Maître de Conférences (Associate Prof) @ Unicaen (Université de Caen Normandie)

  • "Inequality and Inefficiency in Joint Projects" (with J-M. Baland and D. Ray), 2007, The Economic Journal, 117 (July), 922-935. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02064.x

    A group of agents voluntarily participates in a joint project, in which efforts are not perfectly substitutable. The output is divided according to some given vector of shares. A share vector is unimprovable if no other share vector yields a higher sum of payoffs. When the elasticity of substitution across efforts is two or lower, only the perfectly equal share vector is unimprovable, and all other vectors can be improved via Lorenz domination. For higher elasticities of substitution, perfect equality is no longer unimprovable. Our results throw light on the connections between inequality and collective action.

  • "Rosca Participation in Benin : a Commitment Issue" (with P. LeMay-Boucher), 2012, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 74 2 (April), 235-252. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0084.2011.00641.x

    In the light of first-hand data from a Beninese urban household survey in Cotonou, we investigate several motives aiming to explain participation in Rotating Savings and Credit ASsociations. We provide anecdotal pieces of evidence, descriptive statistics, FIML regressions and matching estimates which tend to indicate that most individuals use their participation in a rosca as a device to commit themselves to save money and to deal with self-control problems.

    Longer version (September 2008).

    Non technical summary prepared for the RES Annual Conference (2008).   

  • "The Divorced Financial Spheres of Beninese Spouses" (with P. LeMay-Boucher), 2014, Journal of International Development, 26, 1, 46-58. DOI: 10.1002/jid.2839.
  • This paper exploits an original dataset collected in Benin which features data both on income and expenditures at the individual level. We first provide evidence that suggests that husband and wife are not pooling their respective incomes and thus are not making expenditure  decisions on the basis of one common budget. As we show, husband and wife are secretive and are individually allocating their personal revenue on private and public goods. We look at a simple model that helps us predict determinants of spouses' pattern of consumptions. Our empirical results indicate that spouse's influence, through his/her income, is always smaller than one self's income impact on both personal private and public goods consumption. Moreover, we find that the spouse's income variable is never significant across all the regressions simultaneously taking into account censoring and endogeneity. We also underline anthropological evidence of gender patterns of public goods expenditures which are corroborated by our results.

  • "The Impact of Insurance Literacy and Marketing Treatments on the Demand for Health Microinsurance in Senegal: A Randomised Evaluation" (with J. Bonan, P. LeMay-Boucher & M. Tenikue), 2017, Journal of African Economies, 26(2), 169-191. DOI: 10.1093/jae/ejw023.
  • In Senegal mutual health organizations (MHOs) have been present in the greater region of Thiès for years. Despite their benefits, in some areas there remain low take-up rates. We offer an insurance literacy module, communicating the benefits from health microinsurance and the functioning of MHOs, to a randomly selected sample of households in the city of Thiès. The effects of this training, and three cross-cutting marketing treatments, are evaluated using a randomized control trial. We find that the insurance literacy module has no impact, but that our marketing treatment has a significant effect on the take up decisions of households.

  • Violence, Selection and Infant Mortality in Congo (with G. De Luca & JF. Maystadt), September 2017.
    Forthcoming in the Journal of Health Economics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.02.004
  • Civil wars inflict considerable development costs. Understanding the relative fragility of certain segments of the population is a necessary condition to build resilience to ongoing and future violence outbreaks. This paper documents the impact of the violent civil war affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo in the period 1997–2004 on infant mortality. It adopts an instrumental variable approach to correct for the nonrandom timing and location of conflict events using mineral price index variations by district, taking account of the mineral locations and prices, as instrument. Strong and robust evidence, including mother fixed effects regressions comparing siblings, shows that conflict significantly increases girl mortality. The paper also examines the mechanisms explaining this phenomenon, with a focus on disentangling the behavioral from the biological factors. The analysis suggests that gender imbalances in infant mortality are driven by the selection induced by a higher vulnerability of boys in utero rather than by gender discrimination.

