La science économique au service de la société

Program content

PNG - 346.6 ko

This program addresses recent debates at the frontier of the field : the role of multinational firms in the world economy, the international corporate tax system, advances in methods to measure trade liberalization shocks, and finally the distributive effects of trade.


  • Multinational Firms and the Macroeconomy (Natalia Ramondo, Boston University, NBER and CEPR) – 8h
  • Multinational Firms and Tax Havens (Mathieu Parenti, PSE and CEPR) ‐ 6h
  • Impact of Trade Liberalization : Measurement Issues (Sandra Poncet, PSE) – 3h
  • Trade and Income Distribution (Ariell Reshef, PSE and CEPII) ‐ 6h

Meetings with professors
Participants will have the opportunity to meet professors in 30min bilateral meetings and discuss with them their own research. Slots will be reserved in the program for such meetings.

Multinational Firms and the Macroeconomy – Natalia Ramondo

This mini course will focus on various aspects of the activity of multinational firms, such as their effect on host economies, their role on international trade and offshoring, their role on innovation activities, and their role on climate change. We will discuss empirical and theoretical advances as well as the main data sources and data problems. We will also delve into techniques (e.g. calibration and simulated method of moments) to quantify macro models. To such end, we will analyze some of the main programming techniques (in MATLAB) for a large set of models in international economics.


  • Measuring multinational activity : definitions, data, and salient facts.
  • Macro theories of the multinational firm : Melitz-type models ; Ricardian models ; and other models.
  • Empirical advances : identifying spillovers.
  • “Lab work” : Computation of a general equilibrium model of trade and multinational activity (MATLAB).

Selected key references

  • Helpman, Elhanan, Marc J. Melitz, and Stephen R.Yeaple. (2004). “Exports versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms”. American Economic Review, 94:1, pp. 300-316.
  • Ramondo, Natalia, and Andres Rodriguez-Clare. (2013). “Trade, Multinational Production, and the Gains from Openness”. Journal of Political Economy.
  • Arkolakis, Costas, Natalia Ramondo, Andres Rodriguez-Clare, and Stephen Yeaple. (2018). Innovation and Production in the Global Economy. American Economic Review.
  • Garcia-Lembergman, Ramondo, Rodriguez-Clare, and Shapiro. (2023). “The Carbon Footprint of Multinational Production.” Mimeo, Boston University.
  • Lind, Nelson and Natalia Ramondo. (2019). “The Economics of Innovation, Knowledge Diffusion, and Globalization." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance, July 2019.
  • Lind, Nelson and Natalia Ramondo. (2021). “Trade with Correlation.” American Economic Review, February 2023.
  • UNCTAD. World Investment Report. [any issue].
  • Greenstone, Michael, Richard Hornbeck, and Enrico Moretti. (2010). “Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers : Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings.” Journal of Political Economy, vol. 118, no. 3.
  • Ramondo, Natalia, Veronica Rappoport, and Kim Ruhl. (2016). “Intra-firm Trade and Vertical Fragmentation in U.S. Multinational Corporations." Journal of International Economics, 98(1) : 51-59.
  • Setzler, Bradley, and Felix Tintelnot. (2021). “The Effects of Foreign Multinationals on Workers and Firms in the United States”. Quarterly Journal of Economics.
  • Alfaro-Ureña, Manelici, and Vasquez. (2022). The Effects of Joining Multinational Supply Chains : New Evidence from Firm-to-Firm Linkage. Quarterly Journal of Economics. Volume 137, Issue 3, Aug. 2022, 1495–1552.

Multinational Firms and Tax Havens – Mathieu Parenti

The international corporate tax system has allowed multinational enterprises to exploit complexity, loopholes and mismatches in the international tax rules to avoid taxes and shift profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions. These lectures document how multinationals respond to changes in corporate taxation through both the location of their activity and the location of their profits ; quantify the magnitude of tax avoidance and its implication for macroeconomic outcomes ; discuss the (ongoing) reforms of the international tax system.


  • Profit-shifting (micro)
  • Profit-shifting (macro)
  • Reforming international corporate taxation

Selected key references

  • Alstadsӕter, A., Davies, R. B., Parenti, M., & Toubal, F. (2023). The Real Effects of Tax Havens.
  • Alstadsæter, A., Godar, S., Nicolaides, P., & Zucman, G. (2023). Global Tax Evasion Report 2024.
  • Davies, R. B., Martin, J., Parenti, M., & Toubal, F. (2018). Knocking on tax haven’s door : Multinational firms and transfer pricing. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100(1), 120-134.
  • De Lyon, J., Dhingra, S., and M. Parenti (2022) “Multinational Enterprises and International Tax Shifting : Evidence from Shutting Down the Mauritius Route to India”
  • Ferrari, A., Laffite, S., Parenti, M., Toubal, F. (2023) Profit shifting frictions and the geography of multinational production
  • Fuest, C., Parenti, M., & Toubal, F. (2019). International corporate taxation : What reforms ? What impact ?. Notes du conseil danalyse economique, 54(6), 1-12.
  • Martin, J., Parenti, M., & Toubal, F. (2022). Corporate tax avoidance : micro evidence and aggregate implications, CEPR DP.
  • Serrato, J. C. S. (2018). Unintended consequences of eliminating tax havens. NBER DP.
  • Tørsløv, T., Wier, L., & Zucman, G. (2023). The missing profits of nations. The Review of Economic Studies, 90(3), 1499-1534.

