nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
29 papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Complexity: A Review of The Classics By Bernardo Alves Furtado; Patrícia Alessandra Morita Sakowski
  2. Does evolution lead to maximizing behavior? By Alger, Ingela; Lehmann, Laurent; Weibull, Jörgen
  3. Spontaneous order and social norms. Hayek’s theory of socio-cultural evolution By Gedeon, Péter
  4. Creative forces for entrepreneurship: The role of institutional change agents By Welter, Friederike; Smallbone, David
  5. Is there a monetary growth imperative? By Strunz, Sebastian; Bartkowski, Bartosz; Schindler, Harry
  6. General Equilibrium Theory - Walras versus post-Walras Economists: “Finding Equilibrium” - Losing Economics By Ezra Davar
  7. Ladies and Gentlemen: Gender Identity and Financial Risk-Taking By Zetterdahl, Emma; Hellström, Jörgen
  8. Stock Market Dynamics, Leveraged Network-Based Financial Accelerator and Monetary Policy By Riccetti, Luca; Russo, Alberto; Gallegati, Mauro
  9. Wall Street’s Cultur By Tiberiu Brãilean; Aurelian-Petrus Plopeanu
  10. Imports contents, value added generation and structural change in morocco: input output analysis By Ezzahid, Elhadj; Chatri, Abdellatif
  11. Sen is not a capability theorist By Antoinette Baujard; Muriel Gilardone
  12. Do We Need More Women in Power? Gender, Public Policy, and Development in Bolivia By Patricia Yáñez-Pagans
  13. Structural Change in the Brazilian Economy in the 2000s By Alexandre Messa
  14. A Survey of the Literature on Environmental Innovation Based on Main Path Analysis By Nicolò Barbieri; Claudia Ghisetti; Marianna Gilli; Giovanni Marin; Francesco Nicolli
  15. Bringing power back in: A review of the literature on the role of business in welfare state politics By Paster, Thomas
  16. The Bangladesh gender gap in education : biased intra-household educational expenditures By Shonchoy, Abu S.; Rabbani, Mehnaz
  17. Non-profit Institutions’ Funding Resources in the Time of Crisis: Market or Government? By Vladimír Hyanek; Zuzana Prouzová
  18. International reserves in the era of quasi-world money By Labrinidis, George
  19. Niger’s 2005 Food Crisis and Child Malnutrition: the Role of Exogenous and Policy Factors By Giovanni Andrea Cornia; Laura Deotti
  21. Capital Controls and Financial Liberalization: Removing the Ideological Bias in Light of the Contribution of Keynes and Others and the Recent Experience By André de Melo Modenesi; Rui Lyrio Modenesi
  22. Backscratching in Hierarchical Organizations By Valeria Maggian; Natalia Montinari; Antonio Nicolò
  23. Decision making in politics and economics: 6. Empirically constructing the German political spectrum By Tangian, Andranik S.
  24. The role of Islamic Microfinance in Poverty Alleviation: Lessons from Bangladesh Experience By Dhaoui, Elwardi
  25. How do female migration and gender discrimination in social institutions mutually influence each other? By Gaëlle Ferrant; Michele Tuccio
  26. The Latin American Middle Class: Fragile After All? By Francesca Castellani; Gwenn Parent; Jannet Zenteno
  27. Corporate social responsibility in Islam By Elasrag, Hussein
  28. The forms of world money By Labrinidis, George
  29. A paradox of reforming pensions in Poland By Anna Zabkowicz

  1. By: Bernardo Alves Furtado; Patrícia Alessandra Morita Sakowski
    Abstract: This text was written as part of the project Modelling of Complex Systems for Public Policy. It reviews the classical authors who jointly contributed to establish the elements of what could constitute a “science of complexity”. Based on the original writings of these authors, the text discusses the central concepts of complex systems: i) the interaction between (homogeneous or heterogeneous) agents and the environment; ii) emergence and self-organization; iii) the importance of nonlinearity and scales; iv) the determinism of rules; v) the emphasis on dynamics and feedback; and vi) the notions of adaptation, learning and evolution. Finally, contemporary criticisms are presented. They suggest that the arguments of complex systems do not support the epistemological establishment of a supposedly new science, but they do not reject the advances proposed by complexity studies. Este texto está inserido no projeto Modelagem de Sistemas Complexos para Políticas Públicas e faz uma resenha dos autores clássicos que, em conjunto, contribuíram com os elementos do que seria uma “ciência da complexidade”. Com base no pensamento original destes autores, os conceitos centrais de sistemas complexos são discutidos, a saber: i) a interação entre agentes (homogêneos ou heterogêneos) e o ambiente; ii) as propriedades emergentes e a auto-organização; iii) a importância da não linearidade e das escalas; iv) as regras e seu determinismo; v) a ênfase na dinâmica e retroalimentação; e vi) as noções de adaptação, aprendizado e evolução. Por fim, críticas contemporâneas são apresentadas. Elas sugerem que os argumentos de sistemas complexos não sustentam epistemologicamente a constituição de suposta nova ciência, mas não rejeitam os avanços propostos nos estudos de complexidade.
