Publications in refereed journals

"The Production of Information in an Online World" with Nicolas Hervé (INA) and Marie-Luce Viaud (INA), Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming. [Draft][Online Appendix] Media coverage: VOX.

“Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation: Evidence from French Local Newspapers and Elections, 1944-2014, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming. [Download] [Online Appendix] Media coverage: VOX.

"Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on sub-Saharan Africa's HIV Epidemic" with Valeria Rueda, Journal of Demographic Economics, forthcoming. [Download][Online Appendix][Missions Data] Media coverage: VOX.

"Newspapers in Times of Low Advertising Revenues" with Charles Angelucci, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 2019, 11(3): 319-364. [Online Appendix] Media coverage: VOX.

"Tax Revenues and the Fiscal Cost of Trade Liberalization, 1792-2006" with Lucie Gadenne, Explorations in Economic History, 2018, 70: 1-24. [Online Appendix] [Data] Media coverage: La Tribune, VOX, G-MonD.

"Taxation, Corruption and Growth" with P. Aghion, U. Akcigit and W. Kerr, European Economic Review, 2016, 86: 24-51. Media coverage: VOX.

"The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in sub-Saharan Africa" with Valeria Rueda, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2016, 8(3): 69-99. [Online Appendix] [Missions Data] Media coverage: VOX.

"Improving "National Brands": Reputation for Quality and Export Promotion Policies" with Dorothée Rouzet, Journal of International Economics, 2015, 95(2): 274-290. [Online Appendix] Media coverage: Enjeux Les Echos.

"Improving upon the World Bank's Country Policy and Institutional Assessment: A New Performance Indicator Based on Aid Effectiveness" Journal of Globalization and Development, 2014, 5(2): 213-233.


Le prix de la démocratie, Paris, Fayard, 2018.
English translation: Harvard University Press, 2020.
Other translations: China (The Commercial Press, forthcoming), Taiwan (China Times Publishing Company, forthcoming), Italy (La Nave di Teseo, forthcoming).
The book was awarded a “Prix Ethique” by Anticor, an association that combats corruption and helps restore ethics in politics.
The book was awarded the 8th edition of the “Prix Pétrarque de l’Essai France Culture-Le Monde”.

L'information à tout prix, with Nicolas Hervé and Marie-Luce Viaud. Paris, Institut National de l'Audiovisuel, 2017.

Sauver les médias. Capitalisme, financement participatif et démocratie.
Paris, Le Seuil (La République des Idées), 2015.

Other translations: China (CITIC Press Corporation), Germany (BECK Verlag), Italy (Bompiani), Japan (Tokuma Shoten), Korea (Geulhangari Publishers), Portugal (Temas e debates), Romania (, Serbia (Akademska Knjiga), Spain (Anagrama), Turkey (Kültür).

The book was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Best Book on Media of the 2016 edition of the “Prix des Assises du Journalisme”.

Chapters in books & White papers

"Protecting Journalism in the Age of Digital Platforms" (with J. Gans, E. Goodman, B. Knight, A. Prat, G. Rolnik, and A. Schiffrin), 2019. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State (University of Chicago Booth School of Business).
Selected media coverage: Poynter.

"From Philanthropy to Democracy: Rethinking Governance and Funding of High-Quality News in the Digital Age". In: Digital Technologies and Democratic Theory (forthcoming), Lucy Bernholz, Landemore, Hélène and Reich, Rob. 

“The Devil is in the Detail: Christian Missions’ Heterogeneous Effects on Development in sub-Saharan Africa” (with Valeria Rueda). In: The Long Economic and Political Shadow of History (2017), Stelios Michalopoulos and Papaioannou, Elias, p.98-109. CEPR Press (VOX eBook).

"The Economics of the African Media". In: The Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics (2015), Célestin Mongan and Lin, Justin, p. 605-625. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Download] Media coverage: Jeune Afrique.

"Measuring Policy Performance: Can we do Better than the World Bank?". In: Industrial Policy and Economic Transformation in Africa (2015), Akbar Noman and Stiglitz, Joseph,
p. 268-292. Columbia: Columbia University Press.

Research Papers

"The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014" with Yasmine Bekkouche (Paris School of Economics) [Download] [Online Appendix] CEPR Discussion Paper #12614 (updated version: July 2019).

What is the impact of campaign spending on votes? Does it vary across election types and across political parties? Estimating these effects requires comprehensive data on spending across candidates, parties and elections, as well as identification strategies that successfully deal with the endogeneity of campaign spending. We provide novel contributions in both of these areas. We build a new comprehensive dataset of all French municipal and legislative elections over the 1993-2014 period. We propose two new instruments to overcome the endogenous nature of campaign spending; they rely on the fact that candidates are differentially affected by regulation on campaign funding depending on the source of funding they depend on the most. We find that an increase in spending per voter consistently increases a candidate’s vote share both for municipal and legislative elections, and that the effect is heterogeneous depending on the party. In particular, we show that spending by extreme-right candidates has much lower returns than spending by other parties. Our findings help reconcile the conflicting results of the existing literature, and improve our understanding of the mechanisms at play.

Media coverage: Le Monde, Institute for New Economic Thinking, VOX.

