nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒02‒12
fourteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Multi-Channel Retail Supply Chain Management: Fulfillment systems in Multi-Channel Retailing - Customer Expectations and Economic Performance By Gerald Lang
  2. Loss Leading as an Exploitative Practice By Rey, Patrick; Chen, Zhijun
  3. Kenneth Boulding as a Moral Scientist By Davis, John B.
  4. The Change in Sraffa's Philosophical Thinking By Davis, John B.
  5. Determinants of high-growth firms By Gerrit de Wit; Mercedes Teruel
  6. Productivity and International Firm Activities: What Do We Know? By Wagner, Joachim
  7. Good and Bad Institutions: Is the Debate Over? Cross-Country Firm-Level Evidence from the Textile Industry By Bhaumik, Sumon K.; Dimova, Ralitza
  8. Remittances and Gender: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence By Holst, Elke; Schäfer, Andrea; Schrooten, Mechthild
  9. The political economy of derived pension rights By LEROUX, Marie - Louise; PESTIEAU, Pierre
  10. Construction of linkage indicators of greenhouse gas emissions for Aquitaine region By Jean-Christophe MARTIN (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Patrick POINT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  11. Análisis de la estructura económica de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires By Romero, Carlos A.; Ferro, Gustavo A.; Faye, Magalí
  12. Engel’s Law Around the World 150 Years Later By Richard Anker
  13. Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence from 26 Countries By Fischer, Justina A.V.; Torgler, Benno
  14. An Overview on Institutionalism and Decentralized Decision-Making By Cioclea, Alexandra Ema

  1. By: Gerald Lang (CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion - CNRS : UMR7655 - Polytechnique - X, BMS - Bordeaux Management School - Bordeaux Management School)
    Abstract: Increasingly, store-based retailers are opening an additional online sales channel and becoming multi-channel retailers. The integration of these different channels raises the question how to redefine the strategic marketing elements and the operations, as the two channels have different constraints and require different competences. This multi-channel retailing has major impacts on the operations and the supply-chain management. Order fulfillment for the customers using the different sales channels is a key challenge, as customers are directly impacted from the performance of this process. In this paper, we will highlight the different strategic elements and operational challenges to be addressed by a multi-channel retailer. In order to evaluate the match between a fulfillment system and a multi-channel business model, we propose a framework analyzing the overall performance of different fulfillment systems regarding the two dimensions customer expectations and economic performance.
    Keywords: Multi-Channel; Retail; Fulfillment; Distribution; E-commerce
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Rey, Patrick; Chen, Zhijun
    Abstract: Large retailers, enjoying substantial market power in some local markets, often compete with smaller retailers who carry a narrower range of products in a more efficient way. We find that these large retailers can exercise their market power by adopting a loss-leading pricing strategy, which consists of pricing below cost some of the products also offered by smaller rivals, and raising the prices on the other products. In this way, the large retailers can better discriminate multi-stop shoppers from one-stop shoppers — and may even earn more profit than in the absence of the more efficient rivals. Loss leading thus appears as an exploitative device, designed to extract additional surplus from multi-stop shoppers, rather than as an exclusionary instrument to foreclose the market, although the small rivals are hurt as a by-product of exploitation. We show further that banning below-cost pricing increases consumer surplus, small rivals’ profits, and social welfare. Our insights apply generally to industries where a firm, enjoying substantial market power in one segment, competes with more efficient rivals in other segments, and procuring these products from the same supplier generates customer-specific benefits. They also apply to complementary products, such as platforms and applications. There as well, our analysis provides a rationale for below-cost pricing based on exploitation rather than exclusion.
    Keywords: loss leading, exploitative practice, retail power
    JEL: L11 L41
    Date: 2010–11–23
  3. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: Kenneth Boulding’s AEA presidential address argued that economics is a moral science. His view derived from his general systems theory thinking, his three systems view of human society, and his early contributions to evolutionary economics. Boulding’s argument that economics could not be value-free should be distinguished from other well-known views of economics as a moral science, such as Gunnar Myrdal’s. This paper discusses the development and nature of Boulding’s thinking about economics as a moral science in the larger context of his thinking.
