Economics serving society

(Nov. 2020) 5 papers...in 5 minutes!

Prevention and mitigation of epidemics: biodiversity conservation and confinement policies

Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron, Giorgio Fabbri and Katheline Schubert*

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The hopes of the post-war period that infectious diseases were behind us thanks to control and treatment improvements have proved to be false: the number of emerging infectious diseases (EID) has continued to rise since the 1950s (1). 60% of these EID are caused by zoonotic pathogens, mainly (72%) of wildlife origin (2). Examples include AIDS, SARS, MERS, Nipah Virus, Avian influenza, Ebola, Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, as well as COVID-19…

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Health shocks around the time of the retirement transition

Bénédicte Apouey*, Cahit Guven and Claudia Senik*

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Does retirement have a beneficial effect on health? In a context in which many countries have implemented pension reforms, a substantial literature has explored this question. To identify the effect of retirement on health, recent studies generally analyze the impact of policies that raise the retirement age. Surprisingly, while using the same method, these articles reach somewhat different conclusions: some studies find a positive effect, other a negative impact, and some show ambiguous effects…

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Human Capital and Welfare

Stefano Bosi, Carmen Camacho* and David Desmarchelier

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When Mahbub ul Haq introduced human development as a compound process which included education and life expectancy, he paved the way for a new avenue of research in development economics. The introduction of the Human Development Index (HDI) in ul Haq led to a new paradigm and to a modern theory of human development. However, although his works have influenced prominent economists like Amartya Sen, most growth theorists still focus on the utility of consumption...

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Vote trading markets?

Alessandra Casella and Antonin Macé*

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Could allowing citizens to trade their votes (a vote for a vote, or a vote for money) contribute to their well-being? While the idea of introducing a market into the political sphere seems preposterous, even repugnant at first glance, the reality is that such exchanges already occur in practice. Vote trading among legislators (A will vote with B on decision X if B will vote with A on decision Y) is well documented in the US Congress, as are arrangements among member states of international organisations…

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Girls and the sciences: news from the East

Claudia Senik*

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In 2020, the gender wage gap in developing countries is essentially due to two main factors. First, occupational segregation, in particular the underrepresentation of women in maths and science in education and in the labor market, while these fields are important avenues of professional success and high earnings. Second, women’s weaker attachment to paid work: interrupted careers, shorter working hours, and higher demand for time flexibility; traits which reflect different work-life compromises…

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* PSE Professors

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