nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒02‒25
23 papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. A missing touch of Adam Smith in Amartya Sen’s account of Public Reasoning: the Man Within for the Man Without By Laurie Bréban; Muriel Gilardone
  2. Does Society Influence the Gender Gap in Risk Attitudes? Evidence from East and West Germany By Chadi, Cornelia; Jirjahn, Uwe
  3. Social entrepreneurship before neoliberalism?: The life and work of Akhtar Hameed Khan By Lewis, David
  4. A short walk on the wild side : agent based models and their implications for macroeconomic analysis By Mauro Napoletano
  5. How Prevalent Is Downward Rigidity in Nominal Wages? Evidence from Payroll Records in Washington State By Jardim, Ekaterina; Solon, Gary; Vigdor, Jacob
  6. Causes et consequences of hysteresis : aggregate demand, productivity and employment By Giovanni Dosi; Marcelo C. Pereira; Andrea Roventini; Maria Enrica Virgillito
  7. Does Marginal Productivity Mean Anything in Real Economic Life ? By Jael, Paul
  8. The state of applied environmental macoreconomics By Gissela Landa; Paul Malliet; Frédéric Reynés; Aurélien Saussay
  9. A Comparison of Economic Agent-Based Model Calibration Methods By Donovan Platt
  10. Martínez de Hoz: ¿neoliberal o desarrollista? La clase dominante argentina frente al programa económico implementado durante la última dictadura argentina, 1976-1981 By Gonzalo Sebastián Sanz Cerbino; Héctor Eduardo Sartelli
  11. Agent based model calibration using machine learning surrogates By Francesco Lamperti; Andrea Roventini; Amir Sani
  12. Une monnaie démocratiquement partagée entre des démocrates By Maxime Parodi
  13. Spousal gaps in age and identity, and their impact on the allocation of housework By Yamamura, Eiji; Tsutsui, Yoshiro
  14. Pour une Europe du Bien être By Eloi Laurent
  15. From overtourism to sustainability: A research agenda for qualitative tourism development in the Adriatic By Benner, Maximilian
  16. Productivity Measurement: Racing to Keep Up By Daniel E. Sichel
  17. Диверсификсация российской экономики за счет углубления переработки углеводородов: проблема индикативного планирования By Polterovich, Victor; Panchuk, Daria
  18. Beyond the ownership question: who will till the land? The new debate on China’s agricultural production By Hayward, Jane
  19. A review of designing empirically grounded agent-based models of innovation diffusion: Development process, conceptual foundation and research agenda By Scheller, Fabian; Johanning, Simon; Bruckner, Thomas
  20. An explorative evaluation of the climate debt By Adeline Gueret; Paul Malliet; Aurélien Saussay; Xavier Timbeau
  21. Wechselwirkungen zwischen orthodoxer Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Neoliberalismus By Hübenbecker, Ulf
  22. Los estudios culturales como una aproximación a la investigación sobre las instituciones económicas a partir de las premisas del desarrollo By Jorge Andrés Gutiérrez del Castillo
  23. The free market ideology as a ceremonial feature in latin american By William R. Baca Mejía; Sarah M. Walsh Rone

  1. By: Laurie Bréban (PHARE, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France); Muriel Gilardone (Condorcet Center for Political Economy, Normandie Univ, UNICAEN, CNRS, CREM, F-14000 Caen, France)
    Abstract: Sen claims that his 2009 theory of justice is based in part upon Smith’s idea of the “impartial spectator”. His claim has received criticism: some authors have responded that his interpretation of Smith’s concept is unfaithful to the original (e.g., Ege, Igersheim and Le Chapelain 2012); others, focusing on internal features of Sen’s analysis, critique his use of the Smithian impartial spectator, arguing that it is a weak point in his comparative theory of justice (e.g., Shapiro 2011). In this paper we address both sets of criticisms. While agreeing with commentators that Sen’s reading of Smith is somewhat unfaithful, we reiterate that his aim in The Idea of Justice is not to provide an exegesis of Smith but rather to build his own comparative theory of justice by “extending Adam Smith’s idea of the impartial spectator” (IJ: 134) to his own project. After clarifying their distinct approaches to the concept of the impartial spectator, we draw upon our account of these differences to evaluate Sen’s own use of the concept. Despite significant divergences, we show that Sen’s version of the impartial spectator is not inconsistent with Smith’s analysis. Though it does not correspond to Smith’s concept, i.e. to what the Scottish philosopher sometimes calls the “man within”, it is reminiscent of another figure from Smith’s moral philosophy: the “man without”. Beyond this analogy, there are further connections between Smith’s imaginary figure of the “man within” and Sen’s account of “common beliefs”—both notions are ways of representing our beliefs regarding what is moral or just. But whereas Smith’s moral philosophy offers an analysis of the process by which the “man without” influences the “man within”, nothing of that kind is to be found in Sen’s conception of public reasoning. And it is here that Smith’s famous concept of “sympathy” can supplement Sen’s theory, in a way which furnishes an answer to Shapiro’s (2011) criticism regarding the possibility of the spontaneous change of beliefs toward greater impartiality.
