nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒11‒21
33 papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Exploitation of Labour and Exploitation of Commodities: a “New Interpretation” By Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki
  2. Eficiencia productiva de la inversión y crecimiento económico. Un enfoque desde la teoría laboral del valor By Juan Pablo Mateo Tomé
  3. Creating Humble Economists: A Code of Ethics for Economists By David Colander
  4. Las organizaciones no gubernamentales –ONG–: hacia la construcción de su significado By Giovanni Pérez Ortega; Martín Darío Arango Serna; Lizeth Yuliana Sepulveda Atehortua
  5. La crisi, le sue origini e il prossimo futuro By Russo, Alberto
  6. Evaluating the Rationality of Managers' Sales Forecasts By Bruijn, B. de; Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
  7. National innovation systems: the emergence of a new approach By Jan Fagerberg; Koson Sapprasert
  8. The political economy of neo-liberalism in Italy and France By Bruno Amable; Elvire Guillaud; Stefano Palombarini
  9. A Critique and Reframing of Personality in Labour Market Theory: Locus of Control and Labour Market Outcomes By Trzcinski, Eileen; Holst, Elke
  10. Unemployment duration in Germany: A comprehensive study with dynamic hazard models and P-Splines By Kuhlenkasper, Torben; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  11. Le disuguaglianze regionali nella distribuzione del reddito. Parte seconda: Un'analisi delle famiglie italiane a rischio di povertà By Giuseppina Malerba
  12. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Public Policy Frameworks By Audretsch, David B.; Link, Albert N.
  13. Integration and Contagion in US Housing Markets By John Cotter; Stuart Gabriel; Richard Roll
  14. Local Industrial Structures and Female Entrepreneurship in India By Ejaz Ghani; William R. Kerr; Stephen D. O'Connell
  15. Institutional Theories and Public Institutions. By Jean-Claude Thoenig
  16. The Effects of the Recent Economic Crisis on Social Protection and Labour Market Arrangements across Socio-Economic Groups By Basso, Gaetano; Dolls, Mathias; Eichhorst, Werner; Leoni, Thomas; Peichl, Andreas
  17. Shaped by Booms and Busts: How the Economy Impacts CEO Careers and Management Style By Antoinette Schoar; Luo Zuo
  18. The social economy of ageing : Job quality and pathways beyond the labour market in Europe By Catherine Pollak; Nicolas Sirven
  19. The Economic Contribution of North Dakota Cooperatives to the North Dakota State Economy By McKee, Gregory
  20. The influence of American economists on the Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts By Luca Fiorito
  21. Better Micro Financers in Pakistan, Banks or Financial Institutions By Subhani, Dr.Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms.Amber
  22. The effects of the U.S. price control policies on OPEC: lessons from the past By Kisswani, Khalid/ M.
  23. Stress testing e solvibilità per le banche di credito cooperativo in vista di Basilea 3 By Piluso, Fabio; De Bonis, Leonardo
  24. Famiglia, figli e sviluppo sostenibile By Luigi Pierfranco Campiglio
  25. Work-life balance in Spanish Firms: Still on the to-do list By Susana Pasamar; Ramón Valle
  26. The Blessings of Vintage: Exploring Technological Change made by Users of Discontinued Home Video Games Hardware By Graça, Jorge
  27. Skills or culture? An analysis of the decision to work by immigrant women in Italy By Antonio Accetturo; Luigi Infante
  28. Labor Demand During the Crisis: What Happened in Germany? By Bohachova, Olga; Boockmann, Bernhard; Buch, Claudia M.
  29. Cooperative performance measurement proposal (a test with the cooperfic© tool for wine cooperatives in Languedoc-Roussillon) By Saïsset, L.A.; Couderc, J.P.; Bou Saba, M.
  30. Rescue packages and bank lending By Michael Brei; Leonardo Gambacorta; Goetz von Peter
  31. Human Mind is a Tabula Rasa By Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
  32. Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008-2009 By Gita Gopinath; Oleg Itskhoki; Brent Neiman
  33. Risky Political Changes: Rational Choice vs Prospect Theory By Francesco Passarelli

  1. By: Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki
    Abstract: In the standard Okishio-Morishima approach, the existence of profits is proved to be equivalent to the exploitation of labour. Yet, it can also be proved that the existence of profits is equivalent to the ‘exploitation’ of any good. Labour and commodity exploitation are just different numerical representations of the productiveness of the economy. This paper presents an alternative approach to exploitation theory which is related to the New Interpretation (Duménil 1980; Foley 1982). In this approach, labour exploitation captures unequal social relations among producers. The equivalence between the existence of profits and labour exploitation holds, whereas it is proved that there is no relation between profits and commodity ‘exploitation’.
