nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2014‒06‒14
twelve papers chosen by
Carlo D'Ippoliti
La Sapienza University of Rome

  1. The plan vs. market controversy in the Marxist tradition By Stavros Mavroudeas
  2. Complex Financial Networks and Systemic Risk: A Review By Spiros Bougheas; Alan Kirman
  3. Schumpeter and Georgescu-Roegen on the foundations of an evolutionary analysis By Christoph HEINZEL
  4. Agent-Based Computational Models - A Formal Heuristic for Institutionalist Pattern Modelling? By Gräbner, Claudius
  5. Two disputes of methods, three constructivisms, and three liberalisms By Yefimov, Vladimir
  6. The idea of a social cycle By Callahan, Gene; Hoffmann, Andreas
  7. Trading volume and market efficiency: an Agent Based Model with heterogenous knowledge about fundamentals By Vivien Lespagnol; Juliette Rouchier
  8. Human Pro-Social Motivation and the Maintenance of Social Order By Simon Gächter
  10. Das Kooperationsverhalten von Familienunternehmen: Ergebnisse einer empirischen Studie By Taape, Julian
  11. Gender Wage Gap in Poland – Can It Be Explained by Differences in Observable Characteristics? By Karolina Goraus; Joanna Tyrowicz
  12. On Market Economies: How Controllable Constructs Become Complex By Dominique, C-Rene

  1. By: Stavros Mavroudeas (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This paper surveys the ongoing saga of the relationship between plan and market within the Marxist Political Economy.The first part studies the early soviet controversies on this subject. Two opposing main poles are recognised: the first is represented by Preobrazhensky and the second by Bukharin. Furthermore, the theoretical foundations and the implications for economic policy of these two approaches are being clarified. The second part surveys the socialist calculation debate. The third part analyses the Sweezy-Bettelheim debate on the nature of the Soviet Union and the plan-market contradiction.Finally, the last part describes the latest debates on market socialism and attempts to review the positions taken in all the abovementioned debates with regard to the plan-market relationship.
    Keywords: plan, market socialism, Marxism, soviet economics.
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Spiros Bougheas; Alan Kirman
    Abstract: In this paper we review recent advances in financial economics in relation to the measurement of systemic risk. We start by reviewing studies that apply traditional measures of risk to financial institutions. However, the main focus of the review is on studies that use network analysis paying special attention to those that apply complex analysis techniques. Applications of these techniques for the analysis and pricing of systemic risk has already provided significant benefits at least at the conceptual level but it also looks very promising from a practical point of view.
    Keywords: Comlex Financial Systems, Networks, Systemic Risk
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Christoph HEINZEL (Structures et Marchés Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires)
    Abstract: Qualitative change is widely recognised as a defining feature of evolution. Schumpeter and Georgescu-Roegen put it at the centre of their methodological reasoning. I revisit important contributions of these two authors, paying attention to the immediate relationship of the major traits and treated issues between their works. With reference to qualitative change, their joint approach provides answers as to (i) why an evolutionary analysis has to necessarily apply a varied less formal set of methods as compared with modern static and dynamic analysis, (ii) why an evolutionary analysis is a necessary component of economic analysis and (iii) how it can be seen as complementary to modern statics and dynamics. They argued for methodological pluralism, where the choice of methods shall derive from close observation of the subject matter under scrutiny. Georgescu-Roegen’s reasoning shows the necessity of interdisciplinary contributions and the interrelation of economic activity and environmental impact and constraints, putting environmental issues immediately on the evolutionary economics agenda. The paper provides a new ground for evaluating Georgescu-Roegen’s own and their joint contribution to modern research.
    Keywords: Schumpeter, Georgescu-Roegen, Qualitative change, Evolution, Evolutionary methodology, changement qualitatif, économie évolutionnisteenvironnement, activité économique
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Gräbner, Claudius
    Abstract: Institutionalist economists have always been criticizing the neoclassical way of studying the economy, especially because of its obsession to a very strict and flawed formalism. This formalism receives critique also from advocates of agent-based computational economic (ACE) models. The criticism seems to be similar to that of institutional economists. Although some authors consider ACE models to belong to a completely new way of thinking about economics, many concepts of ACE have been anticipated by institutionalists: Although using a different vocabulary, ACE proponents speak about cumulative causation, realistic agents, explanatory models, dynamic relations among individuals and the necessity to see the economy as an systemic whole rather than from an atomistic perspective. Consequently, the emergence of the ACE framework may not be left unconsidered by institutionalist economists. This paper investigates the consistency of ACE models with the institutionalist research program as defined by Myrdal, Wilber and Harrison and other original institutionalists and discusses whether ACE models can be a useful heuristic for institutionalist "pattern modelling". I study the ability of ACE models to provide a holistic, systemic and evolutionary picture of the economy, the conception of agents in ACE models, and ask whether they can help to understand the social stratification of a society with its power relations. I also compare ACE models with earlier attempts to formalize institutionalist analysis, e.g. by Bush and Elsner (Theory of Institutional Change), Hayden (Social-­Fabric-Matrix) or Radzicki (System Dynamics).
