nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒04‒09
24 papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. An Aristotelian View of Marx’s Method By Nathaniel Cline, William McColloch and Kirsten Ford
  2. The Veblenian Roots of Institutional Political Economy By Kirsten Ford
  3. Marx’s Appreciation of James Steuart: A Theory of History and Value By William McColloch
  4. Supply-chain evolution: Knowledge-based perpectives By Done, Adrian
  5. Fairness, justice, subjectivity, objectivity and goal congruence in management control systems By Cuguero, Natalia; Rosanas, Josep M.
  6. First mover advantages in the mobile telecommunications industry: A consumer-centric perspective By JP Eggers; Michal Grajek; Tobias Kretschmer
  7. Is Combined Microfinance an Instrument to enhance Sustainable Pro-Poor Public Policy Outcomes? By Koen Rossel-Cambier
  8. A Fuzzy Approach to the Measurement of Leakages for North American Health Systems By Paul Makdissi; Myra Yazbeck; Hugo Goldeboeuf
  9. Gendered Trends in Poverty in the Post-Apartheid Period, 1997 - 2006 By Dorrit Posel; Michael Rogan
  10. The Regional Economic Development Potential and Constraints to Local Foods Development in the Midwest By Swenson, David A.
  11. Determinants of Entrepreneurship: Are Women Different? By Fernanda Llussa
  12. Child-Care in Norway: Use of Parental Leave by Fathers By Naz, Ghazala
  13. Coalition formation and strategic permit trade under the Kyoto Protocol By Godal, Odd; Meland, Frode
  14. The Fair Trade movement:an economic perspective By Alexander Kadow
  15. The importance of independent income: understanding the role of non-means-tested earnings replacement benefits By Bennett F; Sutherland H
  16. The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets By Oliver Budzinski
  17. The co-evolution of sectoral regulation and technological innovation: the case of detergents industry in Europe By Evita Paraskevopoulou
  18. Echanching Productivity: Towards an Updated Action Agenda By Procter, Roger
  19. Student Status and Academic Performance: Accounting for the Symptom of Long Duration of Studies in Greece By Elias Katsikas; Theodore Panagiotidis
  20. Cosmopolitanism and Democratic Freedom By Hauke Brunkhorst
  21. "The Financial Crisis Viewed from the Perspective of the “Social Costs” Theory" By L. Randall Wray
  22. "Causes of Financial Instability: Don’t Forget Finance" By Dirk J. Bezemer
  23. Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling: Gender Spillovers in Corporate Leadership By David A. Matsa; Amalia R. Miller
  24. Discussion Sessions Coupled with Microfinancing May Enhance the Role of Women in Household Decision-Making in Burundi By Radha Iyengar; Giulia Ferrari

  1. By: Nathaniel Cline, William McColloch and Kirsten Ford
    Abstract: A number of Marxist scholars have tied aspects of Marx’s thought to certain Aristotelian categories, yet remarkably little is said of Marx’s dialectical materialism in this literature. Here we attempt to lay a foundation for such an effort, paying particular attention to the way in which Aristotle’s mediated starting point resonates in Marx’s method. While Hegel is able to grasp man’s self-creation as a process, his dialectical method proceeds from an unmediated starting point, and impresses Idealism upon the Aristotelian categories. In rejecting the Idealist dimensions of Hegel’s dialectic, Marx implicitly reclaims the materialist dimensions of Aristotle’s system. It will be argued here that such an interpretation sheds important light on the nature of Marx’s departure from Hegel, and on his method in Capital.
