nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2016‒01‒03
sixteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Market failure vs. system failure as a rationale for economic policy? A critique from an evolutionary perspective By Peter Schmidt
  2. One Long Argument in Economics: Explaining Intellectual Inertia in terms of Evolutionary Ontology By Erkan Gurpinar; Altug Yalcintas
  3. Gender quotas or girls’ networks? Towards an understanding of recruitment in the research profession in Italy By D. Checchi; S. Cicognani; N. Kulic
  4. Sen is not a capability theorist By Antoinette BAUJARD; Muriel GILARDONE
  5. Karl Marx on wage labour: From natural abstraction to formal subsumption By Ernesto Screpanti
  6. Development economics as taught in developing countries By Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
  7. Striving for Balance in Economics: Towards a Theory of the Social Determination of Behavior By Karla Hoff; Joseph E. Stiglitz
  8. Municipalities and Social Economy.Lessons from Portugal By João Salazar LEITE
  9. Bridging the Attitude-Preference-Gap: A Cognitive Approach To Preference Formation By Schmitt, Rebecca
  10. ¿Conflicto o neutralidad? El rol del Estado en la formación del economista: paradigmas y pragmatismos By Lacaze, María Victoria; Franco, N. Graciela; Nuñez Fioramonti, Gustavo Christian
  11. Keynes on the Marginal Efficiency of Capital and the Great Depression By Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
  12. The hidden role of women in family firms By Paula Rodríguez-Modroño; Lina Gálvez-Muñoz; Astrid Agenjo-Calderón
  13. Constructing quality: Producer power, market organization, and the politics of high value-added markets By Carter, Elizabeth
  14. An Institutional Perspective on Routine Emergence: A Case from the Bio-Tech Industry By Aura Parmentier Cajaiba; Giovany Cajaiba Santana; Nathalie Lazaric
  15. Un modelo conceptual para el estudio de la participación y su influencia en la satisfacción laboral By Pujol Cols, Lucas J.; Foutel, Mariana
  16. La "tragedia de los comunes". Controversias en torno a la crisis en el sector pesquero. Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1996-1998 By Cutuli, Romina

  1. By: Peter Schmidt (University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Strasse 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper reconsiders the explanation of economic policy from an evolutionary economics perspective. It contrasts the neoclassical equilibrium notions of market and government failure with the dominant evolutionary neo-Schumpeterian and Austrian Hayekian perceptions. Based on this comparison, the paper criticises the fact that neoclassical failure reasoning still prevails in non equilibrium evolutionary economics when economic policy issues are examined. This is more than surprising, since proponents of evolutionary economics usually view their approach as incompatible with its neoclassical counterpart. In addition, it is shown that this “fallacy of failure thinking†even finds its continuation in the alternative concept of “system failure†with which some evolutionary economists try to explain and legitimate policy interventions in local, regional or national innovation systems. The paper argues that in order to prevent the otherwise fruitful and more realistic evolutionary approach from undermining its own criticism of neoclassical economics and to create a consistent as well as objective evolutionary policy framework, it is necessary to eliminate the equilibrium spirit. Finally, the paper delivers an alternative evolutionary explanation of economic policy which is able to overcome the theory-immanent contradiction of the hitherto evolutionary view on this subject.
    Keywords: market failure, system failure, economic policy, policy advice, evolutionary economics, non equilibrium economics
    JEL: A11 B41 B52 H00 H53 O30
    Date: 2015–12–16
  2. By: Erkan Gurpinar; Altug Yalcintas
    Abstract: In this article, we explain in terms of evolutionary ontology whether (and to what extent) economics has become an evolutionary science since Veblen published his seminal paper in 1898, “Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?” We argue that researchers’ habitual and ceremonial behavior as well as ideologies and non-intellectual beliefs cause inertia in the research environment. Inertia caused by the research environment is so significant that economics does not “progress” towards a state advocated by Veblen, where economists revisit their thoughts and change their minds by following the (evolutionary) “drift.” In essence, we stress the evolutionary ontological reasons why economists do not abandon theories when the dominant paradigm in economics is disputed. The “drift” which Veblen thought would turn economics into an evolutionary science has now become an evolutionary process itself, in which economists are unable to displace non-evolutionary preconceptions in economics.
    Keywords: Evolutionary ontology, Intellectual path dependence, Intellectual inertia, Epistemic costs, Habits of thought
    JEL: B15 B41 B52
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: D. Checchi; S. Cicognani; N. Kulic
    Abstract: This article investigates the role of the gender composition of selection committees and networks in promoting women in research activities. We exploit a novel data set on recruitment processes at entry-level research positions in a leading Italian research centre that mainly operates in hard science. We find some evidence of discrimination against women at non-tenured entry levels, which is attenuated (or even reversed) by the presence of a woman on the selection committee. However, the most important predictor for recruitment seems to be previous connections with the research centre, which also serves as an important mechanism for women to enter the research profession. We conclude that quotas could be a solution for gender-biased preferences towards same-sex candidates in selection committees for non-tenure-track positions. Moreover, more gender-neutral networks would be another mechanism to bring more equality between men and women in research.
