News & Highlights

  • October 2017
  • Events

European Advisory Board Meeting, London

HBS’ regional advisory boards are made up of local leaders from business, academia, and government, many of them HBS alumni, and provide invaluable counsel and support for our research and other student and alumni facing activities in the regions. Hosted by the Faculty Chair for Europe Prof. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, the most recent annual meeting of our European Advisory board focused on how to connect the School to Europe in a way that serves our research and educational objectives, while providing value to the region. It featured updates on the school’s activities by Angela Crispi—HBS Executive Dean for Administration, Katie Lapp—Harvard University Executive Vice President, Vincent Dessain—ERC Executive Director, Prof. Lynn S. Paine—Senior Associate Dean for International Development, and Prof. Bharat N. Anand—Senior Associate Dean for HBX.
  • August 2017
  • Working Knowledge

HBS Working Knowledge, Cold Call Podcast: “Does Le Pliage Help or Hurt the Longchamp Luxury Brand?”

In this podcast, Prof. Jill J. Avery discusses the subject of a new Harvard Business School case study, co-authored by Tonia Labruyère and Daniela Beyersdorfer of the ERC. Longchamp’s Le Pliage is one of the fashion world’s most successful products, a cultural icon across the globe. But managing the low-priced, nylon handbag is challenging as Longchamp tries to move its brand upmarket into higher-priced, luxury leather goods. Prof. Avery discusses the balancing act of cherishing the heritage of an established brand against the need to look forward and grow in the face of a rapidly changing industry.
  • August 2017
  • MBA Experience

MBA Voices: A German Student’s HBS Experience—Interview with Stefan Schmidt, MBA 2018

MBA Voices is the Harvard Business School admissions blog. A collection of community perspectives, the blog provides prospective students with insight into life at HBS. In this interview, German student Stefan Schmidt, MBA 2018, explains the most mind-blowing insights he learned during his first year at HBS and shares three pieces of advice for prospective German students.

New Research on the Region

  • June 2018
  • Article
  • American Economic Review

Will a Five-Minute Discussion Change Your Mind? A Countrywide Experiment on Voter Choice in France

This paper provides the first estimate of the effect of door-to-door canvassing on actual electoral outcomes, via a countrywide experiment embedded in François Hollande's campaign in the 2012 French presidential election. While existing experiments randomized door-to-door visits at the individual level, the scale of this campaign (five million doors knocked) enabled randomization by precinct, the level at which vote shares are recorded administratively. Visits did not affect turnout but increased Hollande's vote share in the first round and accounted for one-fourth of his victory margin in the second. Visits' impact persisted in later elections, suggesting a lasting persuasion effect.

  • Forthcoming
  • Book

The Academy of Fisticuffs: Political Economy and Commercial Society in Enlightenment Italy

The terms “capitalism” and “socialism” continue to haunt our political and economic imaginations, but we rarely consider their interconnected early history. Even the 18th century had its “socialists,” but unlike those of the 19th, they paradoxically sought to make the world safe for “capitalists.” The word “socialists” was first used in Northern Italy as a term of contempt for the political economists and legal reformers Pietro Verri and Cesare Beccaria, author of the epochal On Crimes and Punishments. Yet the views and concerns of these first socialists, developed inside a pugnacious intellectual coterie dubbed the Academy of Fisticuffs, differ dramatically from those of the socialists that followed. I turn to Milan in the late 1700s to recover the Academy’s ideas and the policies they informed. At the core of their preoccupations lay the often lethal tension among states, markets, and human welfare in an era when the three were becoming increasingly intertwined. What distinguished these thinkers was their articulation of a secular basis for social organization, rooted in commerce, and their insistence that political economy trumped theology as the underpinning for peace and prosperity within and among nations. I argue that the Italian Enlightenment, no less than the Scottish, was central to the emergence of political economy and the project of creating market societies. By reconstructing ideas in their historical contexts, I address motivations and contingencies at the very foundations of modernity.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • Econometrica

Expressive Voting and Its Cost: Evidence from Runoffs with Two or Three Candidates

By: Vincent Pons and Clémence Tricaud

In French parliamentary and local elections, candidates ranked first and second in the first round automatically qualify for the second round, while a third candidate qualifies only when selected by more than 12.5% of registered citizens. Using a fuzzy RDD around this threshold, we find that the third candidate’s presence substantially increases the share of registered citizens who vote for any candidate and reduces the vote share of the top two candidates. It disproportionately harms the candidate ideologically closest to the third and causes her defeat in one-fifth of the races. Additional evidence suggests that these results are driven by voters who value voting expressively over voting strategically for the top-two candidate they dislike the least to ensure her victory as well as by third candidates who, absent party-level agreements leading to their dropping out, value the benefits associated with competing in the second round more than influencing its outcome.

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Paris Staff

Vincent Dessain
Executive Director
Daniela Beyersdorfer
Associate Director, Research and Administration
Emilie Billaud
Assistant Director
Elena Corsi
Assistant Director
Pietro De Agostini
Executive Assistant
Federica Gabrieli
Research Assistant
Mette Hjortshoej
Research Assistant
Tonia Labruyere
Research Associate
Emer Moloney
Research Associate
Jan Pianca
Assistant Director, Educational Programs
Oksana Sichi
Manager of Administration
Francois-Lucien Vulliermet
Research Associate