nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2014‒12‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. On the Ricardian Invariable Measure of Value: The General Possibility of the Standard Commodity By Kurose, Kazuhiro; Yoshihara, Naoki
  2. Ricardo the ‘Logician’ versus Tooke the ‘Empiricist’: on their different vital contributions to classical economics By Smith, Matthew
  3. Analysing global value chains using input-output economics: Proceed with care By Nomaler Ö.; Verspagen B.
  4. The Sustainable Choice: How Gendered Difference in the Importance of Ecological Benefits Affect Production Decisions of Smallholder Cacao Producing Households in Ecuador By Blare, Trent; Useche, Pilar; Grogan, Kelly A.
  5. Theories of Accounting: Evolution & Developments, Income-Determination and Diversities in Use By Angus O. Unegbu
  6. What is a Workers’ Referendum for? Evidence from Italy By Carbonai, Davide; Drago, Carlo
  7. Luxe, innovations et socialisme. Le cas des cigares cubains By Rémy Herrera
  8. La contribution de l'économie expérimentale à l'analyse de l'efficacité des marchés By Stéphane Robin; Carine Staropoli
  9. Capital, richesse et croissance : de la recherche empirique aux éclairages théoriques By Jean-Luc Gaffard
  10. Does Commercial Microfinance Belong to the Financial Sector? Lessons from the Stock Market By Szafarz, Ariane; Brière, Marie
  11. Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not? By Lucia Foster; Cheryl Grim; John Haltiwanger

  1. By: Kurose, Kazuhiro (Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University); Yoshihara, Naoki (The Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the critical arguments made by Burmeister, Samuelson, and others, with respect to Sraffa (1960). In his arguments about the standard commodity, Sraffa assumed that a change in income distribution has no effect on the output level and choice of techniques, while those critics argue that interdependence among changes in income distribution, output level, and choice of techniques should be taken into consideration in the arguments on the invariable measure of value and the linearity of income distribution. Given this debate, the paper considers general economies with non-increasing returns to scale, where such interdependence is a universal feature, in which a generalisation of the standard commodity is defined. Moreover, it is shown that the generalised standard commodity can serve as an invariable measure of value even in those general economies. Finally, the paper also characterises the necessary and sufficient condition under which the linear functional relation of income distribution is obtained in those economies.
    Keywords: Ricardo’s invariable measure of value, Sraffa’s standard commodity, Linear relation of income distribution
    JEL: B51 D30 D51
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Smith, Matthew
    Abstract: David Ricardo (1772-1823) and Thomas Tooke (1774-1858) were contemporaries in the ‘golden era’ of English classical economics, along with Malthus, Torrens and McCulloch. The central figure in that era was undoubtedly Ricardo with his vital contributions to the ‘core’ analysis of value and distribution. By contrast, Tooke’s vital contributions were mainly to the empirical analysis of prices as well as to the theory of money and prices, the latter made well after Ricardo’s premature death in 1823. Whereas Ricardo can be characterized as the ‘Logician’, the supreme deductive thinker among classical economists; Tooke can be characterized as the ‘Empiricist’, the supreme inductive thinker among classical contemporaries. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between these two economists with their very different approaches to economics and to compare their different but vital contributions to the development of classical economics. We first consider and show the path-making nature of Ricardo’s contribution to the development of the ‘core’ theory of value and distribution. The paper then considers Tooke’s banking school monetary theory, showing it to represent an outright rejection of Ricardo’s well established monetary theory. It is argued that Tooke’s monetary theory provides a more valuable and lasting contribution than Ricardo’s quantity theory of money to the modern development of classical economics. In the brief conclusion we reconcile the different contributions of these two economists to modern classical economics.
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Nomaler Ö.; Verspagen B. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Input-output economics has become a popular tool to analyse the international fragmentation of value chains, especially now that several multi-regional tables that cover large parts of the global economy have become available. It has been argued that these tables, when analysed with the help of the input-output economics toolbox, can provide better insights about global value chains than can be obtained by case studies of individual value chains. We argue that there are several problems related to the aggregated nature of the input-output table that may lead to large distortions and biases in the aggregate picture about global value chains that is obtained by input-output analysis. There are three main sources behind the distortion obtained in static decompositions of value chains the average nature of value added to output ratios in the tables, the emergence of production cycles in the process of aggregating several value chains into a single table, and the characteristic of the so-called inverse Leontief matrix to even out the value added distribution. We provide an overview of how these distortions work, and argue that under a wide range of circumstances, input-output methods tend to overstate the contribution of the final sector to the value chain. We also show that this bias does not vanish when we compare input-output decompositions at two different points in time.
