nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2012‒10‒27
twenty-two papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Rethinking Reproduction Schemes By Turan Subasat
  2. Ethics and Finance: the role of mathematics By Timothy C. Johnson
  3. Can Corporations be Criminally Responsible? By Conceição Soares
  4. Worker Cooperatives and Democratic Governance By Pencavel, John
  5. Working Paper 12-12 - Analyse entrées-sortie - Modèles, Multiplicateurs, Linkages By Caroline Hambye
  6. "Innovation and Finance: An SFC Analysis of Great Surges of Development" By Alessandro Caiani; Antoine Godin; Stefano Lucarelli
  7. Il sistema delle piccole e medie imprese e il «modello Emilia» By Alberto Rinaldi
  8. Finance and economic development in Islam, historical perspective By Cizakca, Murat
  9. The Monetary Quantum By Ternyik, Stephen I.
  10. Understanding and Improving the Social Context of Well-Being By John F. Helliwell
  11. Dysfunctions of the patent system and their effects on competition By David Encaoua; Thierry Madiès
  12. Vive la Différence: Social Banks and Reciprocity in the Credit Market By Simon Cornée; Ariane Szafarz
  13. The business case for corporate social responsibility in education By Bundaleska, Elena; Dimitrova, Makedonka
  14. Is it money or brains? The determinants of intra-family decision power By Graziella Bertocchi; Marianna Brunetti; Costanza Torricelli
  15. Markets connectivity and financial contagion By Ruggero GRILLI; Gabriele TEDESCHI; Mauro GALLEGATI
  16. Immigrants' Time Use: A Survey of Methods and Evidence By Ribar, David C.
  17. Liberty and the Post-Utilitarian Society By Saint-Paul, Gilles
  18. Profit Sharing and Relative Consumption By Goerke, Laszlo
  19. China's regional economies and value chains : an interregional input-output analysis By Meng, Bo; Zhang, Yaxiong; Guo, Jiemin; Fang, Yong
  20. Unequal Inequalities: Do Progressive Taxes Reduce Income Inequality? By Duncan, Denvil; Peter, Klara Sabirianova
  21. Empirical approaches to inequality of opportunity: Principles, measures, and evidence By Xavier Ramos; Dirk Van de gaer
  22. L’enseignement supérieur et la crise en Europe :quelques réflexions By Jean Luc De Meulemeester

  1. By: Turan Subasat (Department of Economics, Izmir University of Economics)
    Abstract: This article aims to develop reproduction schemes in two ways: It introduces the “depreciation” (wear and tear) of fixed means of production explicitly into the schemes. A separation of fixed means of production from its depreciation provides a clearer vision for the general nature of capital accumulation in a capitalist economy. It also argues that disaggregating the means of production into fixed means of production (capital equipment) and the circulating means of production (raw materials) is essential for the accuracy of the schemes. Our analysis shows that constant capital in department 2 (C2) must be larger than constant capital in department 1 (C1) in the simple reproduction scheme, and the difference between C1 and C2 must be equal to the circulating means of production.
    Keywords: Simple and expanded reproduction schemes, capital accumulation, political economy
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Timothy C. Johnson
    Abstract: This paper presents the contemporary Fundamental Theorem of Asset Pricing as being equivalent to approaches to pricing that emerged before 1700 in the context of Virtue Ethics. This is done by considering the history of science and mathematics in the thirteenth and seventeenth century. An explanation as to why these approaches to pricing were forgotten between 1700 and 2000 is given, along with some of the implications on economics of viewing the Fundamental Theorem as a product of Virtue Ethics. The Fundamental Theorem was developed in mathematics to establish a `theory' that underpinned the Black-Scholes-Merton approach to pricing derivatives. In doing this, the Fundamental Theorem unified a number of different approaches in financial economics, this strengthened the status of neo-classical economics based on Consequentialist Ethics. We present an alternative to this narrative.
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Conceição Soares (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)
    Abstract: In this paper I will attempt to clarify the notion of corporate criminal responsibility. My analysis is based upon the case of the Herald of Free Enterprise. In the theoretical and practical debate about this case I will analyse the legal difficulties around the notion of corporate criminal responsibility. These difficulties are essentially related to three questions. The first one is related to the fact that in our Western cultures, responsibility is based upon individual responsibility. The second one is related to the elimination of mens rea (the relevance of fault and the degrees of fault) in offences of strict liability. The last difficulty is connected to the values which inform the theory of individual responsibility, and the law which endorses it. Despite all these difficulties I shall argue that under certain circumstances it is possible to support that corporations have criminal responsibilities.
