Lefebvre

Publications

The Welfare State in Europe: Economic and Social PerspectivesBookPierre Pestieau et Mathieu Lefebvre, 2018-09, 240 pages, Oxford University Press, 2018

Although in Europe there continues to be a large degree of consensus that it is the responsibility of government to ensure that nobody who is poor, sick, disabled, unemployed, or old is left deprived, there are mounting calls to roll back spending on the welfare state. It is argued that it fails to achieve its main objectives, that it is responsible for a decline in economic performance, and that it was conceived in a very different period and is therefore not adapted to modern realities.This second edition of The Welfare State in Europe: Economic and Social Perspectives provides an informed analysis of the key criticisms of the welfare state and examines the prospects of this system in an increasingly integrated world. It answers important questions regarding the current social situation of European countries, the performance of the welfare states, and the reforms that should be undertaken. It calls for fundamental changes in social policies in order to address the rising inequality that hampers social cohesion in Europe.Now focused on Europe in its entirety and including a new chapter on long term care, this new edition of an integral text on the welfare state places increased focus on social divisions and the populist vote to provide a balanced and up-to-date analysis of the performance of current systems.

L'État-providence. Défense et illustrationBookMathieu Lefebvre et Pierre Pestieau, 2017-12, 240 pages, Presses Universitaires de France, 2017

L’État-providence n’a jamais été autant décrié qu’aujourd’hui, alors qu’il n’a sans doute jamais été aussi nécessaire. Les critiques qu’il doit essuyer viennent de ceux qui veulent en réduire la voilure comme de ceux qui le trouvent incapable de remplir ses principales missions. Les multiples fractures sociales qui ont conduit une partie de la population à douter des politiques censées la secourir pour finir par basculer dans le vote populiste redonnent toute sa justification à un État-providence plus performant et soucieux de combler le fossé séparant une partie de la population socialement intégrée de celle qui compte les exclus. C’est dans cette perspective que se place cet ouvrage. Il présente d’abord un portrait social des pays européens en mettant l’accent sur la France. Il analyse la performance de leurs États-providence face à des obstacles qui ont pour noms « globalisation » et « individualisme ». Il aborde ensuite les principaux domaines où il peut et doit avoir une action : la santé, l’emploi, la retraite et la famille. Il conclut en proposant un certain nombre de recommandations concrètes.

L'État-providence en Europe. Performance et dumping socialBookMathieu Lefebvre et Pierre Pestieau, CEPREMAP, 2012-11, 80 pages, Rue d'Ulm, 2012

Cet opuscule propose une mesure de la performance des États-providence européens fondée sur la manière dont ils traitent des inégalités sociales, de santé, d’emploi et d’éducation. Cette mesure permet de comparer la performance des pays de l’Europe des quinze avec celle des douze nouveaux membres ; elle donne aussi la possibilité de tester l’hypothèse d’un éventuel dumping social à l’œuvre dans ces pays ; enfin elle peut être utilisée pour mieux appréhender la façon dont les différents États...

Other-regarding preferences and giving decision in a risky environment: experimental evidenceJournal articleMickael Beaud, Mathieu Lefebvre et 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 et 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 et 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.