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20 ans du CREST






   C R E S T

Center for Research in Economics and Statistics






The CREST is a research center depending on the French National Statistical Institute (INSEE) and related with the Schools of Economics and Statistics (ENSAE-ENSAI). It is financed by the Ministry of Finance. It has been progressively created during the eighties with the following objectives : 

  • to open both Schools and Institute, and indirectly the Ministry of Finance to Universities, private industrial sectors and international relationships;
  • to monitor technological developments for both Schools and Institute;
  • to support applied topics in the French academic system, such as Econometrics, Quantitative Sociology, Survey Sampling, Economic of Insurance or Real Estate, to mention a few;
  • to constitute a research center ranked at the international level in the main fields of Economics, Finance and Statistics.



At the beginning the Center was conceived as a nursery for PhD Students. The Center has proposed doctoral grants, facilities, data basis and attractive scientific environment at a period where these features were largely missing in the French academic system. This allowed to select high level students, in France or abroad, generally with external supervisors. This policy has been the basis for developing the contacts with the universities and the private sector, by means of the positions further occupied by the students [see the list in the appendix]. Moreover, this policy has ensured a regular turnover and ex-post was very appropriate to adjust the fast development of some topics such as financial theory.

In parallel, the Center has ensured the updating of the PhD level courses proposed by the schools, and has promoted the research within the Statistical Institute, to get a sufficient number of administrators able to supervise PhD theses in various fields.


Three phases can be distinguished in the development of the Center.

  • The first period is the stabilization of the nursery policy. The first grants have been offered in 1982, but the system has been systematically introduced in 1988. The success of this policy is largely due to the support of the successive managements of the schools and of the institute, but also of the Universities and other research centers. The supports of CEPREMAP, and Paris-Dauphine University have been crucial in the period.
  • The second period is the merging with the research center of the Institute and the creation of specialized laboratories

             - creation of the laboratory of Industrial Organization
merging with the Research Department of the Institute
            - creation of the Finance-Insurance, and the Statistics laboratories,
creation of the Microeconometrics laboratory,
creation of the Quantitative Sociology laboratory,
creation of the Macroeconomics laboratory…


  • The third period is up to 2007. It focused on the stabilization of this structure and in particular on the research for an appropriate management for more than 120 researchers and PhD students. This management has to be sufficiently decentralized to let a large autonomy to the laboratories concerning their recruitment, scientific or marketing policies, while ensuring a minimum coherency between these policies, or deciding when some topics have to be under-or overweighted.

The Center is currently one of the three major research centers in Economics in France, with Paris School of Economics, and IDEI, Toulouse, and clearly the first one for Econometrics and Finance.


This 20th anniversary corresponds to the fourth phase in the development of the center. Indeed, the policy of the Center and possibly its current structure, have to adjust to an increased competition at the international level, with the apparition of new players (especially Singapore, Taiwan, Mainland China and Korea) and an increased heterogeneity of salaries with respect to the research topic with the extreme for financial topics. Two strategies are currently explored that are : 

  • at least an increased cooperation between the main French academic or private research centers
    For instance, a joint laboratory on the analysis of energy markets has been created with the CREST, University Paris IX and the French Power (EDF). 
  • the research for private funding and the creation of research chairs. The first chairs concern the most competing topics, for instance a chair sponsored by AXA has been created on “Large Risks in Insurance”, jointly with Ecole Polytechnique and a chair GROUPAMA on “Behavioural Finance”, jointly with University Paris-Dauphine.



To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Center several workshops and scientific conferences will be organized between November 2007 and November 2008, with more events in the period June 12 to 24, 2008.


The information on these workshop will be available on .

They will concern the main topics covered by the Center

          Industrial Organization,
Economic Policy,
Labour Economics,
Financial Econometrics,
Econometric Theory.

The Organizing Committee for the 20th anniversary includes : 

Cahuc, P., Gourieroux, C., Gregoir, S.,  Kramarz, F., Laroque, G., Malinvaud, E., Monfort, A., Renault, E., Salanie, B., Touzi, N.


 Workshops Organized for the 20th Anniversary 




November, 9, 2007:"Model Validation,Predictive Ability and Model Risk", co-organized with Banque de France and chair AXA

February 1st , 2008 :"Prospective Mortality Tables ,Longevity Risk and Mortality Linked Securities", co-organized with chair AXA

May, 21-24, 2008:"Applied Industrial Organization",co-organized with CEPR

June,3-7, 2008 : "Stat.Dep. Meeting"


June, 12-24 : 1) "Financial Econometrics"
                     2) "Special Events"
                     3) "Labour and I.O.Econometrics"


November, 2008: "Classification and Performances of Hedge Funds",co-organized with chair GROUPAMA


November,7-8,2008:"Macrofinance and Reality",co-organized with Banque de France