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05-34 Truchon, Michel - Aggregation of Rankings: a Brief Review of Distance-Based Rules

Some researchers have addressed the problem of aggregating individual preferences or rankings by seeking a ranking that is closest to the individual rankings. Their methods differ according to the notion of distance that they use. The best known method of this sort is due to Kemeny. The first part of this paper offers a brief survey of some of these methods. Another way of approaching the aggregation of rankings is as a problem of optimal statistical inference, in which an expected loss is minimised. This approach requires a loss function, a concept closely related the notion of distance between rankings. The second part of this paper examines two classes of parametric functions and proposes one class for the optimal statistical inference problem.

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05-33 Dionne, Georges; Duchesne, Pierre; Pacurar, Maria - Intraday Value at Risk (IVaR) Using Tick-by-Tick Data with Application to the Toronto Stock Exchange

The objective of this paper is to investigate the use of tick-by-tick data for market risk measurement.We propose an Intraday Value at Risk (IVaR) at different horizons based on irregularly time-spaced high-frequency data by using an intraday Monte Carlo simulation. An UHF-GARCH model extending the framework of Engle (2000) is used to specify the joint density of the marked-point process of durations and high-frequency returns. We apply our methodology to transaction data for the Royal Bank and the Placer Dome stocks traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Results show that our approach constitutes reliable means of measuring intraday risk for traders who are very active on the market. the UHF-GARCH model performs well out-of-sample for almost all the time horizons and the confidence levels considered even when normality is assumed for the distribution of the error term, provided that intraday seasonality has been accounted for prior to the estimation.

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05-32 Dionne, Georges; Gauthier, Geneviève; Hammami, Khemais; Maurice, Mathieu; Simonato, Jean-Guy - Default Risk in Corporate Yield Spreads

An important research question examined in the recent credit risk literature focuses on the proportion of corporate yield spreads which can be attributed to default risk. Past studies have verified that only a small fraction of the spreads can be explained by default risk. In this paper, we reexamine this topic in the light of the different issues associated with the computation of transition and default probabilities obtained with historical rating transition data. One significant finding of our research is that the estimated default-risk proportion of corporate yield spreads is highly sensitive to the term structure of the default probabilities estimated for each rating class. Moreover, this proportion can become a large fraction of the yield spread when sensitivity analyses are made with respect to recovery rates, default cycles in the economy, and information considered in the historical rating transition data.

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05-31 Beaulieu, Marie-Claude; Cosset, Jean-Claude; Essaddam, Naceur - Political Uncertainty and Stock Market Returns: Evidence from the 1995 Quebec Referendum

In this study, we investigate the short run effect of the October 30th, 1995 Quebec referendum on the common stock returns of Quebec firms. Our results show that the uncertainty surrounding the referendum outcome had an impact on stock returns of Quebec firms. We also find that the effect of the referendum varied with the political risk exposure of Quebec firms, that is, the structure of assets and principally the degree of foreign involvement.

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05-30 Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta; Kröger, Sabine - Price Formation in a Sequential Selling Mechanism

This paper analyzes the trade of an indivisible good within a two-stage mechanism,  where a seller first negotiates with one potential buyer about the price of the good. If the negotiation fails to produce a sale, a second-price sealed-bid auction with an additional buyer is conducted. The theoretical model predicts that with risk neutral agents all sales take place in the auction rendering the negotiation prior to the auction obsolete. An experimental test of the model provides evidence that average prices and profits are quite precisely predicted by the theoretical benchmark. However, a significant large amount of sales occurs already during the negotiation stage. We show that risk preferences can theoretically account for the existence of sales during the negotiation stage, improve the fit for buyers' behavior, but is not sufficient to explain sellers' decisions. We discuss other behavioral explanations that could account for the observed deviations.

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05-29 Dessy, Sylvain; Mbiekop, Flaubert; Pallage, Stéphane - On the Mechanics of Trade-Induced Structural Transformation

Gains from trade come a certain degree of specialisation among trade partners. Specialisation in the case of an agriculture-based developing country might be feared to imply a higher reliance than ever on low skill labour. Trade might thus be seen as a step away from the much awaited structural transformation of the economy, which can only come with increases in agricultural productivity. In this paper, we suggest that it needs not be the case. We show that trade openness can in fact trigger the structural transformation of such an agrarian society. It can induce a higher reliance on human capital accumulation and produce the necessary productivity gains for an economy to pick up. Our dynamic general equilibrium model provides a clear illustration of the mechanics behind such structural transformation.

