Research @ HEC Liege

Research @ HEC Liège

Economic Analysis and Policy 



The strategic research field Economic analysis and policy has been very active despite the pandemic context.

Here are some highlights of the 2020-2021 academic period:


Our field has become expert field in International Recognition

HEC Research has awarded our field within the International Recognition category. This category is based on the H-index of the past 2 years. Our research outputs from the 2019-2020 period have been cited at least 194 times and still counting. One of our most cited papers for that period has been Prof. Axel Gautier’s “Self-consumption choice of residential PV owners under net-metering”, co-written with J. Jacqmin (Neoma Business School) and S. Van Driessche (University of Nancy). The paper studies the decision of households that have installed solar panels to synchronize electricity consumption and production. While this behavior is beneficial for the energy system as a whole, it is not encouraged by a net-metering system. With net metering, the meter runs backward when electricity is supplied to the grid and forward when electricity is drawn from the grid. The meter records the difference between the local consumption and local production and this difference is used as the basis for the bill. In this case, synchronization of consumption with production does not have an impact on the bill. You can access the paper via ORBI.


Mergers in the digital economy

There is no doubt that the market power of the largest tech companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, known as the GAFAM) is considerable. This also means power when it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Operating as multi-sided platforms, GAFAM have created a large ecosystem of products, applications, services, content and users. And they are used to acquiring innovative startups. Despite their intense merger activities, little is known about the the GAFAM’s M&A strategies. Professor Gautier, along with our alumnus Joe Lamesch decided to explore detailed information and statistics on the merger activity of the GAFAM and on the characteristics of the firms they acquire. One of the most intriguing features of these acquisitions is that, in the majority of cases, the product of the target is discontinued under its original brand name post acquisition and this is especially true for the youngest firms. What could such discontinuation tell us about GAFAM’s strategies? Discover the details via ORBI here.


Spotlight on our new assistant Professor

Pierrick Clerc joined HEC Liège last September. Before joining the School he spent nearly six years in two central banks. Shortly after the completion of his PhD (from Paris School of Economics), he was recruited by the forecasting unit of the Banque de France. Four years later, Pierrick became senior economist at the Swiss National Bank, in the Research Coordination unit. There, he was involved in the content part of most scientific events organized by this institution, as well as in the editorial committee of its working papers series. During those six years, Pierrick also took the opportunity to lecture in various universities (notably Paris Sciences & Lettres, Sciences Po Paris and UCLouvain) at bachelor, master and PhD levels. These teaching experiences – and especially the interaction with highly motivated students – definitively convinced him that, while satisfied by his career in central banks, his ‘right place’ was in academia.

Macroeconomics is the area in which Pierrick published his first papers, and to which he continues to devote an important part of his current research. At the same time, he has always shown a strong interest for the history of macroeconomics. Pierrick thus defines himself today as much an historian of macroeconomics as a macroeconomist. Pierrick’s current research precisely deals with an issue which allows him to contribute to both macroeconomics and the history of macroeconomics: why, and how, does money affect output and other real variables?

Searching for the mechanisms at the roots of the non-neutrality of money is the theme of Pierrick’s latest article – published this year in the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. There, Pierrick shows that the effects of monetary policy shocks on output and unemployment critically depend on the way the wage bargain between workers and employers is modelled.

At the same time, he is also working on different papers related to the 50th anniversary of Robert Lucas’s seminal article “Expectations and the Neutrality of Money”, in which Lucas introduced rational expectations into macroeconomic analysis. In one of these papers, Pierrick surveys the different roads taken by the literature explaining the non-neutrality of money during the last fifty years, and discusses the reasons why imperfect information – the very source of monetary non-neutrality advocated by Lucas – has not (so far) won the day.