nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2014‒04‒29
thirteen papers chosen by
Carlo D'Ippoliti
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. Innovation in institutional collaboration By Fowler, A.F.
  2. Cartel Detection and Collusion Screening: An Empirical Analysis of the London Metal Exchange By Samà, Danilo
  3. Trust-Based Work-Time and Product Improvements: Evidence from Firm Level Data By Godart, Olivier; Görg, Holger; Hanley, Aoife
  4. Energy transition and behavioural change in rural areas - The role of energy cooperatives By Timo Kaphengst; Eike Karola Velten
  5. Quantifying and Explaining Stickiness in Housing Rents: A Turkish Case Study with Micro-Level Data By Aysoy, Cem; Aysoy, Cevriye; Tumen, Semih
  6. Pathways of transnational activism: A conceptual framework By Zajak, Sabrina
  7. Gender Pay Gaps among Highly Educated Professionals: Compensation Components Do Matter By Grund, Christian
  8. Disabled People’s Financial Histories: Uncovering the disability wealth-penalty By Abigail McKnight
  9. The Seafood Sector in Ireland. An Assessment of the Employment Effects of Seafood Production Growth Targets By Amaya Vega; Ana Corina Miller; Cathal O'Donoghue
  10. Analysis of Herd Behavior Using Quantile Regression: Evidence from Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) By Malik, Saif Ullah; Elahi, Muhammad Ather
  11. In search of economic reality under the veil of financial markets By Josef Falkinger
  12. Is There a Cooperative Bank Difference? By Leonardo Becchetti; Rocco Ciciretti; Adriana Paolantonio
  13. Bridging the Gap for Roma Women: The Effects of a Health Mediation Program on Roma Prenatal Care and Child Health By Bejenariu, Simona; Mitrut, Andreea

  1. By: Fowler, A.F.
    Abstract: The world is said to be confronted with complex issues working against the long term well-being of people and planet that can only be effectively addressed through (hyper) collective effort. How necessary collaboration comes about and progresses shows numerous approaches, professional specialisations, studies and examples. However, there is little in the way of a comprehensive, comparative perspective examining the instigator(s) of diverse collective action objectives and participants in co-creative relationships for societal change that are maintained over time and brought to fruition. More critically, organisational innovations suggest that what currently exists to tackle intractable problems by getting institutions and their organisational actors to cooperate needs updating. Past approaches to collaboration are not good enough for operating in tomorrow’s conditions. Drawing on Actor Network Theory, this paper therefore explores a category of actant – an interlocutor – as potentially crucial in committing to, arranging and holding together complex collective action engagements. From multiple angles and using examples of organisational innovation, the analysis considers the interplay between interlocutor attributes and interlocution processes. A preliminary conclusion is that a combination of characteristics exhibited by an interlocutor offers a helpful category to explain and bring about multi-institutional problem solving. As importantly, increasing the number and variety of interlocutors across the world may be an agenda worth pursuing.
    Keywords: interlocutor, institutions, innovation, collective action, actor networks
    Date: 2014–04–14
  2. By: Samà, Danilo
    Abstract: In order to fight collusive behaviors, the best scenario for competition authorities would be the possibility to analyze detailed information on firms' costs and prices, being the price-cost margin a robust indicator of market power. However, information on firms' costs is rarely available. In this context, a fascinating technique to detect data manipulation and rigged prices is offered by an odd phenomenon called Benford's Law, otherwise known as First-Digit Law, which has been successfully employed to discover the ``Libor Scandal'' much time before the opening of the cartel settlement procedure. Thus, the main objective of the present paper is to apply a such useful instrument to track the price of the aluminium traded on the London Metal Exchange, following the allegations according to which there would be an aluminium cartel behind. As a result, quick tests such as Benford's Law can only be helpful to inspect markets where price patterns show signs of collusion. Given the budget constraints to which antitrust watchdogs are commonly subject to, a such price screen could be set up, just exploiting the data available, as warning system to identify cases that require further investigations.