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05-28 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Sahn, David; Younger, Stephen D. - Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda

We investigate spatial poverty comparisons in three African countries using multidimensional indicators of well-being. The work is analogous to the univariate stochastic dominance literature in that we seek poverty orderings that are robust to the choice of multidimensional poverty lines and indices. In addition, we wish to ensure that our comparisons are robust to aggregation procedures for multiple welfare variables. In contrast to earlier work, our methodology applies equally well to what can be defined as "union", "intersection", or "intermediate" approaches to dealing with multidimensional indicators of well-being. Further, unlike much of the stochastic dominance literature, we compute the sampling distributions of our poverty estimators in order to perform statisticals tests of the difference in poverty measures.

We apply our methods to two measures of well-being, the log of household expenditures per capita and children's height-for-age z-scores, using data from the 1988 Ghana Living Standards Survey, the 1993 Enquête Permanente auprès des Ménages in Madagascar, and the 1999 National Household Survey in Uganda. Bivariate poverty comparisons are at odds with univariate comparisons in several interesting ways. Most importantly, we cannot always conclude that poverty is lower in urban areas from one region compared to rural areas in another, even though univariate comparisons based on household expenditures per capita almost always lead to that conclusion.

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05-27 Dib, Ali; Gammoudi, Mohamed; Moran, Kevin - Forecasting Canadian Time Series with the New-Keynesian Model

This paper documents the out-of-sample forecasting accuracy of the New Keynesian Model for Canada. We repeatedly estimate our variant of the model on a series of rolling subsamples, forecasting out-of-sample one to eight quarters ahead at each step. We then compare these forecasts to those arising from simple VARs, using econometric tests of forecasting accuracy. Our results show that the forecasting accuracy of the New Keynesian model compares favourably to that of the benchmarks, particularly as the forecasting horizon increases. These results suggest that the model can become a useful forecasting tool for Canadian time series. The principle of parsimony is invoked to explain our findings.

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05-26 Bramoullé, Yann; Kranton, Rachel - Risk-Sharing Networks

This paper considers the formation of risk-sharing networks. Following empirical findings, we build a model where risk-sharing takes place between pairs of individuals. We ask what structures emerge when pairs can agree to form links, but people cannot coordinate links across a population. We consider a benchmark model where identical individuals commit to share their monetary holdings equally with linked partners. We compare efficient networks to equilibrium networks. Efficient networks can (indirectly) connect all individuals and involve full insurance. However, equilibrium networks connect fewer individuals. There is an externality: when breaking a link individuals do not take into account the negative effect on others distant in the network. The network formation process can lead identical individuals to be in different positions and thus have different risk-sharing outcomes. These results may help explain empirical findings that risk-sharing is often not symmetric or complete.

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05-25 Dubé, Jean; Lemelin, André - Une application expérimentale de la méthode de minimisation de l'entropie croisée: l'estimation des flux d'échanges interrégionaux au Québec

Cet article présente une application expérimentale de la méthode d'estimation des flux d'échanges entre des régions par la minimisation de l'entropie croisée (mesure de Kullback-Leibler). Les flux interrégionaux ont été estimés pour 31 catégories de biens et services, entre trois régions du Québec en 1992: les régions métropolitaines de Montréal et de Québec et le Reste-du-Québec. La méthode, d'inspiration bayesienne, a permis de dégager des flux interrégionaux respectant les totaux marginaux provenant de matrices de comptabilité sociale régionales préexistantes, à partir de données sur les flux de transport jouant le rôle de distribution a priori.

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05-24 Jacobs, Kris; Pallage, Stéphane; Robe, Michel A.

