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10-48 Annabi, Amira; Breton, Michèle; François, Pascal - Resolution of Financial Distress under Chapter 11

We develop a contingent claims model of a firm in financial distress with a formal account for renegotiations under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure. Shareholders and two classes of creditors (senior and junior) alternatively propose a reorganization plan subject to a vote. The bankruptcy judge can intervene in any renegotiation round to impose a plan. The multiple-stage bargaining process is solved in a non-cooperative game theory setting. The calibrated model yields liquidation rate, Chapter 11 duration and percentage of deviations from the Absolute Priority Rule that are consistent with empirical evidence.

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10-47 Li, Jingyuan; Dionne, Georges - A Theoretical Extension of the Consumption-based CAPM Model

We extend the Consumption-based CAPM (C-CAPM) model for representative agents with different risk attitudes. We introduce the concept of expectation dependence and show that for a risk averse representative agent, it is the first-degree expectation dependence rather than the covariance that determines C-CAPM’s riskiness. We extend the assumption of risk aversion to prudence and provide a weaker dependence condition than first-degree expectation dependence to obtain the values of asset price and equity premium. Results are generalized to higher-degree risk changes and higher- order representative agents, and are linked to the equity premium puzzle.

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10-46 François, Pascal; Hübner, Georges - A Portfolio Approach to Venture Capital Financing

This paper studies the contracting choices between an entrepreneur and venture capital investors in a portfolio context. We rely on the mean-variance framework and derive the optimal choices for an entrepreneur with and without the presence of different kinds of venture capitalists. In particular, we show that the entrepreneur always has the incentive to share the risk and benefits of the venture whenever possible. On the basis of their objectives and characteristics, we distinguish the situations of the corporate, independent, and bank-sponsored venture capital funds. Our framework enables us to derive the optimal contract design for the entrepreneur, featuring the choice of investor, the entrepreneur’s investment in the venture, and her dilution in  the project’s equity as a function of her bargaining power. This result allows us to characterize the choice of the investor depending on her cost of equity and debt capital. In addition to project size and risk, entrepreneur’s risk aversion turns out to be a critical determinant of VC investor choice –a finding which is strongly supported by a panel analysis of VC fund flows for 5 European countries over the 2002-2009 period.

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10-45 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip - Labour Outcomes of Graduates and Dropouts of High School and Post-secondary Education: Evidence for Canadian 24- to 26-year-olds in 2005

The purpose of this research is to estimate the impact of education, with a particular focus on education levels lower than a university diploma, on the labour market and social outcomes of the 24- to 26-year-old Canadians found in the fourth wave of the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS), conducted by Statistics Canada in 2006. We focus on differences between individuals who did not pursue college or university level degrees. We find that dropouts perform very poorly for most of the outcomes we analyse. Our most important result is that males who finish their high-school degree very late (after 19 years of age), perform, ceteris paribus, at many levels like dropouts. This suggests that policy makers should be taking a very close look at “second chance” or “adult education” programs across Canada.

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10-44 Lefebvre, Pierre; Merrigan, Philip - Gender Gap in Dropping out of High School: Evidence from the Canadian NLSCY Youth

This paper exploits the panel features 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 7 cycles (1994-1995 to 2006-2007) to explain high school graduation (dropout rates) of Canadian youth aged 18 to 23 observed in the most recent wave of the survey. We focus on the gap between females and males which in some provinces is high, particularly in Québec. The econometric approach uses a non-linear Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique to identify and quantify the separate contributions of group differences in measurable characteristics (youth attributes and family endowments) to the gender gap in high school graduation rates. We find that the traditional barriers to high school graduation, linked to poverty, are very detrimental for males in Québec. However, we also find that the male-female gap across Canada is very partially explained by differences in endowments such as reading or maths skills in school. Finally, as in other recent studies, our results show that parental expectations about educational attainment are predictors of high school graduation. Public policy approaches for the reduction of the male-female gap are proposed. More radical measures and some experimental approaches (pilot projects) should be adopted in Québec to decrease rapidly the dropout rates and increase high school graduation rates by the age of 18.

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10-43 Charlot, Olivier; Malherbet, Franck; Terra, Cristina - Product Market Regulation, Firm Size, Unemployment and Informality in Developing Economies

This paper studies the impact of product and labor market regulations on the number and size of firms in the formal and informal sectors, as well as on relative wages, relative size of the two sectors and overall unemployment. We show that entry costs in the formal sector tend to make informal firms smaller and more numerous than informal firms, i.e., such costs render the informal sector relatively more competitive. Furthermore, it is possible to reduce informality without increasing unemployment or reducing workers’ wage by reducing entry costs in the formal sector rather than reducing labor market regulations. We also highlight a number of externalities stemming from labor and product market imperfections, allowing the size of those distortions to differ across sectors. We show that, while the so-called overhiring externality takes place in both sectors, this translates into a smaller relative size of the informal sector.

