Lefebvre

Publications

Preferences and strategic behavior in public goods gamesJournal articleGilles Grandjean, Mathieu Lefebvre and Marco Mantovani, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 195, pp. 171-185, 2022

In finitely repeated public goods games, contributions are initially high, and gradually decrease over time. Two main explanations are consistent with this pattern: (i) the population is composed of free-riders, who never contribute, and conditional cooperators, who contribute if others do so as well; (ii) strategic players contribute to sustain mutually beneficial future cooperation, but reduce their contributions as the end of the game approaches. This paper analyzes experimentally these explanations, by manipulating group composition to form homogeneous groups on both the preference and the strategic ability dimensions. Our results highlight the role of strategic ability in sustaining contributions, and suggest that the interaction between the two dimensions also matters: we find that groups that sustain high levels of cooperation are composed of members who share a common inclination toward cooperation and also have the strategic abilities to recognize and reap the benefits of enduring cooperation.

Fiscal decentralization and the performance of higher education institutions: the case of EuropeJournal articleJulien Jacqmin and Mathieu Lefebvre, Empirica, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp. 743-758, 2021

This paper empirically evaluates the impact of fiscal decentralization on the performance of higher education systems. To test this relationship, we build up a panel dataset composed of European countries. Country-level performance is measured by an indicator using data from the Shanghai ranking. Using a dynamic panel approach, we find that a higher share of government spending coming from decentralized levels of governments leads to an improvement of the performance of research-intensive higher education institutions. We argue that a more decentralized higher education system increases the ability to attract and retain top scholars.

Controlling monopoly power in a double-auction market experimentJournal articleGiuseppe Attanasi, Kene Boun My, Andrea Guido and Mathieu Lefebvre, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp. 1074-1101, 2021

There is robust evidence in the experimental economics literature showing that monopoly power is affected by trading institutions. In this paper, we study whether trading institutions themselves can shape agents' market behavior through the formation of anchors. We recreate experimentally five different double-auction market structures (perfect competition, perfect competition with quotas, cartel on price, cartel on price with quotas, and monopoly) in a within-subject design, varying the order of markets implementation. We investigate whether monopoly power endures the formation of price anchors emerged in previously implemented market structures. Results from our classroom experiments suggest that double-auction trading institutions succeed in preventing monopolists from exploiting their market power. Furthermore, the formation of price anchors in previously implemented markets negatively impacts on monopolists' power in later market structures.

The effect of international accreditations on students’ revealed preferences: Evidence from French Business schoolsJournal articleJulien Jacqmin and Mathieu Lefebvre, Economics of Education Review, Volume 85, pp. 102192, 2021

This paper evaluates how three different international accreditations for business schools (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) affect student preferences, expressed via enrollment decisions. Focusing on the French context, we build a relative preference indicator to compare schools using data collected by the central clearinghouse that allocates students to schools. We observe that all three accreditations positively and significantly influence students, but that the impact of the AACSB accreditation is larger than the other two accreditations. Having an AACSB accreditation is equivalent to moving up four places in rankings by L’étudiant magazine, whereas the impact of having EQUIS or AMBA is similar to moving up two places. We also find a sizeable “triple crown” effect, meaning that the three accreditations tend to complement each other. Our results are robust to different ways of assessing potential self-selection into accreditation.

Short- & long-term effects of monetary and non-monetary incentives to cooperate in public good games: An experimentJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre and Anne Stenger, PLoS ONE, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp. e0227360, 2020

Using a common experimental framework, this paper addresses both the question of the short-term and the long-lasting effects of temporary monetary and non-monetary incentive mechanisms on increasing individual contributions to the public good. The results show that both punishments and rewards significantly increase contributions compared to the baseline, but that monetary sanctions lead to the highest contributions, whereas non-monetary sanctions lead to the lowest contributions. The four types of incentives display long-lasting effects, i.e., contributions do not go back to baseline levels directly after the withdrawal of the incentives. However, rewards appear to have much stronger persistent effects than sanctions, revealing some sort of delayed reciprocity.

