nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2015‒12‒20
fourteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Social system of production in Germany – a model for future? By Michal Moszynski
  2. Evolution-Based Approaches in Economics and Evolutionary Loss of Information By Heinrich, Torsten
  3. The informal aspects of the activity of countries studied through Social Accounting and Socio-Demographic Matrices. By Santos, Susana
  4. Overcoming urban-rural imbalances: the role of cooperatives and social enterprises By Andrea SALUSTRI; Michele MOSCA; Federica VIGANÒ
  5. “The Genesis of Islamic Economics” Revisited By Islahi, Abdu Azim
  6. First vs. second generation Islamic economists: Deviations and differences in thoughts By Islahi, Abdul Azim
  7. Intra-household sharing of financial resources: A non-technical review of the research field and its historical development By Nevena, Kulic; Giulia, Dotti Sani
  8. Les comportements de simplicité volontaire : une lecture à travers la littérature du soufisme en Islam By Mohammed Amine Balambo; Abdellah Houssaini
  9. Women at the Top in Developing Countries: Evidence from Firm-Level Data By Khalid Sekkat; Ariane Szafarz; Ilan Tojerow
  10. Journal Rankings and the Sustainability of Diversity in Accounting Research. By Palea, Vera
  11. Worker cooperatives, a status to survive in a changing world or a status to change the world? Spain and France, two worldviews on worker cooperatives By Sandrine STERVINOU; Julie BAYLE-CORDIER; Lorea NARVAIZA; Cristina ARAGON; Cristina ITURRIOZ
  12. Austria's separate gender roles model was popular in the past, but is cecoming a constraint for comprehensive wellbeing By Rauf Gönenç; Béatrice Guérard; Isabelle Hassler; Andreas Wörgötter
  13. Inclusive unions in a dualised labour market? The challenge of organising labour market policy and social protection for labour market outsiders By Niccolo Durazzi
  14. Why corporations in developing countries are likely to be even more susceptible to the vicissitudes of international finance than their counterparts in the developed world: A Tribute to Ajit Singh By José Gabriel Palma

  1. By: Michal Moszynski (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)
    Abstract: The concept of a social system of production (SSP) is one of the cognitive perspectives by which the institutional arrangements of modern market economies could be analysed. It allows reflections on the autonomy of institutional arrangements in each country, in line with the assumption put by the Variety of Capitalism approach, as well as to investigate problems of stability of the given institutional configuration and the complementarity of their components. The following study raises these issues on theoretical basis and carries out their preliminary verification on the example of German SSP, with special regard to the labour market. Basing on the critical study of literature a set of specific features of the German model is proposed, structured according to the concept of SSP in four main categories: institutions, organizations, social values and economic policy. Then, using a secondary statistical data and qualitative analysis, some trends has been identified occurring within these elements in order to verify the thesis of complementarity and the stability of the German social production system.
    Keywords: Germany, labour market, institutions, social system of production
    JEL: J40 J52 L16 L23 P17
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Heinrich, Torsten
    Abstract: Evolutionary economics provides a self-organizing stabilizing mechanism without relying on mechanic equilibria. However, there are substantial differences between the genetic evolutionary biology, and the evolution of institutions, firms, routines or strategies in economics. Most importantly, there is no genetic codification and no sexual reproduction in economic evolution, and the involved agents can interfere consciously and purposefully. This entails a general lack of fixation and perhaps the quick loss of information through a Muller's ratchet like mechanism. The present contribution discusses the analogy of evolution in biology and economics and considers potential problems resulting in evolutionary models in economics.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics; evolutionary loss of information; error catastrophe; resilience
    JEL: B25 B52 O33
    Date: 2015–12–14
  3. By: Santos, Susana
    Abstract: Approaches based on Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) and Socio-Demographic Matrices (SDMs) will be presented as a way of capturing relevant networks of linkages and the corresponding multiplier effects, which can subsequently be used for modelling the activity of the countries to be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the activity of household unincorporated enterprises, also known as informal enterprises. Based on methodological principles derived mainly from the works of Richard Stone, this study will be developed in a matrix format, including, on the one hand, people – represented by a SDM – and, on the other hand, activities, products, factors of production and institutions – represented by a SAM. The exposition will be accompanied by an application to Portugal, in which different scenarios will be briefly presented, involving changes in incomes and expenditures. The macroeconomic effects of these changes will be summarised in the form of changes in the macroeconomic aggregates: Gross Domestic Product, Gross National Income and Disposable Income.
