Working papers

Social Implications of Technological Disruptions: A Transdisciplinary Cybernetics Science and Occupational Science Perspective
Pedro H. Albuquerque
Sophie Albuquerque
In this article we argue that the disruptive social implications of skill-replacing technological innovations are determined neither by human characteristics, such as "low skills" or "low cognition," nor by task characteristics, such as "routine," as it is typically assumed in the predominant economics and management science literature, but by the cybernetic characteristics of the innovations. We also propose that the negative effects of technological disruptions on human well-being cannot be fully understood without the use of a transdisciplinary approach involving cybernetics science and occupational science, and that it is urgent that policymakers look beyond their narrow effects on productivity and on the labor force, and consider instead the complexity of the interactions between cybernetic technologies and meaningful human occupations. We offer as an example the case of the fast adoption of online food delivery services and of remote work technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethical implications are derived from the arguments.
Keywords: technological disruptions, technological innovations, cybernetics science, occupational science, labor and nonlabor occupations
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_13.pdf (198.85 KB)
The Increasing Impact of Spain on the Equity Markets of Brazil, Chile and Mexico
Andres Rivas
Rahul Verma
Antonio Rodriguez
Pedro H. Albuquerque
The article examines stock index price responses in Brazil, Chile and Mexico to those in the US, Spain and four European countries during three sub-periods surrounding the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s: 1988 to 1994, 1995 to 1998, and 1999 to 2004, using VAR modeling. It finds that equity markets became more interconnected as countries opened to international trade and capital flows, and that there was an increasing impact of Spain on Latin American equity markets. Stronger economic linkages (more trade and foreign direct investment) between Spain and these countries, specially in Brazil, seem to explain increased equity markets interconnectedness.
Keywords: Emerging markets, Latin America, Spain, Stock markets interdependence, VAR modeling
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_12.pdf (507.13 KB)
Parametric models of income distributions integrating misreporting and non-response mechanisms
Mathias Silva

Several representativeness issues affect the available data sources in studying populations' income distributions. High-income under-reporting and non-response issues have been evidenced to be particularly significant in the literature, due to their consequence in underestimating income growth and inequality. This paper bridges several past parametric modelling attempts to account for high-income data issues in making parametric inference on income distributions at the population level. A unified parametric framework integrating parametric income distribution models and popular data replacing and reweighting corrections is developped. To exploit this framework for empirical analysis, an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach is developped. This approach updates prior beliefs on the population income distribution and the high-income data issues pressumably affecting the available data by attempting to reproduce the observed income distribution under simulations from the parametric model. Applications on simulated and EU-SILC data illustrate the performance of the approach in studying population-level mean incomes and inequality from data potentially affected by these high-income issues.

Keywords: 'Missing rich', GB2, Bayesian inference
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_11.pdf (1.83 MB)
Parametric estimation of income distributions using grouped data: an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach
Mathias Silva

Recent empirical analysis of income distributions are often limited by the exclusive availability of data in a grouped format. This data format is made particularly restrictive by a lack of information on the underlying grouping mechanism and sampling variability of the grouped-data statistics it contains. These restrictions often result in the unavailability of an analytical parametric likelihood function exploiting all information available in the grouped data. Building on recent methods for inference on parametric income distributions for this type of data, this paper explores a new Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) approach. ABC overcomes the restrictions posed by grouped data for Bayesian inference through a non-parametric approximation of the likelihood function exploiting simulated data from the income distribution model. Empirical applications of the proposed ABC method in both simulated and World Bank's PovCalNet data illustrate the performance and suitability of the method for the typical formats of grouped data on incomes.

Keywords: Grouped data, Bayesian inference, Generalized Lorenz curve, GB2
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_10.pdf (621.14 KB)
Variational rationality: Finding the inequations of motion of a person seeking to meet his needs.
Antoine Soubeyran

As physics provides the equations of motion of a body, this paper formulates, for the first time, at the conceptual and mathematical levels, the inequations of motion of an individual seeking to meet his needs and quasi needs in an adaptive (not myopic) way. Successful (failed) dynamics perform a succession of moves, which are, at once, satisficing and worthwhile (free from too many sacrifices), or not. They approach or reach desires (fall in traps). They balance the desired speed of approach to a desired end (a distal promotion goal) with the size of the required immediate sacrifices to go fast (a proximal prevention goal). Therefore, each period, need/quasi need satisfaction success requires enough self control to be able to make, in the long run, sufficient progress in need/quasi need satisfaction without enduring, in the short run, too big sacrifices. A simple example (lose or gain weight) shows that the size of successful moves must be not too small and not too long. A second paper will solve this problem, using variational principles and inexact optimizing algorithms in mathematics. This strong multidisciplinary perspective refers to a recent mathematical model to psychology: the variational rationality theory of human life stay and change dynamics.