    Keywords: Marx, Aristotle, Hegel, Methodology JEL Classification: B000, B140, B490, B510
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Kirsten Ford
    Abstract: The term “Institutional Economics” has been applied to some of capitalism’s strongest critics as well as its most ardent apologists. This paradox in terms has bred contradictory literature in development economics, some declaring the death of this line of thought while others herald its resurgence. In examining the roots of Institutional economics, this paper attempts to disentangle the ambiguity surrounding this label. The Institutional Political Economy of Ha-Joon Chang will then be examined as a return to Institutionalism’s radical roots in development economics. Concluding remarks suggest that this approach is capable of encompassing gender as an analytical category, an extension that would improve the ability of policy makers to assess the impacts of macroeconomic policy.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought, Veblen, Institutionalism, Methodology JEL Classification: B000, B150, B250, B400
    Date: 2011
  3. By: William McColloch
    Abstract: This paper argues that despite a growing body of scholarly literature on Sir James Steuart, his theory of history and influence on Marxian political economy has been largely ignored. The approach of this paper is motivated, in part, by Marx’s sympathetic treatment of Steuart found in the opening of his Theories of Surplus Value, and in scattered asides throughout the remainder of his work. We argue that Steuart’s importance to students of the history of political economy is three-fold: First, following Marx, we consider the unique and dynamic role played by history in Steuart’s system. Steuart appears to have been the first thinker in political economy to both recognize the historical specificity of capitalism, and to conspicuously incorporate that realization into his system. Secondly, in Steuart’s approach to the question of value and profit we find conceptions that defy easy classification. Steuart is seen to plainly abandon the mercantilist understanding of profit as determined in the sphere of exchange alone, and to treat what he calls the real value of a commodity as intimately related to its necessary labor time. Finally, we argue that Steuart’s contemporary notoriety made him far more influential than is commonly recognized. In particular, we contend that Steuart, via Hegel, may have exercised an indirect influence on Marx’s own theory of history, in ways that Marx could not have recognized.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought, Sir James Steuart, Classical School JEL Codes: B12, B14, B41, N43
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Done, Adrian (IESE Business School)
    Abstract: This paper aims to go some way to answering the question: "Where are we now in the evolution of supply chains and what has to occur to advance along the continuum?" (Bowersox et al., 2000) by undertaking a conceptual synthesis of relevant literatures relating to the increasing importance of managing knowledge in supply chains. These issues are developed through a synthesis of the supply chain literature, and analysed through adopting perspectives from knowledge management research streams. A consensus is emerging from the supply chain literature that to advance along the evolutionary continuum supply chains must become more integrated, and with increased levels of collaboration between upstream and downstream partners. Yet, the majority of existing supply chain literature still focuses on asset, data and information elements of exchange between supply chain partners. This is despite the fact that increased integration and collaboration clearly require the exchange of more complex elements at the expertise and knowledge levels. Within supply chain contexts the exchange and management of knowledge dimensions is not so well understood despite their increasing importance as more complex business dynamics shift towards competing supply chains. This paper proposes that several knowledge management concepts and frameworks are relevant and useful to supply chain academics and practitioners. It contributes to a gap in the literature relating to the exchange and development of knowledge in supply chains, which has been identified as an important area relating to the continued evolution of supply chain theory and practice.
    Keywords: Knowledge Management; Supply Chains; Integration; Collaboration;
    Date: 2011–01–05
  5. By: Cuguero, Natalia (IESE Business School); Rosanas, Josep M. (IESE Business School)
    Abstract: Management control systems are intended to motivate managers to ensure that organizational goals are accomplished. They do this by rewarding and promoting people according to certain criteria. Usually, they are designed to achieve the greatest possible goal congruence, where people pursue personal goals that conduce to the organizational goal. The literature on management control has focused mainly on formal controls, as they are easier to study empirically. Generally speaking, though, formal and informal controls coexist. In this paper, we attempt to show that organizational justice may act as a link between formal and informal control elements. We find that there are two stable states, which we have labeled ideal goal congruence (where the system is lawful and the user is fair) and total goal incongruence (where the system is unlawful and the user is unfair); and two unstable states, in which goal congruence is occasional (unlawful system used fairly) or perverse (lawful system used unfairly). We conclude with some propositions, which can be used to generate hypotheses that we believe will stimulate, at the core of the management control systems literature, a new stream of research in which justice is seen as a central element of control system design and use.
    Keywords: organizational justice; fairness; goal congruence; management control systems;
    Date: 2011–01–03
  6. By: JP Eggers (NYU Stern School of Business); Michal Grajek (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Tobias Kretschmer (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: This study offers a consumer-centric view of entry order advantages and the role of firm-level capabilities. Specifically, we consider the fact that early adopting consumers will be different from late adopting ones. We suggest that early entering firms will attract higher-profitability customers, and that this will be a key source of first-mover advantages. Additionally, this effect will be stronger for firms with strong technological capabilities as early adopters are generally more technology-oriented than late adopters. Conversely, firms with existing marketing and branding resources in the country will do better at attracting a high volume of less-profitable customers – standard late adopters that are swayed by brand effects. Our empirical results, drawn from data on the global mobile telecommunications industry, support our assertions and help us offer important depth to the discussion about first-mover advantages and the contingent role of firm capabilities.