    Keywords: Social Accounting Matrix; Socio-Demographic Matrices; Informal Economy.
    JEL: E01 J11
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Andrea SALUSTRI (Fondazione Economia-Università Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy); Michele MOSCA (Università Federico II Napoli, Napoli, Italy); Federica VIGANÒ (Libera Università di Bolzano - Free University Bozen - Freie Universität Bozen, Brixen-Bressanone, Italy)
    Abstract: The paper introduces a theoretical model to show how in a spatial framework characterized by urban-rural imbalances, the production of goods and services decreases moving from urban to rural areas. Specifically in rural and peripheral areas, the market and the public sector might supply an insufficient level of goods and services due to higher distance costs and lack of financial resources. Cooperatives and nonprofit organizations, i.e. social enterprises, are able to overcome distance costs and therefore spatial inequalities, by developing a productive and distributive function in marginalized areas, ensuring a fair and equal treatment among residents. Moreover, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations endorse the inclusiveness of the labor market, and raise peoples’ intrinsic motivation.
    Keywords: cooperative economics; nonprofit institutions and social enterprises;urban-rural development; size and spatial distributions of regional economic activity
    JEL: J54 R11 R12
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Islahi, Abdu Azim
    Abstract: The present paper is an attempt to correct Timur Kuran on various issues related to the genesis of Islamic economics. It demonstrates that "Islamic economics" is not a product of twentieth century. The term may be new but its origins go back to early period of Islam. Its evolution up to the present state of a distinguished discipline can be divided into six distinct phases. The paper argues that the modern Islamic economics was never a sectarian subject. Nor was it developed for Muslims' identity and protection purpose. Scholars of different regions and of diverse affiliations promoted it and its propounders aimed at the well-being of all
    Keywords: Islamic Economic Thought, Muslim economic thinking, Phases of the development of Islamic economics, Timur Kuran
    JEL: B2 B20 B5 B51 N0 Z12
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Islahi, Abdul Azim
    Abstract: The present paper proposes to study differences in thoughts of the first vs. second generation Islamic economists, during the past forty years. It will also investigate deviations that occurred in thought and practice in this period. But first it will try to determine the basis of differentiation between the two generations and their distinguishing features. For our study purpose, we regard as the first generation those scholars who started writing on the subject of Islamic economics between 1950 to 1975, a period highly unfriendly if not hostile to the idea of economics with Islamic perspective. This phase culminated at the organization of the first international conference on Islamic economics by King Abdulaziz University in the Holy city of Islam – Makkah Mukarramah. A new era started after the conference, in terms of the establishment of research and study centers, issue of specialized journals, enrolment to Ph. D. courses, foundation of study departments, set up of financial institutions, organization of conferences and seminars, award of prizes, and creation of employment opportunities. It also attracted attention of some non-Muslim economists. Thus, those who joined the movement of Islamic economics after this conference will be considered as the second generation. In its concluding remarks, the paper would suggest certain steps that could be taken to bridge the gaps, minimize the difference, and train the new generation.
    Keywords: Modern history of Islamic economics; Gaps in Islamic economics; Tawhidi economics; Spiritual Economics; “Financialization” of Islamic Economics; Future of Islamic Economics.