    JEL: J16 J71 J45
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Antoinette BAUJARD (University of Lyon, UJM, GATE L-SE (UMR CNRS 5824), France); Muriel GILARDONE (Normandie University, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, CREM (UMR CNRS 6211), France)
    Abstract: According to the standard reading, Sen’s contribution to justice consists in the defense of a capability theory, i.e. of a simple switch of focus from utility to capability. This paper aims to undermine this standard reading. We claim that this capability-theory view amounts to the application of formal welfarism to capabilities: social welfare is the aggregation of individual welfares, where welfare is properly defined by capabilities. We show that this view is inconsistent with Sen’s idea of justice, because the latter requires agents to be involved in the definition of what should count for the evaluation of social states, and how it should count. The value attributed to agency in Sen’s idea of justice is such that the process of choosing better policies trumps the substantive definition of what welfare should be. We defend instead a heuristic account of the status of capability in Sen’s thought: capability was introduced to make a point against welfarism; it is an argumentative step that does not imply a definitive commitment to a capability theory. We conclude that a fruitful discussion of his alternative theory of justice requires that we relocate his main contribution: we should see it as pertaining to a theory of public reasoning, not a theory based on a specific material of justice.
    Keywords: Capability, capability theory, welfarism, justice, operationalization, paternalism, agency, public reasoning
    JEL: A13 B41 D63 D79 I31
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Ernesto Screpanti
    Abstract: Marx develops two different theories of the employment relationship: in one it results from a contract for the sale of a commodity, in the other from a contract establishing a social relationship. According to the first, the worker sells a commodity, which is conceived as a flow of abstract labour springing from a stock of labour power. This commodity seems to be a ‘natural’ abstraction with the properties of a productive force. Exploitation occurs when the value of labour power is lower than the value-creating capacity of abstract labour. According to the second theory, the employment relationship is based on a transaction establishing the conditions for the worker’s subordination to the capitalist and the subsumption of his productive capacity under capital. This is an illuminating anticipation of the modern theory which considers the employment contract as an institution generating an authority relationship. It is not liable to criticisms of essentialism, hyposta-tization or naturalism and is able to sustain a consistent and realistic theory of exploitation, which explains it as being based on the power relationship the worker undergoes in the production pro-cess. Now abstract labour is seen not as a productive force, but as a social relationship, and is con-sidered an abstraction that is real in a socio-historical sense rather than in a natural sense
    JEL: B14 B24 J41
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
    Abstract: This paper uses a combination of survey questions to instructors and data collected from course syllabi and examinations to examine how the subject of development economics is taught at the undergraduate and masters levels in developing countries, and benchmark this against undergraduate classes in the United States. The study finds that there is considerable heterogeneity in what is considered development economics: there is a narrow core of only a small set of topics such as growth theory, poverty and inequality, human capital, and institutions taught in at least half the classes, with substantial variation in other topics covered. In developing countries, development economics is taught largely as a theoretical subject coupled with case studies, with few courses emphasizing data or empirical methods and findings. This approach contrasts with the approach taken in leading U.S. economics departments and with the evolution of development economics research. The analysis finds that country income per capita, the role of the state in the economy, the education level in the country, and the involvement of the instructor in research are associated with how close a course is to the frontier. The results suggest there are important gaps in how development economics is taught.
    Keywords: Pro-Poor Growth,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2015–12–21
  7. By: Karla Hoff; Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to broaden the standard economic discourse by importing insights into human behavior not just from psychology, but also from sociology and anthropology. Whereas the concept of the decision-maker is the rational actor in standard economics and, in early work in behavioral economics, the quasi-rational actor influenced by the context of the moment of decision-making, in some recent work in behavioral economics the decision-maker could be called the enculturated actor. This actor's preferences and cognition are subject to two deep social influences: (a) the social contexts to which he has become exposed and, especially accustomed; and (b) the cultural mental models—including categories, identities, narratives, and worldviews—that he uses to process information. We trace how these factors shape individual behavior through the endogenous determination of both preferences and the lenses through which individuals see the world—their perception, categorization, and interpretation of situations. We offer a tentative taxonomy of the social determinants of behavior and describe results of controlled and natural experiments that only a broader view of the social determinants of behavior can plausibly explain. The perspective suggests new tools to promote well-being and economic development.
