nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2015‒01‒14
fifteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. "The State and National Systems of Innovation: A Sympathetic Critique" By Giovanna Vertova
  2. On the structural-moral foundations of economic activity By Nicholay Pechenin
  3. Understanding Financial Instability: Minsky Versus the Austrians By Van den Hauwe, Ludwig
  4. Biodiversity Prioritisation and Gender By David Martin
  5. Soft Paternalism and Nudging - Critique of the Behavioral Foundations By Pasche, Markus
  6. From the glass door to the glass ceiling: An analysis of the gender wage gap by age groups By Elena Dalla Chiara; Eleonora Matteazzi; Ilaria Petrarca
  7. Gendered and Racialised Constructions of Work in Bureaucratised Care Services in Italy By Sabrina Marchetti; Francesca Scrinzi
  8. Genossenschaften im Dritten Sektor: Situation, Potentiale und Grenzen. Im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Wirtschaftlichkeit und sozialer Zielsetzung By Thürling, Marleen
  9. Land rights knowledge and conservation in rural Ethiopia: Mind the gender gap: By Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Kumar, Neha
  10. The Republic of Open Science : the institution’s historical origins and prospects for continued vitality By David P.A.
  11. Перспективы и проблемы развития "зеленых" инвестиций в России By Yakovleva, Natalia
  12. Social business: A new private sector contribution to development? Reflections on opportunities, limitations, and risks By Kleemann, Linda; Humberg, Kerstin
  13. Female labour force participation in India and beyond By Chaudhary, Ruchika; Verick, Sher
  14. Greening Household Behaviour: Cross-domain Comparisons in Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Using Spatial Effects By Zachary Brown
  15. Normative Behavioral Economics Based on Unconditional Love and Moral Virtue By Vipul Bhatt; Masao Ogaki; Yuichi Yaguchi

  1. By: Giovanna Vertova
    Abstract: This paper starts with a review of the literature about National Systems of Innovation (NSI), by linking the origin of the concept to the evolutionary theory of the firm and innovation. The first point reviews the flaws of the NSI concept by looking at the pioneering works of Chris Freeman, Bent-Ake Lundvall, and Richard Nelson. These authors' definitions of NSI contain some striking aspects: (1) the definitions are so broad that they can encompass almost everything; (2) although all definitions share the central role played by institutions, the state and its policy are not explicitly mentioned; and (3) it is not clear if the NSI concept is a descriptive or a normative tool. The second point we would like to make is that, when the role of the financial system was finally recognized by evolutionary traditions, it was just added as a "new" element within the NSI. The main aim became one of including the financial system within the NSI and looking for the "right" financial system for the "right" type of innovation. After addressing the weaknesses of the conceptualization of the state within the NSI and the difficulty of the evolutionary theory in understanding the financialization of the economy, our third and last point refers to a new way to view innovations. As Mariana Mazzuccato shows, the state has always been a fundamental, though indirect, actor for the development of certain innovations in certain sectors. Yet this is not enough, especially in a period of crisis. The state should direct innovative activities toward more basic and social needs, thus becoming an "innovator of first resort."
    Keywords: Government Intervention; Innovator of First Resort; National Systems of Innovation; Supply-side Economics
    JEL: B52 O30 O38
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Nicholay Pechenin (National Research Nuclear University, Sarov, Russia.)
    Abstract: The article reports on a study of structural-moral foundations of economic activity. The author criticizes the formation of economic theories based on the analysis of human abilities. As an alternative, offered another framework: study of the properties and structure of habitus. The author investigates the source of the progressive development of society and the reasons for the failures of economic activity, shows a link between moral norms and social institutions. Traced the distinctive mission of moral standards of science.
    Keywords: social institution, habitus, moral norms, society, knowledge economy.
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Van den Hauwe, Ludwig
    Abstract: In the wake of the Financial Crisis and the subsequent Great Recession several commentators have suggested that the analysis of financial instability provided by various strands of heterodox economics got it "right" and that mainstream economics got it "wrong". In this paper two variants of heterodox views about financial instability are compared critically: the views of the late Hyman P. Minsky on the one hand, and the theses of the Austrian School on the other. It is concluded that the apparent similarities between both approaches are superficial, while the divergences are profound and fundamental.
