nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
fourteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The investment-profit nexus in an era of financialisation and globalisation. A marxist perspective. By Cédric Durand; Maxime Gueuder
  2. What makes a price fair ? An experimental study of transaction experience and endogenous fairness views By Herz, Holger; Taubinsky, Dmitry
  3. New Economic Geography: history and debate By José M. Gaspar
  4. Towards a Theory of Structural Change in Agriculture: Just Economics? By Balmann, Alfons; Valentinov, Vladislav
  5. US Worker Co-Operatives and Their Spans of Management, Decision Making, and Governance: An Exploratory Analysis By Lambert, Thomas
  6. The secret to job satisfaction is low expectations: How perceived working conditions differ from actual ones By S. Cicognani; M. Cioni; M. Savioli
  7. Uneven development patterns in global value chains. An empirical inquiry based on a conceptualization of GVCs as a specific form of the division of labor. By Bruno Carballa Smichowski; Cédric Durand; Steven Knauss
  8. Objectives’ alignment between members and agricultural cooperatives By Bareille, François; Beaugrand, Florence; Duvaleix-Treguer, Sabine
  9. Diversified Business Groups in the West: History and Theory By Asli M. Colpan; Takashi Hikino
  10. Which Are the Benefits of Having More Female Leaders? Evidence from the Use of Part-Time Work in Italy By Devicienti, Francesco; Grinza, Elena; Manello, Alessandro; Vannoni, Davide
  11. Le « miracle Poincaré » et la confiance hiérarchique à l’aune de théories gramsciennes. Tentative d’explication et de développement By Nicolas Pinsard
  12. Modèles multi-agents et stock-flux cohérents : une convergence logique et nécessaire By Pascal Seppecher
  13. Towards a Democratization of Knowledge with Topological Emphasis in Economics By Rosas-Martinez, Victor H.
  14. Марковљеви ланци и проблем одређивања распореда слова на тастатури српске ћирилице By Bukvić, Rajko; Vemić, Mirčeta

  1. By: Cédric Durand (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN)); Maxime Gueuder (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: During the past decades, the link between profits and domestic investment weakened in the biggest high-income economies. This contribution explores this relaxation of the profits-investment nexus in a Marxist profit-centred perspective. Focusing on the impact of the origins and the uses of profits, we study the investment behaviour of non-financial corporations in relation to their profits at the macro level since 1980, a period marked by financialisation and globalisation. We contrast three competing hypotheses – the Revenge of the Rentiers, the Financial-turn of Accumulation and Globalisation – and test them through a macro panel data analysis for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United-Kingdom and United States over the period 1980-2012.
    Keywords: Profits, Investment, Financialisation, Globalisation, Macro-panel analysis
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Herz, Holger; Taubinsky, Dmitry
    Abstract: People’s fairness preferences are an important constraint for what constitutes an acceptable economic transaction, yet little is known about how these preferences are formed. In this paper, we provide clean evidence that previous transactions play an important role in shaping perceptions of fairness. Buyers used to high market prices, for example, are more likely to perceive high prices as fair than buyers used to low market prices. Similarly, employees used to high wages are more likely to perceive low wages as unfair. Our data further allows us to decompose this history dependence into the effects of pure observation vs. the experience of payoff-relevant outcomes. We propose two classes of models of path-dependent fairness preferences -either based on endogenous fairness reference points or based on shifts in salience- that can account for our data. Structural estimates of both types of models imply a substantial deviation from existing history-independent models of fairness. Our results have implications for price discrimination, labor markets, and dynamic pricing.
    Keywords: Reference Points; Fairness; Salience; Bargaining; Endogenous Preferences; Price Stickiness
    JEL: D00 C9 C78
    Date: 2016–10–24
  3. By: José M. Gaspar (Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-464 Porto PORTUGAL)
    Abstract: This paper aims to synthesize the main conceptual and ontological discussion around the field of New Economic Geography. It starts out by laying down the fundamental reasons and motivations that led to the surge of New Economic Geography and provides the background in adjacent fields of economic theory which made this possible. I then provide an overall assessment of the state of the art in NEG and track the intellectual evolution of the field since the nineties up to the present, focusing on the intrinsic criticism that it has been subject to throughout its history. This criticism has its roots in the different ontological conceptions of geography (space) and history (time), as well on the methodological differences, between economists and geographers. Another concern of this paper is to analyze the evolution of the debate and communication between geographical economists and economic geographers.