    JEL: B2 B21 B29 Z1
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Nevena, Kulic; Giulia, Dotti Sani
    Abstract: Since the 1960s, the allocation of resources in couples has been the object of much research in both the fields of economics and sociology. Today, the growth of women’s economic independence and their increased potential to control economic resources within their households raise important questions about the dynamics of intra-household sharing and calls for a reconsideration of the existing theories on the allocation of household resources. This article has the aim of reviewing in a non-technical way the two lines of research, respectively in economics and sociology, which have focused on the sharing of financial resources within a common unit of analysis: the household. After outlining their alternative applications and highlighting the similarities and differences between the two--starting from the unitary models of behavior and encompassing bargaining theory, collective goods, and transaction cost approach -we discuss new developments in the form of the dynamic models and preference theory. Finally, we reflect on the challenges that the field currently faces and suggest possible pathways for future research.
    Keywords: Sharing, Financial resources, Family, Bargaining, Transaction Costs, Preference Theory
    JEL: B2 D1 D13
    Date: 2015–12–16
  8. By: Mohammed Amine Balambo (CRET-LOG - Centre de Recherche sur le Transport et la Logistique - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2 - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université); Abdellah Houssaini (LLM - Laboratoire en Logistique et Marketing - Université Ibn Tofail)
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore the concept of voluntary simplicity (VS) developed in the literature Marketing through religious perspective. The movement of voluntary simplicity qualified as anti-consumption is the reflection of a resistance, a disgust, a resentment even of a rejection of the mode of consumption dominating in the developed societies. This movement takes support on several motivations which can result from diverse concerns: research for balance by giving meaning to the life in a postmodern society ultra individualistic, desire of Self-sufficiency and of answer to ethical and ecological and religious concerns. The literature on the VS certainly insisted on these motivations while being less prolific at the level of the religious factor. This work suggests replacing the role of this factor in the explanation of the VS, especially in its spiritual dimension and it by positioning in the oriental cultural tradition. The tradition Sufi, since its emergence, established a consubstantial link between the spiritual blooming and the intensity of the SV and by advocating it the detachment, the abstinence even the break with the worldly life. This paper aims at joining, by establishing itself on the literature bound to the Sufism, a mystic religiosity into the explanation of the consumer behavior.
    Abstract: « Les comportements de simplicité volontaire : une lecture à travers la littérature du soufisme en Islam » Résumé : Cet article se propose d'étudier le concept de simplicité volontaire (SV) développé dans la littérature en Marketing à travers un regard religieux. Le mouvement de simplicité volontaire qualifié d'anti-consommation est le reflet d'une résistance, d'un dégoût, d'un ressentiment voire même d'un rejet du mode de consommation dominant dans les sociétés développées. Ce mouvement prend appui sur plusieurs motivations qui peuvent provenir de préoccupations diverses : recherche d'équilibre en donnant du sens à la vie dans une société postmoderne ultra individualiste, désir d'auto suffisance et de réponse à des préoccupations éthiques et écologiques et religieuses. La littérature sur la SV a certes insisté sur ces motivations tout en étant moins prolifique au niveau du facteur religieux. Ce travail se propose de replacer le rôle de ce facteur dans l'explication de la SV, surtout dans sa dimension spirituelle et ce en se positionnant dans la tradition culturelle orientale. La tradition soufi, depuis son émergence, a instauré un lien consubstantiel entre l'épanouissement spirituel et l'intensité de la SV et ce en prônant le détachement, l'abstinence voire même la rupture avec la vie mondaine. Cet article vise donc à intégrer, en se fondant sur la littérature liée au soufisme, une religiosité mystique dans l'explication du comportement de consommation.
    Keywords: Simplicité volontaire,Religiosité,Comportement du consommateur,soufisme
    Date: 2014–11–13
  9. By: Khalid Sekkat; Ariane Szafarz; Ilan Tojerow
    Abstract: This paper uses worldwide firm-level data to scrutinize the governance factors that favor gender diversity in leadership positions. Our results reveal that the gender of the dominant shareholder is key. The chief executive of firms with a female dominant shareholder has a significantly higher probability of being a woman than in other firms. The effect is even more pronounced when the female shareholder holds a higher share of the capital and when the firm is foreignowned. Our results suggest that “old boys’ club” ownership structures are a major impediment to the empowerment of female talent in developing countries.
