nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2011‒12‒13
fifteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. The origins of Made in Spain fashion. The competitive advantage of the textile, apparel and footwear districts since the Golden Age By Jordi Catalan; Ramon Ramon-Munoz
  2. Ethnic Disparities in the Graduate Labour Market By Zorlu, Aslan
  3. Markups and export pricing By Gullstrand, Joakim; Olofsdotter, Karin; Thede, Susanna
  4. Demystifying Sraffa’s Theory of Value in the Light of Arrow and Debreu By Nadeem Naqvi
  5. Shorting the Future: Capital Markets and the Launch of the British Electrical Industry, 1880-1892 By William Kennedy; Robert Delargy
  6. Industrial dynamics and economic geography: a survey By Koen Frenken; Elena Cefis; Erik Stam
  7. Corporate Social Responsibility: Fundamentalstellung für Kapitalismus und Wirtschaftssoziologie By Boeddeling, Jann
  8. From industry norms on full costing to ecologies: On pricing principles in telecom By Westelius, Alf
  9. How many ladders of investment? By Herrera-González, Fernando
  10. Regulation of network industries in the European Union and in Central and Eastern Europe By Major, Iván; Kiss, Károly M.
  11. The regulation of telecommunication in the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland By Sutherland, Ewan
  12. Legal gaps under deregulatory broadband policies and the resurgent rise of corporate power By Cherry, Barbara A.
  13. Price Rigidity In Turkey : Evidence From Micro Data By M. Utku Ozmen; Orhun Sevinc
  14. Revisiting Adam Smith’s Theory of the Falling Rate of Profit By Lefteris Tsoulfidis; Dimitris Paitaridis
  15. De sale à durable ? Le tannage du XIXe au XXIe siècle. By Perrin, Cedric

  1. By: Jordi Catalan; Ramon Ramon-Munoz (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper explores the sources of competitive advantage of the Spanish export industrial districts that specialised in textile, apparel and footwear products. It shows that most of the nowadays outstanding Spanish firms in fashion-related international markets emerged from 1980s districts. Using a new database, the paper concludes that by then there were as many neo-Marshallian exporting districts dominated by small firms as hub-firm districts coordinated by medium-large companies. This probably allowed the latter to combine the advantages derived from Marshallian external economies (i.e. non-codified knowledge, subsidiary industries and specialized labour force) with those connected to leading firms organizational capabilities.
    Keywords: fashion, inheritance, industrial district, textiles and apparel, leather and footwear, competitive advantage, leading firms, clusters
    JEL: N84 N64 L25 R12
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Zorlu, Aslan (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper examines ethnic wage differentials for the entire population of students enrolled in 1996 using unique administrative panel data for the period 1996 to 2005 from the Dutch tertiary education system. The study decomposes wage differentials into two components: a component which can be explained by the observed characteristics and unexplained component. The analysis provides novel evidence for the magnitude and the origin of ethnic wage differentials by gender. In general, ethnic wage gap is larger for migrant women than migrant men and larger for Western and Caribbean migrants than Mediterranean migrants. Ethnic minority students appear to have large wage surplus which is almost entirely explained from their favourable observed characteristics. Most notably, Mediterranean female graduates have significant positive wage discrimination while Western female graduates seem to face a small wage penalty.
    Keywords: college, university, wages, qualifications, dropout
    JEL: J15 J24 J31
    Date: 2011–11
  3. By: Gullstrand, Joakim (Department of Economics, Lund University); Olofsdotter, Karin (Department of Economics, Lund University); Thede, Susanna (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: We analyze empirically product-price variation across export destinations using detailed firm-product data. Most recent studies using highly disaggregated data emphasize variations in product quality as an explanation as to why firms charge different prices for the same product on different export markets. In this paper, we take an alternative approach and assume that variations in firms' export prices reflect market segmentation and investigate the relationship between price variation and average firm markup. We study an entire supply chain in order to see how price discrimination varies across sectors with different distribution networks. Specifically, we make use of firm-level data for exporting firms in the Swedish food supply chain. The results offer new information about the behavior of exporting firms. Hence, for the food-processing industry, firms with greater ability to discriminate between markets are associated with a higher markup. However, the results also reveal that markups are a complex function of firm characteristics and that the price-setting behavior of firms in the manufacturing sector is not necessarily observed in other sectors of the supply chain.
    Keywords: Markups; Export prices; Price discrimination; Firm-level data
    JEL: D40 F12 F14
    Date: 2011–11–24
  4. By: Nadeem Naqvi (University of Giessen)
    Abstract: This paper compares the models of Arrow and Debreu [1954] and Sraffa [1960], and concludes that (1) the models are informationally distinct conceptions of a capitalist economy, (2) they support radically distinct – though complete and entirely correct – theories of value, (3) the prices in the two theories are different both in terms of definitions and values, (4) in Sraffa‘s model it is impossible to define constant returns to scale, while in Arrow-Debreu this property is admissible, and (5) in Arrow-Debreu the interpersonal income distribution is determined whereas in Srafa‘s model the distribution of income between workers and capitalists is undetermined.
