nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2013‒11‒22
sixteen papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Organizing sustainable democratic firms: processes of regeneration as the design of new models of cooperation By Sébastien Gand; Mathias Béjean
  2. Social Network Analysis and the Sociology of Economics: Filling a Blind Spot with the Idea of Social Embeddedness By Bögenhold, Dieter
  3. Creative accounting in the British Industrial Revolution: Cotton manufacturers and the ‘Ten Hours’ Movement. By Toms, Steven; Shepherd, Alice
  4. Profiting from innovation: Firm level evidence on markups. By Cassiman, Bruno; Vanormelingen, Stijn
  5. Entrepreneurship and Independent Professionals: Why do Professionals not meet with Stereotypes of Entrepreneurship? By Bögenhold, Dieter; Heinonen, Jarna; Akola, Elisa
  6. Allocataires du RSA, entre retour au travail et stratégies alternatives. De l'émancipation face à la domination de la valeur By Élie Chosson
  7. A Path Through the Wilderness: Time Discounting in Growth Models By Pedro Garcia Duarte
  8. The Power of Religious Organizations in Human Decision Processes: Analyzing Voting Behavior By Benno Torgler; Davis Stadelmann; Marco Portmann
  9. A Quantitative Measure to Compare the Disciplinary Profiles of Research Systems and Their Evolution Over Time By Irene Bongioanni; Cinzia Daraio; Giancarlo Ruocco
  10. Towards „Local Justice Movement(s)“? Two paths to re-scaling the austerity protest in the Czech Republic By Jiøí Navrátil; Ondøej Císaø
  11. La transition financière chinoise : un contre-exemple de la libéralisation financière By Zhaomin Zou
  12. How to Form a More Perfect European Banking Union By Angel Ubide
  13. "Hierarchy of Ideals in Market Interactions: An Application to the Labor Market" By Aurelie Charles
  14. Women quitters in exit competitions: Reliable indicators of women's risk aversion? By Hanley, Aoife; Schmidt, Eike-Christian
  15. Girl power in agricultural production: how much does it yield? A case-study on the dairy sector in India. By Sneyers, Astrid; Vandeplas, Anneleen
  16. Mapping the climate sceptical blogosphere By Amelia Sharman

  1. By: Sébastien Gand (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris); Mathias Béjean (Université Paris-Est - Université Paris-Est)
    Abstract: In a period of economic and legitimacy crises for firms, there is a current appeal on alternative firms to the conventional capitalist and hierarchical one, especially ones with a democratic form such as cooperatives. But for a long time the "degeneration" pattern of democratic firms, namely their economic failure or the abandonment of democratic functioning, has been pointed out. Even if such a deterministic rationale has been contested, the main difficulty for democratic firms remains their capacity to overcome degeneration crises. This paper investigates this question through the case of a 400-member democratic professional service firm, studied during three years with an intervention research method. It shows how such a firm designed organizational outcomes to a twofold crisis of performance and governance. It contributes to a better understanding of the conditions of sustainability of democratic firms by emphasizing the possibility of designing new models of cooperation, which integrate various constraints and do not compromise between antagonist logics within the firm.
    Keywords: Corporate Democracy; Cooperation
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Bögenhold, Dieter
    Abstract: Today, social networks analysis has become a cross-disciplinary subject with applications in diverse fields of social and economic life. Different network designs provide different opportunities to communicate, to receive information and to create different structures of cultural capital. Network analysis explores modes and contents of exchanges between different agents when symbols, emotions or goods and services are exchanged. The message of the article is that social network analysis provides a tool to foster the understanding of social dynamics, which enhances recent debate on a micro-macro gap and on limitations of the cognitive and explanatory potential of economics.