    Keywords: Gender; diversity; ownership; leadership; CEO; development
    JEL: O15 J71 G32 M51 D21
    Date: 2015–12–07
  10. By: Palea, Vera (University of Turin)
    Abstract: “Whither Accounting Research?” is the question raised by Hopwood (2007) in an essay documenting a growing sense of unease about the state and direction of accounting research. A number of critical studies have highlighted a detrimental tendency in academia, that is the excessive spread of performance measurement practices and the flow of superficiality and conformity they consolidate (e.g. Gendron, 2008; Gendron 2015; Parker, 2011; Pelger and Grottke, 2015). Too much intellectual inquiry operates within academic parameters that have limited the development of research relevant to society. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the causes that have led to research stagnation and to propose some remedies with a specific focus on the European Union. In tackling these issues, this paper presents a view of research that is strongly embedded in the social, political and economic context in which accounting operates.
    Date: 2015–11
  11. By: Sandrine STERVINOU (Audencia Nantes-PRES-LUNAM, Nantes, France); Julie BAYLE-CORDIER (IESEG School of Management-LEM-CNRS, Paris, France); Lorea NARVAIZA (DBS – University of Deusto, Sebastián, Spain); Cristina ARAGON (DBS – University of Deusto, Sebastián, Spain); Cristina ITURRIOZ (DBS – University of Deusto, Sebastián, Spain)
    Abstract: Since the recent crisis, the resilience of worker cooperatives has not gone unnoticed in Europe (Cecop, 2012). In France this renewed interest in worker cooperatives has led to a new law in 2013 promoting this model of enterprise based on democratic governance. The legal status of worker cooperatives implies that such organizational forms are characterised by a double mission: to be profitable in order to maintain their activity and to be responsible vis-à-vis employees and towards their community. Such hybrid mission implies that such firms may be viewed as social enterprises. In this context, we use Austin & al.’s (2006) framework in order to assess how leaders of French and Spanish worker cooperatives make sense of who they are in terms of social or commercial entrepreneurship. Our study is based on a series of twenty semistructured interviews conducted with founders and / or leaders of worker cooperatives, from the Western region of France and the Basque country in Spain. Both regions are known for the large number of employee-owned cooperatives in their own country. Findings show that French and Spanish leaders of worker cooperatives have very different ways of making sense of what a worker cooperative stands for. In Spain, managers’ worldview is pragmatic and instrumental as the benefits mentioned are lower taxes, work flexibility, higher empowerment of workers and a great emphasis placed on of the role of the client. In France, managers’ worldview is more normative and ideological and less commercial/instrumental as they frame the worker cooperative as an alternative model to the classical capitalist enterprise, stressing the importance of workers, labor compensation and democratic governance.
