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08-37 Liu, Zheng; Phaneuf, Louis - Do Nominal Rigidities Matter for the Transmission of Technology Shocks?

A commonly held view is that nominal rigidities are important for the transmission of monetary policy shocks. We argue that they are also important for understanding the dynamic effects of technology shocks, especially on labor hours, wages, and prices. Based on a dynamic general equilibrium framework, our closed-form solutions reveal that a pure sticky-price model predicts correctly that hours decline following a positive technology shock, but fails to generate the observed gradual rise in the real wage and the near-constance of the nominal wage; a pure sticky-wage model does well in generating slow adjustments in the nominal wage, but it does not generate plausible dynamics of hours and the real wage. A model with both types of nominal rigidities is more successful in replicating the empirical evidence about hours, wages and prices. This finding is robust for a wide range of parameter values, including a relatively small Frisch elasticity of hours and a relatively high frequency of price reoptimization that are consistent with microeconomic evidence.

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08-36 Chen, Wen-Hao; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Testing for Poverty Dominance: an Application to Canada

The paper proposes and applies statistical tests for poverty dominance that check for whether poverty comparisons can be made robustly over ranges of poverty lines and classes of poverty indices. This helps provide both normative and statistical confidence in establishing poverty ranking across distributions. The tests, which can take into account the complex sampling procedures that are typically used by statistical agencies to generate household-level surveys, are implemented using the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) for 1996, 1999 and 2002. Although the yearly cumulative distribution functions cross at the lower tails of the distributions, the more recent years tend to dominate earlier years for a relatively wide range of poverty lines. Failing to take into account SLID's sampling variability (as is sometimes done) can inflate significantly one's confidence in ranking poverty. Taking into account SLID's complex sampling design (as has not been done before) can also decrease substantially the range of poverty lines over which a poverty ranking can be inferred.

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08-35 Bibi, Sami; Duclos, Jean-Yves - A Comparison of the Poverty Impact of Transfers, Taxes and Market Income across five OECD Countries

This paper compares the poverty reduction impact of income sources, taxes and transfers across five OECD countries. Since the estimation of that impact can depend on the order in which the various income sources are introduced into the analysis, it is done by using the Shapley value. Estimates of the poverty reduction impact are presented in a normalized and un-normalized fashion, in order to take into account the total as well as the per dollar impacts. The methodology is applied to data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) database.

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08-34 Behrens, Kristian; Murata, Yasusada - City Size and the Henry George Theorem under Monopolistic Competition

We analyze the equilibrium and the optimal resource allocations in a monocentric city under monopolistic competition. Unlike the constant elasticity of substitution (CES) case, where the equilibrium markups are independent of city size, we present a variable elasticity of substitution (VES) case where the equilibrium markups fall with city size. We then show that, due to excess entry triggered by such pro-competitive effects, the 'golden rule' of local public finance, i.e., the Henry George Theorem (HGT), does not hold at the second best. We finally prove, within a more general framework, that the HGT holds at the second best under monopolistic competition if and only if the second-best allocation is first-best efficient, which reduces to the CES case.

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08-33 Guay, Alain; Lamarche, Jean-François - The Information Content of Implied Probabilities to Detect Structural Change

This paper proposes Pearson-type statistics based on implied probabilities to detect structural change. The class of generalized empirical likelihood estimators (see Smith (1997)) assigns a set of probabilities to each observation such that moment conditions are satisfied. These restricted probabilities are called implied probabilities. Implied probabilities may also be constructed for the standard GMM (see Back and Brown (1993)). The proposed test statistics for structural change are base on the information content in these implied probabilities. We consider cases of structural change with unknown breakpoint which can occur in the parameters of interest or in the overidentifying restrictions used to estimate these parameters. The test statistics considered here have good size and power properties.

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08-32 Boileau, Martin; Normandin, Michel - Do Tax Cuts Generate Twin Deficits? A Multi-Country Analysis

We study the effects of tax shocks on the budget and external deficits for 16 industrialized countries over the post-1975 period. Our structural approach is based on a tractable small open-economy model where a tax cut innovation generates a budget deficit. In turn, the budget deficit affects the external deficit by two distinct channels. The demographic channel works through the overlapping-generation structure of the model. The forecasting channel works through the dynamic structure of the model. Our empirical analysis documents that tax shocks generate significant positive comovements between the budget and external deficits. We also find that both the demographic and forecasting channels are important to explain the comovements.

