nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2017‒01‒01
thirteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Whither economic complexity? A new heterodox economic paradigm or just another variation within the mainstream? By Heise, Arne
  2. Financialisation and work: New transdisciplinary insights from micro-level survey data By Betzelt, Sigrid; Santos, Ana C.; Lopes, Cláudia A.
  3. Financialisation: Dimensions and determinants. A cross-country study By Ewa Karwowski; Mimoza Shabani; Engelbert Stockhammer
  4. Environmental Impacts of the French Final Consumption By Laurent Meunier; Frédéric Gilbert; Eric Vidalenc
  5. Whose voice matters? An experimental examination of women empowerment in microfinance By Klaus Abbink; Asadul Islam; Chau Nguyen
  6. Speculation and Power Law By Sabiou Inoua
  7. Gender inequality implications on agricultural growth, job creation and rural poverty in Cameroon By Feubi Pamen, Eric Patrick; Tchitchoua, Jean; Soh Syrie, Galex
  8. Productivity growth and the structure of production By Kim, Jiyoung; Nakano, Satoshi; Nishimura, Kazuhiko
  9. "Distribution-led Growth through Methodological Lenses" By Michalis Nikiforos
  10. Addressing world poverty through women and girls: a feminised solution By Sylvia Chant
  11. Why researchers publish in non-mainstream journals: Training, knowledge bridging, and gap filling By Diego Chavarro; Puay Tang; Ismael Rafols
  12. La predominancia del equilibrio sobre el desequilibrio dentro de la macroeconomía ortodoxa contemporánea. Una discusión desde el equilibrio monetario de Wicksell By Isabel Rodríguez
  13. The Patriarchy Index: a new measure of gender and generational inequalities in the past By Mikołaj Szołtysek; Radosław Poniat; Siegfried Gruber; Sebastian Klüsener

  1. By: Heise, Arne
    Abstract: [Introduction] Economics is in considerable disarray. Neoclassical orthodoxy still remains the ‘normal science’ standard procedure and provides the foundation for economic education. However, for some time now many economists have claimed that its scientific research programme as a problem-solving tool has been squeezed out and is no longer at the cutting-edge of research (see e.g. Colander/Holt/Rosser 2004, Holt/Rosser/Colander 2011, Arthur 2013). After the recent global financial crisis, the time seemed right for a scientific overhaul of the whole discipline of economics under the heading of ‘new economic thinking‘, an idea promoted as much by economists unhappy with the state of the discipline as by economics students unwilling to learn something apparently irrelevant for the real world and by economic and business practitioners and patrons who sponsored research that, in the past, few were willing to support financially. It seems obvious that heterodox economics – the part of the scientific community which had been critical of the state of the discipline long before the outbreak of the global financial crisis and which long before had demanded a ‘new economic thinking‘ - could have been seen as a natural candidate for a scientific research programme or paradigm that could assume the spotlight. However, heterodox economics is a blurred description of a scientific paradigm comprising quite different thought collectives and is based on very shaky analytical grounds (see e.g. Mearman 2012). In this contribution, we will take a closer look at a scientific research programme which has often been cited as the one whose time is about to come: complexity economics (see e.g. Buchanan 2004, Colander 2003, Beinhocker 2006, Davis 2008; Roos 2015). Before we attempt to describe the paradigmatic foundations of complexity economics and arrange them in the context of the orthodox/heterodox divide, we need to explain our understanding of the concept of a paradigm and clarify what makes a paradigm orthodox or heterodox and why it is important to classify a paradigm as either orthodox or heterodox. The paper will conclude with a statement about the paradigmatical position of complexity economics and its significance for the future of the economic discipline.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Betzelt, Sigrid; Santos, Ana C.; Lopes, Cláudia A.
    Abstract: The paper examines the interdependencies of financialisation and working conditions by exploring the comparative findings of a micro-level survey on household income, household debt, and working conditions which was conducted in five European countries representing different institutional and socio-economic contexts (Sweden, Germany, the UK, Portugal, Poland). Referring to different strands of debate in economics and sociology in a transdisciplinary way, four hypotheses on the impact of financialisation on the worker-consumer nexus are selected and tested: 1) the social inequality thesis, 2) the debt-income compensation thesis, 3) the cultural transformation thesis, and 4) the disciplinary thesis. The findings reveal that, notwithstanding differences across the five countries, living conditions have worsened after the Global Financial Crisis for many households, with declining household incomes, higher household indebtedness to cover living expenses, and deteriorated working conditions. Surprisingly, the finance-work nexus has been more detrimental to low-income and non-standard workers in Germany and Poland. Hence, it is concluded that the impact of financialisation on well-being cannot simply be read from the size of national financial systems or the extent of household engagement with finance, nor from mainstream welfare regime typologies. Instead, to better understand these impacts we need to consider the more indirect influence of financialisation on labour market polarization and income distribution.
