nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2012‒02‒01
fifteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Health and the Political Agency of Women By Sonia Bhalotra; Irma Clots-Figueras
  2. The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India By Mani, Anandi; Iyer, Lakshmi; Mishra, Prachi; Topalova, Petia
  3. What do drug monopolies cost consumers in developing countries? By Rebecca Hellerstein
  4. Computability and Algorithmic Complexity in Economics By K. Vela Velupillai; Stefano Zambelli
  5. The Number of Workers in the Regulation of Labour Market in Turkey By Inci Kuzgun
  6. Director Histories and the Pattern of Acquisitions By Peter Rousseau; Caleb Stroup
  7. Pasinetti on Ricardo By Enrico Bellino
  8. The Village Fund Loan: Who Gets It, Keeps It and Loses It? By Kislat, Carmen; Menkhoff, Lukas
  9. Bourbaki's Destructive Influence on the Mathematization of Economics By K. Vela Velupillai
  10. Rationality, hermeneutics, and communicational processes: On L. Lachmann's approach of hermeneutical economics By Priddat, Birger P.
  11. Efficient Aggregation of Panel Qualitative Survey Data By James Mitchell; Richard J. Smith; Martin R. Weale
  12. Microfinanzas en México: Estudio By Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID); Marulanda Consultores; Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI)
  13. A Historical Review of the Beer Economy By Poelmans, Eline; Swinnen, Johan
  14. Advertiser Pressure on Newspaper Journalists: A Survey By De Smet, Dries; Vanormelingen, Stijn
  15. Recent Research on the Economics of Patents By Bronwyn H. Hall; Dietmar Harhoff

  1. By: Sonia Bhalotra; Irma Clots-Figueras
    Abstract: We investigate whether politician gender influences policy outcomes in India. We focus upon antenatal and postnatal public health provision since the costs of poor services in this domain are disproportionately borne by women. Accounting for potential endogeneity of politician gender and the sample composition of births, we find that a one standard deviation increase in women’s political representation results in a 1.5 percentage point reduction in neonatal mortality. Women politicians are more likely to build public health facilities and encourage antenatal care, institutional delivery and immunization. The results are topical given that a bill proposing quotas for women in state assemblies is currently pending in the Indian Parliament.
    Keywords: political identity, gender, mortality, health, social preferences, India.
    JEL: H41 I18 O15
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: Mani, Anandi (University of Warwick); Iyer, Lakshmi (Harvard Business School); Mishra, Prachi (International Monetary Fund); Topalova, Petia (International Monetary Fund)
    Abstract: Using state-level variation in the timing of political reforms, we find that an increase in female representation in local government induces a large and significant rise in documented crimes against women in India. Our evidence suggests that this increase is good news, as it is driven primarily by greater reporting rather than greater incidence of such crimes. In contrast, we find no increase in crimes against men or gender-neutral crimes. We also examine the effectiveness of alternative forms of political representation: large scale membership of women in local councils affects crime against them more than their presence in higher level leadership positions.
    Keywords: crime; women’s empowerment; minority representation; voice
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Rebecca Hellerstein
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the effects of drug monopolies and low per-capita income on pharmaceutical prices in developing economies using the example of the antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) used to treat HIV.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: K. Vela Velupillai; Stefano Zambelli
    Abstract: This is an outline of the origins and development of the way computability theory and algorithmic complexity theory were incorporated into economic and finance theories. We try to place, in the context of the development of computable economics, some of the classics of the subject as well as those that have, from time to time, been credited with having contributed to the advancement of the field. Speculative thoughts on where the frontiers of computable economics are, and how to move towards them, conclude the paper. In a precise sense - both historically and analytically - it would not be an exaggeration to claim that both the origins of computable economics and its frontiers are defined by two classics, both by Banach and Mazur: that one page masterpiece by Banach and Mazur ([5]), built on the foundations of Turing’s own classic, and the unpublished Mazur conjecture of 1928, and its unpublished proof by Banach ([38], ch. 6 & [68], ch. 1, #6). For the undisputed original classic of computable economics is Rabinís effectivization of the Gale-Stewart game ([42];[16]); the frontiers, as I see them, are defined by recursive analysis and constructive mathematics, underpinning computability over the computable and constructive reals and providing computable foundations for the economist’s Marshallian penchant for curve-sketching ([9]; [19]; and, in general, the contents of Theoretical Computer Science, Vol. 219, Issue 1-2). The former work has its roots in the Banach-Mazur game (cf. [38], especially p.30), at least in one reading of it; the latter in ([5]), as well as other, earlier, contributions, not least by Brouwer.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Inci Kuzgun (Hacettepe University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper, it is aimed to highlight the importance of number of workers as the basic criterion for regulation of labour market in Turkey as a case study. The number of workers has been used as a criterion for legislative arrangements by first Labour Law 3008 since 1936. From a policy standpoint, the message is that there is a relationship between using of number of workers for regulation of labour market and the characteristcs of economy and labour market. It is result of main share of micro and small enterprises. Thus, it is aimed to protect micro and small sized enterprises in Turkey. This protective approach has been observed in three points. In the considering two exceptions of Labour Law 4857,in regulation of employment protection and in the obligation of employers. The regulations of labour market based on the number of workers have been analyzed in this paper.