    Keywords: Social Network Analysis, social dynamics, micro-macro gap
    JEL: A1 A12 A14
    Date: 2013–01
  3. By: Toms, Steven; Shepherd, Alice
    Abstract: The paper examines an early case of creative accounting, and how, during British industrialization, accounting was enlisted by the manufacturers’ interest to resist demands, led by the ‘Ten hours’ movement, for limiting the working day. In contrast to much of the prior literature, which argues that entrepreneurs made poor use of accounting techniques in the British industrial revolution, the paper shows that there was considerable sophistication in their application to specific purposes, including political lobbying and accounting for the accumulation of capital. To illustrate lobbying behaviour, the paper examines entrepreneurs’ use of accounting to resist the threat of regulation of working time in textile mills. It explains why accounting information became so important in the debate over factory legislation. In doing so, it shows that a significant element was the accounting evidence of one manufacturer in particular, Robert Hyde Greg, which had a strong impact on the outcome of the parliamentary process. The paper uses archival evidence to illustrate how accounting was used in Greg’s enterprise and the reality of its economic performance. The archival evidence of actual performance is then contrasted with the figures presented by Greg to the Factories Inquiry Commission, convened by the House of Commons in 1833-1834 to hear witnesses from the manufacturing interest. These sets of figures are compared and contrasted and discrepancies noted. Conclusions show that the discrepancies were substantial, motivated by Greg’s incentives to present a particular view of low profits, high fixed costs, and the threat of cheaper overseas competition. The figures appeared to lend some credibility to the apparent plight of manufacturers and to Nassau Senior’s flawed argument about all profit being earned in the ‘last hour’ of the working day. The consequence was a setback for the Ten Hours movement, leading to a further intensification of political struggles over working conditions in the 1840s.
    Keywords: Key words: British Industrial Revolution, Accounting, Child labour, Factory Reform, Lancashire cotton textiles, Greg, Quarry Bank Mill
    JEL: J21 J31 K31 L50 L67 M4 N13 O14 O15 O38
    Date: 2013–11–15
  4. By: Cassiman, Bruno; Vanormelingen, Stijn
    Abstract: While innovation is argued to create value, private incentives of …rms to innovate are driven by what part of the value created …rms can appropriate. In this paper we explore the relation between innovation and the markups a …rm is able to extract after innovating. We estimate …rm-speci…c price-cost margins from production data and …nd that both product and process innovations are positively related to these markups. Product innovations increase markups on average by 5.1% points by shifting out demand and increasing prices. Process innovation increases markups by 3.8% points due to incomplete pass-through of the cost reductions associated with process innovation. The ability of the …rm to appropriate returns from innovation through higher markups is affected by the actual type of product and process innovation, the …rms patenting and promotion behavior, the age of the …rm and the competition it faces. Moreover, we show that sustained product innovation has a cumulative effect on the …rms markup.
    Date: 2013–10
  5. By: Bögenhold, Dieter; Heinonen, Jarna; Akola, Elisa
    Abstract: The study discusses myths of entrepreneurship by looking at the overlapping areas of entrepreneurship, self-employment and professions. The study argues that professions are part of the category of self-employment. Additionally, the study presents empirical findings drawn from a unique empirical data set from Finland: a survey (N=733) including freelance journalists, translators, interpreters and artists at the blurred boundaries between waged work and entrepreneurship. Findings reveal that the professions are clearly different and the manifestations of entrepreneurship vary, reflecting the work and the labour market situation within the profession. The life and work situations of those in the liberal professions cannot be interpreted in simple black and white schemes or as winners and looser. Instead, many different socio-economic situations can be found ‘in between’, which are driven by different social logics. For entrepreneurship researchers the study opens up new avenues by taking us beyond the push-pull-dichotomy, which over-simplifies the decision to enter self-employment. The term entrepreneurship is often used in an undifferentiated way, and it therefore easily generates myths and stereotypes, which are challenged by the study. A narrower and more realistic view shows that there are diverse agents under the flag of entrepreneurship, who are usually not regarded as core entrepreneurs although they exist in everyday life.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Professions, Self-employment, Occupational Careers, Waged Work, Transitions, Labour Market
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Élie Chosson (CREG - Centre de recherche en économie de Grenoble - Université Pierre-Mendès-France - Grenoble II : EA4625)