    JEL: A12 D00 D01 D03 D20 D50 Z13
    Date: 2015–12
  8. By: João Salazar LEITE (Department of Institutional Relations, Studies and Prospectives, CASES-Cooperativa António Sérgio para a Economia Social, Lisboa, Portugal)
    Abstract: Job creation by cooperatives and other social economy organizations requires an open spirit towards new forms of co-operatives, the doctrine call hybrids. In Portugal, public interest cooperatives is since 1984 a hybrid form made possible by the constitutional statement that a cooperative sector joins the public and private ownership of the means of production sectors. The public interest cooperative model needs to be adapted following the publication of the Social Economy Framework Law of May 8, 2013. The participation of municipal authorities in the building process of cooperative and other social economy organizations is fundamental to the sustainable development of the territories and populations fixation. I propose that social economy houses, real poles of job and income creation, could be developed under municipal supervision, therefore contributing to a real implementation of a tightly woven cooperative and social sector.
    Keywords: municipalities, cooperatives, social economy, law, public interest, Portugal
    JEL: P13
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Schmitt, Rebecca
    Abstract: This paper provides a descriptive decision model that is based on a single behavioral pattern: human beings strive for consistency between what they do, what they think and what they perceive. This pattern manifests in the decision maker’s aim to bring his attitudes, beliefs and behavior into balance. Drawing principally on the theory of cognitive dissonance by Festinger (1957), the model shows how the concept of attitudes and the concept of preferences are interwoven by the human need for consistency. It closes the conceptual gap between preferences and attitudes. The model is an alternative approach to additive utility models, such as the one by Fehr and Schmidt (1999). Models of this class are not capable of explaining behavioral discontinuities in the mini ultimatum game. In contrast, the attitude-based model covers this behavioral pattern.
    Keywords: Preference Formation, Attitudes, Cognitive Dissonance, Preference Reversal, Additive Utility, Ultimatum Game
    JEL: C7 D11 Z1
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Lacaze, María Victoria; Franco, N. Graciela; Nuñez Fioramonti, Gustavo Christian
    Abstract: Las instituciones universitarias ponen de manifiesto, en los currícula, la concepción del tipo de hombre, de ciudadano, de científico y de profesional que quieren formar. El presente trabajo reflexiona acerca de la estructura curricular de la carrera de Licenciado en Economía que se dicta en la FCEyS-UNMDP. Guió la investigación el siguiente interrogante: ¿qué contenidos enseñamos a nuestros estudiantes a lo largo de su carrera, en relación al Estado como actor social que cumple diversas funciones en una economía de mercado? Pensando al currículo como portavoz de una función social, pero a la vez como la expresión formal y material de un proyecto que, a la luz de nuestras experiencias, propone ciertas secuencias de abordaje de contenidos, dieron forma al trabajo otras inquietudes vinculadas al cumplimiento del principio de gradualidad en la formación, al rol del currículo oculto y a la necesidad de explicitarnos qué contenidos, valores, habilidades, aptitudes, formas de pensar y resolver problemas de la profesión transmitimos a nuestros estudiantes. Dado que la disciplina y la profesión tienen lógicas fuertemente distintas, el trabajo propone explorar el sentido de la formación, dando significado a nuestras prácticas docentes, contrastando nuestro currículo en acción con las competencias que queremos tengan nuestros graduados.
    Keywords: Enseñanza de la Economía; Currícula; Planes de Estudio;
    Date: 2015–10
  11. By: Tsoulfidis, Lefteris
    Abstract: This paper argues that Keynes’s analysis of the marginal efficiency of capital is consistent with the principle of effective demand and is, in this sense, characteristically different from the related classical or neoclassical conceptualisations. Furthermore, the notion of the marginal efficiency of capital is used not only as an explanation of the short term fluctuations in the level of economic activity but also as an interpretation of more serious long term fluctuations such as that of the great depression. Finally, some of Keynes’s economic policy proposals are critically evaluated.
    Keywords: Marginal efficiency of capital, effective demand, great depression, interest rate, overinvestment
    JEL: B10 B12 B14 B51 E32 E4 E6 E65 N20
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Paula Rodríguez-Modroño (Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Lina Gálvez-Muñoz (Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Economic History, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Astrid Agenjo-Calderón (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Women have historically played an important hidden role in family firms, and a great deal of research is now shedding light on this role. In spite of the more formal nature of their work in the present day, still a considerable volume of women’s contributions remains invisible to official statistics. This study, based on interviews with over 500 women in small and medium family firms, brings this informal work into view, quantifying it in terms of hours worked and monetary value, exploring the reasons for its informality and examining the risks and precariousness it entails.
