nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒07‒02
24 papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Gender Discrimination and Evaluators’ Gender: Evidence from the Italian Academy By Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa
  2. Les dotations en capital pour les jeunes : un jalon vers l'égalisation des chances et l'autonomie des jeunes ? By Coralie Perez
  3. Beyond the market-institutions dichotomy: The institutionalism of Douglass C. North in response to Karl Polanyi's challenge By Claude Didry; Caroline Vincensini
  4. A Rights Revolution in Europe? Regulatory and judicial approaches to nondiscrimination in insurance By Deborah Mabbett
  5. Collaboration in pharmaceutical research: Exploration of country-level determinants. By Tatiana Plotnikova; Bastian Rake
  7. Proximity, Networks and Knowledge Production in Europe By Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
  8. Cooking, Caring and Volunteering: Unpaid Work Around the World By Veerle Miranda
  9. Together we will : experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan By Gine, Xavier; Mansuri, Ghazala
  10. Disability and poverty in developing countries : a snapshot from the world health survey By Mitra, Sophie; Posarac, Aleksandra; Vick, Brandon
  11. Wavelet packet transforms analysis applied to carbon prices. By Chevallier, Julien
  12. Related Variety, Global Connectivity and Institutional Embeddedness: Internet Development in Beijing and Shanghai Compared By Jun Zhang
  13. Liberalization-Privatization Paths: Policies and Politics By Filippo Belloc; Antonio Nicita
  14. Accidents and illnesses at the workplace Evidence from Italy By Martina Cioni; Marco savioli
  15. Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition By Lefteris Tsoulfidis
  16. Food Crises and Gender Inequality By Bina Agarwal
  17. The Effect of Public Sector Employment on Women’s Labour Martket Outcomes By Anghel, Brindusa; de la Rica, Sara.; Dolado, Juan José
  18. The End of the “Liberal Theory of History”? Dissecting the U.S. Congress’ Discourse on China’s Currency Policy By Nicola Nymalm
  19. Crowding out capitalism: A law of historical materialism By Hagendorf, Klaus
  20. Does improved sanitation reduce diarrhea in children in rural India? By Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian
  21. Exploitation and its unintended outcomes. An axiomatic obituary for Marx’s surplus value. By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  22. Heterodox surplus approach: production, prices, and value theory By Lee, Frederic
  23. Early Non-marital Childbearing and the "Culture of Despair" By Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
  24. A Century of the Evolution of the Urban System in Brazil By Valente J. Matlaba; Mark Holmes; Philip McCann; Jacques Poot

  1. By: Maria De Paola; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Relying on a natural experiment consisting in 130 competitions for promotion to associate and full professor in the Italian University, we analyze whether gender discrimination is affected by the gender of evaluators. Taking advantage of the random assignment of evaluators to each competition, we examine the probability of success of each candidate in relation to the committee gender composition, controlling for candidates’ scientific productivity and a number of individual characteristics. We find that female candidates are less likely to be promoted when the committee is composed exclusively by males, while the gender gap disappears when the candidates are evaluated by a mixed sex committee. Results are qualitatively similar across fields and type of competitions. The analysis of candidates’ decisions to withdraw from competition highlights that gender differences in preferences for competition play only a minor role in explaining gender discrimination. It also emerges that withdrawal decisions are not affected by the committee gender composition and therefore the gender discrimination is not related to self-fulfilling expectations.
    Keywords: Gender Discrimination, Evaluators’ Gender, Affirmative Actions, Academic Promotion
    JEL: D72 D78 J45 J71
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Coralie Perez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: Comment réduire les inégalités entre les jeunes et favoriser leur autonomie ? Depuis plusieurs années, les dotations en capital sont mises en avant comme un mode d'action innovant et responsabilisant. Le dispositif emblématique de ce mode d'action est britannique : le Child Trust Fund. A l'instar des comptes individuels de formation, le décalage entre les discours incantatoires et les mises en pratique, peu nombreuses et faiblement convaincantes, est patent. Il est vrai que l'idéologie sous-jacente de ces dotations en capital est puissante puisqu'il s'agit d'étayer, dans une perspective libérale, un État social actif.