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Alger, Ingela; Lehmann, Laurent; Weibull, Jörgen
    Abstract: A long-standing question in biology and economics is whether individual organisms evolve to behave as if they were striving to maximize some goal function. We here formalize the \as if" question in a patch-structured population in which individuals obtain material payoffs from (perhaps very complex) multimove social interactions. These material payoffs determine personal fitness and, ultimately, invasion fitness. We ask what goal function, if any, individuals will appear to be maximizing, in uninvadable population states, when what is really being maximized is invasion fitness at the genetic level. We reach two broad conclusions. First, no simple and general individual-based goal function emerges from the analysis. This stems from the fact that invasion fitness is a complex multi-generational measure of evolutionary success. Second, when selection is weak, all multi-generational effects of selection can be summarized in a neutral type- distribution quantifying identity-by-descent within patches. Individuals then behave as if they were striving to maximize a weighted sum of material payoffs (own and others). At an uninvadable state it is as if individuals choose their actions and play a Nash equilibrium of a game with a goal function that combines selfishness (own material payoff), Kantian morality (group material payoff if everyone does the same), and local rivalry (material payoff differences).
    Keywords: maximizing behavior, game theory, inclusive fitness, invadability, Nash equilibrium
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Gedeon, Péter
    Abstract: Hayek's theory of socio-cultural evolution is a generalization of his theory on spontaneous market order. Hayek explains both the emergence of market and social institutions serving as a social basis for that order within the framework of a unified evolutionary logic. This logic interprets the emergence and survival of spontaneous order and group-level rules of conduct as an unintended consequence of human action. In order to explain the emergence of social norms exclusively on the basis of methodological individualism, one would have to give up an exclusively evolutionary explanation of these norms. Since Hayek applies the invisiblehand explanation to the investigation of social norms, he combines the position of methodological individualism with functionalist-evolutionary arguments in his analysis. Hayek's theory of socio-cultural evolution represents a theory in the framework of which methodological individualism and functionalism do not crowd out but complement each other.
    Keywords: socio-cultural evolution, invisible-hand explanations, spontaneous market order, social norms, methodological individualism, functionalism
    JEL: A13 B25 B52 B53
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Welter, Friederike; Smallbone, David
    Abstract: The paper reviews the current discussion on institutional change and institutional entrepreneurship. Specifically, it focuses on institutional change agents, by which we mean individuals whose actions can be shown to have contributed to formal or informal institutional change, to the benefit of the wider economy or society as well as to themselves. It aims to explore their antecedents and behaviours, and the contingent factors contributing to institutional change, both intentionally and unintentionally. We find that the concept of institutional entrepreneurship does not provide an adequate conceptual underpinning for incorporating human agency into institutionalised theory. We therefore argue that a focus on institutional change agents may be more productive. Whilst institutional theory recognises the impact of institutions on entrepreneurs and individuals, this paper draws attention to the role of human agency for institutional change. Institutional change can happen intentionally and as an unintended by-product of entrepreneurial or organisational 'path-dependent' behaviour. The implication of this is that it is not only intentional behaviour which contributes to institutional change, but rather any entrepreneurial behaviour which implicitly or explicitly questions existing institutions. Thus, the paper adds to the current debate on institutional entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: institutional entrepreneurship,human agency,entrepreneurship context
    JEL: B52 D02 L26
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Strunz, Sebastian; Bartkowski, Bartosz; Schindler, Harry
    Abstract: We do not know; but simplistic answers to the title's question should be mistrusted. In this paper, we first provide a literature overview, laying out the vast diversity of theories on the role of monetary aspects for economic growth both within mainstream growth theory and within heterodox perspectives. In fact, completely contradicting results have been derived from a variety of reasonable theories. Based on this literature survey, we explore the narrative background of the most prominent theories as each of them is related to and justified by a distinct narrative. For instance, mainstream growth textbooks are based on the assumption that "money is a neutral medium of exchange" while other approaches hold that "zero interest rates are a precondition for a stationary economy". We show how these narratives - though they may well contain some truth - lend themselves to serve as myths, which rather inhibit than facilitate our understanding of the complex relationship between monetary variables and economic growth. Finally, we discuss consequences for the degrowth debate in terms of practical proposals for overcoming assumed growth imperatives as well as theoretical consequences.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Ezra Davar (r)
    Abstract: This paper shows that the post-Walras general equilibrium theory is irrelevant to real contemporary economic life. The main achievement of modern General Equilibrium Theory is the proof of equilibrium’s existence. It might be that the proof of the equilibrium existence is a mathematical achievement, but the question is whether these proofs are harmonious with the economic situation in reality. This paper traces concisely how Walras’s theory has been became causing economic science to deviate in an erroneous direction and reaching a deep crisis; because post-Walras’s economists, since Pareto, have misunderstood and misinterpreted Walras’s economic theory. This group of Post-Walras authors (Pareto, Cassel, Schlesinger, Wald, and von-Neumann, Hicks, Keynes, Lange, and Patinkin) then recast Walras’s theory into incorrect and wrong form; their error further compounded when a later group of economist-mathematicians (Arrow, Debreu, Friedman, Samuelson, Solow and others) accepted their interpretation without reservation. Post-Walras’s economists ignore Walras’s less known assumptions and blame him for disregarding the problem of equilibrium existence, uniqueness and stability and comparative-static. Therefore, their main objective since the beginning of the 20th century was the rigorous proof of equilibrium existence. However, this proof was based on unrealistic assumptions and along the road the goal of economics was lost. The nine crucial, unrealistic assumptions will be considered and will illustrate that modern general equilibrium theory is irrelevant to real economics and is also far removed from Walras’s general equilibrium theory.
