nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2012‒05‒15
twenty-one papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Occupational Sex Segregation and Management-Level Wages in Germany: What Role Does Firm Size Play? By Anne Busch; Elke Holst
  2. Herbert Simon: bounded rationality y teoría de las organizaciones By Estrada, Fernando
  3. Equality Law and the Limits of the 'Business Case' for addressing Gender Inequalities By McLaughlin, C.; Deakin. S.
  4. For Every Law, a Loophole: Flexibility in the Menu of Spanish Business Forms, 1886-1936 By Timothy W. Guinnane; Susana Martinez Rodriguez
  5. Female wages in the apparel industry post-MFA : the cases of Cambodia and Sri Lanka By Savchenko, Yevgeniya; Acevedo, Gladys Lopez
  6. Vulnerability to Poverty in Italy By Nicola Amendola; Mariacristina Rossi; Giovanni Vecchi
  7. The Network Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations By Daron Acemoglu; Vasco Carvalho; Asuman Ozdaglar; Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi
  8. “Not always sunny in paradise: prices and brand diversity in touristic areas supermarkets” By Javier Campos; Juan Luis Jiménez; Ancor Suárez-Alemán
  9. Pharmaceutical patents and prices : a preliminary empirical assessment using data from India By Duggan, Mark; Goyal, Aparajita
  10. Las raíces agrarias del crecimiento económico andaluz y el grupo Larios (1800-1936) By Jose Ignacio Jiménez Blanco
  11. The Institutional Framework of the Labour Market: Completed Labour Market Questionnaire By Donnellan,Trevor; Hanrahan,Kevin; Hennessy,Thia
  12. Rising Food Prices and Children’s Welfare By Nora Lustig
  13. Informal knowledge exchanges under complex social relations: A network study of handloom clusters in Kerala, India By Cowan, Robin; Kamath, Anant
  14. الوقف الاسلامى كأحد أدوات المسؤولية الاجتماعية للشركات By Elasrag, Hussein
  15. Public procurement: a case study of the Indian Railways By Nag, Bodhibrata
  16. Industry segment effects and firm effects on firm performance in single industry firms By Houthoofd, Noël; Hendrickx, Jef
  17. The Status of Labor-Saving Mechanization in U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Harvesting By Huffman, Wallace E.
  18. Outsourcing and corporate social responsibility : Apple in China By Urakami, Kiyoshi
  19. A concordance between ten-digit U.S. Harmonized System codes and SIC/NAICS product classes and industries By Justin R. Pierce; Peter K. Schott
  20. A Non-Possibility Theorem for Joint- Stability in Interindustry Models By Ana-Isabel Guerra; Ferran Sancho
  21. Price Fairness versus Pricing Fairness By Jean Michel Chapuis

  1. By: Anne Busch; Elke Holst
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the gender pay gap in private-sector management positions based on German panel data and using fixed-effects models. It deals with the effect of occupational sex segregation on wages, and the extent to which wage penalties for managers in predominantly female occupations are moderated by firm size. Drawing on economic and organizational approaches and the devaluation of women's work, we find wage penalties for female occupations in management only in large firms. This indicates a pronounced devaluation of female occupations, which might be due to the longer existence, stronger formalization, or more established "old-boy networks" of large firms.
    Keywords: Gender pay gap, managerial positions, occupational sex segregation, gendered organization, firm size
    JEL: B54 J16 J24 J31 J71 L2 M51
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: This article evaluates Herbert A. Simon’s contribution to organization theory, placing special emphasis on the criterion of bounded rationality. Simon’s criticism of the orthodox version of organizational bureaucracy is interpreted and his analysis is extended to institutional economics. One of Simon’s main achievements in organizational theory consisted of analytically evaluating the psychology of individual and collective behaviour, thereby opening up the way for future investigation by D. Kahneman and T. Schelling.
