Thomas CHANEY is awarded an ERC "Advanced" grant

  • Map overlaying neolithic sites and modern citiesMap overlaying neolithic sites and modern cities

Thomas Chaney

On March 31st, 2020 the European Research Council (ERC) announced the winners of the latest “Advanced Grants” competition.

Advanced grants are awarded to established researchers who have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years and who would like long-term funding to pursue a ground-breaking, high risk project.

The project “Historical Migrations, Trade, and Growth” (HMTG) submitted by permanent faculty member Thomas CHANEY, is one of only 8 projects selected at the European level in the field of economics.

It is the 15th time that one of the Department’s faculty members has been awarded an ERC grant in less than 10 years. And this is the second time that Professor Chaney has been awarded a prestigious ERC grant: in 2013 he was awarded an ERC “Starting grant” for his project “FiNet: Firms Networks, Trade, and Growth » that was prolonged until this year. He was also an NSF grant recipient in 2011 for his project “The Network Structure of International Trade”.

Thomas CHANEY is Professor of Economics at the Department since 2016. He is currently Joint Managing Editor of the Review of Economic Studies. He is also a Research Fellow at the CEPR (International Trade and Regional Organizations) and a Research Fellow of the CESifo Research Network. Prior to joining the Department, he was Professor of Economics at Toulouse School of Economics, where he taught since 2012.

His primary research fields are International Trade, Networks, Economic History and Finance. His work has been published in leading international, peer-reviewed journals such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Review of Economic Studies.

The HMTG Project builds on his FiNet ERC project whose objective was to introduce the notion of large-scale economic networks into the mainstream of economics, in particular in macroeconomics and international trade and a very original line of research he has been developing for the past few years which analyses ancient trade with the tools of modern economics (read the interview “In Search of Lost Cities”).

For this new project, Professor Chaney sets out to explore a number of questions: “Do international migrations foster economic dynamism and growth? Does the presence of immigrants and their descendants alter the attitudes and actions of natives towards foreigners? How do cities emerge and survive? Does economic growth increase wellbeing in the long run?”. The project’s hypothesis is that “direct contact between individuals affects their preferences and the technologies they use”. Professor Chaney proposes to test this hypothesis from different angles, at different points in time, and over different horizons (eight in all). The unifying methodology is to use historical data spanning the Neolithic, the Bronze Age, the Middle Age, and modern history and to collaborate with a team made up of both economists and historians.

Read more about the HMTG Project
Consult the ERC’s press release

More about Thomas CHANEY and his research

On the economic frontline: the Department's researchers analyse the impact of Covid-19

  • Abstract image of the impact of covid-19 on the economyAbstract image of the impact of covid-19 on the economy

While Sciences Po temporarily closes its doors, the Department's researchers continue to analyse and evaluate the impact of the pandemic Covid-19 on the economy. An anthology of their latest publications on the subject, updated regularly.

philippe martin and jean pisani-ferry recommend a european recovery initiative that should repair and reconstruct

Philippe Martin and Jean Pisani-Ferry


In a Vox-EU column on April 20th, faculty members Philippe MARTIN and Jean PISANI-FERRY, with five other prominent european economists, make a case in favour of a recovery initiative whose objective should be twofold: "to repair corporate balance sheets and value chains; and to reconstruct the economy on a new, sustainable basis...". Résumé.

"The EU has been slow to formulate its response to the Covid crisis. Fortunately, things have started to change. The EU’s leaders should finish work on the new borrowing facilities, first by clarifying the maturities of the borrowings, and second by being prepared to beef up their amounts if needed. It is also crucial to find ways to jointly finance priority action and to provide support to countries worst affected by the crisis in order to restart their own economies. The objective of a Recovery Initiative should be to repair and reconstruct the EU economy: to repair corporate balance sheets and value chains; and to reconstruct the economy on a new, sustainable basis through investment in common public goods such as research, resilience, and the greening of the economy. This will involve targeted investment, coordinated restructuring in some sectors, and the introduction of an equity fund to help SMEs survive the crisis."