    Keywords: EU,financialisation,inequality,household debt,working conditions,labour market segmentation
    JEL: D14 G01 I31 J50 J81 P16
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Ewa Karwowski (Kingston University); Mimoza Shabani; Engelbert Stockhammer
    Abstract: The financialisation literature has grown over the past two decades. While there is a generally accepted definition, effectively financialisation has been used to describe very different phenomena. This paper proposes a multi-faceted notion of financialisation by distinguishing between financialisation of non-financial companies, households and the financial sector and using activity as well as vulnerability measures of financialisation. We identify seven financialisation hypotheses in the literature and empirically investigate them in a cross-country analysis for 17 OECD countries for the 1997-2007 period. We find that different financialisation measures are only weakly correlated, which suggests the existence of distinct financialisation processes. There is strong evidence across all sectors that financialisation is closely linked to asset price inflation and correlated with a debt-driven demand regime. Financial deregulation encourages financialisation, especially in the financial and household sector. By contrast, there is limited evidence that market-based financial systems tend to be more financialised, meaning financialisation can occur with large banks. Foreign financial inflows do not seem to be a main driver. We do not find indication that a secular investment slowdown precedes financialisation. Overall, our findings suggest that financialisation should be understood as variegated process, playing out differently across economic sectors in different countries.
    Keywords: financialisation, cross country analysis, financial deregulation, property prices
    JEL: B50 B51 G10 G20 G30 P51
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Laurent Meunier (Economics Department of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME)); Frédéric Gilbert (Ecole des Ponts ParisTech); Eric Vidalenc (Economics Department of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME))
    Abstract: In order to fight against climate change, ambitious targets have been set, such as decreasing carbon emissions by 75% in France compared to 1990. Yet, focusing on territorial impacts leads to overlook import-embedded impacts. As a matter of fact, French territorial greenhouse gases (henceforth GHG) emissions have slightly decreased since 1990, whereas consumption-based emissions have been shown to increase. This is why we focus in this paper on consumption-based emissions rather than territorial emissions. Moreover, our analysis is not carbon-emissions focused. Indeed, the following environmental impacts are taken into account: air acidification, photochemical oxidation and non-dangerous industrial wastes. This a first contribution. Secondly, we build a scenario of French households final consumption in 2030 aiming at decreasing its environmental impacts. Finally, a deep matrix algebra analysis gives us precious hints on the reliability of the results.
    Keywords: input-output analysis, environmental externalities, scenario analysis
    JEL: Q40 Q53 Q54
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Klaus Abbink; Asadul Islam; Chau Nguyen
    Abstract: Offering microfinance loans to women to empower them may be ineffective if borrowers hand over control of loans to their husbands. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment to examine potential gender bias in intra-household decision making in rural Bangladesh. The experiment mimics a real-life scenario in which a microfinance loan is offered to either the wife or the husband and the borrower can decide whether or not to transfer the decision to his/her spouse. We find that women are more likely to let their spouses make decisions than men. Different treatments in the experiment test the underlying causes. Our findings suggest that women’s decision to transfer decision making is driven both by their lower decision-making power and their belief in their spouses’ higher financial capabilities. We also examine subjects’ control over the use of earnings and find that offering credit to women has no effect on their control over household expenditures.
    Keywords: Microfinance, women empowerment, gender bias, intra-household bargaining, field experiment.
    JEL: C91 C93 D13 O12
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Sabiou Inoua
    Abstract: It is now well established empirically that financial price changes are distributed according to a power law, with cubic exponent. This is a fascinating regularity, as it holds for various classes of securities, on various markets, and on various time scales. The universality of this law suggests that there must be some basic, general and stable mechanism behind it. The standard (neoclassical) paradigm implies no such mechanism. Agent-based models of financial markets, on the other hand, exhibit realistic price changes, but they involve relatively complicated, and often mathematically intractable, mechanisms. This paper identifies a simple principle behind the power law: the feedback intrinsic to the very idea of speculation, namely buying when one expects a price rise (and selling when one expects a price fall). By this feedback, price changes follow a random coefficient autoregressive process, and therefore they have a power law by Kesten theorem.
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Feubi Pamen, Eric Patrick; Tchitchoua, Jean; Soh Syrie, Galex
    Keywords: Gender, inequality, poverty, agriculture, Cameroon, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2016–09
  8. By: Kim, Jiyoung; Nakano, Satoshi; Nishimura, Kazuhiko
    Abstract: In this study, interactions between potential hierarchical value chains existing in the production structure and industry-wise productivity growths are sought. We applied generalized Chenery-Watanabe heuristics for matrix linearity maximization to triangulate the input-output incidence matrix for both Japan and the Republic of Korea, finding the potential directed flow of values spanning the industrial sectors of the basic (disaggregated) industry classifications for both countries. Sector specific productivity growths were measured by way of the Trönquvist index, using the 2000-2005 linked input-output tables for both Japan and Korea.