    Keywords: Walras; post-Walras; General Equilibrium Theory; Modern Theory; Unrealistic Assumptions
    JEL: A1 B2 D5 E4
    Date: 2015–04
  7. By: Zetterdahl, Emma (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics); Hellström, Jörgen (Umeå School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: Novel empirical evidence indicates the importance of gender identity and gender norms on individuals’ financial risk-taking. Specifically, by use of matching and by dividing male and females into those with “traditional” versus “nontraditional” gender identities, comparison of average risk-taking between groupings indicate that over a third (about 35-40%) of the identified total gender risk differential is explained by differences in gender identities. Results further indicate that risky financial market participation is 19 percentage points higher in groups of women with nontraditional, compared with traditional, gender identities. The results, obtained while conditioning upon a vast number of controls, are robust towards a large number of alternative explanations and indicate that some individuals (mainly women) partly are fostered by society, through identity formation and socially constructed norms, to a relatively lower financial risk-taking.
    Keywords: Gender Identity; Financial Risk-Taking; Risky Share; Asset Allocation
    JEL: D01 D14 G02 G11 J16
    Date: 2015–04–08
  8. By: Riccetti, Luca; Russo, Alberto; Gallegati, Mauro
    Abstract: In this paper we build an agent-based model based on a threefold financial accelerator: (i) leverage accelerator - negative shocks on firms' output make banks less willing to loan funds, and firms less willing to make investments, hence a credit reduction follows further reducing the output; (ii) stock market accelerator - due to lower profit, firms' capitalization on the stock market decreases, thus the distance-to-default (DD) diminishes and it reinforces the leverage accelerator; (iii) network-based accelerator - the network structure may propagate the initial shock possibly resulting in an avalanche of bankruptcies. In this framework, we find that stock market volatility may damage the real economy if the stock market is too relevant. In particular, an increase of volatility worsens the economic performance through the stock market accelerator effect. Moreover, our findings have relevant implications for monetary policy.
    Keywords: Agent-based modeling; stock market; leverage; network; volatility; fnancial accelerator; monetary policy.
    JEL: C52 C63 E32 G01
    Date: 2015–04
  9. By: Tiberiu Brãilean (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi); Aurelian-Petrus Plopeanu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi)
    Abstract: Modern finance has become a very complicated field, which raises many questions about its economic and social mission. Many bankers’ ignorance of complex knowledge and care for the future are hostile ingredients that transform the markets’ volatility, through spillover effects, into economic and financial crisis and social anomy. What fuels the wildfire does not necessarily mean black swan events, but often it is the result of (un)conscious and (un)intended decisions of certain economic policy makers. The current financial system is discredited. It is necessary to reform the financial institutions and practices, with the core principle that money should serve the economy and society and not vice versa. In a world of financial capitalism, a world driven by money and adjacent institutions appear to be defective and unjust to many of us. The conflicts’ arena must be manageable. The hopes rely on the institutions that represent financial capitalism, institutions erected by people, and where they do not work, they have to be changed.
