Benoît Cœuré, 08 September 2021

In March 2020, the French parliament tasked an independent committee with monitoring the financial support available to companies during the Covid-19 crisis. A rich firm-level database – matching receipt of government money with balance-sheet records, tracing payroll and turnover trajectories for the first two waves of the pandemic – was the result. This column mines that database to evaluate the incentives for accepting government aid; the impact of support measures; and heterogeneity across industries, firms, and locations. The authors judge French fiscal support during the crisis a tentative success.

Pierre Cahuc, Stéphane Carcillo, Andreea Minea, Marie-Anne Valfort, 03 January 2020

Correspondence studies are often used to detect discrimination on the part of recruiters, but they do not inform us about decisions at the interview and job-offer stages. This column describes how a correspondence study suggests that individuals of North African origin are strongly discriminated against in the French private sector, while they are treated equally in the public sector. However, survey results indicate that both public and private sector employers express discriminatory preferences and beliefs against North African candidates, and wages of young unskilled North African males are lower than those of their French compatriots in both sectors. The findings suggest that correspondence studies should be complemented with other investigation methods.

Matthieu Crozet, Julian Hinz, 05 July 2016

Economic sanctions serve as a foreign policy tool, but they can also hurt domestic firms doing business in the target country. This column looks at the effects of sanctions imposed by 37 countries on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. The estimated loss of exports to Russia totalled $3.2 billion per month between December 2013 and June 2015. This loss was mostly incurred by European economies and in products not targeted by retaliations. French firm-level data points to a deterioration of trade finance services as the dominant mechanism.

Nicolas Berman, Antoine Berthou, Jérôme Héricourt, 16 December 2011

The synchronised poor growth in European countries can be explained by many factors, including trade and financial linkages. This column argues that firms’ domestic sales are directly affected by the fall in their exports. Using French firm-level data and the Asian Crisis as a foreign-demand shock, it finds that domestic sales were 5% lower for firms exposed to the crisis. It suggests that this is because the cash flow generated by exports may be used by firms to finance domestic operations in the short term.


CEPR Policy Research