    Keywords: Benford's Law, Cartel Detection, Collusion Screening, Competition Authorities, Data Manipulation, Monopolization, Oligopolistic Markets, Price Fixing, Variance Screen
    JEL: C10 D40 L13 L41
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Godart, Olivier (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Görg, Holger (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Hanley, Aoife (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: We explore whether the introduction of trust based working hours is related to the subsequent innovation performance of firms. Employing a panel data set of over 5,000 German establishments, we implement a propensity score matching approach where we only consider firms that did not use trust based work contracts initially. Our results show that firms which adopt such contracts tend to be between 11 to 14 percent more likely to improve products. These results hold when we control for another form of flexible time work arrangements, namely working time accounts. Thus, the positive relationship between the adoption of trust based working hours and innovation seems to be driven by the degree of control and self-management over working days, rather than by merely allowing time flexibility.
    Keywords: trust based work time, innovation, firm performance
    JEL: M54 M12
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: Timo Kaphengst; Eike Karola Velten
    Abstract: The overall aim of this study is to investigate energy transition processes in rural areas by paying particular attention to the role of energy cooperatives in these processes. The study should mainly uncover, if and under which conditions energy cooperatives provide favourable structures for initialising transition processes in rural areas and involving relevant stakeholders. A particular focus will be on the question of agency in energy transition processes and the internal drivers and motivations of the people to become involved in energy cooperatives. The theoretical background of the study is the transition theory and transition management (TM) concept, which we complement by drawing on Practice Theory and social learning in order to explain behavioural changes. The study mainly builds on an empirical case study in the Rhön-Grabfeld district in Northern Bavaria (Germany). Several energy cooperatives were formed there recently through the support and promotion a small rural consultancy. In addition, the results from the case study will be complemented by and compared with other case studies from Denmark and Spain taken from the literature. One of the main research question will be, to what extent energy cooperatives can be considered a good practice example for participatory involvement in transition processes and to what extent does this have an influence on the inner drivers/motivations of actors in this transition, possibly leading to behavioural changes.
    Keywords: Academic research, Behavioural economics, Post-industrialisation, Social development, Social innovation, Socio-ecological transition, Transition research
    JEL: D83 Q01 Q28
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Aysoy, Cem; Aysoy, Cevriye; Tumen, Semih
    Abstract: Using a national panel of housing units, this paper documents that the rate of nominal rigidity in housing rents is high in Turkey between 2008 and 2011. We find that, on average, 31.5 percent of the rents did not change from year to year in nominal terms. We then ask if the incidence of nominal rigidity depends on the turnover status of the housing unit. We show that 35.4 percent of the nonturnover units had rigid rents, while for only 17.1 percent of the turnover units rents did not change. We also present evidence that grid pricing is associated with more than half of the nominal rigidity in housing rents in our sample. The household- and individual-level determinants of the nominal rigidity in rents and turnover status are also investigated using the micro-level details available in our dataset. We document that, relative to the low-income tenants, high-income tenants are less likely to have rigid rents and they are also less likely to change units frequently. This finding suggests that search and moving costs impose frictions that amplify the opportunity costs of high-income tenants; thus, they are more likely to agree on reasonable rent increases for the purpose of saving time and reducing emotional stress.
    Keywords: Housing rents; nominal rigidities; turnover; grid pricing
    JEL: E31 R21 R31
    Date: 2014–04–07
  6. By: Zajak, Sabrina
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel analytical framework to study transnational activism in the context of today's international governance architecture. While there is a considerable amount of literature on the emergence, development, and effects of transnational activism in specific transnational governance arrangements or within a specific local context, an integrated framework that analyzes the dynamic interplay between activism, transnational institutions, and domestic contexts is still lacking. The framework of transnational pathways of influence intends to help close this gap. It integrates insights from social movement research on transnational collective action and insights from institutional theorists on institutional interactions. The framework consists of three major concepts: the concept of intra-pathway dynamics captures the relationship of mobilization and institutional chance within one path; the concept of inter-pathway dynamics encompasses institutional interactions and interdependencies between activism across paths; and the concept of the global-local link characterizes the relationship of activism within each path to local actors, the domestic context, and the political regime. The paper outlines this framework and exemplifies it by taking the case of transnational labor-rights activism targeting labor-rights violations in a strong and nondemocratic state: the People's Republic of China. It shows that the study of activism across different transnational pathways over time is necessary to understand the combined effects of