    Keywords: crisis, financial system, elite, reform, morality
    JEL: E5 F3 N20
    Date: 2015–04
  10. By: Ezzahid, Elhadj; Chatri, Abdellatif
    Abstract: Our main goal in this paper is to classify productive sectors according to the combination of two effects. The first effect lies in the change of their external dependency on imported inputs. The second effect is related to the change of their ability to generate value-added by unit of final demand. To perform this ordering of productive sectors, we use an input-output model after domesticating inter-industries tables of flows for the period 1999-2009. The domestication of the available matrix of intermediate consumption is necessary because the statistical authority in Morocco does not distinguish between imported and domestically produced inputs. Two of our results worth to be highlighted. First, the imports elasticity with respect to growth is superior to unity. This means that 1% increase of Gross Domestic Product produces an increase of imports of more than 1%. The second result is that there are no productive sectors belong to the most virtuous classes of sectors characterized by an increase of their ability to generate more value added and to reduce their reliance on imports. The higher imports dependency (leakages) is the consequence of increased openness of the Moroccan economy, but also from lower linkages between domestic productive sectors.
    Keywords: Input-output analysis, Backward linkages, Leakages, Structural change, Value added, imports Morocco.
    JEL: C67 D57
    Date: 2015–04–02
  11. By: Antoinette Baujard (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, F-42000, France); Muriel Gilardone (Normandie Université, UNICAEN, CREM CNRS UMR 6211)
    Abstract: This paper aims to show that, contrary to the standard understanding of his work, Sen’s idea of justice does not consist in the defense of a capability theory. Under the dominant capability-centered view, Sen’s idea of justice is indeed characterized principally by a switch of focus from utility to capability. We demonstrate that this view amounts to the application of formal welfarism to capabilities. We reject this characterization and defend instead a heuristic account of the status of capability in Sen’s thought: capability was introduced to make a point against welfarism, but this does not imply that a commitment to a capability theory. The capability-centered view is shown to be inconsistent with Sen’s idea of justice, because the latter requires agents to be involved in the definition of their own welfare. Our study of the status of capability in Sen’s view of justice enables us to relocate his main contribution and to build the basis for an alternative theory of justice.
    Keywords: Capability, welfarism, justice, operationalization, paternalism, agency, public reasoning
    JEL: A13 B41 D63 D79 I31
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Patricia Yáñez-Pagans
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impacts of increasing female representation in Bolivian municipal councils on public policy choices and welfare outcomes. By combining detailed administrative panel data on municipal expenditures and revenues together with electoral data, an innovative regression discontinuity design (RDD) is applied. As opposed to previous studies, the RDD approach proposed is unique since it is implemented to systems of proportional representation. Findings indicate that municipalities with women councilors devote more resources to social investments. In particular, women politicians prioritize education, health, and environmental protection expenditures giving less attention to infrastructure investments. The impacts of higher female representation appear only some years after the elections, highlighting the importance of training and experience. Despite changes in public policy choices there is weak evidence on the links with final welfare outcomes.
    Keywords: Gender Equality, Women, Elections, Public expenditure, Public policy choices, Female representation, Municipal councils, Public policy choices, Gender equality, Bolivia
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Alexandre Messa
    Abstract: This paper investigates the sources of structural change in the Brazilian economy in the 2000s. On that purpose, it uses the input-output structural decomposition analysis and introduces a method to correct the influence of prices on the time behavior of the technical coefficients, making them actually represent changes in the production structure. Results show that most of the growth differential between services and industry in that period was induced by the production structure: more precisely, by a lower intermediate consumption of domestic industrial inputs by the production chain of all economic sectors, concomitant with a higher intermediate consumption of services. Este artigo investiga as fontes de mudanças estruturais na economia brasileira ao longo da década de 2000. Para tal, utiliza-se a análise de decomposição estrutural de insumo-produto e introduz-se um método que corrige a influência dos preços sobre o comportamento dos coeficientes técnicos ao longo do tempo, fazendo com que estes reflitam de fato a evolução da estrutura produtiva. Os resultados obtidos mostram que a maior parte do diferencial de crescimento ente os serviços e a indústria durante aquele período foi induzida pela estrutura produtiva: mais precisamente, por um menor consumo intermediário de insumos industriais domésticos pela cadeia produtiva de todos os setores da economia, concomitante a um maior consumo intermediário de serviços.
    Date: 2015–01
  14. By: Nicolò Barbieri (Deptartment of Economics. University of Bologna, Italy.); Claudia Ghisetti (Deptartment of Economics and Management. University of Ferrara, Italy.); Marianna Gilli (Deptartment of Economics and Management. University of Ferrara, Italy.); Giovanni Marin (IRCrES-CNR, Italy; OFCE-SciencesPo, France.); Francesco Nicolli (IRCrES-CNR, Italy; Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara, Italy.)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on environmental innovation (EI) and systematizes it by means of an original methodology identifying the main directions in which the literature on EI has developed over time. In order to do so, two algorithms are adopted and used to analyze a citation network of journal articles and books. The main path analysis reveals that this literature revolves around the following topics: i) determinants of EI; ii) economic effects of EI; iii) environmental effects of EI; and iv) policy inducement in EI. Each of these topics is discussed and implications from the main findings as well as possible future research extensions are outlined.