Existing estimates of the welfare cost of business cycles suggest that it is quite low and might well be minuscule. Many of these estimates are based on aggregate U.S. consumption data. Arguably, because markets are incomplete and risk-sharing is imperfect, the welfare costs computed with aggregate consumption data are likely underestimates. Yet, incomplete-market models have not yielded significantly greater cost figures. Previous incomplete-market studies, however, have relied on model-generated consumption series that reflect optimal decisions in models calibrated using individual income data. In this paper, we maintain the assumption incomplete markets but use observed consumption streams instead. Using state-level retail sales figures, we show that the welfare cost of macroeconomic volatility is in fact very substantial. In one half of the U.S. states, the welfare gain from the removal of business cycles can in fact exceed the gain from receiving an extra percentage point of consumption growth in perpetuity. In short, our results indicate that macroeconomic volatility has first-order welfare implications.

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05-23 Bellemare, Charles; Kröger, Sabine; van Soest, Arthur - Actions and Beliefs: Estimating Distribution-Based Preferences Using a Large Scale Experiment with Probabililty Questions on Expectations

We combine the choice data of proposers and responders in the ultimatum game, their expectations elicited in the form of subjective probability questions, and the choice data of proposers ("dictators") in a dictator game to estimate a structural model of decision making under uncertainty. We use a large and representative sample of subjects drawn from the Dutch population. Our results indicate that there is considerable heterogeneity in preferences for equity in the population. Changes in preferences have an important impact on decisions of dictators in the dicator game and responders in the ultimatum game, but a smaller impact on decisions of proposers in the ultimatum game, a result due to proposer's subjective expectations about responders' decisions. The model wich uses subjective data on expectations has better predictive power and lower noise level than a model which assumes that players have rational expectations.

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05-22 Bibi, Sami - When is Economic Growth Pro-Poor? Evidence from Tunisia

Many empirical studies have shown that economic growth generally leads to a drop in poverty. These studies have also pointed out that a given growth rate is compatible with a large range of outcomes in terms of poverty reduction. This means that growth is more pro-poor in certain cases than in others. Using complete and partial poverty orderings, this paper suggests a measure which captures the extent to which economic growth is pro-poor. This measure decomposes poverty changes into two components: the relative variation in the average income of the poor and the relative variation in the overall inequality within the poor. Evidence from Tunisia shows that economic growth was to a large extent-pro-poor during the last two decades.

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05-21 Dionne, Georges; Dostie, Benoît - New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data

In this paper, we provide new evidence on the determinants of absenteeism using the Workplace Employee Survey (WES) 1999-2002 from Statistics Canada. Our paper extends the typical labour-leisure model used to analyze the decision to skip work to include firm-level policy variables relevant to the absenteeism decision and uncertainty about the cost of absenteeism. It also provides a non-linear econometric model that explicitly takes into account the count nature of absenteeism data and unobserved heterogeneity at both the individual and firm level. Controlling for very detailed demographic, job and firm characteristics (including workplace practices), we find that dissatisfaction with contracted hours is a significant determinant of absence.

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05-20 Emons, Winand; Fluet, Claude - The Optimal Amount of Falsified Testimony

An arbiter can decide a case on the basis of his priors or he can ask for further evidence from the two parties to the conflict. The parties may misrepresent evidence in their favor at a cost. The arbiter is concerned about accuracy and low procedural costs. When both parties testify, each of them distorts the evidence less than when they testify alone. When the fixed cost of testifying is low, the arbiter hears both, for intermediate values one, and for high values no party at all. The ability to commit to an adjudication scheme makes it more likely that the arbiter requires evidence.

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05-19 Fofana, Ismaël; Cockburn, John; Decaluwé, Bernard - Developing Country Superwomen: Impacts of Trade Liberalisation on Female Market and Domestic Work

This study analyses the effects of trade liberalisation on male and female work in Nepal. Our contribution is principally based upon the leisure activities modeling on one hand, and the effects of male participation in domestic work with trade policy analysis on othe other hand. While previous studies explicitly incorporate leisure activities that required data about which little is known, we use a microeconomic model and alternative calibration procedures to avoid arbitrariness. The experiment conducted in this study shows that the complete elimination of tariffs on imported goods in Nepal benefits women more than men in terms of earnings as their wage increases relatively to men. Generally, female market work expands in rural households and contracts in urban households. It appears that the entrance into market production has not been met with an equivalent reduction in the time they spend in domestic work. Consequently they leisure time of women declines as they enter the labor market. Furthermore, the study indicates that leisure time consumed by men, which is already greater than that consumed by women, increases with trade reform. The extent of male participation in domestic work significantly conditions the impacts on male and female wage rates and household labor supply decisions. When male participation in domestic work activities is low, women generally devote less time to market labor. However their contribution to household income still increases following trade reform as their wage rates rise relative to male market wage rates. Women are more responsive to the market when there is greatest scope to substitute between female domestic and market work, as occurs when men are more involved in domestic work. However, even in these case their domestic work does not necessarily decrease in the same proportion.

