nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒06‒25
27 papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Portrait of the Economist as a Young Man: Raúl Prebisch’s evolving views on the business cycle and money, 1919-1949 By Matías Vernengo
  2. The Impact of a Carbon Tax on Sectors Competitiveness By Nicolas Gonne
  3. Economic Modernization in Late British India: Hindu-Muslim Differences By Timur Kuran; Anantdeep Singh
  4. Organizational routines and cognition: an introduction to empirical an analytical contributions By Nathalie Lazaric
  5. Towards a Theory of Fair Interest Rates on Microcredit By Marek Hudon; Joakim Sandberg
  6. Sexual Orientation, Prejudice and Segregation By Plug, Erik; Webbink, Dinand; Martin, Nicholas G.
  7. Social Contacts and the Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Panel Study of Immigrants in Germany By Kanas, Agnieszka; Chiswick, Barry R.; van der Lippe, Tanja; van Tubergen, Frank
  8. Use of Time and Value of Unpaid Family Care Work: A Comparison between Italy and Poland By Francavilla, Francesca; Giannelli, Gianna Claudia; Grotkowska, Gabriela; Socha, Mieczyslaw
  9. GDP as a Measure of Economic Welfare By Moshe Syrquin
  10. Unequal Property Rights: A study of land right inequalities in Rwanda By Isaksson, Ann-Sofie
  11. Gendered Career Expectations of Students: Perspectives from PISA 2006 By Joanna Sikora; Artur Pokropek
  12. Translation Mechanisms in Socio-Technical Niches. A case study of Dutch river management By Rob P.J.M. Raven; Geert P.J. Verbong; Wouter F. Schilpzand; Marten J. Witkamp
  13. Optimal modularity: A demonstration of the evolutionary advantage of modular architectures By Koen Frenken; Stefan Mendritzki
  14. Path dependence in technologies and organizations: a concise guide By Carolina Castaldi; Giovanni Dosi
  15. The when and where of research in agricultural innovation trajectories: Evidence and implications from RIU's South Asia projects By Reddy, Vamsidhar; Hall, Andy; Sulaiman, Rasheed
  16. Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya By Kilelu, Catherine W.; Klerkx, Laurens; Leeuwis, Cees; Hall, Andy
  17. Innovationskooperationen und Wissenstransfer von Unternehmen im Raum Jena By Kaps, Katharina; Pfeil, Silko; Sauer, Thomas; Stoetzer, Matthias-Wolfgang
  18. The US government's social cost of carbon estimates after their first year: Pathways for improvement By Kopp, Robert E.; Mignone, Bryan K.
  19. The creation of new entities: stakeholders and shareholders in 19th century Italian co-operatives By P. Battilani
  20. Demutualization and its Problems By P. Battilani; H. G. Schroter
  21. The Labour Market Impact of the Run on Northern Rock: Continuity and Evolution in an old Industrial Region By Stuart Dawley; Neill Marshall; Andy Pike; Jane Pollard; John Tomaney
  22. Are England’s Academies More Inclusive or More ‘Exclusive’? The Impact of Institutional Change on the Pupil Profile of Schools By Joan Wilson
  23. Migrant Women on the Labour Market By Suzanne Kok; Nicole Bosch; Anja Deelen; Rob Euwals
  24. Signs of reality - reality of signs. Explorations of a pending revolution in political economy. By Hanappi, Hardy
  25. Mutamenti strutturali: modelli, metodi e principi in una nuova prospettiva By Schilirò, Daniele
  26. The dynamics of national innovation systems: a panel cointegration analysis of the coevolution between innovative capability and absorptive capacity By Fulvio, Castellacci; Jose Miguel, Natera
  27. Price Setting in a Leading Swiss Online Supermarket By Martin Berka; Michael B. Devereux; Thomas Rudolph

  1. By: Matías Vernengo
    Abstract: This paper provides a rejoinder to Colander, Holt and Rosser (2010) strategy to win friends and influence mainstream economics. It is suggested that their strategy is counter-productive, and while it might gain them friends, it will not lead to increased influence of heterodox ideas within what they term the cutting edge of the profession. It is argued that their failure to understand the nature of heterodoxy, and the reason for the eclecticism of the mainstream, associated to the rise of vulgar economics, undermines their arguments.
