nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒02‒06
five papers chosen by
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
London South Bank University

  1. Royal Ahold: A Failure Of Corporate Governance By Jong, A. de; DeJong, D.V.; Mertens, G.; Roosenboom, P.
  2. An Interview with Thomas J. Sargent By George W. Evans; Seppo Honkapohja
  3. Testing Sustainability of German Fiscal Policy. Evidence for the Period 1960 – 2003 By Alfred Greiner; Uwe Koeller; Willi Semmler
  4. Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless? By Bianchi, Milo; Henrekson, Magnus
  5. La crisis Argentinia. Causas y fundamentos By Ana Silvia Vilker

  1. By: Jong, A. de; DeJong, D.V.; Mertens, G.; Roosenboom, P. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Royal Ahold (Koninklijke Ahold NV) was one of the major success stories in the 1990s and is one of the major failures in corporate governance, suffering a complete meltdown in 2003. This clinical study analyzes Ahold?s growth strategy through acquisitions and isolates the cause of the failed strategy, i.e. the absence of internal as well as external oversight of management?s strategy. This study details the consequences of the strategy: bad acquisitions, an accounting scandal and the loss of investor confidence. It illustrates how initially a family and later professional management exploited the intent of the law and existing regulatory structures to maintain absolute control of the company. It analyzes in detail the applicable governance mechanisms of Ahold that were designed to hold the self-interest of the parties in check. It asks the reader to consider whether these governance mechanisms, properly implemented, might have helped prevent Ahold or a situation similar to Ahold.
    Keywords: international economics;financial economics;law and economics;corporate governance;regulation;
    Date: 2005–01–25
  2. By: George W. Evans (University of Oregon Economics Department); Seppo Honkapohja (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This is the text of an interview with Thomas J. Sargent. The interview will be published in Macroeconomic Dynamics.
    Keywords: rational expectations
    JEL: E00
    Date: 2005–01–11
  3. By: Alfred Greiner; Uwe Koeller; Willi Semmler
    Abstract: In this paper we test whether German public debt has been sustainable by resorting to a test proposed by Bohn (1998). We apply non-parametric and semi-parametric regressions with time depending coefficients. This test shows that the mean of the coefficient relevant for sustainability has been significantly positive over the time period considered. However, there is a negative trend in that coefficient which seems to have ceased to decline only in the middle to late 1990s. Further, we find evidence that the response of the primary deficit is a U-shaped function of the debt ratio which first declines and then rises after a certain threshold of the debt ratio is exceeded.
    Keywords: public debt, intertemporal budget constraint, varying coefficient model, non-parametric estimation
    JEL: E62 H63
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Bianchi, Milo (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Henrekson, Magnus (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: We review and evaluate some recent contributions on the modeling of entrepreneurship within a neoclassical framework, analyzing how and to what extent the fundamental ingredients suggested in the social science literature were captured. We show how these approaches are important in stressing the main elements of a complex picture without being able to completely describe it. However, each modeling attempt focuses only on one specific feature of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial function broadly perceived eludes analytical tractability. As a consequence, the models can be useful in analyzing the effect of entrepreneurial behavior at an aggregate level, but not at explaining individual choices. From these observations we highlight how a simplistic interpretation of the existing mainstream approaches incorporating entrepreneurship runs the risk of leading to distortionary policy interventions.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial Choice; Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Neoclassical Modeling; Uncertainty
    JEL: B41 D81 J23 L23 M13 O31
    Date: 2005–01–31
  5. By: Ana Silvia Vilker
    Date: 2004

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