    Keywords: Exploitation; Profits; Generalised Commodity Exploitation Theorem; New Interpretation
    JEL: B51 D46
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Juan Pablo Mateo Tomé
    Abstract: Este artículo analiza la dinámica del crecimiento económico a partir de lo que se denomina como eficiencia productiva de la inversión, la cual relaciona el ratio capital-trabajo, expresión de la mecanización, con la productividad laboral. Partiendo de la hipótesis de que existe una tendencia a su descenso, lo que trae consigo una caída de la productividad del capital, se muestran las implicaciones sobre el proceso de crecimiento económico desde los fundamentos de la teoría laboral del valor. El marco analítico sustenta que la inversión obedece al propósito de aumentar el beneficio relativo, para lo cual debe reducir los costes mediante un aumento superior de la productividad respecto de los salarios. En consecuencia, se justifican los límites del crecimiento a partir de la influencia de la tasa de ganancia sobre la inversión.
    Date: 2011–06–29
  3. By: David Colander
    Abstract: From the movie, Inside Job, one gets the sense that economists are ethically challenged because they take payments for writing papers that say what the funders of their research want them to say. This paper takes issue with that and suggests that the more serious ethical problem of economics has little to do with the funding of economic research. It has to do with lack of humility. It argues that economists have a tendency to convey more scientific certainty in their policy positions than the theory and evidence objectively would allow. Too many economists are willing to make seemingly definitive scientific statements about policy based on models, that they know, or should know, are highly imperfect. To deal with that problem, this paper suggests that applied economists should see themselves as engineers, not as applied scientists. It argues that doing so is important because engineering has a broader and more humble methodology than does science. Because applied economists are essentially engineers, the paper argues that an Economist’s Code of Ethics can be closely based on the National Society of Professional Engineer’s Code of Ethics.
    Keywords: code of ethics; methodology; science; humility; applied; moral
    JEL: A1 B0 B4
    Date: 2011–11
  4. By: Giovanni Pérez Ortega; Martín Darío Arango Serna; Lizeth Yuliana Sepulveda Atehortua
    Abstract: Este artículo mediante el análisis de fuentes de información bibliográfica, define las Organizaciones no Gubernamentales -ONG- como organizaciones que aportan al desarrollo desde las dimensiones política, social y económica. De igual manera realiza una clasificación que permite diferenciar los tipos de organizaciones que existen dentro un sector tan amplio como lo es, el sector sin ánimo de lucro.
    Date: 2011–06–29
  5. By: Russo, Alberto
    Abstract: We briefly describe the evolution of the global process of capitalist accumulation during the neoliberal decades, to stress the “real causes” of the current crisis. This analysis leads to the search for a radical alternative to “austerity”, that is the economic policy approach tied to an interpretation of the crisis due to problems of “financial nature”. In our view, the political alternative to the neoliberal management of the crisis should be based on a large extension of education in the context of a “green” and “egalitarian” process of economic development. This requires a significant involvement of the public sector (in collaboration with private capitals) in providing the bases for economic growth, and a political support to an appropriate taxation of wealth (by now highly concentrated in a very small fraction of the population).
    Keywords: capitalist accumulation; neoliberal crisis; political change; public sector; education; wealth taxation
    JEL: P17 E65
    Date: 2011–11
  6. By: Bruijn, B. de; Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
    Abstract: This paper deals with the analysis and evaluation of sales forecasts of managers, given that it is unknown how they constructed their forecasts. Our goal is to find out whether these forecasts are rational. To examine deviations from rationality, we argue that one has to approximate how the managers could have generated the forecasts. We describe several ways to construct these approximate expressions. The analysis of a large set of a single manager's forecasts for sales of pharmaceutical products illustrates the practical usefulness of our methodology.
    Keywords: evaluating forecasts;intuition;rationality;fixedevent forecasts;forecast updates;sales forecasts
    Date: 2011–11–14
  7. By: Jan Fagerberg (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); Koson Sapprasert (Creative Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Bangkok University)
    Abstract: The term ‘national innovation systems’ surfaced for the first time in print during the late 1980s and, in the years that followed, several important contributions on this topic appeared. This paper investigates the role that this new literature plays within innovation studies and the world of science more generally and discusses the sources for its emergence. With the help of expert assessments, the three most important contributions to the ‘national innovation systems’ literature are identified. Then the citations to these works in scholarly journals in the Web of Science are presented and the characteristics of the ‘national innovation systems’ literature, as compared with other areas of research, are analyzed.