    Keywords: Methodology, Heterodox Economics JEL Codes: B49, B59
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Nicolas Gonne
    Abstract: Asymmetric climate policies are expected to distort the level-playing field regarding international trade, singularly to the detriment of small open economies. The paper develops a flexible method that provides essential input regarding the design of offsetting measures at the sectoral level. It builds on input-output analysis and standard input-output data to provide proxies for both the carbon-intensity and the trade-intensity of production. These are used to reckon the impact that such policies as carbon taxation have on the price-competitiveness of sectors. The method is then applied to the case of Belgium.
    Keywords: Asymmetric climate policies; Carbon taxes; Input-output analysis; Sectors price-competitiveness
    JEL: C67 D57 H23 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2010–10
  3. By: Timur Kuran; Anantdeep Singh
    Abstract: The Muslims of South Asia made the transition to modern economic life more slowly than the region’s Hindus. In the first half of the twentieth century, they were relatively less likely to use large-scale and long-living economic organizations, and less likely to serve on corporate boards. Providing evidence, this paper also explores the institutional roots of the difference in communal trajectories. Whereas Hindu inheritance practices favored capital accumulation within families and the preservation of family fortunes across generations, the Islamic inheritance system, which the British helped to enforce, tended to fragment family wealth. The family trusts (waqfs) that Muslims used to preserve assets across generations hindered capital pooling among families; they were also ill-suited to profit-seeking business. Whereas Hindus generally pooled capital within durable joint family enterprises, Muslims tended to use ephemeral Islamic partnerships. Hindu family businesses facilitated the transition to modern corporate life by imparting skills useful in large and durable organizations.
    Keywords: India, Islam, Hinduism, capital accumulation, inheritance, partnership, corporation, waqf, economic development
    JEL: N25 N85 K22 O53 P48
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Nathalie Lazaric (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR6227 - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis)
    Abstract: This article introduces this special issue on routines. It offers some suggestions as to why the concept of routines is considered central in methodological considerations of capabilities and organizational evolution. The contributors to this special issue propose various analytical tools, and provide some missing pieces from the puzzle related to the prominent role of routines. Issues discussed in the papers include methodological individualism. Routines lie between the individual and the firm levels of analysis because they are enacted by individuals in a social context. It is also suggested that a multilevel research agenda provides a finer grained analysis because organizational routines are not isolated units but are entangled among the various organizational layers.
    Keywords: Orgaizational Routines
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Marek Hudon; Joakim Sandberg
    Abstract: One of the most salient ethical debates concerning microcredit pertains to the unexpectedly high rates of interest charged on microloans. Microcredit is supposed to be to the advantage of borrowers in some of the poorest regions of the world, but at the same time commercial institutions need to cover their comparably high costs. This article seeks to find a theoretical basis for a more balanced way of setting prices on microcredit; i.e. a theory of fairness in interest rates. By drawing on both contemporary debates in the industry as well as more general philosophical ideas, the article discusses four main theoretical approaches. In the end the authors favour a combination of consequentialism and liberal egalitarianism which seems able to adequately balance the needs of the institutions with the needs of the clients. However it is also acknowledged that further research in the area is needed.
    Keywords: justice; microfinance; interest rate; usury
    JEL: L31 M54 O16 Q14
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Plug, Erik (University of Amsterdam); Webbink, Dinand (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Martin, Nicholas G. (Queensland Institute of Medical Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether gay and lesbian workers sort into tolerant occupations. With information on sexual orientation, prejudice and occupational choice taken from Australian Twin Registers, we find that gays and lesbians shy away from prejudiced occupations. We show that our segregation results are largely driven by those gay and lesbian workers with disclosed identities, and robust to the inclusion of unobserved factors that are inherited and observed factors that strongly correlate with productive skills and vocational preferences. Our segregation estimates are generally large and consistent with prejudice based theories of employer and employee discrimination against gay and lesbian workers.
