Research Paper Series

  • Title
  • Author(s)


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Economists are accustomed to distinguishing between a positive and a normative component of their work, a distinction that is peculiar to their field, having no exact counterpart in the other social sciences. The distinction has substantially changed over time, and the different ways of understanding it today are reflective of its history. Our objective is to trace the origins and initial forms of the distinction, from the English classical political economy of the first half of the 19th century to the emergence of welfare economics in the first half of the 20th century. This sequential account will also serve to identify the main representative positions along with the arguments used to support them, and it thus prepares the ground for a discussion that will be less historical and more strictly conceptual.

Keywords: économie positive et économie normative, jugements de valeur, thèse de Hume, objectivité au sens de Weber, économie du bien-être, John Stuart Mill, John Neville Keynes, Lionel Robbins, positive economics and normative economics, value judgments, Hume's thesis, objectivity in


Departments: Economics & Decision Sciences, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The standard, Bayesian account of rational belief and decision is often argued to be unable to cope properly with severe uncertainty, of the sort ubiquitous in some areas of policy making. This paper tackles the question of what should replace it as a guide for rational decision making. It defends a recent proposal, which reserves a role for the decision maker’s confidence in beliefs. Beyond being able to cope with severe uncertainty, the account has strong normative credentials on the main fronts typically evoked as relevant for rational belief and decision. It fares particularly well, we argue, in comparison to other prominent non-Bayesian models in the literature.

Keywords: Confidence, Decision Under Uncertainty, Belief, Rationality


Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Fake news is a symptom of deeper structural problems in our societies and media environments. To counter it, policymakers need to take into account the underlying, self-reinforcing mechanisms that make this old phenomenon so pervasive today. Only by taking a step back can we examine the vulnerabilities these fake news narratives exploit. This article provides a first taxonomy of anti-fake news approaches. It argues that proposed anti-fake news laws focus on the trees rather than the forest. As such, they will not only remain irrelevant but also aggravate the root causes fueling the fake news phenomenon.

Keywords: Fake new, disinformation, misinformation, media, behavioural, better regulation, digital agenda


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We provide a new methodology to empirically investigate the respective roles of systematic and idiosyncratic skewness in explaining expected stock returns. Forming a risk factor that captures systematic skewness risk and forming idiosyncratic skewness sorted portfolios only require the ordering of stocks with respect to each skewness measure. Accordingly, we use a large number of predictors to forecast the cross-sectional ranks of systematic and idiosyncratic skewness which are considerably easier to predict than their actual values. Compared to other measures of ex ante systematic skewness, our forecasts create a significant spread in ex post systematic skewness. A predicted systematic skewness risk factor carries a significant risk premium that ranges from 7% to 12% per year and is robust to the inclusion of downside beta, size, value, momentum, profitability, and investment factors. In contrast to systematic skewness, the role of idiosyncratic skewness in pricing stocks is less robust. Finally, we document how the determinants of systematic skewness differ from those of idiosyncratic skewness.

Keywords: Systematic skewness, coskewness, idiosyncratic skewness, large panel regression, forecasting


Departments: Accounting & Management Control

his is a study of analysts’ use of accounting information for valuation purposes in a venture capital setting. This setting is characterized in terms of the distinctive scouting and coaching work of venture capital funders, and the unproven and incomplete nature of the ventures and entrepreneurs, which seek funding to scale operations, pivot into new markets, internationalize, or undertake some other kind of fundamental change. Based on interviews with entrepreneurs (project-makers) and venture funders (analysts), a four phase model of valuation is proposed. The model illuminates that, in contrast with common assumptions in the existing literature, accounting is mobilized neither to reveal truth nor constitute knowledge about the objects of investment, but to promise and to care. This paper articulates these two concepts in the context of accounting. Promising is shown to be a means not to implement a predesigned business plan and a budgeted set of activities but to commit to a new and unclear future and agree high and sometimes unrealistic expectations. Caring is shown not to be a means to predict a final fate for the organization, but to give and take, interact and sometimes discipline in order to determine what is necessary to preserve and possible to change. Understanding that what is valued is not what exists but what is possible to create helps to resolve puzzles about accounting’s uncertain and ambiguous status and significance in the entrepreneurial economy. It also and more generally illustrates how accounting operates in relation to an unknowable object and future: not as a means to know or reveal but to write and rewrite a daring and ambitious narrative in which the protagonists (here the project-maker and venture) become something else (a manager and an organization).