    Date: 2011–11
  8. By: Bruno Amable (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CEPREMAP - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications, IUF - Institut Universitaire de France - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique); Elvire Guillaud (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Stefano Palombarini (LED - Laboratoire d'économie dyonisien - Université Paris 8 - Vincennes Saint-Denis)
    Abstract: There are many apparent similarities between the current political and economic situations of France and Italy. The mainstream view is that at least part of the neo-liberal strategy could be a solution to the economic problems of both variants of the European model of capitalism. However, the difficulties met by the implementation of these strategies by Sarkozy and Berlusconi lead to believe that the success or failure of neo-liberalisation has less to do with its (lack of) macroeconomic merits than with the stability of the socio-political alliances that support it. In this respect, France and Italy are markedly different. This paper shows that even if the "hard core" of the neoliberal social bloc is roughly the same in both countries, this core constitutes a minority of the electorate ; a neoliberal strategy must therefore rely on an extended social coalition, which might not be similar between countries. The Great Recession revealed part of the structural characteristics that set both countries apart. The aim of this article is to show that the consideration of the different socio-political alliances found in each country can help to understand how Italy and France ended up on different economic trajectories.
    Keywords: Institutions, model of capitalism, neoliberal reforms, political crisis.
    Date: 2011–09
  9. By: Trzcinski, Eileen (Wayne State University, Detroit); Holst, Elke (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This article critically examines the theoretical arguments that underlie the literature linking personality traits to economic outcomes and provides empirical evidence indicating that labour market outcomes influence personality outcomes. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigated the extent to which gender differences occur in the processes by which highly positive and negative labour market outcomes are determined and in the processes underlying the development of one particular aspect of personality, locus of control. Gender differences were more pronounced in the results for years in managerial/ leadership positions than for locus of control. Negative labour market states were also marked by gender differences. We conclude by arguing that an explicitly value-laden analysis of the rewards associated with personality within the labour market could expose areas where the gendered nature of rewards by personality serves to perpetuate power relationships within the labour market.
    Keywords: labour market theory, power, gender, personality traits, locus of control, SOEP
    JEL: J01 J16 J24 J71 B54
    Date: 2011–10
  10. By: Kuhlenkasper, Torben; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
    Abstract: This paper makes use of data from the German socio-economic panel to gain new insights into the determinants of unemployment duration in Germany. Due to substantial differences with respect to labour market outcomes we follow a stratified approach with respect to gender and ethnicity. To analyze unemployment duration comprehensively, dynamic duration time models are used in which covariate effects are allowed to vary smoothly with unemployment duration and others enter the model in an a-priori unspecified functional form. We control for unobserved heterogeneity by following a modern frailty approach. As fitting routine we use penalized spline smoothing effects using available software in R. We demonstrate with state-of-the-art regression models how effects of covariables change, either over duration time or within their range and reveal substantial differences across gender end ethnicities for the German labour market. Among others we find large effects of family characteristics for women and a minor importance of formal qualifications for immigrants. --
    Keywords: Unemployment,Duration Time Models,Dynamic Effects,Penalized Splines,German Socio-Economic Panel,Ethnic Labour Market Segmentation
    JEL: C14 C23 C41 F22 J16 J64 J71
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Giuseppina Malerba (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is the analysis of vulnerability within families in nine regions of Italy and represents the second part of a research on regional inequalities in income distribution. Poverty tends to be a multi-dimensional concept and the use of monetary income as a single measure of welfare can be misleading. The concept of equality of living standards is a more correct definition, but it is far more elusive. Starting from the concepts of lacks of purchasing power, of financial and patrimonial protections and of opportunities to achieve economic resources, we can measure different dimensions of vulnerabilities between regional living standards. Then, we try to identify specific families’ types in which the previous lacks seem more frequent and spread: young couples with little children, families with children and only one parent and single old women are the most vulnerable families in most of the regions and on average for the whole country. Finally, we try some normative conclusions about the direction of welfare measures to reduce such factors of economic vulnerability within families and regional inequalities in Italy.