    Keywords: sexual orientation, occupational choice, discrimination, segregation
    JEL: J15 J24 J71
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Kanas, Agnieszka (Utrecht University); Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University); van der Lippe, Tanja (Utrecht University); van Tubergen, Frank (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we examined the impact of social contacts on immigrant occupational status and income. In addition to general social contacts, we also analyzed the effects of bonding (i.e., co-ethnic) and bridging (i.e., interethnic) ties on economic outcomes. Results show that general social contacts have a positive effect on the occupational status and, in particular, annual income of immigrants. We also find that bridging ties with Germans lead to higher occupational status, but not to increased income. These effects remain visible even when social contacts are measured (at least) one year prior to the economic outcomes, as well as when earlier investments in German human capital are considered. Finally, we show that co-ethnic concentration in the region of residence weakly affects economic returns to German language proficiency and schooling.
    Keywords: occupational status, social contacts, immigrants, income, panel data
    JEL: F22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2011–06
  8. By: Francavilla, Francesca (University of Westminster); Giannelli, Gianna Claudia (University of Florence); Grotkowska, Gabriela (Warsaw University); Socha, Mieczyslaw (Warsaw University)
    Abstract: This study provides a comparison of the size and value of unpaid family care work in two European member States, Italy and Poland. Using the Italian and Polish time use surveys, both the opportunity cost and the market replacement approaches are employed to separately estimate the value of family childcare and care of the elderly. The results show that, overall, in Italy the number of people performing family care work is higher, also due to the larger population. Italians participate somewhat less than Poles in child care, but substantially more in care of the elderly because of demographic factors. However, the huge difference in the value of unpaid family care work, which in Italy exceeds the value of Poland by about eight times, is largely to be attributed to the discrepancy in hourly earnings, average earnings of Poles being about one fifth of those of Italians. In GDP terms, instead, the value of unpaid family care work is more similar, ranging between 3.7 and 4.4 per cent of the Polish GDP and 4.1 and 5 per cent of the Italian GDP, depending on the estimation approach. The national values of these activities are discussed and an interpretation of the country differentials in the family care-taking gender gaps is given in terms of differences in culture, economic development and institutions.
    Keywords: unpaid work, time use, child care, care of the elderly, adult care, Poland, Italy, satellite accounts
    JEL: E01 E26 J13 J14 J16 J22
    Date: 2011–06
  9. By: Moshe Syrquin
    Abstract: Ever since the early days of National Income accounting we can observe periodic surges of demands to fix the measurement of GDP to better reflect progress, welfare or even happiness. In recent years even Presidents and Prime Ministers in Europe have joined the chorus of the discontent. In this paper I argue that the critique is mostly misguided. Welfare measurement has not been the objective of the GDP accounts especially since the late 1940s when National Accounts became a vehicle for applying Keynesian economics for, primarily, short run stabilization. I also argue that the search for a unique index of welfare, well-being, or happiness is a chimera.
    Date: 2011–04
  10. By: Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to examine the existence and patterns of systematic within-country inequalities in effective land rights in Rwanda. The results of empirical estimations drawing on data on the land tenure arrangements of over 5,000 Rwandan households indeed suggest systematic within-country inequalities in land rights, with households headed by women or young individuals, households that have been displaced due to conflict, and households in the Imidugudu village settlements reporting significantly weaker rights than their respective comparison groups. The observed inequalities are not only the result of variation in tenure arrangements, but also exist when comparing households cultivating plots under similar land tenure regimes. Finding within-country inequalities in effective property rights highlights the need to – unlike much of the quantitative literature in the field – carefully evaluate how property rights apply to different segments of a country’s population. For Rwanda, which is in the process of implementing an extensive land reform, this is especially relevant.