Keywords: Analysts, Valuation, Qualitative Research, Venture Capital


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We develop a pricing model to analyze the joint impact of liquidity costs and market segmentation on asset pricing. The freely traded securities command a premium for liquidity level and global market and liquidity risk premiums, whereas securities that can be held by a subset of investors command additionally a local market and liquidity risk premiums. We find that the liquidity level premium dominates the liquidity risk premium for our sample of 24 emerging markets. The global market liquidity risk premium dramatically increases during crises and market corrections. Even though unspanned local risk is significantly priced for most markets, unspanned local liquidity risk premium is empirically small. We develop a new methodology for estimating unspanned local risk. Our results shed light on the channels through which liquidity affects asset prices in partially segmented markets and how this pricing relation changes over time.

Keywords: International asset pricing, liquidity risk, transaction cost, emerging markets, market integration


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

In this paper, we re-examine the notion that socially-responsible behavior by firms will lead to increased financial performance. By identifying the underlying processes, institutional settings and actors involved, we present a framework that is more attentive to the multiplicity and conditionality of the mechanisms operating in the often-tenuous connection between firms’ social behavior and financial performance. Building and expanding upon existing analyses of the CSP-CFP linkage, our model helps explain the mixed results from a wide range of empirical studies which examine this link. It also provides a novel theoretical account to help guide future research that is more attentive to conditionalities and contextual contingencies.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Performance, Corporate Financial Performance, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mechanisms


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We advance research on corporate diversification by joining insights from the demand-side and relational views in strategy to offer a novel theory of client-led diversification. We propose that client-led diversification results from a combination of the customer-driven opportunities emphasized in the demand-side view and the creation of added value through relational assets that is a central tenet of the relational view. Furthermore, we hypothesize that suppliers’ client-specific knowledge, clients’ relational commitment to suppliers, and growth opportunities in clients’ markets (relative to the suppliers’ own markets) will magnify the client-led diversification effect. We test our hypotheses using a longitudinal dataset on patent law firms and their diversification into new domains of patent prosecution work for their corporate clients.


Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper studies the impact of consumer resistance, which is triggered by deviations from a psychological reference point, on optimal pricing and cost communication. Assuming that consumers evaluate purchases not only in the material domain, we show that consumer resistance reduces the pricing power and profit. We also show that consumer resistance provides an incentive to engage in cost communication when consumers underestimate cost. While cheap communication does not affect behavior, persuasive communication may increase sales and profit. Finally, we show that a firm can benefit from engaging in operational transparency by revealing information about features of the production process.

Keywords: Price Fairness, Cost Communication, Operational Transparency


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We estimate international factor models with time-varying factor exposures and risk premia at the individual stock level using a large unbalanced panel of 58,674 stocks in 46 countries over the 1985-2017 period. We consider market, size, value, momentum, profitability, and investment factors aggregated at the country, regional, and world level. The country market in excess of the world or regional market is required in addition to world or regional factors to capture the factor structure for both developed and emerging markets. We do not reject mixed CAPM models with regional and excess country market factors for 76% of the countries. We do not reject mixed multi-factor models in 80% to 94% of countries. Value and momentum premia show more variability over time and across countries than profitability and investment premia. The excess country market premium is statistically significant in many developed and emerging markets but economically larger in emerging markets.

Keywords: large panel, approximate factor model, risk premium, international asset pricing, market integration


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