    Keywords: Input-Output Models; Globalization: Macroeconomic Impacts;
    JEL: C67
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Blare, Trent; Useche, Pilar; Grogan, Kelly A.
    Abstract: Ecuadorian women have traditionally been sidelined from full participation in the economy and have lacked equal political rights. Yet, Ecuador has made advances in gender equality in recent years. Women now have greater access to educational and career opportunities, equality in inheritance and martial property rights, and gained positions of authority in Ecuadorian society. However, these advances do not necessarily mean that Ecuadorian women have gained equity with men, especially in rural areas. Even though women legally have been granted greater equality in Ecuadorian society (Correia and van Ironkhorst 2000), many women, especially in rural areas and the coastal region of the country, have not equally participated in these advances. Many of these women have been excluded from utilizing these new rights, participating in economic activities, and being allowed to make important household and farm decisions (ECLAC 2011; Twyman 2012). Our research examines how the changing cultural norms and legal status in Ecuador impact women’s empowerment in the agricultural sector and in rural communities. We study women’s ability to influence household and production decisions. In particular, we examine the common view in the gender literature that sees women as the appropriate target group to mobilize for sustainable production and conservation (Plumwood 1992, Jackson 1993, Agrawal 2010). The cacao sector provides a particularly relevant case because of its economic and ecological importance to Ecuador and the region. This industry employs 12% of Ecuador’s economically active population (CORPEI 2009). In fact, cacao production is often the only source of cash income for many rural Ecuadorian households and traditionally the domain of men, who have usually managed household income and determined the economic activities of the household (ECLAC 2011). Thus, women’s involvement in cacao production is an important indicator of women’s status in a large share of rural Ecuador. The traditional cacao agroforests provide many ecological services such as habitat for many endangered plants and animals. However, they are not as profitable as the monoculture systems. So, smallholder households face a difficult choice between earning larger profits and protecting the ecosystem. Because of these economic and ecological concerns, promotion of cacao agroforests has been the focus of development efforts by the Ecuadorian government, nongovernmental organizations, and international donor agencies (Suarez 2013). Many of these institutions also have the additional goal of empowering women. Past research on gender relations in rural Ecuador only examined the differences in agricultural activities and asset ownership between women and men. There has been little research that examines women’s ability to influence household and production decisions. Due to the laws that protect female property rights, Ecuadorian women own 52% of all assets. However, women in the cacao growing region of coastal Ecuador are less likely to own important agricultural assets such as land than their counterparts in the Andean region, an area culturally distinct from the rest of Ecuador. Coastal women have ownership rights to 49% of agricultural land while women in the Andean had rights to 73% of the agricultural land (Deere and Diaz 2011). Although women may legally own the land, women are generally seen as helpers on cacao farms and are almost entirely excluded from marketing of the product (Ponton Cevallos 2005). Our study builds on this research to better understand women’s influence in the cacao sector and in rural households. We enhance the conjugal contract model developed by Carter and Katz (1997) to include a value for the nonmarket ecological and social benefits in the joint utility function. Through our innovative conceptualization of the model, a household may adopt the production method that does not maximize profits, cacao agroforests, if the utility from more nonmarket benefits are greater than the lost utility from larger profits. Male and female members of the household may differ in the value they place on these nonmarket benefits. Thus, they may have different preferences about whether the household adopts agroforestry or monoculture production systems. Women’s ability to influence production decisions could change the outcome of whether a household adopts production methods that are more sustainable. To determine the value that men and women place on these nonmarket benefits and the ability of women to influence household production decisions, we conducted 320 household interviews throughout coastal Ecuador from February through July, 2013. The household surveys examine not only women’s roles on cacao farms but also who makes production and management decisions on the farms. In addition, we implemented a choice experiment separately with the principle male and female member of the household. The choice experiment consisted of the household member choosing between pictures of two parcels to determine how much more profit he or she would need to receive in order to prefer the monoculture system over the agroforestry system. One picture had characteristics similar to a cacao agroforest and the other similar to a cacao monoculture field. The monoculture parcel was more profitable, but the cacao agroforests included nonmarket benefits. These nonmarket benefits included access to subsistence crops, enhanced soil quality, and a greater diversity of native plants and animals. Each respondent was presented with six choices, where the profits and characteristics of the agroforest differed randomly. By employing a multinomal Logit regression, we were able to estimate the value that men and women place on each of the attributes of the cacao agroforests (Birol et al. 