Keywords: need satisfaction, speed of progress, sacrifices, dynamical system, variational rationality
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_09.pdf (1.25 MB)
ENSO Climate Patterns on Global Economic Conditions
Gilles Dufrénot
William Ginn
Marc Pourroy

We investigate the role of ENSO climate patterns on global economic conditions. The estimated model is based on a rich and novel monthly dataset for 20 economies, capturing 80.2% of global output (based on 2021 IMF data) over the period 1999:01 to 2022:03. The empirical evidence from an estimated global vector autoregression with local projections (GFAVLP) model links an El Niño (EN) shock with higher output and inflation, corresponding with lower global economic policy uncertainty (GEPU). While a shock to the world oil and food price is inflationary, a food price shock leads to elevated GEPU, more so during a LN shock. A main finding is that an increase of the food price can be a source of global vulnerability. The findings indicate that the weather shock impact on global economic conditions is dependent on the climate state. Our result undermines existing studies connecting climate change and economic damage via statistical approach.

Keywords: Weather; Oil and Food Prices; Global Macroeconometric Modeling; and Economic Policy Uncertainty
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_08.pdf (6.39 MB)
Variational rationality. Self regulation success as a succession of worthwhile moves that make sufficient progress
Antoine Soubeyran

This paper provides a general and formalized theory of self-regulation success and failures as an application of the recent Variational rationality approach of stay and change human dynamics (Soubeyran, 2009, 2010, 2021.a,b,c,d). For concreteness purposes, it starts with an example in psychology: how to gain or to loose weight ? It ends with a general, conceptual, dynamical and computable formulation of self-regulation and goal pursuit in the context of variational principles and adaptive optimizing algorithms in mathematics.

Keywords: variational rationality, self regulation, variational principles, adaptive optimizing algorithms
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_07.pdf (1.32 MB)
Does ICT access and usage reduce growth inefficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa?
Désiré Avom
Gilles Dufrénot
Sylvie Eyeffa
This paper investigates whether or not the access to and use of ICT can help African countries reduce their growth inefficiencies. Inefficiency is measured, on the one hand, by the gap between a country's growth rate and its own frontier, and on the other hand by the relative position of each country compared to the best achievers. We find that if countries were doing a better job of controlling corruption and improving citizen participation in politics, they would achieve higher growth efficiency performance by using ICT. When countries are compared with each other, considering the growth "frontier" as countries in the sample, then growth differentials are explained primarily by non-ICT factors of growth (human capital, schooling rates, capital growth rates, etc.). The role of ICT factors is secondary. But they contribute to growth to a greater extent for the best achievers (compared to the lowest and middle achievers) because they are better endowed with ICT factors than the others.
Keywords: ICT, African countries, growth inefficiency, frontier, quantiles
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_06.pdf (1.02 MB)
The tragedy of the (anti-)commons: The case of prey-predator fisheries
Guillaume Bataille
Hubert Stahn
Agnes Tomini
We examine the efficiency and environmental consequences of assigning species-specific common-property rights, considering a Lotka-Volterra model in which fisheries are specialized in the harvesting of a single species. We show that the fragmentation of the ecosystem implies the tragedy of the anticommons even when fisheries compete for the resource. Indeed, contrasting the private exploitation equilibrium with the socially optimal solution, we demonstrate that the predator stock is too high while the prey stock is too low under private property rights. A puzzling result is that the "abundant" species is actually underused because of insufficient economic incentives; however, the scarce and high-priced species does not necessarily suffer from overexploitation. Biological interactions are consequently the main driver of stock depletion. Finally, we investigate how to simultaneously solve both the tragedy of the commons and that of the anticommons and analyze the economic costs of regulating only the tragedy of the commons.
Keywords: exclusive property rights, common-pool resource, anticommons, fisheries, prey-predator relationship, optimal control
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_05.pdf (516.75 KB)
Identity conflict, ethnocentrism and social cohesion
Matteo Sestito
This paper uses a novel dataset on ethnic warfare to shed light on how conflict affects social identification and cohesion. A large body of anecdotal studies suggests that ethnic identities become more salient at times of conflict. Using data from eighteen sub-Saharan countries, I provide econometric evidence for such a claim. The effect of ethnic conflict on various measures of social cohesion is also investigated, uncovering a positive relationship between the two. The finding is understood as a result of the ethnocentric dynamics generated by conflict: as ethnic warfare increases ethnic identification, in-group cooperation follows suit. This parochial interpretation is further strengthened by the use of remote violence and the conditionality of conflict-induced pro-social behaviour on low levels of ethnic polarisation.
Keywords: ethnic conflict, social cohesion, identity, Africa
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_04.pdf (3.7 MB)
When are wages cut? The roles of incomplete contracts and employee involvement
Marco Fongoni
Daniel Schaefer
Carl Singleton

