nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
fourteen papers chosen by
Carlo D'Ippoliti
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. A Hayekian Explanation of Hayek's "Epistemic Turn" By Scott Scheall
  2. Women’s participation in agricultural cooperatives in Ethiopia: By Woldu, Thomas; Tadesse, Fanaye; Waller, Marie-Katherine
  3. Why has the literature on corporate governance and firm performance yielded mixed results? By Jimmy A. Saravia
  4. Can Tax Compliance Research Profit from Biology? By Benno Torgler
  5. The Power of Religious Organizations in Human Decision Processes: Analyzing Voting Behavior By Benno Torgler; David Stadelmann; Marco Portmann
  6. Historical Trajectory and Knowledge Embeddedness: A Case Study in the French Perfume Cluster. By Dorota Leszczynska
  7. Measuring the social responsibility discount for the cost of equity capital: evidence from benefit corporations By Everett, Craig R.
  8. Continental Visions: Ann Seidman, Reginald H. Green, and the Economics of African Unity in 1960s Ghana By Gerardo Serra
  9. Homo Animal Ambitiosum: Early Modern Theories Of Sociability Between Commerce And Metaphysics By Julia V. Ivanova
  10. Normas sociales y elección económica: perspectiva crítica a la conceptualización del hombre concreto By Diego Javier Gómez Calderón; Diego Javier Gómez Calderón
  11. The Rich, the Affluent and the Top Incomes: A Literature Review By Medeiros, Marcelo; Ferreira de Souza, Pedro H.G.
  12. The History Of Sociological Research On Occupations And Professions In The Ussr 1960-80s: Ideological Frameworks And Analytical Resources By Roman N. Abramov
  13. "Gender-responsive Budgeting as Fiscal Innovation: Evidence from India on 'Processes'" By Lekha S. Chakraborty
  14. Merger waves and the Austrian business cycle theory By Jimmy A. Saravia

  1. By: Scott Scheall
    Abstract: The present essay investigates F.A. Hayek’s epistemology and his methodology of sciences of complex phenomena for implications relevant to an explanation of Hayek’s own so- called “epistemic turn.” The thesis defended here is that Hayek’s dissatisfaction with his technical economics – in particular, his business cycle project – prompted, in keeping with his evolutionary theory of belief revision, the develo pment of an approach less susceptible to the same disappointment.
    Keywords: Hayek, epistemic turn, methodology, complex phenomena, explanation of the principle
    JEL: B2 B25 B3 B31 B4 B41 B53
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Woldu, Thomas; Tadesse, Fanaye; Waller, Marie-Katherine
    Abstract: This paper uses a rich dataset from a survey undertaken by the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) and the Interna-tional Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2009 in eight woredas in seven regions of Ethiopia with a sample of 1,117 households and 73 agricultural cooperatives. Using descriptive statistics and econometric analysis under a critical gender lens, the paper identifies which cooperative, household, and individual level characteristics influence women’s participation in agricultural cooperatives. The findings suggest that a major barrier to women’s access are gender biases within households, communities, and cooperatives themselves that favor educated male household heads and land owners over resource-poor women.
    Keywords: Cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives, Women, Gender, women empowerment, Women in agriculture., Participation, Gender equality, Household behavior,
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Jimmy A. Saravia
    Abstract: This paper reviews the empirical literature on corporate governance and firm performance and finds that it has yielded mixed results. The paper argues that a primary reason for this situation is that the relevant theories have not been applied to the class of phenomena they were designed to explain. In particular, the literature that focuses on ownership structure and firm performance employs entrepreneurial agency theories of the firm but applies them to managerial firms where ownership is separated from control. This is evidenced by the fact that firms in which managerial ownership is close to zero percent are included in the samples. Conversely, empirical work centered on the relationship between board composition and firm performance (which relies on managerial agency theories of the firm) not only does not make sure that the firms in their samples are characterized by the separation of ownership and control, but it also ignores the alternative managerial agency theory concerning the agency costs of free cash flows. Additionally, the paper maintains that other approaches, such as that which studies the relationship between indices of anti-takeover provisions and firm performance, do not rely on any particular theory and for this reason are beset by problems of interpretation. The paper concludes with recommendations for avoiding the drawbacks and achieving future progress.