    Keywords: Sen, Smith, Impartial Spectator, Man Without, Public Reasoning, Man Within, Sympathy, Deliberation, Justice, Agreement, Non-Prudential Morality
    JEL: A13 B12 B31 B41 B54 D63 D71
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Chadi, Cornelia (University of Trier); Jirjahn, Uwe (University of Trier)
    Abstract: Previous international research has shown that women are more risk averse than men. This gives rise to the question whether the gender gap in risk attitudes is shaped by the social environment. We address this question by examining risk attitudes among East and West Germans. Originated from different family policies during Germany's separation, East Germans have more equal gender roles than West Germans. Thus, if the gender gap reflects socially constructed norms, it should be smaller among East Germans. Using data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), our empirical analysis confirms this prediction. Specifically with respect to career and financial matters, the gender gap in risk tolerance is smaller among East Germans. We find no evidence that the East German gender gap has converged to the higher West German level after reunification. By contrast, the West German gap has narrowed over time.
    Keywords: risk preferences, gender roles, nurture, family policy
    JEL: D91 J16 P51
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Lewis, David
    Abstract: The life history method can be used to historicise the study of social and public policy. Reviewing the life and work of Pakistani social entrepreneur A.H. Khan provides a useful reminder that what Jyoti Sharma recently termed ‘the neoliberal takeover of social entrepreneurship’ is a relatively recent phenomenon. While Khan’s achievements across the public and non-governmental (NGO) sectors continue to be debated amongst scholars and activists in South Asia, his life and work – which is not well known in the Global North as it perhaps should be – highlights a much broader and more inclusive way of thinking about the social entrepreneur as an organiser of change
    Keywords: social entrepreneurship; non-governmental organisations (NGOs); community development; public administration; rural development; life history
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–01–01
  4. By: Mauro Napoletano (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: This article discusses recent advances in agent-based modelling applied to macroeconomic analysis. I first introduce the building blocks of agent-based models. Furthermore, by relying on examples taken from recent works, I argue that that agent-based models may provide complementary or new lights with respect to more standard models on key macroeconomic issues like endogenous business cycles, the interactions between business cycles and long-run growth, and the role of price vs. quantity adjustments in the return to full employment. Finally, I discuss some limits of agent-based models and how they are currently addressed in the literature.
    Keywords: Agent based models; Macroeconomic analysis; Endogenous business cycles; Short and long run dynamics; Monetary and fiscal policies; Price vs quantity adjustments
    Date: 2018–09
  5. By: Jardim, Ekaterina (Amazon); Solon, Gary (University of Michigan); Vigdor, Jacob (University of Washington)
    Abstract: For more than 80 years, many macroeconomic analyses have been premised on the assumption that workers' nominal wage rates cannot be cut. The U.S. evidence on this assumption has been inconclusive because of distortions from reporting error in household surveys. Following a British literature, we reconsider the issue with more accurate wage data from the payroll records of most employers in the State of Washington over the period 2005-2015. For every one of the 40 four-quarters-apart periods for which we observe year-to-year wage changes, we find that at least 20 percent of job stayers experience nominal wage reductions.