    Keywords: economic geography; geography and history; ontological debate;
    JEL: N7 N9 R12
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Balmann, Alfons; Valentinov, Vladislav
    Abstract: Though structural change in the agricultural sector has huge merits for economic development, the public opinion on structural change is quite negative. On the one hand, structural change does hardly lead to Pareto superior outcomes. On the other hand, there are concerns that structural change may go along with negative social externalities which may result from more industrialised forms of agriculture. This paper argues that addressing these concerns by agricultural economic research requires a systems perspective which goes far beyond traditional economic and reductionist perspectives. Conceptual approaches can for instance be found in the research on complex systems as well as in Luhmannian systems theory. Therefore, collaboration across disciplines is essential to develop a better theoretical understanding of structural change.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: Much has been written over the years about worker co-operatives as an alternative to traditional forms of business organization and ownership. The literature has mostly covered the issues of whether worker co-ops are more productive, more profitable and/or have a longer existence than traditional firms. This paper tries to fill some gaps in the literature by covering topics rarely if ever mentioned in writings on worker co-ops by exploring their spans of management, their decision making with regard to investment and hiring, and the governance input from their local communities. The results from a recent survey are interesting from an organizational behavior or institutional perspective in that worker co-ops show themselves generally to be different from most of their counterparts.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, community, small business, span of management, worker co-operatives,
    JEL: B50 P13 R11
    Date: 2016–10–29
  6. By: S. Cicognani; M. Cioni; M. Savioli
    Abstract: Working conditions exert a major influence on accidents and illnesses at work as well as on job satisfaction and health, yet very little research has examined the determinants of working conditions. By exploiting the Italian Labour Force Survey, this paper provides evidence on the underlying factors affecting working conditions. It provides a behavioural interpretation of the results, which stems from the discrepancy between actual and expected working conditions. In light of this interpretation, workers would declare their perceived working conditions influenced by the difference between the actual and the expected working conditions. Variables concerning personal characteristics, such as gender, education and being employed in the first job, shift expectations about working conditions and accordingly perceived working conditions. On the contrary, variables related to work characteristics, such as working full time, with shifts and in a large place, affect actual and thus perceived working conditions (negatively).
    JEL: D84 J24 J28
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Bruno Carballa Smichowski (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN)); Cédric Durand (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN)); Steven Knauss (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: This paper has three interconnected aims: proposing a novel and rigorous definition of a global value chain (GVC) that more easily permits the delineation of its frontiers; creating new indicators of GVC participation and value capture that can overcome the limitations of the existing ones; and offering empirical evidence demonstrating that participation in global value chains is part of an uneven development process that produces a variety of distinct integration patterns that differ with respect to economic and social outcomes. The paper is structured as follows. Section 1 offers a definition of GVCs that conceives the latter as a specific form of the division of labor and therefore facilitates the delineation of the frontiers of a GVC. Building on this definition, Section 2 proposes new indicators to measure GVC participation and value capture. Section 3 provides empirical evidence to argue that, contrary to what mainstream economics and international organizations state, larger participation in GVCs does not necessarily lead to higher levels of value capture. Section 4 offers some theoretical justifications to interpret these findings and adds other measures such as the level of productive investment and dimensions of social outcomes in order to better understand differentiated development patterns in GVCs. Sections 5, 6 and 7 empirically show the heterogeneity of development patterns in GVCs for 51 countries between 1995 and 2008. Using country-level data on GVC participation, value capture, investment rates and social indicators (Gini coefficient, labor’s share of income, median income and employment rate), we perform a principal component analysis and a cluster analysis. We find three distinct development patterns in GVCs: reproduction of the core, immiserizing growth, and a social upgrading mirage. We conclude by underlying the apparent complementarity between these development patterns and by identifying some limitations of the paper that open the way to further research.
