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.
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.
We propose a new measure of systemic risk based on interconnectedness, defined as the level of direct and indirect links between financial institutions in a correlation-based network. Deriving interconnectedness in terms of risk, we empirically show that within a financial network, indirect links are strengthened during systemic events. The relevance of our measure is illustrated at both local and global levels. Our framework offers policymakers a useful toolbox for exploring the real-time topology of the complex structure of dependencies in financial systems and for measuring the consequences of regulatory decisions.
In this study, we look at how oil price shocks affect the incidence of protests in a country and how the size of a country's shadow economy influences this relationship. Using panel data from 144 countries, from the period of 1991–2015, we find evidence that negative oil price shocks significantly increase protests in countries with small shadow economies. The effect dissipates as the size of the shadow economy increases and eventually vanishes in countries with a shadow economy representing more than 35% of gross domestic product. Our analysis departs from existing literature by emphasizing the moderating role of a shadow economy on the effects of negative oil shocks on the incidence of protests in oil-d ependent economies. The results are robust to various specifications and their broader implications are discussed.
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.
In the context of credit scoring, ensemble methods based on decision trees, such as the random forest method, provide better classification performance than standard logistic regression models. However, logistic regression remains the benchmark in the credit risk industry mainly because the lack of interpretability of ensemble methods is incompatible with the requirements of financial regulators. In this paper, we propose a high-performance and interpretable credit scoring method called penalised logistic tree regression (PLTR), which uses information from decision trees to improve the performance of logistic regression. Formally, rules extracted from various short-depth decision trees built with original predictive variables are used as predictors in a penalised logistic regression model. PLTR allows us to capture non-linear effects that can arise in credit scoring data while preserving the intrinsic interpretability of the logistic regression model. Monte Carlo simulations and empirical applications using four real credit default datasets show that PLTR predicts credit risk significantly more accurately than logistic regression and compares competitively to the random forest method.
Sub-Saharan Africa's hepatitis B virus (HBV) burden is primarily due to infection in infancy. However, data on chronic HBV infection prevalence and associated risk factors in children born post-HBV vaccination introduction are scarce. We estimated hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence and risk factors in Senegalese children born during the HBV vaccination era. In 2018–2019, a community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted in Senegal among children born between 2004 and 2015 (ie after the three-dose HBV vaccine series was introduced (2004) but before the birth dose's introduction (2016)). HBsAg-positive children were identified using dried blood spots. A standardized questionnaire collected socioeconomic information. Data were age-sex weighted and calibrated to be representative of children living in the study area. Risk factors associated with HBsAg positivity were identified using negative binomial regression. Among 1,327 children, 17 were HBsAg-positive (prevalence = 1.23% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–1.85)). Older age (adjusted incidence-rate ratio [aIRR] 1.31 per one-year increase, 95% CI 1.10–1.57), home vs healthcare facility delivery (aIRR 3.55, 95% CI 1.39–9.02), stitches (lifetime) (aIRR 4.79; 95% CI 1.84–12.39), tattoos (aIRR 8.97, 95% CI 1.01–79.11) and having an HBsAg-positive sibling with the same mother (aIRR 3.05, 95% CI 1.09–8.57) were all independently associated with HBsAg positivity. The low HBsAg prevalence highlights the success of the Senegalese HBV vaccination program. To further reduce HBV acquisition in children, high-risk groups, including pregnant women and siblings of HBsAg-positive individuals, must be screened. Vital HBV infection prevention measures include promoting delivery in healthcare facilities, and increasing awareness of prevention and control procedures.
This paper documents the determinants of real oil price in the global market based on an empirical model embedding transitory and permanent shocks. We find evidence of significant differences in the propagation mechanisms of transitory versus permanent disturbances, pointing to the importance of disentangling their distinct effects. Permanent supply shocks are found to be very influential in driving oil price fluctuations.