Impact of Trade Liberalization : Measurement Issues – Sandra Poncet

A growing empirical literature highlights the importance of the impacts of trade liberalization at the macro (country and regions), meso (sector) and micro (firm and individual) levels. The impacts measured are not limited to purely economic effects (firm productivity, individual wages, unemployment) and include effects on innovation, happiness, electoral outcomes. This course discusses two of the major challenges facing this work : 1) appropriate measuring of liberalization shocks and 2) credible identification. The first challenge relates to the fact that trade liberalization initially comes from a change in protection levels that are defined at the disaggregated level of products (nomenclature of several thousand products). Trade liberalization shocks need to be measured and connected to the affected entity. For example, domestic firms will not be affected the same way if they use imports or goods that are competing with imports, produce products in competition with imports or are exporters. The measured trade shock has to incorporate sourcing information typically available from input-output tables. The second challenge is how to deal with endogeneity of the computed trade liberalization shocks. Much of the empirical trade literature estimates trade-shock impacts computing using shift-shares which poses numerous challenges. The lecture will review the exclusion restriction needed to extract causality when using shift-share indicators and will discuss various checks and tests to deal with identification and statistical inference in this setting.


  • What shocks do tariffs changes trigger ?
  • How to connect trade liberalization to firms or locations’ outcomes ?
  • Identification using shift-shares

Selected key references

  • Adao, Rodrigo, Michal Kolesár, and Eduardo Morales. 2019. Shift-Share Designs : Theory and Inference. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134 (4) : 1949–2010.
  • Amiti, M. and Konings, J. 2007, Trade Liberalization, Intermediate Inputs, and Productivity, American Economic Review, 97 (5), 1611-1638.
  • Autor, David H., David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson. 2013. “The China Syndrome : Local Labor Market Impacts of Import Competition in the United States.” American Economic Review, 103 (6) : 2121–68.
  • Bartik, Timothy J. 1991. Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies ? Kalamazoo, MI : W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Borusyak, K., Hull P. and Jaravel X., 2022, Quasi-experimental shift-share research designs, Review of Economic Studies, 89(1), 181-213.
  • Brandt, L., Van Biesebroeck, J., Wang, L. and Zhang, Y. 2017. WTO accession and performance of Chinese manufacturing firms. American Economic Review, 107 (9), 2784–2820.
  • Goldsmith-Pinkham, Paul, Isaac Sorkin, and Henry Swift. 2020. Bartik Instruments : What, When, Why, and How. American Economic Review, 110 (8) : 2586-2624.
  • Kovak, Brian K. 2013. “Regional Effects of Trade Reform : What Is the Correct Measure of Liberalization ?” American Economic Review, 103 (5) : 1960-76.
  • Shu P. and Steinwender, C. 2019. The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Firm Productivity and Innovation, Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 39-68.
  • Topalova, P. and Khandelwal A. 2011, Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity : The Case of India. Review of Economics and Statistics, 93 (3) : 995-1009.

Trade and Income Distribution – Ariell Reshef

The goal is to study micro-mechanisms of how globalization may affect income distribution : trade in final goods, trade in intermediate inputs, trade in capital, offshoring. We will consider several channels through which globalization affects domestic labor markets, for example, through changes in relative demand for different types of labor inputs, or through changes in incentives to invest and technological responses. These manifest themselves in the distribution of income via reallocation of resources across productive units, changes in the internal organization of productive units, fair wages, sorting, and more. Related to this, Prof. Poncet will discuss impacts on local labor markets.


  • Why do we think trade and income distribution are linked ?
  • Market access and variation in composition of activities.
  • The capital input channel of trade liberalization.
  • Foreign direct investment, GVCs and offshoring.
  • Individual effects and sorting.

Selected key references

  • Burstein, Cravino and Vogel (2013) : “Importing Skill‐Biased Technology”, AEJ : Macroeconomics.
  • Egger and Kreickemeier (2009) : “Firm heterogeneity and the labor market effects of trade liberalization”. International Economic Review.
  • Feenstra, R.C. and Hanson, G.H., 1997. Foreign direct investment and relative wages : Evidence from Mexico’s maquiladoras. Journal of international economics.
  • Grossman, G.M. and Rossi-Hansberg, E., 2008. Trading tasks : A simple theory of offshoring. American Economic Review.
  • Harrigan and Reshef (2015) : “Skill Biased Heterogeneous Firms, Trade Liberalization and the Skill Premium”, Canadian Journal of Economics.
  • Harrigan, Reshef and Toubal (2020) : Techies, Trade and Skill-Biased Productitvity, NBER Working Paper No. 25295.
  • Helpman, Itskhoki and Redding (2010), “Inequality and unemployment in the global economy”, Econometrica.
  • Raveh and Reshef (2016), “Capital Imports Composition, Complementarities, and the Skill Premium in Developing Countries”, Journal of Development Economics.
  • Reshef and Santoni (2023), “Are Your Labor Shares Set in Beijing ? The View Through the Lens of Global Value Chains”. European Economic Review.
  • Sampson (2014) : “Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality”, American Economic Journal : Microeconomics.
  • Thoenig, and Verdier (2003), “A theory of defensive skill-biased innovation and globalization”, American Economic Review.

Contents - International Trade