    Date: 2016–07
  8. By: Bareille, François; Beaugrand, Florence; Duvaleix-Treguer, Sabine
    Abstract: The commitment of members reduces as an agricultural cooperative grows larger. Using a multinomial logit model, we explore how the alignment of members’ objectives and those of cooperatives influence member commitment. Our study is based on a sample of 3,205 members of a French multipurpose cooperative. We show that the availability of outlets and supplies to members strengthens it. Furthermore, the adoption of new agricultural practices has a small but significant effect. Other determinants, such as farm organization, or geographical distance to the cooperative headquarters reinforce member commitment.
    Keywords: Agricultural Cooperatives, Member Commitment, Farm Innovation, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Asli M. Colpan (Harvard Business School); Takashi Hikino (Kyoto University, Graduate School of Management)
    Abstract: This chapter examines the historical origins, evolutionary paths and long-term resilience of diversified business groups in contemporary developed economies of Western Europe, North America and Oceania. It aims to come up with a new theoretical understanding of diversified business groups and other comparable models of corporate organizations by broadening the analytical perspectives of the earlier approaches on the subject in terms of longitudinal and geographical scope. We suggest that the straightforward association of the general environmental settings of market immaturities and institutional voids with the existence of diversified business groups is rather incomplete in reality. Our findings draw attention to the importance of examining the national differences and historical shifts in larger contexts in understanding the evolution of different varieties of diversified business groups. We further argue that diversified business groups are not simply transitionary organizations that worked well only at the early phase of modern economic growth and shall not necessarily become an obstacle for dynamic development as the economies mature. Our research shows that while political institutions and capital markets have become powerful agents to dismantle those groups, a decisive factor to understand the resilience as well as effectiveness of that corporate model examine remains inside the business group itself. As the business groups flexibly evolve, they can adopt and fit in to remain as a viable organizational model even in mature markets.
    Date: 2016–10
  10. By: Devicienti, Francesco (University of Turin); Grinza, Elena (University of Turin); Manello, Alessandro (University of Turin); Vannoni, Davide (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Using three waves of a uniquely rich survey on Italian private firms, we explore the impact of female managers on the use of part-time work. Building on a literature arguing that female leaders are more sensitive to their employees' needs and more self-transcendent than their male counterparts, we assess whether such attitudes manifest themselves also in relation to working time arrangements. Results indicate that female managers are indeed more responsive to their employees' needs: they heavily limit the employment of involuntary part-time work, correspondingly increasing full-time employment, and concede more part-time arrangements to employees asking for them. All in all, our results show that there are some hitherto unexplored benefits from increasing the number of female leaders: on the one hand, they strongly contain the widespread phenomenon of involuntary part-time employment and, on the other hand, they enhance the work-life balance of workers engaged in child care or elderly care activities.
    Keywords: female managers, part-time work, involuntary part-time work, work-life balance, meeting employees' needs, self-transcendence
    JEL: J23 J41 M51
    Date: 2016–10
  11. By: Nicolas Pinsard (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: Le Cartel des Gauches resta au gouvernement de juin 1924 à juillet 1926, mois au cours duquel R. Poincaré revint aux affaires. Trois jours après que l’on sut que R. Poincaré avait accepté de diriger le gouvernement, le franc s’apprécia de 20 % par rapport à la livre sterling. Ce fut la fin de la crise du franc sur le marché des changes, et cela sans qu’aucune annonce politique soit faite, et avant même la déclaration d’investiture du gouvernement. Comment expliquer le « miracle Poincaré » ? La monnaie est « un lien de confiance », elle se décline en trois types de confiance : la confiance méthodique, éthique et hiérarchique. Or, la crise du franc, lors du gouvernement du Cartel, est essentiellement due à une perte de confiance hiérarchique en ce gouvernement. En effet, celui-ci n’était plus capable d’assurer son rôle de souverain monétaire, c’est-à-dire garantir la valeur du franc. Or, la monnaie est ce qui représente symboliquement l’unité d’une communauté de compte, et si celle-ci entre en crise, c’est la communauté en elle-même qui est fragilisée. Ainsi, il y eut une perte de confiance hiérarchique dans la monnaie. Comment expliquer que la crise économique ait suffisamment d’ampleur pour projeter dans la sphère politique des problèmes initialement économiques ? Comment s’opère le passage d’une crise économique à une crise politique qui se traduit par une perte de confiance hiérarchique ? Comment expliquer l’arrêt de la crise monétaire, à la fois économique et politique, et, in fine, comment la confiance hiérarchique a-t-elle été recouvrée, alors que ce phénomène de crise est auto-entraînant ? Gramsci et notamment ses concepts de crises organique et hégémonique, et de césarisme seront mobilisés pour répondre à ces problématiques. Le concept de crise organique articule le passage de la crise économique à la crise politique. Celui de crise hégémonique donne à voir les enjeux de pouvoir entre différents groupes sociaux. La notion de césarisme permet d’interpréter la cause du renversement soudain de la valeur du franc sur le marché des changes, dans la mesure où le « César » réussit à instrumentaliser la crise organique pour arriver au pouvoir et à l’arrêter lorsqu’il y parvient. Les raisons de la perte de confiance hiérarchique et son recouvrement peuvent alors être éclairées par ces trois concepts gramsciens qui complètent celui de confiance hiérarchique.