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08-31 Bouakez, Hafedh; Rebei, Nooman; Vencatachellum, Désiré - Optimal Pass-Through of Oil Prices in an Economy with Nominal Rigidities

In many developing and emerging market economies, governments intervene to limit the degree to which oil-price increases are passed through to domestic fuel prices. This paper investigates whether, and to what extent, this intervention is warranted in an oil-importing economy characterized by nominal rigidities in the goods and labor markets. Our results indicate that, to the extent that monetary policy is capable of stabilizing the economy, government intervention in the oil market must be avoided. On the other hand, when complete stabilization is not attainable as a result of sub-optimal monetary policy, the government can improve social welfare by limiting the degree of pass-through of oil prices. We find, however, that the welfare gain from pursuing such a policy is negligible.

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08-30 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip - Family Background, Family Income, Cognitive Tests Scores, Behavioural Scales and their Relationship with Post-secondary Education Participation: Evidence from the NLSCY

This paper exploits the panel feature of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) and the large diversity of measures collected on the children and their families over 6 cycles (1994-1995 to 2004-2005) to explain high school graduation and postsecondary education (PSE) choices of Canadian youth aged 18 to 21 observed in the most recent wave of the survey. In estimating how family background, family income, cognitive abilities, non-cognitive abilities and behavioural scores influence schooling choices they can be used as markers for identifying children at risk of not pursuing PSE. We focus on the impact of measures that are specific to the NLSCY which contains a host of scores on several dimensions such as the cognitive achievement of children (reading and math test scores); behavioural scores that measure the levels of hyperactivity, aggression, and pro-sociality; scores that measure self-esteem and self-control (non-cognitive abilities); and, finally scores that measure the quality of parenting, family dysfunction, of neighbourhoods and schools quality. The math and reading scores are particularly interesting because they are computed from objective tests and are not based on any type of recall, as compared, for example, with the youth in Transition Survey (YITS) data set.

Despite the fact that income, as measured as the mean income ($2002) of the family during cycles 1 to 4, does not seem to be a key player for PSE attendance or high school graduation, the sign of its effect is generally positive and non-linear, increases for children in very low income will have a larger effect that those with higher levels. More importantly, several variables that are characteristics of low-income families play a key role for schooling attainment. For example, being from a single-parent/guardian home with a poorly educated PMK and with less than (perceived) excellent/very good health or with high levels of hyperactivity for males for high levels of agression for young teenage females will almost negate any chance of attaining the level of PSE.

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08-29 Dauphin, Anyck; El Lahga, Abdel-Rahmen; Fortin, Bernard; Lacroix, Guy - Are Children Decision-Makers within the Household?

Children are seldom accounted for in household behavioural models. They are usually assumed to have neither the capacity nor the power to influence the household decision process. The literature on collective models has so far incorporated children through the "caring preferences" of their parents or has treated them as household public goods [Bourguignon (1999); Blundell et al. (2005)]. This paper seeks to determine whether children of a certain age are decision-makers. We focus on the decision-making process within households composed of two adults and one child of at least 16 years of age. We first summarize the main restrictions that have been proposed to test the collective model in the context of multiple decision-makers [Chiappori and Ekeland (2006)]. We also show how a minimal number of decision-makers can be inferred from parametric constraints. Second, we apply these tests on data drawn from a series of U.K. Family Expenditure Surveys. Our results show clear evidence that it may be incorrect to assume that daughters and children aged between 16 and 21 are not full members influencing the household decision-making process.

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08-28 de Laat, Joost; Jack, William - Adverse Selection and Career Outcomes iin the Ethiopian Physician Labor Market

This paper uses a newly collected dataset on Ethiopian physicians to shed light on the allocative efficiency of the physician labor market. We use a lottery mechanism by which medical school graduates are assigned to their first jobs to identify the long-term impact of being posted to a rural area instead of the capital, Addis Ababa. We find that physicians who are assigned to Addis are more satisfied with their initial and their current jobs. However, being assigned to the capital through the lottery does not appear to have significant long-run career benefits. This appears to be partly because relatively high ability physicians opt out of the lottery and find jobs in Addis, where they successfully compete with those assigned by the lottery for specialized training.