    Keywords: Financial Instability, Business Cycle, Minsky, Austrian School
    JEL: B50 B53 B59 E3 E30 E32
    Date: 2014–12–24
  4. By: David Martin (Department of Economics, Davidson College)
    Abstract: Because the financial commitments to preserve biodiversity fall short of what is needed, the elements of biodiversity must be prioritised so that limited funds can be used most effectively. The key issue I address here is the weaknesses of such prioritisation mechanisms with respect to gender concerns. I begin by defining biodiversity and how species are prioritised for preservation. Next, I utilise theories from the existing literature to analyse how each component of the prioritisation is likely biased when ignoring the linkages between biodiversity, gender, and economic development. Finally, I conclude by demonstrating that the net impacts of those biases could lead to either a deflation or an inflation of the ranking for species valued by women and by discussing the implications of that complexity.
    Keywords: Biodiversity, Noah’s Ark, Gender, Women, Development
    JEL: Q57 J16 O13
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Pasche, Markus
    Abstract: This brief note rises doubts on the argument that nudging will help people to behave more rational in terms of their own preferences. This justification of soft paternalism overlooks some methodological problems of expected utility theory which are one of the roots of behavioral economics.
    Keywords: soft paternalism; nudging; behavioral economics, utility theory, rationality
    JEL: B4 D03 D04
    Date: 2014–12–20
  6. By: Elena Dalla Chiara (University of Verona, Italy); Eleonora Matteazzi (University of Trento, Italy); Ilaria Petrarca (University of Verona, Italy)
    Abstract: Using 2009 EU-SILC data for France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, we decompose the gender wage gap for prime age workers. We adopt an age group approach to identify when and how the glass door and the glass ceiling effects arise and their persistency over time. The empirical results verify that the raw gender wage gap increases with age. In all considered countries, the glass ceiling effect is completely realized by the age of 30 and increases over time. French, Italian and British women have also to cope with the glass door as they enter the labor market.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap, labor force participation, wage decomposition, glass ceiling, glass door.
    JEL: C31 C49 J21 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Sabrina Marchetti; Francesca Scrinzi
    Abstract: Scholarship on migrant care work argued that we need to broaden our understanding of the international division of reproductive labour by incorporating into the analysis other agents of social reproduction besides the household such as the non-profit sector, the market and the State. In response to these debates, the article focuses on migrant labour within the bureaucratised care sector, by comparing Latin American and Eastern European women employed in social cooperatives proving home-based elderly care services in Italy. Ethnographic data are used to show how both the workers and the cooperatives’ managers negotiate racialised and gendered constructions of care work and skill. We argue that the dominant gendered and racialised perceptions of paid care as non-skilled ‘feminine’ work, which are at play in private employment, are activated in specific ways in the bureaucratised sector too. Bureaucratised care thus comes into sight as being in strong continuity with the traditional forms of care work, as far as the social construction of the job is concerned. However, it does represent a general improvement for migrant workers in so far as it allows them to achieve better living and working conditions if compared to live-in domestic service.
    Keywords: Care work, Migration, Gender, Eastern Europeans, Latin Americans, Italy
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Thürling, Marleen
    Abstract: Die Genossenschaften sind zurück! Wurden sie lange Zeit belächelt und galten als wirtschaftliches Auslaufmodell, erfreut sich die Rechtsform seit einigen Jahren wieder zunehmender Beliebtheit. Abseits der traditionellen Genossenschaftsbranchen, wie Bankwesen, Landwirtschaft und Wohnen, erlebt die Genossenschaft derzeit so etwas wie eine kleine Renaissance. Bei aller Euphorie über diese Nachricht sollte jedoch nicht vergessen werden, dass die Genossenschaften in ihrer langen Geschichte immer als "Kinder der Not" galten. Sie gründeten sich vor allem dann, wenn Menschen dringend auf Alternativen angewiesen waren, beispielsweise bei der Versorgung mit Wohnraum, Konsumgütern oder Energie. So erscheint es weit weniger erstaunlich, dass sich gegenwärtig viele neue Genossenschaften in den Bereichen Erneuerbare Energien, Gesundheit, Infrastruktur und Soziales gründen. Angesichts knapper öffentlicher Kassen sind es vor allem diese Genossenschaften des "Dritten Sektors", die besondere Potentiale bei der Übernahme und Absicherung bestimmter kommunaler Aufgaben zu bieten scheinen. Auf der Grundlage einer Organisationsbefragung im Dritten Sektor des WZB Berlin werden diese Genossenschaften genauer untersucht. Anhand der Befragungsergebnisse zu Engagement- und Mitgliederstrukturen, Beschäftigung, Finanzierung und Wettbewerb werden die Genossenschaften mit anderen Rechtsformen, wie Vereinen, gGmbHs und Stiftungen verglichen, sowie Unterschiede zwischen neugegründeten und älteren Genossenschaften in den Blick genommen. Die Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass neben der Betonung der vielfältig vorhandenen Potentiale, die die Genossenschaften bei der Erbringung von Versorgungsaufgaben zweifellos bieten, die Grenzen genossenschaftlichen Wirtschaftens nicht aus dem Blick verloren werden sollten. Andernfalls, so meine These, droht die Rechtsform Genossenschaft nicht nur überfrachtet, sondern auch als Rechtfertigung für den Abbau sozialstaatlicher Leistungen instrumentalisiert zu werden.
