From the beginning of his studies, Clément was interested in issues of inequality, social mobility, and intergenerational transmission. He joined the social sciences department of the ENS – École Normale Supérieure but it took some time to decide between sociology and economics. Undeniably influenced by a large number of quantitative works in economics, he takes an interest in these issues and thus integrates the Master APE – Analysis and Policy in Economics to PSE which he obtains in 2008. A year later, returning from a stay in the United States at the University of Chicago, he continued his doctoral studies at PSE. Very inspired by the considerable work carried out by Thomas Piketty, Gilles Postel-Vinay and Jean Laurent Rosenthal on the analysis of estate records (1) , he began his PhD thesis on the mobility of heritage among the very wealthy in France from the Second Empire to the Second World War under the supervision of Gilles Postel-Vinay.
After graduating in 2013, he taught at the University of Lille and the University of Nanterre, then quickly left the academic environment with the idea of making the best use of his skills and putting to use quantitative methods – databases, simulation, microsimulation… All of his achievements will prove valuable for the rest of his career! A former student of the Master APE who had worked at the Center for Strategic Analysis (CAS) (2) recommends him to Jean Pisani-Ferry, then Commissaire Général at France Stratégie (2013-2017) : this latter offers Clément to work on the basis of an article he is familiar with, on the study of intergenerational income mobility in the United States (3), by asking him to adapt the methods used for the case of France. This proposal did not fail to convince him and that is how he joined the institution in 2014.
He continues to work on intergenerational mobility with a territorial approach, as evidenced by his most recent work: he cites as an example one of his latest analytical notes reporting on the evolution of urban segregation in France over 25 years (4). This publication is the basis of a website (5) allowing users to follow these results and learn about the sociodemographic composition of their own neighbourhood or agglomeration.
These publications perfectly reflect, according to Clément, one of the major missions of France Stratégie: to provide concrete elements to inform the general public on major social and economic issues in order to have a more documented debate and to be able to propose public policies recommendations. In this sense, he sends a message to students interested in quantitative economics and invites them to persevere on this path: there is a real need, in the services of the State, to use this type of expertise to evaluate public policies and participate in thinking about the development of new reforms (6)!
(1) Thomas Piketty, Gilles Postel-Vinay, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal. 2006. « Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy : Paris and France, 1807-1994. » American Economic Review, 96 (1) : 236-256.
(2) Institution d’expertise et d’aide à la décision aux services du Premier ministre jusqu’en 2006, remplacée par France Stratégie en 2013.
(3) Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, “Where is the land of Opportunity ? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States”, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 129, Issue 4, November 2014, Pages 1553–1623.
(4) Hugo Botton, Pierre-Yves Cusset, Clément Dherbécourt, Alban George, Note d’analyse 92 : « Quelle évolution de la ségrégation résidentielle en France ? », Juillet 2020 : https://www.strategie.gouv.fr/publications/evolution-de-segregation-residentielle-france
(6) Report published by the Comité d’évaluation des réformes de la fiscalité du capital : https://www.strategie.gouv.fr/publications/comite-devaluation-reformes-de-fiscalite-capital-deuxieme-rapport