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04-34 Larocque, Denis; Normandin, Michel - Econometric Inference, Cyclical Fluctuations, and Superior Information

This paper presents and assesses a procedure to estimate conventional parameters characterizing fluctuations at the business cycle frequency, when the economic agents' information set is superior to the econometrician's one. Specifically, we first generalize the conditions under which the econometrician can estimate these 'cyclical fluctuations' parameters from augmented laws of motion for forcing variables that fully recover the agents' superior information. Second, we document the econometric properties of the estimates when the augmented laws of motion are possibly misspecified. Third, we assess the ability of certain information criteria to detect the presence of superior information.

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04-33 Dauphin, Anyck; El Lahga, Abdel-Rahmen; Fortin, Bernard; Lacroix, Guy - Choix de consommation des ménages en présence de plusieurs décideurs

Récemment, un nouveau cadre théorique d'analyse s'est développé dans le but d'analyser les comportements des ménages avec deux conjoints. Cette approche, qualifiée de modèle collectif, suppose que chaque conjoint a des préférences individuelles et que les choix du ménage sont Pareto-optimaux. Toutefois les études empiriques réalisées jusqu'à maintenant sur les modèles collectifs ont porté essentiellement sur des ménages à deux décideurs et ignorent le comportement des ménages qui en comptent potentiellement un plus grand nombre (e.g., couples vivant avec des enfants adultes ou avec des personnes âgées dans les pays développés, familles élargies dans les pays en développement). Le but de cet article est double: dans un premier temps, nous présentons de façon synthétique les principaux tests qui ont été proposés pour vérifier empiriquement les contraintes du modèle collectif dans un tel contexte. Nous proposons également un test qui s'avère être équivalent à un autre test présenté dans la littérature mais qui dans certains cas s'avère plus facile à mettre en oeuvre. Dans un deuxième temps, nous testons le modèle collectif à plusieurs preneurs de décisions à l'aide d'une enquête sur des micro-données britanniques. L'échantillon retenue comprend des couples avec un enfant de plus de 16 ans. Les résultats rejettent le modèle collectif avec un ou deux décideurs mais ne le rejettent pas dans le cas de trois décideurs.

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04-32 Fortin, Bernard; Lacroix, Guy; Villeval, Marie-Claire - Tax Evasion and Social Interactions

The paper extends the standard tax evasion model by allowing for social interactions. In Manski's (1993) nomenclature, our model taxes into account social conformity effects (i.e., endogenous interactions), fairness effects (i.e., exogenous interactions) and sorting effects (i.e., correlated effects). Our model is tested using experimental data. Participants must decide how much income to report given their tax rate and audit probability, and given those faced by the other members of their group as well as their mean reported income. The estimation is based on a two-limit simultaneous tobit with fixed group effects. A unique social equilibrium exists when the model satisfies coherency conditions. In line with Brock and Durlauf (2001b), the intrinsic nonlinearity between individual and group responses is sufficient to identify the model without imposing any exclusion restrictions. Our results are consistent with fairness effects but reject social conformity and correlated effects. 

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04-31 Blouin, Max - Uninformed Winners Under Adverse Selection

This paper presents a static model of a market for a quality-differentiated good. In one version quality is observable, in the other it is not. It is shown that some agents who are uninformed when quality is unobservable may have higher utility than they do when it is observable. This is more likely to happen when goods of intermediate quality are scarce. 

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04-30 Bellemare, Charles - A Life-Cycle Model of Outmigration and Economic Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany

This paper estimates a structural dynamic model of outmigration which incorporates several features of existing outmigration theories but distinguishes itself by introducing uncertainty about future earnings and preferences which allows immigrants to revise their duration decisions throughout their migration experience. Estimation results indicate that outmigration does not depend exclusively on earnings differentials. Immigrants are found to be forward looking decision makers, and simulations show that predicted migration durations can be very sensitive to changes in the economic environment, and differ considerably from those of a myopic model.

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04-29 Bellemare, Charles - Identification and Estimation of the Economic Performance of Outmigrants using Panel Attrition

This paper presents conditions providing semiparametric identification of the conditional expectation of economic outcomes characterizing outmigrants using data on immigrant sample attrition. The approach does not require that individual immigrant departures be observed. Outcomes of interest are labor market earnings, labor force participation, and labor supply. We present a panel model which extracts the information on outmigrant performance from sample attrition and estimate it using German data. We find strong evidence of self-selection of outmigrants based on unobserved individual characteristics. Simulations are performed to quantify the gap in labor market earnings and labor force participation rates between immigrant stayers and outmigrants.

