Lionel Védrine

Research fellow at the french National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA, UMR CESAER)


11C105 - Counterfactual Methods for Regional and Urban Policy Ev

My research interests include topics such as impact analysis of public policies, regional policy, fiscal federalism under asymmetric information.

More precisely, my research project aims at exploring the role of spatial effects on both the effectiveness of public policies and the identification of them.This approach could provide new insights into the role of spatial effects (whether explicitly or not desired) on the effectiveness of public policies.

If you want to know more, you can look at my Curriculum Vitae. On this site you will also find my current research projects.



Forced Displacement and Technology Adoption: An empirical analysis based on Agricultural households in Bosnia and Herzegovinia

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We use the Bosnian Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) survey to show that conflict-induced displacement of agricultural households affects dramatically the adoption of new technologies in agriculture. We exploit the heterogeneity in the level of violence in the pre-war location to account for the selection bias.  This instrumental variable seems to be a source of exogenous variation in our case because violence aims to ethnic cleansing, without economic consideration. We find that displaced are less likely than stayers to adopt fertilizer. However, we find out that under-adoption may be mitigated by the access to the property of the displaced.

Do urban tolls really help us breathe easier? An evaluation of the impact of urban tolls on air quality


In this paper, we study the environmental impact of the London Congestion Charge using a Synthetic Control approach applied to the concentrations of several pollutants linked with automobile use : PM10, NOx and Ozone. We proceeded in two steps : we first applied the SCM at the city scale, basing on the Urban Audit, and showed that the LCC decreased the number of days with PM10 and Ozone concentrations above the European standards. At the city scale, we can compare the composition of the pool of cities retained to construct the counterfactual. In a second step, we adopted the pollution station scale in order to treat more refined data on air pollution. This allowed us to distinguish between within, boundary and outside LCC zone stations. We showed that the introduction of the LCC and its extension has significant impacts on PM10 concentrations, and that the latter also had an impact on NOx concentrations; however no significant impact was found within the LCC zone. With this very preliminary results, we show that the LCC had a significant impact on air quality; however both the nature of the pollutant studied and the type and locations of the stations under scrutiny matters.

How effects of demand shocks vary with local labor market conditions? Evidence from the French Air Force base closures


As a natural experiment for demand shocks, we estimate the effect on local unemployment of 14  french air force base closures occurring between 2003 and 2014. We use common factor panel and synthetic control methods to construct a credible « counterfactual » for each employment zone which experienced a closure. By analyzing quarterly local unemployment data, we show that air base closure  increase local unemployment. Common factor panel shows that air base closure lead to a rise in local unemployment in quarters following the shock. Synthetic control method reveals heterogeneity in local economy’s resilience. Our quantitative analysis shows that the heterogeneous human capital stock is the most relevant explanation for the observed heterogeneity in resilience.

Allocation of European Structural Funds, Decentralization and Strategic Spatial Interactions : Is there a Yardstick Competition between Regions in the Public Aid for Development ?


This paper analyzes relationships between the degree of decentralization of a public policy and the emergence of horizontal strategic interactions. The structural fund allocation process is analyzed by determining how the governance structure of the cohesion policy affects the development of strategic spatial interactions between regional governments. A political agency model has been developed. In this model, the effect of the governance structure of public policy was modelised by the decision of voters to acquire information on the activities of local governments. The appearance of spatial interactions, resulting from a mechanism of « yardstick competition », increases with the degree of policy decentralization. From empirical analysis of the 2000-06 period, the proposed model is confirmed by showing that spatial interactions are more intense when the policy governance is decentralized. This work highlights a new source of spatial interaction in the allocation of grants from institutional determinants, in addition to socioeconomic factors which have been studied so far.

Estimation strategies for Spatial Dynamic Panel using GMM. A new approach to the convergence issue of European regions

While estimation methods for dynamic panel data and spatial econometric models are standard in economic literature, there has been a relatively recent development in methods which include spatial considerations in dynamic panel data models. This paper proposes two estimation strategies for spatial dynamic panel data models using the generalized method of moments (GMM). The first is to extend the moment restrictions of Arellano and Bond’s estimator to a spatial autoregressive dynamic panel. The second allows for spatial dependence in the error process. The empirical application focuses on European regional growth over a 25-year period. We find empirical evidence of conditional convergence, which is significantly affected by spatial disparities.

Fostering the Development of European Regions: A Spatial Dynamic Panel Data Analysis of the Impact of Cohesion Policy

We use a conditional–convergence econometric model to investigate whether cohesion policy affects European economies. Its main contribution is to consider both spatial and temporal dynamics in assessing the impact of European cohesion policy. Econometric estimations rely on a dataset of 143 EU-14-NUTS-1/NUTS-2 regions from 1980 to 2005. The results suggest that Objective 1 programmes have a direct effect on regional gross domestic product per capita growth rates, whereas total Structural Funds do not. Moreover, consideration of the spatial dimension of the panel brings to light a still significant, but less important, impact of Structural Funds.

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