    Keywords: dotation; jeunes; autonomie; état social; France; Royaume Uni; formation
    Date: 2011–06
  3. By: Claude Didry (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis - Université de Paris X - Nanterre - École normale supérieure de Cachan - ENS Cachan); Caroline Vincensini (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis - Université de Paris X - Nanterre - École normale supérieure de Cachan - ENS Cachan)
    Abstract: On the basis of the "challenge" North [1997 (1977)] identified in the works of Polanyi, we propose to outline the originality of North's institutionalism, especially in comparison with "new institutionalism" in economics as well as in sociology. Far from endorsing the dichotomy between market and non market dimensions of economic activities at the basis of the analyses of Williamson and Granovetter, North's definition of institutions as "rules of the game" allows him to conceive of institutions as the institutional foundations of the market and therefore as explanatory principles of historical dynamics.
    Keywords: institutions, institutionalism, North, Polanyi, Williamson, Granovetter
    Date: 2011–03–02
  4. By: Deborah Mabbett
    Abstract: In a recent decision, the European Court of Justice has ruled that insurers cannot discriminate on grounds of sex in setting premiums or determining benefits. This paper discusses the background to this decision. It asks whether we are seeing a US-style ‘rights revolution’, fuelled by judicial activism, as suggested by Dobbin et al’s hypothesis of ‘the strength of weak states’ or Kagan and Kelemen’s account of ‘adversarial legalism’. It is shown that neither of these theories captures the distinctive nature of the ECJ’s intervention. An industry-friendly policy was pursued in regulatory venues, but this was overridden by the ECJ’s interpretation of the fundamental right of equal treatment. However, it is also shown that the judicial defence of fundamental rights is a weak basis for social policy, and does not foreshadow a revolution in the development of social rights in Europe.
    Keywords: Adversarial legalism, discrimination, Gender Directive, insurance, weak state
    Date: 2011–05
  5. By: Tatiana Plotnikova (Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Graduate College "The Economics of Innovative Change"); Bastian Rake (Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Graduate College "The Economics of Innovative Change")
    Abstract: In this paper we focus on proximity as one of the main determinants of international collaboration in pharmaceutical research. We use various count data specifications of the gravity model to estimate the intensity of collaboration between pairs of countries as explained by the geographical, cognitive, institutional, social, and cultural dimensions of proximity. Our results suggest that geographical distance has a significant negative relation to the collaboration intensity between countries. The amount of previous collaborations, as a proxy for social proximity, is positively related to the number of cross-country collaborations. We do not find robust significant associations between cognitive proximity or institutional proximity with the intensity of international research collaboration. Moreover, there is no robust and significant relation between the interaction terms of geographical distance with social, cognitive, or institutional proximity, and international research collaboration. Our findings for cultural proximity do not allow of unambiguous conclusions concerning their influence on the collaboration intensity between countries. Linguistic ties among countries are associated with a higher amount of cross-country research collaboration but we find no clear association for historical and colonial linkages.
    Keywords: International Cooperation, Pharmaceuticals, Proximity
    JEL: R10 O31
    Date: 2011–06–21
  6. By: Gilles Campagnolo; Christel Vivel
    Abstract: In the present paper we are going to examine texts by Werner Sombart and Friedrich von Wieser on entrepreneurship and the capitalist economy using an interdisciplinary approach focused on economics but also dealing with economic sociology and political philosophy. We believe that both authors have been largely neglected, thus overlooking the main source of the theory of the entrepreneur in debates held in German language and between Germany and Austria around the 1900s. Without excluding earlier major references (such as Jean-Baptiste Say, the first French economist at the Collège de France) we shall demonstrate that for both our authors the entrepreneur is the keystone of a renewed understanding of capitalism and the modern economy of their times. They stressed the origins, functions and roles of the entrepreneur and showed that there cannot exist only a single entrepreneurial form but there must necessarily be several ones, depending on the context. Two lessons can be drawn from their texts: 1/ the entrepreneur’s action needs to be reinstalled in the social, economic and institutional context; 2/ the results of the actions of entrepreneurs are inherently difficult to predict because the action responds to institutional changes and is the outcome of such changes.
