EDHEC Research Day 2013 spotlights ways to reduce France’s budget deficit

Written on 18 July 2013.


 

“It’s a tradition at EDHEC to present our research to the public,” EDHEC President Olivier Oger said June 21 before roughly 200 participants at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. “EDHEC was one of the first business schools to demand that researchers produce studies with real impact in the sense that they can be use to change the way we function as a society.”

At EDHEC, which was recently ranked 4th in the world by The Financial Times for its MSc programme in finance, there are four research hubs, one each in the areas of financial analysis and accounting, finance, economics, and legal affairs. Oger explained
that the hubs allow researchers to work in teams to produce original research with real impact. “Our reputation for research sets us apart from other business schools and allows us to recruit the best students and faculty,” Oger added.

The conference was also the setting for a round table discussion on France’s national debt and the 2017 deadline to reduce the deficit. Député Gilles Carrez, President of the Finance Commission of the French Assemblée Nationale; Député Valérie Rabault,
Vice-President of the Finance Commission; Amélie Verdier, director of the office of France’s Budget Minister, and Stéphane Gregoir, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research at EDHEC, agreed that public spending should be kept under control. However, the panel could not agree on appropriate adjustments.

EDHEC professors proposed several ways to improve the implementation of economic policies and reduce the France’s budget deficit.

Finance expert and EDHEC professor Florencio Lopez de Silanes presented his analysis of government-funded banks. Research shows that government intervention in the banking industry does not produce better financial outcomes. “Neither private credit nor private equity increases with government-funded banks,” said Lopez de Silanes. “Indeed, government intervention has a negative long-term effect on the banking industry and can even result in a misallocation of resources in the economy.”

Arnaud Chéron, director of research at EDHEC, discussed the unemployment rate of French citizens age 50 and up.  He demonstrated that social benefits aimed at this demographic group can in fact result in higher unemployment rates. To encourage a return to work, Chéron counseled officials to limit the length of time that older workers can receive unemployment benefits to 24 months total. The result could be an overall increase in the employment rate of French citizens age 55 to 59 by 6 points, Chéron said, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 jobs.

Pierre Courtioux, a professor and an adjunct director of research at EDHEC, said that the French government should create educational loans, called PARCs, to reduce the amount of public money spent for higher-education. Under the PARC system, students would take out loans when registering for school as part of a publically-funded programme. They would pay-off the loans once their post-graduation income reaches a certain level. Australia is an example of a country that has had success with these types of loans, Courtioux said.

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