    Keywords: nominal wage rigidity, payroll records
    JEL: J3 E24
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Giovanni Dosi (Laboratory of Economics and Management); Marcelo C. Pereira (Universidade Estadual de Campinas); Andrea Roventini (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Maria Enrica Virgillito (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna)
    Abstract: In this work we develop an agent-based model where hysteresis in major macroeconomic variables (e.g., gross domestic product, productivity, unemployment) emerges out of the decentralized interactions of heterogeneous firms and workers. Building upon the “Schumpeter meeting Keynes” family of models (cf. in particular Dosi et al. (2016b, 2017c)), we specify an endogenous process of accumulation of workers’ skills and a state-dependent process of firms entry. Indeed, hysteresis is ubiquitous. However, this is not due to market imperfections, but rather to the very functioning of decentralized economies characterized by coordination externalities and dynamic increasing returns. So, contrary to the insider–outsider hypothesis (Blanchard and Summers, 1986), the model does not support the findings that rigid industrial relations may foster hysteretic behavior in aggregate unemployment. On the contrary, this contribution provides evidence that during severe downturns, and thus declining aggregate demand, phenomena like decreasing investment and innovation rates, skills deterioration, and declining entry dynamics are better candidates to explain long-run unemployment spells and reduced output growth. In that, more rigid labor markets may well dampen hysteretic dynamics by sustaining aggregate demand, thus making the economy more resilient.
    Keywords: Computational techniques; Employment; Institutions
    JEL: E24 E02
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Jael, Paul
    Abstract: The equality between factor pay and marginal product is a major component of the neoclassical paradigm. The paper begins with a brief historical review of this principle. Follows a questioning about the relevance of this law as an argument in the social debates: does marginal product represent the very contribution of the agent and if so, is it a legitimate reference for the setting of remuneration? Our answer to the first part of the question is irresolute; to the second, it is negative. But most of the article is devoted to analysing the economic realism of the said law, both empirically and theoretically. We review some statistical studies present in the literature, with particular attention for the debate regarding the regressions of Cobb and Douglas. Evidence does not strengthen the neoclassical law of retribution. The paper analyses the factors that hinder either the determinateness of marginal product or the equalisation between it and factor's remuneration. Are analysed: - the restrictions inherent in the law of marginal productivity: constant returns to scale and perfect competition - an alternative explanation of interest: the Austrian theory - incentive wage theories: efficiency wage and tournament theory. The article then considers the particular case of the CEO's remuneration.
    Keywords: marginal productivity; income distribution; wage; interest; profit; production function
    JEL: B21 D33
    Date: 2019–02–18
  8. By: Gissela Landa (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Paul Malliet (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Frédéric Reynés (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Aurélien Saussay (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: To a large extent, environmental macroeconomics is developing outside of the theoretical debates taking place in other fields of research in applied macroeconomics. This is evidenced by the low representation of environmental issues in mainstream economics journals and in advanced macroeconomics textbooks. While the environment has not up to now been considered as a subject in itself for advancing knowledge in macroeconomics, since the 1990s it has at least been an important topic for applying macroeconomic models. These models have been used in particular to analyse and quantify the economic effects of the transition to a sustainable system of production and consumption. We propose to shed light on the state of the art in applied environmental macroeconomics. More specifically, we will endeavour to identify the specific features of this area of research that explain the theoretical and empirical choices made.