    Keywords: property rights; land rights; inequality; Rwanda
    JEL: D02 K11 O12 O55 Q15 R14 R52
    Date: 2011–06–15
  11. By: Joanna Sikora; Artur Pokropek
    Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive overview of adolescent career plans reported in PISA 2006. Its main focus is on the differences in the status and area of employment expected by girls and boys in high school. In almost all countries, girls lead boys in their interest in non-manual, high status professional occupations. This can be seen as a vertical dimension of gender segregation in occupational preferences. Students also differ by gender in selecting particular fields of employment within status categories. These differences make up the horizontal segregation of students' expectations and, in PISA 2006, are prominent in the gendered choices of specific subfields of science. Both the vertical and the horizontal dimensions must be considered to appreciate the cultural and institutional factors which promote and reinforce systematic divides in career choices of adolescent boys and girls.
    Date: 2011–02–17
  12. By: Rob P.J.M. Raven; Geert P.J. Verbong; Wouter F. Schilpzand; Marten J. Witkamp
    Abstract: This paper makes three contributions to the field of transition research. First, it sheds light on how the concept of translation can contribute to a better understanding of agency in niche development. Second, it articulates how the local-global distinction in the Strategic Niche Management (SNM) approach relates to the levels in the Multi-Level Perspective. Third, the article is empirically novel by presenting a radical sustainable innovation in Dutch water management (‘New Rivers’).
    Keywords: Sustainability transitions, translations, strategic niche management, river management
    Date: 2011–06
  13. By: Koen Frenken; Stefan Mendritzki
    Abstract: Modularity is an important concept in evolutionary theorizing but lack of a consistent definition renders study difficult. Using the generalised NK-model of fitness landscapes, we differentiate modularity from decomposability. Modular and decomposable systems are both composed of subsystems but in the former these subsystems are connected via interface standards while in the latter subsystems are completely isolated. We derive the optimal level of modularity, which minimises the time required to globally optimise a system, both for the case of two-layered systems and for the general case of multi-layered hierarchical systems containing modules within modules. This derivation supports the hypothesis of modularity as a mechanism to increase the speed of evolution. Our formal definition clarifies the concept of modularity and provides a framework and an analytical baseline for further research.
    Keywords: Modularity, Decomposability, Near-decomposability, Complexity, NK-model, Search, hierarchy
    JEL: D20 D83 L23 O31 O32
    Date: 2011–06
  14. By: Carolina Castaldi; Giovanni Dosi
    Abstract: The note on which an entry for the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management will draw offers a beginner’s guide to path dependency in technologies and organizations. We address the very meaning of the concept and its centrality in various aspects of economic analysis. We outline the various levels of the economic system where it is observable, its sources, consequences and different formal representations of path dependent processes.
    Keywords: path dependence, lock-in, organizations, technologies
    Date: 2011–06
  15. By: Reddy, Vamsidhar (RIU); Hall, Andy (RIU, LINK, Open University, and UNU-MERIT); Sulaiman, Rasheed (RIU)
    Abstract: The question of how agricultural research can best be used for developmental purposes is a topic of some debate in developmental circles. The idea that this is simply a question of better transfer of ideas from research to farmers has been largely discredited. Agricultural innovation is a process that takes a multitude of different forms, and, within this process, agricultural research and expertise are mobilised at different points in time for different purposes. This paper uses two key analytical principles in order to find how research is actually put into use. The first, which concerns the configurations of organisations and their relationships associated with innovation, reveals the additional set of resources and expertise that research needs to be married up to and sheds light on the sorts of arrangements that allow this marriage to take place. The second - which concerns understanding innovation as a path-dependent, contextually shaped trajectory unfolding over time - reveals the changing role of research during the course of events associated with the development and diffusion of products, services and institutional innovations. Using these analytical principles, this paper examines the efforts of the DFID-funded Research Into Use (RIU) programme that sought to explore the agricultural research-into-use question empirically. The paper then uses this analysis to derive implications for public policy and its ongoing efforts to add value to research investments.