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10-42 Dionne, Georges; Gauthier, Geneviève; Hammami, Khemais; Maurice, Mathieu; Simonato, Jean-Guy - A Reduced Form Model of Default Spreads with Markov-Switching Macroeconomics Factors

An important research area of the corporate yield spread literature seeks to measure the proportion of the spread that can be explained by factors such as the possibility of default, liquidity, tax differentials and market risk. We contribute to this literature by assessing the ability of observed macroeconomic factors and the possibility of changes in regime to explain the proportion of yield spreads caused by the risk of default in the context of a reduced form model. For this purpose, we extend the Markov Switching risk-free term structure model of Bansal and Zhou (2002) to the corporate bond setting and develop recursive formulas for default probabilities, risk-free and risky zero-coupon bond yields as well as credit default swap premia. The model is calibrated with consumption, inflation, risk-free yields and default data for Aa, A and Baa bonds from the 1987-2008 period. We find that our macroeconomic factors are linked with two out of three sharp increases in the spreads during this sample period, indicating that the variations can be related to macroeconomic undiversifiable risk. The estimated default spreads can explain almost half of the 10 years to maturity industrial Baa zero-coupon yields in some regime. Much smaller proportions are found for Aa and A bonds with numbers around 10%. The proportions of default estimated with credit default swaps are higher, in many cases doubling those found with corporate yield spreads.

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10-41 Dionne, Georges; Lebeau, Martin - Le calcul de la valeur statistique d'une vie humaine

Notre société fait face à de nombreux risques qui affectent des vies humaines. Les autorités publiques doivent donc déterminer le budget optimal à consacrer à chaque projet visant à diminuer ces risques sociaux. L’analyse avantages-coûts est un outil très utilisé pour l’évaluation de ces projets. La tâche du gouvernement est de mettre en place des projets ou des réglementations qui génèreront des bénéfices supérieurs aux coûts de leur implantation. Les coûts sont habituellement assez faciles à déterminer, mais comment évaluer les bénéfices reliés à la sauvegarde de vies humaines? Depuis les années 70, le nombre d’études réalisées sur la mesure de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine (VSV) est impressionnant. Plusieurs valeurs ont été estimées, et ce, à l’aide de différentes méthodes. La difficulté des gouvernements à choisir une valeur, provient de la grande variabilité dans les résultats obtenus. En effet, les VSV observées varient de 0,5 million de dollars jusqu’à 50 millions de dollars ($ US 2000). L’objectif principal de cet article est d’aider à comprendre d’où vient cette grande variabilité dans les résultats. Nous voulons aussi déterminer quelle valeur nous semble la plus raisonnable.

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10-40 Dostie, Benoit - Estimating the Returns to Firm-Sponsored on-the-Job and Classroom Training

In this paper, we estimate returns to classroom and on-the-job firm-sponsored training in terms of value-added per worker using longitudinal linked employee-employer Canadian data from 1999 to 2006. We estimate a standard production function controlling for endogenous training decisions because of perceived net benefits and time-varying market conditions using dynamic panel GMM methods. We find that employees who undertook classroom training are 11 percent more productive than otherwise similar employees. We show that returns to on-the-job training are on average lower (3.4 percent). We provide evidence that these lower returns are due to on-the-job training being more closely related to turnover and more geared toward subjects that are less productivity-enhancing.

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10-39 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Zabsonré, Agnès - Testing for Welfare Comparisons when Populations Differ in Size

Assessments of social welfare do not usually take into account population sizes. This can lead to serious social evaluation flaws, particularly in contexts in which policies can affect demographic growth. We develop in this paper a little-known though ethically attractive approach to correcting the flaws of traditional welfare analysis, an approach that is population-size sensitive and that is based on critical-level generalized utilitarianism (CLGU). Traditional CLGU is extended by considering arbitrary orders of welfare dominance and ranges of “poverty lines” and values for the “critical level” of how much a life must be minimally worth to contribute to social welfare. Simulation experiments briefly explore the normative relationship between population sizes and critical levels. We apply the methods to household level data to rank Canada’s social welfare across 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 and to estimate normatively and statistically robust lower and upper bounds of critical levels over which these rankings can be made. The results show dominance of recent years over earlier ones, except when comparing 1986 and 1996. In general, therefore, we conclude that Canada’s social welfare has increased over the last 35 years in spite (or because) of a substantial increase in population size.

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10-38 Michaud, Pierre-Carl; Lakdawalla, Darius; Goldman, Dana; Sood, Neeraj; Cong, Ze - Health and Access Effects of New Drugs: Combining Experimental and Non-Experimental Data

We propose to combine clinical trial and estimates of behavioral responses in the population to quantify the value of new drug innovations when such values cannot be obtained by randomized experiments alone. New drugs are seen as having two distinct effects on patients. First, they can provide better outcomes for patients currently under treatment, due to better clinical efficacy. Second, they can also provide treatment access to more patients, perhaps by reducing side effects or expanding treatment. We compare these “clinical” and “access” effects using claims data, data on the arrival rate of new drugs, and the clinical trials literature on the effectiveness of these drugs. We find that the effect of new drug introductions on the number of patients treated accounts for a substantial majority of the value created by new drugs.

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10-37 Dessy, Sylvain; Rambeloma, Tiana - Is Temporary Emigration of Unskilled Workers a Solution to the Child Labor Problem?

