nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒08‒09
fourteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Who benefits the most from peer effects within ethnic group ? Empirical evidence on the South African Labour Market By Gaëlle Ferrant; Yannick Bourquin
  2. When Does Regulation Bite? Co-Determination and the Nature of Employment Relations By Uschi Backes-Gellner; Jens Mohrenweiser; Kerstin Pull
  3. Competition and Industry Structure for International Rail Transportation By Friebel, Guido; Ivaldi, Marc; Pouyet, Jérôme
  4. Price setting in a leading Swiss online supermarket By Berka, Martin; Devereux, Michael B.; Rudolph, Thomas
  5. The Feasibility and Importance of Adding Measures of Actual Experience to Cross-Sectional Data Collection By Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M.
  6. Risk and Regulation: The Efficiency of Italian Cooperative Banks By Cristian Barra; Sergio Destefanis; Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera
  7. Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience By Roger Wilkins; Mark Wooden
  9. In the shadow illegal markets and economic sociology By Beckert, Jens; Wehinger, Frank
  10. War and women's work : evidence from the conflict in Nepal By Menon, Nidhiya; Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen
  11. Portuguese Retailersâ Motivations to Adopt Front of Pack Nutrition Labels: A Qualitative Analysis By Caldeira, Monica; Sottomayor, Miguel; Souza Monteiro, Diogo
  12. Field Experiments with Firms By Oriana Bandiera; Iwan Baranky; Imran Rasul
  13. Theoretical and Empirical Evidence of Timing-to-Market and Lead Market Strategies for Successful Environmental Innovation By Thomas Cleff; Klaus Rennings
  14. A comparison of screening mechanisms for identifying potentially anticompetitive accountable care organizations By Pelnar, Gregory

  1. By: Gaëlle Ferrant (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Yannick Bourquin (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that local social interactions within etnic groups may explain the puzzling variations in labour-market outcomes across individuals. Peer effects work first by creating pressure on labor-market participation, second, by conveying information about job opportunities and by raising wages. These effects differ through a selection effect : gender and ethnic groups who are less integrated in the labour market benefit more from peer effect. Finally, networks exhibit decreasing returns. The problems of endogeneity and simultaneity of local peer effects are addressed by using (i) data aggregated at the province level, (ii) the distribution of the sex of the peers' siblings as an instrumental variable and (iii) a quasi-panel data approach relying on the Hausman-Taylor estimator. The importance of social interactions in the labour market suggests that a social multiplier exists and our estimates show that any labour-market shock is magnified with an elasticity of 0.5.
    Keywords: Peer effects, development economics, labour, South Africa.
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Jens Mohrenweiser (Centre for European Economic Research); Kerstin Pull (Department of Human Resource Management and Organization, Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen)
    Abstract: The German Codetermination Law grants workers of establishments with 200 or more employees the right to have a works councillor fully exempted from his regular job while still being paid his regular salary. We analyze theoretically and empirically how this de jure right to paid leave of absence translates into practice and explicitly take into account the nature of the industrial relations participation regime. We find the right of exemption to make no difference in cooperative employment relations, but to develop its bite in adversarial rela-tions, i.e. when – without legal enforcement – the legislator’s intent would not be realized.
    Keywords: Works councils, employment relations, de facto and de jure consequences of legal regulations
    JEL: J53 M54 K31
    Date: 2011–07
  3. By: Friebel, Guido (Goethe University Frankfurt); Ivaldi, Marc (Toulouse School of Economics); Pouyet, Jérôme (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates various options for the organization of the railway industry when network operators require the access to multiple national networks to provide international (freight or passenger) transport services. The EU rail system provides a framework for our analysis. Returns-to-scale and the intensity of competition are key to understanding the impact of vertical integration or separation between infrastructure and operation services within each country in the presence of international transport services. We also consider an option in which a transnational infrastructure manager is in charge of oering a coordinated access to the national networks. In our model, it turns out to be an optimal industry structure.
    Keywords: Network access, Vertical separation, Transport economics
    JEL: L14 L42 L51 L92
    Date: 2011–07–18
  4. By: Berka, Martin; Devereux, Michael B.; Rudolph, Thomas
    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.
    Keywords: online supermarket, price behavior, sticky price,
    Date: 2011–07–07
  5. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University); Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: We use Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics data and data from a 2008 telephone survey of adults conducted by Westat for the Princeton Data Improvement Initiative (PDII) to explore the importance and feasibility of adding retrospective questions about actual work experience to cross-sectional data sets. We demonstrate that having such actual experience data is important for analyzing women's post-school human capital accumulation, residual wage inequality, and the gender pay gap. Further, our PDII survey results show that it is feasible to collect actual experience data in cross-sectional telephone surveys like the March Current Population Survey annual supplement.