    Keywords: Herbert Simon; Bounded rationality; Organizaciones; Racionalidad Limitada; Teoría de las Decisiones; Economía Institucional
    JEL: D23 D73 D86 D2 B52 D20 D80 B41
    Date: 2012
  3. By: McLaughlin, C.; Deakin. S.
    Abstract: The 'business case' for gender equality rests on the claim that organisations can improve their competitiveness through improved diversity management, in particular by reducing turnover and training costs and minimising reputational and litigation risks arising from potentially discriminatory behaviour. It is also argued that through the mechanism of socially responsible investment (SRI), shareholders can put pressure on the management of listed companies to take gender issues more seriously. We assess these claims through an empirical study which draws on interviews with institutional investors engaged in SRI and with managers in a range of organisations in both the private and public sector. We find that organisations are increasingly responding to the argument that persistent gender inequalities represent a form of mismanagement of human resources, with negative implications for the delivery of services, in the public sector, and for the efficiency of the firm, in the private sector. Shareholder engagement, however, has so far had very little impact in this area. We discuss regulatory reforms, including tighter rules on firm-level disclosure of gender policies and practices, which could address these issues.
    Keywords: gender equality, diversity management, socially responsible investment, discrimination law
    JEL: J71 J78 K31 G38
    Date: 2011–03
  4. By: Timothy W. Guinnane (Economics Department, Yale University); Susana Martinez Rodriguez (Department of Applied Economics, University of Murcia)
    Abstract: The Spanish business code allowed firms great flexibility in their organizational form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Until 1920, firms had the same basic choices as in France and some other European countries, namely, the corporation, the ordinary partnership, or the limited partnership. But Spanish law was unusually flexible, allowing firms to adapt the corporation especially to the needs of its owners. Starting in 1920 Spanish firms could also organize as a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL), a form similar to the German GmbH or the British Private Limited Company (PLC). But some firms had already adopted the form prior to 1920. The Spanish coded lacked the principle of “numerus clauses” that is central to many areas of law. Most business codes allow firms to choose only from a proscribed menu of options. The Spanish code offered these options but also stated that firms could organize in other ways if they wished. This paper uses three empirical sources to study the way firms actually used those possibilities. We find that this flexibility did not make entrepreneurs indifferent across the different organizational forms.
    Keywords: Spanish economic history, legal form of enterprise, law and finance
    JEL: K20 N43 N44
    Date: 2012–05
  5. By: Savchenko, Yevgeniya; Acevedo, Gladys Lopez
    Abstract: The end of the Multi-fiber Arrangement/Agreement on Textiles and Clothing in 2005 was a major policy change that affected the allocation of global apparel productions well as the lives of workers involved in this sector. Since the apparel industry is often the major female employer in developing countries, this policy change was expected to have major implications for women. This paper analyzes the wages and working conditions of women in the apparel sector in Cambodia and Sri Lanka following the phase-out the Multi-fibre Arrangement. In both countries, apparel is a major source of exports, and women constitute 70 to 80 percent of the workers employed in the apparel industry. The paper finds that after the removal of the Multi-fibre Arrangement, apparel prices declined as a result of the increased competition. The theoretical model suggests that a decrease in prices would lead to a decrease in apparel wage premiums relative to other industries in the short run and the widening of the male-female wage gap in the long run. The empirical findings support these theoretical predictions. Wage premiums in the apparel sector relative to other industries went down post-Multi-fibre Arrangement in Cambodia and Sri Lanka and the male-female wage gap increased. The paper finds mixed results in terms of working conditions in Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
    Keywords: Free Trade,Labor Policies,Labor Markets,Water and Industry,Work&Working Conditions
    Date: 2012–05–01
  6. By: Nicola Amendola (Department of Economics and Institutions, University of Roma "Tor Vergata", Italy); Mariacristina Rossi (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy); Giovanni Vecchi (Department of Economics and Institutions, University of Roma "Tor Vergata", Italy)
    Abstract: The article empirically analyses the phenomenon of vulnerability to poverty – meant as an individual’s likelihood of becoming poor in the future. On the basis of studies conducted by the Italian Institute of Statistics on the consumption of Italian households in the years 1985-2001 and whose data have been rearranged in a pseudo-panel form, the article estimates the incidence of vulnerability to poverty at national and regional level. We find that potential poverty concerns an unexpectedly high percentage of the population – even as much as 50% in some years. Regional differences are broad, persistent and on the rise: moving from north to south, the risk of becoming poor in the future triples. Vulnerability analysis turns out to be a useful tool which should complement the traditional analysis of poverty.
