# Publications

This paper investigates how affective forecasting errors (A.F.E.s), the difference between anticipated emotion and the emotion actually experienced, may induce changes in preferences on time, risk and occupation after combat. Building on psychological theories incorporating the role of emotion in decision-making, we designed a before-and-after-mission survey for Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. Our hypothesis of an effect from A.F.E.s is tested by controlling for other mechanisms that may also change preferences: immediate emotion, trauma effect – proxied by post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) – and changes in wealth and risk perception. At the aggregate level, results show stable preferences before and after mission. We find positive A.F.E.s for all three emotions studied (fear, anxiety and excitement), with anticipated emotions stronger than those actually experienced. We provide evidence that positive A.F.E.s regarding fear significantly increase risk tolerance and impatience, while positive A.F.E.s regarding excitement strengthen the will to stay in the military. Trauma has no impact on these preferences.

The impacts of money in US politics have long been debated. Building on principal-agent models, we test whether and to what degree companies’ political donations lead to their favored treatment in federal procurement. We expect the impact of donations on favoritism to vary by the strength of control by political principals over their bureaucratic agents. We compile a comprehensive dataset of published federal contracts and registered campaign contributions for 2004–15. We develop risk indices capturing tendering practices and outcomes likely characterized by favoritism. Using fixed effects regressions, matching, and regression discontinuity analyses, we find confirming evidence for our theory. A large increase in donations from $10,000 to $5m (in USD) increases favoritism risks by about 1/4th standard deviation (SD). These effects are largely partisan, with firms donating to the party that holds the presidency showing higher risk. Donations influence favoritism risks most in less independent agencies: the same donation increases the risk of favoritism by an additional 1/3rd SD in agencies least insulated from politics. Exploiting sign-off thresholds, we demonstrate that donating contractors are subject to less scrutiny by political appointees.

In this paper we present a subgradient method with non-monotone line search for the minimization of convex functions with simple convex constraints. Different from the standard subgradient method with prefixed step sizes, the new method selects the step sizes in an adaptive way. Under mild conditions asymptotic convergence results and iteration-complexity bounds are obtained. Preliminary numerical results illustrate the relative efficiency of the proposed method.

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.

We experimentally investigate the impact of information disclosure on managing common harms that are caused jointly by a group of liable agents. Subjects interact in a public bad setting and must choose ex ante how much to contribute in order to reduce the probability of causing a common damage. If a damage occurs, subjects bear a part of the loss according to the liability-sharing rule in force. We consider two existing rules: a per capita rule and a proportional rule. Our aim is to analyze the relative impact of information disclosure under each rule. We show that information disclosure increases contributions only under a per capita rule. This result challenges the classical results regarding the positive effects of information disclosure, since we show that this impact may depend upon the legal context. We also show that while a proportional rule leads to higher contributions than a per capita one, the positive effect of disclosure on a per capita rule makes it as efficient as a proportional rule without information disclosure.

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.

I present a model of optimal capital taxation where agents with heterogeneous labor productivity randomly draw their rate of return to savings. Because of scale dependence, the distribution of rates of returns can depend on the amount saved. Uncertainty in returns to savings yields an insurance rationale for taxing capital on top of labor income. I first show that, because of scale dependence, agents making the same saving decision should access the same rate of return at the optimum. I then constrain the information set of the government and show that, as soon as return are uncertain, positive capital income taxation is needed at the optimum. The optimal linear tax on capital income trades off insurance with distortions to both savings and to the rate of return in a context of scale dependence. Eventually, I argue that scale dependence in and of itself is not sufficient to justify capital taxation on top of labor income taxes. These results are still valid when agents can optimize between a risk-free and a risky-asset that can both exhibit scale dependence.

We propose an inertial proximal point method for variational inclusion involving difference of two maximal monotone vector fields in Hadamard manifolds. We prove that if the sequence generated by the method is bounded, then every cluster point is a solution of the non-monotone variational inclusion. Some sufficient conditions for boundedness and full convergence of the sequence are presented. The efficiency of the method is verified by numerical experiments comparing its performance with classical versions of the method for monotone and non-monotone problems.

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.