The last financial crises have revealed the vulnerability of many emerging countries. Yet, within an economically integrated area, some groups of countries have been spared the disastrous consequences of these crises. The purpose of this article is to underline the similarities between these countries in order to draw up a set of regional criteria that would protect an area against speculative attacks. Using a probit analysis, we show that the convergence of some banking and financial indicators towards reference levels guarantees the confidence of international lenders, which in turn limits financial contagion. A narrow margin between the amount of external debt, in particular the short-term debt of the country and a reference level constitutes a protection against the risk of illiquidity. Similarly, a low domestic credit in comparison with the international reserves of the economy is also an indicator of the sustainability of an area for international lenders that ensures its stock exchange stability.
This paper evaluates the domestic and international impacts of lowering short-term interest rates and increasing budget spending on several indicators of liquidity, volatility, credit and economic activity. Data from the 2003–2011 period in the United States, the Euro zone and Canada were used to develop two SVAR models for assessing the national effectiveness and the international spillovers of monetary and budgetary policies during the credit freeze crisis. While monetary policies caused a temporary decrease in volatility and increase in liquidity in North American stock markets, the shocks were mainly domestic and ineffective at generating liquidity in the banking sector. In contrast, government spending shocks had a positive impact on credit and consumption, especially in Europe and Canada. Moreover, budgetary policies also had a positive international spillover effect on consumption and credit, especially for smaller economies such as Canada.
Akin to other developing countries, Algeria has witnessed an increasing role of the private health sector in the past two decades. Our study sheds light on the public–private overlap and the phenomenon of physician dual practice in the provision of health care services using the particular case of cesarean deliveries in Algeria. Existing studies have reported that, compared to the public sector, delivering in a private health facility increases the risk of enduring a cesarean section. While confirming this result for the case of Algeria, our study also reveals the existence of public–private differentials in the effect of medical variables on the probability of cesarean delivery. After controlling for selection in both sectors, we show that cesarean deliveries in the private sector tend to be less medically justified compared with those taking place in the public sector, thus, potentially leading to maternal and neonatal health problems. As elsewhere, the contribution of the private health sector to the unmet need for health care in Algeria hinges on an appropriate legal framework that better coordinates the activities of the two sectors and reinforces their complementarity.
Using a change in EU food aid policy in 1996 as an instrument for EU food aid allocation, I investigate how other donors react to the EU’s food aid allocation. At that time, the EU suddenly divided by two the number of its food aid recipients. On average, other donors imitate the EU at both extensive and intensive margins. Donors’ reactions are heterogeneous: European countries and Canada herd the EU, while the World Food Programme substitutes. The USA do not react. Those results can be explained by competition for relative impact and information effects. For a recipient country who constantly received food aid from the EU before 1996, the number of donors decreases by almost 0.5. This behavior reinforces the problem of orphan and darling recipients.
In this chapter, we revisit the origins and genesis of the french school of proximity and its evolution trough time, in order to better understand how and why the small group of researchers who were the driving force of this new way of thinking were quickly able to get a real legitimacy and effective recognition. First of all, it was clear that the role of space in economic dynamics was too often the subject of confusion and abusive assertions. Asking this question in terms of coordination made it possible to consider non-spatial factors in the analysis. The notion of proximity as a polysemic concept therefore opened the way to understanding how space matters or not, together with these other factors thus a renewed approach of questions related to space and territories. But, even starting from issues of economic nature, such an approach could not remain limited to its economic dimension, the questions of coordination involving social individuals, located in geographical space but also embedded in bundles of relationships and in institutions. Thus, it had to broaden very quickly to other disciplines in social sciences which largely contributed to consolidate the bases of what became a multidisciplinary approach and to develop theoretical as well as empirical tools.
Taking advantage of an original firm-level survey carried out by the Banque de France, we empirically investigate how the employment of ICT specialists (in-house and external) and the use of digital technologies (cloud and big data) have an impact on firm productivity and labor share. Our analysis relies on the survey responses in 2018 of 1,065 French firms belonging to the manufacturing sector and with at least 20 employees. To tackle potential endogeneity issues, we adopt an instrumental variable approach as proposed by Bartik (1991, Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.). The results of our cross-section estimations point to a large effect: ceteris paribus, the employment of ICT specialists and the use of digital technologies improve a firm’s labor productivity by about 23% and its total factor productivity by about 17%. Conversely, the employment of in-house ICT specialists and the use of big data both have a detrimental impact on labor share, of about 2.5 percentage points respectively.
Historically and in many parts of the developing world, ethnic minorities have played a central role in the economy. Examples include Chinese throughout Southeast Asia, Indians in East Africa, and Jews in medieval Europe. These rich minorities are often subject to popular violence and extortion, and are treated ambiguously by local politicians. We analyze the impact of the presence of a rich ethnic minority on violence and on interactions between a rent-seeking local elite and a poor majority. We find that the local elite can always make use of the rich minority to maintain its hold on power. When the threat of violence is high, the government may change its economic policies strategically to sacrifice the minority to popular resentment. We investigate the conditions under which such instrumental scapegoating emerges, and the forms it takes. We then introduce some social integration capturing, for instance, mixed marriages and shared education. Social integration reduces violence and yields qualitative changes in economic policies. Overall, our results help explain documented patterns of violence and segregation.
Our analysis of US state-level data on an annual frequency, from 1976 to 2008, sheds new light on a plausible causal link between infrastructure investments, namely public spending on highways, and income inequality. This causal relationship is drawn out using the number of seats in the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations (HRCA) as an instrument to identify quasi-random variations in state-level spending on highways. An exogenous pattern which emerges when a state gains an additional member to the HRCA is that it is allocated with new federal grants. This increase in federal transfers for infrastructure financing results in slashing of expenditures on highways and a crowding-out effect of federal funding for state investments on highways. Spending cuts on highways produced by a new HRCA member being attained by a state can unwittingly cause income inequality to rise over a short 2-year time horizon. Similar challenges with decentralized development to finance infrastructure via federal transfers to state and sub-national governments may be encountered by other industrially advanced, emerging and low-income developing economies. US data over the mentioned period reveal a strong positive correlation with state spending on highways and wages paid for construction jobs. Suggestive evidence indicates that the construction sector also plays an important role in the transmission channel from a rise in state spending on highways to lowering income inequality, albeit during specific intervals, as opposed to on a long-term basis.