This paper reassesses the case for temporary emigration of unskilled workers as a solution to the child labor problem, based upon a general equilibrium model of migrant remittances, parental investment in child schooling, and intersectoral allocation of capital. Counterfactual simulations uncover a U-shape effect of temporary emigration on the incidence of child labor, suggesting that the case for temporary emigration as a solution to the child labor problem may be weak.

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10-36 Andrianarison, Francis; Davies, Victor A.B.; Dessy, Sylvain - The Economic Foundations of Institutional Stagnation in Commodity-Exporting Countries

Many poor countries are plagued with growth-impeding institutions. We develop a three-sector general equilibrium model linking economic stagnation in these countries to poor export terms of trade. We examine the extent to which changes in the terms of trade affect private agents’ incentive to coalesce to oppose the adoption of growth-promoting institutions. We show that under certain conditions, below a threshold terms of trade level, private agents gain from coalescing to oppose the adoption of growth-promoting institutions. Above this threshold, gains from coalescing disappear, fostering institutional change.

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10-35 Dionne, Georges; Michaud, Pierre-Carl; Dahchour, Maki - Separating Moral Hazard from Adverse Selection and Learning in Automobile Insurance: Longitudinal Evidence from France

The identification of information problems in different markets is a challenging issue in the economic literature. In this paper, we study the identification of moral hazard from adverse selection and learning within the context of a multi-period dynamic model. We extend the model of Abbring et al. (2003) to include learning and insurance coverage choice over time. We derive testable empirical implications for panel data. We then perform tests using longitudinal data from France during the period 1995-1997. We find evidence of moral hazard among a sub-group of policyholders with less driving experience (less than 15 years). Policyholders with less than 5 years of experience have a combination of learning and moral hazard, whereas no residual information problem is found for policyholders with more than 15 years of experience.

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10-34 Fortin, Bernard; Jacquemet, Nicolas; Shearer, Bruce - Labour Supply, Work Effort and Contract Choice: Theory and Evidence on Physicians

We develop and estimate a generalized labour supply model that incorporates work effort into the standard consumption-leisure trade-off. We allow workers a choice between two contracts: a piece rate contract, wherein he is paid per unit of service provided, and a mixed contract, wherein he receives an hourly wage and a reduced piece rate. This setting gives rise to a non-convex budget set and an efficient budget constraint (the upper envelope of contract-specific budget sets). We apply our model to data collected on specialist physicians working in the Province of Quebec (Canada). Our data set contains information on each physician’s labour supply and their work effort (clinical services provided per hour worked). It also covers a period of policy reform under which physicians could choose between two compensation systems: the traditional fee-for-service, under which physicians receive a fee for each service provided, and mixed remuneration, under which physicians receive a per diem as well as a reduced fee-for-service. We estimate the model using a discrete choice approach. We use our estimates to simulate elasticities and the effects of ex ante reforms on physician contracts. Our results show that physician services and effort are much more sensitive to contractual changes than is their time spent at work. Our results also suggest that a mandatory reform, forcing all physicians to adopt the mixed remuneration system, would have had substantially larger effects on physician behaviour than those observed under the voluntary reform.

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10-33 Cenesizoglu, Tolga - Size, Book-to-Market Ratio and Macroeconomic News

Little is known about the reactions of daily returns on portfolios with different characteristics to unexpected changes in macroeconomic conditions. This paper fills this void by analyzing the reactions of daily returns on portfolios formed on size and book-to-market ratio to news about a wide range of macroeconomic variables. Returns on different portfolios not only react to different news but also react differently to the same news. Reactions of portfolios to macroeconomic news also change over the business cycle. Results are strongest for news about employees on nonfarm payrolls in expansions. Both at daily and monthly frequencies, large and growth firms react differently to employment news from small and value firms in expansions but not in recessions. Differences in the sensitivities of expected future cash flows to employment news in expansions can help explain differences in the observed reactions.

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10-32 Cenesizoglu, Tolga - The Reaction of Stock Returns to News about Fundamentals

This paper analyzes the reaction of stock returns to news about the state of the economy. We develop a general equilibrium asset pricing model where the investor learns about the growth rate of the economy through two sources of information, dividend realizations and regularly scheduled announcements about the state of the economy. We distinguish between dividend news and the unexpected part of the external signal and characterize the reaction of stock returns to news from these two sources of information. We show that the reaction to these news variables can be quite different under different assumptions about their precisions in different states. Our model is able to account for several empirical facts about the reaction of stock returns to news, such as time-varying and state-dependent reaction, asymmetric reaction to extreme news and stronger reaction to more precise signals.

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10-31 Cenesizoglu, Tolga; Essid, Badye - The Effect of Monetary Policy on Credit Spreads

In this paper, we analyze the effect of monetary policy on yield spreads between corporate bonds with different credit ratings over changing conditions in the economy. Using futures data on the Fed funds rate, we distinguish between expected and unexpected changes in monetary policy. We find that unexpected changes in the Fed funds rate do not have a significant effect on changes in credit spreads when we do not control for different conditions in the economy. We then distinguish between three different cycles in the economy: business, credit and monetary policy cycles. In line with predictions of imperfect capital market theories, credit spreads widen (narrow) following an unexpected monetary policy tightening (easing) during periods of poor economic and credit market conditions. Several robustness tests suggest that our results are not due to possible endogeneity problems, lack of control variables or identification methodology or different cycles.

