nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2018‒01‒01
seventeen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Does Business Con?dence Matter for Investment? By Hashmat Khan; Santosh Upadhayaya
  2. Explaining the Historic Rise in Financial Profits in the US Economy By Costas Lapavitsas; Ivan Mendieta-MuÃ’oz
  3. Labour Standard Enforcement through Economic Treaties By Häberli, Christian
  5. Are EU exports gender-blind? Some key features of women participation in exporting activities in the EU By Rueda-Cantuche, Jose Manuel; Sousa, Nuno
  6. Identificação e construção de cenários macroeconómicos para o estudo de impactos de medidas de política económica. Uma abordagem matricial com simulação a Moçambique. By Susana Santos
  7. Winners and Losers of the Greek Crisis as a Result of a Double Fragmentation and Exclusion: a Discourse Analysis of Greek Civil Society By Maria Zafiropoulou; Alejandro Pérez; Archontia Christodoulopoulou; Radina Peeva; Ioanna Marini
  8. Jalons pour une économie politique de la trajectoire malgache : une perspective de long terme By Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud; Jean-Michel Wachsberger
  10. "Minsky's Financial Fragility: An Empirical Analysis of Electricity Distribution Companies in Brazil (2007-15)" By Ernani Teixeira Torres Filho; Norberto Montani Martins; Caroline Yukari Miaguti
  11. Universal fluctuations in growth dynamics of economic systems By Nathan C. Frey; Sakib Matin; H. Eugene Stanley; Michael Salinger
  12. Unhinged: Industrial relations liberalization and capitalist instability By Baccaro, Lucio; Howell, Chris
  13. Les discriminations dans l’accès au logement en France : Un testing de couverture nationale By Julie Le Gallo; Yannick L'Horty; Loïc du Parquet; Pascale Petit
  14. A Primer on the “Reproducibility Crisis” and Ways to Fix It By W. Robert Reed
  15. Game Theoretic Interaction and Decision: A Quantum Analysis By Ulrich Faigle; Michel Grabisch
  16. The Evolution of Public Service Provision by the Third Sector in France By Edith Archambault
  17. Offenlegung von CO2-Emissionen und Klimastrategien der CDAXUnternehmen – eine statistische Analyse erklärender Faktoren am Beispiel der CDP-Klimaberichterstattung By Katharina Rogge; Markus Groth; Roland Schuhr

  1. By: Hashmat Khan (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Santosh Upadhayaya (Department of Economics, Carleton University)
    Abstract: Business con?dence is a well-known leading indicator of future output. Whether it has information about future investment is, however, unclear. In this paper, we determine how informative business con?dence is for investment growth independently of other variables using US business con?dence survey data for 1955Q1–2016Q4. Our main ?ndings are: (i) business con?dence leads US business investment growth by one quarter, and structures investment by two quarters; (ii) business con?dence has predictive ability for investment growth; (iii) remarkably, business con?dence has superior forecasting power, relative to conventional predictors, for investment downturns over 1–3 quarter forecast horizons and for the sign of investment growth over a 2–quarter forecast horizon; and (iv) impulse response analysis reveals that exogenous shifts in business con?dence re?ect short-lived non-fundamental factors, consistent with the ‘animal spirits’ view of investment. Our ?nd-ings have implications for improving investment forecasts, developing new business cycle models, and studying the role of social and psychological factors determining investment growth.
    Keywords: Business con?dence, Investment, Forecasting, Downturns, Directional forecasts
    JEL: C32 E22 E32 E37
    Date: 2017–12–21
  2. By: Costas Lapavitsas; Ivan Mendieta-MuÃ’oz (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: The ratio of financial to non-financial profits in the US economy has increased sharply since the 1970s, the period that is often called the financialisation of capitalism. By developing a two-sector theoretical model the ratio of financial to non-financial profits is shown to depend positively on the net interest margin and the non-interest income of banks, while it depends negatively on the general rate of profit, the non-interest expenses of banks, and the ratio of the capital stock to interest-earning assets. The model was estimated empirically for the post-war period and the results indicate that the ratio has varied mainly with respect to the net interest margin, although non-interest income has also played a significant role. The results confirm that in the course of financialisation the US financial sector has been able to extract rising profits through interest differentials and non-interest income, while the general rate of profit has remained broadly constant.
