nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2016‒02‒12
sixteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Changing the world one student at a time? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles By Katarzyna Gruszka; Annika Scharbert; Michael Soder
  2. MINIMUM WAGE AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IN ROMANIA: AN INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE (International Conference "Recent Advances in Economic and Social Research", 13-14 mai 2015, București) By Marius-Cristian Pana
  3. "Gender Dimensions of Inequality in the Countries of Central Asia, South Caucasus, and Western CIS" By Tamar Khitarishvili
  4. The evolution of the gender gap in industrialized countries. By Olivetti, Claudia; Petrongolo, Barbara
  5. Social inclusion and structural transformation: Concepts, measurements and trade-offs By Haan, A. de
  6. "The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Measuring Gender Inequality: A Technical Articulation for Asia-Pacific" By Bhavya Aggarwal; Lekha S. Chakraborty
  7. When economists and ecologists meet on Ecological Economics: two science paths around two interdisciplinary concepts By Olivier Petit; Franck-Dominique Vivien
  8. Multidimensional Poverty in Seychelles By Christophe Muller; Asha Kannan; Roland Alcindor
  9. How Shared Capitalism Affects Employee Withdrawal: An Econometric Case Study Of A French-Listed Company By Nicolas Aubert; Xavier Hollandts
  10. Taxation and distribution of income in Brazil: new evidence from personal income tax data By Sérgio Wulff Gobetti; Rodrigo Octávio Orair
  11. Towards a finance that CARES By Alexandre Rambaud; Jacques Richard
  12. Tributação e distribuição da renda no Brasil: novas evidências a partir das declarações tributárias das pessoas físicas By Sérgio Wulff Gobetti; Rodrigo Octávio Orair
  13. Economics and the Near-Death Experience of Democratic Governance By June Sekera
  14. “Erst Kommt das Fressenâ€: The Neoliberal Restructuring of Agriculture and Food in Greece By Charalampos Konstantinidis
  15. Les droits et libertés fondamentaux à l'épreuve de l'efficacité économique : une application à la politique de la concurrence By Frédéric Marty
  16. Industrial Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed By Uri Dadush

  1. By: Katarzyna Gruszka (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria); Annika Scharbert (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria); Michael Soder (Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: In the wake of the economic crisis, a number of student organisations and researchers came together to highlight the lack of pluralism and heterodox approaches in economics curricula. The high relevance of the pluralism debate becomes clear once set within the considerations of the implications of a given scientific discourse on reality. This is especially relevant for social sciences, where reality-creating is visible in e.g. the influence of economists on policy making. This study explores the role of instructors in co-constructing the dynamics of the pluralism discourse and debates. An empirical field study is conducted with lecturers in introductory economics courses at the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business where they place themselves within the pluralism discourse via a Q-study. Q is a mixed method typically employed for studying subjectivity inherent to a given, socially contested topic. It begins with a set of statements that undergo a sorting procedure on a relative ranking scale, and finishes with factorrendering. Four voices are identified: Moderate Pluralist, Mainstreamers, Responsible Pluralists, and Applied Pluralists. The implications of the ideas brought by these voices are discussed from the point of view of discursive institutionalism, stressing in particular the role of ideas and discourse in institutional change. On top of what is here referred to as `discursive readinesses for changes towards more pluralism, strategies for overcoming the difficulties on the institutional level need to be developed.
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Marius-Cristian Pana (Bucharest University of Economic Studies,)
    Abstract: The institutional economics perspective is less present in the field of minimum wage law’s implications, despite the fact that labor market is one of the most regulated markets in every economy. At its beginnings, the minimum wage legislation has been subject of intense controversies between the institutionalist and neoclassical economists, but the mainstream point of view has gained ground. Still, in the last decade the institutional economics perspective has made some progress in this area, its contributions being limited to justifying the necessity of the minimum wage legislation based on some arguments borrowed from the old institutionalists, especially from John Commons. This paper is focused on the minimum wage law’s implications on the business environment in Romania. The institutional hypothesis that guides the entire reasoning in this paper is: any entrepreneurial endeavor means, basically, that the entrepreneurs act in an existing institutional frame. The formal regulations, such as minimum wage legislation, affect entrepreneurial behavior by creating and altering transaction costs. The aim of this paper is to offer an explanation to the evasive entrepreneurship in Romania using the concept of transaction costs related to the institutional rigidities created by the minimum wage legislation.