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10-30 Billette de Villemeur, Étienne; Leroux, Justin - Sharing the Cost of Global Warming

Due to meteorological factors, the distribution of the environmental damage due to climate change bears no relationship to that of global emissions. We argue in favor of offsetting this discrepancy, and propose a “global insurance scheme” to be financed according to countries’ responsibility for climate change. Because GHG decay very slowly, we argue that the actual burden of global warming should be shared on the basis of cumulated emissions, rather than sharing the expected costs of actual emissions as in a Pigovian taxation scheme. We characterize new versions of two well-known cost-sharing schemes by adapting the responsibility theory of Bossert and Fleurbaey (1996) to a context with externalities.

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10-29 Ravenna, Federico - The Impact of Inflation Targeting: Testing the Good Luck Hypothesis

Over the last twenty years the level and volatility of inflation decreased across industrial countries. The inflation stabilization can be explained by a shift in monetary policy or by a lucky period of low volatility in business cycle shocks. To test the “luck hypothesis” we examine the inflation experience of Canada, one of the earliest and most successful adopters of an inflation targeting monetary policy. We Kalman-filter the historical structural shocks consistent with an estimated DSGE model. The estimated shocks are used to build counterfactual histories. Ex-ante the model predicts inflation volatility to more than halve under inflation targeting. But conditional on the shocks, we show that the luck hypothesis can explain with a high probability Canada’s low inflation volatility since the early 1990s. Any inflation stabilization induced by the shift in policy is accounted for the most part by the impact on expectations. Counterfactuals built neglecting expectations would prove the inflation targeting policy irrelevant.

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10-28 Ravenna, Federico; Walsh, Carl E. - The Welfare Consequences of Monetary Policy and the Role of the Labor Market: a Tax Interpretation

We explore the distortions in business cycle models arising from inefficiencies in price setting and in the search process matching firms to unemployed workers, and the implications of these distortions for monetary policy. To this end, we characterize the tax instruments that would implement the first best equilibrium allocations and then examine the trade-offs faced by monetary policy when tax instruments are unavailable. Our findings are that the welfare cost of search inefficiency can be large, but the incentive for policy to deviate from the inefficient flexible-price allocation is in general small. Sizable welfare gains are available if the steady state of the economy is inefficient, and these gains do not depend on the existence of an inefficient dispersion of wages. Finally, the gains from deviating from price stability are larger in economies with more volatile labor flows, as in the U.S.

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10-27 Ravenna, Federico - Optimal Policy Restrictions on Observable Outcomes

We study the restrictions implied by optimal policy DSGE models for the volatility of observable endogenous variables. Our approach uses a parametric family of singular models to discriminate which volatility sample outcomes have zero probability of being generated by an optimal policy. Thus the set of volatility outcomes generated by the model is not of measure zero even if there are no random deviations from optimal policymaking. This methodology is applied to a new Keynesian business cycle model widely used in the optimal monetary policy literature, and its implications for the assessment of US monetary policy performance over the 1984-2005 period are discussed.

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10-26 Bouakez, Hafedh; Essid, Badye Omar; Normandin, Michel - Stock Returns and Monetary Policy: Are There Any Ties ?

This paper empirically investigates the following three questions: (i) Do stock returns respond to monetary policy shocks? (ii) Do stock returns alter the transmission mechanism of monetary policy? and (iii) Does monetary policy systematically react to stock returns? Existing research based on event studies and Structural Vector Auto-Regressions (SVAR) documents that stock returns increase significantly following an unanticipated monetary policy expansion. However, this literature did not explore whether or not stock returns matter for the choice of monetary policy or its propagation mechanism. In this paper, we use a SVAR that relaxes the restrictions commonly imposed in earlier studies and identify monetary policy shocks by exploiting the conditional heteroscedasticity of the structural innovations. Applying this method to U.S. data, we reach a surprising and puzzling conclusion: the answers to the three questions above are No, No, and No!

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10-25 Fellner, Gerlinde; Iida, Yoshio; Kröger, Sabine; Seki, Erika - Heterogeneous Productivity in Voluntary Public Good Provision: an Experimental Analysis

This article experimentally examines voluntary contributions when group members’ marginal returns to the public good vary. The experiment implements two marginal return types, low and high, and uses the information that members have about the heterogeneity to identify the applied contribution norm. We find that norms vary with the information environment. If agents are aware of the heterogeneity, contributions increase in general. However, high types contribute more than low types when contributions can be linked to the type of the donor but contribute less otherwise. Low types, on the other hand, contributes more than high types when group members are aware of the heterogeneity but contributions cannot be linked to types. Our results underline the importance of the information structure when persons with different abilities contribute to a joint project, as in the context of teamwork or charitable giving.

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10-24 Li, Jigyuan; Dionne, Georges - The Impact of Prudence on Optimal Prevention Revisited

This paper re-examines the link between absolute prudence and self-protection activities. We show that the level of effort chosen by an agent with positive and decreasing absolute prudence is larger than the optimal effort chosen by a risk-neutral agent if the degree of absolute prudence is less than a threshold that is utility-independent and empirically verifiable. We explain this threshold by a trade-off between the variation of the variance and the level of the third moment of the loss distribution. We also discuss our result in terms of skewness. Our contribution extends the model of Eeckhoudt and Gollier (2005).