    Keywords: Original Institutional Economics, Methodology, Epistemology, Ontology, Agent-Based Computational Economics, Critical Realism
    JEL: B41 B52 C63
    Date: 2014–06–02
  5. By: Yefimov, Vladimir
    Abstract: The paper proposes to reconsider radically the methodology and history of economics, whether present day mainstream or heterodox versions of it. The profession of economists must definitely abandon Cartesian dualism and adopt Vygotskian constructivism. In fact constructivist economics already existed in the past and was cognitively very successful and socially very useful. It was the economics of Gustav Schmoller’s historico-ethical school and the institutionalist economics of John R. Commons, traditions of which are totally ignored by the contemporary community of economists. The former tradition was based on Dilthey’s hermeneutics and the latter on Peirce’s pragmatism. It is worth to underline that hermeneutics and pragmatism are both predecessors of Vygotskian constructivism. During the last two decades a lot was written by economists on pragmatist, constructivist and discursive approaches to the methodology and history of economics, but those who wrote on these topics viewed them from the dualistic point of view. My paper is an appeal to economists to reconsider Methodenstreit. The dispute of methods between Schmoller and Menger can be considered as a repetition of a similar dispute taking place more than two hundred years earlier between Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes. Schmoller-Menger dispute started soon after the beginning of the institutionalisation of experimentally-oriented economics which happened with the creation in 1873 of the Verein für Sozialpolitik. Boyle-Hobbes dispute started in 1660, when the Royal Society of London had been founded, the cradle of the institution of science. Schmoller was one of the creators of the Verein and Boyle was one of the founders of the Royal Society. The activities of both societies were similar in several respects: they represented efforts to collect data, working out of detailed reports and collective evaluation of obtained results. For Hobbes, as for Menger, the model of ‘science’ was geometry. Boyle and Schmoller privileged collecting and analysing data. Boyle did win the dispute, Schmoller did loose. It happened because of different attitudes of powerful groups in societies towards natural scientific experimental research and experimental social research. They were interested in the former and they saw much more danger than benefit for them in the latter. On the contrary they were interested in abstract theoretical constructions justifying the market vision of society and laissez-faire. This kind of constructions corresponded to deeply enrooted scholastic traditions of European universities to teach theology and linked with it philosophy. In the framework of these traditions mathematics was considered as a summit of the scientific approach. On the one hand the adoption of constructivism by economists would turn their discipline into a science functionally close to natural sciences. On the other hand the Vygotskian constructivism, as a social and political philosophy, once accepted by economists, may lead them to become preachers of the communitarian liberalism with its emphasis on social responsibility, deliberative democracy, and discourse ethics.
    Keywords: Methodenstreit; social constructivism; constructivist epistemology and ontology for economics; constructivist history of economics; economic policy and deliberative democracy; economic philosophy and discourse ethics, communitarian liberalism.
    JEL: A1 A11 A13 A14 B0 B4 B41
    Date: 2014–05–15
  6. By: Callahan, Gene; Hoffmann, Andreas
    Abstract: The paper aims to explore what it means for something to be a social cycle, for a theory to be a social cycle theory, and to offer a suggestion for a simple, yet, we believe, fundamentally grounded schema for categorizing them. We show that a broad range of cycle theories can be described within the concept of disruption and adjustments. Further, many important cycle theories are true endogenous social cycle theories in which the theory provides a reason why the cycle should recur. We find that many social cycle theories fit with a two-population disruption and adjustment model similar to the well-known predator-prey model. This implies that a general modeling framework could be established for creating agent-based models of many social cycle theories. --
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Vivien Lespagnol (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS); Juliette Rouchier (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of investor’s bounded rationality on market dynamics. In an order driven market, we consider a few-types model where two risky assets are exchanged. Agents differ by their behavior, knowledge, risk aversion and investment horizon. The investor’s demand is defined by a utility maximization under constant absolute risk aversion. Relaxing the assumption of perfect knowledge of the fundamentals enables to identify two components in a bubble. The first one comes from the unperceived fundamental changes due to trader’s belief perseverance. The second one is generated by chartist behavior. In all simulations, speculators make the market less efficient and more volatile. They also increase the maximum amount of assets exchanged in the most liquid time step. However, our model is not showing raising average volatility on long term. Concerning the fundamentalists, the unknown fundamental has a stabilization impact on the trading price. The closer the anchor is to the true fundamental value, the more efficient the market is, because the prices change smoothly.