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05-17 MacKinnon, Mary; Parent, Daniel - Resisting the Melting Pot: the Long Term Impact of Maintaining Identity for Franco-Americans in New England

The scale of the persistent, concentrated immigration from Mexico is a source of concern to many in the United States. The perception is that Mexicans are not assimilating into mainstream America as previous generations of immigrants did. In this paper we look at the emigration of approximately 1 million French-Canadians who moved to the United States, with the bulk of the migration occurring between the end of the Civil War and 1930 and with most settling in neighboring New England. What makes this episode particularly interesting is the fact that the French-Canadian immigrants exerted considerable efforts to maintain their language and to replicate their home century institutions, most notably the schooling system, in their new country. This explicit resistance to assimilation generated considerable attention and concern in the U.S. over many years. The concerns are strikingly similar to those often invoked today in discussions of policy options regarding immigration from hispanic countries, notably Mexico. We look at the convergence in the educational attainment of French Canadian immigrants across generations relative to native English-speaking New Englanders and to other immigrants. The educational attainment of Franco-Americans lagged that of their fellow citizens over a long period of time. Yet, by the time of the 2000 Census, they eventually, if belatedly, appeared to have largely achieved parity. Additionally, we show that military service was a very important factor contributing to the assimilation process through a variety of related channels, namely educational attainment, language assimilation, marrying outside the ethnic group, and moving out of New England. Finally, when we compare Franco-Americans to French-speaking Canadians of the same generations, it is clear that Franco-Americans substantially upgraded their educational attainment relative to what it would have been if they had not emigrated. This suggests that the "pull" factor eventually exerted a dominating influence.

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05-16 Donni, Olivier; Moreau, Nicolas - Collective Labor Supply: a Single-Eqquation Model and Some Evidence from French Data

In Chiappori's (1988) collective model of labour supply hours of work are supposed flexible. In many countries, however, male labor supply does not vary much. In that case, the husband's labor supply is no longer informative about the household decision process and individual preferences. To identify structural components of the model, additional information is needed. We thus consider an approach in which the wife's labor supply is expressed as a function of the household demand for one specific good. We demonstrate that the main properties of Chiappori's initial model are preserved and apply our results on French data.

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05-15 Dionne, Georges; Triki, Thouraya - Risk Management and Corporate Governance: the Importance of Independence and Financial Knowledge for the Board and the Audit Committee

The new NYSE rules for corporate governance require the audit committee to discuss and review the firm's risk assessment and hedging strategies. They also put additional requirements for the composition and the financial knowledge of the directors sitting on the board and on the audit committee. In this paper, we investigate whether these new rules as well as those set by the Sarbanes Oxley act lead to hedging decisions that are of more benefit to shareholders. We construct a novel hand collected dataset that allows us to explore multiple definitions for the financially knowledgeable term present in this new regulation.

    We find that the requirements on the audit committee size and independence are beneficial to shareholders, although maintaining a majority of unrelated directors in the board and a director with an accounting background on the audit committee may not be necessary. Interestingly, financially educated directors seem to encourage corporate hedging while financially active directors and those with an accounting background play no active role in such policy. This evidence combined with the positive relation we report between hedging and the firm's performance suggests that shareholders are better off with financially educated directors on their boards and audit committees. Our empirical findings also show that having directors with a university education on the board is an important determinant of the hedging level. Indeed, our measure of risk management is found to be an increasing function of the percentage of directors holding a diploma superior to a bachelor degree. This result is the first direct evidence concerning the importance of university education for the board of directors.