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10-23 Cosset, Jean-Claude; Meknassi, Siham - Does Cross-Listing in the US Foster Mergers and Acquisitions and Increase Target Shareholder Wealth ?

We examine the role of cross-listing in alleviating domestic market constraint and facilitating cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Cross-listing appears to strengthen the bargaining power of target firms, allowing them to extract higher takeover premiums relative to their non-cross-listed peers. Moreover, shareholders of Sarbanes-Oxley-compliant targets seem to benefit from a higher premium. We also find that cross-listed firms are more likely to be acquisition targets. This evidence is consistent with the idea that cross-listing increases firms’ attractiveness and visibility on the market for corporate control. Our results are robust to various specifications and to the self-selection bias arising from the decision to cross-list.

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10-22 Belhaj Hassine, Nadia; Robichaud, Véronique; Decaluwé, Bernard - Agricultural Trade Liberalization, Productivity Gain and Poverty Alleviation: a General Equiilbrium Analysis

Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models have gained continuously in popularity as an empirical tool for assessing the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural growth, poverty and income distribution. Conventional models ignore however the channels linking technical change in agriculture, trade openness and poverty. This study seeks to incorporate econometric evidence of these linkages into a CGE model to estimate the impact of alternative trade liberalization scenarios on poverty and equity. The analysis uses the Latent Class Stochastic Frontier Model (LCSFM) and the metafrontier function to investigate the influence of trade openness on agricultural technological change. The estimated productivity effects induced from higher levels of trade are combined with a general equilibrium analysis of trade liberalization to evaluate the income and prices changes. These effects are then used to infer the impact on poverty and inequality following the top-down approach. The model is applied to Tunisian data using the social accounting matrix of 2001 and the 2000 household expenditures surveys. Poverty is found to decline under agricultural and full trade liberalization and this decline is much more pronounced when the productivity effects are included.

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10-21 Laurent, Sébastien; Rombouts, Jeroen V.K.; Violante, Francesco - On the Forecasting Accuracy of Multivariate GARCH Models

This paper addresses the question of the selection of multivariate GARCH models in terms of variance matrix forecasting accuracy with a particular focus on relatively large scale problems. We consider 10 assets from NYSE and NASDAQ and compare 125 model based one-step-ahead conditional variance forecasts over a period of 10 years using the model confidence set (MCS) and the Superior Predictive Ability (SPA) tests. Model performances are evaluated using four statistical loss functions which account for different types and degrees of asymmetry with respect to over/under predictions. When considering the full sample, MCS results are strongly driven by short periods of high market instability during which multivariate GARCH models appear to be inaccurate. Over relatively unstable periods, i.e. dot-com bubble, the set of superior models is composed of more sophisticated specifications such as orthogonal and dynamic conditional correlation (DCC), both with leverage effect in the conditional variances. However, unlike the DCC models, our results show that the orthogonal specifications tend to underestimate the conditional variance. Over calm periods, a simple assumption like constant conditional correlation and symmetry in the conditional variances cannot be rejected. Finally, during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, accounting for non-stationarity in the conditional variance process generates superior forecasts. The SPA test suggests that, independently from the period, the best models do not provide significantly better forecasts than the DCC model of Engle (2002) with leverage in the conditional variances of the returns.

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10-20 Rombouts, Jeroen V.K.; Stentoft, Lars - Multivariate Option Pricing with Time Varying Volatility and Correlations

In recent years multivariate models for asset returns have received much attention, in particular this is the case for models with time varying volatility. In this paper we consider models of this class and examine their potential when it comes to option pricing. Specifically, we derive the risk neutral dynamics for a general class of multivariate heteroskedastic models, and we provide a feasible way to price options in this framework. Our framework can be used irrespective of the assumed underlying distribution and dynamics, and it nests several important special cases. We provide an application to options on the minimum of two indices. Our results show that not only is correlation important for these options but so is allowing this correlation to be dynamic. Moreover, we show that for the general model exposure to correlation risk carries an important premium, and when this is neglected option prices are estimated with errors. Finally, we show that when neglecting the non-Gaussian features of the data, option prices are also estimated with large errors.

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10-19 Bouaddi, Mohammed; Larocque, Denis; Normandin, Michel - Equity Premia and State-Dependent Risks

This paper analyzes the empirical relations between equity premia and state-dependent consumption and market risks. These relations are derived from a flexible specification of the CCAPM with mixture distribution, which admits the existence of two regimes. Focusing on the market return, we find that the consumption and market risks are priced in each state, and the responses of expected equity premia to these risks are state dependent. Extending to various portfolio returns, we show that the responses to downside consumption risks are the most important, they are almost always statistically larger than the responses to upside consumption risks, and they are much larger for firms having smaller sizes and facing more financial distresses.

