Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant
Je suis chercheur postdoctoral à INET.
Mes intérêts de recherche portent sur la théorie microéconomique. En particulier, l'économie publique et l'économie des réseaux.
Je ferai le « job market » cette année et serai au CEEE, AEA et RES.
Cahier de recherche (sélection)
Network Rigidities and the Business Cycle
I explore the impact of the network structure of trade on business cycles using a simple model of production. In particular, how much amplification and co-movements does the network structure generate? I show that the network amplifies the volatility of production, generates a common business cycle and increases the volatility of prices. I also explore what is the best way to reduce the impact of network shocks through production stabilization of a given region. I find that the optimal tax base should include all regions directly or indirectly trading with such region.
Using data on the flow of commodities between american states, I test the predictions of the model and find results in line with the theory. I also use the model to estimate the probability of contagion between states using California and Texas as the "epicenter" of a downward shock. The network effect increases the probability of a downturn in direct trading states by 6%. Using world data, I argue that an Eurotax would be preferable to a local tax to insure against Greek downturns.
JEL CODES: L14, E32, E17, F17.
Getting the Right Spin: A Theory of Value of Social Networks
(Soumis pour évaluation. PDF)
I develop a theory that answers the two following questions: what is the best word-of-mouth campaign that a company can perform on a social network and second, what is the value of such a campaign? I answer these questions with the assumption that users choose from whom they listen to. The optimal solution selects a Nash Equilibria where a small group of users is targeted. Such solution reproduces patterns of contagion that have been observed in empirical studies. The value of a network can be decomposed into three components: the value of the word-of-mouth campaign, the value of the choices made by users given this campaign and finally, the social value of the network. Such a theory allows one to price companies that own social networks like Facebook. The theory suggests that advertising investments in users should be proportional to the discounted influence they have, where the influence of a user is measured as the number of users who choose to listen to him. An algorithm to compute the optimal solution is presented.
JEL Codes: L1, D83, D85.
Decision-Making In Poverty, Savings and Redistribution
We conduct an optimal taxation analysis on a population of heterogenous individuals whose perceptions of savings' are linked to their contemporaneous disposable income and that of their parents. Individuals coming from poorer families see savings as less important than those from richer families. Perception of savings thus evolve because of cultural transmission through families, but also because of their current productivity. Aside from the standard equity/efficiency trade-off, optimal taxes account for this cultural transmission of perceptions through two additional channels. First, taxing labor decreases income, which decreases the perception of savings through time, generating a behavioural inefficiency. Second, taxation on savings corrects for the (ill)-perceived value of savings and thus savings' and labor decisions. Numerical simulations suggests the second effect is more important. An increase of 600 basis points on labour tax rates and a subsidy on savings of an order of 30% is shown to increase welfare.
Projets de recherche en cours
Optimal Interbanking Networks: Controlled Cascade Failures Through Taxation
University Funding Rules and Research Performance (avec Louis-François Brodeur)