    Abstract: The cooperatives are back! For a long time, they were belittled and seemed to be an outdated economic model, yet they have become increasingly popular in recent years. Off the beaten track of established cooperative sectors like banking, agriculture or housing, cooperatives are now experiencing a renaissance. Even though this is good news, one has to bear in mind, that in their long history, cooperatives were frequently a response to scarcity, born out of need. They were primarily established when people imperatively had to find alternatives to providing housing, consumer goods or energy. It therefore hardly comes as a surprise that many of the recently established cooperatives can be found in sectors such as renewable energy, health care, infrastructure and social services. In the face of tight public funds, these new cooperatives of the "Third Sector" are first and foremost able to offer special potentials by assuming and securing certain communal tasks. Based on an organizational survey of the Third Sector by the WZB Berlin, this paper offers a detailed analysis of cooperatives. By means of the survey findings regarding members' engagement, the structures of membership, employment situations, funding and the competitive environment, the empirical data will be used to compare cooperatives and other legal forms of organizations like associations, non-profit corporations and foundations. The paper also investigates the difference between newly established cooperatives and long-standing ones. Core findings show that, while cooperatives indeed have strong potentials when it comes to social service provision, it is important to not lose sight of the limitations of cooperative activity. Otherwise, and this is my thesis, cooperatives will not only be overloaded, but also exploited in order to justify cuts in welfare-state social benefits.
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Kumar, Neha
    Abstract: Using the 2009 round of the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey, this paper examines the medium-term impact of the land registration on investment behavior by households, particularly the adoption of soil conservation techniques and tree planting. It investigates whether men’s and women’s knowledge of their property rights under the land registration (as measured by answers to a list of questions regarding the provisions of the registration, covering such areas as tenure security, land transfer rights, and rights related to gender equity and inheritance) has an impact on these investments.
    Keywords: Land rights, Land ownership, Soil conservation, Gender, Women, assets, households, conservation agriculture, Land degradation, legal knowledge, soil conservation practices,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: David P.A. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In most modern economies scientific and technological research activities are conducted in two distinct organizational modes commercially oriented RD based upon proprietary information, and noncommercial open science. When taken together and kept in proper balance, these form a complementary pair of institutionally differentiated sub-systems. Each can work to amplify and augment the productivity of the other, thereby spurring long-term economic growth and improvements of social welfare in knowledge-driven societies. This paper considers the difference between historical origins of open science and its modern, critically important role in the allocation of research resources. The institutional structure of The Republic of Open Science generally is less well understood and has less robust self-sustaining foundations than the familiar non-cooperative market mechanisms associated with proprietary RD. Although they are better suited for the conduct of exploratory science, they also remain more vulnerable to damages from collateral effects of shifts in government policies, particularly those that impact their fiscal support and regulatory environments. After reviewing the several challenges that such policy actions during the 20th centurys closing decades had posed for continued effective collective explorations at the frontiers of scientific knowledge, the discussion examines the responses that those developments elicited from academic research communities. Those reactions to the threatened curtailment of timely access to data and technical information about new research methods and findings took the form of technical and organizational innovations designed to expand and enhance infrastructural protections for sustained open access in scientific and scholarly communications. They were practical, bottom-up initiatives to provide concrete, domain relevant tools and organizational routines whose adoption subsequently could be, and in the event were reinforced by top-down policy guidelines and regulatory steps by public funding agencies and international bodies. The non-politicized nature of that process, as well as its largely effective outcomes should be read cautiously as positive portents of the future vitality of the Republic of Open Science and of those societies that recognize, protect and adequately support this remarkable social innovation.
