nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2016‒02‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Self-Reported Health and Gender: The Role of Social Norms By Caroli, Eve; Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane
  2. Breaking down the wall between nature and nurture: An exploration of gendered work preferences in East and West Germany By Görges, Luise; Beblo, Miriam
  3. Intrahousehold Bargaining, Domestic Violence and Child Health Outcomes in Ghana By Nuhu, Ahmed Salim
  4. Towards a Multidimensional Poverty Index for Germany By Suppa, Nicolai
  5. The Role of Uncertainty Avoidance in Foreign Investment Bias By Erdogan, Burcu
  6. Evolution of the electricity market in Germany: Identifying policy implications by an agent-based model By Herrmann, Johannes; Savin, Ivan
  7. Competitividade industrial, complexidade e intensidade tecnológica em Portugal By Gustavo Britto; João Prates Romero; Elton Freitas; Marcelo Tonne; Clara Coelho
  8. The Electoral Advantage of the Left in Times of Fiscal Adjustment By Abel Bojar
  9. Drivers of Wealth Inequality in Euro-Area Countries By Sebastian Leitner
  10. Culture and the formation of gender-specific skills in an agrarian society By Unte, Pia; Kemper, Niels
  11. Contracting with Researchers By Verbeck, Matthias
  12. Inequality and the working class in Scandinavia 1800 to 1910 - Workers' share of growing income By Bengtsson, Erik

  1. By: Caroli, Eve (Université Paris-Dauphine); Weber-Baghdiguian, Lexane (Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of social norms in accounting for differences in self-reported health as reported by men and women. Using the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS, 2010), we first replicate the standard result that women report worse health than men, whatever the health outcome we consider – i.e. general self-assessed health but also more specific symptoms such as skin problems, backache, muscular pain in upper and lower limbs, headache and eyestrain, stomach ache, respiratory difficulties, depression and anxiety, fatigue and insomnia. We then proxy social norms by the gender structure of the workplace environment and study how the latter affects self-reported health for men and women separately. Our findings indicate that individuals in workplaces where women are a majority tend to report worse health than individuals employed in male-dominated work environments, be they men or women. These results are robust to controlling for a large array of working condition indicators, which allows us to rule out that the poorer health status reported by individuals working in female-dominated environments could be due to worse job quality. We interpret this evidence as suggesting that social norms associated with specific gender environments play an important role in explaining differences in health-reporting behaviours across gender, at least in the workplace.
    Keywords: health, gender, social norms, job quality
    JEL: I12 I19 J16
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Görges, Luise; Beblo, Miriam
    Abstract: We study a possible nurture effect of political systems on the evolution of gender differences in work preferences by exploiting the 41-year division of Germany and its reunification in 1990 as a natural experiment. We investigate whether disparate political and social systems produced different gender gaps in preferences with respect to work and specific job attributes (high income, promotion opportunities) as, e.g., the higher female labour force participation in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) suggests. Based on the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) in years 1991, 1998/2000 and 2010/2012, our analyses reveal substantial differences between East and West gender gaps in preferences for work directly after reunification and hardly any convergence over the following 20 years. Regarding job attributes, gender-specific preferences in 1991 do not differ between East and West regions. Until 2010, the gaps vanish in the East but remain stable, or even widen, in the West. Cohort analyses confirm that the effect is driven by respondents who lived their adolescence in separated Germany. Accordingly, our results provide strong evidence for the impact of nurture on preference formation, while age and length of exposure are important determinants of the extent of such impact.
    JEL: C21 J24 P50
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Nuhu, Ahmed Salim
    Abstract: I explore a unique exogenous instrument to examine how the intra-familial position of women influence health outcomes of their children using micro data from Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, 2008. Using the 2 SLS-IV estimation technique, I build a model of household bargaining and child health development with perceptions of women regarding wife-beating and marital rape in the existence of domestic violence laws, in Ghana. Even though the initial OLS estimates suggest that women’s participation in decisions regarding purchases of household consumption goods help to improve child health outcomes, the IV estimates reveal that the presence of endogeneity underestimates the impact of women’s bargaining power on child health outcomes. Our Hausman test for endogeneity also confirms that health development of children is mediated through domestic violence laws, which protect women from physical and sexual abuse in the household.