    Keywords: Boulding, moral science, general systems theory, three systems view, evolutionary economics
    JEL: A13 B31 B52
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: The availability of Piero Sraffa’s unpublished manuscripts and correspondence at Trinity College Library, Cambridge, has made it possible to begin to set out a more complete account of Sraffa’s philosophical thinking than previously could be done with only his published materials and the few comments and suggestions made by others about his ideas, especially in connection with their possible impact on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later thinking. This makes a direct rather than indirect examination of Sraffa’s philosophical thinking possible, and also shifts the focus from his relationship to Wittgenstein to his own thinking per se. I suggest that the previous focus, necessary as it may have been prior to the availability of the unpublished materials, involved some distortion of Sraffa’s thinking by virtue of its framing in terms of Wittgenstein’s concerns as reflected in the concerns of scholars primarily interested in the change in the his thinking. This paper seeks to locate these early convictions in this historical context, and then go on to treat the development of Sraffa’s philosophical thinking as a process beginning from this point, arguing that his thinking underwent one significant shift around 1931, but still retained its early key assumptions. Thus the approach I will take to Sraffa’s philosophical thinking is to explain it as a process of development largely within a single framework defined by his view of how modern science determines the scope and limits upon economic theorizing.
    Keywords: Sraffa, supervenience physicalism, objectivism, physical real cost, Neurath, Carnap, Wittgenstein
    JEL: B41 B51
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Gerrit de Wit; Mercedes Teruel
    Abstract: High-growth firms have been shown to be a key factor for economic growth and structural change. This paper analyses the determinants of the number of highgrowth firms in a country for 17 OECD countries between 1999 and 2005, using the Amadeus data set, the GEM data set, and others. The first contribution of this paper is that it is - as far as we know - the first empirical analysis of highgrowth firms at the country level on the basis of actual measured growth. Second, we find indicative empirical evidence for three driving forces of high growth, viz. entrepreneurship, institutional settings, and opportunities for growth, all in accordance with theory and empirical findings in related fields of research. Third, the paper gives a tentative explanation of the differences in the average percentage of high-growth firms between countries. Finally, the paper gives some clues for policy makers how to promote high-growth firms.  
    Date: 2011–01–31
  6. By: Wagner, Joachim (Leuphana University Lüneburg)
    Abstract: This paper summarizes in a non-technical way what we know from empirical studies based on firm-level data about the mutual links between international activities of firms and productivity. It is written with a view to inform policy makers in an evidence-based way. A special focus is on the empirical evidence we have from studies using firm-level data from the Nordic countries. It is argued that this empirical evidence does not provide a sound basis to search for similarities and differences (and their causes) between the Nordic countries, and the empirical results reported cannot qualify as stylized facts that can inform policy makers in an evidence-based way.
    Keywords: international firm activities, productivity, firm level data, Nordic countries
    JEL: F14 F23 L25
    Date: 2011–01
  7. By: Bhaumik, Sumon K. (Aston University); Dimova, Ralitza (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: Using firm-level data from nine developing countries we demonstrate that (a) certain institutions like restrictive labour market regulations that are considered to be bad for economic growth might be beneficial for production efficiency, whereas (b) good business environment which is considered to be beneficial for economic growth might have an adverse impact on production efficiency. We argue that our results suggest that the debate about the implications of institutional quality is far from being over, and classification of institutions into "good" and "bad" might be premature.
    Keywords: institutional quality, production efficiency, stochastic frontier model
    JEL: D02 D23 D24
    Date: 2011–01
  8. By: Holst, Elke (DIW Berlin); Schäfer, Andrea (University of Bremen); Schrooten, Mechthild (University of Applied Sciences Bremen)
    Abstract: In this paper, we focus on network- and gender-specific determinants of remittances, which are often explained theoretically by way of intra-family contracts. We develop a basic formal concept that includes aspects of the transnational network and derive hypotheses from it. For our empirical investigation, we use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) for the years 2001-2006. Our findings show: first, the fact that foreign women remit less money than foreign men can be explained by the underlying transnational network contract. Second, remittances sent by foreigners and naturalized immigrants have at least partly different determinants. Acquiring German citizenship increases the probability of family reunification in the destination country and decreases remittances. Third, the structure of the existing social network in Germany and the network structure in the home country both play important roles in explaining remittances.
    Keywords: remittances, gender, foreigners, naturalized migrants
    JEL: F22 J16 D13
    Date: 2011–01
  9. By: LEROUX, Marie - Louise (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium); PESTIEAU, Pierre (University of Liege, CREPP; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; PSE and CEPR)
    Abstract: Derived pension rights exist in most Social Security systems but with variable generosity. They are mainly targeted towards non-working wives and widows and are viewed as a means to alleviate poverty among older women living alone. The purpose of this paper is to explain how they can emerge from a political economy process when the Social Security is a combination of Bismarckian and Beveridgian pillars. It also shows that derived rights tend to encourage stay-at- home wives thus revealing an unpleasant trade-o§ between female labor participation and poverty alleviation.
