nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
nine papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. On the Eonomic Purpose of General Purpose Technologies: A Combined Classical and Evolutionary Framework By Strohmaier, Rita; Rainer, Andreas
  2. A Review of C.L.R. James and Marxism in the United States By Conrad, Daren A.
  3. The entrepreneur in economic theory: from an invisible man toward a new research field By Vera Catarina Rocha
  4. Revisiting gender mainstreaming in international development.Goodbye to an illusionary strategy By Brouwers, R.
  5. Anatomy of Cartel Contracts By Hyytinen, Ari; Steen, Frode; Toivanen, Otto
  6. On the New Appeal of Chapter 12 of the General Theory. Complicating Remarks on the Keynes-Hume Connection and the Presumed Novelty of the Analysis of Financial Markets in the General Theory By Carabelli Anna M.; Cedrini Mario A.
  7. Entrepreneurship or Survival? Caste and Gender of Small Business in India By Ashwini Deshpande; Smriti Sharma
  8. Profitability of fertilizer: Experimental evidence from female rice farmers in Mali By Beaman, Lori; Karlan, Dean S.; Thuysbaert, Bram; Udry, Christopher
  9. The Ethical Dimensions Of Financial Crisis In The World Of Globalized Finance By Saha, Malayendu

  1. By: Strohmaier, Rita; Rainer, Andreas
    Abstract: General purpose technologies (GPTs) are technical breakthroughs that are able to spur growth via their pervasive use in the economy. This paper attempts to study the effects of these innovations for the economic system on an empirical and theoretical level. A structural decomposition analysis for Denmark from 1966 to 2007 tracks the impact of the current GPT, the information and communication technology (ICT), on aggregate and sectoral labor productivity growth. Findings show that the broad diffusion of ICT affected growth significantly after 2000, owing to technical change, substitution and capital deepening, and can be associated with skill-induced wage dispersion. The diffusion process of a GPT is subsequently reconstructed by an evolutionary multisectoral framework: The Sraffian input-output approach is combined with the replicator dynamics approach of evolutionary game theory. Technical unemployment, transitional wage inequality and decelerating economic growth after the appearance of a GPT can thereby be explained.
    Keywords: Sraffa, labor productivity, structural decomposition analysis, ICT, evolutionary economics
    JEL: C6 O3 O4
    Date: 2013–04–05
  2. By: Conrad, Daren A.
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence on the theoretical dimension of Marxism, advanced by Cyril Lionel Robert James, on the struggles in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s and to explore the influence that this intellectual had in the development of an understanding of Marxism in the U.S. during this period. In order to do so, it is important to chronologically follow James’s life. For the purpose of this paper, I will discuss some of the aspects of James’s Marxism which will allow us to see how he shaped his thoughts as a Marxist and the extent to which he was able to put his theories into practice. A fragment of James’s autobiography serves as a useful illustration: I had been reading…But the people who had passion, human energy, anger, violence and generosity were the common people whom I saw around me. They shaped my political outlook and from that day to this day those are the people with who I am concerned the most. That’s why I was able to understand Marx very easily, and particularly Lenin. When I went into Marxism I was already well prepared…Even in my days of fiction I had the instinct which enable me to grasp the fundamentals of Marxism so easily and then to work at Marxism having the basic elements of a Marxist view – my concern with the common people. James’s method was more or less empirical and his observations formed the basis for his exploration of ideas.
    Keywords: Marxism, CLR James
    JEL: B0 B00 B10
    Date: 2013–04–09
  3. By: Vera Catarina Rocha (CEF.UP, FEP; CIPES)
    Abstract: Mainstream economics had great difficulty in fitting entrepreneurship into its theory and for long time the theoretical firm remained “entrepreneurless”. However, from the early 20th century onwards, we identify strong attempts of key economists to recognize the role of the entrepreneur as an explanatory force of several economic phenomena. This paper analyzes the evolution of economic thought on entrepreneurship, and in particular the path through which the entrepreneur (re)entered into economic theory over the 20th century, leading to the new and increasingly independent research field Economics of Entrepreneurship. The analysis goes through the main Economics fields where the (re)discover of the entrepreneur figure was most remarkable - namely Labor Economics, Microeconomics and Industrial Organization, and Economic Growth and Development - searching for the rationality to include the entrepreneur figure into the analyses of particular economic phenomena. The study is enriched by a brief bibliometric analysis, which helps to set forth a chronological trace of the entrepreneurship research within Economics literature.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur, Economic Thought, Labor Economics, Industrial Organization, Economic Development and Growth
    JEL: B00 J01 L26 O10
    Date: 2012–05
  4. By: Brouwers, R.
    Abstract: In contrast to the concrete problems women face worldwide, of discrimination in family and society, of violence and disrespect, of poverty and lack of rights, the policy of international development organisations to defeat these impediments has been abstract. Wrapped in the mystifying language of ‘gender mainstreaming’, development agencies pursue a strategy which itself has consumed all attention at the cost of tangible action to solve real problems. By going back to the time that the policy became solidly rooted, the mid 1990s, I document and compare evaluation studies and reviews of bilateral and multilateral donors, in particular those conducted since the turn of the century. Not one study reports positively about the gender mainstreaming policy. The essentials of the discourse of gender and development are not reflected inpractice, the policy has not moved beyond the stage of a theory. Evaluation studies have been pre-occupied with the strategy of mainstreaming itself, failing to address the results thereof for women and gender equality. This paper aims to support the discretely emerging voices to move away from the illusion of gender mainstreaming and to develop a policy that is oriented towards concrete issues and contains direct efforts to make gender equality happen.
