Research @ HEC Liege

Research @ HEC Liège

Economic Analysis and Policy 



The research domain Economic Analysis and Policy analyses a large number of applied economic questions. It applies rigorous analysis to study applied and policy issues in different economic domains. Here are some highlights of the work conducted within the past months.


Are unilateral trade policies targeting African countries as beneficial as they seem?

Professor Joe Tharakan has recently published a paper with Dr. Zakaria Sorgho in the latest volume of World Economy. Titled: “Assessing the impact of unilateral trade policies EBA and AGOA on African beneficiaries' exports using matching econometrics”, the paper proposes an econometric estimation of the effect of trade programmes such as EBA (for the EU) and AGOA (for the US) on the exports of African countries. Within these programmes, both the EU and the US give a privileged access to their markets for exports coming from the poorest countries. This is controversial because although on paper this access is privileged, the US and the EU impose other restrictions to have access to their markets (such as quality, hygiene, etc.). Hence it is not clear that the effect of these policies is really positive. With the help of different econometric techniques, the authors establish that this effect is positive for both, but that the impact is greater for AGOA than for EBA. Dr. Sorgho did a postdoctoral stay at HEC Liège funded by Prisme.  

You can read more about this topic via this link


Do distribution tariffs encourage PV adoption?

Axel Gautier and Julien Jacqmin will soon publish the results of their research in the Journal of Regulatory Economics. The deployment of decentralized productions units (DPU) like rooftop solar panels is a major challenge for a transition towards greener energy sources. Under a net metering system where the meter runs backward when there is excessive PV production, the electricity produced by a solar panel is valued at the retail price. Higher retail prices thus encourage the deployment of DPU. To identify this relationship, Gautier and Jacqmin used data from the Wallonia region where tariffs are paid on a mostly volumetric base and where there are 13 different tariff zones. Using various specifications, our results suggest that in a municipality where the distribution tariff is one eurocent per kWh higher, the investment in solar PV is, all else equal, around 8% higher.

You can read more about this in the article via this link


Two funded projects have started.

The LCII has obtained an ARC project entitled « Regulation for ‘Artificial Intelligence’-Powered Digital Platforms ». It will analyse the functioning of digital platforms. Research will be interdisciplinary (economics, management, law and IT). Find further details of this grant in HEC Liège’s upcoming  Spirit of Management issue. A John Cockerill funding has been obtained to work on the industry 4.0 topic.  The main goal of this project is to shed some light on the impact of digitization on the industry sector. It will attempt to answer questions such as: what are the main drivers behind the adoption of these technologies? Is Industry 4.0 enhancing firms' productivity? What is the impact of the data generated by these new technologies? The project started in September 2019 and it will last 4 years.