    Keywords: Income distribution, living standards, poverty, regional analysis
    JEL: D31 I31 I32 O18
    Date: 2011–10
  12. By: Audretsch, David B. (Indiana University); Link, Albert N. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to identify and unravel the disparate views toward innovation prevalent within the economic community and to link them to the various public policy approaches. These various schools of thought, or ways of thinking about the economy in general and the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in particular, not only shape how innovation and entrepreneurial activity are valued, but also the overall policy debate concerning innovation and entrepreneurship. Unraveling of these views sets highlights the disparate way in which entrepreneurial activity leading to innovation is valued.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Economic Theory
    JEL: E10 L26 O31
    Date: 2011–11–08
  13. By: John Cotter (School of Business, University College Dublin); Stuart Gabriel (Anderson School of Management, University of California - Los Angeles); Richard Roll (Anderson School of Management, University of California - Los Angeles)
    Abstract: This paper explores integration and contagion among US metropolitan housing markets. The analysis applies Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price repeat sales indexes from 384 metropolitan areas to estimate a multi-factor model of U.S. housing market integration. It then identifies statistical jumps in metropolitan house price returns as well as MSA contemporaneous and lagged jump correlations. Finally, the paper evaluates contagion in housing markets via parametric assessment of MSA house price spatial dynamics. A R-squared measure reveals an upward trend in MSA housing market integration over the 2000s to approximately .83 in 2010. Among California MSAs, the trend was especially pronounced, as average integration increased from about .55 in 1997 to close to .95 in 2008! The 2000s bubble period similarly was characterized by elevated incidence of statistical jumps in housing returns. Again, jump incidence and MSA jump correlations were especially high in California. Analysis of contagion among California markets indicates that house price returns in San Francisco often led those of surrounding communities; in contrast, southern California MSA house price returns appeared to move largely in lock step. The high levels of housing market integration evidenced in the analysis suggest limited investor opportunity to diversify away MSA-specific housing risk. Further, results suggest that macro and policy shocks propagate through a large number of MSA housing markets. Research findings are relevant to all market participants, including institutional investors in MBS as well as those who regulate housing, the housing GSEs, mortgage lenders, and related financial institutions.
    Keywords: Integration, correlation, contagion, house price returns
    JEL: G10 G11 G12 G14 R12 R21
    Date: 2011–11–08
  14. By: Ejaz Ghani; William R. Kerr; Stephen D. O'Connell
    Abstract: We analyze the spatial determinants of female entrepreneurship in India in the manufacturing and services sectors. We focus on the presence of incumbent female-owned businesses and their role in promoting higher subsequent female entrepreneurship relative to male entrepreneurship. We find evidence of agglomeration economies in both sectors, where higher female ownership among incumbent businesses within a district-industry predicts a greater share of subsequent entrepreneurs will be female. Moreover, higher female ownership of local businesses in related industries (e.g., those sharing similar labor needs, industries related via input-output markets) predict greater relative female entry rates even after controlling for the focal district-industry’s conditions. The core patterns hold when using local industrial conditions in 1994 to instrument for incumbent conditions in 2000-2005. The results highlight that the traits of business owners in incumbent industrial structures influence the types of entrepreneurs supported.
    JEL: J16 L10 L26 L60 L80 M13 O10 R00 R10 R12
    Date: 2011–11
  15. By: Jean-Claude Thoenig (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX)
    Abstract: This chapter covers the evolution of institutional theory and its application to public adminsitrations in the last 20 years. It discusses the various streams, their reseach agendas and their contributions, but also their limits to add value to knowledge.
    Keywords: New institutional theories: historical, sociological, "new institutionalism", co-constructed local orders.
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Basso, Gaetano (University of California, Davis); Dolls, Mathias (IZA); Eichhorst, Werner (IZA); Leoni, Thomas (WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research); Peichl, Andreas (IZA)
    Abstract: The Great Recession did not only affect European countries to a varying extent, its impact on national labour markets and on specific socio-economic groups in those markets also varied greatly. Institutional arrangements such as employment protection, unemployment insurance benefits and minimum income support, working time flexibility and wage setting played a crucial role in determining to what extent the economic crisis led to higher unemployment, wage cuts or income losses and rising poverty. As the crisis gained momentum, the action of automatic stabilisation mechanisms built into the national tax-benefit and social protection systems was accompanied by heterogeneous sets of discretionary policy measures. While these factors can explain cross-country variation in labour market developments, they also lead to an unequal distribution of economic risks associated with the crisis across socio-economic groups. The present paper aims to investigate and assess to what extent the financial and economic crisis that hit the global economy in 2008-2009 impacted these labour market developments and to what extent different socio-economic groups were affected.