Public pension wealth and household asset holdings: new evidence from BelgiumJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre and Sergio Perelman, Journal of Pension Economics & Finance, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp. 309-322, 2020

It has been long suggested that public pension wealth may crowd out household savings. However, there remains controversy about the extent of this displacement effect. In this paper we use an original microsimulation model based on retrospective survey data collected through the third wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to estimate the displacement effect of public pension wealth on other wealth in Belgium. Combining this rich dataset with an accurate estimation of the individual pension entitlements allows us to circumvent some of the main measurement error problems faced by previous studies. We estimate that an extra euro of public pension wealth is associated with about 14–25 cent decline in households’ non-pension wealth.

Spousal and survivor benefits in option value models of retirement: an application to BelgiumJournal articleAlain Jousten and Mathieu Lefebvre, Journal of Pension Economics & Finance, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp. 66-87, 2019

We study retirement incentives with an augmented reduced form option value model à la Stock and Wise (1990). We propose methodological extensions to better reflect the respective incentives faced by singles and couples. Our results show that a more comprehensive modeling of couples’ incentives leads to very different patterns of retirement incentives – particularly for women. We apply the new indicators to data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and retirement in Europe in Belgium and find two key results. First, contrary to several previous studies, we obtain a positive signed income effects. Second, we find very different retirement incentives for men and women, with little flexibility in the retirement decision for men and substantially more flexibility for women as a function of financial incentive and household composition.

Premature mortality and poverty measurement in an OLG economyJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre, Pierre Pestieau and Gregory Ponthiere, Journal of Population Economics, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp. 621-664, 2019

Following Kanbur and Mukherjee (Bull Econ Res 59(4):339–359 2007), a solution to the “missing poor” problem (i.e., selection bias in poverty measures due to income-differentiated mortality) consists in computing hypothetical poverty rates while assigning a fictitious income to the prematurely dead. However, in a dynamic general equilibrium economy, doing “as if” the prematurely dead were still alive is likely to affect wages, output and capital accumulation, with an uncertain effect on poverty. We develop a three-period OLG model with income-differentiated mortality and compare actual poverty rates with hypothetical poverty rates that would have prevailed if everyone faced the survival conditions of the top income class. Including the prematurely dead has an ambiguous impact on poverty, since it affects income distribution through capital dilution, composition effects, and horizon effects. Our results are illustrated by quantifying the impact of income-differentiated mortality on poverty measures for France (1820–2010).

Missing poor and income mobilityJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre, Pierre Pestieau and Gregory Ponthiere, Journal of Comparative Economics, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp. 330-366, 2019

Higher mortality among the poor prevents standard poverty measures from quantifying the actual extent of old-age poverty. Whereas existing attempts to deal with the ”missing poor” problem assume the absence of income mobility and assign to the prematurely dead a fictitious income equal to the last income enjoyed, this paper relaxes that assumption in order to study the impact of income mobility on the size of the missing poor bias. We use data on poverty above age 60 in 12 countries from the EU-SILC database, and we compare standard poverty rates with the hypothetical poverty rates that would have prevailed if (i) all individuals, whatever their income, had enjoyed the same survival conditions, and if (ii) all individuals within the same income class had been subject to the same income mobility process. Taking income mobility into account has unequal effects on corrected poverty measures across countries, and, hence, affects international comparisons in terms of old-age poverty.

« Dis-moi ce que tu penses de la propriété intellectuelle, je te dirai qui tu es »Journal articleRémy Guichardaz, Thomas Coudert, Herrade Igersheim, Mathieu Lefebvre and Julien Pénin, Revue Économique, Volume 70, Issue 6, pp. 1213-1226, 2019

L’objet de cet article est d’analyser de manière expérimentale les liens supposés entre les préférences sociales des individus et la manière dont ils conçoivent la propriété intellectuelle, en opposant en particulier les approches utilitaristes et déontologiques. Pour ce faire, nous avons mis en place un protocole expérimental original à l’interface de deux courants de littérature : l’un, bien établi, traitant des préférences sociales ; l’autre, naissant, tentant de capter les différentes justifications de l’existence de la propriété intellectuelle. Notre expérience aboutit à deux enseignements majeurs : 1) les sujets utilitaristes semblent changer de conception de la justice sociale dès lors que la question de la propriété intellectuelle est posée ; 2) les sujets rawlsiens sont en parfaite cohérence avec l’approche déontologique de la propriété intellectuelle, donnant la priorité aux droits des auteurs et des inventeurs, tout en minimisant les inégalités pouvant en résulter en optant, par exemple, en faveur d’une durée courte de propriété intellectuelle.