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: This paper aims at assessing the role of various dimension of proximity on the innovative capacity of a region within the context of a knowledge production function where we consider as main internal inputs R&D expenditures and human capital. We want to assess if, and how much, the creation of new ideas in a certain region is the result of flows of information and knowledge coming from proximate regions. In particular, we examine in details the concept of proximity combining the usual geographical dimension with the institutional, the technological, the social and the organizational proximity. The analysis is implemented for an ample dataset referring to 287 regions in 29 countries (EU27 plus Norway, Switzerland) for the last decade. Results show that human capital and R&D are clearly essential for innovative activity but with an impact which is much higher for the former factor. As for the proximity and network effects, we find that geography is important but less than technological and cognitive proximity. Social and organizational networks are also relevant but their role is more modest. Finally, most of these proximities prove to have a complementary role in shaping innovative activity across regions in Europe.
    Keywords: knowledge production; technological spillover; proximity; networks
    JEL: O31 C31 O18 R12 O52
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Veerle Miranda
    Abstract: Household production constitutes an important aspect of economic activity and ignoring it may lead to incorrect inferences about levels and changes in well-being. This paper sheds light on the importance of unpaid work by making use of detailed time-use surveys for 25 OECD member countries and 3 emerging economies. The calculations suggest that between one-third and half of all valuable economic activity in the countries under consideration is not accounted for in the traditional measures of well-being, such as GDP per capita. In all countries, women do more of such work than men, although to some degree balanced – by an amount varying across countries – by the fact that they do less market work. While unpaid work – and especially the gender division of unpaid work – is to some extent related to a country’s development level, country cross-sectional data suggest that demographic factors and public policies tend to exercise a much larger impact. The regular collection of time-use data can thus be of tremendous value for government agencies to monitor and design public policies, and give a more balanced view of well-being across different societies.<BR>La production des ménages constitue un aspect important de l’activité économique et sa non prise en compte risquerait d’aboutir à des conclusions erronées concernant les niveaux de bien-être et leurs variations. Ce document met en lumière l’importance du travail non rémunéré en utilisant des enquêtes détaillées sur l’utilisation du temps dans 25 pays membres de l’OCDE et 3 économies émergentes. Les calculs montrent qu’une part comprise entre le tiers et la moitié de la totalité de l’activité économique utile dans les pays examinés n’est pas prise en compte dans les indicateurs traditionnels du bien-être tels que le PIB par tête. Dans tous les pays, les femmes effectuent davantage de travaux de cette nature que les hommes, bien que ce fait soit compensé dans une certaine mesure – dans des proportions qui varient selon les pays – par le fait qu’elles offrent moins de services marchands. Bien que les travaux non rémunérés – et plus particulièrement la répartition de ces travaux entre les deux sexes – soient liés dans une certaine mesure au niveau de développement, des données transversales portant sur les différents pays montrent que les facteurs démographiques et les politiques publiques ont en général une incidence beaucoup plus importante. La collecte périodique de données concernant l’utilisation du temps peut donc présenter un intérêt considérable pour les organismes publics en leur permettant d’assurer le suivi et la conception des politiques publiques et en donnant une image plus équilibrée du bien-être dans les différentes sociétés.
    JEL: D13 D63 J13 J16 J22
    Date: 2011–03–03
  9. By: Gine, Xavier; Mansuri, Ghazala
    Abstract: In many emerging democracies women are less likely to vote than men and, when they do vote, are more likely to follow the wishes of household males. The authors assess the impact of a voter awareness campaign on female turnout and candidate choice. Geographic clusters within villages were randomly assigned to treatment or control, and within treated clusters, some households were left untreated. Compared with women in control clusters, both treated and untreated women in treated clusters are 12 percentage points more likely to vote, and are also more likely to exercise independence in candidate choice, indicating large spillovers. Data from polling stations suggest that treating 10 women increased turnout by about 9 votes, resulting in a cost per vote of US$ 2.3. Finally, a 10 percent increase in the share of treated women at the polling station led to a 6 percent decrease in the share of votes of the winning party.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Parliamentary Government,Gender and Health,Gender and Law,Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2011–06–01
  10. By: Mitra, Sophie; Posarac, Aleksandra; Vick, Brandon