    Keywords: first-mover advantage, mobile telecommunications, consumer-centric, pre-entry experience, firm capabilities
    JEL: C51 L10 O33
    Date: 2011–03–30
  7. By: Koen Rossel-Cambier
    Abstract: Product diversification involving simultaneously microcredit, savings or insurance services –also called combined microfinance (CMF)- can both leverage and challenge policy outcomes. This paper reviews two complementary questions in this regard: Which are the possible effects of CMF on public policy? and; How can public policy influence CMF outcomes? A literature review, findings from qualitative assessments and a case study in Barbados highlight the increased challenging environment when supervising, regulating and promoting CMF. When preparing regulation, one has to ensure that the necessary technical and organisational capacity is in place to ensure proper monitoring and oversight. When supporting CMF, policy makers should strive at enhancing smart ways of subsidizing. CMF may stimulate economic and outreach policy outcomes. Still, as it can have adverse effects on the depth of poverty outreach, pro-poor and gender specific policy measures need to be put in place to accompany MFIs engaging in CMF. This paper calls for a more ambitious research agenda to accompany the increasingly complex demand and supply side elements relating to CMF public policy oversight.
    Keywords: microfinance; microinsurance; microcredit; microsavings; public policy
    JEL: C12 G21 G22 L31 O54
    Date: 2011–03
  8. By: Paul Makdissi (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Myra Yazbeck (Department of Epidemiology Biostatics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, PQ Canada); Hugo Goldeboeuf (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: This paper uses a fuzzy-fuzzy stochastic dominance approach to compare patients' leakages in the Canadian and the U.S health care systems. Leakages are defined in terms of individuals who are in bad health and could not have access to health care when needed. To carry this comparison we rely on the assumption that Canada is a strong counterfactual for the U.S. We first develop a class of fuzzy leakages indices and incorporate them in a stochastic dominance framework to derive the dominance criterion. We then use the derived criterion to perform inter-country comparisons on the global level. To provide more insight, we decompose the analysis with respect to gender, ethnicity, income and education. Intra-country comparisons reveal the presence of income based leakage inequalities in both countries yet, gender, ethnic and education based disparities appear to be present in the U.S only. As for inter-country comparison, results are in general consistent with the hypothesis that leakages are less important under the Canadian health care system.
    Keywords: Health care resources, Fuzzy sets, Leakage
    JEL: D63 I18 I19
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Dorrit Posel; Michael Rogan
    Abstract: This study investigates whether trends in the extent, depth and severity of poverty in South Africa over the past decade have been gendered. We examine first whether females are more likely to live in poor households than males, and whether this has changed over time; and, second, how poverty has changed among female-headed and male-headed households. We use data provided by the 1997 and 1999 rounds of the October Household Survey and the 2004 and 2006 rounds of the General Household Survey. These surveys have the advantage of collecting information on the individual receipt of social grant income. We test whether our findings on gendered trends in poverty are robust to different poverty lines, to the possible underestimation of household income and to adjustments for household composition.
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Swenson, David A.
    Abstract: This paper looks at practical limits to local foods production and consumption in the Upper Midwest.  It presumes that local foods production makes the most sense, and has the greatest profit potential, in relatively close proximity to dense urban demand.  The research demonstrates methods for determining county-level fresh fruit and vegetable production potentials for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indian, and Iowa in light of the distribution of metropolitan areas with 250,000 residents or more within or nearby the region.  It also estimates the farm production-related total economic values that would accumulate were local foods production goals achieved in the region using input-output modeling tools.   A state-only analysis was also conducted for Iowa using smaller metropolitan areas and a shorter viable distance-to-market threshold to apply the larger study’s insights in a manner that might guide state-level decision making.  The research can be useful for helping to inform state policy developments as well as the location and extent of Cooperative Extension and other types of state and local services and production assistance designed to bolster or further investigate this emerging rural development topic.