2006) We found distinct differences between men and women in their land use preferences. During the focus group meetings, we discussed the benefits they received from agroforestry production systems. Women were more likely to prefer agroforestry production methods than men were. They were more concerned about food production such as raising plantains, oranges and other fruits than they were about profits. They also were more likely to prefer this production system because of the environmental benefits it provides and the ability to have diversified income sources. Although some men did prefer the agroforestry systems for many of the same reasons as the women did, especially since it provides a method to diversify production and price risk, the men were much more likely to prefer the monoculture system. The opportunity to obtain bigger yields and larger profits was more important to the male participants than the other environmental and social benefits provided by the agroforestry system. Preliminary results show that, despite heterogeneity in preferences across genders, men dominate household spending and production decisions even on the land that is owned by the women or jointly owned by men and women. Men manage the income in 36% of the households, women in 18% and both men and women in 46% of the households. Thus, women have a say in household spending decisions in only 64% of the households interviewed. Women have ownership rights in 44% of the land parcels as 56% of parcels are owned by men, 17% by women and 27% owned jointly. Yet, some women are excluded from managing the parcels they own. Seventy percent of the parcels are managed by men, 8% are managed by women, and 22% are managed by both genders. Women only participate in 30% of land use decisions. Only 17% of participants in agricultural training programs are women. Female empowerment in rural Ecuador, would likely encourage the adoption or continuation of cacao agroforests. Gender equity and female empowerment not only are important moral issue but also have large economic, social, and environmental impacts. Efforts to enhance gender equity in the Ecuadorian cacao sector would likely provide the additional benefits of encouraging the adoption and protection of sustainable production systems. References Agrawal, B. 2010. Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women's Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Birol, E, K. Karousakis, and P. Koundouri. 2006. Using a Choice Experiment to Account for Preference Heterogeneity in Wetland Attributes: The Case of Cheimaditida Wetland in Greece. Ecological Economics 60: 145-156. Carter, M.R. and E. Katz. 1997. Separate Spheres and the Conjugal Contract: Understanding Gender-Biased Development. Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Developing Countries: Methods, Models, and Policy. L. Haddad, J. Hoddinott, and H. Aderman eds. 95-111. Baltimore: John Hopkins. Coporación de Promoción de Exportaciones e Inversiones (CORPEI). 2009. Cacao. Ecuador Calidad de Origen. Quito, Ecuador Correia, M. and B. van Ironkhorst. 2000. Ecuador Gender Review. The World Bank. Washington D. C. Deere, C. D. and J. Contreras Diaz. 2011. Acumulación de Activos: Una Apuesta por la Equidad. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLASCO): Quito, Ecuador. ECLAC (UN Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean). 2010. What Kind of State? What Kind of Equality? Santiago, Chile: ECLAC. Jackson, C. 1993. “Environmentalisms and gender interests in the Third World,” Development and Change, Vol. 24, No. 4. Potón Cevallos, J. 2005. Relaciones de Género en el Ciclo Productivo de Cacao: ¿Hacia un Desarrollo Sostenible?. Master’s Thesis. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLASCO). Plumwood, V. 1992. “Beyond the dualistic assumptions of women, men and nature,” Ecologist, Vol. 22, No. 1 (lYY2), pp. 8-13. Suarez, L. Director of Conservation International Ecuador. Personal Interview. 18 Jul. 2013. Twyman, J. 2012. Intra-Household Distribution of Assets and Wealth in Ecuador. Doctorate of Philosophy Dissertation. University of Florida.
    Keywords: gender, cacao, Ecuador, willingness to pay, choice experiment, Environmental Economics and Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development,
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Angus O. Unegbu
    Abstract: Accounting frameworks follow stipulations of existing Accounting Theories. This exploratory research sets out to trace the evolution of accounting theories of Charge and Discharge Syndrome and the Corollary of Double Entry. Furthermore, it dives into the theories of Income Determination, garnishing it with areas of diversities in the use of Accounting Information while review of theories of recent growths and developments in Accounting are not left out. The method of research adopted is exploratory review of existing accounting literature. It is observed that the emergence of these theories exist to minimize fraud, errors, misappropriations and pilfering of Corporate assets. It is recommended that implementation prescriptions of these theories by International Financial Reporting Standard Committee and Practicing Accountants should be adhered to and simplified so as to avoid confusing and scandalous reporting of financial statements
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Carbonai, Davide; Drago, Carlo
    Abstract: In July 2007, the Prodi government and representatives of the three main Italian trade union confederations signed a landmark agreement on welfare and economic development. In October, in order to ratify or reject the agreement, the Italian labor movement organized a referendum, i.e. the Workers’ Referendum of 2007, inviting workers, pensioners and the unemployed to assess the agreement. Based on a comprehensive sampling (1,574 interviewees), these research notes provide an analysis of the Workers’ Referendum with regard to both key societal voting features and attitudes toward unions.