We develop a model of incomplete employment contracts such that employees have some discretion over effort, which depends on their work morale. Nominal wage cuts have a strong negative effect on morale, while employee involvement in workplace decision-making tends to increase morale. We derive predictions on how these two mechanisms affect the decisions of firms to cut nominal wages. Using matched employer-employee and manager survey data from Great Britain, we find support for our model: nominal wage cuts are only half as likely when managers think that employees have some discretion over how they perform their work, but this reduced likelihood recovers partially when employees are involved in the decision-making process at their workplace.

Keywords: wage rigidity; reciprocity; workplace relations; employer-employee data
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_03.pdf (547.41 KB)
Turning worries into cognitive performance: Results from an online experiment during Covid
Timothée Demont
Daniela Horta Sáenz
Eva Raiber
Worrisome topics, such as climate change, economic crises, or the Covid-19 pandemic, are increasingly present and pervasive due to digital media and social networks. Do such worries affect cognitive performance? The effect of a distressing topic might be very different depending on whether people have the scope and means to cope with the consequences. It can also differ by how performance is rewarded, for instance, if is there a goal that people can focus on. In an online experiment during the Covid-19 pandemic, we test how the cognitive performance of university students responds to topics discussing (i) current mental health issues related to social restrictions or (ii) future labor market uncertainties linked to the economic contraction. Moreover, we study how the response is affected by a performance goal by conditioning payout on reaching a minimum level. We find that the labor market topic increases cognitive performance when performance is motivated by a goal. Conversely, there is no such effect after the mental health topic. We even find a weak negative effect among those mentally vulnerable when payout is not based on reaching a goal. The positive effect is driven by students with larger financial and social resources, pointing at an inequality-widening mechanism.
Keywords: cognitive performance, financial worries, COVID-19, financial incentives, anxiety, coping behaviors
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_02.pdf (2.38 MB)
How can technology significantly contribute to climate change mitigation?
Claire Alestra
Gilbert Cette
Valérie Chouard
Rémy Lecat
This paper highlights how technology can contribute to reaching the COP21 goals of net zero CO 2 emissions and global warming below 2°C at the end of the century. It uses the ACCL model, particularly adapted to quantify the consequences of energy price shocks and technology improvements on CO 2 emissions, temperature changes, climate damage and GDP. Our simulations show that without climate policies, i.e. a 'business as usual' scenario, the warming may be +4 to +5°C in 2100, with considerable climate damage. We also find that an acceleration in 'usual technical progress'-not targeted at reducing greenhouse gas intensity-makes global warming and climate damage worse than the 'business as usual' scenario. According to our estimates, the world does not achieve climate goals in 2100 without technological changes to avoid CO 2 emissions. To hit such climatic targets, intervening only through the relative price of different energy types, e.g. via a carbon tax, requires challenging hypotheses of international coordination and price increase for polluting energies. We assess a multi-lever climate strategy, associating diverse price and technology measures. This mix combines energy efficiency gains, carbon sequestration, and a decrease of 3% per year in the relative price of non-carbon-emitting electricity with a 1 to 1.5% annual rise in the relative price of our four polluting energy sources. None of these components alone is sufficient to reach climate objectives. Our last and most important finding is that our composite scenario achieves the climate goals.
Keywords: climate, global warming, Technology, Environmental policy, growth, long-term projections, Uncertainties, Renewable energy
Download PDF icon wp_2023_-_nr_01.pdf (567.61 KB)