nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2013‒05‒22
seventeen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. What remains of Sraffa's economics By Pier Luigi Porta
  2. Abstract Labour Theory of Value and Theory of Price By Samuel Jaramillo González
  3. Sraffa's and Wittgenstein's Crossed Influences: Forms of Life and Snapshots By Richard Arena
  4. Creative industries from an evolutionary perspective: A critical literature review By Jürgen Essletzbichler
  5. Reconciling behavioural and neoclassical economics By Guilhem Lecouteux
  6. Individual judgments and social choice in Sen's idea of justice and democracy By Muriel Gilardone; Antoinette Baujard
  7. Not All Price Endings Are Created Equal: Price Points and Asymmetric Price Rigidity By Avichai Snir; Daniel Levy; Alex Gotler; Haipeng (Allen) Chen
  8. Differentiated Knowledge Bases and the Nature of Innovation Networks By Martin , Roman
  9. Sic et Non: Contribution of Adam Smith to Public Economics By Frantisek Svoboda
  10. Modeling Luxury Consumption: An Inter-Income Classes Study of Demand Dynamics and Social Behaviors By Anaïs Carlin; Sébastien Verel; Philippe Collard
  11. Renewal of mature industry in an old industrial region: regional innovation policy and the co-evolution of institutions and technology By Coenen , Lars; Moodysson , Jerker; Martin , Hanna
  12. Philanthropy in a Changing World: An Evolving Attitude to Giving? By Vladimir Hyanek; Marie Hladka
  13. Moneta del comune e reddito sociale garantito By Laurent Baronian; Carlo Vercellone
  14. Building Capacity to Make Transport Work for Women and Men in Vietnam : Gender and Transport Challenges By World Bank
  15. Are firms willing to employ a greying and feminizing workforce?. By Vandenberghe, Vincent
  16. Acerca de la investigación en mercados de tierra urbana en América Latina By Samuel Jaramillo González
  17. A model of gendered production in colonial Africa and implications for development in the post-colonial period By Fofack, Hippolyte

  1. By: Pier Luigi Porta
    Abstract: Recently the Cambridge Journal of Economics have launched a project on New Perspectives on the Work of Piero Sraffa in a Conference and a Special Issue of the Journal. "Almost two decades after the opening of the Sraffa Archives - the Introduction reads - and 50 years on from the publication of PCMC seemed an appropriate moment to reflect on ongoing debates on Sraffa's overall contribution to economics and, in particular, on the relevance of the opening of the Sraffa Archives in this regard. Does Sraffa's lasting contribution to economic analysis essentially remain limited to PCMC or is it taken beyond this by his unpublished writings? In the latter case, is it possible to identify a distinctive research project that Sraffa had in mind?". This paper discusses these problems and proposes an answer to both questions. It is argued that the opening of the Archives changes substantially the judgment that can be given of the intellectual legacy of Piero Sraffa. The contributions to the ongoing debate on Piero Sraffa's economics are discussed. It is argued that the publication of Sraffa's literary remains is the necessary step to make the debate more productive.
    Keywords: Sraffian economics, Structural economic dynamics
    JEL: A10 B12
    Date: 2013–05
  2. By: Samuel Jaramillo González
    Abstract: The renewal of Marx's interpretation of capitalist society implies the recovery and development of his Theory of Value. The stream of thought known as Abstract Labour Theory of Value, or New Interpretation, proposes to do this, and points out that value is a category that is formed in the interaction between production and circulation (and not just in production, as the Ricardian conception). The theory of value exceeds a theory of price, but requires this piece of analysis that for now is underdeveloped. This paper aims to contribute to the task of constructing a price theory compatible with the abstract labor theory of value, and approaches this task in a simple commodity economy scheme.