    Keywords: Agricultural Innovation, Value Chain Innovation, Research Into Use, South Asia, Innovation Trajectories, Research for Development, Policy
    JEL: N55 O13 O19 O22 O31 O32 O33 O53 Q13 Q16
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Kilelu, Catherine W. (RIU, Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Klerkx, Laurens (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Leeuwis, Cees (Communication and Innovation Studies Group, Wageningen University); Hall, Andy (RIU, LINK, Open University, and UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: The recognition that innovation occurs in networks of heterogeneous actors and requires broad systemic support beyond knowledge brokering has resulted in a changing landscape of the intermediary domain in an increasingly market-driven agricultural sector in developing countries. This paper presents findings of an explorative case study that looked at 22 organisations identified as fulfilling an intermediary role in the Kenyan agricultural sector. The results show that these organisations fulfill functions that are not limited to distribution of knowledge and putting it into use. The functions also include fostering integration and interaction among the diverse actors engaged in innovation networks and working on technological, organisational and institutional innovation. Further, the study identified various organisational arrangements of innovation intermediaries with some organisations fulfilling a specialised innovation brokering role, even as other intermediaries take on brokering as a side activity, while still substantively contributing to the innovation process. Based on these findings we identify a typology of 4 innovation intermediation arrangements, including technology brokers, systemic brokers, enterprise development support and input access support. The results indicate that innovation brokering is a pervasive task in supporting innovation and will require policy support to embed it in innovation support arrangements. The paper is not normative about these arrangements.
    Keywords: Smallholder agriculture, innovation intermediaries, agriculture innovation, knowledge brokers, Kenya
    JEL: L26 L32 N5 N57 O13 O19 O31 O32 O55 Q12 Q13 Q16
    Date: 2011
  17. By: Kaps, Katharina; Pfeil, Silko; Sauer, Thomas; Stoetzer, Matthias-Wolfgang
    Abstract: Die im Rahmen des vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) geförderten Projektes KompNet2011 - Erfolgsfaktoren regionaler Innovationsnetze - durchgeführte Befragung untersucht die Innovationskooperationen sowie Wissenstransferaktivitäten von schwerpunktmäßig kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen (KMU) in der Region Jena. Die Studie konzentriert sich auf drei Aspekte: Mit welcher Intensität werden die verschiedenen Transferkanäle für die Übertragung des Wissens zwischen den kooperierenden Partnern genutzt? Welche Innovationsrelevanz wird den einzelnen Transferarten durch die Unternehmen beigemessen? In welchem räumlichen Kontext finden diese Transferbeziehungen statt? Es konnte festgestellt werden, dass vertikale Kooperationsbeziehungen von mehr als 75% der innovativen Unternehmen praktiziert werden. Unentbehrlich für den Erfolg von Kooperationen sind regelmäßige face-to-face-Kontakte zwischen den Beteiligten. Obwohl die Unternehmen bei Innovationsvorhaben mit zahlreichen Partnern zusammenarbeiten, ist die Eigenentwicklung die mit Abstand wichtigste Entwicklungsart. Mehr als 80% der Befragten nutzen unmittelbare Wissenstransferformen, wie Aus-/Weiterbildungsleistungen und Workshops. Humankapitalorientierte Kanäle, wie die Beschäftigung von Praktikanten und Werkstudenten oder die Betreuung von Seminar- bzw. Abschlussarbeiten werden von mehr als 50% praktiziert. Weniger als die Hälfte der Unternehmen nutzt hingegen klassische F&E-Transferkanäle. Neben den unmittelbaren Kanälen und der Verbundforschung zeichnen sich auch die unterdurchschnittlich ausgeübten klassischen F&E-Transferarten durch eine hohe Innovationsrelevanz aus, d.h. sowohl Transferkanäle für stillschweigendes (implizites) Erfahrungswissen als auch für explizites technologisches Wissen sind für den Innovationserfolg wichtig. Die Transferaktivitäten werden - unabhängig von dem genutzten Transferkanal - vorwiegend regional und mit Partnern aus der eigenen Branche durchgeführt. Der Import von Wissen aus dem Ausland ist für die innovativen Unternehmen im Raum Jena von untergeordneter Bedeutung. -- The research project KompNet 2011 - Factors determining the success of regional innovation networks, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), examines the cooperation activities of predominant small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in and closely around Jena (Thuringia). The study focuses on three aspects: How do the different channels used in the transfer process between cooperating partners vary with regard to their intensity? Which types of knowledge transfer are relevant for the development of innovations? In which spatial context do these transfer relations occur? The study reveals that vertical cooperative relations are practiced by more than 75% of the survey participants. Regular personal contacts face-to-face areessential for the success of these relations. Although the regional SME collaborate with numerous partners in innovation projects, nevertheless in-house development is the most important form of creating innovative products. Over 80% of the participants use direct channels of knowledge transfer, such as education/training services and workshops. Human capital oriented channels, such as the employment of apprentices/students, are practiced by 50% of the surveyed firms. Less than half of the participants use traditional R&D transfer channels, e.g. collaborative research and R&D contracts. Direct transfer channels and collaborative research, but also the classical R&D transfer types, which are practiced with less intensity, are very important for the innovation success. Tacit and codified transfer channels are equally important for the success of innovation projects. Furthermore the study reveals that knowledge transfer activities are - regardless of transmission type - primarily regionally oriented and focus on partner from the same industry. The import of knowledge from abroad is less important for the innovative companies in the region of Jena.
