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Pierre Pestieau

Bio: Pierre Pestieau is an academic researcher from University of Liège. The author has contributed to research in topics: Pension & Social security. The author has an hindex of 56, co-authored 633 publications receiving 11548 citations. Previous affiliations of Pierre Pestieau include Cornell University & University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the optimal direct/indirect tax mix problem when individuals differ in several unobservable characteristics (productivity and endowments) was studied and general expressions for the optimal commodity tax rates were presented.
Abstract: This article studies the optimal direct/indirect tax mix problem when individuals differ in several unobservable characteristics (productivity and endowments). It presents general expressions for the optimal commodity tax rates and proves that contrary to Atkinson and Stiglitz's (1976) result, differential commodity taxation remains a useful instrument of tax policy even if preferences are separable between labor and produced goods. When cross substitution effects are zero, the expressions resemble traditional many households Ramsey rules. In a Cobb–Douglas illustration, where endowments differ only in good 1 (interpreted as “wealth”), the tax on good 2 provides an indirect way to tax the unobservable wealth.

209 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider a two-period overlapping generations model in which individual voters differ by age and by productivity, and they show that a redistributive Pay-As-You-Go system is politically sustainable, even when the interest rate is larger than the rate of population growth.
Abstract: We consider a two-period overlapping generations model in which individual voters differ by age and by productivity. In such a setting, a redistributive Pay-As-You-Go system is politically sustainable, even when the interest rate is larger than the rate of population growth. The workers with medium wages (not those with the lowest wages) and the retirees form a majority which votes for a positive level of social security. This level depends on the difference between population growth and interest rate and on the redistributiveness of the benefit rule.

206 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors used parametric and nonparametric approaches to construct a frontier to be used as a yardstick of productive efficiency for both life and non-life insurance companies.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide for both life and non-life insurance an assessment of the relative productive performance of French companies. We use parametric and nonparametric approaches to construct a frontier to be used as a yardstick of productive efficiency. Our data basis covers 84 life and 243 non-life companies for the period 1984–1989. The main findings show a high correlation between parametric and nonparametric results and a wide dispersion in the rates of inefficiency across companies. This dispersion can be reduced when controlling for variations in scale, ownership, distribution, reinsurance, and claims ratios.

198 citations


Cited by
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Journal Article
TL;DR: A Treatise on the Family by G. S. Becker as discussed by the authors is one of the most famous and influential economists of the second half of the 20th century, a fervent contributor to and expounder of the University of Chicago free-market philosophy, and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in economics.
Abstract: A Treatise on the Family. G. S. Becker. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1981. Gary Becker is one of the most famous and influential economists of the second half of the 20th century, a fervent contributor to and expounder of the University of Chicago free-market philosophy, and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in economics. Although any book with the word "treatise" in its title is clearly intended to have an impact, one coming from someone as brilliant and controversial as Becker certainly had such a lofty goal. It has received many article-length reviews in several disciplines (Ben-Porath, 1982; Bergmann, 1995; Foster, 1993; Hannan, 1982), which is one measure of its scholarly importance, and yet its impact is, I think, less than it may have initially appeared, especially for scholars with substantive interests in the family. This book is, its title notwithstanding, more about economics and the economic approach to behavior than about the family. In the first sentence of the preface, Becker writes "In this book, I develop an economic or rational choice approach to the family." Lest anyone accuse him of focusing on traditional (i.e., material) economics topics, such as family income, poverty, and labor supply, he immediately emphasizes that those topics are not his focus. "My intent is more ambitious: to analyze marriage, births, divorce, division of labor in households, prestige, and other non-material behavior with the tools and framework developed for material behavior." Indeed, the book includes chapters on many of these issues. One chapter examines the principles of the efficient division of labor in households, three analyze marriage and divorce, three analyze various child-related issues (fertility and intergenerational mobility), and others focus on broader family issues, such as intrafamily resource allocation. His analysis is not, he believes, constrained by time or place. His intention is "to present a comprehensive analysis that is applicable, at least in part, to families in the past as well as the present, in primitive as well as modern societies, and in Eastern as well as Western cultures." His tone is profoundly conservative and utterly skeptical of any constructive role for government programs. There is a clear sense of how much better things were in the old days of a genderbased division of labor and low market-work rates for married women. Indeed, Becker is ready and able to show in Chapter 2 that such a state of affairs was efficient and induced not by market or societal discrimination (although he allows that it might exist) but by small underlying household productivity differences that arise primarily from what he refers to as "complementarities" between caring for young children while carrying another to term. Most family scholars would probably find that an unconvincingly simple explanation for a profound and complex phenomenon. What, then, is the salient contribution of Treatise on the Family? It is not literally the idea that economics could be applied to the nonmarket sector and to family life because Becker had already established that with considerable success and influence. At its core, microeconomics is simple, characterized by a belief in the importance of prices and markets, the role of self-interested or rational behavior, and, somewhat less centrally, the stability of preferences. It was Becker's singular and invaluable contribution to appreciate that the behaviors potentially amenable to the economic approach were not limited to phenomenon with explicit monetary prices and formal markets. Indeed, during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he did undeniably important and pioneering work extending the domain of economics to such topics as labor market discrimination, fertility, crime, human capital, household production, and the allocation of time. Nor is Becker's contribution the detailed analyses themselves. Many of them are, frankly, odd, idiosyncratic, and off-putting. …

