nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2012‒03‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. How do gender values and household practices cohere? Value-practice configurations in a gender egalitarian context By Randi Kjeldstad and Trude Lappegård
  2. Women's Empowerment and Economic Development By Duflo, Esther
  3. Gender inequality in the labor market in Serbia By Reva, Anna
  4. Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows By Antràs, Pol; Chor, Davin; Fally, Thibault; Hillberry, Russell
  5. Economics: The logic & scientific distortion By Hynes, Brian
  6. The Decision-Making Process of Relocations: What, Where, How and Why? By Christophe CARRINCAZEAUX (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Marie CORIS (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  7. Entrepreneurship, Stages of Development, and Industrialization By Acs, Zoltan J.
  8. Simple Rules for a Complex World: Is it so? By Pierre Garello
  9. Who Are the Entrepreneurs: The Elite or Everyman? By Haveman, Heather A.; Habinek, Jacob; Goodman, Leo A.
  10. Prices, Markups and Trade Reform By De Loecker, Jan; Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou; Khandelwal, Amit; Pavcnik, Nina
  11. Demand for gasoline is more price-inelastic than commonly thought By Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Janda, Karel
  12. Apprentice pay in Britain, Germany and Switzerland: institutions, market forces, market power By Paul Ryan; Uschi Backes-Gellner; Silvia Teuber; Karin Wagner
  13. Leasing by small enterprises By Doris Neuberger; Solvig Räthke-Döppner
  14. The liberalization of railway passenger transport in Sweden – Outstanding regulatory challenges By Alexandersson , Gunnar; Hultén, Staffan; Nilsson, Jan-Eric; Pyddoke, Roger
  15. Firm growth and productivity in Belarus : new empirical evidence from the machine building industry By Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo; Oberhofer, Harald; Vincelette, Gallina A.

  1. By: Randi Kjeldstad and Trude Lappegård (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Previous research shows a paradoxical simultaneity of egalitarian gender values and inegalitarian practices in Europe. The Socio-democratic welfare states stand out with the most coherent egalitarian value-practice configurations. With this as a point of departure we examine the coherencies and incoherencies between gender values and household practices in Norway, a socio-democratic and prevailing gender egalitarian country. Based on data from the Norwegian Generations and Gender survey, we estimate four distinct types of value-practices in families, using a multinomial logit latent class regression technique. The analysis reveals a relatively high proportion of couples reporting coherent gender egalitarian values and practices. But we also find quite frequently reported incoherent configurations. These are significantly gendered, and what is often denoted as a paradoxical simultaneity of egalitarian values and inegalitarian practices proves to be mainly a female paradox. At the same time, our study has unveiled an equally frequent incoherency of inegalitarian values and egalitarian practices, reflecting mainly a male paradox. The gendered “paradox” of incoherencies between values and practices is assumed to be attributed largely to women’s and men’s dissimilar perception of how the everyday household work is actually apportioned between the partners.
    Keywords: Gender values; division of housework and childcare; value-practice configurations; gender perception
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2012–03
  2. By: Duflo, Esther
    Abstract: Women’s empowerment and economic development are closely related: in one direction, development alone can play a major role in driving down inequality between men and women; in the other direction, empowering women may benefit development. Does this imply that pushing just one of these two levers would set a virtuous circle in motion? This paper reviews the literature on both sides of the empowerment-development nexus, and argues that the inter-relationships are probably too weak to be self-sustaining, and that continuous policy commitment to equality for its own sake may be needed to bring about equality between men and women.