Working Papers
  • Labor market integration of refugees to the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help? (with AM Mayda & JF. Maystadt), February 2018 (Submitted).
  • We investigate whether entrepreneurs in the network of refugees – from the same country of origin – help their labor-market integration by hiring them in their businesses. We analyze the universe of refugee cases without U.S. ties who were resettled in the United States between 2005 and 2010 (around 96,000 refugees). Since the U.S. location of cases without U.S. ties is chosen by resettlement agencies as a function of individual characteristics we observe and control for, our results cannot be driven by refugees sorting into specific labor markets. We also address threats to identification due to unobserved characteristics of the labor market of placement. We find that the probability that the refugee is employed 90 days after arrival is positively affected by the number of business owners in his network, but negatively affected by the number of those employed. This suggests that network members who are entrepreneurs hire refugees in their business, while network members working as employees compete with refugees consistent with refugees complementing the former and substituting for the latter.

  • Overdog team, underdog team and the philosophy of soccer team ranking. (with F. Chantreuil & S. Courtin), January 2018 (Submitted).
  • The Ramanujacharyula method (Ramanujacharyula [1964]), applied in the field of sports, allows to determine the rank of a team accounting both for the strength of the teams it beats, as well as the strength of the teams that beat it. We analyze the changes in the final rank positions of five soccer champi- onships (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), induced by the use of the Ramanujacharyula scoring method over the 1946-2016 period, and determine its quantitative impact. The Kemeny measure (see for example Truchon [1998]) is then applied to establish a real-world ranking method that would best reflect the philosophy promoted by the Ramanujacharyula method. We show that the scoring rule (2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss) is what we consider to be the best ranking method.

  • "Life and Death of Roscas: Leadership, Election and Screening" , April 2009 (Under Revision).
    Previous title: "Life and Death of Roscas: If Power Corrupts, Does Powerlessness Make One Blameless?".

    In this research, we shed new light on the factors influencing the duration of informal savings groups and their risks of failure using an original data set containing information on living and dead roscas from Cotonou, Benin. A survival analysis highlights the role of the leadership structure, the influence of democracy inside the group and the importance of the screening process before accepting new members on the probability of failure. We also put forward how incentives can be decisive as to the success of such groups.

  • "Inequality and a Repeated Joint Project", revised December 2008 (Under Revision).

    Agents voluntarily contribute to an infinitely repeated joint project. We investigate the conditions for cooperation to be a renegotiation-proof and coalition-proof equilibrium before examining the influence of output share inequality on the sustainability of cooperation. When shares are not equally distributed, cooperation requires agents to be more patient than under perfect equality. Beyond a certain degree of share inequality, full efficiency cannot be reached without redistribution. This model also explains the coexistence of one cooperating and one free-riding coalition. In this case, increasing inequality can have a positive or negative impact on the aggregate level of effort.

    Presentation at the AEA Meeting 2009 (pdf)

Work in Progress
  • Evaluation of a Drinking Water Supply Project in Anantapur District (Andhra Pradesh, India)
  • Early Marriages in Sub-Saharan Africa: Hoping for More Rainy Days
  • Using Development and Health Surveys from 20 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and attributing to each ever-married woman of our sample a measure of rainfall before marriage we show that rainfall positively influences age at first marriage in this sample. We then use rainfall as an instrument to estimate the influence of age at marriage on wives' attitude towards domestic violence. This reveals that the later teenage girls get married, the less likely they are to consider violence towards them as justified.

  • Too Young to Marry: Evidence from Senegal on Child Mortality
  • Using DHS data from Senegal and attributing to each ever-married woman of our sample a measure of rainfall before marriage we show that rainfall positively influences age at first marriage in this sample. Since age at first birth is directly influenced by age at marriage, we use rainfall as an instrument to estimate the influence of age at marriage on first child mortality at age 1 month, 12 months and 60 months. Semiparametric estimates tend to reveal that young mothers' children are more likely not to reach the age of 1 month, 12 or 60 months. Moreover since the younger the mother the greater the chances of dying in labour, our estimates are likely to be a lower bound.