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Four Essays in Applied Microeconomics

Nicolas Lagios

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: This dissertation consists of four self-contained chapters, each based on an independent research paper. The first two address the role of expert judgments on consumer behavior and welfare by focusing on the Goncourt Prize and the Booker Prize. The third and fourth chapters study the role of demonstrations and the determinants of corruption. All four chapters are empirical and rely on observational data. The challenge in applied work when randomized control experiments cannot be used is to draw causal inferences, which is the core message of the “identification revolution” in economics. The common feature of the chapters of this dissertation is that each one addresses causality by using a specific identification strategy taking advantage of a natural experiment. Specifically, Chapter 1 rests on a regression discontinuity design allowed by the decision process of the Goncourt to assess the effect of the prize on sales. Chapter 2 relies on a difference-in-differences strategy to investigate the impact of the Booker on consumer welfare. Chapter 3 estimates the efffect of demonstrations on voting outcomes in the 2002 French presidential election by using weather conditions as an instrumental variable. Finally, Chapter 4 implements a regression discontinuity design to study the effect of electoral rules on political corruption by leveraging the fact that the French law for municipal elections conditions the electoral rules on the population size of a municipality. I provide below a succinct overview of the method and findings of each chapter.

Keywords: experts; expert judgements; consumer welfare; demonstrations; social norms; voting behaviour; corruption; awards (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-12-13
Note: Degree: Doctorat en Sciences économiques et de gestion
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