    Keywords: gender equality; women's empowerment
    JEL: D1 O12 O15
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Reva, Anna
    Abstract: This paper presents a broad overview of labor market indicators for men and women in Serbia with a focus on employment patterns, entrepreneurship and career advancement as well as earnings differentials. The analysis relies primarily on the results of the Labor Force Surveys conducted in Serbia in April 2008 and October 2009. The findings show that although the overall labor market situation in Serbia is difficult, women are in a much more disadvantageous position than men. Women are much less likely to be employed, start a business or advance in the political arena. Furthermore, there is a significant wage gap between men and women in a number of sectors and occupational groups with low educated women being particularly disadvantaged. The results of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition demonstrate that the wage gap is indicative of discrimination of women in the labor market as earnings differentials cannot be explained by differences in observed characteristics of male and female employees. Based on the obtained results, the paper outlines four broad areas that require the attention of policy-makers: employment generation; enhancement of education outcomes; improvement of the regulatory environment and support to women's business and political careers; and promotion of transparent performance setting mechanisms.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Population Policies,Gender and Development,Population&Development,Gender and Law
    Date: 2012–03–01
  4. By: Antràs, Pol; Chor, Davin; Fally, Thibault; Hillberry, Russell
    Abstract: We propose two distinct approaches to the measurement of industry upstreamness (or average distance from final use) and show that they yield an equivalent measure. Furthermore, we provide two additional interpretations of this measure, one of them related to the concept of forward linkages in Input-Output analysis. On the empirical side, we construct this measure for 426 industries using the 2002 US Input-Output Tables. We also verify the stability of upstreamness across countries in the OECD STAN database, albeit with a more aggregated industry classification. Finally, we present an application that explores the determinants of the average upstreamness of exports at the country level using trade flows for 2002.
    Keywords: input-output tables; international trade; production line position; upstreamness
    JEL: F10 F14 L16 L23 O14
    Date: 2012–02
  5. By: Hynes, Brian
    Abstract: How is it that schools of economic factions have created rifts where economists cannot bare to be in the same room as one another. Investigation of this question examines fundamental economic theory and identifies the root cause of the rift is the perplexing disconnect between the scientific method and logical testing. Fundamentally, the prime rift is between economists who use deductive reasoning and those who use positive empirical evidence. To illuminate the effect of this rift, this article will disseminate a couple fundamental economic topics under scrutiny: Defining Growth and Forecasting. The resulting differences and history shows strong support for consideration of deductive reasoning over current methodology. The reality is that legitimate theories should channel central debate on the current “given” modern theory is not debated at all, but instead a mainstream economists insist a “bridge” exists today, known as the Neoclassical Synthesis of the 20th century. This has perverted economic thought to the point where debate will not even come under consideration on the fundamental level. Therefore, the Positive Empiricism Approach (See: “scientific”) has inherited a foundation built upon, ironically, a normative nature. Failure of the scientific approach, empirically and logically, proves that mainstream neo-Keynesian economics promotes externalities in waves that deliver far more impact than simply direct practice. The school's influence and has potential to be more destructive potential than any time in history.
    Keywords: Austrian Economics; Hayek; Von Mises; Comparative theory; keynesian theory; Logical reason; logic; aristotle;
    JEL: B0 A10 A11 A14
    Date: 2011–05
  6. By: Christophe CARRINCAZEAUX (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Marie CORIS (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
    Abstract: In the recent years, the qualitative evolution of relocations (from low cost offshoring to more technological intensive relocations) became a new concern in the political debate. Focusing these new trends, the aim of this paper is to better understand relocations from the firms’ point of view within their regional and sectoral contexts. In the first part, we reformulate relocations by adopting a broad definition of them, considered as a specific dimension of firms’ mobility. Considering that relocation is a temporal and a decision-making process we then cross three analytical dimensions (referring to three analytical spaces): relocations as a productive problem (“relational space” for coordination); relocations in a territorial dimension (“geographical space”) and relocations as a complex decision process (“political space”). The relational space for coordination is analysed in the second part through the concepts of the economics of proximity. We then cross this approach with an institutional conception of the firm by articulating the four main relations at the firm and sectoral levels (financial, labour, commercial and purchasing relations). The grid is finally applied to the specific case of Aquitaine in order to identify the conditions of anchoring and mobility of firms in space.