    Keywords: Environmental Innovations; Green Technologies; Citation Network Analysis; Main Path Analysis
    JEL: O32 Q55
    Date: 2015–04
  15. By: Paster, Thomas
    Abstract: What is the impact of business interest groups on the formulation of public social policies? This paper reviews the literature in political science, history, and sociology on this question. It identifies two strands: one analyzes the political power and influence of business, the other the preferences and interests of business. Since the 1990s, researchers have shifted their attention from questions of power to questions of preferences. While this shift has produced important insights into the sources of the policy preferences of business, it came with a neglect of issues of power. This paper takes a first step towards re-integrating a power-analytical perspective into the study of the role of business in welfare state politics. It shows how a focus on variation in business power can help to explain both why business interest groups accepted social protection during some periods in the past and why they have become increasingly assertive and averse to social policies since the 1970s.
    Abstract: Wie beeinflussen Unternehmensverbände die Gestaltung staatlicher Sozialpolitik? Dieses Papier bietet einen Überblick über die politikwissenschaftliche, geschichtswissenschaftliche und soziologische Forschungsliteratur zu diesem Themenfeld. Es identifiziert zwei Forschungsstränge: Einer befasst sich mit politischer Macht und Einflussnahme von Unternehmen und der andere mit deren sozialpolitischen Interessen und Präferenzen. Seit den 1990er-Jahren verlagert sich der Schwerpunkt der Forschung vom ersten zum zweiten Strang. Diese Verlagerung brachte wichtige neue Einsichten in die sozialpolitischen Präferenzen von Unternehmen, führte jedoch zu einer Vernachlässigung von Fragen nach Ursachen und Stärke des politischen Einflusses von Unternehmen. Der Bericht versucht, die machtanalytische Perspektive in die Untersuchung der Ausgangsfrage - wie Unternehmensinteressen Sozialpolitik beeinflussen - zu reintegrieren. Durch diesen Blick auf die verschiedenen Ausprägungen politischen Einflusses kann erklärt werden, warum Unternehmensverbände sozialpolitische Reformen in bestimmten Perioden akzeptierten, jedoch seit den 1970er-Jahren staatlicher Sozialpolitik zunehmend kritisch gegenüberstehen.
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Shonchoy, Abu S.; Rabbani, Mehnaz
    Abstract: By investigating the educational expenditure of children over the ten years (2000 to 2010), we evaluate whether there exists any gender specific discrepancy at the household level and the trend of such discrepancy over the years. Using three rounds of nationally representative Household Income & Expenditure Surveys this study reveals that households spend less on education for their school-going girls compared to boys. By disaggregating the total expenditure into fixed and variable components, we find persistent gender imbalance in educational expenditure where households provide better quality of education for boys. Moreover, we find that gender based discrepancy has a very persistent trend and does not show any significant sign of narrowing the gap over the years. Cohort wise difference-in-difference estimation also reveals that the gap has initially widened and later converged but has not diminished beyond the initial level of discrepancy, which may warrant targeted policy intervention.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, Home economics, Household, Education, Gender, Intra-household, Expenditure, Discrepancy
    JEL: D13 J16 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  17. By: Vladimír Hyanek (Masaryk university); Zuzana Prouzová (Masaryk university)
    Abstract: According to the theory, there are reasons to assume that non-profit institutions (NPI) behave specifically, in the way that is significantly different from the behaviour typical for both for-profit and public service providers. We focus on the research question whether NPIs, in tough times of economic crisis. And such specific “under pressure” behaviour represents the key topic of this paper. Paper investigates NPIs´ reactions to the distinctive changes of the economic environment in the 2008 – 2013 when Czech NPIs were relatively strongly affected by the crisis, although this affection probably haven’t been as heavy as in some other European countries. Non-profit institutions (NPI) are characterized by their multi-source funding when payments from end-consumers are relatively low. The most reliable data sources are Annual National Accounts and the Satellite Account of NPIs, presenting macroeconomic data. In this article we focus on structure of NPI funding resources changes in tough times of economic crisis. The paper derives from the preliminary results of our extensive research project focused on the impact of public financing on the structure of resources and production of non-profit institutions. This project utilizes a quantitative representative questionnaire survey of non-profit institutions. In this article we focus on a specific area of public social services only. The proposed paper seeks to prove that existing data sources do not capture the real/complex structure of NPI funding resources and will identify the shortcomings of the macroeconomic data and their scope.
