The Business Growth and Transformation Bill, known by its French acronym PACTE, was presented at a Cabinet meeting on 18 June 2018. This bill includes provisions targeting business creations and growth, corporate financing and insolvency procedures, innovation, and profit-sharing. An ex ante evaluation of measures whose effects have already been covered in the economic literature, based on economic models or on the results of similar reforms conducted in France or neighbouring countries, provides some clues about how much can be expected from the bill.

This note assesses: 1) the reduction in labour costs resulting from the changes to certain staff thresholds, 2) the elimination of the forfait social (a social security contribution on employee profit-sharing) for companies with fewer than 250 employees, and 3) the implementation of a cross-class cram-down mechanism in cases of corporate restructuring, whereby greater powers are given to the creditors that wish to maximise the value of the company undergoing restructuring.

These provisions, which are only one part of the PACTE, may raise GDP by nearly 1% in the long term, including a 0.3% boost in 2025. This positive effect would derive from productivity gains – with profit-sharing giving employees a stronger incentive in their companies' performance, and more efficient corporate restructuring resulting in a better allocation of production factors – and from lower labour costs due to the higher staff thresholds and elimination of the forfait social.

Just like any ex ante evaluation, this initial approach bears considerable uncertainty due to the chosen model and its calibration, the robustness of the assumptions taken from the economic literature, and the extent to which economic agents take ownership of these reforms.

Not all PACTE measures lend themselves to a straightforward ex ante evaluation. Taken as a whole, the measures whose effects have not yet been estimated could also have a significant positive effect on the economic environment.

Trésor-Economics No. 226