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10-18 Bramoullé, Yann; Kranton, Rachel; D'Amours, Martin - Strategic Interaction and Networks

This paper brings a general network analysis to a wide class of economic games. A network, or interaction matrix, tells who directly interacts with whom. A major challenge is determining how network structure shapes overall outcomes. We have a striking result. Equilibrium conditions depend on a single number: the lowest eigenvalue of a network matrix. Combining tools from potential games, optimization, and spectral graph theory, we study games with linear best replies and characterize the Nash and stable equilibria for any graph and for any impact of players’ actions. When the graph is sufficiently absorptive (as measured by this eigenvalue), there is a unique equilibrium. When it is less absorptive, stable equilibria always involve extreme play where some agents take no actions at all. This paper is the first to show the importance of this measure to social and economic outcomes, and we relate it to different network link patterns.

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10-17 Bellemare, Charles; Bissonnette, Luc; Kröger, Sabine - Bounding Preference Parameters under Different Assumptions about Beliefs: a Partial Identification Approach

We show how bounds around preferences parameters can be estimated under various levels of assumptions concerning the beliefs of senders in the investment game. We contrast these bounds with point estimates of the preference parameters obtained using non-incentivized subjective belief data. Our point estimates suggest that expected responses and social preferences both play a significant role in determining investment in the game. Moreover, these point estimates fall within our most reasonable bounds. This suggests that credible inferences can be obtained using non-incentivized beliefs.

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10-16 Bouakez, Hafedh; Chihi, Foued; Normandin, Michel - Measuring the Effects of Fiscal Policy

Measuring the effects of discretionary fiscal policy is both difficult and controversial, as some explicit or implicit identifying assumptions need to be made to isolate exogenous and unanticipated changes in taxes and government spending. Studies based on structural vector autoregressions typically achieve identification by restricting the contemporaneous interaction of fiscal and non-fiscal variables in a rather arbitrary way. In this paper, we relax those restrictions and identify fiscal policy shocks by exploiting the conditional heteroscedasticity of the structural disturbances. We use this methodology to evaluate the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy shocks in the U.S. before and after 1979. Our results show substantive differences in the economy’s response to government spending and tax shocks across the two periods. Importantly, we find that increases in public spending are, in general, more effective than tax cuts in stimulating economic activity. A key contribution of this study is to provide a formal test of the identifying restrictions commonly used in the literature.

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10-15 Dionne, Georges; La Haye, Mélissa; Bergères, Anne-Sophie - Does Asymmetric Information Affect the Premium in Mergers and Acquisitions ?

Our objective is to test the influence of information asymmetry between potential buyers on the premium paid for an acquisition. We analyze mergers and acquisitions as English auctions with asymmetric information. The theory of dynamic auctions with private values predicts that more informed bidders should pay a lower price for an acquisition. We test that prediction with a sample of 1,026 acquisitions in the United States between 1990 and 2007. We hypothesize that blockholders of the target’s shares are better informed than other bidders because they possess privileged information on the target. Information asymmetry between participants is shown to influence the premium paid. Blockholders pay a much lower conditional premium than do other buyers (around 70% lower). Tests also show that the characteristics of the target, specifically the runup, sales growth and size, affect the premium. The size of the target relative to the buyer, the choice of a public takeover bid and the hostility of the bid are also influential.

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10-14 Dahen, Hela; Dionne, Georges; Zajdenweber, Daniel - Extremal Events in a Bank Operational Losses

Operational losses are true dangers for banks since their maximal values to signal default are difficult to predict. This risky situation is unlike default risk whose maximum values are limited by the amount of credit granted. For example, our data from a very large US bank show that this bank could suffer, on average, more than four major losses a year. This bank had seven losses exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars over its 52 documented losses of more than $1 million during the 1994-2004 period. The tail of the loss distribution (a Pareto distribution without expectation whose characteristic exponent is 0.95 ≤ α ≤ 1) shows that this bank can fear extreme operational losses ranging from $1 billion to $11 billion, at probabilities situated respectively between 1% and 0.1%. The corresponding annual insurance premiums are evaluated to range between $350 M and close to $1 billion.

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10-13 Cockburn, John; Corong, Erwin; Decaluwé, Bernard; Fofana, Ismaël; Robichaud, Véronique - The Gender and Poverty Impacts of Trade Liberalization in Senegal

Developing countries are deeply engaged in trade negotiations at the bilateral, regional and international (WTO) levels. As imports, exports and tariff duties all occupy an important part of their economies, far-reaching impacts on production, labor and capital markets, household incomes and, perhaps most importantly, economic growth will indubitably ensue. As men and women occupy very different roles in these economies, particularly in terms of the import and export orientation of the sectors in which they work, they will be affected very differently by these reforms. To anticipate these changes, a dynamic economy-wide model is developed with an application to Senegal. Whereas most similar existing studies consider the comparative static resource reallocation effects of trade reforms, ours is the first to focus on the growth effects (“dynamic gains from trade”), which are thought to be possibly much larger.

The trade-productivity link is revealed to be the strongest growth channel, raising GDP by over three percentage points by the end of our 15 year simulation period.

