities.

Corruption and politicians’ horizonJournal articleHélène Laurent, Economics of Governance, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp. 65-91, 2021

This paper presents cross-country evidence about the relationship between politicians’ horizon and their rent-seeking behavior. Using information from CIA’s World Factbook and from the National Elections across Democracy and Autocracy dataset, we construct variables of term limits, term length and political turnover at the top executive level. We simultaneously estimate the correlations between these three variables and corruption—measured using a corruption index—from pooled cross-sections of 137 developed and developing countries observed from 2000 to 2015. We find a positive correlation between corruption and: (i) term limits at low level of term length, (ii) term length in the absence of term limits, and (iii) political turnover. Results suggest that politicians behave best if there are no term limits and frequent elections. We also provide evidence that the downward sloping part of a U-shape relationship between political turnover and corruption previously found in empirical papers can be explained by accountability and observability technologies. Theoretical mechanisms that can explain these findings are discussed.

Investissement direct étranger, régimes fiscaux, modes de financement et politique économique régionaleJournal articleHélène Laurent, Michel Mignolet and Olivier Meunier, Revue d’Économie Régionale & Urbaine, Volume 4, pp. 797-824, 2010

Les autorités publiques régionales ou nationales désireuses de stimuler l’investissement direct étranger sur leur territoire doivent composer avec les règles fiscales internationales et les stratégies d’optimisation fiscale des groupes multinationaux. Prenant appui sur la théorie de la taxation effective, cette contribution montre comment l’efficience des incitants à l’investissement offerts par le pays de la filiale est affectée par la structure de financement du groupe (financements simples et plus complexes, notamment utilisation d’instruments hybrides, ou interposition d’une société établie dans un pays tiers) et par les régimes d’atténuation de la double imposition internationale (exemption ou imputation) appliqués par le pays (ou la région) de la maison mère.

Regional policy: What is the most efficient instrument?Journal articleHélène Laurent, Michel Mignolet and Olivier Meunier, Papers in Regional Science, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp. 491-507, 2009

Whatever the reasons at work – differences in locational endowments and/or externalities – a unit of capital is expected to be diversely productive according to the region where it is installed. This article determines which and the extent to which a regional policy could be implemented in order to make up for a productivity handicap. The model allows for comparing the efficiency of a productivity-enhancing instrument (a publicly provided input) with that of instruments that affect capital cost (a lower corporate tax rate, an investment tax credit, or a capital subsidy). The approach is illustrated in the contemporaneous context of France. Resumen Cualquiera que sean las razones subyacentes – diferencias en dotaciones locales y/o externalidades – se espera que una unidad de capital sea diversamente productiva de acuerdo con la región en que se instale. Este artículo determina cuáles políticas regionales y hasta dónde podrían implementarse para compensar un hándicap de productividad. El modelo permite comparar la eficiencia de un instrumento de mejora de la productividad (insumo aportado públicamente) con la de instrumentos que afecten al costo de capital (una tasa fiscal corporativa más baja, deducciones imponibles por inversión, o subsidios al capital). El enfoque se ilustra dentro del contexto actual de Francia.