We also find evidence of adverse selection in the market for physicians who initially participated in the lottery, compared with the market for physicians who did not. We rationalize these findings by suggesting that the lottery, by explicitly randomly assigning new graduates, obfuscates information about them that future employers would otherwise find valuable. High ability workers from the lottery do relatively worse later in their careers than their counterparts who did not take part in the lottery, and are more likely to exit the physician labor market in Ethiopia. Our results suggest that using a lottery to assign new physicians to jobs could compromise the future allocative efficiency of the labor market, and even contribute to the medical brain drain. This is not because the long-term impacts of getting a "bad" draw are negative, but because the lottery makes it difficult for good physicians to signal their quality.

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08-27 de Laast, Joost - Household Allocations and Endogenous Information

This paper tests for the endogeneity of one of the main elements separating different models of intrahousehold allocations, namely the household information set. Based on unusually rich data, I find that split migrant couples in the Nairobi slums invest considerable resources into information acquisition through visits, sibling and child monitoring, budget submissions, and marital search. I also find potentially substantial welfare losses when information acquisition becomes costly, not only through reduced remittances but more importantly as families opt for family migration into the slums. That households invest in information when there are welfare gains complements a large and growing literature that seeks to explain intrahousehold allocations through more complex modes of decision-making.

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08-26 Behrens, Kristian; Mion, Giordano; Murata, Yasusada; Südekum, Jens - Trade, Wages, and Productivity

We develop a new general equilibrium model of trade with heterogeneous firms, variable demand elasticities and endogenously determined wages. Trade integration favors wage convergence, intensifies competition, and forces the least efficient firms to leave the market, thereby affecting aggregate productivity. Since wage and productivity responses are endogenous, our model is well suited to study the impacts of trade integration on aggregate productivity and factor prices. Using Canada-U.S. interregional trade data, we first estimate a system of theory-based gravity equations under the general equilibrium constraints generated by the model. Doing so allows us to measure "border effects" and to decompose them into a "pure" border effect, relative and absolute wage effects, and a selection effect. Using the estimated parameter values, we then quantify the impacts of removing the Canada-U.S. border on wages, productivity, markups, the share of exporters, the mass of varieties produced and consumed, and welfare. We finally provide a similar quantification with respect to regional population changes.

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08-25 Chemin, Matthieu - Do Criminal Politicians Reduce Corruption? Evidence from India

This paper relates unique data on criminal records of local politicians in India to corruption, crime and poverty. Using a regression discontinuity design, whereby individuals living in districts where a criminal politician barely won are compared to individuals living in districts where a criminal politician barely lost, this paper shows that criminal politicians reduce bribe-taking behavior of law and order officials by 34 percent. One possible explanation for this result is that when interests of politicians and those of interest groups converge, criminal politicians' control over bureaucrats acts as a substitute for bribes from these interest groups. This is not to say that criminal politicians should be elected to eradicate corruption, but rather that corruption is underestimated if only measured by bribe-taking without taking into account political control: as less bribes need to be paid, criminal offences, similar to those mostly committed by criminal politicians, increase by 25 percent. Moreover, the urban headcount ratio, the welfare of those not connected with politicians, increases by 22 percent.

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08-24 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip; Verstraete, Matthieu - Dynamic Labour Supply Effects of Childcare Subsidies: Evidence from a Canadian Natural Experiment on Low-Fee Universal Child Care

This paper shows that a temporary incentive to join the labor market or to work more can also produce substantial life-cycle labor supply effects. On September 1997, a new childcare policy was initiated by the provincial government of Québec, the second most populous province in Canada. Licensed and regulated providers of childcare services began offering day care spaces at the subsidized fee of $5 per day per child for children aged 4. In successive years, the government reduced the age requirement, created new childcare facilities and spaces, and paid for the additional costs entailed by this low-fee policy. No such important policy changes for preschool (including kindergarten) children were enacted in the nine other Canadian provinces over the years 1997 to 2004. Using annual data drawn from Statistics Canada's Survey on Labour and Income Dynamic and a difference-in-differences quasi-experimental methodology, the paper estimates the dynamic labor supply effects of the program. The results demonstrate that the policy had long-term labor supply effects on mothers who benefited from the program when their child was less than 6. A striking feature of the results is that they are driven by changes in the labor supply of less educated mothers.

