nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2014‒03‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Frederic S. Lee
University of Missouri-Kansas City

  1. Backhouse and Boianovsky on 'disequilibrium theory'. A review article of Transforming modern macroeconomics. Exploring disequilibrium microfoundations, 1956-2003 By Michel DE VROEY
  3. Financial, economic and social systems: French Regulation School, Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approaches compared By Hein, Eckhard; Dodig, Nina; Budyldina, Natalia
  4. Theories of financial crises: An overview By Detzer, Daniel; Herr, Hansjörg
  5. Gains from Sharing: Sticky Norms, Endogenous Preferences, and the Economics of Shareable Goods By Anders Fremstad
  6. Power and interests in information and communication technologies and development: exogenous and endogenous discourses in contention By Robin Mansell
  7. "They Are Not Like Us": Understanding Social Exclusion By Lakhani, Sadaf; Sacks, Audrey; Heltberg, Rasmus
  8. Culture and Household Decision Making: Balance of Power and Labor Supply Choices of US-born and Foreign-born Couples By Oreffice, Sonia
  9. On the Definition of Public Goods. Assessing Richard A. Musgrave's contribution By Maxime Demarais-Tremblay
  10. Human Trafficking, Globalisation and Transnational Feminist Responses By Truong, T-D.
  11. The structure of online activism By Kevin Lewis; Kurt Gray; Jens Meierhenrich
  12. Competing Mechanisms By Peters, Michael

  1. By: Michel DE VROEY (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: In this review article of Backhouse and Boianovsky’s book, Transforming modern macroeconomics. Exploring disequilibrium microfoundations, 1956-2003, I make the following points: (a) Backhouse and Boianovsky’s too broad understanding of the disequilibrium approach results in their bringing together theories that should be kept separate. While the disequilibrium label fits the works of Patinkin, Clower and Leijonhuvud, it betrays the project of Barro and Grossman, Drèze and Benassy who strived at producing an equilibrium theory. (b) I put in question their claim that an inner link exists between disequilibrium and fixed price equilibrium theories and imperfect competition modeling. (c) I try to identify the deep nature of the controversy in which these authors were involved. (d) I put forward a few conjectures about the reason why fixed price modeling petered out.
    Keywords: Disequilibrium theory, non-Walrasian equilibrium models, Keynesian macroeconomics
    JEL: B E E
    Date: 2014–02–24
  2. By: Dixon, Huw (Cardiff Business School); Seaton, Jonathan (Loughborough University); Waterson, Michael (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper delivers a significantly different empirical perspective on micro pricing behaviour and its impact on macroeconomic processes than previous studies, largely resulting from the fact that our weekly price data for the three major British supermarkets spans a seven year period including the crisis years 2008-2010. We find that there is a large and significant change in the behaviour of prices from 2008 onwards: prices change more frequently and the average duration of price spells declines significantly. Several of our findings run strongly counter to established empirical regularities, in particular the high overall frequency of regular or reference price changes we uncover, the greater intensity of change in more turbulent times and the numerical dominance of price falls over rises. The pricing behaviour revealed also significantly challenges the implicit assumption that prices are tracking cost changes. Key words: Micro pricing ; price flexibility ; regular prices ; menu costs JEL classification: E30 ; E31 ; L81
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Hein, Eckhard; Dodig, Nina; Budyldina, Natalia
    Abstract: This paper surveys some of the important literatures on financial, economic and social systems with an eye towards explaining the tendencies towards 'financialisation'. We focus on important strands of this literature: the French Regulation School, the US-based Social Structures of Accumulation approach, the contributions by several Post-Keynesian authors, with a focus on the long-run views contained in Hyman Minsky's work, in particular. In our comparative assessment of these approaches, we adopt the following four steps procedure: First, we sketch the basic structure of the approaches in order to single out how each of them views the interaction between social institutions and the economy and the related dynamics regarding the development of the institutional structure and the associated stages or regimes of economic development. Second, we describe how these approaches view the structural breaks or the regime shifts in the long-run development of modern capitalism, which has triggered or at least has contributed to the emergence of a type of capitalism dominated by finance (financialisation). Third, we outline how these different approaches view the main characteristics and features of financialisation. Fourth, we deal with the respective views on the consequences of financialisation for long-run economic and social development including the crisis of this stage of development. --