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04-28 Bellemare, Charles; Krause, Michaela; Kröger, Sabine; Zhang, Chendi - Myopic Loss Aversion, Information Dissemination, and the Equity Premium Puzzle

We experimentally disentangle the effect of information dissemination from the effect of the time horizon on the investment behavior of a myopically loss averse investor. Our findings show that varying the information condition only suffices to induce behavior that is in line with the hypothesis of Myopic Loss Aversion.
 

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04-27 Donni, Olivier - Labor Supply, Home Production and Welfare Comparisons

We consider the collective  model of labor supply with marketable domestic production (Chiappori, 1997). We first show that, if domestic production is mistakenly ignored by the economist, welfare analyses will be probably distorted. Precisely, the identification of "collective" indirect utilities will be generally biased. The direction and the size of the bias depend on the complementarity/substituability of spouses' time inputs in the production process. The identification is unbiased if and only if the production function is additive. We then show that, even if domestic labor supplies are not observed by the economist, (i) market labor supplies have to satisfy testable restrictions, (ii) the structure of the model is partially identifiable so that valid welfare comparisons are still possible. Our identification results generalize Chiappori's (1992) ones.

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04-26 Chiappori, Pierre-André; Donni, Olivier - Les modèles non-unitaires de comportement du ménage: un survol de la littérature

Cet article s'intéresse aux modèles non-unitaires de comportement du ménage. Ces modèles supposent explicitement que le ménage est composé de plusieurs personnes ayant des préférences distinctes. Ils se classent alors en deux catégories principales: d'une part, les modèles coopératifs (ou collectifs), dans lesquels les allocations sont supposées efficaces au sens de Pareto, et d'autre part, les modèles non-coopératifs (ou stratégiques) qui s'appuient sur la notion d'équilibre de Cournot-Nash. Dans ces modèles, les fonctions qui caractérisent le comportement du ménage doivent satisfaire des contraintes différentes des traditionnelles conditions de Slutsky. De plus, dans certains cas particuliers, les préférences des membres du ménage peuvent être identifiées à partir du comportement observable.

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04-25 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Quentin, Wodon - What is "Pro-Poor"?

Assessing whether distributional changes are "pro-poor" has become increasingly widespread in academic and policy circles. Starting from relatively general ethical axioms, this paper proposes simple graphical methods to test whether distributional changes are indeed pro-poor. Pro-poor standards are first defined. An important issue is whether these standards should be absolute or relative. Another issue is whether pro-poor judgements should put relatively more emphasis on the impact of growth upon the poorer of the poor. Having formalized the treatment of these issues, the paper describes various ways for checking whether broad classes of ethical judgements will declare a distributional change to be pro-poor.

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04-24 Boileau, Martin; Normandin, Michel - The Current Account and the Interest Differential in Canada

For post-1975 Canadian data, we document the joint behavior of output, the current account, and the interest differential at the business cycle frequency. We also interpret the joint behavior using a simple small open economy model. Our simple model assumes that agents have access to world international financial markets, but face country-specific interest rate on their holdings of world assets. The interest differential depends negatively on the country's net foreign asset position. We find that our simple model matches the Canadian data remarkably well.

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04-23 Angers, Jean-François; Desjardins, Denise; Dionne, Georges; Guertin, François - Vehicle and Fleet Random Effects in a Model of Insurance Rating for Fleets of Vehicles

We are proposing  a parametric model to rate insurance for vehicles belonging to a fleet. The tables of premiums presented take into account past vehicle accidents, observable characteristics of the vehicles and fleets, and violations of the road-safety code committed by drivers and carriers. The premiums are also adjusted according to accidents accumulated by the fleets over time. The model proposed accounts directly for explicit changes in the various components of the probability of accidents. It represents an extension of bonus-malus-type automobile insurance models for individual premiums (Lemaire, 1985 ; Dionne and Vannase, 1989 and 1992 ; Pinquet, 1997 and 1998 ; Frangos and Vrontos, 2001 ; Purcaru and Denuit, 2003). The extension adds a fleet effect to the vehicle effect so as to account for the impact that the unobservable characteristics or actions of carriers can have on truck accident rates. This form of rating makes it possible to visualize what impact the behaviors of owners and drivers can have on the predicted rate of accidents and, consequently, on premiums.

