Publications

La plupart des informations présentées ci-dessous ont été récupérées via RePEc avec l'aimable autorisation de Christian Zimmermann
The Welfare Consequences of Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in SwitzerlandJournal articleSarah Flèche, Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 103, Issue 4, pp. 621–635, 2021

Many countries are reallocating tasks and powers to more central levels of government. To identify centralization’s welfare effects, I use a difference-in-differences design that relies on time and cross-cantonal variation in the implementation of centralization reforms in Switzerland. I find that centralization provokes significant decreases in residents’ life satisfaction. I identify one mechanism driving the effect, namely the procedural disutility that individuals experience from having less influence over the formulation of political decisions. This effect is largest among individuals with higher expected benefits from being involved in the political decision process, with detrimental effects on local political participation.

Measuring Knightian uncertaintyJournal articleAndreas Dibiasi et David Iselin, Empirical Economics, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp. 2113-2141, 2021

Knightian uncertainty represents a situation in which it is no longer possible to form expectations about future events. We propose a method to directly measure Knightian uncertainty. Our approach relies on firm-level data and measures the share of firms that do not formalize expectations about their future demand. We construct the Knightian Uncertainty Indicator for Switzerland and show that the indicator is able to identify times of high uncertainty. We evaluate the indicator by comparing it to established uncertainty measures. We find that a one standard deviation innovation of the Knightian Uncertainty Indicator leads to a negative and persistent reduction of investment.

Controlling monopoly power in a double-auction market experimentJournal articleGiuseppe Attanasi, Kene Boun My, Andrea Guido et Mathieu Lefebvre, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp. 1074-1101, 2021

There is robust evidence in the experimental economics literature showing that monopoly power is affected by trading institutions. In this paper, we study whether trading institutions themselves can shape agents' market behavior through the formation of anchors. We recreate experimentally five different double-auction market structures (perfect competition, perfect competition with quotas, cartel on price, cartel on price with quotas, and monopoly) in a within-subject design, varying the order of markets implementation. We investigate whether monopoly power endures the formation of price anchors emerged in previously implemented market structures. Results from our classroom experiments suggest that double-auction trading institutions succeed in preventing monopolists from exploiting their market power. Furthermore, the formation of price anchors in previously implemented markets negatively impacts on monopolists' power in later market structures.

Donneurs et acteurs de terrain : une étude quantitative de la délégation et de la fragmentation de l’aide humanitaireJournal articleNathalie Ferrière, Mondes en développement, Volume 195, Issue 3, pp. 109-128, 2021

La part de l’aide humanitaire croît dans l’aide totale. Or les acteurs impliqués restent peu étudiés. Cet article documente la fragmentation de l’aide à un double niveau : celui des donneurs et celui des acteurs de terrains. Le jeu de délégation entre les deux peut réduire les effets négatifs de la fragmentation de l’aide. À partir de trois études de cas, le lien entre fragmentation, délégation et efficacité de l’aide humanitaire est illustré et les coûts et bénéfices potentiels de la délégation et de la fragmentation discutés.

Does voting on tax fund destination imply a direct democracy effect?Journal articleNicolas Jacquemet, Stéphane Luchini et Antoine Malézieux, International Review of Law and Economics, Volume 67, pp. 106003, 2021

Does giving taxpayers a voice over the destination of tax revenues lead to more honest income declarations? Previous experiments have shown that giving participants the opportunity to select the organization that receives their tax funds tends to increase tax compliance. The aim of this paper is to assess whether this increase in compliance is induced by the sole fact of giving subjects a choice—a “direct democracy effect”. To that aim, we ask participants to a tax evasion game to choose, in a collective or individual choice setting, between two very similar organizations which provide the same social (ecological) benefits. We elicit compliance for both organizations before the choice is made so as to control for the counter-factual compliance decision. We find that democracy does not increase compliance, and even observe a slight negative effect—in particular for women. Our results confirm the existence of a commitment effect of democracy, leading to favor more the selected organization when it was actively chosen. The commitment effect of democracy is however not enough to overcome the decrease in the level of compliance. Thanks to response times data, we show that prior choice on similar options as compared to a purely random selection weakens the preference for honesty. One important field application of our results is that democracy in tax spending must offer real choices to tax payers to improve compliance.