    Date: 2012–10
  4. By: Pencavel, John (Stanford University)
    Abstract: A worker co-operative is a firm that is owned and managed by those who work in it. This paper provides a selective review of research in economics on worker cooperatives. It concentrates on the volatility of earnings and employment in the co-ops compared with conventional capitalist firms; on the long-term viability of co-ops; on the relative productive efficiency of co-ops; and on problems of democratic governance within co-ops. Using modern empirical methods applied to large numbers of observations, recent research has substantially enhanced our understanding of worker co-ops.
    Keywords: worker cooperatives, comparative efficiency, viability
    JEL: J54
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Caroline Hambye
    Abstract: Since 1994, the Federal Planning Bureau is responsible for drawing up the five-year input-output tables for Belgium. These tables are a unique tool for analysing the interdependences between the branches of the Belgian economy. When integrated in an input-output model, they provide rapidly different synthetic measures of the interdependences. The WP presents two classic applications of the IO models : multipliers and linkage measures.
    Keywords: Input-output tables
    JEL: C67 D57
    Date: 2012–10–15
  6. By: Alessandro Caiani; Antoine Godin; Stefano Lucarelli
    Abstract: Schumpeter, a century ago, argued that boom-and-bust cycles are intrinsically related to the functioning of a capitalistic economy. These cycles, inherent to the rise of innovation, are an unavoidable consequence of the way in which markets evolve and assimilate successive technological revolutions. Furthermore, Schumpeter's analysis stressed the fundamental role played by finance in fostering innovation, in defining bank credit as the "monetary complement" of innovation. Nevertheless, we feel that the connection between innovation and firm financing has seldom been examined from a theoretical standpoint, not only by economists in general, but even within the Neo-Schumpeterian research line. Our paper aims at analyzing both the long-term structural change process triggered by innovation and the related financial dynamics inside the coherent framework provided by the stock-flow consistent (SFC) approach. The model presents a multisectoral economy composed of consumption and capital goods industries, a banking sector, and two household sectors: capitalists and wage earners. The SFC approach helps us to track the flows of funds resulting from the rise of innovators in the system. The dynamics of prices, employment, and wealth distribution among the different sectors and social groups is analyzed. Above all, the essential role of finance in fostering innovation and its interaction with the real economy is underlined.
    Keywords: Schumpeter; Innovation; Stock-flow Consistent Models; Monetary Circuit
    JEL: E11 E32 O31
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Alberto Rinaldi
    Abstract: The Emilia-Romagna region is an exemplary case of industrial development based on systems of small and medium-sized enterprises. Since the 1980s it has become a common reference in the international debate on Post-Fordism. This paper analyzes the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the development of region’s economy. After presenting a short profile of the dynamics and structural features of the region’s industrialization, the paper reconstructs the debate among economists and politicians about the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Emilian economy: from the dominant positions in the mid-20th century economic theory that saw them as unavoidably backward and inefficient, to Togliatti’s innovative proposal for a strategic alliance between the working class and the small entrepreneurs, the debate on productive decentralization, the discovery of industrial districts up to the more recent analysis on the rise of district lead firms and medium-sized firms of the «forth capitalism»
    Keywords: Economia; Pci; Piccole imprese; Emilia-Romagna;
    JEL: B2 L6 N9
    Date: 2012–05
  8. By: Cizakca, Murat
    Abstract: ABSTRACT This article first identifies the basic theoretical characteristics of an Islamic economy as discussed by contemporary Muslim economists. Then inquires whether these characteristics were ever implemented in history. The next question tackled concerns the consequences. The author asks whether an Islamic economy has ever led to sustained economic growth. In view of the powerful evidence, the answer to the question is a resounding and definitive, `yes`. An attempt has also been made to explain the institutional mechanisms by which this success has been achieved. Finally, the question of decline is also tackled followed by policy proposals to remedy the situation.
    Keywords: Islamic capitalism; economic development and Islam;Economic decline and Islam
    JEL: Z12 N00 N40
    Date: 2012–10–18
  9. By: Ternyik, Stephen I.
    Abstract: The physics of monetary systems works like a systemic quantum process and the monetary quantum moves the economic body of production via mechanic and thermodynamic entropy.This research work compiles the foundations and conclusions of quantum monetary science as new methodical tool for achieving a higher level of economic stability as dynamic efficiency.