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04-22 Maheu, John M.; Gordon, Stephen - Learning, Forecasting and Structural Breaks

The literature on structural breaks focuses on ex post identification of break points that may have occurred in the past. While this question is important, a more challenging problem facing econometricians is to provide forecasts when the data generating process is unstable. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general methodology for forecasting in the presence of model instability. We make no assumptions on the number of break points or the law of motion governing parameter changes. Our approach makes use of Bayesian methods of model comparison and learning in order to provide an optimal predictive density from which forecasts can be derived. Estimates for the posterior probability that a break occurred at a particular point in the sample are generated as a byproduct of our procedure. We discuss the importance of using priors that accurately reflect the econometrician's opinions as to what constitutes a plausible forecast. Several applications to macroeconomic time-series data demonstrate the usefulness of our procedure.

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04-21 Kurmann, André - Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Stochastic Theories with an Application to New Keynesian Pricing

This paper proposes a novel Maximum Likelihood (ML) strategy to estimate Euler equations implied by dynamic stochastic theories. The strategy exploits rational expectations cross-equation restrictions, but circumvents the problem of multiple solutions that arises in Sargent's (1979) original work by imposing the restrictions on the forcing variable rather than the endogenous variable of the Euler equation. The paper then contrasts the proposed strategy to an alternative, widely employed method that avoids the multiplicity problem by constraining the ML estimates to yield a unique stable solution. I argue that imposing such a uniqueness condition makes little economic sense and can lead to severe misspecification. To illustrate this point, I estimate Gali and Gertler's (1999) hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve using labor income share as the measure of real marginal cost. My ML estimates indicate that forward-looking behavior is predominant and that the model provides a good approximation of U.S. inflation dynamics. By contrasts, if the same estimates are constrained to yield a unique stable solution, forward-looking behavior becomes much less important and the model as a whole is rejected.

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04-20 Dionne, Georges; Michaud, Pierre-Carl; Dahchour, Maki - Separating Moral Hazard from Adverse Selection in Automobile Insurance: Longitudinal Evidence from France

This paper uses longitudinal data to perform tests of asymmetric information in the French automobile insurance market for the 1995-1997 period. This market is characterized by the presence of a regulated experience-rating scheme (bonus-malus). We demonstrate that the result of the test depends crucially on how the dynamic process between insurance claims and contract choice is modelled. We apply a Granger causality test controlling for the unobservables. We find evidence of moral hazard which we distinguish from adverse selection using a multivariate dynamic panel data model. Experience rating appears to lead high risk policyholders to choose contracts that involve less coverage over time. These policyholders respond to contract changes by increasing their unobservable efforts to reduce claims.

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04-19 Demougin, Dominique; Fluet, Claude; Helm, Carsten - Output and Wages with Inequality Averse Agents

We analyze a two-task work environment with risk-neutral but inequality averse individuals. For the agent employed in task 2 effort is verifiable, while in task 1 it is not. Accordingly, agent 1 receives an incentive contract which, due to his wealth constraint, leads to a rent that the other agent resents. We show that inequality aversion affects the optimal contracts of both agents. Greater inequality aversion reduces the effort, wage and payoff of agent 1, while the effects on the wage and effort of agent 2 depend on whether effort levels across tasks are substitutes or complements in the firm's output function. However, more inequality aversion unambiguously decreases total output and therefore average labor productivity.

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04-18 Demougin, Dominique; Fluet, Claude - Deterrence vs Judicial Error: a Comparative View of Standards of Proof

We argue that the common law standard of proof, given the rules of evidence, does not minimize expected error as usually argued in the legal literature, but may well be efficient from the standpoint of providing maximal incentives for socially desirable behavior. By contrast, civil law's higher but somewhat imprecise standard may be interpreted as reflecting a tradeoff between providing incentives and avoiding judicial error per se. In our model, the optimal judicial system has rules resembling those in the common law when providing incentives is paramount. When greater weight is given to avoiding error, the optimal system has civilian features.