4,817 citations

Posted Content
01 Jan 2012
TL;DR: The 2008 crash has left all the established economic doctrines - equilibrium models, real business cycles, disequilibria models - in disarray as discussed by the authors, and a good viewpoint to take bearings anew lies in comparing the post-Great Depression institutions with those emerging from Thatcher and Reagan's economic policies: deregulation, exogenous vs. endoge- nous money, shadow banking vs. Volcker's Rule.
Abstract: The 2008 crash has left all the established economic doctrines - equilibrium models, real business cycles, disequilibria models - in disarray. Part of the problem is due to Smith’s "veil of ignorance": individuals unknowingly pursue society’s interest and, as a result, have no clue as to the macroeconomic effects of their actions: witness the Keynes and Leontief multipliers, the concept of value added, fiat money, Engel’s law and technical progress, to name but a few of the macrofoundations of microeconomics. A good viewpoint to take bearings anew lies in comparing the post-Great Depression institutions with those emerging from Thatcher and Reagan’s economic policies: deregulation, exogenous vs. endoge- nous money, shadow banking vs. Volcker’s Rule. Very simply, the banks, whose lending determined deposits after Roosevelt, and were a public service became private enterprises whose deposits determine lending. These underlay the great moderation preceding 2006, and the subsequent crash.

3,447 citations

Posted Content
David Dollar1, Aart Kraay1
TL;DR: Dollar and Kraay as mentioned in this paper found that the share of income accruing to the bottom quintile does not vary systematically with the average income, and that when average incomes rise, the average incomes of the poorest fifth of society rise proportionately.
Abstract: When average incomes rise, the average incomes of the poorest fifth of society rise proportionately. This holds across regions, periods, income levels, and growth rates. But relatively little is known about the broad forces that account for the variations across countries and across time in the share of income accruing to the poorest fifth. When average incomes rise, the average incomes of the poorest fifth of society rise proportionately. This is a consequence of the strong empirical regularity that the share of income accruing to the bottom quintile does not vary systematically with average income. Dollar and Kraay document this empirical regularity in a sample of 92 countries spanning the past four decades and show that it holds across regions, periods, income levels, and growth rates. Dollar and Kraay next ask whether the factors that explain cross-country differences in the growth rates of average incomes have differential effects on the poorest fifth of society. They find that several determinants of growth - such as good rule of law, openness to international trade, and developed financial markets - have little systematic effect on the share of income that accrues to the bottom quintile. Consequently, these factors benefit the poorest fifth of society as much as everyone else. There is some weak evidence that stabilization from high inflation and reductions in the overall size of government not only increase growth but also increase the income share of the poorest fifth in society. Finally, Dollar and Kraay examine several factors commonly thought to disproportionately benefit the poorest in society, but find little evidence of their effects. The absence of robust findings emphasizes that relatively little is known about the broad forces that account for the cross-country and intertemporal variation in the share of income accruing to the poorest fifth of society. This paper - a product of Macroeconomics and Growth, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to study growth and poverty reduction. The authors may be contacted at ddollar@worldbank.org or akraay@worldbank.org.

3,407 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors survey 130 studies that apply frontier efficiency analysis to financial institutions in 21 countries and find that the various efficiency methods do not necessarily yield consistent results and suggest some ways that these methods might be improved to bring about findings that are more consistent, accurate, and useful.

2,983 citations