    Keywords: local foods; impact analysis
    Date: 2011–03–30
  11. By: Fernanda Llussa
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate, for the first time, how individual determinants of entrepreneurship - such as age, income, education, work status, skills, access to networks and fear of failure - differ between males and females. We conduct our exercise using individual data provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), available for 46 countries, between 2001 and 2004. The literature on entrepreneurship has uncovered differences in the rate of entrepreneurship between men and women, with women generally displaying lower entrepreneurial activity than men. This is important since, as we show, entrepreneurial activity is positively related across countries with the female to male entrepreneurial ratio. We examine total entrepreneurship rates, as well as entrepreneurship driven by opportunity and by need. We find that indeed entrepreneurial activity rates are lower for females across all but one of the countries in the sample. Looking at categorical groups – by age interval, education, work status, etc. – we find that female entrepreneurial rates are significantly lower than for males. For the first time we test for differences in the characteristics of female and male entrepreneurs and find that female entrepreneurs are slightly older, more frequently at home or not working, lower income and lower educated, and less access to business networks than their male counterparts. AS to the determinants of entrepreneurial rates themselves, the main differences across genders are the lower impact of secondary education and the larger impact of skills and fear of failure in female entrepreneurial rates relative to males. Results for entrepreneurship by opportunity and by necessity confirm the larger importance of specific skills for women creating new businesses,. Our results suggest that facilitating access to business networks and specific business skills are the most powerful instruments to increase the rates of female entrepreneurship. JEL codes:
    Date: 2011
    Abstract: An important feature of parental leave in Norway is that it allows significant sharing of leave between parents. Parents may take 54 weeks of leave and receive 80 per cent of previous earnings or 44 weeks of leave with 100 per cent of earnings, up to a ceiling amount. Nine weeks of total leave are, however, reserved for the mother and six weeks for the father and, as a general rule, these weeks cannot be transferred to the other parent. The remaining parental leave can be shared between parents. A reserved period of leave for fathers, known as the paternity quota, was introduced in 1993. Initially, this quota was four weeks. The paternity quota has been a great success and is utilized by 80–85 per cent of eligible fathers; however, very few fathers share gender-neutral parental leave. In this paper, we use register data to investigate factors that may influence fathers’ share of parental leave for children born in 2001. We find that married fathers use more leave than cohabitants. In addition, fathers’ education, mothers’ income and number of preschool children positively affect fathers’ use of the paternity quota and gender-neutral leave. Fathers’ workplace does not affect the use of the paternity quota but has a significant effect on the use of gender-neutral leave.
    Keywords: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination; Public Policy.
    JEL: J16 J18
    Date: 2011–03–30
  13. By: Godal, Odd (Göteborg University and University of Bergen); Meland, Frode (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper discusses coalition formation with side payments in markets for transferable property rights where strategic agents prevail on both sides of the market. Our concern is emissions permit trading under the Kyoto Protocol. While a seller cartel is not profitable, our analysis indicates that coalitions between sellers and buyers pay off. Three stable cartels are found. None involve all agents, yet they all induce overall e¢ ciency. To support a stable coalition, the EU, Japan and Canada may pay together between 0 and 13 billion US dollars per year to Russia. The permit price and society-wide emission reductions are nil.
    Keywords: Emissions trading; Kyoto Protocol; cartel formation; merger profitability.
    JEL: C71 C72 Q58
    Date: 2011–04–01
  14. By: Alexander Kadow
    Abstract: Fair Trade (FT) products such as coffee and textiles are becoming increasingly popular with altruistic consumers all over the world. This paper seeks to understand the economic effects of this grassroots movement which directly links ethically-minded consumers in industrialised countries with marginalised producers in developing economies. We extend the Ricardian trade model and introduce a FT sector in developing South that offers a fair wage – the FT premium. There are indeed positive welfare effects from FT but those come at the expense of rising inequalities within South which are in turn a rational by-product of FT. The degree of inequalities depends on the specifics of the cooperative structures in the FT sector. Given the rigidities and inequalities FT introduces and rests upon, this form of alternative trade appears to be only sustainable as niche movement.
    Keywords: Fair Trade, comparative advantage, wage premium, inequalities, ethical consumerism, cooperative
    JEL: F11 O11 Q13
    Date: 2011–02
  15. By: Bennett F (University of Oxford); Sutherland H (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: We argue that independent entitlement to income is important. This implies that earnings replacement benefits paid to individuals fulfil a range of functions which means-tested benefits, assessed at the family rather than individual level, cannot. The argument also highlights the need to consider gender differences in the receipt of income. We explore the implications of a scenario in which non-means-tested earnings replacement benefits are abolished and means-tested benefits and tax credits fill some of the gap. This illustrates the effects of UK trends and in proposals for further reform -- in the decline in non-means-tested benefits and the increase in means testing -- taken to their ultimate conclusion.