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08-23 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip; Verstraete, Matthieu - Childcare Policy and Cognitive Outcomes of Children: Results from a Large Scale Quasi-Experiment on Universal Childcare in Canada

This paper shows that a temporary incentive to join the labor market or to work more can also produce substantial life-cycle labor supply effects. On September 1997, a new childcare policy was initiated by the provincial government of Québec, the second most populous province in Canada. Licensed and regulated providers of childcare services began offering day care spaces at the subsidized fee of $5 per day per child for children aged 4. In successive years, the government reduced the age requirement, created new childcare facilities and spaces, and paid for the additional costs entailed by this low-fee policy. No such important policy changes for preschool (including kindergarten) children were enacted in the nine other Canadian provinces over the years 1997 to 2004. Using annual data drawn from Statistics Canada's Survey on Labour and Income Dynamic and a difference-in-differences quasi-experimental methodology, the paper estimates the dynamic labor supply effects of the program. The results demonstrate that the policy had long-term labor supply effects on mothers who benefited from the program when their child was less than 6. A striking feature of the results is that they are driven by changes in the labor supply of less educated mothers.

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08-22 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip; Verstraete, Matthieu - The Effects of School Quality and Family Functioning on Youth Math Scores: a Canadian Longitudinal Analysis

Effects of a low-fee universal childcare policy, initiated in Québec, the second most populous province in Canada, on the cognitive development of preschool children are estimated with a sample of 4- and 5-year-olds (N=8,875; N=17,154). In 1997, licensed and regulated providers of childcare services began offering daycare spaces at the reduced fee of $5 per day per child for children aged 4. By 2000, the low-fee policy applied to all children aged 0 to 59 months (not in kindergarten). The study uses 6 cycles of biennial data drawn from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1994-2004) and quasi-experimental estimation methods to provide evidence that the policy had substantial negative effects on preschool children's Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores. The negative effects are found to be stronger for children with mothers who have lower levels of education.

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08-21 Bouakez, Hafedh; Cardia, Emanuela; Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J. - Durable Goods, Inter-Sectoral Linkages and Monetary Policy

Barsky, House and Kimball (2007) show that introducing durable goods into a sticky-price model leads to negative sectoral comovements of production following a monetary policy shock and, under certain conditions, to aggregate neutrality. These results appear to undermine sticky-price models. In this paper, we show that these results are not robust to two prominent and realistic features of the data, namely input-output interactions and limited mobility of productive inputs. When extended to allow for both features, the sticky-price model with durable goods delivers implications in line with VAR evidence on the effects of monetary policy shocks.

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08-20 Larocque, Denis; Lincourt, Geneviève; Normandin, Michel - Macroeconomic Effects of Terrorist Shocks in Israel

This paper estimates a structural vector autoregression model to assess the dynamic effects of terrorism on output and prices in Israel over the post-1985 period. Long-run restrictions are used to obtain an interpretation of the effects of terrorism in terms of aggregate demand and supply curves. The empirical responses of output and prices suggest that the immediate effects of terrorism are similar to those associated with a negative demand shock. Such leftward shift of the aggregate demand curve is consistent with the adverse effects of terrorism on most components of aggregate expenditure, which have been documented in previous studies. In contrast the long-term consequences of terrorism are similar to those related to a negative supply shock. Such leftward shift of the long-run aggregate supply curve suggests the potential existence of adverse effects of terrorism on the determinants of potential output, which have not been considered so far.

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08-19 Chihi, Foued; Normandin, Michel - External and Budget Deficits in Developing Countries

This paper documents and explains the positive comovement between external and budget deficits for several developing countries. First, the covariance estimated from post-1960 time-series data is numerically positive for each of the 24 countries and statistically significant for almost all cases. This is consistent with previous findings obtained from panel regressions. Second, the empirical covariance is close to that predicted from a tractable small open economy, overlapping generation model with heterogeneous goods. Also, the predicted covariance is induced by shocks which are closely related to internal conditions such as domestic resources and fiscal policies, and to a much lesser extent to external conditions such as the world interest rate, real exchange rate, and terms of trade. This structural analysis explaining the joint behavior of external and budget deficits sharply contrasts with earlier reduced-form studies characterizing the individual behavior of either the external deficit or budget deficit.