    Date: 2013–03–11
  3. By: Richard Arena
    Abstract: The purpose of this contribution is to investigate Sraffa’s and Wittgenstein’s mutual methodological and philosophical influences to try to point out how they reveal the possibility of an interpretation of Sraffa’s contribution to economics which differs from the most usual ones. The second part of this paper will consider how it is possible to read Production of Commodities by means of Commodities (PCMC) as an attempt to build a classical version of the theory of General Economic Equilibrium. Its third part will focus on the interpretation of Sraffa’s 1960 scheme in terms of “long-period positions”. In a fourth part, we will investigate the notions of “form of life” and “language game” in Wittgenstein post-Tractatus contributions, beginning to connect them to some developments included in Sraffa’s Unpublished Manuscripts. Finally, in the last part of this paper, we will show how these notions offer some similarities with an interpretation of Sraffa’s contribution in terms of morphological and comparative analysis of the economic foundations of surplus-based societies.
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Jürgen Essletzbichler
    Abstract: This paper builds on and complements work by evolutionary economic geographers on the role of industry relatedness for regional economic development and extends this work into a number of methodological and empirical directions. First, while recent work defines relatedness through co-occurrence, this paper measures relatedness as intensity of input-output links between industry pairs. Second, this measure is employed to examine industry evolution in 360 U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1977-1997. The paper confirms the findings of existing work: Industries are more likely to be members of and enter and less likely to exit a metropolitan industry portfolio if they are technologically related to those industries. Third, based on average industry relatedness in a metropolitan area, an employment weighted measure of metropolitan technological cohesion is developed. Changes in technological cohesion can then be decomposed into selection, entry and exit effects revealing that the change in technological cohesion is not only due to the entry and exit of related industries but employment growth in strongly related incumbent industries.
    Keywords: Evolutionary economic geography, industry relatedness, industrial branching, technological cohesion, selection, entry, exit
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Guilhem Lecouteux (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: The representation of the individual in economics as a rational homo oeconomicus had been seriously questioned by the development of behavioural economics. Some authors nevertheless argue that economists do not need to produce complex models of human behaviour, since such investigation does not fall within the scope of economic analysis. We show that the mere definition of the scope of economic analysis is quite ambiguous, between on the one hand a conception of economics as a science of individual choice and on the other hand as a science of social institutions: this duality finds its origins during the marginalist revolution with Jevons, Menger and Walras, whose theories seem to be in conflict concerning the scope of economic analysis and the definition of the "economic man". Economists then produced two distinct models of this economic man, one as the simplification of a real individual, and the other as a representative agent. The figure of the homo oeconomicus developed later by Pareto homogenized these two traditions, leading to the indeterminacy of the scope of economic analysis and in fine to the development of behavioural economics. Since behavioural and neoclassical economics are the continuation of these two distinct traditions, we stress that they should be considered as complementary rather than substitute approaches to economic analysis.
    Keywords: homo oeconomicus, marginalist revolution, behavioural economics, economic man, rational choice theory.
    Date: 2013–05–02
  6. By: Muriel Gilardone (Normandie Université, UCBN, CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), France); Antoinette Baujard (Université de Lyon, UJM, GATE L-SE (UMR CNRS 5824), France)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual reconstruction of Sen’s conception of individual judgments, through a back-and-forth analysis between his democratic theory of justice and social choice theory. Firstly, while this is never explicitly presented in Sen’s work, we highlight the importance of the three following elements in the characterization of judgments: position, objectivity and the sense of otherness. Once combined, these three conditions are necessary in order to characterize positional judgments, which, unlike individual preferences, are relevant for justice issues. Secondly, we identify two forces which, in Sen’s view, drive the evolution of such judgments: a widened informational basis and sentiments. This leads us to conclude that a relevant approach to communication, i.e., one which acknowledges the scope of positional judgments and the forces at the source of their evolution, is a third condition for a fruitful transformation of judgments. This last point constitutes, according to us, a missing element in Sen’s idea of justice.