activist interventions, institutional co-evolution and interaction as an explanation of the process of selective convergence between global norms and local practices. -- Der Beitrag präsentiert einen neuen Ansatz zur Analyse transnationalen Mehrebenenaktivismus in der globalen Governance-Architektur. Der besondere Fokus liegt auf dem Zusammenspiel zwischen Aktivisten, multiplen transnationalen Institutionen und dem lokalen Kontext. Kern des Analyserahmens bilden drei Konzepte: Intra-Pfad-Entwicklungen beschreiben die Interaktion zwischen Mobilisierung und institutionellem Wandel innerhalb eines Pfades; Inter-Pfad-Dynamiken umfassen institutionelle Interaktionen und Interdependenzen zwischen Aktivismus in verschiedenen Pfaden; und der global-lokale Link erklärt das Verhältnis von Aktivisten in den einzelnen Pfaden zu lokalen Akteuren, dem lokalen Kontext und dem politischen Regime. Der Analyserahmen wird anhand des Beispiels von transnationalem Arbeitsrechtsaktivismus, der gegen schlechte Arbeitsbedingungen in chinesischen Lieferbetrieben mobilisiert, erörtert. Es zeigt sich, dass die Analyse von transnationalem Aktivismus entlang verschiedener Pfade und im Zeitverlauf nötig ist, um die Wirkung des Zusammenspiels verschiedener Effekte - transnationale Interventionen, institutionelle Ko-Evolution und Interaktion - zu verstehen: Nur in ihrem Wechselspiel führen diese Prozesse zu einer selektiven Konvergenz zwischen globalen Normen, nationalen Rechten und lokalen Praktiken.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: Making use of panel data from a survey of highly educated professionals, gender pay gaps are explored with regard to total compensation as well as to individual compensation components. The results indicate meaningful male-female wage differentials for this quite homogeneous group of people working in one specific industry: in particular for more experienced employees in higher positions of firm hierarchies with children. Gender pay gaps are much more pronounced for bonus payments than they are for fixed salaries.
    Keywords: bonus payments, fixed salaries, gender wage gap, management compensation
    JEL: M52 J31 J33
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Abigail McKnight
    Abstract: It is well established that on average disabled people and the households in which they live face greater financial disadvantage in terms of income than their counterparts. What is less well understood is how they fare in terms of their wealth status. In this paper we use data from two large scale social surveys to examine the relationship between disability status and household wealth holdings. We find that overall disabled people have substantially lower household wealth and all components of wealth (property, financial, pension, physical) than non-disabled people but even these average differences mask important lifecycle patterns. The incidence of disability increases with age and the effect of this is that disabled people are on average older than non-disabled people. As wealth accumulation also increases with age up to retirement the effect is that average differences understate the true disability wealth-penalty. People who experience disability later in life have been in a stronger position to accumulate assets over their working lives than people who experience disability over the crucial wealth-accumulation stage (35-64 years) of the lifecycle. The full extent of the disability wealth-penalty can only be observed by looking at age or lifecycle profiles. We find evidence of cumulative disadvantage related to disability longevity and cumulative advantage to remaining disability free. Part of the disability wealth-penalty can be accounted for by lower average levels of education among disabled people and by their lower position in the socio-economic classification (NS-SEC) reflecting lower profiles of lifetime earnings and household income. The evidence points to a situation where disabled people have been unable to save and accumulate assets to anything like the extent of their non-disabled peers most likely through lower long term income and extra costs associated with disability. This puts them at a disadvantage in terms of being able to draw on an asset in times of need when expenditure needs exceed current levels of income, lower pension wealth on entering retirement and less likely to be in a position to benefit from the 'asset-effect' and more generally is a matter of concern in terms of equality and social mobility.
    Keywords: wealth, disability, inequality, lifecycle
    JEL: D31 D63
    Date: 2014–04
  9. By: Amaya Vega (Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) School of Business and Economics Room 338, JE Cairnes Building, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland); Ana Corina Miller (Department of Agriculture and Food Economics, Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute, Belfast; Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin); Cathal O'Donoghue (Rural Economy Research Centre, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway)
    Abstract: This paper examines the potential economic impact of the Irish government strategy for the development of the seafood sector in Ireland, Food Harvest 2020 (FH2020). The seafood industry accounts for a large proportion of income and employment in peripheral coastal areas. Many of these regions are predominantly rural and they are largely dependent on the primary fisheries sector. Moreover, the services and retail businesses in these areas are heavily dependent on direct spending from the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors. A social accounting matrix (SAM) approach with (1) set to zero purchase coefficients for all directly impacted industries and (2) changes in output converted to final demand shocks is used to calculate the economic and employment impact on the rest of the economy from an increase in the output in the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors in Ireland. The results suggest fisheries sectors have strong links with the rest of the economy hence an important economic impact from a policy perspective.