Other-regarding preferences and giving decision in a risky environment: experimental evidenceJournal articleMickael Beaud, Mathieu Lefebvre and Julie Rosaz, Review of Economic Design, Forthcoming

We investigate whether and how an individual giving decision is affected in risky environments in which the recipient’s wealth is random. We demonstrate that, under risk neutrality, the donation of dictators with a purely ex post view of fairness should, in general, be affected by the riskiness of the recipient’s payoff, while dictators with a purely ex ante view should not be. Furthermore, we observe that some influential inequality aversion preferences functions yield opposite predictions when we consider ex post view of fairness. Hence, we report on dictator games laboratory experiments in which the recipient’s wealth is exposed to an actuarially neutral and additive background risk. Our experimental data show no statistically significant impact of the recipient’s risk exposure on dictators’ giving decisions. This result appears robust to both the experimental design (within subjects or between subjects) and the origin of the recipient’s risk exposure (chosen by the recipient or imposed on the recipient). Although we cannot sharply validate or invalidate alternative fairness theories, the whole pattern of our experimental data can be simply explained by assuming ex ante view of fairness and risk neutrality.

Counting the missing poor in pre-industrial societiesJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre, Cliometrica, Forthcoming

Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures suffer from a selection bias: they do not count the missing poor (i.e., persons who would have been counted as poor provided they did not die prematurely). The Pre-Industrial period being characterized by an evolutionary advantage (i.e., a higher number of surviving children per household) of the non-poor over the poor, one may expect that the missing poor bias is substantial during that period. This paper quantifies the missing poor bias in Pre-Industrial societies, by computing the hypothetical headcount poverty rates that would have prevailed provided the non-poor did not benefit from an evolutionary advantage over the poor. Using data on Pre-Industrial England and France, we show that the sign and size of the missing poor bias are sensitive to the degree of downward social mobility.

Other-regarding preferences and giving decision in a risky environment: experimental evidenceJournal articleMickael Beaud, Mathieu Lefebvre and Julie Rosaz, Review of Economic Design, Forthcoming

We investigate whether and how an individual giving decision is affected in risky environments in which the recipient’s wealth is random. We demonstrate that, under risk neutrality, the donation of dictators with a purely ex post view of fairness should, in general, be affected by the riskiness of the recipient’s payoff, while dictators with a purely ex ante view should not be. Furthermore, we observe that some influential inequality aversion preferences functions yield opposite predictions when we consider ex post view of fairness. Hence, we report on dictator games laboratory experiments in which the recipient’s wealth is exposed to an actuarially neutral and additive background risk. Our experimental data show no statistically significant impact of the recipient’s risk exposure on dictators’ giving decisions. This result appears robust to both the experimental design (within subjects or between subjects) and the origin of the recipient’s risk exposure (chosen by the recipient or imposed on the recipient). Although we cannot sharply validate or invalidate alternative fairness theories, the whole pattern of our experimental data can be simply explained by assuming ex ante view of fairness and risk neutrality.

Knowledge acquisition or incentive to foster coordination ? A real-effort weak-link experimentJournal articleMathieu Lefebvre and Lucie Martin- Bon de Longchamp, Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, pp. 51, Forthcoming

This paper presents a lab-in-the-field experiment with craftsmen working on renovation projects to assess the effect of training programs and incentive scheme on coordination and cooperation. Workers frequently fail to cooperate and coordinate their tasks when not supervised by a project coordinator. This is particularly important in the construction sector where it leads to a lack of final performance in buildings. We introduce two different incentives: a first contract paying craftsmen only according to their individual performance, and a second contract paying a group of three craftsmen with a weak-link payment according to the group’s worst performance. In addition, we test these incentives on two different subject groups: one is composed of craftsmen trained to coordinate their tasks, and the others are not. The results suggest that trained subjects coordinate at significantly higher effort levels than non-trained subjects when facing an individual-based incentive. However, when facing a group-based incentive, non-trained subjects seem to "catch up" trained subjects in terms of coordination level, while these latter subjects do not significantly increase their performance level.