Forthcoming in january 2022
Les femmes, les jeunes et les enfants d’abord !
Investissement social et économie de la qualité
with Bruno Palier

This book offers a new vision of economic and social policies based on the evaluation of past reforms in the western countries, with a focus on the French case. It is structured in four parts. The first recalls the economic strategy on which protection systems was built depending on the growth context of the glorious thirties and its challenges. The second part analyzes how France has chosen a low-cost strategy to adapt, focusing above all on lowering the cost of labor, a political choice that increases inequalities. The third part presents alternative policies, known as social investment. Their variable application by the different countries does not always make it possible to fight against the dualisation of societies. Finally, the fourth part details the avenues of an alternative strategy for growth and inclusive social protection, adapted to a knowledge and quality economy, reversing the current course of inequalities.

Policies targeting firm production costs

Public policies regulates private production through taxes and transfers that aims at modifying factor costs in order to diminish incentives their use by firms: this project study the case of policies that aims at diminishing labor cost for employment purpose, or to diminish equipment costs for investment purpose. Those projects empirically assess the economic impact of these policies and analyze the mechanisms behind those impacts.

Wage Incidence of a Large Corporate Tax Credit: Contrasting Employee- and Firm-Level Evidence, LIEPP Working Paper n°89 (2019) avec Clément Malgouyres, Loriane Py et Camille Urvoy [Rapport 2018 ; Policy brief 2016 ; Rapport 2016]
CICE is a French very large tax cut proportional to the wage bill for medium and low hourly wages. No impact on employment may be observed. The benefit of this tax cut as been partially shared with most-qualified workers through wage increases.

Complementarity between low- and high-skilled workers and the employment impact of tax versus human capital policies, Annals of Economics and Statistics, vol. 138, pp. 49-76. (2020)
This theoretical article shows how complementarity/substitutability between labor market segments matters for the impact of tax policies reducing the labor cost. Cost policies targeted toward low wages necessitates large substitutability between production factors to be effective. Conversely, larger complementarity enhances the efficiency of human capital policies.

Tax devaluation with firm heterogeneity and endogenous margins, Scandinavian Journal of Economics (à paraître) avec Pascal Belan et Martine Carré [Dernière version]
This theoretical article analyzes the impact of tax policies lowering labor costs from an international trade point of view, considering heterogenous firms and imperfect competition. Such policies appears to be deflationistand generate a decrease of mean productivity.

Tax cuts or social investment? Evaluating the opportunity cost of French employment strategy, Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 40(6), pp. 1687-1705. (2016) avec Bruno Palier et Michael Zemmour [Policy brief ; Version française]
This meta-analysis assesses the employment impact of French tax cut lowering labor costs in France. The gathering of empirical results is done in such a way to assess marginally (differing impacts of the differents parameters of the policies) and in terms of opportunity costs (measuring the equivalent eviction rate of direct employment creation). It shows that a large amount of public found would be efficiently reoriented toward employement creation in the social investment sector.

Commentaire de l’article d’Éric Heyer, Mathieu Plane et Xavier Timbeau « Impact économique de la ‘quasi TVA sociale’ », Revue de l’OFCE, vol. 122, pp. 399-405 (2012)
This reply analizes the results of an ex-ante theoretical assessement of a tax reform of the social VAT type. The first part discusses the model parameters and the firms' behoviors assumptions, based on the empirical literature. The second part studies the way heterogeneity between households and industries may change the results.


Politicies supporting personal services

For motives of employment policy, aging of the population or social investment in early childhood, the industry of personal service has been particularly supported by public policies in numerous countries. This research project aims at assessing these policies in terms of employment creation, inequalities of income or access to social services, and the transformation of the welfare state.

EPIGER Emergency department outcome of elderly patients assisted by professional home services, the EPIGER study, BMC Geriatrics, 20(1), 355 (2020) avec Anne-Laure Feral-Pierssens, Gustave Toury, Fatima Sehimi, Nicolas Peschanski, Saïd Laribi, Amélie Carpentier, Magali Kraif, François-Xavier Duchateau, Yonathan Freund, Philippe Juvin and the EPIGER IRU-SFMU study group
This paper tests interaction between home services for elderly with loss of autonomy and hospital admissions. At given age, sex, pathology, health history and level of autonomy, patients who do not benefit from home help are more often hospitalized for "having difficulties coping at home". This highlights the complementarity between home services for people with loss of autonomy and other health care and illustrates the problems caused by unequal access to these services.

Le retour des domestiques La république des idées, Le seuil (2018) avec Nathalie Morel [Policy brief]
This general public work takes stock of academic knowledge on the French strategy for supporting domestic services. It creates a low number of jobs compared to their public cost. Precarious and poorly paid, they contribute to the polarization of the economy, as well as to the increase of ethnic and gender inequalities. In addition, the subsidizes comfort services for the better-off, to the detriment of public services open to all. it contributes to the come back to a society of servants. Fortunately, several avenues exist to get out of this counter-model.