    Keywords: Rise in financial profits, financialisation, U.S. economy
    JEL: E11 E44 G20
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Häberli, Christian
    Abstract: r4d Working Paper by Christian Häberli
    Abstract: Recent economic treaties contain references to labour standards with increasing specificity and stringent enforcement mechanisms. However, despite evidence for continuing massive violations of workers’ rights, forced and child labour, these mechanisms are very seldom used. This article focuses on enforcement in respect of gross and continuing violations of so-called peremptory standards i.e. those generally recognised as norms from which no derogation is permitted (cogent law or ius cogens). It looks at a number of new trade and investment agreements, and conditional tariff preferences. Goods and services produced in violation of clearly peremptory standards not only raise the question of importer involvement. These violations may also cause trade distortions against which importers may take countermeasures, sometimes explicitly in cooperation with non-state stakeholders. Sanctions may consist, for instance, in suspensions of tariff concessions or outright import bans in response to labour standard violations creating trade and investment conditions. A possible barrier against sanctions are the non-discrimination rules enshrined in all economic treaties which seem to overprotect policy space and hence to also prevent, for instance, countermeasures against social dumping. This is particularly true for the rules framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which has no social clauses, but also for economic treaties with few stringent commitments, and a dearth of case law. Adjudicators in litigation cases would then have to decide whether ius cogens does take precedence over WTO and other economic treaty rules. Even though this has never occurred, this article argues that when trade measures are taken against violations of cogent law, they will withstand legal challenges better than would appear from looking at comparable WTO cases involving public morals. At the same time, producers respecting these international bottom lines for employment policies can defend their treaty-enshrined market access rights against unilateral standard setting and protectionism in disguise. It is too early to contend that economic treaty implementation has become more holistic by adding social and environmental dumping to the list of trade distortions subject to trade remedies. Nonetheless, this article concludes that some peremptory labour standards have become easier to enforce. International Economic Treaty Law still protects against non-trade distorting sanctions. But the new venues described here can limit the race to the bottom, and contribute to sustainable employment even in countries needing ‘more’ rather than ‘better’ jobs.
    Date: 2017–12–19
  4. By: Saverio M. Fratini
    Abstract: Absolute rent, in Marx’s view, has an upper limit represented by the difference between the value and the price of production of agricultural commodities. The actual relevance of this limit was questioned by Bortkiewicz and other scholars because of the difficulties concerning the argument which Marx based it on. The lack of this upper limit prompted a number of scholars to claim that there is no difference between absolute rent and a rent paid by a monopoly price. Referring to the classical/Marxian theory of monopoly price, we shall argue that is still possible— notwithstanding the missing upper limit—to distinguish absolute rent from a rent actually due to a monopoly price. In particular, the difference between the two rests on the removability (in the case of absolute rent) or the persistency (in the case of monopoly rent) of the obstacle to the expansion of agricultural production.
    Keywords: Marx, Bortkiewicz, absolute rent, monopoly price, effectual demand
    JEL: B12 B14 B51 Q15
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Rueda-Cantuche, Jose Manuel (JRC); Sousa, Nuno (DG Trade)
    Abstract: This analysis sheds new light on the gender-balance of the employment opportunities supported by extra-EU exports. This is done using a Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) model with the information provided by the WIOD-World Input-Output Database (Timmer et al., 2015) and the EXIOBASE-3 database (Stadler et al., 2017). On that basis we show that in 2011 almost 12 million women in the EU had jobs thanks to the exports of goods and services to the rest of the world. However the data also reveals that a gender gap to the disadvantage of women persisted as these jobs represented only 38% of the total employment in the EU supported by exports to the rest of the world. The analysis suggests that such gender gap is largely due to the concentration of female employment in the less export-oriented sectors, notably in services.