    Keywords: Innovationskooperation,Wissenstransfer,Kooperationspartner,Transferkanal,Innovation,KMU,co-operation partners,innovation cooperation,knowledge transfer,transfer channel,innovation,SME
    JEL: D85 L14 O31 O32
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Kopp, Robert E.; Mignone, Bryan K.
    Abstract: In 2010, the U.S. government adopted its first consistent estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) for government-wide use in regulatory cost-benefit analysis. Here, we examine a number of the limitations of the estimates identified in the U.S. government report and elsewhere and review recent advances that could pave the way for improvements. We consider in turn socioeconomic scenarios, treatment of physical climate response, damage estimates, ways of incorporating risk aversion, and consistency between SCC estimates and broader climate policy. --
    Keywords: Climate change,social cost of carbon
    JEL: Q54 Q58
    Date: 2011
  19. By: P. Battilani
    Abstract: The numerous studies made of the persistence of the co-operative movement during the course of the 20th century, have often distinguished between economic efficiency and the ethical values (or ideologies) in questioni, as if the two were separate phenomena moving in parallel directions. However, over the past fifteen years at least two approaches have led to an interweaving of the cultural aspects of co-operation with the question of economic efficiency: the Putnam’s concept of social capital and the property rights model based on the work of Henry Hansmann. In associating myself with an approach, where efficiency is linked with “culture”, I wish to examine the cultural components of the Italian co-operative movement which emerged from three different socio-cultural traditions: liberalism, catholicism and socialism. Despite their differences, all three seem to share what we refer to here as the “ideal of community happiness”, that is the ideal of a collaboration among citizens for the improvement of the standard of living of the whole community. In this paper we will measure the popularity of this culture in the various Italian regions by per capita welfare expenditure in 1880 and 1900. At that time everything spent for helping people in need was given by friendly societies, catholic charities and local councils and nothing came from the central state. Therefore only the spreading of non-profit societies and a proactive attitude by local councils could generate high per capita welfare expenditure. Indeed, such indicator would seem to be closely linked to co-operative expansion during the second half of the 19th century, and would thus appear to provide an explanation for the non-homogeneous geographical distribution of Italian co-operatives. The main conclusion of this essay is that in the early stages the link with the political and cultural movements was crucial not only for the emergence but above all for the viability of cooperative enterprises by reducing the costs associated with collective decision making.