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Firm Performance, Agency Theory, Firm lifecycle
    JEL: G31 G34
    Date: 2014–01–01
  4. By: Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Historically, tax compliance has been a highly interdisciplinary avenue of research to which economics, psychology, law, sociology, history, political science, and accountancy have made valuable contributions. It is less well understood, however, whether we can glean useful insights into tax compliance by moving beyond the social sciences. In particular, the literature pays little attention to the relevance of biology. This paper attempts to remedy this shortcoming by examining the potential opportunities and limitations of introducing biological concepts into tax compliance research.
    Keywords: tax compliance; tax morale; tax evasion; biology; genetics
    JEL: H26 B40 B52 C63 D03 Z19
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Benno Torgler; David 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
  6. By: Dorota Leszczynska
    Abstract: Much of the research on clusters refers to trajectories as a central feature of regional development. In this article, we explore changes within a French perfume cluster in order to show how a theory of cluster trajectory could be improved by an analysis of this specific case. Using central concepts from Mahoney’s theory, we analyse the historical sequences of the development trajectory of this regional cluster and put forward a conceptual model and a case study. In particular, we argue that embedded knowledge and innovation influence trajectory sequences in the long and discontinuous history of the cluster. Our research has also led us to identify some types of managerial behaviour that support embedded knowledge.
    Keywords: trajectory, regional development, embedded knowledge, cluster, historical sequences
    Date: 2014–04–29
  7. By: Everett, Craig R.
    Abstract: In 2010, Maryland became the first state to allow firms to incorporate as “benefit corporations,” which are for-profit entities with a social purpose. Since then, nineteen other states have followed. Using survey data from the population of 94 benefit corporations existent at the time of the survey, this paper directly measures the “social responsibility discount” – the degree to which investors in a benefit corporation have a lower required return on equity than they would have for traditional firms. This paper finds that the discount is approximately 35%. This paper also provides unique descriptive statistics about benefit corporations and their founders.
    Keywords: Cost of Capital, Private Capital Markets, Benefit Corporations, Social Enterprise, Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investing
    JEL: G02 G30 L21 M13 M14
    Date: 2013–08–01
  8. By: Gerardo Serra
    Abstract: The paper presents the history of the contribution of two American economists to a radical cause: the establishment of a socialist and politically united Africa. The setting is 1960s Ghana which under Kwame Nkrumah, the man who led the country to independence from British colonial rule, emerged as the epicentre of this Pan-African vision. Ann Seidman and Reginald H. Green became, as members of the research team on ‘The Economics of African Unity’ established at the University of Ghana in 1963, the most sophisticated and systematic advocates of Nkrumah’s economic argument for continental planning and political union. The paper argues that Green and Seidman’s support for Pan- Africanism was rooted in an attempt to question radically the applicability of mainstream economic theory to African conditions, and find an alternative framework to conceptualise African trade, institutions and economic integration. Ultimately the vision associated with Nkrumah and economists like Green and Seidman failed to gain any significant political legitimacy and ended in 1966 with Nkrumah’s overthrow. Yet, it is argued that the story of the ‘economics of African unity’ is a useful departure point to deepen our understanding of the relationship between economics and political imagination in postcolonial Africa.
    Keywords: Ann Seidman, Reginald H. Green, Ghan a, Pan-Africanism, Kwame Nkrumahn
    JEL: B24 B29 B31 P41
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Julia V. Ivanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article deals with the epistemological background of the early modern theories of sociability: taking as a starting point the ‘prudential theorems’ from the sixth chapter of Hobbes’ Leviathan, the author examines in consecutive order the Cartesian foundations of sociability in Samuel Pufendorf’s theory of the natural right, the sensualist scienza del commercio of Celestino Galiani, and the refutation of both Cartesian ‘hypothetical metaphysics’ and ‘politics of merchants’ on the grounds of ‘practical Platonism’ by Paolo Mattia Doria.
    Keywords: Th. Hobbes, natural right, political Platonism, commercial republicanism, political Cartesianism, scienza nuova
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Diego Javier Gómez Calderón; Diego Javier Gómez Calderón
    Abstract: El objetivo de este ensayo es proponer un marco conceptual que dé cuenta del grado de libertady agencia del hombre concreto en el proceso de elección económica. El enfoque utilizado es principalmente hermenéutico, definiendo el acto de elegir como un proceso dinámico del individuo como ser social, proceso que se produce desde la dimensión de un espacio posicional específico. El análisis, al integrar variables como justicia, grado de libertad y grado de agencia,define una posición ética del desarrollo económico, establecido principalmente desde los lineamientos conceptuales de Amartya Sen (y otros autores), lo que permite delinear una aproximacióna la conceptualización del espacio posicional que la sociedad de clases desarrolla, resultado de las relaciones sociales de producción del sistema capitalista.