    Keywords: International trade; gender; Multi-Regional Input-Output tables
    JEL: F19
    Date: 2017–06–01
  6. By: Susana Santos
    Abstract: O estudo de impactos de medidas de política económica passa, por um lado, pela identificação da realidade sobre a qual tais medidas irão ser aplicadas e, por outro, pela construção de cenários que possibilitem a perceção dos mesmos. Tal exercício tem subjacente a atividade de um país, cuja complexidade exige a utilização de instrumentos ou ferramentas de trabalho. Neste trabalho, a Matriz de Contabilidade Social, vulgarmente conhecida por SAM (da abreviatura da designação em inglês – Social Accounting Matrix), é proposta como ferramenta de trabalho para o estudo da atividade de um país. Tal atividade, aqui designada de socioeconómica, é a que envolve os fluxos monetários ou nominais medidos pelas contas nacionais, assim como produção (organizada em fatores, atividades e produtos) e instituições (organizadas em famílias, administrações públicas, sociedades não financeiras e financeiras, instituições sem fim lucrativo ao serviço das famílias e resto do mundo). Com a preocupação de detalhe metodológico, serão exploradas as potencialidades da SAM para a leitura e interpretação da realidade em estudo, bem como para a realização de experiências com o seu funcionamento. Numa abordagem baseada na SAM, veremos as possibilidades de construção de redes, mais ou menos complexas, de ligações dos fluxos acima referidos, a partir das quais podem ser evidenciadas características estruturais específicas e estudados os efeitos multiplicadores associados. Desse modo, mostrarei que uma versão numérica da SAM permite uma descrição empírica da origem, utilização, distribuição e acumulação do rendimento, enquanto uma versão algébrica (ou modelo baseado na SAM) permite um estudo mais aprofundado dos efeitos multiplicadores (ou impactos) associados a alterações nesses fluxos, provocadas pela adoção de medidas de política, por exemplo. Exemplificarei tais potencialidades da SAM dando especial atenção à distribuição funcional e institucional do rendimento, mediante a construção e análise de dois cenários envolvendo alterações na remuneração dos fatores de produção e no rendimento das instituições. Tal aplicação permitirá a identificação de o papel relevante das contas fatores de produção (da SAM), ao estabelecerem a ligação entre a geração do rendimento e a correspondente distribuição e utilização. Realçarei também a importância de uma abordagem matricial na identificação e construção de cenários macroeconómicos no estudo de impactos de medidas de política económica evidenciando os detalhes complementares que uma Matriz Input-Output (IOM) poderá adicionar. Uma aplicação ao caso de Moçambique em 2015 acompanhará a apresentação. Nessa aplicação falaremos muitas vezes em simulação devido à indisponibilidade de informação relativa a todos os fluxos trabalhados.
    Date: 2017–12
  7. By: Maria Zafiropoulou; Alejandro Pérez; Archontia Christodoulopoulou; Radina Peeva; Ioanna Marini
    Abstract: This article aims to explore, through the civil society’s opinion, the polarisation between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and the group of the ‘new excluded’, or ‘new poor’, that has emerged as a result of the European economic crisis and the social transformations that followed in the Greek society. Based on the Theory of Justice introduced by John Rawls (1971), and using the approach of Critical Discourse Analysis, this study focuses on the discourse analysis of the perception of 97 representatives of local and national NGOs, both formal and informal. The main results focus on different self and others’ presentations, especially during the economic crisis, and on the creation of an unbalanced, fragmented and exclusion-cantered society. However, the definition of rich and poor appears ambiguous through the analysis of various linguistic strategies of Greek NGOs revealing a hidden face of the society.
    Keywords: fragmentation, exclusion, civil society, discourse analysis, poverty
    Date: 2017–12
  8. By: Mireille Razafindrakoto (LEDa - Université Paris Dauphine (Paris 9)); François Roubaud (LEDa - Université Paris Dauphine (Paris 9)); Jean-Michel Wachsberger (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)
    Abstract: This article aims at supplying an interpretative frame of the long-term Malagasy trajectory by redrawing the structuring knots of its political economy. The concomitance of periods of economic expansion and political crises leash indeed to suppose that one of the essential sources of the difficulties met by the country is its weak capacity to establish a stable political consensus around the processes of accumulation and the way of wealth distribution. In this hypothesis, the understanding of the Malagasy trajectory passes by a proofreading of the long history to highlight, for every period, the elements of system regulation and the contradictions which it faces. From precolonial period to our days, we identify the main actors, the sources of power and wealth, the modes of economic and social regulation and the contradictions of the system. This modelled proofreading of the history leads us to distinguish six big periods marking each a clear break with the one that came before without managing to solve all the main contradictions.
    Abstract: Cet article vise à fournir un cadre interprétatif de la trajectoire malgache de long terme en retraçant les nœuds structurants de son économie politique1. La concomitance de périodes d’expansion économique et de crises politiques laisse en effet supposer qu’une des sources essentielles des difficultés rencontrées par le pays est sa faible capacité à instaurer un consensus politique stable autour des processus d’accumulation et des modes de répartition des richesses. Dans cette hypothèse, la compréhension de la trajectoire malgache passe par une relecture de l’histoire longue en vue de mettre en évidence, pour chaque période, les éléments de régulation du système et les contradictions auxquelles il fait face. De la période précoloniale à nos jours, nous identifions les principaux acteurs, les sources de pouvoir et de richesse, les modes de régulation économique et sociale et les contradictions du système. Cette relecture modélisée de l’histoire nous conduit à distinguer six grandes périodes marquant chacune une nette rupture avec celle qui précède sans réussir pour autant à en résoudre les principales contradictions.