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08-18 Bouakez, Hafedh; Normandin, Michel - Fluctuations in the Foreign Exchange Market: How Important are Monetary Policy Shocks?

We study the effects of U.S. monetary policy shocks on the bilateral exchange rate between the U.S. and each of the G7 countries. We also estimate deviations from uncovered interest rate parity and exchange rate pass-through conditional on these shocks. The analysis is based on a structural vector autoregression in which monetary policy shocks are identified through the conditional heteroscedasticity of the structural disturbances. Unlike earlier work in this area, our empirical methodology avoids making arbitrary assumptions about the relevant policy indicator or transmission mechanism in order to achieve identification. At the same time, it allows us to assess the implications of imposing invalid identifying restrictions. Our results indicate that the nominal exchange rate exhibits delayed overshooting in response to a monetary expansion, depreciating for roughly ten months before starting to appreciate. The shock also leads to large and persistent departures from uncovered interest rate parity, and to a prolonged period of incomplete pass-through. Variance-decomposition results indicate that monetary policy shocks account for a non-trivial proportion of exchange rate fluctuations.

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08-17 Araar, Abdelkrim - Social Classes, Inequality and Redistributive Policies in Canada

The social performance of fiscal redistributive mechanisms in Canada continues to receive a growing interest from politicians and research scientists. The aim of this paper is to assess the evolution of social classes in Canada and to check whether the market and governmental redistributive factors have affected their evolution during the last decade. We focus on the dynamic of inequality, polarization and progressivity of the fiscal system. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of governmental redistributive mechanism to decrease inequality and polarization significantly and to maintain the middle social class at the detriment of the poorest one. The other evidence concerns the chronic increase in population share and wellbeing of the rich class. Finally, the progressivity of fiscal system has registered a significant increase during the las few years.

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08-16 Orset, Caroline - A Theory of Child Protection against Kidnapping

We study the effects of U.S. monetary policy shocks on the bilateral exchange rate between the U.S. and each of the G7 countries. We also estimate deviations from uncovered interest rate parity and exchange rate pass-through conditional on these shocks. The analysis is based on a structural vector autoregression in which monetary policy shocks are identified through the conditional heteroscedasticity of the structural disturbances. Unlike earlier work in this area, our empirical methodology avoids making arbitrary assumptions about the relevant policy indicator or transmission mechanism in order to achieve identification. At the same time, it allows us to assess the implications of imposing invalid identifying restrictions. Our results indicate that the nominal exchange rate exhibits delayed overshooting in response to a monetary expansion, depreciating for roughly ten months before starting to appreciate. The shock also leads to large and persistent departures from uncovered interest rate parity, and to a prolonged period of incomplete pass-through. Variance-decomposition results indicate that monetary policy shocks account for a non-trivial proportion of exchange rate fluctuations.

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08-15 Dionne, Georges; Dostie, Benoit - Correlated Poisson Processes with Unobserved Heterogeneity: Estimating the Determinants of Paid and Upaid Leave

Using linked employer-employee data from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey 1999-2004, we provide new evidence on how the cost of absence affects labor supply decisions. We use a particular feature of the data by which total absences are divided into three separate categories: sick paid days, other paid days and unpaid days. This division introduces variations in the way workers are compensated for absence (the cost of absence) and allows us to estimate more precisely how variations in such costs affect absenteeism decisions. We find an absence elasticity of -0.37. We also find unobserved heterogeneity to play different roles for workers and workplaces: some workers are more frequently absent whatever the reason, but paid and unpaid leaves are negatively correlated at the workplace level.

