This article studies the behavioral and socio-demographic determinants of reported compliance with prophylactic measures against COVID-19: barrier gestures, lockdown restrictions and mask wearing. The study contrasts two types of measures for behavioral determinants: experimentally elicited preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, social value orientation and cooperativeness) and stated preferences (risk tolerance, time preferences, and the GSS trust question). Data were collected from a representative sample of the inland French adult population (N=1154) surveyed during the first lockdown in May 2020, and the experimental tasks were carried out on-line. The in-sample and out-of-sample predictive power of several regression models - which vary in the set of variables that they include - are studied and compared. Overall, we find that stated preferences are better predictors of compliance with these prophylactic measures than preferences elicited through incentivized experiments: self-reported level of risk, patience and trust are predicting compliance, while elicited measures of risk-aversion, patience, cooperation and prosociality did not.
The increase in employment polarization observed in several high-income economies has coincided with a reduction in inter-generational mobility. This paper argues that the disappearance of middling jobs can drive changes in mobility, notably by removing a stepping stone towards high-paying occupations for those from less well-off family backgrounds. Using data from two British cohorts who entered the labour market at two points in time with very different degrees of employment polarization, we examine how parental income affects both entry occupations and occupational upgrading over careers. We find that transitions across occupations are key to mobility and that the impact of parental income has grown over time. At regional level, using a shift-share IV-strategy, we show that the impact of parental income has increased the most in regions experiencing the greatest increase in polarisation. This indicates that the disappearance of middling jobs played a role in the observed decline in mobility.
This paper studies differences across genders in the re-contesting decisions of politicians following electoral wins or defeats. Using close races in mixed-gender French local elections, we show that women are less likely to persist in competition when they lose compared to male runners-up, but are equally or more prone than male winners to re-contest when they win. Differences in observable characteristics or in the expected electoral returns of running again cannot fully account for these gender gaps in persistence. In contrast, evidence suggests that results are driven by behavioural explanations such as cross-gender differences in candidates’ attitudes toward competition, or by political parties behaving differently toward female and male candidates for a given electoral outcome. Additionally, we provide evidence that a woman’s victory encourages former female challengers to re-contest but does not trigger the entry of new female candidates.
We revisit the question of colonial legacies in education by focusing on quality rather than quantity. We study Cameroon, a country where a Francophone education system with French colonial origins coexists with an Anglophone system with British colonial origins. This allows us to investigate the impact of different teaching practices on students’ test scores. We find that pupils schooled in the Francophone system perform better in mathematics in Grade 5, with test scores higher by two thirds of a standard deviation. Thanks to detailed school survey data, we are able to account for a wide array of inputs of the education production function, such as the economic and social conditions of students, the material conditions of the schools and classrooms, as well as some information on the teachers’ practices and pedagogical culture. We find that Francophone schools have better classroom equipment and that Francophone teachers use more vertical teaching methods, but that these differences cannot explain why Francophone students perform better in mathematics. In the end, we cannot pin down the exact mechanism behind our result.
With the low adherence to voluntary mutual health insurance, Senegal’s policymakers have sought to understand the feasibility of compulsory health insurance membership. This study aims to measure the acceptability of mandatory membership in community-based mutual health insurance (CBHI) and to understand its possible administrative modalities. The study consists of a national survey among a representative population sample selected by marginal quotas. The survey was conducted in 2022 over the phone, with a random composition method involving 914 people. The questionnaire measured the socio-economic characteristics of households, their level of acceptability concerning voluntary and compulsory membership, and their level of confidence in CBHIs and the health system. Respondents preferred voluntary (86%) over mandatory (70%) membership of a CBHI. The gap between voluntary and compulsory membership scores was smaller among women (p = 0.040), people under 35 (p = 0.033), and people with no health coverage (p = 0.011). Voluntary or compulsory membership was correlated (p = 0.000) to trust in current CBHIs and health systems. Lack of trust in the CBHI management has been more disadvantageous for acceptance of the mandatory than the voluntary membership. No particular preference emerged as the preferred administrative channel (e.g. death certificate, identity card, etc.) to enforce the mandatory option. The results confirmed the well-known challenges of building universal health coverage based on CBHIs—a poorly appreciated model whose low performance reduces the acceptability of populations to adhere to it, whether voluntary or mandatory. Suppose Senegal persists in its health insurance approach. In that case, it will be essential to strengthen the performance and funding of CBHIs, and to gain population trust to enable a mandatory or more systemic membership.
Two recent contributions have found conditions for large dimensional networks or systems to generate long memory in their individual components. We build on these and provide a multivariate methodology for modeling and forecasting series displaying long range dependence. We model long memory properties within a vector autoregressive system of order 1 and consider Bayesian estimation or ridge regression. For these, we derive a theory-driven parametric setting that informs a prior distribution or a shrinkage target. Our proposal significantly outperforms univariate time series long-memory models when forecasting a daily volatility measure for 250 U.S. company stocks over twelve years. This provides an empirical validation of the theoretical results showing long memory can be sourced to marginalization within a large dimensional system.
In the Design of Experiments, we seek to relate response variables to explanatory factors. Response Surface methodology (RSM) approximates the relation between output variables and a polynomial transform of the explanatory variables using a linear model. Some researchers have tried to adjust other types of models, mainly nonlinear and nonparametric. We present a large panel of Machine Learning approaches that may be good alternatives to the classical RSM approximation. The state of the art of such approaches is given, including classification and regression trees, ensemble methods, support vector machines, neural networks and also direct multi-output approaches. We survey the subject and illustrate the use of ten such approaches using simulations and a real use case. In our simulations, the underlying model is linear in the explanatory factors for one response and nonlinear for the others. We focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches and show how their hyperparameters may be tuned. Our simulations show that even when the underlying relation between the response and the explanatory variables is linear, the RSM approach is outperformed by the direct neural network multivariate model, for any sample size (<50) and much more for very small samples (15 or 20). When the underlying relation is nonlinear, the RSM approach is outperformed by most of the machine learning approaches for small samples (n ≤ 30).
The popular view is that governments should crack down on tax avoidance by multinational corporations, but in practice, lax anti-profit-shifting policies are common. Here, we analyze how controlling profit shifting influences fiscal competition. Equilibrium tax rates are determined by the elasticities of two components: retained profit and capital mobility. Anti-profit-shifting policies decrease the elasticity of the first, but increase the elasticity of the second. The impact of these policies on equilibrium tax rates is then ambiguous. We show that there are cases in which laxer policies increase equilibrium tax rates and countries’ well-being by favoring investments. We use estimates of different elasticities to show that our model can support lax enforcement.
We study how firm premia influence the gender wage gap for 21 European countries. We use a quadrennial harmonized matched employer–employee dataset to estimate gender-specific firm premia. Subsequently, we decompose the firm-specific wage premia differential into within- and between-firm components. On average, the former accounts mainly for the decline in the pay gap between 2002 and 2014. We pay particular attention to the development of each component by age group, and find that the between-firm component is associated with an increase in the gender pay gap over age. The decomposition of firm premia allows us to investigate how institutional settings relate to each component. We associate the within-firm component with collective bargaining at the national and firm levels, and the between-firm component with family policies. Decentralized wage bargaining is associated with a larger within-firm pay gap, whereas family policies incentivizing women to return to employment after family formation are linked to a smaller between-firm component.
This paper studies government spending multipliers in a panel of OECD countries. While recent literature has highlighted the differences in government consumption and investment effects, we extend this approach sectorally and report findings that suggest strong heterogeneities across sectors for government spending and output. Differences in price stickiness and sectors’ position in the production network are the main drivers of these heterogeneities.