    Keywords: Political economy,Long-term history,rents,growth,économie politique,Madagascar,histoire longue,élites,rentes,coalitions,institutions,croissance
    Date: 2017–12–01
  9. By: Laura Dell'Agostino
    Abstract: In the last decades, the extension of the supply and production networks at global level has deeply modified the manufacturing production paradigm. This paper analyses the evolution of these networks, taking advantage of the informative potential of the Word Input-Output Database (WIOD) and of the methodology proposed by Wang et al. (2013) to look at this issue “through the lenses of value added”. More specifically, the paper focuses on Italy and its main trade partners and on two relevant industries (Machinery and Leather, leather products and footwear) and offers a comprehensive analysis of: (i) the export structure, to define the role of countries within the global networks; (ii) the main suppliers of foreign value added in exported goods and (iii) the productive inks of Italy with its major exporting markets, replacing the traditional customers-suppliers analysis with a more detailed wisdom that brings to light the productive integration among countries.
    Keywords: international trade, trade in value added, GVC, Italy, manufacturing
    JEL: F15 L23 L60
    Date: 2017–12
  10. By: Ernani Teixeira Torres Filho; Norberto Montani Martins; Caroline Yukari Miaguti
    Abstract: The present paper applies Hyman P. Minsky's insights on financial fragility in order to analyze the behavior of electricity distribution companies in Brazil from 2007 to 2015. More specifically, it builds an analytical framework to classify the firms operating in this sector into Minskyan risk categories and assess how financial fragility evolved over time, in each firm and in the sector as a whole. This work adapts Minsky's financial fragility indicators and taxonomy to the conditions of the electricity distribution sector and applies them to regulatory accounting data for more than 60 firms. This empirical application of Minsky's theory for analyzing firms engaged in the provision of public goods and services is a novelty. The results show an increase in the financial fragility of those firms (as well as the sector) throughout the period, especially between 2008 and 2013, even though the number of firms operating at the highest level of financial risk hardly changed.
    Keywords: Minsky; Financial Fragility; Financial Instability Hypothesis; Electricity Distribution Companies
    JEL: G31 G38 H40 L59 L94
    Date: 2017–09
  11. By: Nathan C. Frey; Sakib Matin; H. Eugene Stanley; Michael Salinger
    Abstract: Work in econophysics has shown the existence of robust structures in economics data, which had been largely ignored in past economic literature. Many complex interacting systems in nature, such as earthquakes, are described by power laws. In statistical physics, fluctuations for systems near the critical point follow a power law distribution. The exponents associated with the power law for fluctuations can be used to categorize the systems into specific universality classes. In economics, growth rates for firms depend on different factors for different industries. Here, we show that fluctuations in growth for companies follow a power law with very similar scaling exponents, irrespective of the economic sector. Our findings hold for many industries across all available data. Furthermore, we show that fluctuations of the growth rate for new industries self-organize into a power law distribution over relatively short time scales. Our results provide the first strong evidence of statistical mechanical universality in economic systems, and can be used as an empirical test for theories of microeconomic growth.
    Date: 2017–12
  12. By: Baccaro, Lucio; Howell, Chris
    Abstract: This paper makes two interrelated arguments. First, based on case studies of Sweden and Germany, it argues for a generalized liberalization trend in industrial relations, affecting not just "liberal" but also "coordinated" forms of capitalism. In coordinated economies, liberalization has not taken place primarily through outright deregulation, but has involved alternative mechanisms that increase employer discretion without fundamentally altering the form of existing institutions. Second, the paper links the liberalization of industrial relations to "secular stagnation" - i.e., to the growing difficulty that all advanced economies have in generating adequate levels of aggregate demand. It argues that strong unions and centralized collective bargaining were cornerstones of the wage-led Fordist model, and that the liberalization of industrial relations has undermined a crucial institutional channel for transmitting productivity increases into real wages and aggregate demand. Post-Fordist growth models are based on alternative drivers of growth, but they are all fundamentally unstable.