    Abstract: Disability and poverty are dynamic and intricately linked phenomena. In developed countries, a large body of empirical research shows that persons with disabilities experience inter alia comparatively lower educational attainment, lower employment and higher unemployment rates, worse living conditions, and higher poverty rates. This study aims to contribute to the empirical research on social and economic conditions of people with disabilities in developing countries. Using comparable data and methods across countries, this study presents a snapshot of economic and poverty situation of working-age persons with disabilities and their households in fifteen developing countries. This research is relevant for several reasons. First, it contributes to a currently small body of empirical evidence on the economic status of persons with disabilities in developing countries. Second, by providing a baseline data on the economic well-being and the poverty status of working-age persons with disabilities and their households in 2003 in the countries under study, it can inform national disability policies. Finally, this study can also inform future data and research efforts on disability in developing countries. This study is structured as follows. Section two provides definitions and some background on disability and poverty. Section three describes the data and methods. Section four presents disability prevalence estimates in the fifteen developing countries under study and results on the economic well-being of working-age population at the individual and household levels. Section five gives results of an analysis of multidimensional poverty across disability status. Section six concludes definitions and some background information on disability and poverty, describes some of the linkages between them and reviews recent literature on the socioeconomic status of persons with disability.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Disability,Disease Control&Prevention,Gender and Health
    Date: 2011–04–01
  11. By: Chevallier, Julien
    Abstract: This paper deals with carbon price variations using a multi time scale decomposition based on the theory of wavelets. Our approach is based on wavelet packet transforms. This original approach enables us to identify that the periods which contribute the most to EUA spot, EUA futures, and CER futures price variations are February-April 2008, October-November 2008, and the recent 2009-2011 business cycle which correspond to major institutional uncertainties and changes in macroeconomic fundamentals. This wavelet decomposition therefore provides additional evidence on the drivers of carbon prices being institutional events and economic activity.
    Keywords: Carbon; price variations; wavelet decomposition; wavelet packet transforms;
    JEL: C02 E31 Q43 L72
    Date: 2011–06
  12. By: Jun Zhang
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the Evolutionary Economic Geography literature by employing the conceptualization of Ôrelated varietyÕ to compare the emerging internet industry in ChinaÕs two largest city-regions: Beijing and Shanghai. Official website registration records, Alexa internet traffic counts, venture capital investment data and information gathered through interviews with internet entrepreneurs were combined to develop the analysis. The findings confirm that the replication and diversification of related variety play a leading role in shaping the locational dynamics of an emerging industry. However, the localized nature of new firm formation should not be taken for granted as transnational entrepreneurship and venture capital are playing an increasingly salient role. The contrasting experience of internet evolution in these two Chinese city-regions also suggests that a regionÕs enduring political-institutional embeddedness significantly influences the generation and evolution of their related variety.
    Keywords: related variety, institutions, connectivity, Internet, China
    JEL: B25 B52 L25 L26 L52 L86 O18 O53 P25 R00 R11
    Date: 2011–06
  13. By: Filippo Belloc; Antonio Nicita
    Abstract: We empirically investigate the political determinants of deregulation policies in six network industries of 30 OECD countries over 1975-2007. We unbundle privatization and liberalization and propose an econometric study in which we allow for the joint adoption of the two policies by governments. We find, contrary to conventional wisdom, that right-wing executives tend to privatize more and to liberalize less, relative to left-wing governments. Thus, we show that ideological cleavages affect the ‘structure’ of deregulation, i.e. the way in which liberalization and privatization are combined. This result may shed new lights on the analysis of the political determinants of market-oriented policy, and suggest new issues for further theoretical and empirical research
    Keywords: Liberalization; Privatization; Network Industries; Partisanship.
    JEL: D72 L50 P16 C23
    Date: 2011–03
  14. By: Martina Cioni; Marco savioli
    Abstract: The 2007 Italian Labour Force Survey contains employee-level data that allow us to analyse the determinants of work safety. Among the most significant determinants of accidents and illnesses occurring at work we find bad working conditions, not being in the first job, dissatisfaction with the current job, gender, and a latent proneness observed with occurrence of accident on the way to work. In line with the majority of economic literature, we do not find having a fixed-term contract significant. Other important findings point out that work accidents and work illnesses are two deeply correlated phenomena, and that there is a structural break after three years of tenure to be taken into account.
    Keywords: Work safety, Work accidents, Work illnesses, Fixed-term contracts, Working Conditions.
    JEL: J24 J28 J41
    Date: 2011–02
  15. By: Lefteris Tsoulfidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This article discusses two major conceptions of competition, the classical and the neoclassical. In the classical conception, competition is viewed as a dynamic rivalrous process of firms struggling with each other over the expansion of their market shares. This dynamic view of competition characterizes mainly the works of Smith, Ricardo, J.S. Mill and Marx; a similar view can be also found in the writings of Austrian economists and the business literature. By contrast, the neoclassical conception of competition is derived from the requirements of a theory geared towards static equilibrium and not from any historical observation of the way in which firms actually organize and compete with each other.