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04-17 Dionne, Georges; Triki, Thouraya - On Risk Management Determinants: What Really Matters?

We investigate the determinants of the risk management decision for an original dataset of North American gold mining firms. We propose explanations based on the firm's financial characteristics, managerial risk aversion and internal corporate governance mechanisms. We develop a theoretical model in which the debt and the hedging decisions are made simultaneously. Our model suggests that more hedging does not always lead to a higher debt capacity when the firm holds a standard debt contract, while hedging is an increasing function of the firm's financial distress costs. We then test the predictions of our model. To estimate our system of simultaneous Tobit equations, we extend, to panel data, the minimum distance estimator proposed by Lee (1995). We obtain that financial distress costs, information asymmetry, separation between the posts of CEO and chairman of the board positions and managerial risk aversion are important determinants of the decision to hedge whereas the composition of the board of directors has no impact in such decision. Also, our results do not support the conclusion that firms hedge in order to increase their debt capacity which seems to confirm our model's prediciton.

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04-16 Bibi, Sami - Comparing Multidimensional Poverty between Egypt and Tunisia

It is common to argue that poverty is a multidimensional issue. Yet few studies have included the various dimensions of deprivation  to yield a broader and fuller picture of poverty. The present paper considers the multidimensional aspects of deprivation by specifying a poverty line for each aspect and combines their associated one-dimensional poverty-gaps into multidimensional poverty measures. An application of these measures to compare poverty between Egypt and Tunisia is illustrated using  robustness analysis and household data from each country.  

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04-15 Alarie, Yves; Dionne, Georges - On the Necessity of Using Lottery Qualities

The aim of this paper is to propose a model of decision-making for lotteries. The key element of the theory is the use of lottery qualities. Qualities allow the derivation of optimal decision-making processes and are taken explicitly into account for lottery evaluation. Our contribution explains the major violations of the expected utility theory for decisions on two-point lotteries and shows the necessity of giving explicit considerations to the lottery qualities.

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04-14 Truchon, Michel - Aggregation of Rankings in Figure Skating

We scrutinize and compare, from the perspective of modern theory of social choice, two rules that have been used to rank competitors in Figure Skating for the past decades. The first rule has been in use at least from 1982 until 1998, when it was replaced by a new one. We also compare these two rules with the Borda and the Kemeny rules. The four rules are illustrated with examples and with the data of 30 Olympic competitions. The comparisons show that the choice of a rule can have a real impact on the rankings. In these data, we found as many as 19 cycles of the majority relation, involving as many as nine skaters. In this context, the Kemeny rules appears as a natural extension of the Condorcet rule. As a side result, we show that the Copeland rule can be used to partition the skaters in such a way that it suffice to find Kemeny rankings within subsets of the partition that are not singletons and then, to juxtapose these rankings to get a complete Kemeny ranking. We also propose the concept of the mean Kemeny ranking, which when it exists, may obviate the multiplicity of Kemeny rankings. Finally, the fours rules are examined in terms of their manipulability. It appears that the new rule used in Figure Skating may be more difficult to manipulate than the previous one but less so than the Kemeny rule.

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04-13 Parent, Daniel - The Effect of High School Employment on Educational Attainment in Canada

The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of working in the twelve months preceding the date of leaving high school, either as a graduate or as a dropout, on the probability of graduation. To do so, I use Statistics Canada's 1991 School Leavers Survey and its 1995 Follow-up. Given that both the decision to graduate and the decision to work are endogenous variables, I use local labour market conditions as an exclusion restriction. The results show a strong negative effect of working while in school on the probability of graduation for men. Specification checks show that this negative impact is driven by variations in hours worked induced by favourable local labour market conditions for those working a relatively large number of hours per week. The results for females are somewhat inconclusive due in part to the rejection of the exclusion restrictions.