    Abstract: Notre objectif est de justifier les hypothèses à partir desquelles nous menons un suivi des allocataires du RSA en Isère. Notre première hypothèse concerne la mauvaise qualité des trajectoires de retour à l'emploi des allocataires, de quoi découle notre seconde hypothèse concernant la possibilité de stratégies de détournement de l'emploi, associées à des stratégies d'acquisition de valeurs d'usages non marchandes. Ces hypothèses résultent du choix de produire une pensée contextualisée du travail, c'est-à-dire pensant le travail dans un environnement naturel borné et se décalant de ses formes sociales dominantes. Nous présenterons dans une première partie le cadre théorique qui permet cette contextualisation. Nous ferons référence aux analyses "historicistes" du travail, issues notamment d'une relecture de la théorie de la valeur travail de Marx. Il s'agit de mettre en évidence le rôle de médiation sociale qui est attribué au travail subsumé sous la valeur dans le capitalisme et la dynamique immanente et contradictoire qui en découle. Dans un second temps, nous pourrons étudier le RSA au prisme de cette dynamique immanente. Nous l'analysons comme une tentative de renforcement de la norme du travail emploi, grâce à un accompagnement de l'extension de la sphère marchande et à la mobilisation d'une offre de travail nouvelle par le biais de contreparties imposées. Ceci contribuera à produire des trajectoires professionnelles instables, marquées par un retour à l'emploi faible et de mauvaise qualité. Nous l'illustrerons grâce à nos données. Pour finir, nous verrons comment, le travail étant devenu un "bien invendable", les allocataires se détourneront de ses formes capitalistes. Nous pourrons ici présenter notre enquête de terrain effectué à partir des collectifs et projets d'allocataires qui émergent en Isère dans ce sens. Mais nous verrons que ces pratiques, si elles sont effectivement alternatives, ne sont pas nécessairement la marque d'une véritable émancipation.
    Keywords: aide sociale ; parcours professionnel ; théorie de la valeur ; emploi ; accès à l'emploi ; revenu de solidarité active ; France ; Isère
    Date: 2013–04–19
  7. By: Pedro Garcia Duarte
    Abstract: Although economists have recognized long ago that “time enters into all economic questions”, the ways they treated and modeled time has varied substantially in the last century. While in the 1930s there was a distinctive Cambridge tradition against discounting utilities of future generations, to which Frank Ramsey subscribed, postwar neoclassical growth economists (of the “Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans model”) applied the discount factor either to individual’s or to social planner’s decision-making as a technical requirement of dynamic general equilibrium models. My goal in this article is to shed some historical light on how a practice that was condemned as ethically indefensible when applied to intergenerational comparisons became a technical requirement in dynamic models of either a consumer or a planner deciding the intertemporal allocation of resources.
    Keywords: time discount; growth models; Ramsey-Cass-Koopmans model; economic dynamics
    JEL: B22 B23 E32
    Date: 2013–11–12
  8. By: Benno Torgler; Davis Stadelmann; Marco Portmann
    Abstract: In Switzerland, two key church institutions – the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CSB) and the Federation of Protestant Churches (FPC) – make public recommendations on how to vote for certain referenda. We leverage this unique situation to directly measure religious organizations' power to shape human decision making. We employ an objective measure of voters' commitment to their religious organization to determine whether they are more likely to vote in line with this organization’s recommendations. We find that voting recommendations do indeed matter, implying that even in a secularized world, religion plays a crucial role in voting decisions.
    Keywords: Power, religion, voting, referenda, trust, rules of thumb
    JEL: D03 D72 D83 H70
    Date: 2013–11–18
  9. By: Irene Bongioanni (Department of Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Giancarlo Ruocco (Department of Physics, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
    Abstract: We model Science and Technology (S&T) systems as complex systems and propose to use the mathematical tools developed within the spin-glasses literature to evaluate similarity within systems and between systems in a unified manner. Our measure is based on the ÔoverlapÕ of disciplinary profiles of a set of S&T systems. The investigation of the distribution of the overlaps provides useful insights on the dynamics of the general system, that is whether it converges towards a unique disciplinary structure or to a differentiated pattern. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by investigating the dynamics of disciplinary profiles of European countries from 1996 to 2011. We analyse several bibliometric indicators (including publications and citations) of European countries in the 27 Scopus subject categories. We compare the disciplinary profiles of European countries i) among them; ii) with respect to the European standard; and iii) to the World reference. We find that there is a convergence towards a unique European disciplinary profile of the scientific production even if large differences in the scientific profiles still remain. The investigation of the dynamics by year shows that developing countries are converging towards the European model whilst some developed countries are departing from it.