    Keywords: Social choice theory, positional objectivity, democracy, individual judgments, justice
    JEL: A13 B21 D6 D71 I3
    Date: 2013–05
  7. By: Avichai Snir; Daniel Levy; Alex Gotler; Haipeng (Allen) Chen
    Abstract: There is evidence that 9-ending prices are more common and more rigid than other prices. We use data from three sources: a laboratory experiment, a field study, and a large US supermarket chain, to study the cognitive underpinning and the ensuing asymmetry in rigidity associated with 9-ending prices. We find that consumers use 9-endings as a signal for low prices, and that this signal interferes with price information processing. Consequently, consumers are less likely to notice a bigger price when it ends with 9, or a price increase when the new price ends with 9, in comparison to a situation where the prices end with some other digit. We also find that retailers respond strategically to this consumer bias by setting 9-ending prices more often after price increases than after price decreases. 9-ending prices, therefore, usually increase only if the new prices are also 9- ending. Consequently, there is an asymmetry in the rigidity of 9-ending prices: they are more rigid than non 9-ending prices upward but not downward.
    Date: 2012–10
  8. By: Martin , Roman (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: It is argued in this paper that the nature of innovation networks can vary substantially with regard to the type of knowledge that is critical for innovation. Subject to the knowledge base of an industry, networks between companies can differ in various aspects, such as their geographical configuration, their structure, the type of actors holding a strategic position and the type of relations between actors. The paper comprises a conceptual discussion on social capital theory and networks, followed by a theoretically informed discussion on differentiated knowledge bases and innovation networks, which is subsequently illustrated with empirical material. The empirical analysis is based on social network analysis in association with exclusive data about patterns of cooperation and knowledge exchange in a number of regional industries located in different parts of Europe. The findings suggest that networks in analytical industries are not much constrained by geographical distance; knowledge is exchanged in a highly selective manner between research units and scientists in globally configured epistemic communities. Synthetic industries source knowledge within nationally or regionally configured networks between suppliers and customers, and within communities of practice. Symbolic industries rely on knowledge that is culturally defined and highly context specific, resulting in localised networks that are temporary and flexible in nature.
    Keywords: differentiated knowledge bases; regional innovation systems; social capital; social network analysis; knowledge networks
    JEL: B52 O25 P51 R11 R12 R58
    Date: 2013–05–03
  9. By: Frantisek Svoboda (Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University)
    Abstract: The work of Adam Smith is often interpreted as a justification of the natural order of economy, an apology which harmonizes individual and public interests. In addition to the concern for the economic system, Smith’s books comprise valuable passages in which the role of the state is explored within its both negative and positive implications. Generally, the corpus of his work includes three problem areas of fundamental importance for public economics. The first of these fields consists in the presentation of the tendency toward reciprocity as a significant trait of human behaviour. The second main topic constitutes a definition of the role of the State in economy, and it is based not only on the strictly economic assumption that the State ought to finance activities not profitable for a private person, but also on numerous exceptions. The third central issue then concerns the opportunism of individuals in its various forms. As the outlined topics are crucial for public economics, a further insight into Adam Smith’s ways of approaching them may be rewarding.
    Keywords: public economics, Adam Smith, reciprocity, opportunism, role of government, public policies
    JEL: B12 D63 H00
    Date: 2012–12
  10. By: Anaïs Carlin; Sébastien Verel; Philippe Collard
    Abstract: We start from the observation that theoretical studies of luxury consumption are relatively rare in the economic analysis. In fact, while homothetic preferences simply cannot address the issue of luxury consumption, the use of non-homothetic preferences is restricted, at least in standard models, by the absence of consensus about the nature of luxury goods. Using the agent-based computational economics methodology, we, therefore, choose to dene a luxurious item by its ability to display social statute. We, rst, put our analysis in perspective via a short revue of the main contributions about consumption behavior in social context. Through this revue, we identify a few social phenomenons involved in the formation of individual preferences: imitation, dierentiation and innovation. Second, building on these simple social behaviors, we develop a model of luxury preference formation, in which preferences evolve endogenously. Third, we explore the emerging properties of the model, especially, under which conditions we observe a specialization of consumption by social classes.