    Keywords: minimum wage law, transaction costs, institutional economics, evasive entrepreneurship
    JEL: B25 J58 L26
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Tamar Khitarishvili
    Abstract: The collapse of the Soviet Union initiated an unprecedented social and economic transformation of the successor countries and altered the gender balance in a region that counted gender equality as one of the key legacies of its socialist past. The transition experience of the region has amply demonstrated that the changes in the gender balance triggered by economic shifts are far from obvious, and that economic expansion and women's economic empowerment do not always go hand in hand. Therefore, active measures to enhance women’s economic empowerment should be of central concern to the policy dialogue aimed at poverty and inequality reduction and inclusive growth. In this paper, we establish the current state of various dimensions of gender inequalities and their past dynamics in the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), and Western CIS (Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine), and propose steps aimed at reducing those inequalities in the context of inclusive growth, decent job creation, and economic empowerment.
    Keywords: Gender Economics, Inequality, Transition Countries, Human Development, Western CIS, Central Asia, South Caucasus
    JEL: J16 P2
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Olivetti, Claudia; Petrongolo, Barbara
    Abstract: Women in developed economies have made major inroads in labor markets throughout the past century, but remaining gender differences in pay and employment seem remarkably persistent. This paper documents long-run trends in female employment, working hours and relative wages for a wide cross-section of developed economies. It reviews existing work on the factors driving gender convergence, and novel perspectives on remaining gender gaps. The paper finally emphasizes the interplay between gender trends and the evolution of the industry structure. Based on a shift-share decomposition, it shows that the growth in the service share can explain at least half of the overall variation in female hours, both over time and across countries.
    Keywords: female employment; gender gaps; industry structure
    JEL: E24 J16 J31
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Haan, A. de (IDRC)
    Abstract: Social exclusion has been a growing concern in the global North and South alike. The causes of this have been the subject of much debate. This paper discusses whether structural transformation - broadly defined as the economic and technological changes that have a major impact on societies' livelihoods - play a role in this. For this, the paper explains what social inclusion is, how it is defined and measured, and how thinking on the relationship between social inclusion and structural transformation has evolved in the classic social science. The paper warns against simplifying conclusions about the way structural transformations impact social inclusion. With respect to the rising inequalities of the last 20 years, also, the (limited) data suggest mixed trends with respect to social inclusion. Insights from social science analysis indicate that effects can be mediated, that technologies are given meaning, and that societies create institutions in response to structural changes that threaten cohesion or identity.
    Keywords: social inclusion, social exclusion, structural transformation, industrialisation
    Date: 2015–11–19
  6. By: Bhavya Aggarwal; Lekha S. Chakraborty
    Abstract: Against the backdrop of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, this paper analyzes the measurement issues in gender-based indices constructed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and suggests alternatives for choice of variables, functional form, and weights. While the UNDP Gender Inequality Index (GII) conceptually reflects the loss in achievement due to inequality between men and women in three dimensions--health, empowerment, and labor force participation--we argue that the assumptions and the choice of variables to capture these dimensions remain inadequate and erroneous, resulting in only the partial capture of gender inequalities. Since the dimensions used for the GII are different from those in the UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI), we cannot say that a higher value in the GII represents a loss in the HDI due to gender inequalities. The technical obscurity remains how to interpret GII by combining women-specific indicators with indicators that are disaggregated for both men and women. The GII is a partial construct, as it does not capture many significant dimensions of gender inequality. Though this requires a data revolution, we tried to reconstruct the GII in the context of Asia-Pacific using three scenarios: (1) improving the set of variables incorporating unpaid care work, pay gaps, intrahousehold decision making, exposure to knowledge networks, and feminization of governance at local levels; (2) constructing a decomposed index to specify the direction of gender gaps; and (3) compiling an alternative index using Principal Components Index for assigning weights. The choice of countries under the three scenarios is constrained by data paucity. The results reveal that the UNDP GII overestimates the gap between the two genders, and that using women-specific indicators leads to a fallacious estimation of gender inequality. The estimates are illustrative. The implication of the results broadly suggests a return to the UNDP Gender Development Index for capturing gender development, with an improvised set of choices and variables.
