The France of yellow jackets

Note No. 55 of the Conseil d’analyse économique (CAE) paints a picture of France’s inequalities, particularly territorial inequalities, brought to light by the Yellow Vests movement.
With two months to go before the municipal elections, the study by the Economic Analysis Council is particularly instructive on the state of decay in which our country is sinking. Entitled “Territories, Well-being and Public Policies”, this study by three economists, Yann Algan, Clément Malgouyres and Claudia Senik, maps the inequalities and discontent that have become entrenched in France. “This Note aims to analyse the local determinants of the discontent of part of the population,” the authors write. “The Yellow Vest crisis has exposed the malaise of a large number of territories in France.

At the origin of the malaise

The sources of ill-being in the territories are numerous: loss of jobs, disappearance of public services and local shops, collapse of real estate, breakdown of social ties… So many things denounced by the Yellow Vests even if “some factors are more determining than others”.
The three economists also looked at recent changes in people’s local environment. And they make the link between the ill-being observed and the impact on the Yellow Vests movement, which has been called “the Republic of Roundabouts”.
The study recommends “redefining the objectives of territorial policies”.

The recommendations

In an attempt to remedy these serious inequalities, the authors of the study make several recommendations aimed at “changing the method” to “move from a prescribing state to an accompanying state”.
First recommendation: “Redefine the objectives of territorial aid by taking into account all dimensions of well-being and not only economic criteria”.
Second recommendation: “Renew the central government’s approach to territorial support policies. And give priority to technical and financial support for projects initiated locally and supported by all the stakeholders concerned”.
Third recommendation: “abolish tax exemption policies (ZRR) and use this budget for local projects for rural areas, the allocation of which should closely involve elected representatives at local level. »
Fourth recommendation: Facilitate access to public services and local businesses. Avoid the “all-digital” strategy in order to preserve social cohesion. »