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04-12 Savard, Luc - Poverty and Inequality Analysis within a CGE Framework: a Comparative Analysis of the Representative Agent and Micro-Simulation Approaches

We have observed a flourishing literature in recent years on the use of CGE models to perform poverty and income distribution analysis. In this context two approaches have emerged and no rigorous comparison of the two approaches has been done yet. The first approach is the traditional representative agent that has been used for a number of year to do inter group distributional analysis and more recently some extensive poverty analysis and the second approach is the micro-simulation CGE approach which consists of using large number of households in CGE models to perform poverty and income distribution analysis. In this paper we used three simple CGE models with representative agent and micro-simulation approaches to verify - if when used in a context of poverty and income distribution impact analysis - the two approaches produces compatible results. We concentrated our effort in using three simple models and adding some heterogeneity from one to the other to verify if changes in hypothesis would modify the differences or similarities we would obtain in the exercise. The results are quit surprising insofar as either for poverty analysis or for income distribution, the two approaches produce systematic opposite results. Pro-poor policies in the representative agent CGE model become a pro-rich policy when being analysed in a micro-simulation CGE context. And these results appear to be quit robust. 

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04-11 Dachraoui, Kaïs; Dionne, Georges - Conditions Ensuring the Separability of Asset Demand for All Risk-Averse Investors

We explore how the demand for a risky asset can be separated into an investment effect and a hedging effect by all risk-averse investors. This question has been shown to be complex when considered outside of the mean-variance framework. We restrict dependence among returns on the risky assets to regression dependence and find that the demand for one risky asset can be decomposed into an investment component based on the risk premium offered by the asset and a hedging component used against fluctuations in the return on the other risky asset. We also show that the class of regression dependent distributions is larger than that of two-fund separating distributions. This conclusion opens up the search for broader distributional hypotheses suitable to asset-pricing models. Examples are discussed.

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04-10 Paarsch, Harry J.; Shearer, Bruce S. - Male-Female Productivity Differentials: the Role of Ability and Incentives (revised)

We consider the response to incentives as an explanation for productivity differences within a firm that paid its workers piece rates. We provide a framework within which observed productivity differences can be decomposed into two parts: one due to differences in ability and the other due to differences in the response to incentives. We apply this decomposition to male and female workers from a tree-planting firm in the province of British Columbia, Canada. We provide evidence that individuals do react differently to incentives. However, while the women in our sample reacted slightly more to incentives than did the men, the average difference is not statistically significant. The productivity differential that men enjoyed arose because of differences in ability, strength in our application.

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04-09 Donni, Olivier - La théorie des modèles non coopératifs d'offre de travail et ses applications empiriques

Cet article s'intéresse aux modèles non coopératifs d'offre de travail. D'abord, nous développons un modèle d'offre de travail qui généralise la plupart des spécifications rencontrées dans la littérature. Ensuite, nous étudions les propriétés en termes de testabilité et d'identifiabilité de ce modèle et de ses variantes. Enfin, nous présentons des tests empiriques de ces modèles en utilisant les données du PSID.

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04-08 Marceau, Nicolas; Mongrain, Steeve - Competition in Law Enforcement and Capital Allocation

This paper studies interjurisdictional competition in the fight against crime and its impact on occupational choice and the allocation of capital. In a world where capital is mobile, jurisdictions are inhabited by individuals who choose to become workers or criminals. Because the return of the two occupations depends on capital, and because investment in capital in a jurisdiction depends on its crime rate, there is a bi-directional relationship between capital investment and crime which may lead to capital concentration. By investing in costly law enforcement, a jurisdiction makes the choice to become criminal less attractive, which reduces the number of criminals and makes its territory more secure. This increased security increases the attractiveness of the jurisdiction for investors and this can eventually translate into more capital being invested. We characterize the Nash equilibria - some entailing a symmetric outcome, others an asymmetric one - and study their efficiency.

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04-07 Boadway, Robin; Keen, Michael - Financing New Investments under Asymmetric Information: a General Approach

We study the efficiency of credit market equilibria when financial intermediaries cannot observe the riskiness or the returns of potential investment projects. With loan financing, there is over-investment in high-return, high-risk projects and under-investment in low-return, low-risk projects relative to the social optimum. If firms have the choice of equity finance, there is unambiguously over-investment under reasonable conditions. The well-known cases of Stiglitz and Weiss and of de Meza and Webb emerge as special cases. Policy implications are considered, and the results are extended to allow for signaling and screening equilibria.