    Keywords: monetary quantum; monetary production economy; monetophysics
    JEL: B41
    Date: 2012
  10. By: John F. Helliwell
    Abstract: The paper first attempts to demonstrate the fundamental importance of the social context. The related evidence is drawn from recent theoretical and empirical advances in the study of subjective well-being. Treating people’s self-assessments of the quality of their lives as valid measures of well-being exposes the importance of the social context and suggests new ways to design better policies. The paper starts with demonstrations of the unexpectedly great well-being consequences of social and pro-social behavior. In addition, evidence is advanced to show an evolutionary fitness for social and pro-social behaviors above and beyond those flowing through their direct consequences for subjective well-being. This is followed by discussion of specific measures of the social context, of the fundamental importance of trust as social glue, and of several experiments designed to improve subjective well-being.
    JEL: D6 I28 N30
    Date: 2012–10
  11. By: David Encaoua (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Thierry Madiès (Department of Economics - University of Fribourg - University of Fribourg)
    Abstract: In this paper the authors argue that the contemporary tensions between patents and competition no longer reside in the traditional trade-off between the exclusionary right given to an inventor to encourage innovation, and the welfare loss induced by the market power associated to this right. They rather consider that the three following distortions of the patent system create important conflicts between patents and competition on the product market, the technology market, and the innovation market. The first distortion concerns the existence of dubious or weak patents. Too many patents are granted to applications of bad quality, in terms of the usual patentability criteria. This increases the uncertainty attached to patents, reduces the credibility of the system and calls into question the justification of the patent as a protective mechanism. Second, the configuration of a patent, originally designed in the context of an isolated innovation, is not adapted to the context of sequential or intergenerational innovations, in which an innovation relies on earlier patented inventions. Even though sequential innovation calls for fine delimitations between successive generations of innovators, the strengthening of intellectual property, including the extension of the patentable subject matters opened the door to opportunistic behavior and adversely affected the needed flexibility to favor technological exchanges. Third, the emergence of complex technologies, in which the use of a large number of fragmented patents is necessary to produce a new product, implies the necessity to coordinate the various patent holders' behavior. The potential entrants in these complex technologies are struck by the coordinated behavior of the patent holders, and this is illustrated in different settings such as the pooling of complementary patents and the licensing of essential patents by the members of a Standard Setting Organization. Very often, patents serve to create ambushes or to capture unjustified rents through excessive license fees, which in turn create barriers to entry for new competitors in the innovation market. Two important consequences of these distorsions are derived. On the one hand, the resolution of these conflicts cannot rely exclusively on the application of the antitrust law. Even if these distortions seriously affect competition in the three markets of products, technology and innovation, antitrust rules are unable to resolve the specific effects rose from distortions of the contemporary patent system. On the other hand, the existence of these distortions leads to a very expensive judicial implementation of the patent system. The multiplication of the conflicts due to a strategic use of patents, particularly in the information and communication technology, in biotechnology and medicine raises the question of the adaptation of the legal status of patents to the contemporary technological developments.
    Keywords: probabilistic right; private settlement; sequential innovation; patent pools; technological standard setting organization.
    Date: 2012–10
  12. By: Simon Cornée; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: Social banks are financial intermediaries paying attention to non-economic (i.e. social, ethical, and environmental) criteria. This paper investigates the behavior of social banks in the European credit market. We use a unique hand-collected dataset on 389 business loans granted by a French social bank. Our results show that the social bank charges below-market interest rates for viable social projects. Moreover, regardless of their creditworthiness, motivated borrowers respond to advantageous credit conditions by significantly lowering their probability of default. We interpret this outcome as the first evidence of reciprocity in the credit market.