    Keywords: Preference formation, Consumption, Luxury good, Agent-based model, Income classes
    JEL: B52 D01 D11
    Date: 2013–04
  11. By: Coenen , Lars (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Oslo; CIRCLE, Lund University); Moodysson , Jerker (CIRCLE, Lund University); Martin , Hanna (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to further insights on the potentials and barriers for industrial renewal in locked-in regions and industries. To do so, the paper analyzes the Swedish policy program ‘Biorefinery of the Future’ (BioF). This initiative is geared to develop a strong regional innovation environment for forestry-based biorefinery development in the area of Örnköldsvik and Umeå in Northern Sweden. Theoretically, the paper draws on concepts from evolutionary economic geography regarding path-dependence, related variety and lockin, and combines these with institutional approaches found in science and technology studies to explain disruptive shifts or transitions in socio-technical systems.
    Keywords: Regional Innovation Policy; Old Industrial Regions; Evolutionary Economic Geography; Socio-technical Transitions
    JEL: O33 O38
    Date: 2013–05–06
  12. By: Vladimir Hyanek (Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University); Marie Hladka
    Abstract: Even though philanthropy tends to be considered a sociological theme rather than an economic one, it poses a number of questions that challenge economists as well. We chose to address the following: How can economists contribute to the theories related to philanthropy? Can we consider voluntary giving a demonstration of generosity rather than a market-based solution? We examine some terms that are used in public economics theory and use them to explore the issues of philanthropy. The terms we reviewed are: the Samaritan’s Dilemma, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and the Free-Rider Problem, which we consider to be interesting and inspiring (Stone 2008). We answer the second question by means of sociological theory. The economists who investigate philanthropy are repeatedly faced with the obvious fact that it does not involve any buying and/or selling; it is not a marketplace operation. We have to find and identify the social values of donors and volunteers rather than their economic values, because economists are not fully able to explain empathy, altruism, and helpful behaviour using traditional economic principles (Rutherford 2008). The theoretical frame should be supported by relevant empirical data. There is, however, a lack of both theoretical and empirical work in this area in the Czech Republic. Before starting a large-scale survey, we decided to conduct smaller pre-research probes into people’s attitudes towards altruism, philanthropy, and giving. Even though our sample was not fully representative, the responses that we collected generated interesting findings about people’s views and attitudes. The first wave of data was collected between February and April 2009; the second wave between February and April 2010.
    Keywords: philanthropy, charity, altruism, public economics, motivation, not-for-profit
    JEL: L31 L38
    Date: 2012–12
  13. By: Laurent Baronian (PHARE - Pôle d'Histoire de l'Analyse et des Représentations Economiques - CNRS : FRE2541 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne - Université Paris X - Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense); Carlo Vercellone (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: L'ambizione di quest'articolo è quella di gettare le basi per una concezione della moneta del comune a partire da un'interrogazione omessa dalla teoria economica dei beni comuni. Quali sono, dunque, le condizioni capaci di attenuare il vincolo monetario al rapporto salariale e di favorire così lo sviluppo di forme di produzione alternative ai principi d'organizzazione sia del pubblico che del privato? Questa domanda richiede d'introdurre nella teoria del Comune il ruolo strutturante della moneta nei rapporti capitale-lavoro. L'esame del rapporto tra moneta e comune necessita, di conseguenza, di partire da una critica della teoria dei beni comuni dalla quale la moneta, come il lavoro, sono curiosamente assenti. La ragione di quest'assenza si trova nel fatto che questa concezione naturalista dei beni comuni accetta implicitamente uno dei postulati fondatori della teoria economica standard, ovvero la neutralità della moneta, concepita come un semplice strumento tecnico che facilita gli scambi, e non come la cristallizzazione di un rapporto sociale di potere. Su questa base, si tratterà di caratterizzare un approccio dinamico del comune al singolare nel quale la questione della moneta e delle mutazioni della divisione del lavoro occupa un posto centrale. Questo approccio fondato sulla triade lavoro-moneta-plusvalore servirà allora egualmente da filo conduttore per rianimare la controversia che aveva opposto Marx ai proudhoniani, precursori di un approccio della moneta come comune. Infine, fonderemo il nostro ragionamento sulle teorie marxiane del circuito per mostrare che il carattere specificamente monetario del rapporto capitale-lavoro costituisce l'unico punto di partenza adeguato per una riflessione sulla moneta del comune. Questa riflessione farà emergere perché la nozione di reddito sociale garantito corrisponde ad un'istituzione del comune volta a rendere la creazione monetaria endogena non solo al capitale ma anche alla riproduzione autonoma della forza lavoro.
