Working Papers

1) Access to Justice and Economic Development: Evidence from an International Panel Database (with Arnaud Deseau and Michèle Schmiegelow)
[working paper, 2019] [latest version]
(R&R European Economic Review)

This paper evaluates the importance of access to justice (ATJ) for economic growth. We have created a new database on the number of professional judges per 100,000 inhabitants by collecting data from various public institutions. We use these data as a country-level indicator to capture the structural evolution of ATJ from 1970 to 2014 for a wide range of developed and developing countries. Using an instrumental variable approach in a dynamic panel setting to deal with endogeneity, we show that ATJ is a positive and significant determinant of economic growth. The substantial aggregate effect of ATJ is inversely related to initial levels of income per capita, human capital, democracy, economic freedom, and the rule of law. These results hint at a stronger impact of ATJ on economic development in less developed societies. In terms of mechanisms, our results suggest that ATJ promotes growth via higher government accountability and improved institutional quality.

2) The Impact of Immigration on Workers’ Protection (with Riccardo Turati)
[working paper, 2022] [latest version](submitted)

Even though the existing literature investigating the labor market impact of immigration assumes, implicitly or explicitly, that the law or labor market regulation is exogenous to immigration, this is not necessarily the case. To examine this link, we build a novel workers' protection measure based on 36 labor law variables over a sample of 70 developed and developing countries from 1970 to 2010. Exploiting a dynamic panel setting using both internal and external instruments, we establish a new result: immigration impacts workers' protection in the direction of the origin country workers' protection (composition channel), while we find a small negative or null effect for the immigrant population (size channel). The composition channel, or the law transfer effect, is particularly strong for two components of the workers' protection measure: worker representation laws and employment forms laws. Our main results are consistent with suggestive evidence on transmission of preferences from migrants to their offspring (vertical transmission), and from migrants to natives or local political parties (horizontal transmission). Finally, calculations based on the estimated coefficients suggest that immigration, on average, has a negative effect on the evolution of workers' protection, particularly in OECD high-income countries.

3) Temporary Border Controls and the Stock Market: Evidence from the Schengen Area (with Jean-François Maystadt)

This paper evaluates the impact of temporary border controls on the stock market. We construct a new dataset on the reintroduction of border controls by collecting data from official documents. We use these data in two complementary research designs. First, we conduct a quasi-experimental event study using the first refugee-induced border control, which occurred in Germany in September 2015. Second, we conduct a Schengen area analysis covering all border controls between 2006 and 2016, using both a difference-in-difference and a synthetic control method. In both analyses, we find a small negative and short-lived effect on daily stock returns, as well as an increase in their short-lived volatility. These effects are driven by medium and large firms, which are more likely to be involved in cross-border activities. Overall, we find that these border controls initially mildly worsen market expectations, but the market does not overreact by interpreting them as a sign of a possible collapse of the Schengen Agreement.

Work in Progress

Pre-doctoral Publications

Policy Publications