    Keywords: automatic stabilisers, unemployment protection, tax systems, Europe, Great Recession
    JEL: H24 J65 J68
    Date: 2011–10
  17. By: Antoinette Schoar; Luo Zuo
    Abstract: This paper examines how early career experiences affect the career path and promotion of managers as well as the managerial style that they develop when becoming CEOs. We identify the impact of an exogenous shock to managers’ careers, in particular the business cycle at the career starting date. Economic conditions at the beginning of a manager’s career have lasting effects on the career path and the ultimate outcome as a CEO. CEOs who start in recessions take less time to become CEOs, but end up as CEOs in smaller firms, receive lower compensation, and are more likely to rise through the ranks within a given firm rather than moving across firms and industries. Moreover, managers who start in recessions have more conservative management styles once they become CEOs. These managers spend less in capital expenditures and R&D, have lower leverage, are more diversified across segments, and show more concerns about cost effectiveness. While looking at the role of early job choices on CEO careers is more endogenous, the results support the idea that certain types of starting positions are feeders for successful long-run management careers: Starting in a firm that ranks within the top ten firms from which CEOs come from is associated with favorable outcomes for a manager – they become CEOs in larger companies and receive higher compensation.
    JEL: D21 D23 G3 G31 G32
    Date: 2011–11
  18. By: Catherine Pollak (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, IRDES - Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé - Institut de la Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé); Nicolas Sirven (IRDES - Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé - Institut de la Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé)
    Abstract: This article analyses the effect of job quality on pathways to productive activities of older workers in Europe. Using comparative panel data from SHARE, we analyse the medium term effects of working conditions of workers aged 50-64 on three participation outcomes (staying in employment, participating in social activities and providing informal care) with a trivariate probit model. Several aspects of job quality appear to play a role for participation in society as a whole, including participation in social activities. Care-giving on the other hand appears independent from the considered job quality indicators, but very gender specific. However, trade-offs between full time work and care activities appear in some cases. Therefore, better working conditions and the opportunity for work time arrangements should be developed if one aims to foster participation of older workers in the society.
    Keywords: Job quality, ageing, early retirement, social participation, informal care.
    Date: 2011–10
  19. By: McKee, Gregory
    Abstract: Cooperatives are a vital component of the North Dakota economy. Owned by their customers or by privately-held firms, cooperatives provide a variety of goods and services to North Dakota. Based on data provided by the North Dakota Secretary of State, 332 businesses operating in North Dakota identified themselves as cooperatives in 2010; 256 are headquartered in the state. The economic contribution of the North Dakota cooperatives reaches beyond the local communities where they are headquartered. In 2010, the operations of electric, credit, farm supply and farm output marketing, and telecommunication cooperatives headquartered in North Dakota generated $3.5 billion of gross business sales. These sales led to secondary business volume of $2.1 billion. Hence, these 256 cooperatives made a total economic contribution to the state economy of $5.6 billion. The economic contribution of cooperatives is also comprised of jobs, labor income and tax revenue to the state. The 256 cooperatives featured in this study employ approximately 8,000 people on a full time basis in North Dakota. These employees were paid approximately $1.1 billion in wages and benefits. After the cost of goods sold, the principal expenditure of the cooperatives in North Dakota is employee compensation. The gross sales generated by the cooperatives, and the expenses generated by cooperative employee household spending generated an additional 17,000 full time jobs and $0.6 billion in wages and benefits in the North Dakota economy. Together, these activities generated a corporate, payroll and personal taxes contribution of $342 million to the state.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Financial Economics, Public Economics,
    Date: 2011–10
  20. By: Luca Fiorito
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze American economists’ influence in the passing of the Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts (1914). Specifically, it is argued and documented that American economists were important in this process in two ways. Many economists exercised an “indirect” influence by discussing in academic journals and books problems concerning trusts, combinations, and the necessary measures to preserve the working of competitive markets. At least as importantly, if not more so, some economists took an active role in the reform movement both contributing to draft proposals for the amendment of existing antitrust legislation and providing help and advice during the Congressional debates which led to the passing of the FTC and Clayton Acts. Among these, we will focus primarily, albeit not exclusively, on the contribution of John Bates Clark.
    JEL: B13 B14 B15 K21 L41 L42
    Date: 2011–10
  21. By: Subhani, Dr.Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms.Amber
    Abstract: The paper is an emphasis on the financial sustainability of micro financing in Pakistan where Banks and institution use different products & services that help in reducing the poverty by coping up with subjective & objective poverty, this study found that banks were more commercialized in terms of payback & interest rates while engaged in micro financing but despite that Banks are endeavoring more ventures to uplift poverty in Pakistan through micro financing to poor.