    Keywords: Intrahousehold Bargaining,Domestic Violence,Child Health Investment,Child BMI
    JEL: J12 J13
    Date: 2015–12–20
  4. By: Suppa, Nicolai
    Abstract: This paper compiles a multidimensional poverty index for Germany. Drawing on the capability approach as conceptual framework, I apply the Alkire-Foster method using German panel data. I suggest new operationalizations for two dimensions: social participation and practical reason, the latter drawing on recent findings in experimental economics. The results are consistent with earlier findings, but also reveal several new insights. Specifically, numerous decompositions of the poverty index prove helpful in better tracking and understanding developments. Moreover, I find poor individuals to be adversely affected by general trends in deprivation indicators. Comparing multidimensional and income-based methods, I find only a modest overlap of people considered as poor by both approaches. Moreover, I address the role of income as a dimension in multidimensional poverty indices.
    JEL: I32 D63 H00
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Erdogan, Burcu
    Abstract: In this paper, I explore the determinants of foreign bias in international portfolio investment focusing on a behavioral explanation. Specifically, I investigate whether investors having a stronger uncertainty aversion perceive a foreign country to be more unfamiliar than those with less such aversion. I exploit systematic differences in uncertainty avoidance across countries in my analysis using Hofstede's (1980, 2001) findings for this purpose. I show that less familiarity with the foreign markets discourages investors from investing abroad and that this effect is more pronounced the more uncertainty averse the investor, even after controlling for different sources of risk. I provide compelling evidence that uncertainty avoidance helps to explain foreign bias and that it has an amplifying effect on unfamiliarity and should be accounted for when modeling portfolio choices.
    JEL: F30 G11 Z13
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Herrmann, Johannes; Savin, Ivan
    Abstract: The diffusion of renewable electricity generating technologies is widely consid- ered as crucial for establishing a sustainable energy system in the future. However, currently the required transition is unlikely to be achieved by market forces alone. For this reason, many countries implement various policy instruments to support this process, also by re-distributing costs related to the policy instruments applied among all electricity consumers. This paper presents a novel history-friendly agent-based study aiming to explore efficiency of different mixes of policy instruments by means of a differential evolution algorithm. Special emphasis of the model is devoted to possibility of small scale renewable electricity generation without any further inputs, but also to storage of this electricity using small scale facilities being actively developed over the last decade. Both combined pose an important instrument to be used by electricity consumers to achieve partial or full autarky from the electricity grid, particularly after accounting for decreasing costs and increasing efficiency of both due to continuous innovation. Another distinct feature of this study is attention to stability of the electricity grid since more consumers becoming autarkic make, on the one hand, electricity in the grid more expansive, while on the other hand, supply of the electricity more vulnerable.
    JEL: C63 Q42 Q48
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Gustavo Britto (Cedeplar-UFMG); João Prates Romero (n/a); Elton Freitas (Cedeplar-UFMG); Marcelo Tonne (Cedeplar-UFMG); Clara Coelho (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper expands the methodology developed by Hidalgo et al. (2007), Hausman et al. (2007) and Hidalgo and Hausman (2009) to analyse the relationship between structural change, economic complexity and technological intensity in Portugal. To this end, product space networks as well as indicators of revealed relative (dis)advantages are built and analysed from 1980 to 2010. The results show that in spite of a loss in terms of competitiveness in high-technology goods, Portugal’s long term trend is promising, giving the improvement of the network in terms of goods of intermediate technological intensity and the reduction of the share of primary and primary based goods in total exports. This trend reflects the systematic improvement of the sophistication index of the Portuguese trade after the establishment of the European Union.
