# Publications

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 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.

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.

To compare income and wealth distributions and to assess the effects of policy that affect those distributions require reliable inequality-measurement tools. However, commonly used inequality measures such as the Gini coefficient have an apparently counter-intuitive property: income growth among the rich may actually reduce measured inequality. We show that there are just two inequality measures that both avoid this anomalous behavior and satisfy the principle of transfers. We further show that the recent increases in US income inequality are understated by the conventional Gini coefficient and explain why a simple alternative inequality measure should be preferred in practice.

We estimate the causal effect of losing a father in the U.S. Civil War on children’s long-run socioeconomic outcomes. Linking military records from the 2.2 million Union Army soldiers with the 1860 U.S. population census, we track soldiers’ sons into the 1880 and 1900 census. Sons of soldiers who died had lower occupational income scores and were less likely to work in a high- or semi-skilled job as opposed to being low-skilled or farmers. These effects persisted at least until the 1900 census. Our results are robust to instrumenting paternal death with the mortality rate of the father’s regiment, which we argue was driven by military strategy that did not take into account the social origins of soldiers. Pre-war family wealth is a strong mitigating factor: there is no effect of losing a father in the top quartile of the wealth distribution.

In this paper, we develop an overlapping generations model with endogenous fertility and calibrate it to the Swedish historical data in order to estimate the economic cost of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. The model identifies survivors from younger cohorts as main benefactors of the windfall bequests following the influenza mortality shock. We also show that the general equilibrium effects of the pandemic reveal themselves over the wage channel rather than the interest rate, fertility or labor supply channels. Finally, we demonstrate that the influenza mortality shock becomes persistent, driving the aggregate variables to lower steady states which costs the economy 1.819% of the output loss over the next century.

This paper describes an empiric study of aggregation and deliberation—used during citizens’ workshops—for the elicitation of collective preferences over 20 different ecosystem services (ESs) delivered by the Palavas coastal lagoons located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea close to Montpellier (S. France). The impact of deliberation is apprehended by comparing the collectives preferences constructed with and without deliberation. The same aggregation rules were used before and after deliberation. We compared two different aggregation methods, i.e. Rapid Ecosystem Services Participatory Appraisal (RESPA) and Majority Judgement (MJ). RESPA had been specifically tested for ESs, while MJ evaluates the merit of each item, an ES in our case, in a predefined ordinal scale of judgment. The impact of deliberation was strongest for the RESPA method. This new information acquired from application of social choice theory is particularly useful for ecological economics studying ES, and more practically for the development of deliberative approaches for public policies.

Household surveys do not capture incomes at the top of the distribution well. This yields biased inequality measures. We compare the performance of the reweighting and replacing methods to address top incomes underreporting in surveys using information from tax records. The biggest challenge is that the true threshold above which underreporting occurs is unknown. Relying on simulation, we construct a hypothetical true distribution and a “distorted” distribution that mimics an underreporting pattern found in a novel linked data for Uruguay. Our simulations show that if one chooses a threshold that is not close to the true one, corrected inequality measures may be significantly biased. Interestingly, the bias using the replacing method is less sensitive to the choice of threshold. We approach the threshold selection challenge in practice using the Uruguayan linked data. Our findings are analogous to the simulation exercise. These results, however, should not be considered a general assessment of the two methods.

We study repeated zero-sum games where one of the players pays a certain cost each time he changes his action. We derive the properties of the value and optimal strategies as a function of the ratio between the switching costs and the stage payoffs. In particular, the strategies exhibit a robustness property and typically do not change with a small perturbation of this ratio. Our analysis extends partially to the case where the players are limited to simpler strategies that are history independent―namely, static strategies. In this case, we also characterize the (minimax) value and the strategies for obtaining it.