    Keywords: Classical Competition, Regulating Capital, Incremental Rate of Return, Rate of Profit, Perfect Competition.
    JEL: B12 B13 B14 L11
    Date: 2011–11
  16. By: Bina Agarwal
    Abstract: This paper examines the current food crises, the projected effect of climate change, the vulnerabilities created by regional concentrations of food production, imports and exports, and the significant role of women as food producers, consumers and family food managers. Bridging productivity differentials between male and female farmers, by helping women overcome production constraints, would significantly increase agricultural output. This becomes an imperative, given the feminization of agriculture. Institutionally, a group approach to farming would help women and other small holders enhance their access to land and inputs, benefit from economies of scale, and increase their bargaining power economically and socially.
    Keywords: food crises, food security, gender inequality, women farmers, agricultural productivity, gendered constraints, and group farming
    JEL: J16 J43 Q13 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2011–06
  17. By: Anghel, Brindusa; de la Rica, Sara.; Dolado, Juan José
    Abstract: This paper addresses the role played by Public Sector (PS) employment across different OECD labour markets in explaining: (i) gender differences regarding choices to work in either PS or private sector, and (ii) subsequent changes in female labour market outcomes. To do so, we provide some empirical evidence about cross-country gender differences in choice of employment in the PS vs. the private sector, using the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), in the light of different theories on gender behaviour in the labour market. We also analyze the main determinants of the hourly wage gaps across these two sectors for males and females separately. Finally, we document the main stylized facts about labour market transitions by male and female workers among inactivity, unemployment, working in the PS and working in the private sector.
    Date: 2011–06
  18. By: Nicola Nymalm (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies)
    Abstract: In the last ten years, economic issues related to currency policy have become the major ongoing dispute between China and the U.S. Especially the U.S. Congress is stridently demanding a tougher policy to avert the negative consequences for the U.S. economy of “unfair” Chinese policies in the form of a “manipulated currency.” Building on an analytical framework of discourse theory (DT)—and furthermore proposing a method for applying DT in empirical research— an investigation of the congressional debates on the Chinese currency shows that the question is not a purely economic one, but that it reflects a dislocation of U.S. identity as the vanguard of liberal-democratic capitalism. This implicates changes in regard to how “liberal” identity in the U.S. is constructed in relation to the role attributed to “illiberal” China, which in turn affects the formulation of China policy by the U.S. Congress.
    Keywords: China, U.S. Congress, economy, currency, identity, liberalism, discourse theory, discourse analysis
    Date: 2011–06
  19. By: Hagendorf, Klaus
    Abstract: This paper presents a modern response to the problem imposed by Marx in Capital in 1867, “to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society” and to provide a vision on how on the basis of this law of motion the transformation of the capitalist mode of production to the socialist mode of production can be perceived. The analysis begins with a discussion of the Marxian analysis of labour values. To overcome the difficulties the marginal analysis of labour values is introduced and it is shown that in an optimal economy where labour is used in an efficient manner commodities exchange by their labour values. The transformation problem is thereby eliminated. In a further step the socially necessary character of surplus value as a fund of capital accumulation in order to increase and maintain the productivity of labour is presented and opposed to the capitalists strife for the private exploitation of surplus value. It is argued that the capitalist harmful practices, leading to economic and social crisis, can and must be overcome by the labour movement via economic democracy and collective capital formation thereby eliminating the 'ultima ratio' of the capitalists, the supply of and control over capital. Finally this process of crowding out capitalism is contrasted with the orthodox reformist and revolutionary approaches.
    Keywords: Crowding out capitalism; Historical Materialism; labour theory of value; marginal analysis; Marxian economics; political economy; social revolution; Rosa Luxemburg; transformation problem
    JEL: B51 D46 P51 P16
    Date: 2011–06–21
  20. By: Kumar, Santosh; Vollmer, Sebastian
    Abstract: Nearly nine million children under five years of age die annually. Diarrhea is considered to be the second leading cause of Under-5 mortality in developing countries. About one out of five deaths are caused by diarrhea. In this paper, we use the newly available data set DLHS-3 to quantify the impact of access to improved sanitation on diarrheal morbidity for children under five years of age in India. Using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and propensity-based weighted regression, we find that access to improved sanitation reduces the risk of contracting diarrhea. Access to improved sanitation decreases child diarrhea incidence by 2.2 percentage points. There is considerable heterogeneity in the impacts of improved sanitation. We neither find statistically significant treatment eects for children in poor household nor for girls, however, boys and high socioeconomic status (SES) children experienced larger treatment effects. The results show that it is important to complement public policies on sanitation with policies that alleviate poverty, improve parent's education and promote gender equity.