    Keywords: Gender Inequality; Unpaid Work; Human Development; Composite Indicator
    JEL: D63 J16 J31 O15
    Date: 2016–02
  7. By: Olivier Petit (UA - Université d'Artois, CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies); Franck-Dominique Vivien (Regards - EA 6292 - Laboratoire d'économie et gestion de Reims - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne)
    Abstract: Ecological economics essentially grew out of economists working in the environmental field and growing dissatisfied with the way that standard economics saw interactions between nature and societies and ecologists anxious to take human activities (including economic) into account in a much more direct way, within the dynamic of the ecosystems on which they depend. This clearly inscribed the new field of ecological economics within an interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary perspective. In order to try to provide some thoughts on the evolution of this trend and the relationship between economists and ecologists, we have chosen to focus on two items 1 that are undoubtedly among the achievements of ecological economics, although their mobilization is far from uniform among the authors who make use of them: coevolution and ecosystem services. In order to do so, the itinerary of two authors recognized in the field of ecological economics will be examined: Richard B. Norgaard, whose work on the coevolutionary paradigm (Norgaard, 1994) is recognized as one of the foundations of ecological economics (Munda, 1997); Robert Costanza, who initiated work on the monetary valuation of ecosystem services 1 For the moment, we would like to use the generic term for the subject. We shall see later that these subjects may be alternatively (and often also simultaneously) used as metaphors, concepts, and instruments of public policy. 2 (Costanza et al., 1997) that is a marker in the field of ecological economics. What unites these two authors is a manifest interest in the work coming out of systems analysis in the 1970s-as we shall see, that interest ultimately led to fairly contrasting visions of the field of ecological economics.
    Keywords: ecological economics,coevolution,ecosystem services,interdisciplinarity
    Date: 2015–06–30
  8. By: Christophe Muller (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM) - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université); Asha Kannan (UNDP - United Nations Development Programme); Roland Alcindor (UNDP - United Nations Development Programme)
    Abstract: The typically used multidimensional poverty indicators in the literature do not appear to be relevant for middle-income countries like Seychelles and can yield unrealistic estimates of poverty. In particular, the deprivations typically considered in such measures little occurs in middle-income economies. In this paper, we propose a new approach to measuring multidimensional poverty in Seychelles based on a mix of objective and subjective information about households living conditions, and on how these households view their spending priorities. The empirical results based on our new approach show that a small but non-negligible minority of Seychellois can be considered as multidimensionally poor, mostly as not being able to satisfy their shelter and food basic needs. Finally, the Seychelles social aid programs run by the Agency for Social Protection is poorly targeted whether evaluated in terms of multidimensional poverty or in terms of one-dimensional monetary poverty.
    Keywords: poverty,multidimensional wellbeing,destitution,Seychelles
    Date: 2016–01
  9. By: Nicolas Aubert (CEROG - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche sur les Organisations et la Gestion - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3); Xavier Hollandts (CRCGM et IFGE - Kedge Business School - Kedge Business School)
    Abstract: The academic literature emphasizes that shared capitalism positively affects employees' attitudes at work. This paper investigates that issue by testing the relationship between shared capitalism and withdrawal behaviors (turnover and absenteeism). Recent literature interprets shared capitalism as a gift exchange between employers and employees. This paper builds on that literature. The analysis, based on an econometric case study, focuses on a five-year panel dataset of more than 800 subsidiaries belonging to a unique French-listed company. Our results show that only long-term shared capitalism translates into better withdrawal behaviors.
    Keywords: Shared Capitalism,Employee Ownership,Profit Sharing Turnover Absenteeism
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Sérgio Wulff Gobetti (IPC-IG); Rodrigo Octávio Orair (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: This paper presents a critical analysis of income and profit taxes in Brazil, demonstrating how measures adopted in the 1980s and 1990s, as a result of mainstream recommendations, hindered the redistributive role of taxes in the country. Investigation of tax data reveals a high degree of income concentration at the top of the distribution, low progressivity and violations of the principles of horizontal and vertical equity. The main reason for these distortions is the complete tax exemption of dividends for shareholders, a benefit that is very rarely seen in developed countries. We propose a return to a progressivity-focused tax reform plan, a theme that has returned as a focus of debates with Piketty (2014). (?)
    Keywords: Taxation, distribution, income in Brazi, evidence, tax data, tax reform, tax progressivity
    Date: 2016–02
  11. By: Alexandre Rambaud (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jacques Richard (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Today's sustainable finance mainly relies on the extension of a particular classical capital theory to extra-financial types of capital (in particular human and natural). We call (and justify it) this mainstream theory, the Fisherian-(falsified) Hicksian approach. After a critical analysis of this model, we claim that this way of conceptualising sustainable finance is finally unsustainable. At the same time, we also defend the idea that there is a convergence between ecological-based sustainability (which we can call by definition a genuine sustainability) and the extension of the traditional accounting framework to extra-financial types of capital. Therefore, we propose to structure a sustainable finance from this perspective (which we call CARES, for Capital Approach Resting on Ecological-based Sustainability): after having defined how to operationalise and theorize such a sustainable accounting, thanks to the " Triple Depreciation Line " model (Rambaud & Richard, 2015), we use this model to redefine the notion of free cash-flows to make them " sustainable ". We finally discuss the manner they can be used for financing purposes.
