Monday, April 3d 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Alessandro NUVOLARI
(Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)
with Brian A’HEARN (University of Oxford) and Alexia DELFINO (London School of Economics)
Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy

Abstract – A swelling stream of literature employs age-heaping as an indicator of human capital, more specifically of numeracy. We re-examine this connection in light of evidence drawn from nineteenth century Italy: census data, death records, and direct, qualitative evidence on age-awareness and numeracy. Though it can stand in as an acceptable proxy for literacy, our findings suggest that age-heaping is most plausibly interpreted as a broad indicator of cultural and institutional modernisation rather than a measure of cognitive skills.

Working paper available here.

Monday, March 20th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Julien PRAT
(CNRS, CREST)
with G. Felbermayr (Ifo Munich) and G. Impullitti (University of Nottingham)
Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies

Abstract – Wage inequality between similar workers has been on the rise in many rich countries. Recent empirical research suggests that heterogeneity in firm characteristics is crucial to understand wage dispersion. Lower trade costs as well as labor and product market reforms are considered critical drivers of inequality dynamics. We ask how these factors affect wage dispersion and how much of their effect on inequality is attributable to changes in wage dispersion between and within firms. To tackle these questions, we incorporate directed job search into a dynamic model of international trade where wage inequality results from the interplay of convex adjustment costs with firms’ different hiring needs along their life cycles. Fitting the model to German linked employer-employee data for the years 1996-2009, we find that firm heterogeneity explains about half of the surge in inequality. The most important mechanism is tougher product market competition driven by domestic product market deregulation and, indirectly, by international trade.

Monday, March 6th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Lise PATUREAU
(Université Dauphine, LEDa)
with  C. POILLY (Université Aix-Marseille)
Addressing International Competitiveness Issues: The role of Pricing-to-Market

Abstract – Echoing recent developments within the Euro area, the paper investigates the role of price-and market-driven policies in enhancing international competitiveness. We investigate the effects of two reforms, a product market deregulation and a fiscal reform that reduces the labor payroll tax rate, on international relative prices and external imbalances. Importantly, we show that the endogenous PTM behavior of firms affects the effectiveness of both reforms on trade competitiveness, with an effect playing in opposite directions. In a long-run perspective, endogenous markups thus reduce the exchange rate depreciation induced by the fiscal reform, whereas amplifying the effectiveness of product market deregulation. Taking into account the transitional dynamics of the reforms substantially modifies the picture though. The labor tax reform proves to be more effective in improving the current account and depreciating the real exchange rate in the aftermath of the reform, even under endogenous markups. This result generalizes to other macroeconomic variables, such as GDP, hours worked and consumption.

Monday, February 20th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Juan CARLUCCIO
(Banque de France)
with  A. CUNAT (University of Vienna), H. FADINGER (University of Mannheim) and C. FONS-ROSEN (Universitat Pompeu-Fabra)
Offshoring and Skill-upgrading in French Manufacturing: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Melitz View

Abstract – Using French manufacturing firm-level data for the years 1996 to 2007, we uncover a novel set of stylized facts about offshoring behavior: (i) Low-productivity firms obtain most of their inputs domestically. (ii) Firms with higher productivity offshore skill intensive inputs to skill-abundant countries and are more labor intensive than non-importers in their domestic production. (iii) Firms with even higher productivity also import labor-intensive inputs from labor-abundant countries and are more skill intensive than non-importers. Inspired by these findings, we produce a model in which heterogeneous firms, subject to fixed costs, can offshore intermediate inputs of different skill intensities to countries with different skill premia.Heckscher-Ohlin-like forces operate at the within-industry level, leading to endogenous variation in domestic skill intensities across firms. We provide econometric evidence supporting the factor-proportions channel through which reductions in offshoring costs to labor-abundant
countries have increased firm-level skill intensities of French manufacturers.

Monday, February 6th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Pamela BOMBARDA
(ThEMA, Université Cergy-Pontoise)
with  M. BAS (CES, Université Paris 1), S. JEAN (CEPII) and G. OREFICE (CEPII)
Does firms’ exposure to export markets affect skilled and unskilled labor volatility?

Abstract – Firms engaged in the global economy affect local labor markets. Little is known, however, about the causal impact of firms’ export exposure on the volatility of employment of different skills. This paper tests simple mechanisms through which firms’ export intensity has a heterogeneous effect on the volatility of skilled and unskilled labor. Under skilled intensive fixed export costs and unskilled intensive variable production, firms exporting more products to more destinations will have a larger volatility of unskilled labor relative to skilled one. Using detailed firm level data from France for the period 1996-2007 and instrumental variable estimations we investigate the causal relationship between firms’ trade exposure and the volatility of employment of different skills. Our findings suggest that firm’exports, driven by exogenous foreign demand shocks, are positively correlated with unskilled labor volatility and negatively correlated with skilled labor volatility.

Monday, January 9th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room S19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Julian HINZ
(Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
with M. CROZET (Chinese University of Hong Kong and CEPII)
Friendly Fire: The Trade Impact of the Russia Sanctions and Counter-Sanctions

Abstract – Economic sanctions are a frequent instrument of foreign policy. In a diplomatic conflict, they aim to elicit a change in the policies of foreign governments by damaging their economy. However, sanctions are not costless for the sending economy, where domestic firms involved in business with the target countries might incur economic damages. This paper evaluates these costs in terms of export losses of the diplomatic crisis that started in 2014 between the Russian Federation and 37 countries (including  the United States, the EU, and Japan) over the Ukrainian conflict for the implicated countries. We first gauge the impact of the sanctions’ regime using a structural gravity framework and quantify the trade losses in a general equilibrium counterfactual analysis. We estimate this loss at US$114 billion from 2014 until the end of 2015, with US$ 44 billion being borne by sanctioning Western countries. Interestingly, we find that the bulk of the impact stems from products that are not directly targeted by Russian retaliations (taking the form of an embargo on imports of agricultural products). This result suggests that most of the losses are not attributable to the Russian retaliation but to Western sanctions. We then investigate the underlying mechanism at the firm level using French customs data. Results indicate that neither consumer boycotts nor perceived country risk can account for the decline in exports of products that are not targeted by the Russian embargo. Instead, the disruption of the provision of trade finance services is found to have played an important role.

Lundi 28 novembre 2016,  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Salle 115

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Claire LELARGE
(Banque de France et CEPR)
avec J. BLAUM (Brown)
et M. PETERS (Yale)

The Gains from Input Trade in Firm Based Models of Importing

Abstract – Trade in intermediate inputs allows firms to reduce their costs of production and thus benefits consumers through lower prices of domestically produced goods. The extent to which firms participate in foreign input markets, however, varies substantially. We develop a methodology to measure how consumer prices are affected by input trade in environments that allow for such heterogeneity in import behavior. We provide a theoretical result that holds in a variety of settings: the firm-level data on value added and domestic expenditure shares in material spending is sufficient to compute changes in consumer prices. Approaches that abstract from firm level heterogeneity and rely on aggregate statistics give biased results. In an application to French data, we find that prices of manufacturing products would be 27% higher in the absence of input trade.