    Keywords: Social bank; subsidized loan; social enterprise; ethical bank; start-up
    JEL: G21 D63 G24 H25
    Date: 2012–10–15
  13. By: Bundaleska, Elena; Dimitrova, Makedonka
    Abstract: In the dynamic global marketplace, understanding the fundamental connections between business, the environment, and society has become essential. The roles and responsibilities of business, as a global force, are becoming more complex, and concepts related to societal responsibility and sustainability are gaining recognition as essential elements in business management. Increasing complexity requires new approaches. Companies need integrative management tools that help incorporate environmental, social, and governance concerns into their strategic thinking and daily operations. They require talented and ethical leaders to do so. That is why companies need the help of the academia. By being involved in the education of current and future managers, academic institutions most directly act as drivers of business behavior. They help shape the attitudes and behavior of business leaders. Through different means, academic institutions have the potential to generate a wave of positive change, thereby helping to ensure a world where both businesses and societies can flourish. However, there is much more that can be done by the academic institutions. This Paper will try to identify and evaluate the actions, methods, means that may be employed by the academic institutions to support and promote social responsibility. The Paper will discuss the Global Compact Principles of Responsible Management Education, as well as other relevant principles or recommendations, and possibly suggest new directions and aspects of improvement. Due to the fact that businesses by definition are profit driven, considering the academic institutions merely from a business perspective, the Paper will also touch upon the question: Do academic institutions have the business case for being socially responsible?
    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; responsible education; academic institutions
    JEL: I29 M14
    Date: 2011–12–22
  14. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Marianna Brunetti; Costanza Torricelli
    Abstract: We empirically study the determinants of intra-household decision power with respect to economic and financial choices using a suitable direct measure provided in the 1989-2010 Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth. Focusing on a sample of couples, we evaluate the effect of each spouse's characteristics, household characteristics, and background variables. We find that the probability that the wife is in charge is affected by household characteristics such as family size and total income and wealth, but more importantly that it increases with the difference between hers and her husband's characteristics in terms of age, education, and income. The main conclusion is that decision-making power over family economics is not only determined by strictly economic differences, as suggested by previous studies, but also by differences in human capital and experience. Finally, exploiting the time dimension of our dataset, we show that this pattern is increasing over time.
    Keywords: Family economics; intra-household decision power; gender differences;
    JEL: J12 D13 E21 G11
    Date: 2012–06
  15. By: Ruggero GRILLI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Gabriele TEDESCHI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Mauro GALLEGATI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the sources of instability in credit and financial systems and the effect of credit linkages on the macroeconomic activity. By developing an agent-based model, we analyze the evolving dynamics of the economy as a complex, adaptive and interactive system, which allows us to explain some key elements occurred during the recent economic and financial crisis. In particular, we study the repercussions of inter-bank connectivity on agents' performances, bankruptcy waves and business cycle fluctuations. Interbank linkages, in fact, let participants share risk but also creates a potential for one bank's crisis to spread through the network. The purpose of the model is, therefore, to build up the dependence among agents at the micro-level and to estimate their impact on the macro stability.
    Keywords: Systemic risk, business cycle, giant component, network connectivity, volatility
    Date: 2012–10
  16. By: Ribar, David C. (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
    Abstract: This paper discusses research questions related to immigrants' time use, reviews conceptual and methodological approaches to examining time allocations, and reviews evidence from previous studies. It provides new descriptive evidence, using time-diary data from the American Time Use Survey. Although results vary with the country of origin, immigrant men in the U.S. tend to devote more time to market work and sleeping but less time to housework, community activities, and leisure than native men. Immigrant women tend to devote more time to housework, caregiving and sleep but less time to market work, community activities, and leisure than native women.
    Keywords: time use, immigrants
    JEL: J22 J61
    Date: 2012–10
  17. By: Saint-Paul, Gilles (University of Toulouse I)
    Abstract: Utilitarian foundations for limited government are shaky insofar as they assume rational and consistent individuals. Recently economists' assumption of rational actors has come under sustained attack. Behavioural economics has suggested that people are plagued by irrational biases and inconsistencies. The author elucidates how these developments have led to a post-utilitarianism which is held to justify paternalistic interventions by the state via 'sin taxes', direct bans or new obligations. Individual responsibility is seriously undermined, as is faith in markets. He concludes that supporters of individual freedom need to move away from utilitarian reasoning, reassert core values of autonomy and responsibility, and define strict limits on the scope of government intervention.
    Keywords: behavioural economics, utilitarianism, government, paternalism
    JEL: B40 D03 D10 H10
    Date: 2012–10
  18. By: Goerke, Laszlo (IAAEG, University of Trier)
    Abstract: Traditionally, it has been argued that profit sharing can increase employment and welfare because it lowers marginal labour costs without reducing total cost or labour income. In this paper, we show that profit sharing can also represent a Pareto-improvement if labour supply is excessive due to relative consumption effects. Mandatory profit sharing reduces wages. If the rise in profit income keeps total income constant, profit sharing will have no income but only a substitution effect. Since labour supply is excessive, profit sharing constitutes a Pareto-improvement.
