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This note evaluates the scrambled questions penalty using multiple choice tests taken by first-year undergraduate students who follow a microeconomics introductory course. We provide new evidence that students perform worse at scrambled questionnaires than at logically ordered ones. We improve on previous studies by explicitly modeling students individual skills thanks to a fixed effects regression. We further show that the scrambled questions penalty does not differ along gender but varies along the distribution of students' skills and mostly affects students with lower-intermediate skills.
We document interpersonal violence as a dimension of the resource curse. We rely on a historical natural experiment in the United States, where mineral discoveries occurred sometimes before, sometimes after formal institutions were established in the county of discovery. In places where mineral discoveries occurred before formal institutions were established, there were more homicides per capita historically and the effect has persisted to this day. Today, the share of homicides and assaults explained by the historical circumstances of mineral discoveries is comparable to the effect of education or income. Our results imply that short-term and quasi-exogenous variations in the institutional environment can lead to large and persistent differences in cultural and institutional development.
This paper provides empirical evidence that, after protests, citizens substantially revise their views on the current leader, but also their trust in the country's institutions. The empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of an individual level survey and the proximity to social protests in 13 African countries. First, we find that trust in political leaders strongly and abruptly decreases after protests. Second, trust in the country monitoring institutions plunges as well. Both effects are much stronger when protests are repressed by the government. As no signs of distrust are recorded even a couple of days before the social conflicts, protests can be interpreted as sudden signals sent on a leaders' actions from which citizens extract information on their country fundamentals.
Using 50,000 tests published in the AER, JPE, and QJE, we identify a residual in the distribution of tests that cannot be explained solely by journals favoring rejection of the null hypothesis. We observe a two-humped camel shape with missing p-values between 0.25 and 0.10 that can be retrieved just after the 0.05 threshold and represent 10-20 percent of marginally rejected tests. Our interpretation is that researchers inflate the value of just-rejected tests by choosing "significant" specifications. We propose a method to measure this residual and describe how it varies by article and author characteristics. (JEL A11, C13)
We show the existence of a twin peaks relation between trust and the size of the welfare state that stems from two opposing forces. Uncivic people support large welfare states because they expect to benefit from them without bearing their costs. But civic individuals support generous benefits and high taxes only when they are surrounded by trustworthy individuals. We provide empirical evidence for these behaviors and this twin peaks relation in the OECD countries.
This paper provides empirical evidence that mineral resources abundance is associated to preferences for redistribution in the United States. We show that individuals living in states with large mineral resources endowment are more opposed to redistribution than others. We take advantage of both the spatial and the temporal distributions of mineral resources discoveries since 1800 to uncover two mechanisms through which mineral resources can foster ones’ opposition to redistribution: either by transmission of values formed in the past, or by the exposure to mineral discoveries during individuals’ life-time. We show that both mechanisms matter to explain respondents’ preferences.
This paper simultaneously estimates the impact of political majorities on the values of firms that would benefit from the platforms of the two main candidates at the 2007 French presidential election, Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy, and of those that are ruled or owned by Sarkozy's friends. We use prediction-market data to track each candidate's victory probability, and investigate how this relates to firms' abnormal returns. Our estimates suggest that the value of firms that would likely benefit from the platforms of Royal and Sarkozy changed by 1% and 2%, respectively, with the candidates' victory probabilities, and that firms connected to Sarkozy out-performed others by 3% due to his election.
In this article, I describe the alloch command, which helps to allocate exclusive choices among individuals who have ordered preferences over available alternatives.
This paper investigates the relationship between trust and macroeconomic volatility. An illustrative model rationalizes the relationship between trust and volatility. In this model, trust relaxes credit constraints and diminishes investment’s procyclicality. I provide empirical evidence for the basic predictions of the model. Then, I show that higher trust is associated with lower macroeconomic volatility in a cross section of countries. This relationship persists when various covariates are taken into account. I use inherited trust of Americans as an instrumental variable for trust in their origin country to overcome reverse causality concerns. Using changes in inherited trust over the 20th century, I do not find clear evidence that increasing trust is also associated with decreasing volatility across time at the country level.
In order to face the aging of their populations governments of developed countries reformed their retirement systems during the last two decades, by discouraging early retirement and increasing incentives to work for older workers. Senior participation rates to the labor force not only differ strikingly in level from one country to another, they also differ in their reaction to retirement incentives set by governments. This paper highlights how disutility to work can influence the effectiveness of such reforms. The authors build a highly stylized model according to which the reaction of senior activity rate to monetary incentives to work depends on the properties of the specific distribution of working conditions in the country. Second, taking the quality of labor relations as a proxy for working conditions, the authors show empirically that aggregate reactions to retirement incentives depend on the distribution of labor relations at country level. They use panel data for nineteen OECD countries from 1980 to 2004. They show that the elasticity of senior male labor force participation rate to retirement incentives is stronger in countries with better and more homogeneously distributed labor relations. –