    Keywords: Water, Sanitation, Diarrhea, Propensity score, Matching, India.
    JEL: C35 D10 I10 O12
    Date: 2011–03–21
  21. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: The present paper scrutinizes the logical foundation of Marx’s dialectic analysis of the evolving money economy. The minimalistic frame of reference is thereby given with the set of structural axioms. It turns out, first, that the commonplace notion of exploitation has to be replaced by crossover exploitation among capitalists and workers; second, that the concept of surplus value cannot explain the existence and magnitude of overall profits; finally, that the real shares of output are determined in the spheres of income and expenditure and not, as classical, Marxian and neoclassical economists unanimously maintain, in the sphere of production.
    Keywords: New framework of concept;; Structure-centric; Axiom set; Antagonism of profits and wages; Crossover exploitation; Surplus value; Axiom of reals
    JEL: E25 B14 E11 B41
    Date: 2011–06–23
  22. By: Lee, Frederic
    Abstract: In this paper I argue that that there is a heterodox social surplus approach that has its own account of output-employment and prices, and its own value theory which draws upon various heterodox traditions. Starting with the Sraffian technical definition of the social surplus and then working with a Sraffa-Leontief input-output framework, the particular distinguishing feature of the heterodox approach is the role of agency in determining prices, the social surplus, and total social product and employment. Thus, in the first two sections, the heterodox model of the economy is delineated with respect to the social surplus and social provisioning, followed in the third and fourth sections with the development of a pricing model and a output-employment model and their structural-theoretical properties delineated. In the fifth section the results of the previous four sections are brought together to develop a model of the economy as a whole. The paper concludes with the delineation of the heterodox theory of value.
    Keywords: heterodox; theory of value; social surplus; social provisioning
    JEL: C67 E11 B5
    Date: 2011–06–24
  23. By: Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
    Abstract: This paper borrows from the tradition of other social sciences in considering the impact that “culture” (broadly defined as the economic and social environment in which the poor live) plays in determining early, non-marital childbearing. Along with others before us, we hypothesize that the despair and hopelessness that poor, young women may face increases the likelihood that they will give birth at an early age outside of marriage. We derive a formal economic model that incorporates the perception of economic success as a key factor driving one’s decision to have an early, non-marital birth. We propose that this perception is based in part on the level of income inequality that exists in a woman’s location of residence. Using individual-level data from the United States and a number of other developed countries, we empirically investigate the role played by inequality across states in determining the early childbearing outcomes of low socioeconomic status (SES) women. We find low SES women are more likely to give birth at a young age and outside of marriage when they live in higher inequality locations, all else equal. Less frequent use of abortion is an important determinant of this behavior. We calculate that differences in the level of inequality are able to explain a sizable share of the geographic variation in teen fertility rates both across U.S. states and across developed countries.
    JEL: I3 J1
    Date: 2011–06
  24. By: Valente J. Matlaba (University of Waikato); Mark Holmes (University of Waikato); Philip McCann (University of Groningen); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the hitherto unexplored evolution of the size distribution of 185 urban areas in Brazil between 1907 and 2008. We find that the power law parameter of the size distribution of the 100 largest urban areas increases from 0.63 in 1907 to 0.89 in 2008, which confirms an agglomeration process in which the size distribution has become more unequal. A panel fixed effects model pooling the same range of urban size distributions provides a power law parameter equal to 0.53, smaller than those from cross-sectional estimation. Clearly, Zipf’s Law is rejected. The lognormal distribution fits the city size distribution quite well until the 1940s, but since then applies to small and medium size cities only. These results are consistent with our understanding of historical-political and socio-economic processes that have shaped the development of Brazilian cities.
    Keywords: Zipf’s Law; Gibrat’s Law; lognormal distribution; city size; population growth; Brazil
    JEL: J11 N96 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2011–06–21

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