    Keywords: Turkey; the workers’ number; regulation of labour market; micro and small firms; criterion
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Peter Rousseau (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); Caleb Stroup (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: We trace directors through time and across firms to study whether acquirers' exposure to non-public information about potential targets through board service histories affects the market for corporate control. In a sample of publicly-traded U.S. firms from 1996 through 2006, we find that acquirers are about five times more likely to buy firms at which their directors once served. These effects are stronger when the acquirer has better corporate governance, the director has a larger ownership stake at the acquirer, or the director played an important role during past service at the target. The findings are robust to endogeneity of board composition and to controls for network connectivity and conventional inter-firm interlocks.
    Keywords: Interlocking directorates, board networks, mergers, social networks, corporate governance
    JEL: G34
    Date: 2011–10
  7. By: Enrico Bellino (DISCE,Università Cattolica)
    Keywords: Ricardo, ‘corn’ theory of profit, Sraffa’s Standard commodity
    JEL: B12 B16 B24 B51
    Date: 2012–01
  8. By: Kislat, Carmen; Menkhoff, Lukas
    Abstract: The village funds programme in Thailand is one of the biggest microfinance programmes in the world aiming at improving access to finance and income in rural areas. Earlier studies indicate that the programme is successful in realising its ambitions to some degree. We extend this work by analysing a second wave of a household survey and find that village fund borrowers are consistently characterised by a lower economic status; accordingly village fund loan are an important lifeline to those households. However, we cannot identify any significant substitution between village fund loans and other loans, raising doubts about the long-run impact of the village fund programme.
    Keywords: rural finance, informal financial institutions, microfinance, Thailand
    JEL: O16 O17 G21
    Date: 2012–01
  9. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: The first appearance of a reference to a Bourbaki mathematical result was the spoof by D.D. Kosambi, published in the first volume of the Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, eighty years ago, although it was not the first reference to Bourbaki in a mathematical context. In mathematical economics there seems to be an increasing identification of Debreu’s mathematization of economics with Bourbakism, although the Post WW II mathematics of general equilibrium theory can be shown to be consistent also with the contributions of the Polish School of Mathematics in the interwar period. In this paper an attempt is made to summarise the story of the emergence of Bourbakism, originating in India, and its recent demise as well as how it played a destructive role in mathematising economics in one, uncompromisingly nonconstructive, mode.
    Keywords: Bourbakism, Polish School of Mathematics, Hilbert’s Dogma, Debreu, Mathematical Economics.
    JEL: B23 C02 C69 D50
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Priddat, Birger P.