The Political Economy of Household Services in Europe Palgrave Mcmilan, UK, Work and Welfare in Europe (2015) avec Nathalie Morel [Policy brief]
This edited volume assesses from a variety of perspectives (economics, law, political science, sociology) the policies introduced to support the development of household services across Europe. It highlights the impact of these costly policies on the creation of low quality jobs and on labour market dualisation, and questions their social and economic outcomes.

La réduction/crédit d’impôt pour l’emploi d’un salarié à domicile est-elle efficace en tant que politique de l’emploi ?, Travail et emploi n° 143, pp. 43-58 (2015)
The present analysis performs a comparison of evaluations of French tax credit supporting household services in order to build a comprehensive view of this policy. Successive reforms consisting in increasing the ceiling of eligible expenses have been less efficient (in terms of public cost per job created) than the initial setting with a relatively low ceiling. From a distributive point of view, services meeting social needs (child- and elderly-care) constitute a minor share of subsidies, which are mainly received by the wealthiest households.

Réduction et crédit d’impôt pour l’emploi d’un salarié à domicile, conséquences incitatives et redistributives, Economie et statistique n° 427-428, pp. 67-100 (2009)
This article assesses the impact on employment of the increase in the ceiling of the tax reduction for personal services' employment at home in 2003. The impact on employment is very low. The changes in the ceiling appear more as an aid to households (mainly the wealthiest) than as a measure to substantially increase employment in personal services.


Gender inequalities

Although officially gender neutral, socio-fiscal policies can impact gender differently. This project aims at measuring these impacts, in particular as regards, on the one hand the joint taxation of income, on the other hand the policy of access to childcare services. For this last point, the interactions in terms of gender inequalities and social class of the tax subsidy strategy for private care are also studied.

Tax and Transferts at the Family level, motivations and consequences Economics and Statistics / Economie et Statistique, n°526-527 (forthcoming)
This article discusses the results of two microsimulations of joint taxation reforms in France. The presentation of the history of this scheme allows us to understand the different motivations which presided over its construction, then to shed light on the debates around the conceptions of taxation and tax justice. I discuss the question of contributory capacities and its origin in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 and in the history of economic thought, in particular through the concepts of decreasing marginal utility and equivalence scales. I then discuss policies of applications: PIT or the whole tax and transfer system. Finally, I question the unit of assessment: the individual or the family.

Imposition jointe des revenus et emploi des femmes mariées : estimation à partir du cas français Revue Economique, vol. 72(2), pp. 215-244 (2021) [WP in anglais]
This article measures the impact of joint income taxation on the labor market participation of married women, by applying a regression discontinuity design on the French income tax schedule. The impact is particularly strong for the lowest incomes, it is also important for the highest incomes.

Prise en compte de la famille dans l’imposition des revenus en France, aspects historiques, distributifs et incitatifs, Revue française d’économie, vol. 31(1), pp. 111-152 (2016)
This article first draw the historical path of French taxation to present joint taxation scheme. Second, this scheme’s properties are analyzed in relation to the different ways of considering Government purpose as well as the constraints and objectives of its financing. Last, the incentive impacts are assessed.


Poverty & inequalities

Redistribution is one of the main objectives of tax and transfer systems. These are studied under several aspects: not only the distributive profile of the various taxes and allowances, but also the understanding of the structures of inequalities, in terms of income but also of wealth or of living conditions linked to non-monetary resources.

From the main determinants of self-declared minimum income to the measure of sub-national purchasing power parity, The Review of Income and Wealth, (forthcoming)
Self-declared minimum income is strongly related to actual income. Isolating this relationship, it is possible to highlight the other determinants: family composition, housing tenure, socioprofessional status, region and degree of urbanization. A sub-national measure of purchasing power parity is developed. Adjusting for this local PPP leads to lower Gini index and higher rate of poverty overall, with opposed impacts throughout French territory.

La taxe foncière au Québec est-elle régressive?,, Cahier de recherche no 2021-9, Chaire en fiscalité et finance publique de l'université de Sherbrooke (2021)
This study documents the distributive profile of the property tax on residences in Quebec and analyzes its various components. This tax is regressive, even under the assumption that tenants do not pay part of it through their rents. Overall, the roperty tax burden is lighter for couples (due to economies of scale) and heavier in rural areas (due to a greater share of owners), but the evolution with respec to equivalized income of the property tax-to-income ratio is the same for all categories of households. Finally, the "housing" component of the solidarity tax credit mitigates the regressiveness of the property tax without eliminating it.

