nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2015‒05‒09
ten papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Capitalist divination: popularist-speculators and technologies of imagination on the Hooghly River By Laura Bear
  2. Does Market Size Matter Also for Charities? By Scharf, Kimberley; Tukiainen, Janne
  3. English Proficiency and Labor Market Performance: Evidence from the Economics Profession By William W. Olney
  4. A Green and Socially Equitable Direction for the ICT Paradigm By Carlota Perez
  5. Unruly Entrepreneurs - Value Creation and Value Capture by Microfinance Clients in Rural Burundi By Katarzyna Cieslik; Marek Hudon; Philip Verwimp
  6. Are ethical and social banks less risky? Evidence from a new dataset By Marlene Karl
  8. Capital , richesse et croissance By Jean-Luc Gaffard
  9. Community Currencies and Sustainable Development: A Systematic Review By Arnaud Michel; Marek Hudon
  10. Work Creation and Rearmament in Germany 1933-1938: A Revisionist Assessment of NS-Economic Policy Based on Input-Output Analysis By Rainer Fremdling; Reiner Stäglin

  1. By: Laura Bear
    Abstract: Economic theory and technocratic policy have long understood economic action to be a communicative activity. From Laplace and Adam Smith to current liberalisation fiscal policy in India designed to produce price signals and entrepreneurial behaviour this conceptualisation has been dominant. Instead this article draws on the anthropology of divination to argue that capitalist action is provoked by technologies of the imagination that generate speculation. These issues are explored in the context of changing forms of governance of the Hooghly riverine economy by bureaucrats in the Kolkata Port Trust. Through ethnography we track how public-private partnerships are forged by exemplary men or 'seers' deploying divinatory action. The fortunes of business, trade and the livelihoods of informalised workers rest on these practices, which generate short-term unstable forms of capital accumulation. Drawing on this case, we can potentially develop comparative critical approaches to the recent emergence of popularist-speculators in India and elsewhere.
    Keywords: speculation; divination; economic governance; South Asia; austerity
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Scharf, Kimberley (Department of Economics and CAGE, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and CEPR); Tukiainen, Janne (VATT Institute for Economic Research, Finland, and HECER, Finland;)
    Abstract: We analyze implications of market size on market structure in the not-forprofit sector. We show that, while a standard model of oligopolistic competition between for-profits predicts a positive relationship between market size and firm size, an analogous model of not-for-profit competition predicts no such correlation. We then interrogate these predictions empirically by focusing on five charitable markets for local public goods. These findings both reject the applicability of the classic theories of oligopolistic competition between for-profit firms to the not-for-profit case and fail to reject the simple model proposed here.
    Keywords: Competition in the Non-profit Sector; Market Structure
    Date: 2015
  3. By: William W. Olney (Williams College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the global spread of the English language provides an inherent advantage to native English speakers. This question is studied within the context of the economics profession, where the impact of being a native English speaker on future publishing success is examined. English speakers may have an advantage since they are writing in their native language, the quality of writing is a crucial determinant of publishing success, and all the top economics journals are published in English. Using a ranking of the world's top 2.5% of economists, this paper confirms that native English speakers are ranked 100 spots higher (better) than similar non-native English speakers. A variety of extensions examine and dispel other potential explanations.
    Keywords: English Language, Research Output, Economist Rankings
    JEL: A11
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Carlota Perez
    Abstract: This paper takes up Chris Freeman's challenge of facing the environmental limits with science, technology and innovation in order to keep open the possibilities of the developing world along a sustainable "green" growth path. It analyses the differences between the energy intensive paradigm of mass production and consumerism in mid-20th Century and the potential shift to sustainability generally provided by the ICT revolution. It then focuses on the developing world and examines the changes in the global market context that are creating windows of opportunity for local innovation, social inclusion and green growth. It finally discusses the alliances and conditions for taking full advantage of the available transformative potential.
