nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2013‒01‒12
fifteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. The Political Economy of the Syrian Crisis By Ali Kadri
  2. Twenty-two econometric tests on the gravitation and convergence of industrial rates of return in New Zealand and Taiwan - extended version By Andrea Vaona
  3. Lifetime Earnings Inequality in Germany By Lüthen, Holger; Bönke, Timm; Corneo, Giacomo
  4. Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review By Dimitris Kremmydas
  5. Today's Standards and Yesterday's Economics - Two Short Occasional Essays: Eliminating History from Economic Thought and Mark Blaug on the Quantity Theory By David Laidler
  6. Predicting crises: Five essays on the mathematic prediction of economic and social crises By Albers, Scott
  7. "Stock-flow Consistent Modeling through the Ages" By Eugenio Caverzasi; Antoine Godin
  8. Government Is Whose Problem? By Jon D. Wisman
  9. Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics By Boppart, Timo; Staub, Kevin
  10. The Matthew Effect for Cohorts of Economists By Richard S. J. Tol
  11. Gender Discrimination in Hiring: Evidence from 19,130 Resumes in China By Zhou, Xiangyi; Zhang, Jie; Song, Xuetao
  12. Responding to Financial Crisis: The Rise of State Ownership and Implications for Firm Performance By Carney, Richard W.; Liu, Wai-Man (Raymond); Ngo, Phong T. H.
  13. Portfolio Complexity and Herd Behavior: Evidence from the German Mutual Fund Market By Franck, Alexander; Walter, Andreas
  14. The Effects of Minimum Wages in the German Construction Sector - Reconsidering the Evidence By Möller, Joachim; König, Marion
  15. Finance: Economic Lifeblood or Toxin? By Marco Pagano

  1. By: Ali Kadri
    Abstract: This essay investigates the subject of history or the social class that has precipitated the social disaster in Syria. The subject of history is the social force that moulds social relationships to ensure an outcome favouring its class interest. The essay follows the circuit of capital by which value veers away from the working class towards national and US-led capital. Politically, the case for collusion between the Syrian regime and US-capital is nebulous. On one hand, the regime supports radical resistance to US-imperialist hegemony. On the other, the regime, in key historical moments, constrained the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Leba-nese National Movement in 1976, encouraged sectarianism and partici-pated in the coalition of the willing in the war on Iraq.
    Date: 2012–12
  2. By: Andrea Vaona (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: We test the hypotheses of industry return rates either gravitating around or converging towards a common value in Taiwan and New Zealand. We adopt various econometric approaches. The results are then nested in a meta-analytic framework together with those of the past literature. Various kinds of limitations to capital mobility can hamper the tendential equalization of return rates. Focusing on those arising from different innovation capabilities across industries can pave the way to collaboration between evolutionary and radical political economics.
    Keywords: capital mobility, gravitation, convergence, return rates on regulating capital, panel data
    JEL: L16 L19 L60 L70 L80 L90
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Lüthen, Holger; Bönke, Timm; Corneo, Giacomo
    Abstract: This paper documents the magnitude, pattern, and evolution of lifetime earnings inequality in Germany. Based on a large sample of earning biographies from social security records, we show that the intra-generational distribution of lifetime earnings of male workers has a Gini coefficient around .2 for cohorts born in the late 1930s and early 1940s; this amounts to about 2/3 of the value of the Gini coefficient of annual earnings. Within cohorts, mobility in the distribution of yearly earnings is substantial at the beginning of the lifecycle, decreases afterwards and virtually vanishes after age forty. Earnings data for thirty-one cohorts reveals striking evidence of a secular rise of intra-generational inequality in lifetime earnings: West-German men born in the early 1960s are likely to experience about 80 % more lifetime inequality than their fathers. In contrast, both short-term and long-term intra-generational mobility have been rather stable. Longer unemployment spells of workers at the bottom of the distribution of younger cohorts contribute to explain 30 to 40 % of the overall increase in lifetime earnings inequality. --
    JEL: D31 D33 H24
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Dimitris Kremmydas (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens 11855, Greece)
    Abstract: In Agent-based computational economics economy is considered a complex system where the interactions between the economic agents are of ultimate importance. Simulating the economic system by modeling the behavior of the individual encompasses many advantages and certain epistemological issues are raised. In the analysis of Agricultural Policy, the agent based modeling (ABM) approach has been employed for studying Land Use Changes (LUCC), the dynamics of structural changes, the transmission of innovations, the simulation of water use management and for environmental modeling. This approach can help overcoming various simplifying assumptions of the traditional models (like the “homogenous agent” assumption) or the difficulty in modeling interactions. In this paper we initially do a short presentation of the principles of modeling economic systems with the ABM approach quoting its features, the advantages and disadvantages. Afterwards we make a discussion on the application of the ABM for modeling and evaluating agricultural policies and present four current application (Agripolis, Reg-MAS, MP-MAS, SWISSland). We finish this paper with some conclusions and suggestions.