    Keywords: free cash-flows,integrated reporting,capital,sustainable finance,social and environmental accounting,sustainability
    Date: 2015–04–23
  12. By: Sérgio Wulff Gobetti (IPC-IG); Rodrigo Octávio Orair (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "Este texto faz uma análise crítica da tributação da renda e do lucro no Brasil, mostrando como medidas adotadas nas décadas de 1980 e 1990, por recomendação do mainstream, restringiram o papel redistributivo do imposto de renda. Ao analisarem-se dados tributários, verifica-se elevado grau de concentração de renda no topo da distribuição, baixa progressividade e violação dos princípios da equidade horizontal e vertical. A principal razão dessas distorções é a isenção dos dividendos a acionistas, privilégio atípico nos países desenvolvidos. Propõe-se recuperar uma agenda de reforma tributária focada na progressividade, tema que voltou ao debate com Piketty (2014)." (...)
    Keywords: tributação, distribuição de renda, Brasil, declarações tributárias, pessoas físicas
    Date: 2016–02
  13. By: June Sekera
    Abstract: In this paper I trace the connection between mainstream, market-centric economics and what James Galbraith has called “the collapse of the public governing capacity.” Marketization and its confederate, privatization, have led, sometimes intentionally, to the evisceration of governmental capacity, the downsizing of democracy and the dismantling of traditions of responsible public administration that are grounded in law and the Constitution.
    Date: 2015–05
  14. By: Charalampos Konstantinidis
    Abstract: While public debt has become the focal point of discussions of the Greek crisis, the Greek crisis has been used as an opportunity to extend a series of neoliberal reforms. I examine the agricultural and food sector of Greece since 1981 and I show how Greece’s integration into the European market, following Greece’s entry in the European Economic Community led to (a) the dismantling of agricultural and food production in Greece and (b) the increased power of intermediate actors in the Greek food system. I argue that a series of grassroots responses, including solidarity initiatives and direct consumer-farmer interactions, offer insight into a strategy of food sovereignty to help rebuild productive capacity in agriculture and address food insecurity. However, the three structural adjustment programs implemented in Greece after 2010 undermined these responses, by furthering the liberalization of Greek agriculture and the centralization of the food sector. Finally I argue that recent lender intervention into governance, and particularly lender veto-power over all proposed legislation introduced by the third Structural Adjustment Program of 2015, poses additional challenges for strategies aiming at food sovereignty.
    Keywords: food, agriculture, Greece, political economy, European Union, neoliberalism
    JEL: B5 O52 Q18
    Date: 2016–02
  15. By: Frédéric Marty (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis; OFCE - Sciences Po. Paris)
    Abstract: La place croissante que revêt l'analyse économique dans le contentieux juridique, y compris dans le contentieux constitutionnel, pose la question de son impact sur les droits et libertés fondamentaux. Ces derniers peuvent être mis en balance avec la logique de l'efficacité. Dans le droit de la concurrence de l’Union Européenne, la mise en oeuvre d'une approche plus économique (ou approche par les effets) et la montée en puissance des procédures négociées (souvent justifiée par des gains d'efficience en termes procéduraux) constituent un exemple d'évolution de la pratique décisionnelle pouvant mettre en jeu non seulement les droits de propriété et la liberté contractuelle des firmes mais aussi le contrôle juridictionnel lui-même. Cet exemple nous conduit à nous interroger sur l'analyse économique de ces deux droits fondamentaux. Nous insistons sur la diversité des approches économiques en la matière en confrontant les approches de l'analyse économique du droit à celles du vieil institutionnalisme et de l'approche autrichienne.
    Keywords: droits fondamentaux, économie du droit, vieil institutionnalisme, droit constitutionnel, droit de la concurrence de l'Union Européenne
    JEL: B13 B52 B53 K4 K21
    Date: 2016–02
  16. By: Uri Dadush
    Abstract: Industrial policy is a controversial, even taboo, subject in policy circles. Yet it is widely practiced by advanced and developing countries alike. This note tries to make sense of this paradox. It argues that industrial policy can be a useful weapon in the development policy arsenal. However, the effectiveness of industrial policy is more circumscribed than many of its practitioners think, and there are significant risks associated with getting it wrong, especially in a poor governance environment. The reluctance of mainstream policy thinkers to espouse it should be understood in this light. To succeed, industrial policy must conform with certain principles relating to its design and execution.
    Date: 2016–02

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