    Keywords: poverty, vulnerability, living conditions, wellbeing
    JEL: C21 D12 I3 I32 I38
    Date: 2012–05
  7. By: Daron Acemoglu; Vasco Carvalho; Asuman Ozdaglar; Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi
    Abstract: This paper argues that in the presence of intersectoral input-output linkages, microeconomic idiosyncratic shocks may lead to aggregate fluctuations. In particular, it shows that, as the economy becomes more disaggregated, the rate at which aggregate volatility decays is determined by the structure of the network capturing such linkages. Our main results provide a characterization of this relationship in terms of the importance of different sectors as suppliers to their immediate customers as well as their role as indirect suppliers to chains of downstream sectors. Such higher-order interconnections capture the possibility of cascade effects whereby productivity shocks to a sector propagate not only to its immediate downstream customers, but also indirectly to the rest of the economy. Our results highlight that sizable aggregate volatility is obtained from sectoral idiosyncratic shocks only if there exists significant asymmetry in the roles that sectors play as suppliers to others, and that the sparseness of the input-output matrix is unrelated to the nature of aggregate fluctuations.
    Keywords: Business cycle, aggregate volatility, diversification, input-output linkages, intersectoral network, cascades
    JEL: C67 D57 E32
    Date: 2011–10
  8. By: Javier Campos (Department of Applied Economic Analysis. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria); Juan Luis Jiménez (Department of Applied Economic Analysis. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria); Ancor Suárez-Alemán (Department of Applied Economic Analysis. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
    Abstract: Using a dataset from consumption patterns in the island of Gran Canaria collected by the authors, this paper attempts to quantify some non-positive effects of tourism on local destination retail markets for goods and services. In particular, we empirically prove, controlling by factors such as population, size of supermarkets or number of competitors, two main effects: first, that supermarkets located in touristic areas charge higher prices than those in non-touristic areas; and second, that brand diversity is lower in the same stores, particularly in the case of smaller ones. These results confirm that local population do not always benefit from living in a touristic city and possibly provide a more balanced view on the positive and negative side of tourism.
    Keywords: tourism effects, prices, brand diversity, supermarkets, Canary Islands. JEL classification: L83, L13.
    Date: 2012–05
  9. By: Duggan, Mark; Goyal, Aparajita
    Abstract: The enforcement of stringent intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical sector of developing countries generates considerable controversy, due to both the extensive research investment and the public policy importance of this sector. This paper explores the likely effects of enforcing product patents on prices and utilization of drugs in the Central Nervous System market in India. The Central Nervous System segment is the second largest therapeutic category in terms of retail sales in the world and is one of the fastest growing segments in India. Using information on product patents granted by the government and panel data on pharmaceutical prices and utilization from 2003-2008, the paper finds limited evidence of overall price increase following the introduction of product patents. However, there appear to be heterogeneous effects on prices by the type of product patent granted on drugs, implying the need for a careful examination of the product patent portfolio.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Pharmaceuticals&Pharmacoeconomics,Real&Intellectual Property Law,E-Business,Access to Markets
    Date: 2012–05–01
  10. By: Jose Ignacio Jiménez Blanco (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Abstract: This article tries to shed light on a macroeconomic issue from a microeconomic or business perspective. The problem is the Andalusian backwardness in comparison to more advantaged regions of Spain and the subsequent negative effects it had on the population’s standard of living. The backwardness was due to the overemphasis on activities related to the production and transformation of agricultural products in the region during the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century, a period when the opposite just should have occurred. The business perspective is based on a case study of the Larios Group, which was an engine of economic changes in the region along this period. An important feature of this evolution was the increase of the agrarian share of their business, especially in their industrial activities. The epilogue suggests a hypothesis trying to explain why this agrarian orientation, given the socio-political context of the region, allowed for economic growth but blocked structural change.(Full text in Spanish)
    Keywords: Business History, Agricultural and Related Industries, Andalucia.
    JEL: N53 N83 N93 O14
    Date: 2012–05
  11. By: Donnellan,Trevor; Hanrahan,Kevin; Hennessy,Thia
    Abstract: Following the identification of relevant labour market characteristics in Deliverable 9.1 (Factor Markets Working Paper No. 25), a survey was designed and implemented across the participant countries in the Factor Markets project. These survey results are detailed in this paper, Deliverable 9.3. The focus is of the survey, which was completed with the assistance of project partner teams, included, employment market, labour legislation, wage-setting mechanisms, unions, taxation and social benefits, education and training, labour mobility and general features of agriculture. Based on the questions posed and the responses received in the survey, in broad terms the agricultural labour market characteristics in the countries under study are not as heterogeneous as one might anticipate. . Some of the differences, such as minimum rates of pay, are common to sectors other than agriculture also. There is a notable lack of a regional pattern to the labour market characteristics, i.e. no strong evidence of a north/south or east/west divide. Moreover, the labour market characteristics of one country are not necessarily a good indicator of the labour market characteristics of neighbouring countries.