    Keywords: French Regulation School,Social Structures of Accumulation,Post-Keynesian approach,Minsky,financialisation,stages of capitalist development,finance-led growth regime,global neoliberal SSA,finance-dominated capitalism,money manager capitalism,financial, economic and social systems
    JEL: E02 E11 E12 G01 P10 P16 P51
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Detzer, Daniel; Herr, Hansjörg
    Abstract: This paper analyses financial crises from a theoretical point of view. For this it reviews what different schools of economic thought have to say about financial crises. It examines first the approaches that regard financial crises as a disturbing factor of a generally stable real economy (Wicksell, Hayek, Schumpeter, Fisher, and the early Keynes). Thereafter, approaches, where the dichotomy between the monetary and the real sphere is lifted, are reviewed. Here in particular the later works of Keynes and the contributions of Minsky are of importance. Lastly, it is looked at the behavioural finance approaches. After having reviewed the different approaches, it is examined where those approaches have similarities and where they can be combined fruitfully. Based on this, we develop an own theoretical framework methodologically based on a Wicksellian cumulative process, however, overcoming the neoclassical dichotomy. The paper ends with some policy recommendations based on the developed theoretical framework. --
    Keywords: financial crisis,crisis theory,behavioral finance,Hayek,Keynes,Minsky,Schumpeter,Wicksell
    JEL: E12 E13 G01
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Anders Fremstad (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
    Abstract: There are often "gains from sharing" underutilized goods with others. People routinely share tools, media, gear, electronics, toys, space, and vehicles with relatives, friends, and neighbors, and the internet is opening up new opportunities to share them with strangers. Drawing on the work of James Buchanan, Elinor Ostrom, and Yochai Benkler, I develop an economic framework of decentralized sharing. My analysis challenges the implications of simple economic models, which ignore the role of sticky norms and endogenous preferences and, therefore, suggest that people are always sharing at efficient levels. I argue that the online platforms may gradually transform norms and preferences to substantially increase peer-to-peer borrowing and lending. Using data from General Social Survey, the Consumer Expenditure Survey, the online platform NeighborGoods, and my own survey, I estimate the current and potential value of decentralized sharing. I find that today peer-to-peer borrowing is worth at least $179 a year for 30 percent of Americans and at least $774 for 8 percent of Americans. If the online platforms are able to facilitate high levels of sharing among loosely-tied individuals, the annual benefit to the average household would be modest but significant, perhaps one thousand dollars a year. My analysis suggests that that there are significant gains from sharing tools, media, gear, electronics, toys, pets, vacation homes, and lodging, but the largest gains will likely come from sharing privately-owned vehicles.
    Keywords: theory of clubs, theory of households, excludable non-rival goods, decentralized cooperation, reciprocity
    JEL: D10 D70 Q01
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Robin Mansell
    Abstract: This paper illustrates the persistence of an exogenous model of development that underpins many interventions aimed at employing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to meet development goals. The analysis is based on a sample of texts from reports produced by United Nations agencies and the World Bank. The aim is to show how the discourse on ICT interventions invariably is reminiscent of a dominant exogenous model even when alternative models with respect to development are seen to influence policy and practice. It is argued that practice-based, emergence approaches offer an attractive, although insufficient, way forward.