    Keywords: Agent based modeling, Agricultural policy evaluation, Agripolis, Reg-MAS, MP-MAS, SWISSland
    JEL: Q12 Q18 C6
    Date: 2012
  5. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: The first of these essays was written for a happy occasion – my acceptance of honorary membership in the European Society for the History of Economic Thought. The second marked an altogether sadder event - the death of Mark Blaug. Though at first sight their topics are very different, both in fact deal with some of the limitations inherent in applying contemporary criteria, in the first case those of modern equilibrium modeling, and in the second, those of empirically oriented positive economics, to understanding and assessing the economics of the past.
    Keywords: Time; Progress; Empirical Evidence; True Model; Rational Expectations; Money; Quantity Theory; Value Theory; Positive Economics; Empiricism; Formalism; Bimetallism; Gold Standard; Monetarism
    JEL: A10 B1 B2 B10 B31
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Albers, Scott
    Abstract: This volume – Predicting Crisis: Five Essays on the Mathematic Prediction of Economic and Social Crises – is the first of three sets of essays. In this first set the economic and social history of the United States is shown to be a “system of movement,” i.e. a logical and mathematic progression of events which may be analyzed according to a set formula. The model proposed demonstrates that the citizen’s individual “consciousness” is writ large in the macro-economic statistics of this unique economy and thereby made available for inspection at other levels of reality.
    Keywords: Fifth dimension; consciousness; unemployment; Okun’s Law; real GNP; crisis; prediction; mathematics; economic history; cycle; Kondratiev wave; long wave; Golden Mean; phi; pi; mathematic ratio; octave; music; political economy wave; Kaluza; General Theory of Relativity; complexity
    JEL: B51 E0 B31 C0 B4 N00 E1 B52 N0 C02 B24 B5 E3 B0 K0 C00 C5 K00 B50 D4 A10 D0 C53 B40 A13 A12 B59 C22 D00 B41
    Date: 2012–12–29
  7. By: Eugenio Caverzasi; Antoine Godin
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of the current stock-flow consistent (SFC) literature. Indeed, we feel the SFC approach has recently led to a blossoming literature, requiring a new summary after the work of Dos Santos (2006) and, above all, after the publication of the main reference work on the methodology, Godley and Lavoie's Stock-flow Consistent Approach (2007). The paper is developed along the following lines. First, a brief historical analysis investigates the roots of this class of models that can be traced as far back as 1949 and the work of Copeland. Second, the competing points of view regarding some of its main controversial aspects are underlined and used to classify the different methodological approaches followed in using these models. Namely, we discuss (1) how the models are solved, (2) the treatment of time and its implication, and (3) the need-or not-of microfoundations. These results are then used in the third section of the paper to develop a bifocal perspective, which allows us to divide the literature reviewed according to both its subject and the methodology. We explore various topics such as financialization, exchange rate modeling, policy implication, the need for a common framework within the post-Keynesian literature, and the empirical use of SFC models. Finally, the conclusions present some hypotheses (and wishes) over the possible lines of development of the stock-flow consistent models.
    Keywords: Stock-flow Consistent; Post-Keynesian; Literature Review
    JEL: B59 C69 E12
    Date: 2013–01
  8. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: This article addresses the political meaning of President Ronald Reagan's 1981 declaration that "government is the problem." Whereas historically the state had been used by elites to extract as much surplus as possible from producers, with democratization of the franchise, the state became the sole instrument that could limit, or even potentially end, the extraction of workers' surplus. Once control of the state is in principle democratized by the ballot box, the fortunes of the elite depend solely upon controlling ideology. In 1955, Simon Kuznets offered the highly influential conjecture that while rising inequality characterizes early economic development, advanced development promises greater equality. However, rising inequality in most wealthy countries over the past four decades has challenged this hypothesis. What those who embraced Kuznets' conjecture failed to recognize is the dynamics by which the rich, with their far greater command over resources, education, and status, inevitably regain control over ideology and thereby the state. Over the course of history, only the very severe crisis of the 1930s discredited their ideology and led to a sustained period of rising equality. However, by 1980 they had regained ideological ascendancy. This article examines how this struggle over ideology has unfolded in the U.S. since the democratization of the franchise in the late nineteenth century. It concludes with reflections on whether the current crisis holds promise of again de-legitimating the elites' hold on power and ushering in another period of rising equality.
    Keywords: Inequality, ideology, class power, democracy, Kuznets' curve.
    JEL: B00 N32 N42 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Boppart, Timo; Staub, Kevin
    Abstract: A key aspect of generating new ideas is drawing from different elements of past knowledge and combining them into a new idea. In such a process, the diversity of ideas plays a central role. This paper examines the empirical question of how the internet affected the diversity of new research by making the existing literature accessible online. The internet marks a technological shock which affects how academic scientist search for and browse through published documents. Using article-level data from economics journals for the period 1991 to 2009, we document how online accessibility lead academic economists to draw from a more diverse set of literature for their articles, and to write articles which incorporated more diverse contents. --
    JEL: A11 O31 D83
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Richard S. J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
    Abstract: This paper applies the Ijiri-Simon test for systematic deviations from Gibrat’s Law to citation numbers of economists. It is found that often-cited researchers attract a new citation numbers that are disproportionate to the quality of their work. It is also found that this Matthew Effect is stronger for economists who started their academic career earlier.