Trade liberalization is found to increase the gender wage gap in favor of men, especially among unskilled workers, as men are more active in export-oriented sectors such as cash crops and mining whereas women contribute more to import-competing sectors such as food crops. Furthermore, the ensuing growth effects further widen the over-all gender wage gap, as the productivity gains from increased openness are greatest in female-intensive sectors in which imports rise markedly. Thus, this suggests the need to implement policies aimed at increasing both unskilled and skilled women’s exposure in labor-intensive export industries, which is currently male dominated.

A linked microsimulation analysis, based on a survey of Senegalese households, show that trade liberalization reduces poverty in Senegal, particularly in rural areas. While the fall in the relative wages of rural workers would initially lead us to believe that rural households would lose the most from trade liberalization, they are in fact compensated by greater consumer price savings, given that they consume more goods from the initially protected agricultural and agro-industrial sectors.

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10-12 Charlot, Olivier; Malherbert, Franck - Education and the Welfare Gains from Employment Protection

This paper studies the impact of an European-like labor market regulation on the return to schooling, equilibrium unemployment and welfare. We show that firing costs and temporary employment have opposite effects on educational choices. We furthermore demonstrate that a laissez faire economy with no regulation is inefficient as it is characterized by insufficient educational investments leading to excess job destruction and inadequate job creation. By stabilizing employment relationships, firing costs may spur educational investments and therefore lead to welfare and productivity gains, though a first-best policy would be to subsidize education. However, there is little chance for a dual labor market, as is common in many European countries, with heavily regulated long-term contracts and more flexible short-term contracts to raise the incentives to schooling and aggregate welfare.

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10-11 Bellemare, Charles; Sebald, Alexander; Strobel, Martin - Measuring the Willingness to Pay to Avoid Guilt: Estimating using Equilibrium and Stated Belief Models

We estimate structural models of guilt aversion to measure the population level of willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid feeling guilt by letting down another player. We compare estimates of WTP under the assumption that higher-order beliefs are in equilibrium (i.e. consistent with the choice distribution) with models estimated using stated beliefs which relax the equilibrium requirement. We estimate WTP in the later case by allowing stated beliefs to be correlated with guilt aversion, thus controlling for a possible source of a consensus effect. All models are estimated using data from an experiment of proposal and response conducted with a large and representative sample of the Dutch population. Our range of estimates suggests that responders are willing to pay between 0.40 and 0.80 Euro to avoid letting down proposers by 1 Euro. Furthermore, we find that WTP estimated using stated beliefs is substantially overestimated (by a factor of two) when correlation between preferences and beliefs is not controlled for. Finally, we find no evidence that WTP is significantly related to the observable socio-economic characteristics of players.

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10-10 Champagne, Julien; Kurmann, André - The Great Increase in Relative Volatility of Real Wages in the United States

This paper documents that over the past 25 years, aggregate hourly real wages in the United States have become substantially more volatile relative to output. We use micro-data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) to show that this increase in relative volatility is predominantly due to increases in the relative volatility of hourly wages across different groups of workers. Compositional changes, by contrast, account for at most 12% of the increase in relative wage volatility. Using a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model, we show that the observed increase in relative wage volatility is unlikely to come from changes outside of the labor market (e.g. smaller exogenous shocks or more aggressive monetary policy). By contrast, increased flexibility in wage setting is capable of accounting for a large fraction of the observed increase in relative wage volatility. At the same time, increased wage flexibility generates a substantial decrease in the magnitude of business cycle fluctuations, which suggests a promising new explanation for the Great Moderation.

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10-09 Yémélé Kana, Legrand; Dessy, Sylvain; Ewoudou, Jacques - Are Foster Children Made Better Off by Informal Fostering Arrangements ?

Research on the effects of informal child fostering arrangements on the welfare of the children involved highlights cross-country disparities. Why may there be differences across countries with regard to the effects of informal child fostering arrangements? If in all countries reporting a high incidence of foster children Hamilton’s rule applies, then these cross-country differences are puzzling. Our model of child fostering arrangements builds on the fact that a child’s school performance is jointly influenced by his nutrition status and the time he has available at home to develop his learning skills and prepare for national school tests. Given this feature of academic performance, fostering out may become a poor parent’s best option for enhancing his child’s academic excellence, by trading off study time for better nutrition. We show that child fostering arrangements embedding this human capital motive for out-fostering make the foster child better off when nutrition is paramount to a child’s ability to achieve academic excellence.

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10-08 Dionne,Georges; Ouederni, Karima - Corporate Risk Management and Dividend Signaling Theory

This paper investigates the effect of corporate risk management on dividend policy. We extend the signaling framework of Bhattacharya (1979) by including the possibility of hedging the future cash flow. We find that the higher the hedging level, the lower the incremental dividend. This result is in line with the purpoted positive relation between information asymmetry and dividend policy (e.g., Miller and Rock, 1985) and the assertion that risk management alleviates the information asymmetry problem (e.g., DaDalt et al., 2002). Our theoretical model has testable implications.