    Keywords: Productivity, Input-output tables, Triangulation, Linked Input-Output Tables, Linear Ordering Problem, Productivity Growth
    JEL: D24 D57 D58
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Michalis Nikiforos
    Abstract: This paper presents a methodological discussion of two recent "endogeneity" critiques of the Kaleckian model and the concept of distribution-led growth. From a neo-Keynesian perspective, and following Kaldor (1955) and Robinson (1956), the model is criticized because it treats distribution as quasi-exogenous, while in Skott (2016) distribution is viewed as endogenously determined by a series of (exogenous) institutional factors and social norms, and therefore one should focus on these instead of the functional distribution of income per se. The paper discusses how abstraction is used in science and economics, and employs the criteria proposed by Lawson (1989) for what constitutes an appropriate abstraction. Based on this discussion, it concludes that the criticisms are not valid, although the issues raised by Skott provide some interesting directions for future work within the Kaleckian framework.
    Keywords: Kaleckian Model; Distribution-led Growth; Abstraction
    JEL: B22 B41 B50 E11 E12
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Sylvia Chant
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Diego Chavarro (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK); Puay Tang (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK); Ismael Rafols (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK)
    Abstract: In many countries research evaluations confer high importance to mainstream journals, which are considered to publish excellent research. Accordingly, research evaluation policies discourage publications in non-mainstream journals under the assumption that they publish low quality research. This approach has prompted a policy debate in low and middle income countries with financial and linguistic barriers to access mainstream journals. A common criticism of the current evaluation practices is that they can hinder the development of certain topics that are not published in mainstream journals – although some of them might be of high local relevance. In this article we examine this issue by exploring the role of non-mainstream journals in scientific communication. We asked researchers from agricultural sciences, business and management, and chemistry in Colombia about their reasons to publish in non-mainstream journals. We found that researchers publish in non-mainstream journals because they: 1) offer a space for initiation into publishing (training); 2) provide a link between articles in mainstream journals and articles read by communities with limited access to them (knowledge-bridging); 3) publish topics that are not well covered by mainstream journals (knowledge gap-filling). Therefore, publication of ‘low scientific quality’ articles does not sufficiently explain the role of non-mainstream journals. The results suggest that research evaluation policy in low and middle income countries should consider assigning greater value to non-mainstream journals given their role in disseminating potentially useful knowledge, in particular regarding local or regional issues.
    Keywords: research evaluation; science communication system; universalism; mainstream journals; non-mainstream journals; publication patterns
  12. By: Isabel Rodríguez (El Colegio de México)
    Abstract: Dentro de la literatura económica ortodoxa el concepto de desequilibrio no ha jugado un papel central. En los 70’s Barro y Grossman (1971) retoman el planteamiento del desequilibrio. Una década después, los modelos de ciclo económico real y Neo-Keynesianos acapararon nuevamente las agendas de investigación. Por lo tanto, la Crisis Financiera (2008) se desata dentro de un escenario teórico en el que el desequilibrio no forma parte de la discusión teórica. Por lo tanto, son los efectos y las discusiones que se han derivado de la crisis financiera lo que nos permite re-abrir discusiones con el fin de incorporar conceptos para analizar problemas desde un lente teórico más consistente con el funcionamiento de un sistema económico.
    Keywords: desequilibrio, Wicksell, proceso acumulativo, equilibrio general e intertemporal, crisis financiera
    JEL: E41
    Date: 2016–12
  13. By: Mikołaj Szołtysek (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Radosław Poniat; Siegfried Gruber (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In this article, we present a new measure for use in cross-cultural studies of family-driven age- and gender-related inequalities. This composite measure, which we call the Patriarchy Index, combines a range of variables related to familial behaviour that reflect varying degrees of sex- and age-related social inequality across different family settings. We demonstrate the comparative advantages of the index by showing how 266 historical populations living in regions stretching from the Atlantic coast of Europe to Moscow scored on the patriarchy scale. We then compare the index with contemporary measures of gender discrimination, and find a strong correlation between historical and current inequality patterns. Finally, we explore how variation in patriarchy levels across Europe is related to the socio-economic and institutional characteristics of the regional populations, and to variation across these regions in their degree of demographic centrality and in their environmental conditions. Overall, the results of our study confirm previous findings that family organisation is a crucial generator of social inequality, and point to the importance of considering the historical context when analysing the current global contours of inequality.
    Keywords: Europe, gender, patriarchy, social heterogeneity, spatial analysis
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2016–12

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