    Keywords: social security, derived pension rights, majority voting, individualisation of pension rights
    JEL: D72 D78 H55
    Date: 2010–07–01
  10. By: Jean-Christophe MARTIN (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Patrick POINT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
    Abstract: This paper proposes to construct linkage indicators of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Aquitaine region of France by using the notion of vertical integration with a presentation of results in the form of block. Because of poor regional accounting in France, we had to construct an input-output table for the Aquitaine region with a GHG emissions inventory associated. Method of construction of input-output table will affect both reliability and richness of results.
    Keywords: regionalized input-output table, quotients of localization, greenhouse gas emissions, linkage indicators
    JEL: C67 R15 E2 Q4 Q54
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Romero, Carlos A. (Universidad Argntina de la Empresa); Ferro, Gustavo A. (Universidad Argntina de la Empresa); Faye, Magalí
    Abstract: El objetivo del artículo es sentar las bases para la construcción de un modelo que represente la economía de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (CABA). En dirección a establecer a futuro una matriz de contabilidad social (MCS) para la Ciudad que permita construir un modelo de equilibrio general computado, un primer paso lo constituye investigar la estructura económica de ésta. Conocer la configuración del aparato productivo es esencial para entender el marco de referencia con el objetivo de analizar potencial impacto de decisiones de política económica o de shocks exógenos. El marco metodológico está dado por los criterios para construir MCSs regionales, los cuales requieren consistencia de los datos para que las cuentas de producción y demanda cierren. Como resultado de este estudio exploratorio se observa que la información de base sobre la economía de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires está muy dispersa, con cierto valor para algunos mercados en particular, pero de poco valor sino puede ser ordenada bajo una estructura estadística consistente. Aunque estos problemas son enfrentados también por muchas economías regionales, una economía de la importancia de CABA, debería manejar herramientas útiles para la toma de decisiones. Y, para ello, es indiscutible discutir la recolección, organización y elaboración de la información relevante. La principal conclusión que se puede extraer tiene que ver con el objetivo mismo de este proyecto: sería posible construir un modelo para CABA, pero con la salvedad que sería necesario restringirlo fuertemente en cuanto a la apertura sectorial y además suponer vectores (no matrices) de transacciones inter-regionales que harían necesario el uso a gran escala de análisis de sensibilidad.
    Keywords: estructura económica; matriz de contabilidad social; un modelo de equilibrio general computado.
    JEL: C67 R11
    Date: 2010–10–30
  12. By: Richard Anker
    Abstract: <p>One of the most enduring relationships in economics is that proposed by Ernst Engel in 1857: “The poorer is a family, the greater is the proportion of the total outgo [family expenditures] which must be used for food. … The proportion of the outgo used for food, other things being equal is the best measure of the material standard of living of a population.” The 150th anniversary of Engel’s law passed in 2007. With this in mind, the present paper looks at the extent to which Engel’s law is relevant in today’s world by looking across countries at the relationship between the share of household expenditure spent on food and national income per capita. This working paper provides an empirical analysis of Engel’s law based on data for almost every country and territory in the world. This facilitates analysis of the relationship between the food share of household expenditure and national income per capita, especially how this differs by development level.</p>
    Keywords: History of economic thought, Economic history, Consumer economics, Consumption, Measurement and analysis of poverty, Household behavior
    JEL: B31 B41 D12 E21 I32 N01 N30 P46
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Fischer, Justina A.V.; Torgler, Benno
    Abstract: Research on the effects of positional concerns on individuals’ attitudes and behavior is sorely lacking. To address this deficiency, we use the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data on 25’000 individuals from 26 countries to investigate the impact of relative income position on three facets of social capital, covering horizontal and vertical trust as well as norm compliance. Testing relative deprivation theory, we identify a deleterious positional income effect for persons below the reference income, particularly for their social trust and confidence in secular institutions. Also often a social capital-lowering effect of relative income advantage occurs, while a rise in absolute income almost always contributes positively. These results indicate that a rise in income inequality in society too large is rather detrimental to the formation of social capital.
    Keywords: Relative income; positional concerns; social capital; social norms; deprivation theory
    JEL: I30 D31 Z13
    Date: 2011–02–03
  14. By: Cioclea, Alexandra Ema
    Abstract: Human actions, interactions and decisions should have a certain degree of predictability that can be obtained by establishing rules. Institutions, in general, are defined by sets of rules known by the public and applicable for the community. Their existence is essential for the economic activity, as it cannot develop in a vacuum. At the same time, the type and the quality of institutions make the difference in implementing economic aspirations of individuals and in supporting economic overall growth. Institutions provide a minimum of regulations that in conjunction with the particularities and the interests of individuals and communities become the foundation for economic, political and social decision-making processes.
    Keywords: institutions; institutionalism; decision-making; decentralization
    JEL: D23 D73 B25
    Date: 2011–01–26

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