    Keywords: Relocation, Coordination, Proximity, Mobility, Political Economy
    JEL: F23 L23 R30
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Acs, Zoltan J.
    Abstract: Unlike in the past where industrial policy was either focused on creation and growth of state-owned firms or alternatively consisted merely of broadly functional policies without consideration for firm or entrepreneurial specifics, the requirement now is that future industrial policy ought to be a nuanced partnership between entrepreneurs and the state. In this paper we outline some considerations for such an industrial policy where the entrepreneur.state nexus is paramount. Moreover, we argue that such an industrial policy will need to take into consideration that the entrepreneur.state nexus is evolving, and that it depends on the stage of development of a particular country.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, industrialization, structural change, industrial policy, innovation, development
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Pierre Garello (CERGAM-CAE, Aix-Marseille Université)
    Abstract: Epstein gave to one of his books a title that summarizes the main conclusion of some studies, in particular Hayek's, of emergent orders (also known as spontaneous orders) such as the law and the market: we need, says Epstein, simple rules to cope with a complex world. We offer a critical appraisal of that statement looking in particular to his analysis of liability rule and argue that a rule of negligence, albeit more complex than strict liability, fits better the dynamics of a complex order. We conclude that the nature of the process through which the rule emerges is more important than its simplicity. We close the paper with some general reflections on the challenges presented by new researches in adaptive complex orders.
    JEL: K00 K13 P51 B41
    Date: 2011–04
  9. By: Haveman, Heather A.; Habinek, Jacob; Goodman, Leo A.
    Abstract: We trace the social positions of the men and women who found new enterprises from the earliest years of one industry’s history to a time when the industry was well established. Sociological theory suggests two opposing hypotheses. First, pioneering entrepreneurs are socially prominent individuals from fields adjacent to the new industry and later entrepreneurs are from an increasingly broad swath of society. Second, the earliest entrepreneurs come from the social periphery while later entrepreneurs include more industry insiders and members of the social elite. To test these hypotheses, we study the magazine industry in America over the first 120 years of its history, from 1741 to 1860. We find that magazine publishing was originally restricted to industry insiders, elite professionals, and the highly educated, but by the time the industry became well established, most founders came from outside publishing and more were of middling stature – mostly small-town doctors and clergy without college degrees. We also find that magazines founded by industry insiders remained concentrated in the three biggest cities, while magazines founded by outsiders became geographically dispersed. Finally, we find that entrepreneurship evolved from the pursuit of a lone individual to a more organizationally-sponsored activity; this reflects the modernization of America during this time period. Our analysis demonstrates the importance of grounding studies of entrepreneurship in historical context. Our analysis of this “old†new media industry also offers hints about how the “new†new media industries are likely to evolve.
    Keywords: Organizational Behavior and Theory
    Date: 2011–04–23
  10. By: De Loecker, Jan; Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou; Khandelwal, Amit; Pavcnik, Nina
    Abstract: This paper examines how prices, markups and marginal costs respond to trade liberalization. We develop a framework to estimate markups from production data with multi-product firms. This approach does not require assumptions on the market structure or demand curves faced by firms, nor assumptions on how firms allocate their inputs across products. We exploit quantity and price information to disentangle markups from quantity-based productivity, and then compute marginal costs by dividing observed prices by the estimated markups. We use India’s trade liberalization episode to examine how firms adjust these performance measures. Not surprisingly, we find that trade liberalization lowers factory-gate prices. However, the price declines are small relative to the declines in marginal costs, which fall predominantly because of the input tariff liberalization. The reason is that firms offset their reductions in marginal costs by raising markups. This limited pass-through of cost reductions attenuates the reform’s impact on prices. Our results demonstrate substantial heterogeneity and variability in markups across firms and time and suggest that producers benefited relative to consumers, at least immediately after the reforms. To the extent that higher firm profits lead to the new product introductions and growth, long-term gains to consumers may be substantially higher.