    Keywords: micro finance; microfinance banks; microfinance institutions; poverty
    JEL: N27 G21
    Date: 2011
  22. By: Kisswani, Khalid/ M.
    Abstract: In 1973-1974, the U.S. faced the so-called “Energy Crisis” due to the Arab oil embargo and a quadrupling of world crude oil prices by OPEC. This led the U.S. to use a” Price Control” policy in the domestic energy market. The effects of such policy are explored and well documented. However, the responses of OPEC producers to such a policy need further attention. This paper examines the effects of these price controls on OPEC‟s extraction path. It also examines the relation between the harm function and the change in OPEC production. The results show some evidence that OPEC did respond differently to price controls applied by the U.S. For some periods it cut production, while in other periods production levels increased. The results also show some evidence regarding Wirl (2008) that OPEC includes political support as part of its objective function when it comes to oil extraction.
    Keywords: OPEC; Price Controls; Energy Economics; Oil
    JEL: C00 C20 Q40 Q30
    Date: 2011–11–09
  23. By: Piluso, Fabio; De Bonis, Leonardo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the adequacy of solvency in the credit cooperative banks (BCC) which operate in the Italian market in view of the application of the new rules of Basel 3. The study analyses the solvency of BCC and immediately applies the rules of Basel 3. Moreover, it activates a stress testing on the sample in order to understand BCC financial strength in the case of a new financial crisis. The research shows that the credit cooperative banks are more solid than the other banks in the Italian market and leads the lawmaker to reflect about the opportunity to fix the same rules both for small and large banks (more oriented to the investment banking model) which operate in Italy.
    Keywords: Basilea 3; Credito Cooperativo; Stress Testing; Solvibilità
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2011–09
  24. By: Luigi Pierfranco Campiglio (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explain the economic causes and consequences of the sharp decline in Italy’s fertility rate, the most dramatic decline in the world together with that in Japan. The main cause is shown to originate in the mid-seventies: a sudden increase in the unemployment rate among young people, which has remained at a high level since then, for 40 years being closely associated with the country’s economic activity. The same pattern has been found for many other countries, albeit in a less severe form. The main consequence of high unemployment among young people is the delay in achieving a level of permanent income such as to permit the starting of a family: this economic constraint is further reinforced by the length of formal education, especially for young women. We show that in Italy it is essential to form a two-earner family in order to pass the threshold for a decent standard of living, especially when there are children. The main consequence of the decline in fertility in Italy has been a dramatic increase in the proportion of elderly dependent members of the family, absorbing households’ savings and decreasing the domestic financing of investment. We suggest that in the face of a sharp fertility decline, two options are viable: a market option, namely an increase in immigration, as in Italy, or the adoption of more capital-intensive and labour-saving techniques, as in Japan; we argue that both are short-lived solutions. A political option, i.e. intervention which intentionally rebalances and stabilizes permanent family income, as in family policy in France and northern European countries, has proved to be a solution. We show that past political decisions in Italy have gone in the opposite direction, rendering disposable family income lower and even more unstable. As a consequence, there is the distinct possibility that the first “lost decade” of the Italian economy will be just the beginning of a steady decline. We suggest that in this situation the only way out is a policy of “tying one’s hands”, in other word an economic and social pact which takes the long-term interest of the country seriously and therefore considers the young and especially the very young as a priority. We argue that in Italy at this point the only credible instrument able to change the political agenda immediately is that of giving a voice in the political process to the very young and the young.
    Keywords: family, unemployment, fertility
    JEL: J13 E24 O15
    Date: 2011–09
  25. By: Susana Pasamar (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Ramón Valle (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the perception of institutional pressures on employers to improve work-life balance, and to classify organizations according to those perceptions. Using survey data from 146 Spanish private firms in two different industries, the cluster analysis clearly shows the existence of three different groups of companies according to their perception of coercive, mimetic and normative pressures, and the different characteristics of the groups. The diffusion of work-life practices should have begun in Spain, but there is still a long way to go over.