Read the Vox-EU column "Repair and reconstrct: A Recovery Initiative" on the CEPR Policy Portal

More about Philippe MARTIN and his research
More about Jean PISANI-FERRY and his research

Yann Algan examines the “Covid-19 effect” on social and political trust in Europe

Yann Algan

The results of a recent analysis carried out by Yann ALGAN, permanent faculty member and the Dean of the School of Public Affairs, in collaboration with Bruno CAUTRES, researcher at CEVIPOF, is featured in the online and print versions of Le Monde this Saturday, April 18th, 2020.

The Department of Economics (ERC SOWELL, GA n°647870) and CEVIPOF, in collaboration with the Institut Montaigne, Fondation Jean Jaurès, Fondapol and Terra Nova foundations, recently carried out an additional wave of CEVIPOF’s "Political Confidence Barometer" (in French) in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. The same nationally representative samples of French, British and Germans who took part in the February wave of this survey were recontacted in early April and asked to, once again, answer a core set of questions on their self-confidence, social trust and political trust. They were also questioned on their experiences during confinement, their feelings of national solidarity, and their opinions regarding the management of the crisis and related government policies. The timing of the surveys - before and after confinement was imposed - provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine the “Covid-19 effect” on the attitudes and behaviours of French, British and Germans in terms of social and political confidence.

Read the article "Le gouvernement français a peut-être déjà perdu la bataille de la confiance" in Le Monde (in French, PDF 447,37 KB)

Sergei Guriev will discuss Containing the economic nationalist virus through global coordination

Sergeï Guriev

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) are co-organising a webinar to discuss the nationalism and populism aspects of Covid-19 and its impact on the world economy.

Sergeï GURIEV, permanent faculty member and Director of the Department’s Master’s and PhD in Economics programmes, is one of the panelists along with Monica DE BOLLE (PIIE) and Adam S. Posen (CEPR) invited to debate on the topic. Résumé.

"Economic nationalism has resurfaced in a global economy already weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic. People and politicians try to look after those closest to them, hoarding medical equipment and withholding aid for poorer countries. But these policies are self-defeating. Over time, countries that try to decouple from the global economy will end up suffering more from lack of diversified sourcing and unavoidable local shocks."

The hour-long webinar will take place on Wednesday, April 15th at 12:30 (EST, Washington), 17:30 (BST, London), 18:30 (CEST, Paris).

Read more about this exceptional webinar and register (mandatory) for it !

More about Sergeï GURIEV and his research

the franco-german council of economic experts call for a "coordinated covid response"

Philippe Martin and Xavier Ragot

On April 6th, 2020, Philippe MARTIN and Xavier RAGOT, members of the Franco-German Council of Economic Experts, called upon the French and German Ministers of Economics and Finance, to endorse a series of proposals made to respond to the impact of the pandemic Covid-19 at the European level.

These measures include:


"The Corona pandemic poses an unprecedented dilemma to societies and economies around the world. Policy makers need to trade off possible increases in the number of bankruptcies and of unemployed workers with an effective reduction of new infections. Opening the economy will offer no sustainable economic benefits if the pandemic bounces back as a result. Currently, in lieu of other choices most of the world has gone into lockdown. At the present stage this is the only option left to avoid overburdening the intensive care units of hospitals, which would result in large losses of human life.

"Inevitably, this approach comes at severe economic and human costs. These costs should be socialized and smoothed over time which implies a high degree of risk-sharing. In the present crisis, where the shock is fully exogenous, the argument of moral hazard against insurance does not apply.

"Since a noticeable fraction of economic activity is currently prevented from happening by obligatory social distancing, all major economies experience a drastic and simultaneous shock to demand and supply, and have consequently entered a severe recession. Our assessment is that France and Germany will likely experience negative growth rates beyond – 5% in 2020."

Read the the Franco-German Council of Economic Experts' call for a "coordinated COVID response (PDF 76,13 KB)

More about Philippe MARTIN and his research
More about Xavier RAGOT and his research

roberto galbiati cautions against simple country correlations when looking at policy options

Roberto Galbiati

In a VoxEU column on March 28th, Roberto GALBIATI, CNRS Professor and permanent faculty member, co-authored a call to be wary of simple cross-country correlation analysis when examining policy options. Rather, policy makers should look to empirical analysis using detailed and harmonised microdata at the European level. Résumé.