    Keywords: gender, microeconomic data collection, human capital, work experience
    JEL: C81 J16 J24
    Date: 2011–07
  6. By: Cristian Barra (Università di Salerno); Sergio Destefanis (Università di Salerno, CELPE and CSEF); Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera (Università di Salerno)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the determination of cost efficiency in a sample of Italian small banks located in different geographical areas and including two great institutional categories: cooperative banks (CB’s) and other banks. We highlight the effect of environmental factors (asset quality, local GDP per capita) on banks’ performance, and provide novel evidence in favour of the “bad luck” hypothesis suggested by Berger and De Young (Journal of Banking and Finance, 1997). Local GDP per capita strongly affects the territorial differentials for technical efficiency, especially for CB’s. This can be easily rationalised, as current regulations hamper CB’s vis-à-vis other banks in their capability to diversify territorially. Our estimates provide us with a tentative quantitative measure of the costs of missing diversification, ranging between 2 and 7 percentage points. Correspondingly, our evidence suggests that there is potentially strong endogeneity in some currently available bank performance indicators.
    Keywords: Cooperative banks, Cost efficiency, Local shocks, Territorial diversification
    JEL: D24 G21 L89
    Date: 2011–07–28
  7. By: Roger Wilkins (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Mark Wooden (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: An important group of interest for industrial tribunals in Australia is those workers who are reliant on awards for their pay and other employment conditions. Research on award reliance and its consequences, however, has long been hampered by the lack of good quality microdata. Most obviously, there are relatively few data sets in Australia that identify the method by which pay is set and also provide detailed information about individuals and the households in which they live. The HILDA Survey, however, is an exception to this, with information about award reliance, and methods of pay setting more generally, being collected for the first time in its 8th survey wave (in 2008). This paper reviews the quality of the data on award reliance that is being collected from this source. It then provides two examples of how these data can inform policy-relevant research questions: (i) to what extent are award-reliant workers found living in income-poor households; and (ii) what role does award reliance play in contributing to the gender pay gap? The results confirm that award-reliant workers are not especially concentrated in poor households, and that for award-reliant workers there is no evidence of any gender-based pay gap.
    Keywords: Award reliance, Australia, gender pay equity, HILDA Survey, income distribution, minimum wages
    JEL: J31 J50 D31
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: White, Graham
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is a clarification of the concept of competition from a classical/ Sraffian perspective; including an elucidation of how a classical/Sraffian approach might go about defining the degree of competition. This in turn allows for a sharper contrast between the Sraffian view of competition and mainstream views. The starting point for the analysis is the work of Clifton which interprets the classical/Sraffian view of competition as more general than that of orthodoxy: one which can encompass competition between production units in a given industry as something constrained by more dominant forms of competition such as that between production units across industries for shares of the corporate surplus. Following on from the work of both Clifton and Semmler, and starting from the assumption that multi-divisional corporation is the relevant "firm", and that the corporate target rate of return is the relevant rate of profit, the question arises as to what determines the latter. And this question has received very little attention outside the more traditional post-Keynesian literature on pricing. The paper explores what is probably the most serious attempt within this literature - in the work of Eichner - to explain the target rate, in terms the desired growth rate of the corporation. This proposition has some interesting implications for a Sraffian approach, not least because it allows a link running from the expected growth of the economy to the target rate and thus the rate of profit. This in turn requires a discussion of the consistency of such a link with the Sraffian critique of the Cambridge growth equation. As well, a link between the target rate of return and the desired corporate growth rate link also has implications for the mechanics by which sectoral profit rates converge and thus for the classical/Sraffian literature on cross-dual dynamics .
    Date: 2011–02
  9. By: Beckert, Jens; Wehinger, Frank
    Abstract: Illegal markets differ from legal markets in many respects. Although illegal markets have economic significance and are of theoretical importance, they have been largely ignored by economic sociology. In this article we propose a categorization for illegal markets and highlight reasons why certain markets are outlawed. We perform a comprehensive review of the literature to characterize illegal markets along the three coordination problems of value creation, competition, and cooperation. The article concludes by appealing to economic sociology to strengthen research on illegal markets and by suggesting areas for future empirical research. -- Illegale Märkte unterscheiden sich in vielerlei Hinsicht von legalen Märkten. Trotz ihres großen wirtschaftlichen Gewichts und ihrer theoretischen Bedeutung blieben sie in der Wirtschaftssoziologie bislang weitgehend unbeachtet. Dieses Papier schlägt eine Kategorisierung illegaler Märkte vor und diskutiert die Gründe für ihr Verbot. Auf der Grundlage einer umfassenden Literaturauswertung werden die Strukturmerkmale illegaler Märkte anhand der drei Koordinierungsprobleme der Wertbildung, des Wettbewerbs und der Kooperation dargestellt. Das Papier schließt mit Empfehlungen für zukünftige empirische Forschung.