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05-14 Desrochers, Martin; Fischer, Klaus P. - The Power of Networks: Integration and Financial Cooperative Performance

The purpose of this paper is to perform a cross-country survey of the level of integration of systems of financial cooperatives (FC) and its effect on measures of performance. We develop a classification scheme based on a theoretical framework that builds on published work using transaction cost economics (TCE) to explain integration of large numbers of financial cooperatives into networks. We identify three critical level of increasing integration we call respectively atomized systems, consensual networks and strategic networks. Further, we test some of the propositions that result from the theoretical framework on an international sample of financial cooperative systems. Based on this analysis we can conclude that: i) Integration is less (more) important in developing (more developed) countries and for very small (large) financial cooperatives as a determinant of efficiency. However, integration tends to reduce volatility of efficiency and performance regardless of development. ii) Integration appears to help control measure of managers' expense preferences that tend to affect performance of FC. iii) Despite high costs of running hub-like organizations in highly integrated system, the systems economize in bounded rationality and operate at lower costs that less integrated systems.

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05-13 Cororaton, Caesar B.; Cockburn, John - Trade Reform and Poverty in the Philippines: a Computable General Equilibrium Microsimulation Analysis

The paper employs an integrated CGE-microsimulation approach to analyze the poverty effects of tariff reduction. The results indicate that the tariff cuts implemented between 1994 and 2000 were generally poverty-reducing, primarily through the substantial reduction in consumer prices they engendered. However, the reduction is much greater in the National Capital Region (NCR), where poverty incidence is already lowest, than in other areas, especially rural, where poverty incidence is highest. Tariff cuts lower the cost of local production and bring about real exchange rate depreciation. Since the non-food manufacturing sector dominates exports in terms of export share and export intensity, the general equilibrium effects of tariff reduction is an expansion of this sector and a contraction in the agricultural sector. This, in turn, leads to an increase in the relative returns to factors, such as capital, used intensively in the non-food manufacturing sector and a fall in returns to unskilled labor. As rural households depend more on unskilled labor income, income inequality worsens as a result.

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05-12 Annabi, Nabil; Cissé, Fatou; Cockburn, John; Decaluwé, Bernard - Trade Liberalisation, Growth and Poverty in Senegal: a Dynamic Microsimulation CGE Model Analysis

Much current debate focuses on the role of growth in alleviating poverty. However, the majority of computable general equilibrium (CGE) models used in poverty and inequality analysis are static in nature. The inability of this kind of model to account for growth (accumulation) effects makes them inadequate for long run analysis of the poverty and inequality impacts of economic policies. They exclude accumulation effects and do not allow the study of the transition path of the economy where short run policy impacts are likely to be different from those of the long run. To overcome this limitation we use a sequential dynamic CGE microsimulation model that takes into account accumulation effects and makes it possible to study poverty and inequality through time. Changes in poverty are then decomposed into growth and distribution components in order to examine whether de-protection and factor accumulation are pro-poor or not.

The model is applied to Senegalese data using a 1996 social accounting matrix and a 1995 survey of 3278 households. The main findings of this study are that trade liberalisation induces small increases in poverty and inequality in the short run as well as contractions in the initially protected agriculture and industrial sectors. In the long run, it enhances capital accumulation, particularly in the service and industrial sectors, and brings substantial decreases in poverty. However, a decomposition of poverty changes shows that income distribution worsens, with greater gains among urban dwellers and the non-poor.

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05-11 Moran, Kevin - Learning and the Welfare Implications of Changing Inflation Targets

This paper computes the welfare consequences, for a representative agent, of a shift in the inflation target of monetary authorities. The welfare computations are conducted first by comparing the two steady states that the different inflation targets entail, and next by accounting for the transition from one steady-state to the next. Further, the paper allows this transition to be characterized by incomplete information, under which private agents learn about the inflation target shift using Bayesian updating. The analysis is repeated in a variety of model parameterizations, to test the robustness of the results.
We find that the welfare benefits of reducing the target rate of inflation from 2% initially to 0% may at first appear to be significant. When measured by comparing steady states, these benefits are worth up to 0.5% of steady-state consumption. However, accounting for the transition towards the new, low inflation steady state significantly reduces the computed benefits, by at least one half.

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05-10 Alarie, Yves; Dionne, Georges - Testing Explanations of Preference Reversal: a Model

When Cubitt, Munro and Starmer (2004) presented their new experimental investigation of preference reversal, they pointed out that their test results cannot be explained by any of the best-known explanations proposed by economists and psychologists. In this paper we propose a model based on lotteries qualities to explain these new test results.