    Keywords: capitalism,liberalization,industrial relations,secular stagnation,Europe,Kapitalismus,Liberalisierung,industrielle Beziehungen,säkulare Stagnation,Europa
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Julie Le Gallo; Yannick L'Horty; Loïc du Parquet; Pascale Petit
    Date: 2017
  14. By: W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This article uses the framework of Ioannidis (2005) to organize a discussion of issues related to the “reproducibility crisis.” It then goes on to use that framework to evaluate various proposals to fix the problem. Of particular interest is the “post-study probability”, the probability that a reported research finding represents a true relationship. This probability is inherently unknowable. However, a number of insightful results emerge if we are willing to make some conjectures about reasonable parameter values. Among other things, this analysis demonstrates the important role that replication can play in improving the signal value of empirical research.
    Keywords: BReproducibility crisis, Post-study probability, Significance level, Power, Publication bias, Pre-registration, Registered reports, Negative results, Replication
    JEL: A12 B41 C10 C80
    Date: 2017–12–01
  15. By: Ulrich Faigle (Mathematisches Institut, Universität zu Köln); Michel Grabisch (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: An interaction system has a finite set of agents that interact pairwise, depending on the current state of the system. Symmetric decomposition of the matrix of interaction coefficients yields the representation of states by self-adjoint matrices and hence a spectral representation. As a result, cooperation systems, decision systems and quantum systems all become visible as manifestations of special interaction systems. The treatment of the theory is purely mathematical and does not require any special knowledge of physics. It is shown how standard notions in cooperative game theory arise naturally in this context. In particular, Fourier transformation of cooperative games becomes meaningful. Moreover, quantum games fall into framework. Finally, a theory of Markov evolution of interaction states is presented that generalizes classical homogeneous Markov chains to the present context
    Keywords: cooperative game; decision system; evolution; Fourier transform; interaction system; measurement; quantum game
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2017–06
  16. By: Edith Archambault (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Public services have been externalised, in part, to the non-profit sector in France and in the United Kingdom. This article begins by reviewing relations between the public and non-profit sector in France before 2008, and its evolution since. This has been characterised by the slow reduction of public funding, the adaptation of non-profit associations and organisations, and their clearer positioning within a wider ‘social and solidarity economy’, which was consolidated by a framework Law in 2014. The article then examines the current sharing of responsibilities between the public and non-profit sectors in education, health and social services, pointing to the diverse historical and political conditions which have led to this shared organisation.
    Date: 2017–07
  17. By: Katharina Rogge (Universität Hamburg, Germany); Markus Groth (Leuphana University Lueneburg, GermanyAuthor-Name:); Roland Schuhr (Universität Leipzig, Germany)
    Abstract: Im Rahmen des Beitrags untersuchen wir mithilfe des Regressionsansatzes, welchen Einfluss für die größten börsennotierten Unternehmen Deutschlands eine Auswahl unternehmensspezifischer Faktoren (Unternehmensgröße, Profitabilität, Sektorenzugehörigkeit, Beteiligungsstruktur, Status der Beantwortung, Vorjahresteilnahme) bei der Beantwortung folgender Fragestellungen besitzt: i) Wovon hängt die Teilnahme an der freiwilligen Klimaberichterstattung an CDP ab? ii) Wovon hängt die Qualität der freiwilligen Klimaberichterstattung an CDP ab? Der theoretische Teil der Untersuchung fokussiert die Befriedigung von Informationsbedürfnissen aller Anspruchsgruppen eines Unternehmens als Hauptmotiv für die freiwillige Bereitstellung klimarelevanter Daten und Strategien. Im Zuge dessen wird erläutert, wie auf dieser Grundlage eine Vertragsbeziehung zwischen einem Unternehmen und seinen Anspruchsgruppen effizient gestaltet werden kann. Dabei wird die freiwillige Offenlegung klimarelevanter Daten und Strategien beispielhaft als die unternehmerische Teilnahme an der CDP-Klimaberichterstattung analysiert. Die empirischen Auswertungen im Anschluss an die Vorstellung der Datenbasis sowie die statistische Hypothesenprüfung zeigen insbesondere, dass die Größe eines Unternehmens und seine Beteiligungsstruktur einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die hier zentralen Fragestellungen haben.
    Keywords: Betriebliches Umweltmanagement, CDP, Klimaberichterstattung, Klimareporting, Klimawandel, Umweltorientierte Unternehmensführung
    JEL: C12 M1 M14 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2017–10

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