    Keywords: non-profit institution; non-profit funding; economic crisis; system of national accounts; social services
    JEL: L31 L38
    Date: 2015–04
  18. By: Labrinidis, George
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on the modern monetary arrangements from a Marxist perspectives, following the recent developments of the Marxist theory of world money. The paper treats the US Dollar as a primus inter pares quasi-world money and challenges the argument of the US hegemony by exploring the behavior of major capitalist states and selected developing countries as far as their official international reserves are concerned. The findings reveal a clear pattern in the behavior of major capitalist states in terms of size and forms, although the degree varies implying a hierarchical structure of the corresponding quasi-world moneys. Although part of a vast literature on international reserves, the analysis focuses on developed countries and treats them individually. The merit of this approach is that it reveals the above mentioned pattern which is blurred when Japan is included. The results imply that current international monetary arrangements promote multipolarity and competition in the geopolitical scene, the evolution of which is historical.
    Keywords: International reserves, quasi-world money, US Dollar, Gold
    JEL: B51 E58 F3 F31
    Date: 2014–10–12
  19. By: Giovanni Andrea Cornia (University of Florence); Laura Deotti (Save the Children Italia)
    Abstract: Between March and August 2005 Niger was hit by a doubling of millet prices and a sharp rise in the number of severely malnourished children admitted to feeding centres. The extent and causes of such crisis remain controversial. The paper reviews the evidence in this regard in the light of the main famine theories. It concludes that the decline in food output recorded at the end of 2004 explains little of the food crisis which was due to the entitlements failure of several household groups, the malfunctioning of the regional and domestic millet markets, and policy mistakes in the fields of food security, food relief and health financing.
    Keywords: child malnutrition, food prices, famine, food security, public policy failure
    JEL: I O Q Q
    Date: 2015–03
  20. By: Paulina Szyja (Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny im. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej)
    Abstract: Starting from the crisis on the real economy in 2008 it has been developed an intense discussion, supported by a number of declarations on the global scale, about the need for changes in the economy. A huge impact on this state of affairs was the analysis of the causes and effects of the economic downturn and the challenges of the future. As a result, some states have taken action to remedy the situation. Many of them were aimed at structural changes in production, consumption and environmental friendly investment. At the same time gained in importance the concept of "low carbon economy" and "green economy". The aim of this paper is to present the role of the state in the economy in terms of creating conditions for a green economy. The thesis of publication is: implementation of structural changes connected with creating a green economy requires the involvement of the state.
    Keywords: sustainable development; environment; state; a green economy; energy
    JEL: E12 O20 O38 O44 P48 Q01 Q28 Q30 Q32 Q43
    Date: 2015–04
  21. By: André de Melo Modenesi; Rui Lyrio Modenesi
    Abstract: o label the defense of capital controls (CC) as a left-wing proposal is a misconstruction. Such labeling uses the Borsa economicist criterion, which reduces the dichotomy between right and left to a distinction between liberalism and interventionism. Yet, under this criterion, the use of CC cannot be labeled as a leftist proposal. The interventionism underlying the defense of CC, as pioneered by Keynes and developed by Tobin, Davidson, Stiglitz and Rodrik, is not the fruit of an ideological conviction favoring widespread and indiscriminate State intervention. For them, CC are instruments to be used under specific economic circumstances. To call CC a practice typical of left-wing governments is also a misinterpretation. Among the countries using strict forms of CC since the 1990’s–Chile, China, India, Malaysia and Thailand–only China’s government may be called leftist. The other countries’ political panorama is more complex than may suppose those who believe in a simple and direct relationship between CC and political ideology. The discussion should be stripped of the prevalent ideological bias: CC are not inherent to the political leanings of the governments that adopt them but are an expedient used under a pragmatic justification. Recognizing this is an important step toward a more objective analysis of the incidental opportunity of using CC, without prejudice. CC should be used whenever the benefits surpass the costs of their implementation. Rotular o controle de capitais como uma proposta da esquerda é um duplo equívoco. Tal rotulação tem como base critério economicista à Borsa, que reduz a dicotomia entre direita e esquerda à distinção liberalismo econômico versus intervencionismo. Além disso, o intervencionismo econômico subjacente à defesa do controle de capitais por parte dos autores analisados (Keynes, Tobin, Davidson, Stiglitz e Rodrik) não é fruto de convicção ideológica em prol de ampla e indiscriminada interferência do Estado na economia. Para eles, controles são instrumentos de utilização tópica, justificada pragmaticamente, ou seja, de acordo com circunstâncias econômicas específicas. Taxar o controle de capitais como prática de governos de esquerda também é incorreto. Dos cinco principais países que usaram controle de capitais a partir da década de 1990 – Chile, China, Índia, Malásia e Tailândia –, só o governo chinês pode ser considerado de esquerda. O panorama político dos demais países é muito mais complexo do que supõem os que acreditam haver uma relação simples e direta entre o controle de capitais e o posicionamento ideológico dos governos que o praticam. Reconhecer isso é um importante passo na direção de uma avaliação mais objetiva da eventual oportunidade de se adotar controle de capitais, sem preconceito. Controles devem ser usados sempre que os benefícios de sua adoção suplantem os custos.