    Keywords: input tariffs; markups; pass-through; productivity; trade liberalization
    JEL: F01
    Date: 2012–03
  11. By: Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Janda, Karel
    Abstract: One of the most frequently examined statistical relationships in energy economics has been the price elasticity of gasoline demand. We conduct a quantitative survey of the estimates of elasticity reported for various countries around the world. Our meta-analysis indicates that the literature suffers from publication selection bias: insignificant or positive estimates of the price elasticity are rarely reported, although implausibly large negative estimates are reported regularly. In consequence, the aver- age published estimates of both short- and long-run elasticities are exaggerated twofold. Using mixed effects multilevel meta-regression, we show that after correction for publication bias the average long-run elasticity reaches -0:31 and the average short-run elasticity only -0:09.
    Keywords: gasoline demand, price elasticity, meta-analysis, publication selection bias, Agricultural and Resource Economics
    Date: 2011–09–01
  12. By: Paul Ryan (University of Cambridge); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Silvia Teuber (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Karin Wagner (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin)
    Abstract: Although trainee pay is central to the economics of work-based training, institutionalists have paid it little attention, while economists typically assume that it is set by market clearing. We document large differences in the pay of metalworking apprentices in three countries: relative to the pay of skilled employees, it is high in Britain, middling in Germany, and low in Switzerland. Combining fieldwork evidence with national survey data, we associate apprentice pay with both institutional attributes and market forces: specifically, with trade union presence and goals, employer organisation, the contractual status of apprentices, the supply of eligible and interested young people, and public subsidies. Apprentice pay appears to have fallen in Britain and Germany as bargaining coverage has declined.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship training, pay structure, trade unions, employers’ associations, collective bargaining, training contracts, young workers, public subsidy
    JEL: J24 J31 J41 J42 J51
    Date: 2012–03
  13. By: Doris Neuberger (University of Rostock); Solvig Räthke-Döppner (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: Using internal data of a leasing company in Germany, we examine the determinants of the probability and use of leasing by small firms. We find that small and young firms are likely to be constrained on the leasing market but use leasing to increase their debt capacity. Beyond contract- and firm-specific characteristics, demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the entrepreneur matter. Older and higher qualified entrepreneurs have easier access to leasing than those who are younger or non-educated, but the latter lease more than highly educated entrepreneurs. Female and non-married entrepreneurs of young firms use leasing to increase their debt capacity. These results are important for aging populations where the financing of entrepreneurial activities by highly qualified, older and female persons are important to sustain growth.
    Keywords: leasing, financial constraints, small firm finance, capital structure, aging population
    JEL: D23 D92 G21 G31 G32 J14 J16
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Alexandersson , Gunnar (Stockholm School of Economics); Hultén, Staffan (Stockholm School of Economics); Nilsson, Jan-Eric (VTI); Pyddoke, Roger (VTI)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe Sweden’s recent reforms to open the railway passenger markets to entry, and to addresses four critical issues for the success of the reforms; the allocation of infrastructure capacity, the provision of maintenance and terminal facilities, the access to rolling stock and the provision of information and ticketing to travelers. The analysis shows that the legislation and regulatory tools that are needed to handle these challenges to a large extent remain to be developed.
    Keywords: Railway; regulation; infrastructure capacity; rolling stock; terminal facility; ticketing
    JEL: L43 L51 L92
    Date: 2012–02–02
  15. By: Cuaresma, Jesus Crespo; Oberhofer, Harald; Vincelette, Gallina A.
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset comprising information for more than 900 firms in the machine building sector in Belarus, this paper investigates the determinants of firm growth for an economy where state ownership of enterprises is widespread. It uses panel data models based on generalizations of Gibrat's law, total factor productivity estimates and matching methods to assess the differences in firm growth between private and state-owned firms. The results indicate that labor hoarding and soft budget constraints play a particularly important role in explaining differences in performance between these two groups of firms.
    Keywords: Microfinance,Labor Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Economic Growth,Labor Markets
    Date: 2012–03–01

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