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08-14 Lemelin, André - Trade and the External Wealth of Nations

Most CGE trade models fix current account balances exogenously, in accordance with the widely accepted view that trade policy may influence trade flows, but that current accounts are constrained by symmetric capital account balances, on which trade policy has little effect. The MIRAGE-D model was developed to make explicit the international capital flows which must take place to balance the current account implications of the simulated trade flows, and to compute the cumulative consequences of such capital flows on the international investment positions (IIP) of countries. In MIRAGE-D, current account balances and their capital account counterparts are endogenous, following a three-tier portfolio management model, adapted from Decaluwé and Souissi (1994; Souissi, 1994; Souissi and Decaluwé, 1997), which represents country-agent wealth allocation behavior. The allocation of capital among countries and industries is determined by an investment supply and demand equilibrating mechanism. Investment supply is the demand for new physical capital ownership titles resulting from the wealth allocation process, while investment demand is a constant elasticity function of Tobin’s q in the Jung-Thorbecke (2001) style. An illustrative simulation scenario was run with both MIRAGE-D and the standard version of MIRAGE. Apart from the IIP of countries, which the standard version does not produce, other simulation results, although not identical, show moderate differences, which are fully explained by the financial aspects, and arise from the consistency required between such financial aspects and the rest of the model.

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08-13 Dostie, Benoit; Jayaraman, Rajshri - Organizational Redesign, Information Technologies and Workplace Productivity

Using a large longitudinal, nationally representative workplace-level dataset, we explore the productivity gains associated with computer use and organizational redesign. The empirical strategy involves the estimation of a production function, augmented to account for technology use and organizational design, correcting for unobserved heterogeneity. We find large returns associated with computer use. We also find that computer use and organizational redesign may be complements or substitutes in production, and that the productivity gains associated with organizational redesign are industry-specific.

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08-12 Khaznaji, Maher; Phaneuf, Louis - From the Great Inflation totohe Great Moderation: Assessing the Roles of Firm-Specific Labor, Sticky Prices and Labor Supply Shocks

We develop and estimate a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that features sticky prices, a variable elasticity of demand facing firms and firm-specific labor. While reconciling to a good extent the micro and macro evidence on the behavior of prices, the model offers an accurate account of the dramatic increase in macroeconomic stability from the Great Inflation (1948:I-1979:II) to the Great Moderation (1984:I-2006:II). Reminiscent of the evidence in Shapiro and Watson (1988), the paper shows that labor-supply shocks are the key source of the reduction in the volatility of output growth, followed by investment-specific shocks. However, changes in the behavior of the private sector, a less accommodative monetary policy and smaller shocks explain almost evenly the large decline of the variability in inflation.

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08-11 Lacroix, Guy; Radtchenko, Natalia - The Changing Intra-Household Resource Allocation in Russia

During the transition toward a market economy, Russian workers have had to face important structural changes in the labour market as well as dramatic changes in their real earnings. In the process, the wage gap between men and women has varied wildly over that period. In recent years, young women have embraced professional careers, are more mobile on the labour market, and tend to delay the birth of their first child.
All these trends are likely to influence intra-household relations and consequently the family decision process. To investigate this matter, we estimate a household collective labour supply model. We generalize the specification so as to allow the sharing rule to change in a discrete manner between the pre and post 1998 financial crisis periods. The parameters of the sharing-rule  indicate that the households have shifted to a new equilibrium in the post-1998 period. Indeed, husbands have become more egotistic and wives more altruistic: an increase in their relative wage translates into a smaller/larger transfer to their spouse.

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08-10 Chemarin, Sophie; Orset, Caroline - Innovation and Information Acquisition Under Time Inconsistency and Uncertainty

We propose to analyse the hyperbolic discounting preferences effect on the innovator's research investment decision. Investing in research allows him to acquire information, and then to reduce the uncertainty of the risks of his project. We find that whatever the innovator's preferences, that is hyperbolic or time-consistent, there exists a research investment constraint that limits the information acquisition. However, even if the information is free, while a time-consistent agent always acquires information, a hyperbolic agent may prefer staying ignorant. We also emphasize that hyperbolic discounting preferences induce an information precision constraint that leads the hyperbolic innovator to ignore the information while the time-consistent innovator gets it. Moreover, the possibility that the agent has a commitment power in the future strengthens this ignorance strategy. Finally, we investigate the impact of existing liability rules on the innovator's decision to acquire information.