Control theory in infinite dimension for the optimal location of economic activity: The role of social welfare functionJournal articleRaouf Boucekkine, Giorgio Fabbri, Salvatore Federico et Fausto Gozzi, Pure and Applied Functional Analysis, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp. 871-888, 2021

In this paper, we consider an abstract optimal control problem with state constraint. The methodology relies on the employment of the classical dynamic programming tool considered in the infinite dimensional context. We are able to identify a closed-form solution to the induced Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation in infinite dimension and to prove a verification theorem, also providing the optimal control in closed loop form. The abstract problem can be seen an abstract formulation of a PDE optimal control problem and is motivated by an economic application in the context of continuous spatiotemporal growth models with capital di usion, where a social planner chooses the optimal location of economic activity across space by maximization of an utilitarian social welfare function. From the economic point of view, we generalize previous works by considering a continuum of social welfare functions ranging from Benthamite to Millian functions. We prove that the Benthamite case is the unique case for which the optimal stationary detrended consumption spatial distribution is uniform. Interestingly enough, we also find that as the social welfare function gets closer to the Millian case, the optimal spatiotemporal dynamics amplify the typical neoclassical dilution population size effect, even in the long-run.

Evaluating education systemsJournal articleNicolas Gravel, Edward Levavasseur et Patrick Moyes, Applied Economics, Volume 53, Issue 45, pp. 5177-5207, 2021

This paper proposes two dominance criteria for evaluating education systems described as joint distributions of the pupils’ cognitive skill achievements and family backgrounds. The first criterion is the smallest transitive ranking of education systems compatible with three elementary principles. The first principle requires the favorable recording of any improvement in the cognitive skill of a child with a given family background . The second principle demands that any child’s cognitive skill be all the more favourably appraised as the child is coming from an unfavourable background. The third principle states that when two different skills and family backgrounds are allocated between two children, it is preferable that the high skill be given to the low background child than the other way around. Our second criterion adds to the three principles the elitist requirement that a mean-preserving spread in the skills of two children with the same background be recorded favorably. We apply our criteria to the ranking of education systems of 43 countries, where we measure cognitive skills by PISA score in mathematics and famly background by the largest of the two parents’International Socio Economic Index. Our criteria conclusively compare about 19% of all the possible pairs of countries.

Online study of health professionals about their vaccination attitudes and behavior in the COVID-19 era: addressing participation biasJournal articlePierre Verger, Dimitri Scronias, Yves Fradier, Malika Meziani et Bruno Ventelou, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp. 2934-2939, 2021

Online surveys of health professionals have become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 crisis because of their ease, speed of implementation, and low cost. This article leverages an online survey of general practitioners’ (GPs’) attitudes toward the soon-to-be-available COVID-19 vaccines, implemented in October–November 2020 (before the COVID-19 vaccines were authorized in France), to study the evolution of the distribution of their demographic and professional characteristics and opinions about these vaccines, as the survey fieldwork progressed, as reminders were sent out to encourage them to participate. Focusing on the analysis of the potential determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, we also tested if factors related to survey participation biased the association estimates. Our results show that online surveys of health professionals may be subject to significant selection bias that can have a significant impact on estimates of the prevalence of some of these professionals’ behavioral, opinion, or attitude variables. Our results also highlight the effectiveness of reminder strategies in reaching hard-to-reach professionals and reducing these biases. Finally, they indicate that weighting for nonparticipation remains indispensable and that methods exist for testing (and correcting) selection biases.

Externality and common-pool resources: The case of artesian aquifersJournal articleHubert Stahn et Agnès Tomini, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Volume 109, pp. 102493, 2021

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.

Public–private differentials in health care delivery: the case of cesarean deliveries in AlgeriaJournal articleAhcène Zehnati, Mârwan-al-Qays Bousmah et Mohammad Abu-Zaineh, International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp. 367-385, 2021

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.