    Keywords: development models; ICT policy; emergence
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2014–07–10
  7. By: Lakhani, Sadaf; Sacks, Audrey; Heltberg, Rasmus
    Abstract: Negative attitudes toward groups in society are widespread and underpin systematic processes of social exclusion that marginalize people and deny them opportunities and dignity. This paper looks at the processes underlying social exclusion. It uses data covering Eastern Europe and Central Asia to study the responses to a simple hypothetical survey question about which specific groups respondents would not like to have as neighbors. Unwelcoming attitudes toward groups such as immigrants, ethnic minorities, the poor, HIV+ individuals, and others are surprisingly common. These attitudes fall into three distinct clusters: intolerance for the poor and for different lifecycle stages; intolerance toward stigmatized attributes and behaviors; and intolerance toward specific identity groups. An empirical analysis of the determinants of attitudes shows that country-specific factors are far more important than socio-economic characteristics. These findings could have important implications for theories about exclusion and for the design of appropriate social inclusion policies. The authors argue that strategies to address social exclusion need to consider ways to change social norms, attitudes, and behaviors toward disadvantaged groups. The paper explores potential entry points for change within formal and informal institutions.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Social Inclusion&Institutions,Disability,Race in Society
    Date: 2014–02–01
  8. By: Oreffice, Sonia (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: This study investigates how spouses' cultural backgrounds mediate the role of intra-household bargaining in the labor supply decisions of foreign-born and US-born couples, in a collective-household framework. Using data from the 2000 US Census, I show that the hours worked by US-born couples, and by those foreign-born coming from countries with gender roles similar to the US, are significantly related to common bargaining power forces such as differences between spouses in age and non-labor income, controlling for both spouses' demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Households whose culture of origin supports strict and unequal gender roles do not exhibit any association of these power factors with their labor supply decisions. This cultural asymmetry suggests that spousal attributes are assessed differently across couples within the US, and that how spouses make use of their outside opportunities and economic and institutional environment may depend on their ethnicities.
    Keywords: culture, gender roles, household bargaining power, labor supply
    JEL: D1 J15 J22
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Maxime Demarais-Tremblay (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre Walras Pareto - Université de Lausanne)
    Abstract: This paper provides an explanation of the emergence of the standars textbook definition of public goods in the middle of the 20th century. It focuses on Richard Musgrave's contribution in defining public goods as non-rival and non-excludable - from 1939 to 1969. Although Samuelson's mathematical definition is generally used in models of public goods, the qualitative understanding of the specificity of pure public goods owes more to Musgrave's emphasis on the impossibility of exclusion. This paper also highlights the importance of the size of the group to which benefits of a public good accrue. This analysis allow for a reassessment of the Summary table of goods which first appeared in Musgrave and Musgrave (1973) textbook.
    Keywords: Richard A. Musgrave; social goods; public goods; non-rivalry; non-exclusion
    Date: 2014–01
  10. By: Truong, T-D.
    Abstract: This paper presents a historical overview of feminist frameworks for analysis and advocacy on human trafficking. It traces the major differences and similarities in the forms of knowledge produced since the Anti-White Slavery campaigns nearly two centuries ago. It highlights how institutional and moral considerations – especially concerning the treatment of the female body as an instrument – have played a role in shaping the conceptual possibilities and directions of politics for change. By tracing the epistemological and ethical tensions in the body of knowledge about human trafficking and the power relations involved in interpreting the question of human dignity and agency, the paper hopes to open new lines for debate and cooperation to address the varying interpretations of the use of force as well as the nature of human agency, decision-making and choice in the business of human trafficking. Attention is given to how, under the forces of globalisation, the unprecedented re-writing the human body, and sexuality (as a source of labour, sexual pleasure, and life itself) demands innovative ways for rethinking the relationship between “sex”, “gender” and “power” – both in theoretical terms and as regards transnational social action.
    Keywords: human trafficking, transnational, global, international, gender, sexuality, prostitution, commercial surrogacy, governmentality, human rights, human dignity
    Date: 2014–01–15
  11. By: Kevin Lewis; Kurt Gray; Jens Meierhenrich
    Abstract: Despite the tremendous amount of attention that has been paid to the internet as a tool for civic engagement, we still have little idea how “active” is the average online activist or how social networks matter in facilitating electronic protest. In this paper, we use complete records on the donation and recruitment activity of 1.2 million members of the Save Darfur “Cause” on Facebook to provide a detailed first look at a massive online social movement. While both donation and recruitment behavior are socially patterned, the vast majority of Cause members recruited no one else into the Cause and contributed no money to it-suggesting that in the case of the Save Darfur campaign, Facebook conjured an illusion of activism rather than facilitating the real thing.
    Keywords: social networks; social movements; social media; online activism; Facebook; Save Darfur
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2014–02–18
  12. By: Peters, Michael
    Abstract: The recent literature on competing mechanisms has devoted a lot of effort at understanding a very complex and abstract issue. In particular, an agent's type in a competitive environment is hard to conceptualize because it depends on information the agent has about what is going on in the rest of the market. This paper explains why this such an important practical problem and illustrates how the literature has 'solved' it.
    Date: 2014–02–19

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