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04-06 Boccanfuso, Dorothée; Cabral, François Joseph; Savard, Luc - Une analyse préliminaire d'impacts de la libéralisation de la filière arachide au Sénégal: un modèle d'équilibre général calculable

La stratégie de réduction de la pauvreté au Sénégal va être mise en œuvre dans un contexte de libéralisation des échanges commerciaux internationaux notamment dans le secteur agricole et en particulier dans le secteur de l’arachide. Dans ce contexte, nous avons développé un modèle d’équilibre général calculable micro-simulé multi-ménages du type Decaluwé et al. (1999) permettant d’évaluer l’impact que pourront avoir la libéralisation de la filière ainsi que la privatisation de la Société Nationale de Commercialisation des Oléagineux du Sénégal (SONACOS), politiques prévues dans l’Accord Cadre sur les ménages et de faire le lien entre ces réformes économiques, la pauvreté et la distribution de revenu. Ce modèle offre beaucoup de flexibilité en permettant notamment de modifier la distribution des groupes cibles qui n’ont pas à être retenus avant l’exercice de simulation afin d’effectuer l’analyse de pauvreté et d’inégalité ex post à l’exercice de modélisation.

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04-05 Boubakri, Narjess; Cosset, Jean-Claude; Guedhami, Omrane; Omran, Mohammed - Foreign Investor Participation in Privatization: does the Institutional Environment Matter?

Using a two-stage estimation procedure, we examine the determinants of foreign investors’ participation in the privatization process of developing countries, with a particular emphasis on the role of the institutional environment. First, we estimate the probability that foreign investors target privatized firms in a given country. We show that an investor-friendly institutional environment which protects shareholders’ rights favors foreign investors’ participation. Foreigners also prefer large firms from high growth economies and socially stable countries with low political risk. Second, we restrict our analysis to those firms that foreign investors actually choose. We show that the use of private sales is a key determinant of foreign investors’ stake in a privatized firm.

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04-04 Pallage, Stéphane; Robe, Michel A.; Bérubé, Catherine - On the Potential of Foreign Aid as Insurance

In this paper, we argue that it would be fruitful to revisit foreign aid's potential as an insurance mechanism against macroeconomic shocks. In a simple model of aid flows between two endowment economies, we show that at least three fourths of the large welfare costs of macroeconomic fluctuations in poor countries could be alleviated by a simple reallocation of aid flows across time.

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04-03 Bibi, Sami; Duclos, Jean-Yves - Poverty-Decreasing Indirect Tax Reforms: Evidence from Tunisia

This paper suggests a methodology to identify socially-desirable directions for poverty-alleviating tax reforms. The cost-benefit ratio of increasing any commodity-tax rate is derived from the minimization of a poverty measure subject to a revenue requirement for the government. Further, to avoid the arbitrariness of choosing a poverty line and a poverty measure, the search for a poverty-reducing tax reform is done "robustly", among other things by increasing progressively the ethical content of a pre-defined class of poverty measures. The methodology is illustrated using data from Tunisia. The results suggest that poverty could be dropped for a large class of poverty indices and a wide range of poverty lines by raising -at constant fiscal revenue- the subsidy rate on hard wheat and mixed oils and by decreasing the one on sugar and milk.

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04-02 Donni, Olivier - A Collective Model of Household Behavior with Private and Public Goods: Theory and Some Evidence from U.S. Data

In the present paper, we adopt the collective approach to consumer behavior-which supposes that each household member is characterized by his/her own preferences and that the decision process results in Pareto-efficient outcomes-and assumem in addition, that agents are egoistic and consumption is either private or public. The main results are based on a conditional demand ('m-demand') framework in which household demands are directly derived from the marginal rates of substitution. We show that (i) household demands have to satisfy testable constraints and (ii) some elements of the decision process can be retrieved from observed behavior. These theoretical considerations are followed by an empirical application using the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey. Overall, it turns out that the data are consistent with the theoretical model.

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04-01 Duclos, Jean-Yves; Makdissi, Paul; Wodon, Quentin - Socially-Improving Tax Reforms

This paper proposes graphical methods to determine whether commodity-tax changes are "socially improving", in the sense of improving social welfare or decreasing poverty for large classes of social welfare and poverty indices. It also derives estimators of critical poverty lines and economic efficiency ratios which can be used to characterize socially-improving tax reforms. The statistical properties of the various estimators are derived in order to make the method implementable using survey data. The methodology is illustrated using a recently-proposed reform of the Mexican Valued Added Tax system.

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