“Media Competition and News Diets” with Charles Angelucci (Columbia University) and Michael Sinkinson (Yale University) (Draft coming soon)

Since the advent of the Internet and online news, the print news media has struggled with the resulting shock to advertising and readership markets that have threatened the basic economic model of news operations. In this paper, we study the effect of the introduction of a new media technology on existing news media. Specifically, we examine how the entry of television affected local newspapers as well as consumer media diets in the United States. We construct a unique dataset of newspapers’ economic performance and content choices covering over 1,500 local news markets from 1945 to 1964. Our empirical strategy exploits quasi-random variation in the timing of the entry of television in different markets, caused by a “freeze” in FCC licensing. The impact of television was heterogeneous: we find that while the entry of television led to a 3.4% drop in the circulation of evening newspapers and to a 5.6% decrease in their advertising revenues, it had minimal or even positive effects on morning newspapers, suggesting a possible complementarity between them and televised evening news. Further, we analyze how local newspapers adjusted their content in response to television’s entry.

"It Takes Money to Make MPs : New Evidence from 150 Years of British Campaign Spending" with Edgard Dewitte (Sciences Po Paris) (Draft coming soon)

What is the price of a vote and how did it evolve over time? In this paper, we study the impact of campaign spending on electoral results in the United Kingdom over the last 150 years, a period that covers the emergence of different campaigning technologies. We build a new exhaustive dataset on campaign spending and votes since 1857, including not only detailed election expenses for 62,248 election-constituency-candidates, but also extensive candidates’ characteristics as well as constituency-level controls. Beyond this important data collection effort, our contribution to the literature is threefold. First, we propose two new instruments based on historical events to estimate the causal impact of spending on votes. Second, we investigate whether the introduction of new campaigning technologies has affected the relationship between spending and votes. Finally, we exploit the multiparty nature of the U.K. electoral data and examine whether the efficiency of campaign spending varies depending on the political parties. We show that there is a positive effect of spending on votes, and that this effect is becoming stronger over time, reflecting an higher efficiency of new campaigning technologies. Furthermore, we document that while historically, campaign expenditures were relatively less efficient for the UK Independence Party, there is a convergence over time. This may reflect a decrease in the stigma associated with the UKIP vote, and help to improve our understanding of the determinants of the rise of right-wing populism.

"Heroes and Villains: The Effects of Combat Leadership on Collaboration in War-Time France" with Anna Dagorret (Stanford University), Saumitra Jha (Stanford University), and Pauline Grosjean (UNSW Business School) (Draft coming soon)

Do individual leaders shape historical outcomes? Using electoral results for local elections in France since the eve of WWII, this paper documents how collaboration activities shaped post-war political outcomes. Uniquely in the literature, we were able to access and have digitized a newly declassified dataset on all the 90,000 individuals that had been considered as collaborators during the war. We combine these data with local-level electoral results of all the legislative elections since 1932 and document how war-time political cleavages and violence shaped voting behavior and political identities. We propose a new instrument for the intensity of Collaboration at the local level: the “Noria” (rotation) system used by General Pétain to relieve French troops during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. We find that this exogenous exposure to the “victor of Verdun” is an important driver of Collaboration. The instrumented intensity of Collaboration at the local level is then find to have a positive and persistent causal effect on the vote for the far right.

Work in Progress

"Payroll and Inequality within the Newsroom: Evidence from France, 1936-2016"

"Fraternité and Fraternization: Resisters and Collaborators in Wartime France" with Anna Dagorret (Paris School of Economics), Saumitra Jha (Stanford University), and Pauline Grosjean (UNSW Business School)

"Estimating the Production and Demand for Online News: Micro-Level Evidence from the Universe of French News Media" with Nicolas Hervé (INA) and Marie-Luce Viaud  (INA)

"Democratization and Media Supply: Evidence from India" with Guilhem Cassan (University of Namur) and Francesca Jensenius (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

"Word Embeddings for Topic Detection and Tracking" with Béatrice Mazoyer (INA), Nicolas Hervé (INA), Marc Evrard (INA) and Céline Hudelot (Ecole Centrale Paris).

Publications in Computer Sciences

Real-Time Collection of Reliable and Representative Tweets Datasets Related to News Events” with B. Mazoyer, C. Hudelot and M.-L. Viaud, Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Analysis of Broad Dynamic Topics over Social Media (BroDyn 2018) co-located with the 40th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2018), 2018, 23–34.

Unpublished articles and "oldies"

"Asymmetric Information, Rent Extraction and Aid Efficiency", 2009 [Download]

Official Development Aid flows are volatile, non-predictable and not delivered in a transparent way. All these features reinforce asymmetric information between the citizens and the recipient government about the amount of aid flows received by developing countries. This article uses a political economy model of rent extraction to show how this asymmetry (i) encourages rent extraction by kleptocratic regimes, thus reducing aid efficiency, and (ii) increases the negative impact of aid volatility. It identifies a new channel - the "asymmetric information" channel - through which aid volatility is costly for recipient countries. The empirical relevance of the model is confirmed on a panel data of developing countries. Using various specifications and econometric methods, and developing new yearly estimates of aid volatility, I show that (i) introducing more information increases aid efficiency, that (ii) the negative impact of aid volatility on aid efficiency vanishes once one controls for information, and that (iii) this positive impact of information does not come from the fact that more transparent countries tend to have better institutions.

"Aid Volatility and Macro Risks in Low-Income Countries" with Eduardo Borensztein, Daniel Cohen and Cécile Valadier, OECD Development Centre 273, 2008.


Non-academic Publications
Click here for non-academic publications.