    Keywords: Agent-based modeling, market microstructure, fundamental value, trading volume, _efficient market
    JEL: C63 D44 G12 G14
    Date: 2014–05
  8. By: Simon Gächter (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This chapter presents some insights from basic behavioural research on the role of human pro-social motivation to maintain social order. I argue that social order can be conceptualised as a public good game. Past attempts to explain social order typically relied on the assumption of selfish and rational agents ("homo economicus"). The last twenty years of research in behavioural and experimental economics have challenged this view. After presenting the most important findings of recent research on human pro-sociality I discuss the evidence on three pillars of the maintenance of social order. The first pillar is internalised norms of cooperation, sustained by emotions such as guilt and shame. The second pillar is the behaviour of other people who typically are "conditional cooperators" willing to cooperate if others do so as well. This motivation can sustain cooperation if enough people cooperate but can jeopardise social order if many others follow selfish inclinations. The third pillar are sanctions meted out to anyone who does not cooperate; ideally punishment can work as a mere threat without being executed much. The chapter also presents some evidence on the cross-cultural variability of some findings, in particular with regard to punishment behaviour. The chapter concludes with remarks on future research.
    Keywords: social order; social dilemma; pro-sociality; strong reciprocity; moral emotions; social norms; conditional cooperation; punishment; rule of law
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Marta Kuc (Nicolaus Copernicus University)
    Abstract: The main goal of this article is to analyze the existence of social convergence in Europe. In the literature, an emphasis is put on an economic convergence, often without taking into consideration the social convergence. However, from the point of view of sustainable development social area is as much important as economic one. In this paper social convergence refers to a reduction in the dispersion of the standard of living across countries. Due to the fact that the standard of living is an interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional category which is difficult to quantified in a direct manner, the synthetic variable was used as it’s approximation. In order to verify that the social convergence process has place in Europe the occurrence of sigma and beta-convergence was tested. The analysis was conducted for 30 European countries in 2005-2011. The empirical material was taken from databases published by Eurostat, Euromonitor and the World Health Organization. The results indicate that in 2005-2011 the ?-convergence occurred. However, the pace of that convergence is very slow. During analyzed period, ß-convergence also appeared, which means that in countries with a lower standard of living (e.g. Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Estonia) a faster rate of improvement of the standard of living was observed, than in countries with higher standard of living (e.g. Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland).
    Keywords: social convergence, the standard of living, beta convergence, sigma convergence, multidimensional analysis
    Date: 2013–02
  10. By: Taape, Julian
    Abstract: Dieses Arbeitspapier nimmt Bezug zu den Forschungssträngen der Fa-milienunternehmensforschung sowie der Kooperationsforschung. Trotz ihrer großen wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung existieren bislang wenige empirische Untersuchungen, die Analysen des Kooperationsverhaltens von Familienunternehmen durchführen. Die vorliegende Arbeit zeigt, dass Familienunternehmen entgegen entsprechender Vermutungen mehrheitlich kooperieren. Auch wird gezeigt, dass Kooperationen eine für Familienunternehmen relevante Facette der Gestaltung ihrer wirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten darstellen. Als Erweiterung vorheriger Erkenntnisse kann gezeigt werden, dass Familienunternehmen vornehmlich informelle Verfahren zur Partnerwahl nutzen. Auch wird gezeigt, dass Familienunternehmen eine deutliche Präferenz für Kooperationen mit anderen Familienunternehmen aufweisen. -- This working paper is related to the fields of family business research and research of interfirm cooperation. In spite of the economic importance of family enterprises, there exists limited insight into their cooperative behaviour. The present paper shows that contrary to common beliefs the majority of family enterprises engages in interfirm cooperation. Moreover, evidence for the overall importance of interfirm cooperation to family businesses is presented. As an extension of preceding results, this paper shows that family businesses predominantly use informal methods of partner selection. Furthermore, evidence is presented for the preference of family enterprises to engage in cooperation with other family enterprises.
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Karolina Goraus (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: The raw gender wage gap over the period 1995-2012 amounts to app. 9% of hourly wage and is fairly stable. However, the raw gap does not account for differences in endowments between genders. In fact, the adjusted wage gap amounts to as much as 20% on average over the analyzed period and shows some cyclical properties. The estimates of adjusted gender wage gap do not seem to exhibit any long-term trends, which suggest that in general neither demographic changes nor the progressing transition underlie the phenomenon of unequal pay for the same work among men and women.
    Keywords: Wage gap, discrimination, decomposition, Oaxaca-Blinder, Nõpo, non-parametric estimation
    JEL: J21 J70
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Dominique, C-Rene
    Abstract: Since Lėon Walras neoclassical economists hold an inalterable belief in a unique and stable equilibrium for the economic system, which remains to this day unobservable. Yet that belief is the corner stone of other theories such as the ‘Efficient Market Hypothesis’ as well as the philosophy of neo-liberalism, whose outcomes are shown by recent events to be flawed. A modern market economy is indeed a nonlinear controllable construct, but this paper uses the affine nonlinear feedback H-control to show that the ‘data requirement’ precludes all attempts at the empirical verification of the existence of a stable equilibrium. In a complex nonlinear deterministic systems, equilibria, whether multiple or deterministically chaotic, depends on their parameter values and uncertainties. The best approach suggested is to focus on endurable patterns thrown-off by such systems.
    Keywords: Equilibrium, nonlinearity, controllability, nonlinear-feedback, H-control, data requirement, complexity.
    JEL: C0 C02 C6 C61 C67
    Date: 2014–06–09

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