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05-09 Dessy, Sylvain E.; Mbiekop, Flaubert; Pallage, Stéphane - The Economics of Child Trafficking (Part II)

The trafficking of children is a thriving business. In this paper, we highlight key economic characteristics of this business. We show that the fight against child trafficking is far from trivial and that supply-side policies have very limited effect unless preceded by attacks on the demand side. Successful policies involve international cooperation on both fronts. We work within a model of a source country to highlight the necessary ingredients of a successful international cooperation towards the elimination of child trafficking.

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05-08 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip - Low-Fee ($5/day/child) Regulated Childcare Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: a Natural Experiment from Canada

On September 1st, 1997, a new childcare policy was initiated by the provincial government of Quebec, the second most populous province in Canada. Childcare services licensed by the Ministry of the Family (not-for-profit centres, family-based childcare, and for-profit centres under the agreement) began offering day care spaces at the reduced parental contribution of $5 per day child for children aged 4 years. In successive years, the government reduced the age requirement and engaged in a plan to create new childcare facilities and pay for the cost of additional $5 per day childcare spaces. By September 2000, the low-fee policy applied to all children aged 0 to 59 months (not in kindergarten) and the number of partly subsidized spaces increased from 77,000 in 1998 to 163,000 spaces, totally subsidized by the end of year 2002, while the number of eligible children, zero to four years old, declined from 428,000 to 369,000 over the same period.
Using annual data (1993 to 2002), drawn from Statistics Canada's Suvey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), this study attempts to estimate the effect of the policy on the labor supply behavior of Quebec mothers with pre-school children, aged from 0 to 5 years old. The analysis examines the impact of the policy on the following outcomes: labor force participation, annual number of weeks and hours at work, annual earned income and whether the job was full-time for mothers who declared having a job during the reference year. A non-experimental evaluation framework based on multiple pre- and post- treatment periods is used to estimate the effect of the childcare regime.
The econometrics results support the hypothesis that the childcare policy, together with the transformation of public kindergarten from a part-time to a full-time basis, had a large and statistically significant impact on the labor supply of Quebec's mothers with pre-school children. The estimates also suggest, though less convincingly, that the size of the impact increased concurrently with the positive growth in the number of low-fee spaces.

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05-07 Dessy, Sylvain; Djebbari, Habiba - Career Choice, Marriage-Timing, and the Attraction of Unequals

Both men and women wish to have a family and a rewarding career. In this paper, we show that the under-representation of women in high-powered professions may reflect a coordination failure in young women's marriage-timing decisions. Since investing in a high-powered career imposes time strain, it precludes early participation in the marriage market. Delayed participation in the marriage market has a higher cost for women than for men because women have shorter fecundity horizons. Marriage prospects of high-powered women depend on the marriage-timing decisions of younger women. Under these assumptions, we show that women's marriage-timing decisions exhibit strategic complementarities. Coordination failures in women's marriage-timing decisions lead to persisting gender differences in career choices. Yet, differential fecundity is only necessary, but not sufficient to obtain gender inequality in high-powered professions. We discuss social changes that solve the coordination failure which achieving a Pareto-improvement in the society at large.

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05-06 Boileau, Martin; Normandin, Michel - Closing International Real Busiiness Cycle Models with Restricted Financial Markets

Several authors argue that international real business cycle (IRBC) models with incomplete financial markets offer a good explanation of the ranking of cross-country correlations. Unfortunately, this conclusion is suspect, because it is commonly based on an analysis of the near steady state dynamics using a linearized system of equations. The baseline IRBC model with incomplete financial markets does not possess a unique deterministic steady state and, as a result, its linear system of difference equations is not stationary. We show that the explanation of the ranking of cross-country correlations is robust to modifications that ensure a unique steady state and a stationary system of linear difference equations. We find, however, that the modifications affect the quantitative predictions regarding key macroeconomic variables.