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10-07 Boucher, Vincent; Bramoullé, Yann; Djebbari, Habiba; Fortin, Bernard - Do Peers Affect Student Achievement ? Evidence from Canada Using Group Size Variation

We provide the first empirical application of a new approach proposed by Lee (2007) to estimate peer effects in a linear-in-means model. This approach allows to control for group-level unobservable and to solve the reflection problem. We investigate peer effects in student achievement in Mathematics, Science, French and History in Quebec secondary schools. We estimate the model using maximum likelihood and instrumental variables methods. We find evidence of peer effects. The endogenous peer effect is positive, when significant, and some contextual peer effects matter. Using calibrated Monte Carlo simulations, we find that high dispersion in group sizes helps with potential issues of weak identification.

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10-06 Havet, Nathalie; Lacroix, Guy - La formation continue, un moyen de réduire les inégalités salariales entre hommes et femmes ?

L’objet de cet article est d’évaluer la valorisation salariale de la participation à une formation continue en entreprise, en centrant l’analyse sur les différences entre sexes. Pour ce faire, les données françaises de l’enquête Formation continue 2000 sont mobilisées. Elles permettent de distinguer les formations continues formelle et informelle, ce qui offre la possibilité d’examiner les liens entre elles, de comparer leurs influences respectives sur les salaires et de savoir s’il existe des différences entre hommes et femmes dans la nature et les rendements des formations suivies.
On estime un modèle d’équations simultanées afin de tenir compte à la fois du phénomène de sélection endogène des pratiques de formation et des effets corrélés de l’hétérogénéité individuelle inobservable entre les différents types de formations et les salaires. Il ressort qu’en France, le rendement d’une formation formelle est plus élevé pour les femmes que pour leurs homologues masculins et que le rendement d’une formation informelle et équivalent pour les deux sexes. En conséquence, développer des cours de formation structurée pourrait être un moyen de limiter les disparités salariales entre les hommes et femmes.

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10-05 Kurmann, André; Otrok, Christopher - News Shocks and the Slope of the Term Structure of Interest Rates

We provide a new structural interpretation of the relationship between the slope of the term structure of interest rates and macroeconomic fundamentals. We first adopt an agnostic identification approach that allows us to identify the shocks that explain most of the movements in the slope. We find that two shocks are sufficient to explain virtually all movements in the slope. Impulse response functions for the first shock, which explains the majority of the movements in the slope, lead us to interpret this main shock as a news shock about future productivity. We confirm this interpretation by formally identifying such a news shock as in Barsky and Sims (2009) and Sims (2009). We then assess to what extent a New Keynesian DSGE model is capable of generating the observed slope responses to a news shock. We find that augmenting DSGE models with a term structure provides valuable information to discipline the description of monetary policy and the model’s response to news shocks in general.

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10-04 Batana, Yélé Maweki; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Comparing Multidimensional Poverty with Qualitative Indicators of Well-Being

This paper examines multidimensional stochastic dominance when one of the indicators of well-being, such as household size or place of residence, is qualitative. It also uses a test for strict dominance based on the empirical likelihood ratio. Empirical applications are based on the DHS (Demography and Health Surveys) for several countries in Western Africa. The results show the existence of multidimensional dominance relationships between most of these countries.

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10-03 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Sahn, David E.; Younger, Stephen D. - Partial Multidimensional Inequality Orderings

The paper investigates how comparisons of multivariate inequality can be made robust to varying the intensity of focus on the share of the population that are more relatively deprived. It follows the dominance approach to making inequality comparisons, as developed for instance by Atkinson (1970), Foster and Shorrocks (1988) and Formby, Smith, and Zheng (1999) in the unidimensional context, and Atkinson and Bourguignon (1982) in the multidimensional context. By focusing on those below a multidimensional inequality “frontier”, we are able to reconcile the literature on multivariate relative poverty and multivariate inequality. Some existing approaches to multivariate inequality actually reduce the distributional analysis to a univariate problem, either by using a utility function first to aggregate an individual’s multiple dimensions of well-being, or by applying a univariate inequality analysis to each dimension independently. One of our innovations is that unlike previous approaches, the distribution of relative well-being in one dimension is allowed to affect how other dimensions influence overall inequality. We apply our approach to data from India and Mexico using monetary and non-monetary indicators of well-being.

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10-02 Batana, Yélé Maweki; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Testing for Mobility Dominance

This paper proposes tests for stochastic dominance in mobility based on the empirical likelihood ratio. Two views of mobility are considered, either based on measures of absolute mobility or on transition matrices. First-order and second-order dominance conditions in mobility are first derived, followed by the derivation of statistical inferences techniques to test a null hypothesis of non dominance against an alternative of mobility dominance. An empirical analysis, based on the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), is performed by comparing four income mobility periods ranging from 1970 to 1990.

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10-01 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Makdissi, Paul; Araar, Abdelkrim - Pro-Poor Tax Reforms, with an Application to Mexico

This paper proposes a methodology for testing for whether tax reforms are pro-poor. This is done by extending stochastic dominance techniques to help identify tax reforms that will necessarily be deemed absolutely or relatively pro-poor by a wide spectrum of poverty analysts. The statistical properties of the various estimators are also derived in order to make the method implementable using survey data. The methodology is used to assess the pro-poorness of possible reforms to Mexico’s indirect tax system. This leads to the identification of several possible pro-poor tax reforms in that country. It also shows how the pro-poorness of a tax reform depends on one’s conception of poverty as well as on the revenue and efficiency impact of the reform.

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
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