    Keywords: moneta; comune; beni comuni; reddito garantito; rapporto capitale-lavoro
    Date: 2013–04–24
  14. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Gender - Gender and Development Roads and Highways Transport Economics Policy and Planning Rural Roads and Transport Gender - Gender and Transport Rural Development Transport
    Date: 2012–01
  15. By: Vandenberghe, Vincent
    Abstract: Are employers willing to employ more older individuals, in particular older women? Higher employment among the older segments of the population will only materialize if firms are willing to employ them. Although several economists have started considering the demand side of the labour market for older individuals, few have considered its gender dimension properly; despite evidence that lifting the overall senior employment rate in the EU requires significantly raising that of women older than 50. In this paper, we posit that labour demand and employability depend to a large extent on how the age/gender composition of the workforce affects firm's profits. Using unique firm-level panel data we produce robust evidence on the causal effect of age/gender on productivity (value added per worker), total labour costs and gross profits. We take advantage of the panel structure of data and resort to first differences to deal with a potential time-invariant heterogeneity bias. Moreover, inspired by recent developments in the production function estimation literature, we also address the risk of simultaneity bias (endogeneity of firm's age-gender mix choices in the short run) by combining first differences with i) the structural approach suggested by Ackerberg, Caves and Frazer (2006), ii) alongside more traditional IV-GMM methods (Blundell and Bond, 1998) where lagged values of labour inputs are used as instruments. Results suggest no negative impact of rising shares of older men on firm's gross profits, but a large negative effect of larger shares of older women. Another interesting result is that the vast and highly feminized services industry does not seem to offer working conditions that mitigate older women's productivity and employability disadvantage, on the contrary. This is not good news for older women's employability and calls for policy interventions in the Belgian private economy aimed at combating women's decline of productivity with age and/or better adapting labour costs to age-gender productivity profiles.
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Samuel Jaramillo González
    Abstract: Se analizan los principales rasgos de la investigación urbana latinoamericana sobre los mercados del suelo urbano desde una perspectiva crítica y emancipatoria en las últimas décadas. Esta actividad va cambiando con las transformaciones en las prácticas urbanísticas. Frente al urbanismo funcionalista hubo en los años setenta y ochenta una primera oleada de exploraciones a partir de la teoría marxista de la renta, que aportaron cambios importantes en la perspectiva, de manera paralela y en conexión con esfuerzos similares en otras regiones. En contraste con esos otros contextos en los cuales el urbanismo neoliberal impuso la teorización de la economía neoclásica a partir de los años noventa y la investigación crítica sobre el tema prácticamente desapareció, en América Latina hubo una cierta continuidad, en especial en países como Brasil y Colombia. Ante la emergencia de procesos políticos progresistas en las ciudades de la región existe un renacer desarrollos teóricos críticos: aquí se analizan aportes dentro de la reflexión heterodoxa en economía, y de la teoría de la renta del suelo urbano con acercamientos marxistas renovados que pretenden generar interpretaciones e instrumentos de política al servicio de un urbanismo democrático.
    Date: 2013–03–12
  17. By: Fofack, Hippolyte
    Abstract: This paper proposes a model to analyze the implications of colonial policies for gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The model emphasizes segmentation of production under complete specialization. It shows that the colonial production model, underpinned by occupational job segregation in the agricultural sector and gender bias in the non-agricultural sector, exacerbated gender inequality by limiting employment opportunities for women outside the realm of home production and subsistence agriculture. Over the past few decades, the resilience of parameters underlying these models of colonial production has heightened the risks of macroeconomic volatility in the region, especially where the structural transformation from low to high-value-added activities has remained elusive.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Gender and Development,Population Policies
    Date: 2013–05–01

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