    Keywords: constant returns to scale, theory of value, relations of production, counterfactual information, prices, exchange values, income distribution, general equilibrium, capital, marginal product
    Date: 2011
  5. By: William Kennedy; Robert Delargy
    Abstract: Drawing on a comprehensive data set consisting of dividend payments, security prices, and stock exchange disclosures, this paper argues that, contrary to common interpretation, potentially damaging government regulations imposed in 1882 cannot explain the retarded development of the nascent British electrical industry in its first decade. Instead, as informed opinion at the time maintained, wildly inflated expectations had by the spring of 1882 driven the publicly-traded security prices of putative electrical enterprises to manifestly unsustainable levels. When initial demand and operating profits failed to meet these grossly extravagant expectations, “irrational exuberance” quickly turned to equally undisciplined pessimism in a classic case of stock market boom and bust - with predictable consequences, most notably a collapse of subsequent investment and development at a time of great technological ferment, when durable early-mover advantages were being established among electrical manufacturers globally. This debilitating sequence of market boom and bust was further exacerbated by the fact that during the brief boom surprisingly little money was invested in the promising technologies that were available. Technological rather than regulatory risk was the dominant factor in the 1882 electrical debacle, with long lasting consequences.
    Date: 2011–11–22
  6. By: Koen Frenken; Elena Cefis; Erik Stam
    Abstract: We review the literature on clusters and their effects on industrial dynamics as well on various lifecycle dynamics underlying the process of cluster formation and cluster dynamics. The review shows that there is little evidence that clusters enhance firm growth and survival. In the absence of localization economies, the emergence of clusters is best understood as an evolutionary process of capability transmission between parents firms and their spinoffs. We discuss various future research avenues and call for theorising based on firm heterogeneity as well as empirical research based on common methodological standards.
    Keywords: entry, exit, cluster, localization economies, lifecycle, firm heterogeneity
    JEL: L10 L20 R10
    Date: 2011–10
  7. By: Boeddeling, Jann
    Abstract: The field of Corporate Social Responsibility is described and the theory on it is critically reviewed. It is argued that present theory is insufficient in explaining the phenomenon of CSR and might fail to recognize some of its deeper significance. A new basis for the theoretical analysis of CSR is henceforth developed that aims at understanding CSR as a discourse on the relation of economy and society. It is shown that a foundation for such theory can be found in Max Weber's Economic Sociology and particularly in his modeling of ideal interests as the locus of discourse-driven changes in the relation between economy and society. It is concluded that analyzing CSR as a phenomenon of ideal interests allows for the modeling of its potential to reshape the prevailing form of capitalism and that such analysis could prove to be a starting point for the development of a distinctively sozialökonomische theory of action. --
    Keywords: capitalism,economy and society,corporate social responsibility,corporate social performance,economic sociology,economic history,theory of action,new institutionalism in economic sociology,Max Weber,protestant ethics,social economics,ideal interests
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Westelius, Alf
    Abstract: Is pricing of ICT-intense offerings following classical paths of pricing, or are they losing ground? Is pricing in telecom based on costing, customer value or something else? Who participates in creating the offerings that meet the end customers? And how is revenue distributed among participating actors? In this article, the ecology concept, with collaboration among independent actors in creating offerings, is explored in an attempt to find a way of analysing the complex web of interaction and determine the connection of pricing to costing and customer value. Three cases are analysed to demonstrate the approach and to draw tentative conclusions regarding pricing in telecom. --
    Keywords: pricing ecologies,telecom,revenue distribution
    JEL: M10 M20
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Herrera-González, Fernando
    Abstract: The ladder of investment is a regulatory approach that has been used by European National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), in order to foster infrastructure competition among operators. the idea is to force incumbent operators to open several levels of access to their network in such a way that alternative operators may climb up the ladder, using more of his own infrastructure, and thus decreasing their reliance on the wholesale products of the incumbent operator. In order to market their own services, the alternative operator has to complement the wholesale resources acquired from the incumbent operator in regulated conditions. In principle, these complementary resources should be acquired in commercial conditions, but this is not always the case. For example, the alternative operator may use some physical space in the incumbent's premises to deploy their equipment, or rely on capacity services delivered by the incumbent operator in regulated conditions in order to reach specific geographical points. This suggests that analysing the degree of advance just in the main ladder of investment could suppose a gross underestimation of the reals degree of alternative infrastructure deployment by alternative operators. In this paper, we provide a theoretical explanation for this phenomenon with the help of the theory of the discovery market process and the theory of capital, as proposed by the Austrian School of Economics. The situation of the identified ladders of investment is assessed for the Spanish market, and some conclusions are drawn and applied in the form of policy recommendations for the NGN ladder of investment. --
    Keywords: Austrian School of Economics,discovery market process,complementarity,ladder of investment,capital structure,NGN
    JEL: B53 K23 L43 L51 L96
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Major, Iván; Kiss, Károly M.