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08-09 Araar, Abdelkrim; Dissou, Yazid; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Household Incidence of Pollution Control Policies: a Robust Welfare Analysis Using General Equilibrium Effects

This study assesses the incidence of pollution control policies on households. In contrast to previous studies, we employ an integrated framework combining a multisector general equilibrium model with a stochastic dominance analysis using household-level data. We consider three policy instruments in a domestic emission trading system: (i) an output-based allocation of permits (OBA); (ii) the use of the proceeds of permit sales to reduce payroll taxes (RPT): (iii) and the use of these proceeds to reduce consumption taxes instead (UCS). The general equilibrium results suggest that the return to capital is more negatively affected than the wage rate in all simulations, since polluting industries are capital intensive. Abstracting from pollution externalities, the dominance analysis allows us to conclude that all three policies have a normatively robust negative (positive) impact on  welfare (poverty). Formal dominance tests indicate that RPT first-order welfare dominates OBA over all values of household incomes. UCS also first-order poverty dominates RPT for any choice of poverty line below $CAN 18,600, and poverty dominates for any poverty line (and thus welfare dominates) at the second order. Finally, while the three pollution control policies do not have a numerically large impact on inequality (in comparison to the base run), statistical tests indicate that inequality increases significantly more with OBA and RPT than with UCS.

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08-08 Batana, Yélé Maweki; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Multidimensional Poverty Dominance: Statistical Inference and an Application to West Africa

This paper tests for robust multidimensional poverty comparisons across six countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Two dimensions are considered, nutritional status and assets. The estimation of the asset index is based on two factorial analysis methods. The first method uses Multiple Correspondence Analysis; the second is based on the maximization of a likelihood function and on bayesian analysis. Using Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), pivotal bootstrap tests lead to statistically significant dominance relationships between 12 of the 15 possible pairs of the six WAEMU countries. Multidimensional poverty is also inferred to be more prevalent in rural than in urban areas. These results tend to support those derived from more restrictive unidimensional dominance tests.

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08-07 Fortin, Bernard; Jacquemet, Nicolas; Shearer, Bruce - Policy Analysis in the Health-Services Market: Accounting for Quality and Quantity

We provide a theoretical and empirical framework for evaluating the effects of policy reforms on physician labor supply. We argue that any policy evaluation must account for both the quality and the quantity of services provided. The introduction of quality into the analysis has implications for both the theoretical and empirical analysis of labor supply, and consequently policy evaluation. In particular, endogenous quality choices introduce non-linearities into the budget constraint since the marginal return to an hour of work depends on the quality of services provided. We illustrate by considering a particular example: the recent reform in compensation contracts for specialist physicians in the province of Quebec (Canada). Prior to 1999, most Quebec specialist physicians were paid fee-for-service contracts; they received a piece rate for each clinical service provided. In 1999, the government introduced a mixed remuneration system, under which physicians received a base (half-daily or daily) wage, independent of services provided, and a reduced fee-for-service. Moreover, the government allowed physicians to choose their contract. We derive theoretical results for the effect of the reform on the quantity and quality of services supplied by analyzing "local" prices and virtual income. We propose discretizing the choice set as an empirical approach to policy evaluation in the presence of non-linear budget constraints.

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08-06 Araar, Abdelkrim - On the Decomposition of Polarization Indices: Illustrations with Chinese and Nigerian Households Surveys

This paper explores the link between polarization and inequality and proposes some analytical methods to decompose the Duclos, Esteban, and Ray (2004) polarization index by population groups or income sources. In some cases, the decomposition methods were extended to the Esteban and Ray (1994) one. The main aim of these decomposition methods is to extend the interpretation derived from polarization indices to that of contribution components. Results drawn from Chinese data conclude that even if inequality has increased sharply during the last two decades, the pure polarization component was remained constant or even decreased on average. On the other hand, results from the 2004 Nigerian survey conclude that the population is spatially polarized, and this, based on geo-ecological zones. Furthermore, the two income sources, namely, Employment income and Non farm business income, significantly contribute to total polarization.