"Italy has been hit particularly badly by the COVID-19 pandemic and has one of the highest case fatality rates. High levels of intergenerational interaction in the country have been identified as a potential contributor to this. This column cautions against drawing policy implications from simple cross-country correlation analysis. It argues instead that sound empirical analysis using detailed and harmonised microdata at the European level should be conducted to analyse the effectiveness of policy interventions. "

Read the VoxEU column "Cross-Country Correlation Analysis for Research on Covid-19" on the CEPR's policy portal

Philippe martin and jean pisani-FERRY propose a covid credit line and a multi-INSTRUMENT APPROACH FOR THE EU

Philippe Martin and Jean Pisani-Ferry

In two separate VoxEU columns, faculty members Philippe MARTIN and Jean PISANI-FERRY
, alongside more than a dozen of prominent economists in France, in Germany and beyond, have responded to the European Central Bank's Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP).

They call for the creation of a specific credit line in the European Stability Mechanism and advocate for a "multi-instrument approach" in the European Union.

On March 21st, Philippe MARTIN and Jean PISANI-FERRY proposed the creation of a "covid credit line". Résumé.

"It is in the interest of every EU member state that countries in the Union hit by the coronavirus are able to take the necessary measures to control the pandemic and deal with the economic consequences without being constrained, and to do so very quickly. This column proposes a Covid credit line in the European Stability Mechanism, with allocation across member states proportionate to the severity of the public health and economic challenges encountered. While it would involve some coordination and solidarity among member states, the dedicated credit line would reduce risks to economic and financial stability for all while allowing members to sustain their efforts by making their borrowing costs less dependent on individual fiscal situations."

Read VoxEU column "A Proposal for a Covid Credit Line" on the CEPR's policy portal 

On April 6th, they called for a multi-instrument approach "that would jointly achieve three objectives: sharing the cost of the COVID crisis, helping member states to borrow at very long maturities and low interest rates, and relaunching the EU after the crisis". Résumé.

"There are now several proposals for complementing the vigorous decision of the ECB to launch a mega ‘pandemic emergency purchase programme’ with fiscal and financial initiatives at the European level. These proposals sometimes overlap, which is a good sign of convergence. This column argues that they are also largely complementary to one another. Hence, it calls for a multi-instrument approach that would jointly achieve three objectives: sharing the cost of the COVID crisis, helping member states to borrow at very long maturities and low interest rates, and relaunching the EU after the crisis. In addition to existing tools, the authors believe that a tryptic built around a COVID fund (with borrowing capacity), specific credit guarantees with the European Investment Bank and dedicated credit lines such as an ESM COVID line or the recently proposed temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) would be appropriate, provided it is sized up and allows for very long-run borrowing."

Read the VoxEU column "COVID-19 economic crisis: Europe needs more than one instrument" on the CEPR's policy portal

mirko wiederholt looks at what new economics has to offer to stop the spread of the virus

Mirko WiederholtIn a VoxEU column on March 19th, Mirko WIEDERHOLT, permanent faculty member, and co-author Bartosz MAĆKOWIAK (ECB), propose an original approach:

"An important debate in economics is whether a problem should be tackled at its source or whether one should treat its consequences... Most writing by economists in the recent days has focused on the economic consequences of the pandemic (e.g. Baldwin and di Mauro 2020). In this column, we focus instead on what new economics says about how one can tackle the problem at its source by stopping the spread of the virus."

Mirko WIEDERHOLT and Bartosz MAĆKOWIAK propose to use a theory of decision-making by agents who have limited information-processing ability. Résumé.

"Economists may not have been able to do much about the outbreak of the coronavirus, but this column argues that economics can help tackle the problem at its source by reducing the spread of the virus. Using a theory of decision-making by agents who have limited information-processing ability, it offers various recommendations for individuals and policymakers to limit the spread of COVID-19."