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05-05 Lemelin, André - La dette obligataire dans un MÉGC dynamique séquentiel

Dans ce texte, nous présentons une version minimaliste d'un modèle de la dette obligataire qui s'inscrit dans un modèle d'équilibre général calculable dynamique séquentiel. La spécification proposée tient compte des caractéristiques suivantes des obligations :
·         elles sont émises à une date donnée;
·
         elles ont une valeur nominale déterminée;
·
         elles portent intérêt à un taux déterminé par rapport à leur valeur nominale;
·
         elles ont une date d'échéance, à laquelle elles sont remboursées au détenteur par l'émetteur.
Les obligations sont en concurrence avec une autre catégorie d'actifs, les actions, de sorte que le rendement exigé par les acheteurs de nouvelles obligations augmente à mesure qu'augmente la dette obligataire par rapport au stock d'actions en circulation.
Des restrictions imposées à la structure de maturité des obligations permettent de définir un compromis raisonnable entre le réalisme de la représentation de l'évolution de la dette obligataire et le poids des valeurs passées des variables que le modèle doit conserver en mémoire.
Dans le modèle proposé, l'État emprunteur rembourse les obligations arrivées à échéance et paie les intérêts sur la dette en cours. Le prix des obligations émises à différents moments avec des échéances différentes sont cohérentes avec un équilibre d'arbitrage. L'offre de nouvelles obligations et actions est déterminé par les besoins d'emprunt de l'État et des entreprises. La demande d'actifs reflète le comportement rationnel des ménages gestionnaires de portefeuille, conformément au modèle Decaluwé-Souissi.
Le modèle est présenté en deux versions, un modèle de base et un modèle qui, bien que dépourvu de monnaie, incorpore un mécanisme d'érosion de la valeur réelle des obligations sous l'effet de l'inflation.

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05-04 Bellemare, Charles; Kröger, Sabine - On Representative Social Capital

This paper analyzes data for a random sample drawn from the Dutch population who reveal their capacity to provide and sustain social capital by their propensity to invest and reward investments by means of an economic experiment. We have three main results. First, we find that heterogeneity in behavior is characterized by several asymmetries -- men, the young and elderly, and low educated individuals invest relatively less, but reward significantly more investments. Second, higher expected levels of investments have a positive and significant effect on the level of investments themselves, corroborating the presence of social norms. Third, we compare our results with a laboratory experiment conducted with a student sample. We find that the student sample provides a lower bound of the population level of social capital.

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05-03 Normandin, Michel; St-Amour, Pascal - An Empirical Analysis of U.S. Aggregate Portfolio Allocations

This paper analyzes the important time variation in U.S. aggregate portfolio allocations. To do so, we first use flexible descriptions of preferences and investment opportunities to derive optimal decision rules that nest tactical, myopic, and strategic portfolio allocations. We then compare these rules to the data through formal statistical analysis. Our main results reveal that i) purely tactical and myopic investment behaviors are unambiguously rejected, ii) strategic portfolio allocations are strongly supported, and iii) the Fama-French factors best explain empirical portfolio shares.

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05-02 Marceau, Nicolas; Myers, Gordon - On the Early Holocene: Foraging to Early Agriculture

We consider a world in which the mode of food production, foraging or agriculture, is endogenous, and in which technology grows exogenously. Within a model of coalition formation, we allow individuals to rationally form cooperative communities (bands) of foragers or farmers. At the lowest levels of technology, equilibrium entails the grand coalition of foragers, a cooperative structure which avoids over-exploitation of the environment. But at a critical state of technology, the cooperative structure breaks down through an individually rational splintering of the band. At this stage, there can be an increase in work and through the over-exploitation of the environment, a food crisis. In the end, technological growth may lead to a one-way transition from foraging to agriculture.

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05-01 Fischer, Klaus; Khoury, Nabil - The Impact of Ethical Ratings on Canadian Security Performance: Portfolio Management and Corporate Governance Implications

One approach that is gaining in popularity among portfolio managers uses ethical ratings, published by specialized research organizations, to screen securities for portfolio selection. Portfolio managers can thus gain a better understanding of the phenomenon and adopt a better and more consistent approach to ethical investment. By the name token, board of directors can measure the impact of their ethical policies on the market performance of the stock of their company. This paper provides new evidence about the impact of ethical ratings published in Canada on the risk-adjusted returns of the securities concerned, within the framework of a multi-factor Capital Asset Pricing Model, and gives an interpretation of the results from the perspective of portfolio composition and of corporate governance.

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