    Date: 2015–01
  22. By: Valeria Maggian; Natalia Montinari; Antonio Nicolò
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the role of reciprocity in sustaining the emergence of implicit collusive agreements in hierarchical organizations. We conduct a laboratory experiment in which an agent hires, on behalf of the principal, one worker out of two candidates. The two candidates differ in their ability and, once employed, the worker chooses a level of non-contractible effort to exert in two tasks: one benefits the organization (that is both the principal and the agent) while the other one is less profitable, only benefits the agent and provides him with higher earnings. We provide evidence that: i) low ability workers are more likely to exert effort in the task that is exclusively beneficial to the agent; ii) as a consequence, agents distort the hiring process in favor of the low ability workers and iii) sharing a small part of the organization's profits with the workers alleviates their effort distortion.
    Keywords: Con ict of Interest, Effort Distortion, Profit Sharing, and Reciprocity
    JEL: C91 J50 L14 M52
    Date: 2015–04
  23. By: Tangian, Andranik S.
    Abstract: The advocates of modern western democracy promote the viewpoint that the class division of the society is becoming outdated. We attempt to disprove this statement with an example of 28 German parties who participated in the 2013 federal election. The official party positions on 38 policy issues are considered and the parties are identified with vectors of this 38-dimensional policy space. The statement in question, that there is no predominant political axis, would imply that the party vectors are scattered homogeneously, making a ball-shaped cloud of 'observations'. However, the Prime Component Analysis (PCA) shows that the party vectors constitute a thin ellipsoid whose two longest diameters cover 83.4% of the total variance. The consequent party ordering is the left-right axis rolled in a circumference, making the far-left and far-right ends meet. Basing on this empirical evidence, we conclude that neither the left-right characterization of parties nor the class opposition is outdated. Next, it is shown that the electoral success is highly correlated with the number of party members, but not with the party's capacity to represent public opinion. For this purpose, a representativeness index is defined which measures how well the party policy profiles match with the results of 36 public opinion polls on 36 out of the 38 policy issues mentioned. To reveal representativeness trends, the parties are ordered contiguously, with neighboring parties having close policy profiles. This contiguous ordering is found with four optimization methods: (1) dimensionality reduction by means of PCA, (2) traveling salesman problem to construct the shortest chain of proximate parties, (3) least squares to minimize the distances between parties with close profiles, and (4) largest squares to maximize the distances between parties with opposite profiles. The most salient trend is observed for the circular left-right party ordering found with the PCA. The best representatives of public opinion are the moderate left, next come the far-left and the far-right, and the least representative are moderate right (conservative) parties. All of these imply the following warning. Since the collapse of communism damaged significantly the image of the left, their election today looks hardly probable, but the power can be taken by the next-representative far-right parties who already represent public opinion better than the currently governing conservative party.
    Date: 2015
  24. By: Dhaoui, Elwardi
    Abstract: In the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the poverty has been a main challenge since the last decades and its alleviation is one of the country’s strategic goals to achieve MDGs by 2015 to fight poverty and improve the standards of living of underprivileged population. Micro and SME financing have been playing important role in poverty reduction by creation a gainful employment opportunities. The Islamic banks and the Islamic windows of conventional banks in Bangladesh should pursue vigorous promotion of Islamic micro and medium scale enterprise (SME) finance, in step with the country's concerted efforts for faster poverty eradication with deeper, wider financial inclusion. This paper determined the role of the Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation efforts in Bangladesh and how this role can be enhanced. It was intended to establish and recommend Islamic microfinance and its principles that could raise poverty reduction and economic development in the country. Especially, this paper tries to answer the following questions: Can Islamic microfinance help alleviate poverty? Should Islamic finance “innovation” include innovative ways to alleviate poverty? Because an institution is “Islamic” does this mean it has a particular obligation to invest in economic or community development? How does the concept of Islamic microfinance operate to serve the goal of poverty alleviation in Bangladesh? For this purpose, this paper tries to give some possible reflections that help us to develop the analytical tool that may help us to improving the way towards the amplification of the analysis paradigm.
    Keywords: KEYWORDS: Microfinance, Islamic Microfinance, Poverty, Shari’ah & IMs, Bangladesh.
