Economics serving society

A productive and innovative scientific life

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The creation of a large community of researchers covering a broad thematic and methodological spectrum has led to fruitful competition among its members and, thanks to the new resources provided by PSE, resulted in intensified exchanges and projects. Over the years, the foundation has fostered multiple scientific synergies, created more collective approaches and supported researchers’ initiatives.

Multiplication of exchanges

The synergies promoted by PSE are numerous:
- an exceptional calendar of seminars and other scientific events. Since 2009, nearly 2,500 seminar sessions have taken place, featuring around 3,000 speakers (of which 80 per cent were “external”). There have been more than 150 workshops and conferences at PSE , growing from 15 per year at the beginning to more than 55 per year recently;
- an expanding programme of visiting researchers: in 10 years, nearly 250 researchers from around the world have spent at least 15 days at PSE;
- the development of French and international collaborative projects;
- the construction and making available of a growing base of open-access data;
- the exploration of a great number of subjects, via a broad methodological spectrum: agriculture, contracts and incentives, trade, human behaviour, development, education, auctions, environment, economic geography, economic history, inequality, macroeconomics, markets, migrations, globalisation, monetary policy, health, work…

“The research environment was particularly formative and stimulating [...] one can make the most of the expertise of the high-quality researchers and participate regularly in interesting research seminars in all areas of economics” - Léa Bousquet (ETE 2011, PhD 2016)

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Opening up economics

Well before the birth of PSE, numerous researchers and laboratories cultivated a demanding, critical and pluralist approach to economics. PSE, mainly through the creation of the the OSE – Opening Economics (Laboratoire d’excellence OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique), fostered a collective approach devoted to new ways of interrogating the central paradigm of the discipline, that of the rational individual, and to deepen the exploration of the boundaries between economics and the other social sciences.

The research themes include the following examples: NGOs, development and globalisation; agricultural productivity in Africa; geographic and urban inequalities; economic demography; matching algorithms (in education and medicine); digital taxation; innovations, patents and subsidies; limited rationality; networks and strategic interactions; evaluations of public policy; delegation of public services

“PSE’s reputation is based not only on the adoption of the best international standards but also on the development of a particular model, profiting from the singularities of French research, especially the opening of economics to the other disciplines. Thus PSE is confirmed as a unique and innovative place” - Eric Monnet (APE 2007, PhD 2012)

Supporting strategic initiatives

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PSE plays an incubating original rôle with groups of researchers who come together around the same tools, goals and themes. Over the years, the foundation has sponsored several individual and collective initiatives, hosting and supporting strategic projects. It supports the search for funding, offers a highly conducive research environment, and provides the means, locations and logistical assistance for several projects:

  • The Center for Economic and Social History François Simiand has just been created by a group of researchers, historians and economists.
  • D-FIH - Data for Financial History, an initiative of Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, was awarded “Equipement d’excellence” in 2011. Sponsored by the foundation, the project aims to create a financial database over a long period, initially on a national level, and from now on, with support from PSE, on a European scale.
  • The Institute for Public Policy, as well as its numerous projects, aims to promote the analysis and evaluation of public policy (cf. “An active relationship with the general public”)
  • J-PAL Europe is the European branch of J-PAL, a network founded by Esther Duflo, former APE student, and specialist in the evaluation, through random assessments, of the impact of poverty-fighting policies. Hosted by PSE since its beginning in 2007, it supports fruitful collaborations for researchers in public economics.
  • The Laboratoire d’Économie Expérimentale de Paris, initiated at Paris 1 in 2007 and supported by PSE, conducts between 15 and 20 experiments involving more than 2,500 volunteers every year. It is an indispensable tool for all those interested in economic behaviour.
  • The World Inequality Lab brings together researchers who study changes in inequality in the world, on the basis of the World Wealth and Income Database. This open-access database, established under the direction of Facundo Alvaredo, Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, is hosted by PSE and has considerably improved knowledge of the long-term dynamics of inequalities.