    Date: 2012–12–27
  11. By: Medeiros, Marcelo; Ferreira de Souza, Pedro H.G.
    Abstract: We review the literature about the rich, the affluent and the top incomes focusing in two issues: identification and measurement, and the analysis of the determinants of richness. The review discusses data sources, indicators, populations and units of analysis used for the identification of the rich, approaches used to construct affluence lines and measures of richness. It also surveysempirical results about the composition of the incomes of the rich and the role of direct determinants of richness, such as individual characteristics, the State and the structure of production. We cover literature since the early twentieth century but give special attention to the research conducted after the 2000s.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2014–04–01
  12. By: Roman N. Abramov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article analyzes of the content and context of research on occupations and professions in Soviet sociology from 1960 to the 1980s. It describes the key topics of observations of professional groups, gives definitions of occupations and professions in Soviet social sciences, and analyzes ideological and censorship restrictions for research and publishing. Sociology of occupations and professions as a separate disciplinary field appeared in Russia only in the late 1990s. Before this time, these topics were integrated into social structure and social stratification observations, research of the working class, intelligentsia, industrial sociology and sociology of organizations. From the 1960s Soviet sociologists searched for new explanatory models and they decided that socio-professional groups were the best criterion for a Soviet social structure description. During 1970-80s researchers of Soviet social structures debated about the place of professional groups. This article analyzes these and other features of sociology of occupations and professions in the USSR. The analysis is based on the bibliographical observations and interviews with Soviet sociologists. This project was supported by Science Foundation of NRU HSE.
    Keywords: professions, history of sociology, occupations, soviet sociology, USSR
    JEL: B24
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Lekha S. Chakraborty
    Abstract: Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is a fiscal innovation. Innovation, for the purposes of this paper, is defined as a way of transforming a new concept into tangible processes, resources, and institutional mechanisms in which a benefit meets identified problems. GRB is a fiscal innovation in that it translates gender commitments into fiscal commitments by applying a "gender lens" to the identified processes, resources, and institutional mechanisms, and arrives at a desirable benefit incidence. The theoretical treatment of gender budgeting as a fiscal innovation is not incorporated, as the focus of this paper is broadly on the processes involved. GRB as an innovation has four specific components: knowledge processes and networking, institutional mechanisms, learning processes and building capacities, and public accountability and benefit incidence. The paper analyzes these four components of GRB in the context of India. The National Institute of Public Finance and Policy has been the pioneer of gender budgeting in India, and also played a significant role in institutionalizing gender budgeting within the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in 2005. The Expert Committee Group on "Classification of Budgetary Transactions" makes recommendations on gender budgeting--Ashok Lahiri Committee recommendations--that will become part of the institutionalization process, integrating the analytical matrices of fiscal data through a gender lens and also the institutional innovations for GRB. Revisiting the 2004 Lahiri recommendations and revamping the process of GRB in India is inevitable, at both ex ante and ex post levels.
    Keywords: Gender-responsive Budgeting; Innovation; Institutions
    JEL: H8
    Date: 2014–04
  14. By: Jimmy A. Saravia
    Abstract: Following standard Austrian School theory, in this paper I identify merger waves as parts of Austrian type business cycles. As indicated by Mises, Rothbard and Hayek, when loan rates are reduced below their natural level through bank credit expansion this falsifies the monetary calculation of capitalist-entrepreneurs. As a result, new investments are initiated that calculation showed were not profitable before the interest rate reduction. On the other hand, the fall in interest rates falsifies households’ appraisals of their income and wealth, which turns them overly optimistic and causes them to over-consume, save less and go into debt. As a consequence of these developments the economy does not have enough resources for the completion of the new projects and businesses must increasingly withdraw the resources from other companies. I conclude that the increase in investment activity and the accompanying “resource crunch” cause a merger wave that helps prolong the boom phase of the cycle. The merger wave ends when the credit expansion is not sufficient to sustain the economic boom (which usually occurs when central banks finally let interest rates rise again and an overextended financial system tightens credit standards) and the bust phase begins. On the other hand, if the newly created fiduciary media does not enter the economy through the loan market to finance business investment, there should be no pronounced and sustained increase in merger activity followed by an economic bust.
    Keywords: Austrian business cycle; merger waves; Austrian; Neoclassical; Behavioral
    JEL: B53 E32 G34
    Date: 2013–11–07

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