Portrait des finances publiques locales au Québec, Cahier de recherche no 2020-12, Chaire en fiscalité et finance publique de l'université de Sherbrooke (2020)
This study documents the public finances of municipalities in Quebec, funded mainly by the property tax (as well as transfers, and fees for services in the largest municipalities). The per capita expenditure draws a U-shaped curve: the large ones stand out for transport, safety and leisure expenditure; the smaller ones for transport and administration costs. There is a wealth effect linked to land valuation as well as a shift in spending related to leisure infrastructure to essential spending in cities where the material vulnerability index is higher.

L’impact distributif de la fiscalité locale sur les ménages en France, Economics and Statistics / Economie et Statistique n° 507-508, pp. 31-52 (2019) [English version]
The overall contribution of local household taxes to the progressivity of compulsory levies in France is measured and broken down into its three determinants. (i.) the tax base (the rental value of occupied or owned properties) has a regressive effect, partially offset by (ii.) the schedule (exemptions and reductions). (iii.) Local taxes and average income both increase with the size of intermunicipalities, but the ratio of local taxes to income decreases with the level of average income in the intermunicipal area.

Contribution du patrimoine à la formation des inégalités, Revue d’Économie Financière no128, pp. 181-195 (2017) [Dernière version]
This article documents the relationship between wealth and several types of inequalities: inequalities of wealth itself; the differences in investment opportunities according to the size of the assets; the steep increase in the value of real estate; the growing share of inheritances in income and in the constitution of patrimonies.

L’impact des prix de l’immobilier sur les inégalités et leur mesure, Revue économique, vol. 66 (6), pp. 1029-1044 (2015)
This article studies the relationship between the increasing price of housing and inequalities. Although market price overestimates housing stock value in time of bubble, rents levels underestimate it. Furthermore, overestimating the value of housing capital leads to an underestimation of wealth inequalities.

Do Savers Respond to Tax incentives? The case of Retirement Savings, Annals of Economics and Statistics, vol. 113-114, pp. 225-256 (2014) avec Alexis Direr et Ihssane Slimani-Houti [Dernière version]
This article tests whether savers respond to tax incentives by contributing more in saving accounts that mandate annuitization at retirement. We find that the deduction scheme is effective in boosting the demand for annuity of the richest savers, especially the oldest. It fails to raise contributions of younger and less wealthy savers.

Portrait des finances publiques locales au Québec, Cahier de recherche no 2020-12, Chaire en fiscalité et finance publique de l'université de Sherbrooke (2020)
This paper presents a portrait of the public finances of municipalities in Quebec, financed mainly by property tax (as well as transfers and service fees for the largest municipalities). Per capita spending draws a U-shaped curve: the largest spending being for transport, security and leisure; the smaller ones for transport and general administration. A wealth effect is linked to land valuation. A shift in spending appears in cities where the material vulnerability index is higher: from leisure infrastructure to essential spending.

Decentralization and Tax Competition Between Asymmetrical Local Governments: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence, Public Finance Review, vol. 41, 391-420 (2013) [last personal version]
This article analyzes theoretically and empirically tax competition between local governments. It induces lower corporate taxes and lower public input provision than tax coordination. This bias decreases with respect to the size and number of jurisdictions. Corporate tax increase due to cooperation leads to an increase of the corporate tax base.


Consumption tax incidence

This project aims assessing empirically and theoretically the incidence of consumption - the sharing of their burden between consumers and producers - depending on the types of goods: profile of their consumption and competition in the market producing them.

The Incidence of Non-Linear Price-Dependent Consumption Taxes, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 118, pp. 111-119 (2014) [Working paper]
This theoretical exercice generalizes economic literature on the incidence of consumption taxes to general schedules of consumption taxes dependent on price. The elasticity of the tax function is introduced as a sufficient statistics to measure this schedule. The larger this elasticity, the smaller the share of consumption tax borne by consumers. -->

Pass-through of Per Unit and ad Valorem Consumption Taxes: Evidence from Alcoholic Beverages in France, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and policy, vol. 13, pp. 837-863 (2013) [Working paper]
Analysing the French market for alcoholic beverages, this article confirms empirically the theoretical result that consumers bear a larger share of per unit than ad valorem consumption taxes.

Différence des ajustements de prix à des hausses ou baisses des taux de la TVA : un examen empirique à partir des réformes françaises de 1995 et 2000, Economie et statistique n° 413, pp. 3-20 (2008)
The comparative analysis of increases and decreases in VAT for various types of goods reveals two opposing effects in the asymmetry of price adjustment to changes in consumption taxes, depending on the structure of competition. (i.) Because it is more costly to increase than to reduce production, prices adjust more strongly upward than downward in competitive markets. (ii.) Oligopolistic firms mitigate price increases to minimize drops in consumption and accentuate price cuts to create a promotional effect.

Who pays sales taxes? Evidence from French VAT reform, 1987-1999, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 91, pp. 1219-1229 (2007) [Working paper]
This paper provides visual evidence of tax shifting and assesses empirically the distribution of the sales tax burden between consumers and producers, based on two large French VAT reforms.