    Keywords: Environmental macroeconomics; Macroeconomic modelling; IAM; CGE
    Date: 2018–09
  9. By: Donovan Platt
    Abstract: Interest in agent-based models of financial markets and the wider economy has increased consistently over the last few decades, in no small part due to their ability to reproduce a number of empirically-observed stylised facts that are not easily recovered by more traditional modelling approaches. Nevertheless, the agent-based modelling paradigm faces mounting criticism, focused particularly on the rigour of current validation and calibration practices, most of which remain qualitative and stylised fact-driven. While the literature on quantitative and data-driven approaches has seen significant expansion in recent years, most studies have focused on the introduction of new calibration methods that are neither benchmarked against existing alternatives nor rigorously tested in terms of the quality of the estimates they produce. We therefore compare a number of prominent ABM calibration methods, both established and novel, through a series of computational experiments in an attempt to determine the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and the overall quality of the resultant parameter estimates. We find that Bayesian estimation, though less popular in the literature, consistently outperforms frequentist, objective function-based approaches and results in reasonable parameter estimates in many contexts. Despite this, we also find that agent-based model calibration techniques require further development in order to definitively calibrate large-scale models. We therefore make suggestions for future research.
    Date: 2019–02
  10. By: Gonzalo Sebastián Sanz Cerbino; Héctor Eduardo Sartelli
    Abstract: Resumen A 40 años de su paso por el Ministerio de Economía, durante la última dictadura militar argentina, la gestión de Martínez de Hoz sigue despertando polémicas. ¿Encabezó un programa de reformas neoliberales o más allá de su prédica, mantuvo las barreras proteccionistas de una economía cerrada en beneficio de una burguesía industrial orientada al mercado interno? En este artículo nos proponemos volver sobre un tópico transitado de la historiografía económica con una hipótesis original: Martínez de Hoz llevó adelante un plan coherente con los intereses de la gran burguesía industrial que acumulaba en la Argentina, que no podía ser liberal (como la burguesía agropecuaria), pero tampoco “populista” (como los industriales de menor tamaño). Para corroborar nuestra hipótesis analizaremos las propuestas económicas de estas fracciones de la burguesía y su relación con la política implementada por Martínez de Hoz.
    Date: 2018–12–28
  11. By: Francesco Lamperti (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris 1 (UP1)); Andrea Roventini (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Amir Sani (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne X)
    Abstract: Efficiently calibrating agent-based models (ABMs) to real data is an open challenge. This paper explicitly tackles parameter space exploration and calibration of ABMs by combining machine-learning and intelligent iterative sampling. The proposed approach “learns” a fast surrogate meta-model using a limited number of ABM evaluations and approximates the nonlinear relationship between ABM inputs (initial conditions and parameters) and outputs. Performance is evaluated on the Brock and Hommes (1998) asset pricing model and the “Islands” endogenous growth model Fagiolo and Dosi (2003). Results demonstrate that machine learning surrogates obtained using the proposed iterative learning procedure provide a quite accurate proxy of the true model and dramatically reduce the computation time necessary for large scale parameter space exploration and calibration.
    Keywords: Agent based model; Calibration; Machine learning; Surrogate; Meta-model
    JEL: C15 C52 C63
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Maxime Parodi (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: Le piège dans les débats sur l'Union européenne consiste à penser la démocratie au niveau de l'Union à partir de nos expériences démocratiques nationales. Or l'espace politique européen est tout à fait spécifique, composé d'une multitude de peuples très ouverts les uns aux autres, interagissant massivement ensemble et soumis de ce fait à des conflits d'intérêts transnationaux qui attendent des solutions pacifiques. La démocratie doit donc prendre une forme différente pour tenir compte de cette spécificité. C'est toute l'idée portée par le néologisme de démoicratie et il permet de reconsidérer d'un œil neuf les notions de déficit démocratique de l'UE et d'incomplétude de l'euro. Le cadre proposé est assez souple et autorise de nombreux arrangements institutionnels, tout en posant des limites. Par exemple, la France porte souvent des propositions centralisatrices et interventionnistes pour sauver ou « compléter » l'euro sans réussir toutefois à résoudre de manière convaincante les problèmes de légitimité démocratique que cela pose. De son côté, l'Allemagne s'oppose régulièrement aux interventions discrétionnaires en faveur de tel ou tel partenaire par crainte que cela n'alimente le risque de hasard moral. Mais, mené à son terme, ce raisonnement aboutit à refuser toute forme de solidarité entre les partenaires. Le soutien à un partenaire n'est envisagé que pour des raisons systémiques, lorsque la crainte d'être soi-même emporté vers le bas finit par s'imposer. Or la perspective démoicratique défend un principe de solidarité qui refuse de sacrifier une nation au nom de l'efficacité économique supposée d'une politique. La solidarité entre les citoyens de nations voisines ne doit pas être aussi forte qu'entre concitoyens, mais elle doit garantir que chaque nation partenaire a un avenir économique. Les exigences françaises et allemandes devraient pouvoir s'accorder sur le principe d'une telle solidarité : d'un côté, elle réduit le risque de hasard moral de gouvernements en étant suffisamment faible ; de l'autre, elle est indéfectible, de manière à non seulement limiter le risque systémique mais surtout à donner sens à l'idée même d'union, à l'idée que la coopération doit d'abord profiter à tous.
