This study examines a specific class of common-pool resources whereby rivalry is not characterized by competition for the resource stock. Artesian aquifers are a typical example of such resources since the stock never depletes, even when part of the resource is extracted. We first propose a dynamic model to account for the relevant features of such aquifers such as the water pressure and well yield and characterize the corresponding dynamics. We then compare the social optimum with the private exploitation of an open-access aquifer. The comparison of these two equilibria highlights the existence of a new source of inefficiency. In the long run, this so-called pressure externality results in an additional number of wells for the same water consumption, thereby raising costs. Finally, we characterize a specific stock-dependent tax to neutralize the pressure externality.
Akin to other developing countries, Algeria has witnessed an increasing role of the private health sector in the past two decades. Our study sheds light on the public–private overlap and the phenomenon of physician dual practice in the provision of health care services using the particular case of cesarean deliveries in Algeria. Existing studies have reported that, compared to the public sector, delivering in a private health facility increases the risk of enduring a cesarean section. While confirming this result for the case of Algeria, our study also reveals the existence of public–private differentials in the effect of medical variables on the probability of cesarean delivery. After controlling for selection in both sectors, we show that cesarean deliveries in the private sector tend to be less medically justified compared with those taking place in the public sector, thus, potentially leading to maternal and neonatal health problems. As elsewhere, the contribution of the private health sector to the unmet need for health care in Algeria hinges on an appropriate legal framework that better coordinates the activities of the two sectors and reinforces their complementarity.
In a competitive business environment, dishonesty can pay. Self-interested executives and managers can have incentive to shade the truth for personal gain. In response, the business community has considered how to commit these executives and managers to a higher ethical standard. The MBA Oath and the Dutch Bankers Oath are examples of such a commitment device. The question we test herein is whether the oath can be used as an effective form of ethics management for future executives/managers—who for our experiment we recruited from a leading French business school—by actually improving their honesty. Using a classic Sender-Receiver strategic game experiment, we reinforce professional identity by pre-selecting the group to which Receivers belong. This allows us to determine whether taking the oath deters lying among future managers. Our results suggest “yes and no.” We observe that these future executives/managers who took a solemn honesty oath as a Sender were (a) significantly more likely to tell the truth when the lie was detrimental to the Receiver, but (b) were not more likely to tell the truth when the lie was mutually beneficial to both the Sender and Receiver. A joint product of our design is our ability to measure in-group bias in lying behavior in our population of subjects (comparing behavior of subjects in the same and different business schools). The experiment provides clear evidence of a lack of such bias.
This paper empirically evaluates the impact of fiscal decentralization on the performance of higher education systems. To test this relationship, we build up a panel dataset composed of European countries. Country-level performance is measured by an indicator using data from the Shanghai ranking. Using a dynamic panel approach, we find that a higher share of government spending coming from decentralized levels of governments leads to an improvement of the performance of research-intensive higher education institutions. We argue that a more decentralized higher education system increases the ability to attract and retain top scholars.
City size distributions are not strictly Pareto, but upper tails are rather Pareto like (i.e. tails are regularly varying). We examine the properties of the tail exponent estimator obtained from ordinary least squares (OLS) rank size regressions (Zipf regressions for short), the most popular empirical strategy among urban economists. The estimator is then biased towards Zipf’s law in the leading class of distributions. The Pareto quantile–quantile plot is shown to offer a simple diagnostic device to detect such distortions and should be used in conjunction with the regression residuals to select the anchor point of the OLS regression in a data-dependent manner. Applying these updated methods to some well-known data sets for the largest cities, Zipf’s law is now rejected in several cases.
This paper investigates how large shocks on the Egyptian labor market following the 2011 uprising impacted youths’ time allocation. We estimate the effects of reported changes in the father’s working conditions on youths’ work participation and school enrollment in bivariate probit models, using the 2012 round of the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey. Our contribution lies in exploring the association between mother’s empowerment and shock transmission. We find that reported positive changes reduce daughters’ participation in intensive domestic work but only when the mother has a high level of bargaining power. This suggests that a woman’s say in household decisions can affect the reallocation of resources following a change in the family income.
Historically and in many parts of the developing world, ethnic minorities have played a central role in the economy. Examples include Chinese throughout South-east Asia, Indians in East Africa, and Jews in medieval Europe. These rich minorities are often subject to popular violence and extortion, and are treated ambiguously by local politicians. We analyse the impact of the presence of a rich ethnic minority on violence and on interactions between a rent-seeking local elite and a poor majority. We find that the local elite can always make use of the rich minority to maintain its hold on power. When the threat of violence is high, the government may change its economic policies strategically to sacrifice the minority to popular resentment. We investigate the conditions under which such instrumental scapegoating emerges, and the forms it takes. We then introduce some social integration, capturing, for instance, mixed marriages and shared education. Social integration reduces violence and yields qualitative changes in economic policies. Overall, our results help to explain documented patterns of violence and segregation.
This paper is an introduction to the special issue of Mathematical Social Sciences on Advances in growth and macroeconomic dynamics in memory of Carine Nourry.
Elite-biased democracies are those democracies in which former political incumbents and their allies coordinate to impose part of the autocratic institutional rules in the new political regime. We document that this type of democratic transition is much more prevalent than the emergence of pure (popular) democracies in which the majority decides the new institutional rules. We then develop a theoretical model explaining how an elite-biased democracy may arise in an initially autocratic country. To this end, we extend the benchmark political transition model of Acemoglu and Robinson (2005) along two essential directions. First, population is split into majority versus minority groups under the initial autocratic regime. Second, the minority is an insider as it benefits from a more favourable redistribution by the autocrat. We derive conditions under which elite-biased democracies emerge and characterise them, in particular with respect to pure democracies.
This paper studies the impact of migration and workers’ remittances on human capital and economic growth when young individuals face debt constraints to finance education. We consider an overlapping generations model à la de la Croix and Michel (2007). In this no-commitment setting, education is the engine of growth. Individuals may choose to default on their debt and be excluded from the asset market. We show that remittances tend to tighten the borrowing constraints for a given level of interest rate, but may enhance growth at the equilibrium. The model replicates both negative and positive impacts of migration and remittances on economic growth underlined by the empirical literature. We calibrate the model for 30 economies.