    Keywords: Union democracy; Workers’ Referendum; Italy; survey research
    JEL: C10 C83 J50 J51 J52 J53
    Date: 2014–11–16
  7. By: Rémy Herrera (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Cet article est consacré aux liaisons entre luxe et innovations dans le cadre d'une économie socialiste. Le cas des Habanos, cigares cubains haut de gamme, tout à fait singulier, en fournit l'application. Après une analyse des tendances majeures du secteur du tabac en général et du tabac de grand luxe en particulier, dans le cas de Cuba, en première partie, l'accent est placé, dans une seconde partie, sur la coexistence de méthodes traditionnelles et des diverses formes d'innovations dans ce secteur. Ces innovations peuvent être d'ordre scientifique et technologique, ou bien liées aux processus de production ou aux produits.
    Keywords: Luxe; innovations; socialisme; cigares; Cuba
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Stéphane Robin (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (UCBL)); Carine Staropoli (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Les premières expériences de marché réalisées par Vernon Smith [1962] ont mis en évidence l'importance des institutions de marché pour l'efficacité des échanges. Ces institutions organisent la communication d'information entre les acteurs du marché et structurent les incitations individuelles qui motivent l'échange. Elles ont une influence sur la dynamique des prix, le volume des transactions, l'efficacité allocative et informative du marché. Au cours des trente dernières années, l'économie expérimentale est devenue une méthode empirique utilisée pour le design de marché dans différents secteurs économiques. Le laboratoire est alors utilisé comme banc d'essai pour étudier les propriétés et mesurer les performances des institutions d'échange dans un environnement simple, contrôlé et reproductible. Dans cet article, nous illustrons l'apport de cette démarche à partir d'une revue des recherches conduites en laboratoire sur le design des marchés électriques.
    Keywords: Economie expérimentale; Design de marché; Institution de marché; Marchés de l'électricité
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Jean-Luc Gaffard (OFCE and SKEMA Business School)
    Abstract: Le livre de Thomas Piketty « Le Capital au XXIèmesiècle » est ambivalent. D’un côté, une lecture théorique trop simple, fondamentalement a-institutionnelle, retient un taux de croissance définitivement exogène et ignore l’hétérogénéité du capital, faisant de la répartition des revenus et des richesses une donnée technique sansinfluence en retour sur la croissance elle-même. D’un autre côté, les faits stylisés rassemblés et les intuitions qui ysont associées incitent réfléchir sur les tenants et aboutissants de la répartition des revenus et des patrimoines pour lui redonner une place centrale dans la théorie économique et lui restituer sa dimension sociale.
    Date: 2014–11
  10. By: Szafarz, Ariane; Brière, Marie
    Abstract: This paper is the first to draw a global picture of worldwide microfinance equity by taking full advantage of daily quoted prices. We revisit previous findings showing that investors should consider microfinance as a self-standing sector. Our results are threefold. First, microfinance has become less risky and more closely correlated with the financial sector. This convergence is associated with a decline in the proportion of women borrowers. Second, microfinance and finance shares have equivalent currency exposure. Last, introducing a self-standing microfinance sector presents few diversification benefits. This paper confirms that microfinance has changed dramatically during the last decade.
    Keywords: Microfinance; South Africa; Kenya; Indonesia; Bangladesh; Mexico;
    JEL: G11 G15 O16 C58 G21
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Lucia Foster; Cheryl Grim; John Haltiwanger
    Abstract: The high pace of reallocation across producers is pervasive in the U.S. economy. Evidence shows this high pace of reallocation is closely linked to productivity. While these patterns hold on average, the extent to which the reallocation dynamics in recessions are "cleansing" is an open question. We find downturns prior to the Great Recession are periods of accelerated reallocation even more productivity enhancing than reallocation in normal times. In the Great Recession, we find the intensity of reallocation fell rather than rose and the reallocation that did occur was less productivity enhancing than in prior recessions.
    JEL: E24 E32 J63 O4
    Date: 2014–08

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