    Keywords: Economic impact, social accounting matrix, Irish seafood sector, employment multiplier
    JEL: D58 F13 O52 Q18
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Malik, Saif Ullah; Elahi, Muhammad Ather
    Abstract: The objectives of this paper are to explore the herd behavior in the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) by using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Quantile Regression analysis for normal as well as bullish (up) and bearish(down) market conditions. Greed stimulates people to make increasingly risky investments and therefore investors tend to follow one another blindly and ignore rational analysis. Herd behavior can be defined as when investor ignore available information and follow other investors during investment decision making. The results show the existence of herding in KSE during normal and both bullish and bearish markets. The analysis of herding is important because the mistakes of investors at the collective level may result in an inefficient pricing of assets. The results of this paper may help to avoid psychological traps linked with investing and are important for both investors and those regulatory institutions responsible for securing the strength of financial systems.
    Keywords: Herd Behavior, Greed, Quantile Regression, Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE)
    JEL: C21 G02
    Date: 2014–04–01
  11. By: Josef Falkinger
    Abstract: This paper presents a general equilibrium model with technological uncertainty, financial markets and imperfect information. The future consists of uncertain environments that are more or less clearly distinguishable (measurable). This limits the possibilities of specialization and diversification. Households have no direct information about the productivity of risky technologies. They rely on the information conveyed by the set of financial products provided by the financial sector, the pay-off promises of the products and their prices. Unreliable information-processing by financial markets leads to deception of households. As a result, extending the space spanned by financial products is not unambiguously good. This suggests a policy rule which ties financial innovations to the experience base of the economy.
    Keywords: Real and financial economics, incomplete knowledge, risk and uncertainty, financial crisis, size of financial sector, responsible finance
    JEL: D53 D83 G01 G21 B41
    Date: 2014–04
  12. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Rocco Ciciretti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Adriana Paolantonio (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO))
    Abstract: We compare characteristics of cooperative and non cooperative banks at world level in a time spell including the global financial crisis. Cooperative banks have higher net loans/total assets ratio, lower income from non traditional activites and lower shares of derivatives over total assets than non cooperative banks. From an econometric point of view, we find that the cooperative bank specialization has a positive and significant effect on the net loans/total assets ratio in the overall sample period and in the post financial crisis subperiod. Derivatives (both in terms of assets and revenues) have a quantitatively strong and significant negative effect on the same dependent variable during both time spells. We finally document that, in a conditional convergence specification, the net loans/total assets ratio is positively and significantly correlated with the value added growth of the manufacturing sector with the exception of the two extremes of self-financing sectors and sectors in high need of external finance.
    Keywords: cooperative banking; finance and investment; global financial crisis.
    JEL: G21 O40 E44
    Date: 2014–04–17
  13. By: Bejenariu, Simona (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Mitrut, Andreea (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Roma, Europe’s largest minority, face poverty, social exclusion and life-long inequalities, despite the intensified efforts to alleviate their plight. Surprisingly, despite substantial funding aimed at improving Roma outcomes, there is a very little evidence on the effectiveness of these programs. This is the first paper to analyze the Roma Health Mediation Program (RHM), a large-scale public health program implemented first in Romania and developed further in other countries, whose main aim was to improve the health status of pregnant and postpartum Roma women and children, with the help of specially trained Roma health mediators. Using unique registered data from Romania, we exploit the spatial and temporal variation in implementation dates of the program to investigate the effects of the RHM on prenatal care take-up rates and child health. We find that the program had a very large impact on the take-up of prenatal care services, but this improvement was not reflected in the health outcomes at birth of Roma children. However, we do find evidence of decreased stillbirths and infant deaths after the program implementation.
    Keywords: Roma; exclusion; poverty; program take-up; health at birth
    JEL: I14 J13 J15
    Date: 2014–04–15

This nep-hme issue is ©2014 by Carlo D'Ippoliti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.