    Keywords: Economic Complexity; Capabilities; Product Space, Brazil; South Korea
    JEL: O14 O19 O57 F14
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Abel Bojar
    Abstract: Despite widely held views on fiscal adjustment as a political minefield for incumbents, the empirical literature on the issue has been surprisingly inconclusive. A crucial variable that has been often overlooked in the debate is partisan politics. Building on the micro-logic of Albert Hirschman’s “exit, voice and loyalty” framework, this article offers a novel theoretical perspective on the conditioning impact of partisanship in the electoral arena. Due to their more limited exit options at their disposal, left-wing voters are less likely to inflict electoral punishment on their parties, offering the latter an electoral advantage over their right-wing rivals. Relying on the largest cross-national dataset to date on the evolution of close to 100 parties’ popularity rating in 21 democracies, time-series-cross-section results confirm this electoral advantage.
    Keywords: fiscal adjustment, partisan politics, exit voice and loyalty, party competition, elections, popularity
    Date: 2016–01
  9. By: Sebastian Leitner (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the sources of inequality in household gross and net wealth across eight euro-area countries applying the Shapley value approach to decomposition. The research draws on micro data from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey 2010. Dispersion in bequests and inter vivos transfers obtained by households are found to have a remarkable effect on wealth inequality that is stronger than the one of income differences. In Austria, Germany and Cyprus the contribution of real and financial assets inherited or received as gifts to gross and net wealth inequality attains about 40%. Nevertheless, also the distribution of household characteristics (age, education, size, number of adults and children in the household, marital status) within countries shapes the observed wealth dispersion.
    Keywords: inequality, wealth distribution, decomposition analysis, inheritance, inter vivos transfers, income distribution, Europe
    JEL: D31 D63 O52 O57
    Date: 2016–01
  10. By: Unte, Pia; Kemper, Niels
    Abstract: This study examines whether cultural norms arising from traditional agricultural practices affect the formation of gender-specific skills. We hypothesize that a culturally induced division of labor along gender lines generates gender-specific skills. As opposed to the traditional measurement of skills, which measures skill levels based on the type of tasks or abilities observed in certain occupations, we measure skills directly using a controlled field experiment in rural Ethiopia. Comparing women with exposure to the plow culture with women without exposure to such cultural norms, and with men in general, we find a clear division of labor along gender lines between domestic and non-domestic work. We show that women exposed to the plow culture are particularly skilled in exercising a light manual task resembling everyday work in the domestic sphere. Drawing on secondary data on the time-use of Ethiopian adults, we find supporting evidence that women with exposure to the plow culture specialize in tasks from the domestic sphere. Thus, culturally-induced skill differences arguably are a neglected explanation for gender disparities in labor income.
    JEL: J16 J24 N50
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Verbeck, Matthias
    Abstract: We study a setting in which one or two agents conduct research on behalf of a principal. The agents binary performance level (suc- cess or failure) depends on their invested research e ort, and their choice of a research technology that is uncertain in respect of its apt- ness to generate a success. While in the single-agent-setting the agent has no incentive to deviate from the principal s preferred technology choice, this is not generally true for the multiagent-setting. When technologies are mutually exclusive - only one of them will be suit- able for yielding a high output - we show that there exists a contract that aligns the principal s and the agents interests. However, under the plausible assumption of scientists free technology choice, our re- sults suggest that there is a bias towards mainstream-research: Agents choose promising technologies more often than socially optimal.
    JEL: D82 D86 D83
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Bengtsson, Erik (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: One of the major ways in which economic inequality can increase is when the development of wages of ordinary workers trail productivity and GDP growth, meaning that the increasing riches fall in the hand of other social groups (top employees, owners of land and capital). This paper investigates the relationship between wages and GDP in Denmark, Norway and Sweden from 1800 to 1910, using wage series for workers in agriculture as well as crafts and industry. It shows wages trailing especially in Norway from 1840 to the mid-1870s but also in Denmark in the 1850s and 1860s. On the other hand, wages generally increase faster than GDP in the 1880s and 1890s. These developments are explained with labour supply (population growth, migration) as well as class conflict and social policy.
    Keywords: Wages; living standards; inequality; working class; Denmark; Norway; Sweden
    JEL: E24 I30 J30 N13 N33
    Date: 2016–01–12

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