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08-05 Blouin, Max; Bourgeon, Jean-Marc - Practices (revised)

We examine an economy where professionals provide services to clients and where a professional can sell his practice to another. Professionals vary in quality, and clients in their need (or willingness-to-pay) for high-quality service. Efficiency is measured as the number of matches between high-quality professionals and high-need clients. However, agent types are unobservable a priori. We find that trade in practices can facilitate the transmission of information about agent types. In general full efficiency is achieved, but equilibrium is not always robust to random shocks. A tax on the sale of practices ensures the existence of robust, efficient equilibria.

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08-04 Cloutier, Marie-Hélène; Cockburn, John; Decaluwé, Bernard - Education and Poverty in Vietnam: a Computable General Equilibrium Analysis

Education is often promoted as the solution to poverty in the developing world. Yet, fiscal discipline has led to reductions in public spending on education. We examine the poverty impacts of a cut in public subsidies to higher education, accompanied by corresponding tax cuts, in a general equilibrium framework applied to Vietnam. This policy is shown to have strong and complex impacts through various channels: a direct increase in the private costs of higher education, a reduction in education investments, a shift in the economy's skills mix in favor of unskilled workers, a rise in the wage  premium for skilled workers, education and consumer price changes, etc. When all of these contrasting impacts are taken into account, we find that a higher education subsidy cut reduces welfare and increases poverty in Vietnam. While rural and agricultural households would benefit from this reform, urban and non-agricultural households would lose out.

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08-03 Auray, Stéphane; Danthine, Samuel - Bargaining Frictions, Labor Income Taxation and Economic Performance

A matching model with labor/leisure choice and bargaining frictions is used to explain (i) differences in GDP per hour and GDP per capita, (ii) differences in employment and hours worked (per capita and per worker),  (iii) differences in the proportion of part-time work across countries. The model predicts that the higher the level of rigidity in wages and hours the lower are GDP per capital, employment, part-time work and hours worked, but the higher is GDP per hour. In addition, it predicts that a country with a high level of rigidity in wages and hours and a high level of income taxation has higher GDP per hour and lower GDP per capita, employment and part-time work than a country with less rigidity and a lower level of taxation. This is due mostly to a lower level of employment. In contrast, a country with low levels of rigidity in hours and in wage setting but with a higher level of income taxation has a lower GDP per capita and a higher GDP per hour than the economy with low rigidity and low taxation. In this configuration, the level of employment is similar in both economies but the share of part-time work is larger. The model accounts well qualitatively for the facts, and a plausible calibration accounts well qualitatively for the differences between the US, French and Dutch economies.

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08-02 Phaneuf, Louis; Rebei, Nooman - Production Stages and te Transmission of Technological Progress

We develop and estimate a DSGE model which realistically assumes that many goods in the economy are produced through more than one stage of production. Firms produce differentiated goods at an intermediate stage and a final stage, post different prices at both stages, and face stage-specific technological change. Wage-setting households are imperfectly competitive with respect to labor skills. Intermediate-stage technology shocks explain most of short-run output fluctuations, whereas final-stage technology shocks only have a small impact. Despite the dominance of technology shocks, the model predicts a near-zero correlation between hours worked and the return to work and mildly procyclical real wages. The factors mainly responsible for these findings are an input-output linkage between firms operating at the different stages and movements in the relative price of goods. We show that, depending the source, a technology improvement may either have a contractionary or expansionary impact on employment.

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08-01 Panova, Elena - Campaign Promises and Political Factions

This paper builds a dynamic model of electoral competition with nonbinding campaign promises. We find that campaign promises by a candidate for office signal her political preferences and public policy that she intends to implement. The reason is that electoral competition induces her to pander campaign promises to political interests by a minimal majority of citizens If their votes bring her in office, she has to raise them once again in order to be-re-elected. For that, she needs to fulfill her electoral promises. To minimize the cost of pandering to re-election if in office, a candidate gives campaign promises that she would like to fulfill the most. She fulfills them if in office, unless the cost of fulfillment lies above the benefit from re-election. We show, furthermore, that representatives by a minimal majority of citizens form a faction to coordinate their electoral strategies, and we investigate the consequences of such political collusion.

Centre interuniversitaire sur le risque, les politiques économiques et l'emploi
ESG UQAM, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal (Québec) CANADA H3C 3P8
Madame Josée Parenteau  | Téléphone : 514 987-6181 | Télécopieur : 514 987-4707 | Courriel : parenteau.josee@uqam.ca
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