    Keywords: North-South, growth model, innovation assimilation
    JEL: D13 J16 M20 N80
    Date: 2015–11
  13. By: Carter, Elizabeth
    Abstract: Economists assume increased producer flexibility creates production advantages. So why do inefficient French quality wine producers dominate their flexible, efficient Italian counterparts? French AOC wine producers created "corporatist" producer organizations which served three purposes: encouraged increased product quality information across the supply chain; allowed for the emergence of a unique production style; and enabled producers to define their production methods as "quality" via state regulation. Italian DOC wine producers have fragmented political structures at both the regional and national levels, causing producers to rely more on the price mechanism and less on political structures to coordinate supply chain transactions. Market asymmetries persist across the supply chain, making it difficult for producers to guarantee quality and adversely shaping their potential production and brand strategies. Solving supply chain problems through representative political institutions yields superior economic outcomes than uncoordinated market transactions because the former corrects market power asymmetries.
    Abstract: Ökonomen gehen davon aus, dass Hersteller durch höhere Flexibilität Produktionsvorteile erlangen. Doch wie können dann die ineffizienten Produzenten französischer Qualitätsweine ihren flexiblen, effizienten Mitbewerbern aus Italien überlegen sein? Produzenten französischer AOC-Weine haben "korporatistische" Erzeugerorganisationen geschaffen, die drei Zwecken dienen: Sie ermöglichen einen besseren Informationsfluss zur Produktqualität innerhalb der gesamten Lieferkette; sie schaffen Möglichkeiten zur Herausbildung eines einzigartigen Herstellungsverfahrens; sie befähigen Produzenten, ihre Herstellungsverfahren mithilfe staatlicher Regelungen als qualitativ hochwertig zu definieren. Die Produzenten italienischer Qualitätsweine mit kontrollierter Herkunftsbezeichnung (DOC) hingegen sehen sich sowohl auf regionaler wie auch auf nationaler Ebene fragmentierten politischen Strukturen gegenüber. Daher sind sie darauf angewiesen, dass Transaktionen innerhalb der Lieferkette stärker durch den Preismechanismus als durch politische Strukturen koordiniert werden. Die entlang der gesamten Lieferkette fortbestehenden Marktasymmetrien erschweren es den Produzenten, Qualitätsgarantien abzugeben und wirken sich nachteilig auf deren Möglichkeiten zur Gestaltung von Produktions- und Markenstrategien aus. Es ist wirtschaftlich erfolgversprechender, Probleme in der Lieferkette mithilfe repräsentativer politischer Institutionen zu lösen als durch unkoordinierte Markttransaktionen, da erstere die im Markt bestehenden Machtasymmetrien korrigieren.
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Aura Parmentier Cajaiba (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis); Giovany Cajaiba Santana (Kedge Business School); Nathalie Lazaric (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis)
    Keywords: Organizations, Routines, Bio-Tech industry
    Date: 2015–12
  15. By: Pujol Cols, Lucas J.; Foutel, Mariana
    Abstract: En este estudio se exploran los factores que influyen en las oportunidades que puede percibir el empleado de efectuar acciones de participación significativa a nivel intra-grupo de trabajo, institucional y directa en los órganos de Conducción de una organización. Para ello se condujeron doce (12) entrevistas en profundidad a docentes de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales de la Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, con desempeño en distinto cargo, dedicación horaria y área de conocimiento. Con sustento en evidencia cualitativa, se construyó un modelo conceptual que pretende vincular los factores condicionantes para cada manifestación de participación, estableciéndose relaciones hipotéticas entre subgrupos. Adicionalmente, se discuten las implicancias de la participación y su vinculación con la Satisfacción Laboral, y el rol que las expectativas del participante juegan en su valoración de las oportunidades de participación que recibe.
    Keywords: Participación de los Trabajadores; Satisfacción Laboral; Universidades;
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Cutuli, Romina
    Abstract: En este artículo analizaré el dilema "crecimiento vs. sostenibilidad" a partir del caso de la industria pesquera en Mar del Plata. Identificaré, a través de la prensa escrita, diferentes usos e interpretaciones de la "crisis" de los recursos pesqueros, realizados por empresarios, trabajadores y organizaciones de la sociedad civil. Las responsabilidades y compromisos sobre el uso de los recursos, su carácter de público-privado, su valor económico y social, son retomados por diversos sectores como estrategia de legitimación de su lugar en la producción, para establecer alianzas y enfrentamientos y ubicarse dentro de campos de poder. Estas controversias serán analizadas a través de la prensa escrita, que consideraré como un elemento fundamental dentro del escenario en el que se desarrolla el conflicto.
    Keywords: Industria Pesquera; Crisis; Prensa; Periódicos; Mar del Plata;
    Date: 2015

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