    JEL: N83
    Date: 2011–06
  20. By: P. Battilani; H. G. Schroter
    Abstract: Over the last three decades cooperatives experienced acceleration of institutional innovation with the introduction of many variations to the reference model. It is certainly not surprising that coops changed their organizational structure over time to face the challenges of world. In the United States and in Canada they are commonly referred to as New generation cooperatives, in Italy and Spain as cooperative groups or network of cooperatives. One of the main feature of these new organizational structures is their attempt to take some advantages of the investor oriented firms (above all in capital raising activities) while retaining the mutual/cooperative status. Many of these changes have been undertaken to facilitate the growth of the enterprises both in domestic market and abroad. Due to the wideness of the phenomenon we could name the last three decades the age of hybridization. However in some cases the search for new structures went further and assumed the aspect of conversion of mutuals into stock firms. Our paper will deal with this latter part of the story, focusing on cooperatives that preferred conversion or demutualization to hybridization. The paper describes the chronology and the geography of demutualization and analyses the forces that drove it over the last decades. The main conclusion is that demutualization provided solutions for real problems, as hybridization did, however the choice between these two options seems to have been more a matter of ideology than of efficiency.
    JEL: N80
    Date: 2011–06
  21. By: Stuart Dawley; Neill Marshall; Andy Pike; Jane Pollard; John Tomaney
    Abstract: The Northern Rock mortgage bank was a high profile casualty of the credit crunch in 2007. A longitudinal investigation focused on the redundancy and resettlement of employees at the bank provides a case study of the labour market impact of the banking crisis on the North East of England. An evolutionary geographical political economy approach indicates that Northern RockÕs growth and decline was shaped by its location in an old industrial region, and echoes the historical position of the peripheral region in the spatial division of labour. The Northern Rock case highlights the enduring occupational structure of the regionÕs labour market, and suggests older industrial regions may suffer from a process of Ôoccupational disadvantageÕ that restricts their ability to adapt to economic change.
    Keywords: Financial crisis, Northern Rock, Labour market impact, Evolutionary geographical political economy
    Date: 2011–06
  22. By: Joan Wilson
    Abstract: In 2002 the former Labour government launched the Academies Programme of school improvement. This scheme has targeted entrenched issues of pupil underachievement within state secondary schools located in deprived areas, by enabling private sponsors to run the renewed schools and by granting Academies independence from local authority control. A total of 203 institutions were established by the end of Labour's time in power (April 2010). This paper considers the efficacy of the scheme in delivering on an objective determined at its inception - that requiring Academies to feature a more inclusive and mixed-ability background of pupils. Administrative information in the National Pupil Database is combined with school-level data to assess how the academic quality and composition of pupils entering year 7 of Academies and how their whole school composition has compared to those in predecessor and non-Academy schools. Difference-in-differences regression analysis is applied to a sample of 33 Academies and 326 control schools over the period 1997-2007. Findings reveal an immediate boost to intake quality among Academies once the policy came into effect and a fall in entry by pupils of weaker prior ability, while sampled Academies have also taken in fewer pupils from underprivileged backgrounds. Thus Academies have actually featured a more 'exclusive' pupil profile. The Coalition government - formed since May 2010 - has extended the policy to allow all state schools to become Academies. Newer Academies, like the original ones, may adapt their admissions in a performance-favouring way, implying a worsening of educational opportunity under both policy versions.
    Keywords: Academies, school improvement, school renewal, institutional change, pupil profile, pupil intake, pupil composition
    JEL: I2 I21 I28
    Date: 2011–05
  23. By: Suzanne Kok; Nicole Bosch; Anja Deelen; Rob Euwals
    Abstract: <p>The behaviour of migrant women on the labour market is influenced by a variety of factors, among which the culture of the home and the host country. </p><p>Part of the literature investigates the role of home-country culture. This study extends the literature by including a measure for the influence of host-country culture as an additional determinant of the participation of migrant women. The empirical model explains participation from demographics and educational attainment, and uses home- and host-country female participation as proxies for culture. Evidence on the basis of the Dutch Labour Force Survey 1996 – 2007 suggests that both differences in home-country female participation and the trend in native female participation, as a measure for host-country culture, affect the participation of migrant women. The results suggest that host-country participation is at least as important as home-country participation.</p><p><em><em>Keywords: female labour force participation, immigration, cultural transmission</em></em></p>
    JEL: J16 J22 J61
    Date: 2011–06
  24. By: Hanappi, Hardy
    Abstract: This paper explores the interaction between the world of information processes in human society and the non-information dynamics, which the latter set out to understand. This broad topic is approached with a focus on evolutionary political economy: It turns out that progress in this scientific discipline seems to depend crucially on a methodological revolution reframing this above mentioned interplay. The paper consists of three parts. After a brief introduction, which sketches the position of the argument in the current epistemological discourse, part 1 sets out to describe the basic methodological ingredients used by evolutionary political economy to describe the ‘reality’ of socioeconomic dynamics. Part 2 jumps to the world of languages used and proposes a rather radical break with the received apparatus of analytical mathematics used so successfully in sciences studying non-living phenomena. The development of procedural simulation languages should substitute inadequate mathematical formalizations, some examples are provided. Part 3 then returns to ‘reality’ dynamics, but now incorporates the interaction with the information sphere in a small algorithmic model. This model – like the introduction - again makes visible the relationships to earlier research in the field. Instead of a conclusion – several, hopefully innovative ideas are provided in passing, throughout the paper - an epilogue is provided, which tries to indicate the implications of this methodological paper for political practice in face of the current global crisis.