    Date: 2011–03–29
  16. By: Oliver Budzinski (Markets & Competition Group, Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The competition rules and policy framework of the European Union represents an important institutional restriction for doing sports business. Driven by the courts, the 2007 overhaul of the approach and methodology has increased the scope of competition policy towards sports associations and clubs. Nowadays, virtually all activities of sports associations that govern and organize a sports discipline with business elements are subject to antitrust rules. This includes genuine sporting rules that are essential for a league, championship or tournament to come into existence. Of course, „real? business or commercial activities like ticket selling, marketing of broadcasting rights, etc. also have to comply with competition rules. Regulatory activities of sports associations comply with European competition rules if they pursuit a legitimate objective, its restrictive effects are inherent to that objective and proportionate to it. This new approach offers important orientation for the strategy choice of sports associations, clubs and related enterprises. Since this assessment is done following a case-by-case approach, however, neither a blacklist of anticompetitive nor a whitelist of procompetitive sporting rules can be derived. Instead, conclusions can be drawn only from the existing case decisions – but, unfortunately, this leaves many aspects open. With respect to business activities, the focus of European competition policy is on centralized marketing arrangements bundling media rights. These constitute cartels and are viewed to be anticompetitive in nature. However, they may be exempted from the cartel prohibition on efficiency and consumer benefits considerations. Here, a detailed list of conditions exists that centralized marketing arrangements must comply with in order to be legal. Although this policy seems to be well-developed at first sight, a closer look at the decision practice reveals several open problems. Other areas of the buying and selling behavior of sports associations and related enterprises are considerably less well-developed and do not provide much orientation for business.
    Keywords: sports business, competition policy, sporting rules, centralized marketing, sports economics
    JEL: L83 L41 K21 D02 M21
    Date: 2011–03
  17. By: Evita Paraskevopoulou
    Abstract: This paper contributes to research addressing interrelationships between technological and policy changes by exploring the co-evolution of sectoral regulation and technological innovation in the detergents industry in Europe. We view as regulation an endogenously created institution that evolves over time and in alignment with other socioeconomic factors, among which we focus on technological change. We argue that the innovation and regulation processes are evolutionary processes that interact overtime and their co-evolution is facilitated by knowledgeable and purposeful agents who wish to influence their institutional environment. Given our empirical context we find that the opportunity provided to private actors to participate in the policy process, share information and collaborate, contributes to the improvement of their knowledge. In turn, improved knowledge increases the innovative potential of actors while it builds their bargaining power and increases the possibilities private actors have to influence their institutional environment. Favorable institutional conditions have been recognized as a factor conductive to innovation and in this sense, we can witness a circular and interactive relationship between the regulatory and innovation process.
    Keywords: regulation, technological innovation, private-public interactions
    Date: 2011–03–29
  18. By: Procter, Roger (Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand)
    Abstract: This paper presents an explanation of how the dynamic but uncertain process of economic development and growth occurs. It shows that economic development leads to structural change, an enhancement of capabilities and path dependence in the economy. It examines three different approaches to understanding the performance of the New Zealand economy and shows that performance of the New Zealand economy is consistent with its structure and sophistication. It suggests areas where policy might be developed to enhance New Zealand’s economic performance, and argues that both improvements in framework policies and enhancement of facilitative policies will be required to improve New Zealand’s economic performance. However, the development of specific policies is left for later work.
    Keywords: Economic growth; New Zealand; productivity; development; innovation; trade; structural change; industry policy
    JEL: B52 O10 O20 O31 O32 O38
    Date: 2011–03–30
  19. By: Elias Katsikas (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Theodore Panagiotidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This study employs administrative and survey data to assess the relationship between students’ socioeconomic background and educational outcomes, using regression and quantile regression methods. We take into account the existing institutional framework which allows differentiation in the duration of studies among students. We examine the association of students’ status ? working and non-working ? with degree grades and whether the documented negative influence of long duration of studies on grades is associated to students’ status. The findings reject both hypotheses; working students do not achieve lower grades than their non-working peers; the negative impact of the length of studies on grades is not linked to status, and affects both working and non-working students in the same way.
    Keywords: students, academic performance, duration of studies.
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2011–03
  20. By: Hauke Brunkhorst
    Abstract: Cosmopolitanism has a long history. Yet there is a great difference between classical and modern cosmopolitanism. Whereas the latter is an ideology of the classical empire that is grounded in a hierarchical society, modern cosmopolitanism is based on egalitarian and individualistic premises, and is related closely to the constitutional law and the ideological justification of the nation state and its imperial cravings. Whereas the modern nation state in a way has solved the fundamental religious, political and socio-economic crises of modernity within its boarders (at least in the western hemisphere), its greatest advance, the exclusion of inequalities, was at the price of the exclusion of the internal other: of blacks, workers, women, etc., and the other that stemmed from the non-European world that furthermore was under European colonial rule or other forms of European, North-American, or Japanese imperial control. Yet, the wars and revolutions of the 20th century led to a complete reconstruction, new foundation and globalization of all national and international law. The evolutionary advances of the 20th century consisted in the emergence of world law, and this finally enabled the normative (not necessarily factual) construction of international and national welfarism. Nevertheless the dialectic of enlightenment came back again and led to new forms of postnational domination, hegemony, oppression and exclusion, and the emergence of a new formation of transnational class rule. In the final section the possibilities of a democratic ‘Reform nach Prinzipien’ (Kant) are considered.
