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.
This paper has two aspects. Mathematically, in the context of global optimization, it provides the existence of an optimum of a perturbed optimization problem that generalizes the celebrated Ekeland variational principle and equivalent formulations (Caristi, Takahashi), whenever the perturbations need not satisfy the triangle inequality. Behaviorally, it is a continuation of the recent variational rationality approach of stay (stop) and change (go) human dynamics. It gives sufficient conditions for the existence of traps in a changing environment. In this way it emphasizes even more the striking correspondence between variational analysis in mathematics and variational rationality in psychology and behavioral sciences.
Studies for high-income countries have shown that the prescription that a man should earn more than his wife holds back women's performance in the labour market, evidencing the importance of gender identity norms in explaining persistent gender gaps. Using data on couples in Uruguay for the period 1986–2016, this paper analyses behavioural responses to the male breadwinner norm, investigating the role of job informality as an additional mechanism of response to gender norms. My results show that the higher the probability that the wife earns more than her husband, the less likely she is to engage in a formal job, providing evidence that gender norms affect not only the quantity of labour supply (i.e. labour force participation and hours of work), but also the quality of jobs in which women are employed. Moreover, I also identify meaningful effects of the norm on men: those with lower potential earnings than their wives react to the norm by self-selecting into better-paid formal jobs. Not considering these effects would lead to underestimating the consequences of gender norms on labour market inequalities in the context of developing countries.
Two main nonpharmaceutical policy strategies have been used in Europe in response to the COVID-19 epidemic: one aimed at natural herd immunity and the other at avoiding saturation of hospital capacity by crushing the curve. The two strategies lead to different results in terms of the number of lives saved on the one hand and production loss on the other hand. Using a susceptible–infected–recovered–dead model, we investigate and compare these two strategies. As the results are sensitive to the initial reproduction number, we estimate the latter for 10 European countries for each wave from January 2020 till March 2021 using a double sigmoid statistical model and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker data set. Our results show that Denmark, which opted for crushing the curve, managed to minimize both economic and human losses. Natural herd immunity, sought by Sweden and the Netherlands does not appear to have been a particularly effective strategy, especially for Sweden, both in economic terms and in terms of lives saved. The results are more mixed for other countries, but with no evident trade-off between deaths and production losses.
A durable good monopolist faces a continuum of heterogeneous customers who make purchase decisions by comparing present and expected price-quality offers. The monopolist designs a sequence of price-quality menus to segment the market. We consider the Markov perfect equilibrium (MPE) of a game where the monopolist is unable to commit to future price-quality menus. We obtain the novel results that: (a) under certain conditions, the monopolist covers the whole market in the first period (even when a static Mussa–Rosen monopolist would not cover the whole market), because this is a strategic means to convince customers that lower prices would not be offered in future periods and that (b) this can happen only under the stage-wise Stackelberg leadership assumption (whereby consumers base their expectations on the value of the state variable at the end of the period). Conditions under which MPE necessarily involves sequentially trading are also derived.
This paper is concerned with the historical roots of gender equality. It proposes and empirically assesses a new determinant of gender equality: gender-specific outside options in the marriage market. In particular, enlarging women’s options besides marriage—even if only temporarily—increases their bargaining power with respect to men, leading to a persistent improvement in gender equality. We illustrate this mechanism focusing on Belgium, and relate gender-equality levels in the 19th century to the presence of medieval, female-only communities called beguinages that allowed women to remain single amidst a society that traditionally advocated marriage. Combining geo-referenced data on beguinal communities with 19th-century census data, we document that the presence of beguinages contributed to decrease the gender gap in literacy. The reduction is sizeable, amounting to a 12.3% drop in gender educational inequality. Further evidence of the beguinal legacy is provided leveraging alternative indicators of female agency.
The literature is inconclusive on the source of the size effect. Our paper contributes to extant studies by investigating the relationship between the size premium and default risk in Vietnam, an important frontier emerging market. The debt-to-equity ratio and distance-to-default of Merton (1974, The Journal of Finance, 29, 449) are used as distress-risk proxies. Based on more than 300 listed stocks over 2009–2019, we discover that the small portfolio delivers the highest average return. The excess return on the small portfolio is concentrated in firms with high distress risk. Furthermore, neutral size factors are built to dissect returns on the Fama-French size factor from the default-risk premium. Empirical results prove that the explanatory power of the size factor is negatively affected when the default-risk neutrality is applied. Given this backdrop, the size premium in Vietnam is likely to be compensation for distress risk, consistent with a risk-based point of view.
We address the question of the measurement of health achievement and inequality in the context of variables exhibiting an inverted-U relation with health and well-being. The chosen approach is to measure separately achievement and inequality in the health increasing range of the variable, from a lower survival bound a to an optimum value m, and in the health decreasing range from m to an upper survival bound b. Because in the health decreasing range, the equally distributed equivalent value associated with a distribution is decreasing in progressive transfers, the paper introduces appropriate relative and absolute achievement and inequality indices to be used for variables exhibiting a negative association with well-being. We then discuss questions pertaining to consistent measurement across health attainments and shortfalls, as well as the ordering of distributions exhibiting an inverted-U relation with well-being. An illustration of the methodology is provided using a group of five Arab countries.
This paper is concerned with the historical roots of gender equality. It proposes and empirically assesses a new determinant of gender equality: gender-specific outside options in the marriage market. In particular, enlarging women's options besides marriage-even if only temporarily-increases their bargaining power with respect to men, leading to a persistent improvement in gender equality. We illustrate this mechanism focusing on Belgium, and relate gender-equality levels in the 19th century to the presence of medieval, female-only communities called beguinages that allowed women to remain single amidst a society that traditionally advocated marriage. Combining geo-referenced data on beguinal communities with 19th-century census data, we document that the presence of beguinages contributed to decrease the gender gap in literacy. The reduction is sizeable, amounting to a 12.3% drop in gender educational inequality. Further evidence of the beguinal legacy is provided leveraging alternative indicators of female agency.