    Date: 2012–02
  12. By: Nora Lustig (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)
    Abstract: After three consecutive decades of decline, world prices of food commodities have risen over the past few years at an alarming pace. Rising food prices are a cause of major concern because high food prices bring significant and immediate setbacks for poverty reduction, nutrition, social stability, inflation and a rules-based trading system. Food prices are unique since food is unlike any other good. Food is essential for survival; it is the most basic of basic needs
    Keywords: child poverty, child disparities, policy design, measuring poverty, development strategies,food prices,basic needs,poverty reduction, nutrition, social stability
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Cowan, Robin (UNU-MERIT / MGSOG, Maastricht University, and BETA, Université de Strasbourg); Kamath, Anant (UNU-MERIT / MGSOG, Maastricht University, and University of Georgia, United States)
    Abstract: When agents use informal interaction to exchange knowledge, their production relations may develop as emergent properties of their social relations and may exhibit homophily. The Saliyar community cluster in India is an archetype of this. This cluster’s experience is investigated on how its thickly homophilous networks have steered it from dominance to decline, in the market for a product which calls for constant improvement of knowhow, under unchanging production technology. A network analysis of the Saliyars community cluster — in comparison with the networks of the communities in a cluster of a similar population at Payattuvila, which has surged ahead of the Saliyar Cluster in performance in handloom weaving — provides evidence that it is not simply social embeddedness alone, but the homophily in socially embedded links that are detrimental to clusters dependent upon informal knowledge exchanges. Hence, we provide evidence that social embeddedness is not as detrimental unless combined with homophily. The conceptual ambit of embeddedness has to broaden out to recognise that social relations come in various ‘homophilies’. This has many policy implications too as it involves studying embeddedness and homophily in rural traditional technology clusters intensively involving community social capital; such clusters being ubiquitous in India and whose experiences have not been scrutinised in this perspective.
    Keywords: Clusters, Handloom, Networks, Social Embeddedness, Homophily, Kerala
    JEL: D83 D85 O33 Z13
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Elasrag, Hussein
    Abstract: This research aims to shed light on the role of the Islamic Waqf as a tools of corporate social responsibility.Islamic Waqf can play an important role in activating the principle of corporate social responsibility through the following: achieving sustainable development , developing small and medium enterprises by contributing to the foundations of Waqf and more contribution of many companies in the work of the Waqf and participate in the endowment for the development and to achieve coordination between the various companies in the field of social responsibility.
    Keywords: Islamic Waqf ; corporate social responsibility; Islamic countries
    JEL: M14
    Date: 2012–02
  15. By: Nag, Bodhibrata
    Abstract: Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest public sector organizations. Its network, traffic, organization and extent of vertical integration are gigantic. This paper undertakes a critical examination of its procurement process to understand the procedures and institutional mechanisms which have evolved over time for safeguarding institutional interests. The paper examines issues such as organizational structure, procurement organization, source selection methodology, procurement oversight and regulation and their impact on the economy, efficiency, transparency and accountability aspects of procurement. It is found that a unique combination of internal vigil, external oversight by independent bodies and organizational characteristics contribute to robust procurement processes.