    Keywords: Work-life balance, Institutional pressures, Cluster analysis
    Date: 2011–11
  26. By: Graça, Jorge (University of Algarve)
    Abstract: The paper analyses the relation between use and technological change, emphasising three points that are not usually mentioned in the literature: the need to study technologies and products beyond the typical Product Life Cycle model, the need to study the role of users as agents of technological change, and the need to study technology “in use”, and not only new and upcoming technologies. Based on those premises, an empirical study of the home video games industry was conducted, combing qualitative and quantitative research activities through the “crystallisation” technique. The qualitative component was used to analyse online communities of users that perform technological changes to discontinued home video games hardware (modders) and their activities. The qualitative component comprised an online questionnaire to 20 users. Results confirm that “old” technologies continue to exist and to be improved long after they are discontinued, due to users’ technological changes. These technological changes are complex processes, done through incremental steps, on an individual learning by doing basis, within a context of information sharing, and support within the communities. Although relevant from a technical point of view, the outcomes do not feedback into the innovation processes of companies.
    Keywords: use; technological change; angry orphans; technological obsolescence
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2011–06–30
  27. By: Antonio Accetturo (Bank of Italy); Luigi Infante (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Activity and employment rates for immigrant women in many industrialized countries display a great variability across national groups. The aim of this paper is to assess whether this well-known fact is due to a voluntary decision (i.e. large reservation wages by the immigrants) or to an involuntary process in that the labour market evaluation of their skills is low. This is done by estimating the reservation wages for each individual in the dataset. Our results show that low activity and employment rates for certain national groups are not associated with high reservation wages. This implies that low participation should not be interpreted as a voluntary decision.
    Keywords: Reservation wages, female labour supply, cross-national differences
    JEL: J22 J61 J15
    Date: 2011–07
  28. By: Bohachova, Olga (Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW)); Boockmann, Bernhard (Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW)); Buch, Claudia M. (University of Tübingen)
    Abstract: In Germany, the employment response to the post-2007 crisis has been muted compared to other industrialized countries. Despite a large drop in output, employment has hardly changed. In this paper, we analyze the determinants of German firms' labor demand during the crisis using a firm-level panel dataset. Our analysis proceeds in two steps. First, we estimate a dynamic labor demand function for the years 2000-2009 accounting for the degree of working time flexibility and the presence of works councils. Second, on the basis of these estimates, we use the difference between predicted and actual employment as a measure of labor hoarding as the dependent variable in a cross-sectional regression for 2009. Apart from total labor hoarding, we also look at the determinants of subsidized labor hoarding through short-time work. The structural characteristics of firms using these channels of adjustment differ. Product market competition has a negative impact on total labor hoarding but a positive effect on the use of short-time work. Firm covered by collective agreements hoard less labor overall; firms without financial frictions use short-time work less intensively.
    Keywords: labor demand, economic crisis, short-time work, financial frictions, labor market institutions, employment adjustment
    JEL: J23 J68 G32
    Date: 2011–10
  29. By: Saïsset, L.A.; Couderc, J.P.; Bou Saba, M.
    Abstract: Purpose: French wine cooperatives show differences of corporate objectives, but also common ones with private wine merchants, as they face a common economic environment. The traditional controlling and financial models do not seem adequate to measure ‘sustainable social economy’ performances advocated by the cooperatives’ philosophy. The main difficulty is that their specific corporate governance introduces competition between short term maximum payments to their grape suppliers-patrons and long term investment potentials. How, therefore, facing this “cooperative dilemma”, should they balance these conflicting objectives, and which performance measurement specificities should wine cooperatives adopt? Design/methodology: In order to try and answer this question, the design of an adapted data base appears to be necessary. It should take into account the apparent antinomy of the cooperatives’ short term and long term objectives, in the context of an economically sustainable development. An original economic and financial measurement model is proposed, and we test it with COOPERFIC?, a decision-aid tool for wine cooperatives, based upon a specially constructed data base in Languedoc-Roussillon. Findings: The exploratory results obtained from the test of an original performance measurement model on an ad hoc sample of wine cooperatives lead to new insights into cooperative performance and to some useful guidelines in terms of cooperative governance. Results show how the conflict between their short term and long term performances could be balanced, in order for this specific type of firm to reach its economic and social objectives Practical implications: A conjoint short and long term economic indicators approach illustrates the necessary balance in the cooperative governance, and constitutes a performance measurement model answering some of these wine cooperatives’ Board and management questions ...French Abstract : Propos: Les caves coopératives françaises font apparaître des points de divergence, mais aussi de convergence avec les négociants en vin, en matière d’objectifs d’entreprise, dans la mesure où elles font face au même environnement économique. Toutefois, les modèles traditionnels financiers et de contrôle de gestion ne semblent pas adaptés à la mesure des performances d’une économie sociale durable, dont les valeurs sont portées par la philosophie coopérative. La principale difficulté réside dans le fait que leur mode de gouvernance spécifique entraîne un conflit permanent entre la rémunération maximale à court terme des vignerons coopérateurs et les capacités d’investissement à long terme. Aussi, face à ce « dilemme coopératif », comment les entreprises coopératives viticoles doivent-elles concilier ces objectifs conflictuels et quels types de mesures de performance spécifiques devraient-elles adopter ? Design/méthodologie: Afin d’arriver à répondre à cette double question, la conception d’une base de données spécifique apparaît nécessaire. Elle se doit de prendre en compte l’apparente antinomie des objectifs à court terme et à long terme des coopératives, dans le cadre d’un développement économique durable. Un modèle de mesure de performance économique et financière est ici proposé et testé à l’aide de l’outil d’aide à la décision COOPERFIC?, spécifique aux caves coopératives du Languedoc-Roussillon. Résultats: Les résultats exploratoires provenant du test d’un modèle original de mesure de la performance sur un échantillon ad hoc de caves coopératives conduit à de nouvelles perspectives en matière de performance coopérative, ainsi qu’à des conseils utiles ayant trait à la gouvernance. Ces résultats montrent la façon dont le conflit entre performances à court terme et à long terme pourrait être maîtrisé en vue d’atteindre les objectifs économiques et sociaux de ce type particulier d’entreprise. Implications managériales: Une approche conjointe des indicateurs économiques à court et long terme illustre le nécessaire équilibre à trouver en matière de gouvernance coopérative et constitue un modèle de mesure de la performance répondant à un certain nombre de questions relatives au conseil d’administration et au management général des coopératives.
    JEL: G34 L25 Q13
    Date: 2011
  30. By: Michael Brei; Leonardo Gambacorta; Goetz von Peter
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the rescue measures adopted during the global financial crisis helped to sustain the supply of bank lending. The analysis proposes a setup that allows testing for structural shifts in the bank lending equation, and employs a novel dataset covering large international banks headquartered in 14 major advanced economies for the period 1995-2010. While stronger capitalisation sustains loan growth in normal times, banks during a crisis can turn additional capital into greater lending only once their capitalisation exceeds a critical threshold. This suggests that recapitalisations may not translate into greater credit supply until bank balance sheets are sufficiently strengthened.
    Keywords: bank lending channel, monetary policy, financial crisis, rescue packages, recapitalisation
    Date: 2011–11
  31. By: Subhani, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz; Osman, Ms. Amber
    Abstract: The Latin term Tabula Rasa equates to the English "blank slate" (which refers to writing on a slate sheet with chalk). Tabula rasa is the epistemological study that a human is born with no built-in mental content and that human knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally exponents of the tabula rasa study favors the "nurture" side of the nature, when it comes to aspects of one's personality, social, emotional behavior, and intelligence.
    Keywords: Tabula Rasa; Blank Slate; John Locke; Nurture; Knowledge
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2011
  32. By: Gita Gopinath; Oleg Itskhoki; Brent Neiman
    Abstract: We document the behavior of trade prices during the Great Trade Collapse of 2008-2009 using transaction-level data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. First, we find that differentiated manufactures exhibited marked stability in their trade prices during the large decline in their trade volumes. Prices of non-differentiated manufactures, by contrast, declined sharply. Second, while the trade collapse was much steeper among differentiated durable manufacturers than among non-durables, prices in both categories barely changed. Third, despite this lack of movement in average price levels, the frequency and magnitude of price adjustments at the product level noticeably changed with the onset of the crisis.
    JEL: E3 F1 F4
    Date: 2011–11
  33. By: Francesco Passarelli
    Abstract: This paper describes policy alternatives as lotteries, and studies how policy preferences are distorted by the cognitive anomalies postulated by Prospect Theory. Loss aversion induces a status quo bias. However, due to the reflection effect, the bias is asymmetric: too moderate attitudes toward a good reform or a good candidate, and too low severity toward bad politics. The reflection effect also determines low loyalty in partisan voting and weak concerns about partisan issues. Preferences about nonpartisan issues are independent of wealth because people use the status quo as a reference point. Ambitious platforms have more chances to pass than incremental and detailed changes because people are risk seeking in the realm of losses. In general, according to Prospect Theory the policy conflict within the society is smoother than under full rationality. Moreover, a pure majority system yields either prolonged conservatism or a radical abandonment of the status quo.
    Keywords: prospect theory, behavioral economics, voting behavior, behavioral political economy
    JEL: C9 D72 D81 H1
    Date: 2011–11

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