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Menon, Nidhiya; Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen
    Abstract: This paper examines how Nepal's 1996-2006 civil conflict affected women's decisions to engage in employment. Using three waves of the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, the authors employ a difference-in-difference approach to identify the impact of war on women's employment decisions. The results indicate that as a result of the Maoist-led insurgency, women's employment probabilities were substantially higher in 2001 and 2006 relative to the outbreak of war in 1996. These employment results also hold for self-employment decisions, and they hold for smaller sub-samples that condition on husband's migration status and women's status as widows or household heads. Numerous robustness checks of the difference-in-difference estimates based on alternative empirical methods provide compelling evidence that women's likelihood of employment increased as a consequence of the conflict.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Labor Markets,Regional Economic Development,Gender and Law
    Date: 2011–08–01
  11. By: Caldeira, Monica; Sottomayor, Miguel; Souza Monteiro, Diogo
    Abstract: Nutrition is an important food marketing differentiation criterion. There is growing evidence of the relation between diets and health conditions. Thus there is a potential conflict between industry and public health authorities over the use of nutrition labels. Understanding industry motivations for simplified nutrition labels use is paramount to scrutinize market dynamics, improve label policy design and its evaluation. The aim of this research is to ascertain how retailers perceive consumerâs attitudes to nutrition labels and what motivates their use. We conducted in-depth semi-structure interviews with senior managers in leading Portuguese retail chains. Our results suggest that retailersâ adopt FOP to aid their customersâ food choices, as a response to competitorsâ moves and preempt labeling regulations. However, respondents were concerned on whether nutrition labels added value to their business, has a negative impact on sales in certain food categories and may hinder relations with suppliers.
    Keywords: Nutrition labels, retailers, semi-structured interviews, content analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Q18, M31, M38, M14,
    Date: 2011–07
  12. By: Oriana Bandiera; Iwan Baranky; Imran Rasul
    Abstract: We discuss how the use of field experiments sheds light on long standing research questions relating to firm behavior. We present insights from two classes of experiments: within and across firms, and draw common lessons from both sets. Field experiments within firms generally aim to shed light on the nature of agency problems. Along these lines, we discuss how field experiments have provided new insights on shirking behavior, and the provision of monetary and non-monetary incentives. Field experiments across firms generally aim to uncover firms' binding constraints by exogenously varying the availability of key inputs such as labor, physical capital, and managerial capital. We conclude by discussing some of the practical issues researchers face when designing experiments and by highlighting areas for further research.
    Keywords: field experiments, firms, organizations
    JEL: C5 M5
    Date: 2011–07
  13. By: Thomas Cleff (Pforzheim University); Klaus Rennings (Mannheim Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))
    Abstract: In environmental policy first mover advantages for environmental technologies are often taken for granted. It is a popular view to see the state as a political entrepreneur who introduces a certain environmental policy instrument, e.g. feedin tariffs for renewable energies, and thus becomes the world market leader or the lead market for the respective technology. Against this background, this paper wants to find out if the idea of first mover advantages can be justified by theories and empirical evidence from industrial organization and business management studies. After a review of theoretical and empirical papers we see that first mover advantages are not confirmed by empirical evidence. Thereby the successful innovator is not necessarily the first but very often one of the early movers within the competition of different innovation designs. We show that the success of a timing strategy depends on country-specific lead market potentials, on market and technology characteristics and on the regime of the country-specific regulation. On this basis we derive options for environmental innovation strategies for firms under different circumstances of markets, technologies and regulations. We will see different implications for practical innovation management and innovation policy.
    Keywords: Lead markets, environmental innovation, first mover advantages,innovation strategies
    JEL: Q55 L60 O33
    Date: 2011–06
  14. By: Pelnar, Gregory
    Abstract: The FTC and DOJ’s Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program explains how the antitrust agencies will screen accountable care organizations (ACOs) to identify ones that are potentially anticompetitive and therefore require further review. In contrast to the antitrust screens the agencies have set forth in earlier Statements or Guidelines which are based on market shares in relevant markets, the Proposed Statement introduces a screen based on market shares in Primary Service Areas (PSAs). By examining several numerical examples, the proposed ACO screen is compared to some alternatives, including the review thresholds set forth in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines. The results indicate that the proposed ACO screen produces results qualitatively similar to other screens in some instances, but can be more stringent or more lax in others. It is therefore at best premature to conclude that PSAs are a useful tool for screening out potentially anticompetitive ACOs.
    Keywords: accountable care organizations; antitrust; primary service area
    JEL: I18 K21 L40
    Date: 2011–07–29

This nep-hme issue is ©2011 by Frederic S. Lee. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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