    Keywords: differentiation; globalization; internationalism; law; European law; legal culture; supranationalism
    Date: 2011–03–15
  21. By: L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: This paper examines the causes and consequences of the current global financial crisis. It largely relies on the work of Hyman Minsky, although analyses by John Kenneth Galbraith and Thorstein Veblen of the causes of the 1930s collapse are used to show similarities between the two crises. K.W. Kapp's "social costs" theory is contrasted with the recently dominant "efficient markets" hypothesis to provide the context for analyzing the functioning of financial institutions. The paper argues that, rather than operating "efficiently," the financial sector has been imposing huge costs on the economy-costs that no one can deny in the aftermath of the economy's collapse. While orthodox approaches lead to the conclusion that money and finance should not matter much, the alternative tradition-from Veblen and Keynes to Galbraith and Minsky-provides the basis for developing an approach that puts money and finance front and center. Including the theory of social costs also generates policy recommendations more appropriate to an economy in which finance matters.
    Keywords: Hyman Minsky; Kapp; Galbraith; Veblen; Coase; Theory of Social Costs; Efficient Markets Hypothesis; Money; Finance; Social Efficiency; Social Provisioning; Shadow Banks; Financial Innovation; Casino Capitalism; Securitization; Deregulation; Self-Supervision
    JEL: B14 B15 B22 B52 E3 E12 E40 E42 E50 E51 E52 G14 G21
    Date: 2011–03
  22. By: Dirk J. Bezemer
    Abstract: Given the economy's complex behavior and sudden transitions as evidenced in the 2007–08 crisis, agent-based models are widely considered a promising alternative to current macroeconomic practice dominated by DSGE models. Their failure is commonly interpreted as a failure to incorporate heterogeneous interacting agents. This paper explains that complex behavior and sudden transitions also arise from the economy's financial structure as reflected in its balance sheets, not just from heterogeneous interacting agents. It introduces "flow-of-funds" and "accounting" models, which were preeminent in successful anticipations of the recent crisis. In illustration, a simple balance-sheet model of the economy is developed to demonstrate that nonlinear behavior and sudden transition may arise from the economy’s balance-sheet structure, even without any microfoundations. The paper concludes by discussing one recent example of combining flow-of-funds and agent-based models. This appears a promising avenue for future research.
    Keywords: Credit Crisis; Finance; Complex Systems; DSGE; Agent-based Models; Stock-flow Consistent Models
    JEL: B52 C63 E32 E37 E44
    Date: 2011–04
  23. By: David A. Matsa; Amalia R. Miller
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of women helping women in corporate America. Using a merged panel of directors and executives for large U.S. corporations between 1997 and 2009, the authors find a positive association between the female share of the board of directors in the previous year and the female share among current top executives. The relationship's timing suggests that causality runs from boards to managers and not the reverse. This pattern of women helping women at the highest levels of firm leadership highlights the continued importance of a demand-side "glass ceiling" in explaining the slow progress of women in business.
    JEL: G34 M51 J16 J71
    Date: 2011–01
  24. By: Radha Iyengar; Giulia Ferrari
    Abstract: The empowerment of women within households remains a major issue around the world including in Africa. We have conducted a study in Burundi coupling discussion sessions with microfinancing to determine if they enhance the role of women in decisions regarding household purchases and the reduction of domestic violence. We compare our findings to that from a published study in South Africa that combined discussion sessions on life skills and health on reduction in domestic violence and decisions on economic issues. Both studies used randomized controlled experiments. Both studies show a trend towards increases in household authority, with the Burundi study showing statistical significance. In South Africa there was a large, albeit short lived decrease in domestic violence. In Burundi there was small reduction but trends suggest a longer duration. The effects on overall empowerment are small. These studies suggest that a more sustained use of discussion sessions may result in longer and more sustained economic and social empowerment. Future research could focus on the longer term effects of the use of discussion sessions and investigate how the observed impacts can be sustained in magnitude and duration.
    JEL: D12 G21 I12 J12
    Date: 2011–03

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