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Katarzyna Cieslik; Marek Hudon; Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: This study explores the social entrepreneurial potential of the rule-breaking practices of microfinance programs’ beneficiaries. We empirically apply the positive theory of social entrepreneurship that views social entrepreneurship as a pursuit of neglected positive externalities. Using the storyboard methodology, the paper examines the strategies employed by the poor in Burundi to bypass institutional rules. We argue that illicit practices can in fact be interpreted as value-creating entrepreneurial acts and be symptomatic of an emergent social-entrepreneurial orientation. Our findings cast a spotlight on issues of agency and empowerment, questioning and contextualizing the definition of social value.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; rule-breaking; social value; microfinance; Africa; Burundi
    Date: 2015–04–23
  6. By: Marlene Karl
    Abstract: This paper introduces a new and comprehensive dataset on “alternative” banks in EU and OECD countries. Alternative banks (e.g. ethical, social or sustainable banking) experienced a recent increase in media interest and have been hailed as an answer to the financial crisis but no research exists on their stability. This paper studies whether alternative banks differ from conventional banks in terms of riskiness. For this I construct a comprehensive dataset of alternative banks and compare their riskiness with an adequately matched control group of conventional banks using mean comparison and panel regression techniques. The main result is that alternative banks are significantly more stable (in terms of z-score) than their conventional counterparts. The results are robust to different estimation methods and data specifications. Alternative banks also have lower loan to asset ratios and higher customer deposit ratios than conventional banks.
    Keywords: Ethical banking, social banking, bank risk, financial crisis
    JEL: G21 G32 E44 M14
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Smentyna, Nataly; Khusainov, Ruslan
    Abstract: The article is devoted to questions of social responsibility and social activities of higher educational institutions (universities). It is analyzed the theoretical concept of social responsibility of higher educational institutions. It is outlined the role of stakeholders in the acting of university. It is given the author's definition of “social responsibility of higher education institution”. It is determined the development priority areas of social responsibility of higher educational institutions in conditions of globalization and highly competitive environment.
    Keywords: university, social responsibility, higher education, higher education institutions, public-private partnerships, globalization, competitiveness, sustainable development.
    JEL: I23 I25 M14
    Date: 2014–08–01
  8. By: Jean-Luc Gaffard (OFCE)
    Abstract: Le livre de Thomas Piketty Le Capital au XXIe siècle 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 sans influence en retour sur la croissance elle-même. D'un autre côté, les faits stylisés rassemblés et les intuitions qui y sont 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.
    Keywords: capital; croissance; rente; repartition; richesse
    Date: 2015–04
  9. By: Arnaud Michel; Marek Hudon
    Abstract: Community or complementary currency systems have spread all around the world. Most often, they have been promoted as tools to foster sustainable development albeit they differ in terms of specific objectives. While many case studies have tried to assess the actual impact of these systems, there has been no global analysis summarizing their global impact.This paper aims to fill the gap by exploring whether complementary currencies contribute to the three pillars of sustainable development. We use the systematic review methodology on an original dataset gathering most academic publications published on the topic in English, French and Spanish. Our main findings suggest that community currencies mostly contribute to social sustainability, and that their economic benefits are somewhat limited due to their small scale and the lack of awareness on their scope. Moreover, very few studies explicitly identified environmental outcomes. Finally, this review reveals some limits regarding current methods for impact assessment in this field. Therefore it encourages more standardisation to provide greater accuracy and strengthen the legitimacy of community currencies’ in order to foster their continued development.
    Date: 2015–04–21
  10. By: Rainer Fremdling; Reiner Stäglin
    Abstract: We try to measure the impact work creation programs and rearmament had on employment and production of the German economy before World War II. Theoretically based on an extended version of the conventional input-output analysis, our model or analytical framework integrates the Keynesian multiplier into Leontief´s traditional model. Empirically, we apply our recently presented input-output table of Germany for the benchmark year of 1936. Putting together the effects of both work creation proper and rearmament demonstrates that more than one million jobs were created here as early as 1933. And in 1934 and 1935, even three to four million people were employed in this manner. Several hundred thousand and later millions of jobs profited from the additional income spent on consumption. In the years from 1936 onwards, the enormous increase to five million and more for armament production alone was accompanied by additional employment and measures to restrict additional consumption. Of course one can speculate about the counterfactual scenario of whether or not such an upswing would have taken place without Hitler´s economic policy. It is true that the turning point of the business cycle had been passed in 1932, thus before Hitler had become chancellor and maybe it is also true that work creation programs and rearmament were not a necessary condition to achieve full employment as early as 1936/37. On basis of our reassessment, however, we can safely claim that they were a sufficient condition for this purpose. In more general terms, our reassessment rather supports the former view put forward, e. g. by Overy that the NS-regime introduced “a wide range of government policies designed to augment and speed up the existing recovery”. We would, however, modify his chronology, that rearmament became increasingly important from 1936 onwards: rearmament actually gathered momentum as early as 1934.
    Date: 2015

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