    Keywords: diversity/similarity; disciplinary profiles; spin glasses;overlap; overlap distribution; European science
    Date: 2013–10
  10. By: Jiøí Navrátil; Ondøej Císaø (Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the responses of Czech left social movements to the coming of economic crisis to the country. It seeks to answer two questions. The first one is whether the coming of economic crisis has activated two processes of social movement transnationalization that take place on the domestic level: the global framing and externalization. The second question is why this activation has not taken place. In our analysis we distinguish between the “old” left (trade unions, social democrats) and “radical” left (anarchists, Trotskyites) in order to explore paths of different modes of left activism. First, we focus on the evolution of framing scale and of the target scale of Czech Left activism between 2000 and 2010 and suggest that while the trajectories of both modes of Left activism experienced dramatic shifts both upwards and downwards, there are hardly any signs of real transnationalization after the crisis hit the country (2009). On the contrary, it seems that while the old left shifted the framing upwards onto national level, the radical left shifted the target of their protests downwards onto the local level. Second, following the analyses of institutional and discursive opportunities, we show that it was the timing and way of interpretation of a financial crisis from the part of national political elites and media that determined the scale and intensity of political contention over its consequences. The paper builds upon the analysis of protest events organized by left SMOs in the Czech Republic between 2000 and 2010 (N=668). We integrate protest event and frame analysis and code – among other - the scale of framing and targets of the recorded events.
    Keywords: Economic crisis, austerity, political conflict, labour unions, social movements.
    JEL: D72 L31
    Date: 2013–11
  11. By: Zhaomin Zou (CREG - Centre de recherche en économie de Grenoble - Université Pierre-Mendès-France - Grenoble II : EA4625)
    Abstract: Du fait que la transition financière chinoise représente un contre-exemple de libéralisation financière, il est intéressant d'étudier certaines spécialités de son modèle de financement et ses implications qui nous permettent de comprendre ce phénomène paradoxal dans lequel l'excellente performance économique chinoise s'accompagne de la fragilité de son système bancaire. A cette fin, nous cherchons d'abord à comprendre l'origine de fragilité financière chinoise. Selon notre analyse, le problème des créances douteuses est directement lié au transfert du financement des entreprises publiques aux banques commerciales chinoises. C'est pourquoi ces créances doivent être interprétées comme le quasi déficit budgétaire au lieu des pertes des banques. Ensuite, la deuxième partie consiste à expliquer pourquoi la Chine a mis en oeuvre une politique d'ouverture financière restrictive au lieu d'accepter une libéralisation financière totale comme dans la majorité des pays en développement et en transition. Nous envisageons de montrer l'effet pervers du mouvement des capitaux étrangers et l'importance de dépendance financière d'un pays en développement vis-à-vis des pays développé afin de justifier l'opposition des autorités monétaires chinoises contre le dogme de la libéralisation financière. Enfin, la troisième section consiste à proposer un modèle de financement alternatif mieux adapté aux besoins de croissance des pays en développement.
    Keywords: libéralisation ; banque ; financement ; système bancaire ; système financier ; finances publiques ; transition économique ; Chine
    Date: 2013–04–19
  12. By: Angel Ubide (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: The evolving plan for a European banking union falls short of the ideal of an "ever closer union." In fact, the plan's focus on national resolution authorities and funds for insolvent financial institutions, a minimal euro area financing backstop, and costs imposed on creditors of failed banks, could lead to a looser, weaker, and more fragmented banking system. Some aspects of the plan of European leaders will improve the system's soundness, but other aspects could dampen lending in the near term and reduce economic growth. Ubide urges policymakers to focus on making the banking union stronger and more coherent. Troubled banks supervised by the European Central Bank should be covered by a European resolution authority and a European resolution fund to oversee bankruptcy, restructuring, and other reforms. To produce a more united, solid, and stable euro area, the European plan has to lower national barriers to banking, not raise them.
