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This paper looks at situations in which public and private protection are complementary, that is, when private protection must be coordinated with public protection to be effective. For example, home alarms deter theft by being connected to a local police station: if the police do not respond to a home alarm, the home alarm on its own is virtually useless in halting a crime in action. We make a distinction between gross and net complementarity and substitution, where the latter takes into account the effect on the crime rate. We show that when public and private protection are complements, the optimal provision of public protection trades off the manipulation effect of encouraging private protection with the compensatory effect of providing protection to households that do not privately invest. We discuss the implications of our results for policy and empirical research in this area.
In this article we propose a theoretical model to better comprehend the effect of gun laws on violent property crime. We assume that a violent encounter between a criminal and a victim is costly to both, and we uncover two types of equilibria: a pure strategy violent equilibrium and a mixed strategy equilibrium where the criminal is deterred with strictly positive probability. The effect of a relaxation of gun laws is shown to be conditional on both initial gun laws and on the relative improvement of the victims’ defense capacity relative to the criminals’ offense capacity. We uncover a potentially inverted U-shaped relationship between gun laws leniency and investments in violent activities which helps reconciling seemingly contradictory empirical findings.
Young Europeans experience high unemployment rates, job instability, and late emancipation. Meanwhile, they do not support reforms weakening protection on long-term contracts. In this paper, we suggest a possible rationale for such reform distaste. When the rental market is strongly regulated, landlords screen applicants with regard to their ability to pay the rent. Protecting regular jobs offers a second-best technology to sort workers, thereby increasing the rental market size. We provide a model where nonemployed workers demand protected jobs despite unemployment and the share of short-term jobs increases, whereas the individual risk of dismissal is unaffected. Our theory can be extended to alternative risks and markets involving correlated risks and commitment under imperfect information.
Human prosociality toward nonkin is ubiquitous and almost unique in the animal kingdom. It remains poorly understood, although a proliferation of theories has arisen to explain it. We present evidence from survey data and laboratory treatment of experimental subjects that is consistent with a set of theories based on group-level selection of cultural norms favoring prosociality. In particular, increases in competition increase trust levels of individuals who (i) work in firms facing more competition, (ii) live in states where competition increases, (iii) move to more competitive industries, and (iv) are placed into groups facing higher competition in a laboratory experiment. The findings provide support for cultural group selection as a contributor to human prosociality.
As predicted by cultural group selection, increases in firm-level competition raise the generalized trust of workers.
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 introduce imperfect labor markets into the tax competition framework. Countries set tax rates on profit and income. Labor is immobile across countries, while capital is mobile. We show the importance of asymmetries in labor market institutions for the optimal tax policy. While most of the labor market variables play no role for the tax rates in autarchic countries, they become important when tax competition is introduced. Especially, we find that a country with “better” labor market institutions taxes capital at a higher rate and income at a lower rate compared to a country with “bad” labor markets.
In this paper we first introduce an approach relying on market games to examine how successive oligopolies operate between downstream and upstream markets. This approach is then compared with the traditional analysis of oligopolistic interaction in successive markets. The market outcomes resulting from the two approaches are analysed under di¤erent technological regimes, decreasing vs constant returns.
In this paper, a lobby group or union may influence public policy because it is able, via a costly signal such as a boycott or a strike, to negatively impact the image of decision makers. The competence of a government is measured by its ability to do a lot with only a little money. Voters receive, through observing the level of public output, only a noisy signal of government's quality so that the lobby groups, which are better informed, may transmit to them more precise information about it.
Controlling for country fixed effects, there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between the degree of housing market regulation (HMR) and the strictness of employment protection legislation (EPL) in OECD countries. We provide a model in which HMR increases foreclosure costs in case of mortgage default, while EPL raises the administrative cost of dismissal. Owing to banks' lending behavior, individuals' demand for job protection increases with the cost of foreclosure. We use the model to discuss social housing and family insurance, the case for mortgage unemployment insurance, the impact of min down-payment policies, regulations on the use of fixed-term contracts, the failure of a 2006 French reform of labor contracts, and feed-back effects from HMR to EPL.
Although there is mounting empirical evidence that the mere presence of borders contribute to reduce trade significantly, there is no firm view on what are the reasons underlying this phenomenon. This paper investigates the role played by asymmetries in judicial systems in driving the "border effect". First, we provide evidence that differences in the judicial system matter for the volume of trade flows. Variables capturing the extent of asymmetries in the procedures to settle trade litigations perform significantly in estimation both across OECD countries and across French regions. Second, we develop a matching model of trade showing that such asymetries in the legal system fragment trade through a mechanism which is essentially different compared with that of transport costs or formal trade barriers.
Canada exhibits no correlation between income and victimization, rich neighborhoods are less exposed to property crime, rich households are more victimized than their neighbors, and rich households and neighborhoods invest more in protection. We provide a theory consistent with these facts. Criminals within city choose a neighborhood and pay a search cost to compare potential victims, whereas households invest in self-protection. As criminals' return to search increases with neighborhood income, households in rich neighborhoods are likelier to enter a race to greater protection driving criminals toward poorer areas. A calibration reproduces the Canadian victimization and protection pattern by household/neighborhood income.