    Keywords: procurement; public systems; India; oversight; transport
    JEL: H83 H76
    Date: 2012–05–04
  16. By: Houthoofd, Noël (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB)); Hendrickx, Jef (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB))
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to identify the sources of variation in firm performance. This is one of the cornerstones of strategy research, i.e. the relative importance of industry and firm level effects on firm performance. Multilevel analysis is well suited to analyze variance in performance when the data are hierarchically structured (industry segments consist of firms, firms operate within the context of industry segments). The Belgian industry studied is a service industry that consists of about 25 electrical wholesalers. Data were collected from 20 firms during the period 1998-2003 from responses to a questionnaire sent to all the firms in the market. The sample in the data set covers more than 95 percent of the market (in sales), as the missing firms were just fringe competitors. The results show that firm effects explain most of the variance in four performance variables. That bears out the importance of each firm having its own specific, idiosyncratic resources and competences. The explanatory power of firm effects varies by about 30 to 40 percent while the intra-industry effect explains around 10 percent of the variance. Even though firm effects are dominant, intra-industry effects explain a significant portion of the variance in firm level performance. The firm effect is smaller than in previous studies. The firm effect varies across the performance measures: firm effects are higher for returns on assets than for profit margins. The industry segment effect (or intra-industry effect) is more independent of the dependent variable. The industry segment effect is in line with previous studies on the strategic group effect. Top managers should carefully choose and monitor the intra-industry domain they are in.
    Keywords: firm effect vs. industry effect, electrical wholesale sector, performance differences, multilevel analysis
    Date: 2012–03
  17. By: Huffman, Wallace E.
    Abstract: This paper provides a description of important steps in the mechanization of U.S. fruit and vegetable harvesting, which can be hard, backbreaking work, and in addition, the risk of falling is significant for hand-harvesting fruit trees from ladders. Switching to mechanical harvesting frequently requires the transformation of a farming operation, e.g., new crop varieties, new field configurations, and new packing processes. In addition, a significant capital outlay is frequently required. Progress in mechanization varies a great deal across fruit and vegetable crops.
    Keywords: fruits; vegetables; United States; Mechanization; mechanical harvesters
    Date: 2012–05–05
  18. By: Urakami, Kiyoshi
    Abstract: Electronics industry has seen a tremendous industry shift from the developed countries to the emerging regions such as East and South Asia, particularly during the past four decades. And we can now see a huge industrial capability accumulation in Asia. This research note aims at, firstly, describing basic nature and structure of outsourcing business in Asia, and, secondly, we look into Apple Inc.'s supply chain to examine Apple supplier factory operations in Mainland China from, primarily, an environmental protection point of view. Based on the initial observation, it is pertinent to say that it is Apple Inc’s social corporate responsibility to address recently raised environmental issues and to create a socially responsible supply chain in China.
    Keywords: outsourcing; supply chain; supplier responsibility; corporate social responsibility
    JEL: M14 F23
    Date: 2012–05–07
  19. By: Justin R. Pierce; Peter K. Schott
    Abstract: While the relationship between international trade and domestic economic activity is an important topic in economics, research in this area has been slowed due to data limitations. In this paper we provide tools that improve the existing data in two ways. First, we develop an algorithm that yields concordances between the ten-digit Harmonized System (HS) codes used to classify products in U.S. international trade and the SIC and NAICS industry codes used to classify domestic economic activity. These concordances then yield novel time series of industry-level international trade data for the years 1989 to 2009. Second, we provide concordances between HS codes and the SIC and NAICS product classes used to classify U.S. manufacturing production, allowing for matching at a more disaggregated level than was previously available.
    Date: 2012
  20. By: Ana-Isabel Guerra; Ferran Sancho
    Abstract: Joint-stability in inter-industry models relates to the mutual simultaneous consistency of the demand-driven and supply-driven models of Leontief and Ghosh, respectively. Previous work has claimed joint-stability to be an acceptable assumption from the empirical viewpoint, provided only small changes in exogenous variables are considered. We show in this note, however, that the issue has deeper theoretical roots and offer an analytical demonstration that shows the impossibility of consistency between demand-driven and supply-driven models.
    Keywords: Interindustry modeling, joint-stability, demand-driven, supply-driven
    JEL: C62 C67 O21
    Date: 2011–09
  21. By: Jean Michel Chapuis (EIREST - Equipe interdisciplinaire de recherches sur le tourisme - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This research note discusses the distinction between these two concepts of perceptions of fairness, based on the theory of distributive justice and procedural justice, in order to helps understand consumer behavior. With a sample of 250 tourists in French Polynesia and a structural equation model, tourists do not confuse price fairness and pricing fairness. The theoretical implications are that future research should use two distinct scales. For managers, the study suggests that the attention devoted to explaining the fairness of the pricing has more impact on consumer satisfaction than some attempts to explain the price.
    Keywords: consumer perceptions, price fairness, pricing fairness, tourism study
    Date: 2012–03–04

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