    JEL: G0 G2 G21
    Date: 2015–03–20
  25. By: Gaëlle Ferrant; Michele Tuccio
    Abstract: Using the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) from the OECD Development Centre, this paper provides evidence of the two-way relationship between gender inequality in social institutions and South-South migration. Discriminatory social institutions in both origin and destination countries are one additional determinant of female migration. Gender inequality appears to be both a pull and a push factor for migrant women. On one hand, higher gender discrimination at home reduces female emigration, since women’s restricted opportunities and low decision-power limit their possibility to move abroad. On the other hand, lower discrimination in the destination country attracts female immigration. However, they have no significant impact on male migration, suggesting that male and female incentives to migrate differ.<BR>Cet article étudie l’influence réciproque entre discriminations de genre au sein des institutions sociales et migration. D’un côté, le niveau de discrimination de genre dans les institutions sociales du pays d’origine et du pays d’accueil influence significativement la migration des femmes dans les pays du Sud. Ainsi les discriminations auxquelles les femmes font faces dans les lois formelles et informelles, les normes sociales et pratiques coutumières dans leurs pays d’origine constituent un déterminant supplémentaire à la migration : lorsque les discriminations dans les pays d’origine sont trop fortes, elles entravent les opportunités de migration des femmes et réduisent ainsi les flux migratoires Sud-Sud. En outre, le niveau de discrimination dans les institutions sociales des pays d’origine semblent aussi jouer un rôle important, les femmes étant attirés par des pays ayant des niveaux de discrimination plus faibles que dans leurs pays d’origine. Ce type d’inégalité n’a pas d'impact significatif sur les hommes, suggérant que les facteurs de migration diffèrent entre les hommes et les femmes.
    Keywords: social institutions, gender inequality, South-South migration, Inégalités de genre, migrations Sud-Sud, institutions sociales
    JEL: F22 J16 O15
    Date: 2015–04–08
  26. By: Francesca Castellani; Gwenn Parent; Jannet Zenteno
    Abstract: This paper joins in the debate on the size of the middle class in Latin America, providing an analysis of its structure and characteristics. Using several measurements, it finds that 40-60 percent of Latin American households are middle class, a share which has consolidated over the past decade. The analysis reveals that gender, age, and education are associated with the likelihood of being middle class. The example of Colombia illustrates that, while growing in size, this income group still faces deficits in crucial dimensions of well-being, such as education, job formality, and health care, which are generally associated with being middle class. The analysis reveals the fragility of this emerging group in the region.
    Keywords: Poverty, Income, Consumption & Saving, Health Care, Multidimensional poverty, Educational achievement, Middle class households, Middle class
    Date: 2014–12
  27. By: Elasrag, Hussein
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to review the Islamic principles of CSR, and the definition of a structured social corporate responsibility (CSR), and based on this responsibility. And provide a practical through the international financial institutions that can implement CSR policies framework. This study provides the basis of social responsibilities that apply to those derived from divine sources of international financial institutions.
    Keywords: Corporate social responsibility ,Islam, Islamic financial institutions
    JEL: M0 M14 O1
    Date: 2015–04
  28. By: Labrinidis, George
    Abstract: Distinguishing between the money that functions in the world market and the money that functions internally in an economy has troubled many theorists. This paper is informed by the Marxist approach to money in general and world money in particular and argues that the theoretical difficulty derives from a fundamental misconception with regard to the forms of money. Consequently, the paper offers an analysis of the forms of money and shows that a new form emerged as early as 1914 associated with the world market, which might be called quasi-world-money, such as the US dollar. The analysis provides a framework within which to comprehend the residual but essential role of gold in parallel to quasi-world-money. The framework also allows for money convertibility to be redefined appropriately.
    Keywords: forms of money, quasi-world money, gold, convertibility, USD
    JEL: B51 E42 F33
    Date: 2014–05–07
  29. By: Anna Zabkowicz (Uniwersytet Jagielloñski)
    Abstract: Recent years see intense reforming of funded pensions sub-system in Poland. Actually, what are policy objectives like at which change in design introduced in 2013 (mandatory funding) and projected in 2014 (voluntary funding) is oriented? The article briefly reports what was contemporary re-designing of the pension system at different stages about and reconstructs objectives of reforming at each stage. It finds that interlocking streams of change aimed at two goals in fact which are i) relief to public finance ii) expanding pension funding by financial intermediaries. It argues that the two are in contradiction to each other, and this makes a paradox of pension reforming. The review of 2013- and 2014- design, unexpectedly enough, results in conclusion that at present reforming is focused on pension funding revitalization which may cause a recurring distress to public finance. Thus, the article identifies one of dilemmas of institutional-order development in Poland which can be probably also experienced in other countries where pension funding has been introduced.
    Keywords: funded pensions;pension reform;public finance
    JEL: P16 B52
    Date: 2015–04

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