    Keywords: Matthew Effect
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2013–01
  11. By: Zhou, Xiangyi; Zhang, Jie; Song, Xuetao
    Abstract: We study gender discrimination in hiring markets by sending 19,130 fictitious matched resumes in response to professional employment advertisements posted on major Internet employment boards in China for positions such as engineers, accountants, secretaries, and marketing professionals in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Chengdu. Our results show that, in general, state-owned firms tend to prefer male applicants. Foreign and private firms tend to prefer female applicants. On one hand, this evidence supports the hypothesis that economic reform and the market economy may mitigate gender discrimination. On the other hand, this evidence is consistent with statistics that describe discrimination based on gender segregation and information asymmetry that originated with higher ratios of female workers in foreign and private firms. With respect to regional income disparity, we find that the differences in gender discrimination between first- and second-tier cities are not significant. This result indicates that economic reform exerts limited mitigation effect on discrimination. We also find no evidence of taste discrimination based on traditional son preference in China.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Audit Study; Gender; Employment
    JEL: J71 O12
    Date: 2013–01–03
  12. By: Carney, Richard W.; Liu, Wai-Man (Raymond); Ngo, Phong T. H.
    Abstract: We examine changes to corporate ownership in nine East Asian countries following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Countries with lower incomes and in which policy making involves greater transactions costs (i.e., veto points) have more firms with state ownership. Partial state ownership appears to be effective insurance against crisis. Firms with minority state ownership exhibit 5% (annualized) lower idiosyncratic volatility in the quarter of the Lehman Brothers collapse than firms with either no or dominant state ownership. Minority state-owned firms also enjoy a higher abnormal return of 3.7% and 6.1% in the two quarters following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
    Keywords: financial crisis; government ownership; veto players; insurance; corporate performance
    JEL: H11 G38 G34 G10
    Date: 2012–10–26
  13. By: Franck, Alexander; Walter, Andreas
    Abstract: We examine the herd behavior among equity funds in Germany based on a large sample of funds from 2000 to 2009. We show that a large portion of the detected herding can be explained by identical trading among funds of the same investment company. However, we also find statistically significant stock herding among funds belonging to different fund families. In contrast to existing herding studies which analyze herd behavior within a purely national stock environment, we investigate mutual fund herding in international stocks. We contribute to the literature by analyzing the impact of portfolio complexity on herd behavior. We find the most pronounced levels of herding for funds choosing their portfolio stocks from a broad, international and therefore complex investment universe. Further, we approximate a fund s portfolio complexity by its size and find high levels of herding among the biggest funds. To analyze the herd behavior of individual funds, we introduce a new and intuitive way to assign levels of herding to funds according to their trading activity within a given period. We show that managers differentiate between buy-herding and sell-herding and that individual funds exhibit similar herding intensities within a given and a succeeding period. --
    JEL: D82 G11 G23
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Möller, Joachim; König, Marion
    Abstract: We use a 100% sample of social security panel micro data for estimating the effects of a minimum wage in the German construction sector. In 1997, a wage floor was introduced at different rates in West and East Germany. For analysing the impact of this natural experiment we conceptually follow a difference-in-differences approach. Since there is only qualitative information on working hours in the data, we propose a probabilistic method for identifying the treatment and control group. The effect of the minimum wage is investigated for wage growth and employment, the latter both from a labor demand and a labor supply perspective. According to our results, there are signi cant positive effects of the minimum wage on wage growth in both parts of the country. Although being lower in absolute terms, the bite of the minimum wage, however, is markedly higher in the East. The employment effects of the wage floor turn out to be different in both parts of the country. The minimum wage effect on the employment retention probability is negative and statistically highly significant in the East and positive, but statistically not significant in the West. When it comes to the inflow of workers into the sector we find a positive and statistically significant effect of the minimum wage in East Germany, but an insignifcant effect for West Germany. The highly differentiated results for the two parts of the country point to nonlinearities in the impact of a minimum wage. Rather than supporting clear-cut effects as in the pure neoclassical approach, our analysis tends to corroborate the relevance of market imperfections like the existence of monopsony power in the market. --
    JEL: J08 J42 J31
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Marco Pagano (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and EIEF)
    Abstract: In the past two decades, academic research has produced massive evidence of the beneficial role of financial development for growth and the allocation of investment. Our current vision, however, is dominated by instances of dysfunctional behavior of financial markets associated with acute and widespread crises. This raises the issue of when and why finance ceases to be the “lifeblood” and turns into a “toxin” for real economic activity. This paper is a first step towards an answer. Its thesis is that the metamorphosis occurs when finance becomes “too large” relative to the underlying economy. At this point finance stops contributing to economic growth and comes to threaten the solvency of banks and systemic stability. A related question is why regulation is not designed so as to prevent the financial industry from growing above this threshold. I argue that the answer lies largely in the symbiosis between politicians and the finance industry.
    Keywords: Financial development, financial crisis, risk taking, market failure, political economy
    JEL: G01 G18 G21 G28 H81 O16
    Date: 2012–12–23

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