Cahiers de recherche

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Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This on-line appendix contains more details on the sampling process, more details on the sample, a comparison to a matched sample of Canadians, more technical details on various measures and procedures, and further robustness analysis.

Mots clés : Creativity, Prior Employment Variety, Jack-of-all-Trades, Invention Quality

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We use creativity theory to analyze the effects of occupational job variety and industry variety on invention quality and entrepreneurial earnings. We test our ideas with survey data from 770 inventor-entrepreneurs who commercialized their own inventions. Results suggest that occupational and industry variety substitute for each other in positively affecting invention quality whereas a lack of industry variety is associated with greater entrepreneurial earnings. Results are consistent with the idea that high levels of both occupational and industry variety enables the generation and discovery of inventions, but these ideas are usually not technically feasible or financially viable.

Mots clés : Creativity, Prior Employment Variety, Jack-of-all-Trades, Invention Quality, Entrepreneurial Earnings

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS), Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

We study the impact of a new nationally advertised six-month intensive training program to encourage social entrepreneurship among youth. Program costs were on the order of 12,000 euros per participant. We conduct a randomized field experiment where 50 applicants were randomly allocated to the program and 50 similar applicants were rejected. We measure social entrepreneurial skills, intentions, aspirations and actions, progress towards launching a venture, and some non-cognitive skills pre and post treatment. Treatment effects were marginal on ventures’ progression six months after program completion. We find no treatment effects on non-cognitive skills, intentions or aspirations. Those that had made more progress on their venture prior to the start of the program were more likely to make progress afterwards, irrespective of whether they joined the program or not. Training people to become entrepreneurs seems to be difficult and costly.

Mots clés : Field experiment, Social entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and distinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions as representing preference differences, while being nonetheless empirically related to choices. We highlight the originality, promises and limits of this choice-based cardinalism.

Mots clés : Ordinal utility, Cardinal utility, Preference differences, Representation theorems, Suppes, Ordinalism, Cardinalism

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Should society encourage scientific researchers at universities to become entrepreneurs? Using data on U.S. university-employed scientists with a Ph.D. in STEM disciplines leaving their university to become entrepreneurs during 1993-2006 and similar data from Sweden we show evidence suggesting that owning your idea outright (the “Professor’s Privilege”) rather than sharing ownership with your university employer (the Bayh-Dole regime) is strongly positively associated with the rate of academic entrepreneurship but not with apparent economic gain for the entrepreneur. Further analysis show that in both countries there is too much entry into entrepreneurship, and selection from the bottom of the ability distribution among scientists. Targeted policies aimed at screening entrepreneurial decisions by younger, tenure-track academics may therefore produce more benefits for society than general incentives.

Mots clés : Academic entrepreneurship, economic incentives, Bayh-Dole, Professor’s Privilege

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Suppose that a group of individuals must classify objects into three or more categories, and does so by aggregating the individual classifications. We show that if the classifications, both individual and collective, are required to put at least one object in each category, then no aggregation rule can satisfy a unanimity and an independence condition without being dictatorial. This impossibility theorem extends a result that Kasher and Rubinstein (1997) proved for two categories and complements another that Dokow and Holzman (2010) obtained for three or more categories under the condition that classifications put at most one object in each category. The paper discusses an interpretation of its result both in terms of Kasher and Rubinstein's group identification problem and in terms of Dokow and Holzman's task assignment problem.

Mots clés : Aggregation of classifications, Group identification problem, Task assignment problem, Nonbinary evaluations

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Harsanyi invested his Aggregation Theorem and Impartial Observer Theorem with utilitarian sense, but Sen described them as "representation theorems" with little ethical import. This critical view has never been subjected to full analytical scrutinity. The formal argument we provide here supports the utilitarian relevance of the Aggregation Theorem. Following a hint made by Sen himself, we posit an exogeneous utilitarian ordering that evaluates riskless options by the sum of individual utilities and we show that any social observer who obeys the conditions of the Aggregation Theorem evaluates social states in terms of a weighted variant of this utilitarian sum.

Mots clés : Utilitarianism, Aggregation Theorem, Impartial Observer Theorem, Cardinal utility, VNM utility, Harsanyi, Sen

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Les risques majeurs sont associés à des événements dont les conséquences défavorables, pour l’humanité ou pour l’environnement, sont d'une gravité exceptionnelle, sans qu’ils soient eux-mêmes nécessairement, comme on le dit souvent, d'une intensité physique extrême ou d’une fréquence très faible. Il en existe de multiples sortes: les risques naturels, comme ceux d’inondation et de submersion marine; les risques technologiques; les risques nucléaires, que l'on traite séparément parce qu’ils mettent en jeu le phénomène de radioactivité; les risques sanitaires; les risques alimentaires, parfois liés aux précédents; enfin, des catégories plus récentes telles que le risque climatique et le terrorisme, auxquels il faudrait ajouter les risques militaires pour être complet.Dans un rapport récent, le Conseil d’analyse économique [Grislain-Letrémy, Lahidji et Mongin, 2013] s’est penché sur le concept général de risque majeur et a étudié de façon plus spécifique le cas des risques naturels, technologiques et nucléaires présents sur le territoire français. Le rapport a abordé les trois risques transversalement, à travers les prismes de la géographie et de la technologie, de l'histoire institutionnelle et juridique, enfin d'un bilan normatif et de recommandations relatifs à l’action publique. Cet article présentera successivement les diagnostics du rapport et ses recommandations.

Mots clés : Major risks, natural hazards, technological disasters, nuclear accidents, public action against major risks, disaster prevention management, insurance against catastrophic risks

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision

We show that the transition from an economy characterized by idiosyncratic income shocks and incomplete markets à la Aiyagari (1994) to markets where state-contingent assets are available but costly (in order to purchase a contingent asset, households have to pay a fixed participation cost) leads to a large increase of wealth inequality. Using a standard calibration our model can match a Gini of 0.93 close to the level of wealth inequality observed in the US. In addition, under this level of participation costs, wealth inequality is particularly sensitive to income inequality. We label this phenomenon as the Inequality Accelerator. We demonstrate how costly access to contingent asset-markets generates these effects. The key insight stems from the non-monotonic relationship between wealth and desired degree of insurance, in an economy with participation costs. Poor borrowing constrained households remain uninsured, middle-class households are almost perfectly insured, while rich households decide to self-insure by purchasing risk-free assets. This feature of households' risk management has crucial effects in asset prices, wealth inequality, and social mobility.

Mots clés : Wealth inequality, Participation costs, Insurance

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

In this article, we critically evaluate what the existing research shows regarding the individual determinants of entrepreneurship. We begin by documenting a set of facts that seem to pose a challenge for interpretations of entrepreneurship based on the standard expected utility framework. Drawing on research in behavioral economics we then review three sets of possible interpretations — risk aversion, overconfidence, and non-pecuniary, taste-based factors — for understanding the empirical facts related to the entry into, and persistence in entrepreneurship. The central thesis of this article is that while all these candidate explanations have merit and can account for some aspects of the facts above, there is little evidence of a “smoking gun” that can completely account for all the puzzling patterns we observe.

Mots clés : entrepreneurship, risk aversion, overconfidence, taste