    Date: 2013–10
  13. By: Aurelie Charles
    Abstract: This paper argues that a hierarchy of ideals exists in market interactions that sets the benchmark on the norm of fairness associated with these interactions, thus affecting pricing decisions associated with market exchange. As norms emerge, an ideal determines the criteria of optimal behavior and serves as a basis for market exchange. Norms homogenize the diversity of commodities in market interactions according to a hierarchy of norms and values. The paper then goes on to illustrate how this hierarchy of ideals works in the labor market, leading to inequality of access to jobs and wages between groups of individuals. Groups socially perceived to be diverging from the context-dependent dominant ideal are likely to suffer most in market interactions.
    Keywords: Market Exchange, Norms, Optimality, Labour Market
    JEL: B00 D1 E31 J31 J71 P00
    Date: 2013–11
  14. By: Hanley, Aoife; Schmidt, Eike-Christian
    Abstract: Information from television game shows has recently been used to measure women's risk aversion. Researchers have abstracted from this evidence to explain the underrepresentation of women at senior levels in politics, business and management. But how reliable is this type of data? Using data for 483 male and female participants in a simulation of the TV game show 'Deal or no Deal', we find that women on average exit 0.45 rounds earlier than men, confirming the higher risk aversion for women. We also find that if we were to select women with comparable earnings and education to men, being female is less of an obstacle towards risk-taking behaviour than in the absence of these controls. Specifically, women would now be seen to exit 0.12 rounds earlier, rather than 0.45 rounds earlier. Experiments need to be mindful of controlling for these background factors when assessing the nexus between risk-taking and gender. --
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Sneyers, Astrid; Vandeplas, Anneleen
    Abstract: It is often argued that women have an important role to play in fostering sustainable and inclusive development. Several empirical studies indeed find a correlation between intra-household bargaining power and spending on children’s nutrition, health and education. The general perception of the impact of gender on agricultural productivity is far less favorable. As a result of constrained access to input markets, output markets, and land markets, female-headed households are usually found to be less productive in agriculture than male-headed households. This paper provides empirical evidence of the impact of female intra-household decision-making power on dairy productivity in India, based on evidence from a household-level dataset which was collected in 2008 in 50 villages spread over 5 districts in Andhra Pradesh, a state in the South of India. The results of our analysis suggest that equal, if not higher, productivity is achieved in households where a woman, rather than a man, is the primary decision-maker over production-related decisions. While caution is due in drawing overly strong conclusions, and more research is needed to corroborate these findings, our results provide a more nuanced view on the impact of gender on agricultural productivity than the one which is usually put forward in the literature.
    Keywords: agricultural productivity; dairy sector; gender; female decision-making power;
    Date: 2013–09
  16. By: Amelia Sharman
    Abstract: While mainstream scientific knowledge production has been extensively examined in the academic literature, comparatively little is known about alternative networks of scientific knowledge production. Online sources such as blogs are an especially under-investigated site of knowledge contestation. Using degree centrality and node betweenness tests from social network analysis, and thematic content analysis of individual posts, this research identifies and critically examines the climate sceptical blogosphere and investigates whether a focus on particular themes contributes to the positioning of the most central blogs. A network of 171 individual blogs is identified, with three blogs in particular found to be the most central: Climate Audit, JoNova and Watts Up With That. These blogs predominantly focus on the scientific element of the climate debate, providing either a direct scientifically-based challenge to mainstream climate science, or a critique of the conduct of the climate science system, and appear to be less preoccupied with other types of scepticism that are prevalent in the wider public debate such as ideologically or values-motivated scepticism. It is possible that these central blogs in particular are not only acting as translators between scientific research and lay audiences, but, in their reinterpretation of existing climate science knowledge claims, are filling a void by opening up climate science to those who may have been previously unengaged by the mainstream knowledge process and, importantly, acting themselves as public sites of alternative expertise for a climate sceptical audience.
    Date: 2013–08

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