    Keywords: Property Law; Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives;
    JEL: K11 O31
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Yakovleva, Natalia
    Abstract: The article describes the situation in the industry of the «green» technologies in the world, the perspectives of the development of the «green» investments in Russia, the main problems of implementation and use environmentally friendly technologies, and provides solutions to these problems.
    Keywords: «green» technologies, investment, «green» investments, environmental investments, alternative energy, renewable energy, innovations.
    JEL: Q57
    Date: 2014–12–23
  12. By: Kleemann, Linda; Humberg, Kerstin
    Abstract: Since Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus first began launching joint ventures with multinational corporations (MNCs) in Bangladesh, his social business concept has received international attention. What's the meaning of social business? What can it contribute to poverty reduction, and how does it foster human development? With reference to empirical findings, we illustrate how social business enterprises can create new sources of income, raise productivity and provide low-income consumers with access to products for their basic needs. Yet the findings are not suggestive of a panacea. Social purpose business rather represents a complementary approach to traditional poverty reduction strategies with its own set of opportunities, limitations, and risks. Some of the limitations could be mitigated by means of cross-sector partnerships and development partners creating an enabling environment. The mitigation of risks, however, will require a deliberate regulatory framework and rigorous monitoring and evaluation of impact.
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Chaudhary, Ruchika; Verick, Sher
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on female labour force participation and women’s employment, with the aim of better understanding the drivers of labour market outcomes. This paper also attempts to explore the situation of women globally and in South Asia, through an examination of long-term trends of female employment. It goes further, explaining the reasons for the falling participation of women in the Indian labour market. In doing so, an econometric analysis has been carried out to understand the most important factors that may affect their probability of being in any of the various labour market outcomes, separately for the rural and urban labour markets in India. The findings reveal the importance of education, especially of post-secondary schooling.
    Keywords: labour force participation, women workers, womens empowerment, labour market segmentation, India, South Asia, taux d'activité, travailleuses, autonomisation des femmes, segmentation du marché du travail, Inde, Asie du Sud, tasa de actividad de mano de obra, trabajadoras, potenciación de las mujeres, segmentación del mercado de trabajo, India, Asia del Sur
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Zachary Brown
    Abstract: Discussions of the importance of public attitudes in shaping policy often lack clear evidence on causal relations between stated attitudes and observed behaviours. The 2011 OECD Survey of over 12,000 households allows analysing households’ environmental attitudes and behaviours in five different domains (electricity, food, transport, waste and water). Using econometric analysis, we investigate the relationship between stated environmental attitudes and indicators of civic engagement, such as voting in local elections, charity membership and membership in environmental organisations...<BR>La réflexion sur le rôle des attitudes du public dans l’élaboration des politiques manque souvent d’éléments probants au sujet du lien de causalité existant entre les attitudes déclarées et les comportements observés. L’enquête réalisée par l’OCDE en 2011 auprès de plus de 12 000 ménages permet d’analyser leurs attitudes et comportements environnementaux dans cinq domaines distincts (électricité, alimentation, transports, déchets et eau). Sur la base d’une analyse économétrique, on étudie ce qui lie les attitudes environnementales déclarées à différentes formes d’engagement civique, telles que voter aux élections locales, s’impliquer au sein d’une oeuvre caritative et être membre d’une association de défense de l’environnement.
    Keywords: household survey, behavioural economics, GIS, environmental attitudes, civic engagement, engagement civique, enquête auprès des ménages, attitudes envers l'environnement, SIG, économie comportementale
    JEL: C51 D10 D11 D12 D64 D71 H89 Q50 Q58
    Date: 2014–12–10
  15. By: Vipul Bhatt (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, James Madison University (E-mail:; Masao Ogaki (Professor, Department of Economics, Keio University (E-mail:; Yuichi Yaguchi (Graduate Student, Graduate School of Economics, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan)
    Abstract: An important difficulty in many models of behavioral economics is that preferences are endogenous and unstable. Therefore, preferences may not provide the most desirable yardstick to evaluate social states. This paper proposes unconditional love as a candidate for such a yardstick. The concept of unconditional love, although sublime, is often hard to apply for practical policy recommendations. We propose an intermediary learning stage, where learning to unconditionally love is desirable, and policies that promote such learning are deemed to be good. We illustrate the use of this principle in models of endogenous altruism.
    Keywords: Normative economics, Behavioral economics, Weak Pareto principle, Principle of learning to unconditionally love, Virtue ethics, Endogenous preferences
    JEL: D03 Z18
    Date: 2014–12

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