    Keywords: Worker cooperatives, social entrepreneurship, Spain, France
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Rauf Gönenç; Béatrice Guérard; Isabelle Hassler; Andreas Wörgötter
    Abstract: Austria has a model of “separate gender roles” in work, family and life arrangements which persists despite efforts to better balance these roles. Irrespective of their education level - which is higher for new generations than men’s - the majority of women with children withdraw fully or partly from the labour force until their children reach school age, and beyond. This pattern has provided the Austrian population with generally high quality family services, but buttressed gender inequalities, and deprived society from the activation of existing talent, and therefore from additional household incomes, fiscal revenues and potential output. Gender differences in life-time career and income paths, well-being, and participation patterns in public life generate increasing dissatisfaction in growing segments of society, among both women and men.<P>Le modèle autrichien de répartition des rôles entre les hommes et les femmes était populaire par le passé, mais devient une contrainte pour le bien-être<BR>En Autriche, le modèle de répartition des rôles entre les hommes et les femmes, que ce soit au travail, dans la famille ou plus généralement dans la vie, persiste malgré les efforts déployés pour assurer un meilleur équilibre entre ces différents rôles. Quel que soit leur niveau d’éducation (qui est désormais, pour les nouvelles générations, supérieur à celui des hommes), les femmes ayant des enfants vont, dans leur majorité, quitter partiellement ou totalement le monde du travail jusqu’à ce que leurs enfants aient l’âge d’entrer à l’école, voire au-delà. Ce modèle permet à la population autrichienne de jouir de services familiaux généralement de très bonne qualité, mais conforte les inégalités hommes-femmes et empêche la société d’exploiter les talents existants, la privant ainsi d’un surcroît de revenus des ménages, de recettes fiscales et de production potentielle. Les différences entre les sexes en termes de déroulement de carrière tout au long de la vie et de trajectoire de revenus, de bien-être et de modèle de participation à la vie publique sont sources de mécontentement dans des pans de plus en plus larges de la société, chez les femmes aussi bien que chez les hommes.
    Keywords: gender equality, family policies, Austria, Autriche, politiques familiales, égalité des sexes
    JEL: A14 C53 D6 H23 H5 I31 J13
    Date: 2015–12–11
  13. By: Niccolo Durazzi
    Abstract: Dynamics of labour market dualisation have affected most Western European countries over the last two decades and trade unions have been often seen as conservative institutions protecting the interests of their core constituencies and as such contributing to labour market dualisation. However, empirical evidence from Italy shows that unions’ stance towards atypical workers has been more inclusive than the literature expected, despite the conditions for pro-insider policies being firmly in place, and unions have emerged as important actors in the organisation of social protection for labour market outsiders. By analysing unions’ strategies towards temporary agency workers in Italy through a disaggregated approach (i.e. focussing separately on salary and job protection; active labour market policies; and income protection), I reconcile the empirical observations that conflict with the theoretical expectations. I argue that unions have indeed put in place inclusive, yet selective, policies towards atypical workers and that unions’ identity is a central explanatory variable to understand the puzzling coexistence of a dualised labour market and (selectively) inclusive unions. Through a disaggregated identity-bound analysis of unions’ strategies, I shed new light on the complex relationship between labour market dualisation and the dualisation of social protection. In particular, findings suggest that paradoxically unions’ strategies to counteract labour market dualisation may be furthering the insider-outsider divide in terms of social protection. I also suggest that a clearer analytical distinction between labour market dualisation and welfare dualisation is needed in future research and that the understanding of unions’ strategies towards marginal workers would greatly benefit from a systematic disaggregated analysis of unions’ agency.
    Keywords: trade unions, dualisation, interests, ideas, atypical work, Italy
    Date: 2015–10
  14. By: José Gabriel Palma
    Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the nature of ‘Good’ Energy Policy by offering a multi-disciplinary social science and humanities perspective on policy making. The objective in doing this is to understand how to get from where we are today to a ‘better’ energy policy. We begin by discussing what we mean by ‘policy’. We then go on to characterise and challenge the technologists’ approach to energy policy. Next we discuss some key intellectual starting points that explain why policy making in this area is so difficult. We then turn to a set of multi-disciplinary social science and humanities perspectives on energy policy that together form promising areas for research. These are: perception; quantification; well-being; public trust; role of the state; competence and hubris in delivery; and parallels with healthcare. We close by discussing how these perspectives can illuminate whether a policy is ‘good’, ‘bad’ or something in between.
    Keywords: Ajit Singh; Causes of financial crisis; Corporate finance; East Asia; Financial liberalisation; Ideology; Keynes; Kindleberger; Latin America; Neo-liberal economic reforms; QE; and Systemic market failure
    JEL: B5 D3 D43 E2 E43 F3 G1 G3 G21 G23 L52 N5 N16
    Date: 2015–12–08

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