I am currently working on the following projects :
- « Sharing Public Goods: Optimal Spatial Policies with Unobserved Location Preferences », mimeo, with Nicolas Jannin
We study the welfare implications of public good agglomeration externalities in an economic geography framework. We first present new empirical evidence on scale economies in the consumption of local public goods using administrative panel data on French cities. We estimate strong agglomeration gains with an elasticity between 0.46 and 0.56. We then characterize the optimal spatial transfers achieving efficient population distribution in a spatial equilibrium model with endogenous public goods where workers have unobserved location preferences. In standard applications of our framework, we show that the government can improve upon the laissez-faire only when preference heterogeneity is weak enough. When heterogeneity is strong enough, place-based transfers unambiguously create winners and losers. Finally, we argue that the interplay between agglomeration forces and location preferences may justify place-specific transfers on horizontal or categorical equity grounds. We empirically investigate the relevance of these equity concerns in France by investigating the structure of the welfare weights rationalizing observed situations. Ceteris paribus, the underlying social welfare function compensates low-density places.
- « How LRT shapes the city : Lessons from the French Tramway experience », processing, with Antton Haramboure
Through the study of historical tramway networks in early 20st century France and the recent renewal of this transportation mode in France, we plan to carry out a comprehensive study of the effects of light rail transit systems on urban morphology and functions, using both present administrative datasets and historical ones.