This paper studies the behavioral and socio-demographic determinants of reported compliance with prophylactic measures against COVID-19: barrier gestures, lockdown restrictions and mask wearing. The study contrasts two types of measures for behavioral determinants: experimentally elicited preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, social value orientation and cooperativeness) and stated preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, and the GSS trust question). Data were collected from a representative sample of the metropolitan French adult population (N=1154) surveyed during the first lockdown in May 2020, and the experimental tasks were carried out on-line. The in-sample and out-of-sample predictive power of several regression models - which vary in the set of variables that they include - are studied and compared. Overall, we find that stated preferences are better predictors of compliance with these prophylactic measures than preferences elicited through incentivized experiments: self-reported level of risk, patience and trust are predicting compliance, while elicited measures of risk-aversion, patience, cooperation and prosociality did not.
In this paper, we investigate the determinants of equity shares purchased by Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs). Based on the literature of cross-border acquisitions and entry mode choice theory, we shed light on the real drivers of these state-owned funds when they buy small or large stakes in cross-border target firms. Using an original dataset of SWF acquisitions over the period 2000–2015, a Two-Part Fractional Regression Model is estimated to account for both the fractional nature of the dependent variable as well as the separation between the decision to invest and that concerning the share of equity invested. We find that the decision to invest and the decision on the share of equity to be acquired are two distinct processes. We also find that SWFs take the investment decision in cross-border target firms by trying to reduce transaction costs and information asymmetry according to the cross-border acquisition theory, and also by taking the legal and institutional environment of the host country into consideration. However, the fact that they do not hesitate to take large shares or to acquire targeted firms that are considered to be strategic and located in politically unstable countries suggests that their motives may go beyond financial consideration.
We provide a unified framework with demand for housing over the life cycle and financial frictions to analyze the existence and macroeconomic effects of rational housing bubbles. We distinguish a housing price bubble, defined as the difference between the housing market price and its fundamental value, from a housing demand bubble, which corresponds to a situation where a pure speculative housing demand exists. In an overlapping generation exchange economy, we show that no housing price bubble occurs. However, a housing demand bubble may occur, generating a boom in housing prices and a drop in the interest rate, when households face a binding borrowing constraint. The multiplicity of steady states and endogenous fluctuations can occur when credit market imperfections are moderate. These fluctuations involve transitions between equilibria with and without a housing demand bubble that generate large fluctuations in housing prices consistent with observed patterns. We finally extend the basic framework to a production economy and we show that a housing demand bubble increases housing prices, which can still be characterized by large fluctuations.
The paper examines the question of non-anonymous Growth Incidence Curves (na-GIC) from a Bayesian inferential point of view. Building on the notion of conditional quantiles of Barnett (1976. “The Ordering of Multivariate Data.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A 139: 318–55), we show that removing the anonymity axiom leads to a complex and shaky curve that has to be smoothed, using a non-parametric approach. We opted for a Bayesian approach using Bernstein polynomials which provides confidence intervals, tests and a simple way to compare two na-GICs. The methodology is applied to examine wage dynamics in a US university with a particular attention devoted to unbundling and anti-discrimination policies. Our findings are the detection of wage scale compression for higher quantiles for all academics and an apparent pro-female wage increase compared to males. But this pro-female policy works only for academics and not for the para-academics categories created by the unbundling policy.
This paper highlights how technology can contribute to reaching the 2015 Paris Agreement goals of net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and global warming below 2°C in 2100. It uses the Advanced Climate Change Long-term model (ACCL), particularly adapted to quantify the consequences of energy price and technology shocks on CO2 emissions, temperature, climate damage and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The simulations show that without climate policies the warming may be +5°C in 2100, with considerable climate damage. An acceleration in ‘usual’ technical progress not targeted at reducing CO2- even worsens global warming and climate damage. According to our estimates, the world does not achieve climate goals in 2100 without ‘green’ technologies. Intervening only via energy prices, e.g. a carbon tax, requires challenging hypotheses of international coordination and price increase for polluting energies. We assess a multi-lever climate strategy combining energy efficiency gains, carbon sequestration, and a decrease of 3% per year in the relative price of ‘clean’ electricity with a 1 to 1.5% annual rise in the relative price of 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.
The expansion of digital financial services leads to severe consumer protection issues such as fraud and scams. As these potentially decrease trust in digital services, especially in developing countries, avoiding victimization has become an important policy objective. In an online experiment, we first investigate how well individuals in Kenya identify phone scams using a novel measure of scam identification ability. We then test the effectiveness of scam education, a commonly used approach by organizations for fraud prevention. We find that common tips on how to spot scams do not significantly improve individuals’ scam identification ability, i.e., the distinction between scams and genuine messages. This null effect is driven by an increase in correctly identified scams and a decrease in correctly identified genuine messages, indicating overcaution. Additionally, we find suggestive evidence that genuine messages with scam-like features are misclassified more often, highlighting the importance of a careful design of official communication.
In current economic conditions, financial stability is paramount to the proper functioning of open markets. Financial stability must be balanced with financial flexibility. This relationship is deeply affected by financial fragmentation. This is why Central Banks have focused on these issues in the last decade in particular. Both financial stability and financial fragmentation have unintended consequences on optimal currency areas. In this paper, we survey the original optimal currency areas literature and relate it with the new literature on financial stability and financial fragmentation. We highlight the importance of new macroprudential policies both at the national and regional levels.
The objective of this paper is to emphasize the differences between a call and a warrant as well as the different valuation methods of warrants which have been introduced in the financial literature. For the sake of simplicity and applicability, we only consider a debt-free equity-financed firm. More recently a formal distinction between structural and reduced form pricing models has been introduced. This distinction is important whether one wishes to price a new warrant issue or outstanding warrants. If we are interested in pricing a new issue of warrants, e.g. in the context of a management incentive package, one has to rely on a structural model. However most of practitioners use the simple Black-Scholes formula. In this context, we analyze the accuracy of the approximation of the “true” price of a warrant by the Black-Scholes formula. We show that in the current low interest rate environment, the quality of the approximation deteriorates and the sensitivity of this approximation to the volatility estimate increases.
A common practice in many auctions is to offer bidders an opportunity to improve their bids, known as a best and final offer stage. This improved bid can depend on new information either about the asset or about the competitors. This paper examines the effects of new information regarding competitors, seeking to determine what information the auctioneer should provide assuming the set of allowable bids is discrete. The rational strategy profile that maximizes the revenue of the auctioneer is the one where each bidder makes the highest possible bid that is lower than his valuation of the item. This strategy profile is an equilibrium for a large enough number of bidders, regardless of the information released. We compare the number of bidders needed for this profile to be an equilibrium under different information structures. We find that it becomes an equilibrium with fewer bidders when less additional information is made available to the bidders regarding the competition. It follows that when the number of bidders is a priori unknown, there are some advantages to the auctioneer not revealing information and conducting a one-stage auction instead.
During the medieval and early modern periods the Middle East lost its economic advantage relative to the West. Recent explanations of this historical phenomenon—called the Long Divergence—focus on these regions’ distinct political economy choices regarding religious legitimacy and limited governance. We study these features in a political economy model of the interactions between rulers, secular and clerical elites, and civil society. The model induces a joint evolution of culture and political institutions converging to one of two distinct stationary states: a religious and a secular regime. We then map qualitatively parameters and initial conditions characterizing the West and the Middle East into the implied model dynamics to show that they are consistent with the Long Divergence as well as with several key stylized political and economic facts. Most notably, this mapping suggests non-monotonic political economy dynamics in both regions, in terms of legitimacy and limited governance, which indeed characterize their history.