    Abstract: Only a few economists knew about hermeneutical economics. But my request is to confirm hermeneutical economics only for the reason to make it criticable. Without any doubt, hermeneutical economics is worth to be criticized; but it is an incomplete approach. The first part presents Ludwig M. Lachmann's version of hermeneutical economics. Lachmann is picked up from the scenario of hermeneutical economists (i.e. Ebeling, Berger, Lavoie, some authors of Kirzner 1986, etc.), because he is the most prominent one of this small group. His approach is more typical than original, but a profound basement for our handling with the rationality-problem in economics. The second part analyzes some critical issues of this approach, touches some methodological problems, and ends with some helpful reasoning on the relation of hermeneutics and economics. --
    Date: 2012
  11. By: James Mitchell; Richard J. Smith; Martin R. Weale
    Abstract: Qualitative business survey data are used widely to provide indicators of economic activity ahead of the publication of official data. Traditional indicators exploit only aggregate survey information, namely the proportions of respondents who report “up” and “down”. This paper examines disaggregate or firm-level survey responses. It considers how the responses of the individual firms should be quantified and combined if the aim is to produce an early indication of official output data. Having linked firms’ categorical responses to official data using ordered discrete choice models, the paper proposes a statistically efficient means of combining the disparate estimates of aggregate output growth which can be constructed from the responses of individual firms. An application to firm-level survey data from the Confederation of British Industry shows that the proposed indicator can provide early estimates of output growth more accurately than traditional indicators.
    Keywords: Survey Data; Indicators; Quantification; Forecasting; Forecast Combination
    JEL: C35 C53 C80
    Date: 2011–12
  12. By: Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID); Marulanda Consultores; Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI)
    Abstract: El propósito de este documento es ofrecer una mirada de amplio alcance al desarrollo de la industria de las microfinanzas, con el fin de determinar sus orígenes históricos, sus características actuales y los retos que enfrenta para lograr asegurar su sostenibilidad a largo plazo. Su objetivo es aportar elementos que propicien una discusión interna que conduzca a evaluar la situación actual y las acciones que demanda el fortalecimiento de la industria a futuro, para lo cual se realizó una revisión de las fuentes secundarias de información disponibles sobre el mercado mexicano, tanto dentro del ámbito más amplio del desarrollo del sistema financiero como específicamente alrededor de la evolución de las instituciones microfinancieras, buscando entender los antecedentes históricos que sirven de base para comprender la situación actual del sector de microfinanzas de México. Además, se realizaron entrevistas con representantes de distintas IMF, así como a autoridades y expertos conocedores, con el fin de tener una visión más completa y actualizada de la situación del mercado de las microfinanzas en México.
    Keywords: Sector privado :: Microempresas y microfinanciamiento, Sector financiero :: Servicios financieros, IMF, microcrédito, mesoamérica, mipyme
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Poelmans, Eline (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium); Swinnen, Johan (LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
    Abstract: This article reviews beer production, consumption and the industrial organization of breweries throughout history. Monasteries were the centers of the beer economy in the early Middle Ages. Innovation and increased demand later induced the growth of commercial breweries. Globalization and scientific discoveries transformed the beer industry and increased competition from the 16th through the 19th century. The 20th century was characterized by dramatic (domestic and international) consolidation, major shifts in consumption patterns, and the re-emergence of small breweries.
    Keywords: economic history; history of beer; monasteries; innovation and taxation in brewing; modern brewing; consolidation and globalization
    JEL: N30 N40 L23 L66
    Date: 2011–10
  14. By: De Smet, Dries (Center of Economic Studies and Licos Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, K.U.Leuven and Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim); Vanormelingen, Stijn (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)
    Abstract: We conduct a survey among Belgian newspaper journalists to check whether advertisers are putting pressure to steer newspaper content, either directly or indirectly and whether they succeed in doing so. The results indicate that 35 per cent of Belgian journalists are experiencing some pressure of advertisers. However, journalists can to a large extent withstand this pressure, especially if coming directly from advertisers.
    Keywords: advertising; advertising pressure; media bias; survey; newspapers
    JEL: L2 L82 M37
    Date: 2011–12
  15. By: Bronwyn H. Hall; Dietmar Harhoff
    Abstract: Recent research on the economics of patents is surveyed. The topics covered include theoretical and empirical evidence on patents as an incentive for innovation, the effectiveness of patents for invention disclosure, patent valuation, and what we know about the design of patent systems. We also look at what is known about some current policy areas, including software and business method patents, university patenting, and the growth in patent litigation.
    JEL: K11 L20 O34
    Date: 2012–01

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