    Date: 2016–09
  12. By: Pascal Seppecher (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: Les modèles à base d’agents multiples sont des modèles informatiques macroscopiques peuplés d’un grand nombre de modèles individuels. Dans ces modèles, les relations entre grandeurs agrégées ne sont pas postulées : elles « émergent » du système complexe formé par les interactions des agents individuels qui les peuplent. C’est dans le champ de la macroéconomie, il y a plus de 50 ans, qu’ont été posées les bases de cette approche. Pourtant, ses méthodes restent encore un objet d’étonnement parmi les économistes, qu’ils soient orthodoxes ou non. Cette approche connaît cependant depuis quelques années des succès croissants, surtout depuis le développement de modèles respectant la cohérence des stocks et des flux. Si le rapprochement entre une approche centrée sur les individus et une méthodologie issue d’une macroéconomie post-keynésienne volontiers organiciste peut paraître inattendu, pour nous, il répond à des nécessités logiques et scientifiques. Nous défendons l’idée selon laquelle la combinaison de la cohérence des stocks et des flux et de la multiplicité des agents est une opération essentielle au renouveau de la modélisation macroéconomique.
    Keywords: Modèles multi-agents, modèles stocks flux cohérents
    JEL: B59 C63 E12
    Date: 2016–04
  13. By: Rosas-Martinez, Victor H.
    Abstract: We formulate and prove a theorem which consists in how the natural endogenous antagonist interaction of agents who look for understanding a generalizable phenomenon, results in a tendency towards chaos. This takes us to the final absolution of implementing the majority rule as the only instrument that generates socially acceptable knowledge, escaping from the chaos tendency. Finally, we extend our analysis to consider the arise of multiple simultaneous antagonist postures on the explanation of a phenomenon, and through an application of the Pythagoras theorem, we prove that it takes less effort or sacrifice for an agent to learn strategically to get an explanation, than if she was the creator of the concerning knowledge, which implies different consequences of possible topological private and public tendencies.
    Keywords: Antagonist Endogenous Knowledge; Social Entropy; Chaos Theorem; Social Choice
    JEL: B50 O31 O35
    Date: 2016–10
  14. By: Bukvić, Rajko; Vemić, Mirčeta
    Abstract: Serbian Abstract: У раду се разматрају проблеми одређивања оптималног распореда слова на тастатури, који мора бити заснован на карактеристикама и специфичностима сваког конкретног језика. Данашњи стандард за српски језик заснован је на тзв. универзалном распореду и као такав неподесан је. Емпиријском анализом на примеру двају класичних романа српске књижевности, уз примену апаратуре Марковљевих ланаца, анализиране су перформансе постојеће, „српске” тастатуре, и указано је на потребу рада на новом стандарду. English Abstract: The paper considers issues related to an optimal keyboard layout which needs to be based on the characteristics and specificities of each particular language. Today’s standard for Serbian language is based on the so-called universal layout and, as such, is inadequate. The performances of the today-existing “Serbian” keyboard were analyzed through an empirical analysis of two Serbian classical novels as well as the use of Markov chains apparatus, and a need for further development of a new standard was emphasized.
    Keywords: Тастатура, распоред слова, Марковљеви процеси, Марковљеви ланци Keyboard, letter layout, Markov processes, Markov chains
    JEL: B52 C44 O33
    Date: 2016

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