Read the VoxEU column "Lack of preparation for rare events and policy implications in the time of COVID-19" on the CEPR's policy portal

xavier ragot: "After the crisis, I don't believe in a return to the world as it was 'before'"

Xavier Ragot

Xavier RAGOT
, CNRS Director, permanent faculty member and President of the Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE)
, another Sciences Po research centre, granted an interview on the occasion of the OFCE's latest policy brief on the economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic published March 30th. Résumé.

Responding to the question "will the decisions made by national and european economic institutions in response to the sanitary crisis be enough to cushion the shock of the economic crisis, an inevitable consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic?", Xavier RAGOT points to the need to rethink, at the end of this tragic episode, the links between economy, society and environment.

Read the online interview "Après la crise, je ne crois pas à un retour au monde d'avant" (in French)

The OFCE is an independent institute dedicated to economic research and forecasting and one of our partners. Also on the frontline, the OFCE has published over the past weeks a number of analyses related to the Covid-19 pandemic that may be consulted via its blog. The OFCE also publishes on a regular basis policy briefs: on March 30th, the OFCE presented its evaluation of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and containment measures (in French).

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*CANCELLED* FRIDAY Seminar - Mar 13th

  • Paper in a typewriter on which it is written "New Research"Paper in a typewriter on which it is written "New Research"

Cyril Couaillier

Cyril COUAILLIER is a PhD candidate at Sciences Po working on a thesis entitled "Interactions and Regulations" under the supervision of Stéphane GUIBAUD. He is also currently a Research Economist in the Macroprudential Unit of the Banque de France.

He will present a paper, joint with Valerio SCALONE, at the next Friday Seminar on the theme:

How does Financial Vulnerability Amplify Housing and Credit Shocks? (read paper, PDF 760,52 KB)

More about Cyril COUAILLIER and his research

Dorian Henricot


Dorian HENRICOT is a PhD candidate at Sciences Po working on a thesis entitled "Financial Frictions, Financial Crises, and Macroprudential Policy" under the supervision of Nicolas CŒURDACIER. He is also currently an economist in the Financial Stability Division of the Banque de France.

He will present a paper at the next Friday Seminar on the theme:

The Market Impact of the Countercyclical Capital Buffer (read Abstract, PDF 50,73 KB)


The next Friday Seminar will host Oliver CASSAGNEAU-FRANCIS (Sciences Po) on March 20th.

*CANCELLED* PEPES Seminar - Mar 12th

  • Voters from different walks of life placing ballots in election boxVoters from different walks of life placing ballots in election box

Samuel Bazzi

Samuel BAZZI is Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University. He is a NBER Faculty Research Associate as well as a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), at the Global Development Policy Center (Boston U), and at the International Growth Center (IGC). He is also a Junior Research Affiliate at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). He has a number of editorial activities and is notably the Associate Editor of the Journal of the European Economics Association and of the Journal of Development Economics.

His research interests include the fields of Development, Political Economy, and Migration.

Samuel BAZZI will present a paper, joint with Martin FISZBEIN and Mesay GEBBRESILASSE, at the next PEPES Seminar on the theme:

Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of "Rugged Individualism" in the United States (read paper)

More about Samuel BAZZI and his research

Date : Thurs, 2020-03-12 12:30
Location : PSE, 48 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris - ROOM R1-13

The next PEPES Seminar will host Marta REYNAL-QEYROL (Barcelona GSE) on March 19th


  • Vector gear infographic elementsVector gear infographic elements

Michela Tincani

Michela TINCANI is Assistant Professor of Economics at University College London (UCL). She is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). In 2019, she was awarded the UCL Provost's Education Award and a UCL Faculty Education award for outstanding contributions to education at UCL.

She is an applied economist with an interest in social inequalities. She aims to bring together data and economic theory to answer policy relevant questions. Her research work combines novel data collections, large administrative data, experimental and quasi-experimental data with economic theory (dynamic decision-making, general equilibrium, and game theory). 

Michela TINCANI will present a paper at the next Empirical IO Seminar on the theme:

Incentive Effects of Preferential Admissions under Subjective Beliefs

More about Michela TINCANI and her research

Date: 2020-03-10 14:45
Location: Department of Economics, 28 rue des Saints Pères - ROOM H 402

The next Empirical IO Seminar will host George GAYLE (Washington University at Saint Louis) on March 24th.

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