    Keywords: labour supply, profit sharing, relative consumption, status concerns
    JEL: D62 J22 J33
    Date: 2012–10
  19. By: Meng, Bo; Zhang, Yaxiong; Guo, Jiemin; Fang, Yong
    Abstract: Attempts to understand China’s role in global value chains have often noted the case of Apple's iPhone production, in particular the fact that the value added during the Chinese portion of the iPhone’s supply chain is no more than 4%. However, when we examine the Chinese economy as a whole in global production networks, China’s share in total induced value added by China’s exports of final products to the USA is about 75% in 2005. This leads us to investigate how Chinese value added is created and distributed not only internationally but also domestically. To elucidate the increasing complexity of China’s domestic production networks, this paper focuses on the measure of Domestic Value Chains (DVCs) across regions and their linkages with global markets. By using China’s 1997 and 2007 interregional input-output tables, we can understand in detail the structural changes in domestic trade in terms of value added, as well as the position and degree of participation of different regions within the DVCs.
    Keywords: China, International trade, International competition, Local economy, Trade in value added, Value chain, Vertical specialization, Comparative advantage
    JEL: C6 F4 O18
    Date: 2012–07
  20. By: Duncan, Denvil (Indiana University); Peter, Klara Sabirianova (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of changes in structural progressivity of national income tax systems on observed and actual income inequality. Using several unique measures of progressivity over the 1981-2005 period for a large panel of countries, we find that progressivity reduces inequality in observed income, but has a significantly smaller impact on actual inequality, approximated by consumption-based GINIs. We show empirically that the differential effect on observed vs. actual inequality is much larger in countries with weaker legal institutions. Substantial differences in inequality response to changes in top vs. bottom rates are also uncovered. The paper discusses implications of these results for flat tax policies.
    Keywords: income inequality, Gini, personal income tax, structural progressivity, tax evasion
    JEL: H2 I3 J3 O1 O2
    Date: 2012–10
  21. By: Xavier Ramos (Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona, IZA and EQUALITAS); Dirk Van de gaer (Sherppa, IAE and CORE)
    Abstract: We put together the different conceptual issues involved in measuring inequality of opportunity, discuss how these concepts have been translated into computable measures, and point out the problems and choices researchers face when implementing these measures. Our analysis identities and suggests several new possibilities to measure inequality of opportunity. The approaches are illustrated with a selective survey of the empirical literature on income inequality of opportunity.
    Keywords: equality of opportunity, measurement, compensation, responsibility, effort, circumstances.
    JEL: D3 D63
    Date: 2012
  22. By: Jean Luc De Meulemeester
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous présentons l’impact de la crise économique et financière sur l’enseignement supérieur dans divers pays européens. Si certains ont fait le choix de coupes massives dans ce secteur (Angleterre ,Etats Baltes…), d’autres (France, Allemagne) ont préféré le « sanctuariser» car il y est vu comme central pour la compétitivité, la croissance et l’employabilité, tout en menant des réformes institutionnelles parfois assez profondes. Bien entendu, les réponses des divers pays à la crise sont liées aux conditions socio-économiques propres à chacun, ainsi qu’à leur contexte institutionnel. Après avoir souligné les grandes divergences entre pays européens en termes de politiques menées, nous soulignons l’importance qu’il y a à les repositionner par rapport aux politiques européennes (stratégie de Lisbonne, déclaration de Bologne). Nous soulignerons tant la référence quasi constante au « modèle américain » comme but ultime que le caractère plutôt anglais des techniques de gouvernance préconisées pour tendre vers ce résultat. C’est pourquoi dans une dernière section présentons dans une perspective de plus long terme l’évolution du modèle anglais depuis les années 80. La compréhension de cette évolution permet en effet de mieux comprendre le sens des politiques menées ailleurs en Europe. En conclusion, nous chercherons à interpréter les évolutions en cours comme forme d’accélération des tendances lourdes existantes (en Europe), tandis que la référence au modèle anglais nous permettra de tenter quelques conjectures sur le point final éventuel de ces évolutions en Europe.
    JEL: I22 I23 I28
    Date: 2012–01–18

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