    Keywords: gender;gender equality;evaluation;international development;gender mainstreaming;policy review;women in development
    Date: 2013–04–08
  5. By: Hyytinen, Ari; Steen, Frode; Toivanen, Otto
    Abstract: We study cartel contracts using data on 18 contract clauses of 109 legal Finnish manufacturing cartels. One third of the clauses relate to raising profits; the others deal with instability through incentive compatibility, cartel organization, or external threats. Cartels use three main approaches to raise profits: Price, market allocation, and specialization. These appear to be substitutes. Choosing one has implications on how cartels deal with instability. Simplifying, we find that large cartels agree on prices, cartels in homogenous goods industries allocate markets, and small cartels avoid competition through specialization.
    Keywords: antitrust; cartels; competition policy; contracts; industry heterogeneity
    JEL: K12 L40 L41
    Date: 2013–02
  6. By: Carabelli Anna M.; Cedrini Mario A. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: A basic presupposition of the rediscovery, in the times of the crisis, of chapter 12 of the General Theory is that Keynes’s treatment of financial markets, and particularly the use of the notion of convention, represents a crucial novelty in both his economics and philosophy. The article offers complicating remarks to critically discuss this interpretation. In particular, we analyse the complex Keynes-Hume theoretical connection in the light of the Keynes-Sraffa correspondence on Hume’s Abstract, and emphasize the theoretical legacy of Keynes's 1910 lectures on speculation for the analysis of financial markets in the General Theory.
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Ashwini Deshpande (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India); Smriti Sharma (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)
    Abstract: We use unit-level data from the registered manufacturing segment of the Third and Fourth rounds of the Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) census data for 2001-2 and 2006-7 respectively, to understand the changes in involvement and dynamics not only of Dalits (officially, Scheduled Castes, or SCs), but also of other marginalized groups, specifically Adivasis (officially, Scheduled Tribes, or STs) and women, in this sector. We empirically estimate the growth rates for these enterprises and analyse the determinants, including caste and gender of the enterprise owner. We find clear and persistent caste and gender disparities in virtually all enterprise characteristics in the registered manufacturing MSME sector. The share of SC-ST ownership has declined over the period, SC-ST enterprises tend to be smaller, more rural than urban, have a greater share of owner-operated (single employee) units. The inter-state variation in share of ST-SC businesses reveals that with the exception of the tribal majority north-eastern states, SC and ST businesses are under-represented as compared to their share in state populations. The sectoral mix varies considerably by rural-urban location as well as by the caste and gender of the owner. The traditional stigmatizing association with leather-work continues to be one of the top five business activities for SCs and not for other caste groups. The gender-caste overlap indicates that the share of female-owned and female-managed enterprises is significantly greater among SC-ST-owned enterprises, than those owned by Others, and especially by Hindu upper-castes.The majority of the MSME workforce is employed in non-SC-ST owned firms. Also, there is evidence of homophily in OBC and upper-caste-owned firms, suggesting that the rise in Dalit entrepreneurship is key to increasing Dalit employment in the small business sector. While it is significant that there is now an emerging section of Dalit entrepreneurs, we find that most Dalit businesses occupy a very different place in the production chain, viz., that they are engaged in the bottom-of-the-ladder, low productivity, survival activities, as can be seen from our estimates of their lower rate of growth, after controlling for other characteristics. Thus, we find that entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social mobility for Dalits is yet to become a reality for India.
    Date: 2013–03
  8. By: Beaman, Lori; Karlan, Dean S.; Thuysbaert, Bram; Udry, Christopher
    Abstract: In an experiment providing fertilizer grants to women rice farmers in Mali, we found that women who received fertilizer increased both the quantity of fertilizer they used on their plots and complementary inputs such as herbicides and hired labor. This highlights that farmers respond to an increase in availability of one input by re-optimizing other inputs, making it challenging to isolate the returns to any one input. We also found that while the increase in inputs led to a significantly higher level of output, we find no evidence that profits increased. Our results suggest that fertilizer's impact on profits is small compared to other sources of variation. This may make it difficult for farmers to observe the impact of fertilizer on their plots, and accordingly this affects their ability to learn about the returns to fertilizer and could affect their decision to adopt even in the absence of credit constraints.
    Keywords: agricultural economics; returns to fertilizer
    JEL: O12 O13 Q12
    Date: 2013–02
  9. By: Saha, Malayendu
    Abstract: Abstract The global financial crisis and its aftermath, the global economic crisis followed by global recession have raised pertinent questions in appraising theories and practices in more than a few areas. An intently technical view of the proceedings reflects on the predicaments to be, in effect, one of the severe flaws in the financial sector. The broad view, on the other, looks upon the problem as an unethical behavior by several participants in the financial sector as a whole. The various literatures have established that a lack of or absence of ethics and values was at the root of many of the problems facing the global community today. In fact, in an extensive perspective, the financial crises were not stayed put within the terrain of US but multiplied gradually throughout the entire world and exaggerated the economic and political instabilities as well. Given this, one thing is very clear: we should aim at preventing further crises of economic and social nature having multiplier effect. There are also expectations that the corporate should perform on the basis of explicit contracts with the stakeholders in common. The paper focuses on identifying some common characteristics of financial ethics, the various causes behind the financial crisis and to explore the ethical fundamentals of such crisis. The ethical challenges for today are also raised in order to survive and sustain in this globalized financial environment.
    Keywords: Financial globalization, financial crisis, financial ethics, unethical practices, global economic crisis
    JEL: F3 F39
    Date: 2013–04–06

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