Work in progress

Place Based policies

What lies beyond the average effect of the European Regional Policy? Evidence from Quantile Regression Discontinuity Design

(with Bouayad Agha S., Turpin N.)

The European Regional policy touches all parts of the EU, at all levels from national to regional and local communities, with a focus on the poorest regions. Its average impact on growth and economic performance has long remained controversial. In this paper, we focus on the heterogeneity of regional responses to this policy. We enlarge the policy analysis to a Quantile Regression Discontinuity Design and we find that the European Regional Policy, through the Objective 1 program, does impact the distributions of GDP and employment growth rates, research and development efforts and, to a lower extent, highways density in lagged regions.

Keywords: Quantile treatment effect, Regression discontinuity, European Regional Policy.

JEL codes: R11, C14, C21, R58.


The Political Economy of Mountain Zoning and its impact on Rural Development and Farming Activities

Labor Market and Education

Unemployment fluctuations and city size: evidence from the French Air Force base closures

This article explores the relationship between city size and unemployment volatility. We present a new mechanism of risk sharing between firms and workers located in the the same labor market. Our model reveals that economic shocks and local unemployment can be mitigated by the city size. We exploit a quasi-natural experiment by studying the economic impact of 12 French air force base closures to test the prediction of our model. We use synthetic control methods and interactive fixed effects to construct a credible counterfactual for each employment zone which experienced a closure. By analyzing quarterly local unemployment data, we show that air base closures increase local unemployment. Despite that air base closure lead to a rise in local unemployment in quarters following the closure, on average areas absorb negative shock in 14 quarters. Moreover, our results reveal some heterogeneity in the local economy's resilience. In line with our theoretical model, we show that city size is a relevant explanation for the observed heterogeneity in resilience: the unemployment rate is less affected in denser area by a relative equal-sized shift in labor demand.

Do labor market policies have displacement effects? Additional evidences with individual spatial acessibility measures

In this article, we assess how an active labor market policy affects the potential outcomes of those not assigned to the program. We use a two-stage randomized experiments carry out by the French Ministry of Employment and conducted at the ALE level (administrative zoning). The design of this experiment solve a number of identification issues. However some threats to identification remain. One of the crucial hypotheses of group-randomized trials is the absence of externalities between local labor markets. Regional economies are highly integrated, and it is very likely that unemployment externalities cross administrative borders. Results may be dependent on the shape of the local spatial unit. To tackle this issue, for each unemployed in the program, we build zoning depicting areas of prospecting whose size varies from 15 to 60 minutes. Moreover, the literature does not provide definitive guidance about functional relationship between labor market outcomes and local characteristics. Results may be sensitive to a change of the functional form. We explore this issue by using Generalized Additive Models. Our empirical investigations do not reveal clear evidences of displacement effects in general. However, we find evidences of treatment heterogeneity regarding the local context. Increasing the local level of assignment in prosperous local markets does not cause high displacement effects. At the opposite, for deprived labor markets an increase in the local level of assignment lead to high displacement effects.

How does the Labour Market Size Shape Firm Training Decisions? Disengleting between poaching and agglomeration economies

(with Y. Morin)

This paper explores the role of agglomeration externalities on firms training offer. We aim to understand why firms train less in denser areas. Two mechanisms can explain this stylized fact: (i) because of the poaching of trained workers, firms may train less in denser local labour markets, (ii) matching and learning effects lessen the firm training needs of workers to acquire new skills. To arbitrate between those two explanations, we construct two proxies for poaching effects: firm turnover and turnover in the local labour market. When controlling for poaching with those two measures, we still find employment density to have a negative and significant effect on firm provided training. This implies matching and learning effects are more likely to be responsible for the negative effect of employment density on training than poaching effects.

Local Public Economics

Did decentralization theorem shape intermunicipal cooperation?

This paper proposes a theoretical model of voluntary intermunicipal cooperation and empirically tests its assertions through the French municipalities choices of transferring their competences to the intermunicipal level. Using an original threshold models inference procedure a probit model is estimated for 10 selected competences. Two main results arise: contrary to the decentralisation theorem prediction, citizens' preference heterogeneity does not hinder local cooperation, but scale potential heterogeneity does. Moreover, a zoo effect is at stake for some competences, for which a significant threshold effect in their transfer probability is identified.

Keywords: Intermunicipal cooperation, decentralisation theorem, economies of scale, zoo effect, threshold regression model.

Agricultural and Environmental Economics

Farm technical efficiency and Agri-environmental scheme adoption

(with T.B. Diop, S. Blancard, S. Legras, S. Marchand)


Revisiting the environmental impacts of foreign aid : is foreign aid polluting ? Empirical evidence at the sub-national level

(with S. Marchand, L. Wagner)


What gives PES additionality? Some evidence from a quantitative meta-analysis

(with L. Saint-Cyr, V. Bellassen, J. Le Gallo, S. Legras)

Payments for Environmental or Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes have become a popular tool to address environmental degradation and to promote sustainable management of ecosystem services. Our meta-analysis is the first to analyse the impact of the characteristics of PES-schemes on both their effectiveness, in terms of the probability to increase ES provision, and their efficiency, considering the level of additionality. We use meta-regression analysis on a sample of 114 individual studies that investigate the determinants of the performance of about 150 PES-schemes implemented worldwide. We find that increased effectiveness of PES schemes is strongly associated with periodical third-party monitoring, as well as generic reference design and targeted eligibility to a lesser extent. Cash payments and private buyers are associated with higher additionality whereas periodical monitoring is associated with lower additionality. Result-based payments however are found to be associated neither with higher effectiveness nor with higher efficiency. These results are relevant for policy makers seeking for improving the design of PES schemes to promote environmentally-friendly practices.

Keywords: Payments for Environmental Services (PES), additionality, enrolment, meta-analysis, effectiveness, efficiency, policy design.