    Abstract: Cost-based pricing has dominated the regulatory regime of network industries - and first of all, the regulation of the infocommunications sector - in the European Union since the early 1990s. When privatization of network industries began in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), one of the main stumbling blocks on the road toward privately owned telecomm companies and postal services, energy producers and distributors, and other network industries was the lack of efficient and up-to-date industry regulations. From the mid-1990s, accessing countries that later became members of the EU, and other CEE countries that are still waiting for admission swiftly adopted the regulatory framework of the European Union. The EU has been striving for market opening and liberalization in these industries; it abolished industry regulation in several segments of the market of network industries. Now it applies so-called cost-based pricing in areas where regulation is still in place. CEE countries now use the same type of regulation as the advanced member states of the EU. But the regulatory capacity of most CEE countries is still far behind of their West European counterparts. Experts of network industries advocate, and telecommunications, energy and other market regulators in various parts of the world practice, cost-based pricing for inter-firm network access services. Cost-based pricing is carried out under the assumption that the regulator has perfect information regarding the costs of producing the services. We show in this paper that - under fairly general conditions - cost-based pricing creates incentives for regulated firms not to improve their efficiency. We also show that cost-based pricing results in smaller consumer welfare than incentive regulation that takes into account the existence of information asymmetry between the regulator and the firm. A model of interconnection with adverse selection and moral hazard is presented. --
    Keywords: network industries,regulation,incentive contracts
    JEL: D8 L14 L51
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Sutherland, Ewan
    Abstract: This paper reviews the application of national antitrust law and the implementation of the European Union's telecommunications directives to the markets in the United Kingdom, against the declared policy objective of raising national competitiveness. It illustrates the complexity of the systems that have been created over three decades, with complex and interlocking regulatory, self-regulatory, judicial and appellate bodies, interacting with the parliamentary systems to form a regulatory state. Where markets have failed, or thought likely to fail, the state at different levels (UK, national and municipal) has supported studies and subsidized the provision of broadband Internet access. The regulator, using its sectoral antitrust powers, agreed with British Telecom to functional separation, transferring the enduring bottleneck of local access to a separate subsidiary. While the UK describes itself as a regulatory leader this is difficult to evaluate, given the number and the frequencies of changes, nonetheless the claim seems very difficult to substantiate. --
    Keywords: Governance,Competitiveness,Regulatory state,Great Britain,United Kingdom
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Cherry, Barbara A.
    Abstract: This paper considers the likely combinatorial effects of U.S. deregulatory broadband policies and the evolution of law as applied to corporations as a general matter. It explains how legal developments in both areas have dismantled bodies of law or doctrines that had developed to address corporate power in both commercial and political spheres and to protect consumers from vulnerability in commercial activities. Moreover, the coexistence of these developments enables an unprecedented transfer of corporate power between economic and policymaking institutions. With the decline in regulatory constraints, as well as the rise in constitutional rights to block attempts to impose regulatory constraints, there is a resurgent rise of corporate power. The result may be a phase transition undermining the rule of law so critical to sustainable democracies. --
    Keywords: Antitrust,broadband,common carriers,constitutional rights,consumer protection,corporations,telecommunications
    JEL: K23
    Date: 2011
  13. By: M. Utku Ozmen; Orhun Sevinc
    Abstract: In this study we investigate the duration of consumer price spells and the price change patterns for Turkey. The study employs the most comprehensive unofficial micro price data so far for Turkey covering around 6000 items over four years which comprises a major part of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In detail, we analyze how long a typical price spell lasts, the average size of price changes, the relationship between price change size and spell duration, distribution of price changes and synchronization of prices. Compared to advanced economies, we estimate a high frequency of consumer price changes in Turkey. Findings suggest substantial heterogeneity among sub-groups and underline the time-varying nature of frequency and synchronization indicators. The study confirms that the empirical regularity of mixed evidence of both state and time-dependent pricing generally cited for developed economies also holds for an emerging market economy, Turkey.
    Keywords: Consumer prices, price spell duration, price rigidity, distribution of price changes, state and time dependent pricing
    JEL: E31 C41 D40 E50
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Lefteris Tsoulfidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Dimitris Paitaridis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: Smith’s theory of the falling rate of profit has been usually interpreted as a result of the intensification of competition in the markets of goods and services of the factors of production. This aspect of Adam Smith had been initially posed by Ricardo and subsequently was widely adopted by the major economists of the past as well as from the majority of the modern historians of economic thought. In our view, Smith’s analysis of the falling tendency in the rate of profit is by far more complex than usually presented and that the intensification of competition is the result of the falling rate of profit rather than its cause which is the capitalization of the production process.
    Keywords: Rate of Profit, competition, mechanization, Adam Smith, Stationary State.
    JEL: B10 B12 B13 B14 B16 H50
    Date: 2011–11
  15. By: Perrin, Cedric
    Abstract: The tanning industry is presented today, by its own enterprises but also in the media, as a champion of sustainable development through the come back of the vegetable method, abandoned since the early twentieth century. The argument is problematic in relation to the concept of sustainable development itself, but also with regard to the history of this industry which is in contrary among the most polluting. The abandonment of vegetable tannage at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries must be understood by situating this technological development in its economic and social framework. Adherence to sustainable development seems well, therefore, like a recent development to meet the challenges of the sector.
    Keywords: tanning industry - vegetable tannage - sustanaible development
    JEL: N84 Q01 N83
    Date: 2011–12–04

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