    Keywords: Scientific methods; evolutionary political economy; formal languages; ideology
    JEL: B51 B52 B4
    Date: 2011–05–28
  25. By: Schilirò, Daniele
    Abstract: The study of structural changes is the theme of this work, where structural changes are correlated primarily with changes in the structure of production, which are caused by the evolution of technical progress and organizational changes in production. The analysis of models and theories of structural change carried out in this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it is possible to identify some basic principles that characterize these models, on the other hand, it should lead us to reconsider some important methodological issues in a new perspective, issues concerning the different methods of decomposition of the production systems, the problem of complexity and strategies to reduce this complexity. In the following pages, the investigation will be limited to the models of Leontief, von Neumann, Sraffa as these economists, similarly to classical economics, focused their study on the economic structure as a factor crucial to understanding the functioning of economic systems. The choice of models of Leontief, von Neumann and Sraffa is important, because they can identify the analytical principles and discuss some methodological issues, which are the basis of the analysis of structural change, with the aim of contributing to a new perspective and to further progress at epistemic level. This paper compares the Quesnay’s Tableau Economique, taken as a reference model, with the models of Leontief, von Neumann and Sraffa to capture the different characteristics of these models compared to the theoretical framework of Quesnay. The essay also seeks to identify within these models the main features on the analysis of structural change. It tries to indicate the possibility of a new and unified perspective on the methodological analysis of structural change but does notpretend to to offer a general theoretical model.
    Keywords: mutamenti strutturali; modelli multisettoriali; metodi di decomposizione; input-output; Tableau economique di Quesnay.
    JEL: L16 O41 B20 B11
    Date: 2011–06
  26. By: Fulvio, Castellacci; Jose Miguel, Natera
    Abstract: This paper puts forward the idea that the dynamics of national innovation systems is driven by the coevolution of two main dimensions: innovative capability and absorptive capacity. The empirical analysis employs a broad set of indicators measuring national innovative capabilities and absorptive capacity for a panel of 98 countries in the period 1980-2008, and makes use of panel cointegration analysis to investigate long-run relationships and coevolution patterns among these variables. The results indicate that the dynamics of national systems of innovation is driven by the coevolution of three innovative capability variables (technological output, scientific output, innovative input), on the one hand, and three absorptive capacity factors (income per capita, infrastructures and international trade), on the other.
    Keywords: national systems of innovation; innovative capability; absorptive capacity; economic growth and development; coevolution; panel cointegration analysis
    JEL: F00 O30 O10 F43 C33 O40
    Date: 2011–06
  27. By: Martin Berka; Michael B. Devereux; Thomas Rudolph
    Abstract: We study a newly released data set of scanner prices for food products in a large Swiss online supermarket. We find that average prices change about every two months, but when we exclude temporary sales, prices are extremely sticky, changing on average once every three years. Non-sale price behavior is broadly consistent with menu cost models of sticky prices. When we focus specifically on the behavior of sale prices, however, we find that the characteristics of price adjustment seems to be substantially at odds with standard theory.
    JEL: E3
    Date: 2011–06

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