    Keywords: Démocratie; Euro; Incomplétude de l'Euro; Union européenne
    Date: 2018–12
  13. By: Yamamura, Eiji; Tsutsui, Yoshiro
    Abstract: This study investigates how spousal age gaps influence the allocation of housework between husbands and wives. Further, we consider the identity formed as a result of respondents’ family backgrounds by specifically exploring the effects of the age gaps between the respondents’ parents. We initially collect an individual-level panel dataset covering the periods before and after marriage, by monthly surveys of unmarried persons in the initial period prior to marriage, then the three-year period that follows. After controlling for individual- and time period-fixed effects, the key findings are as follows: (1) after marriage, women older than their husbands tend to become burdened with a larger amount of housework, and the spousal gap effect increases as the marriage duration increases; (2) women with mothers older than their fathers tend to assume a larger allocation of the housework as the marriage duration increases; and (3) the age gap hardly affects the men’s allocation of housework, although men with a full-time working mother at age 15 assume a larger allocation of housework as the marriage duration increases.
    Keywords: Spousal age gaps; housework allocation; intra-household bargaining
    JEL: D13 J12 J16
    Date: 2019–02–02
  14. By: Eloi Laurent (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: L'Union européenne a deux bonnes raisons d'embrasser la transition vers le bien-être et la soutenabilité : d'une part, elle s'est historiquement construite comme un pouvoir normatif et post-matérialiste ; d'autre part, dans le contexte géopolitique actuel, elle doit prendre son « destin en main » et inventer un modèle original et robuste de développement. Cette transition vers le bien-être a un sens précis : au lieu de la croissance, les décideurs devraient se préoccuper du bien-être (le développement humain), de la résilience (la résistance aux chocs, notamment écologiques) et de la soutenabilité (le souci du bien-être futur). Il existe à cet égard un véritable paradoxe européen en ce qui concerne les indicateurs de bien-être depuis la « grande récession » : d'une part, l'UE a tenté de capitaliser sur le mécontentement à l'égard de l'économie standard et de faire sien l'agenda « au-delà du PIB » qu'elle a contribué à lancer. D'autre part, les institutions européennes sont devenues encore plus rigides dans l'application de ses critères de finance publique. Cet article présente d'abord les enjeux de la transition du bien-être avant d'indiquer des voies possibles d'ancrage de cette transition dans les politiques publiques de l'Union européenne, à tous les niveaux de gouvernance. On peut de ce point de vue envisager au moins trois niveaux d'action pour inscrire les indicateurs de bienêtre, de résilience et de soutenabilité dans les politiques publiques de l'Union européenne : le niveau européen, le niveau national et le niveau local. On peut de plus croiser ces niveaux de gouvernance avec trois lieux de l'action politique : la démocratie représentative, la démocratie réglementaire et la démocratie participative. Au niveau européen notamment, tout reste ainsi à faire pour intégrer les indicateurs de bien-être aux procédures budgétaires : l'UE pourrait concevoir et organiser, au cours du semestre européen, un débat au Parlement européen et dans tous les parlements des États membres, informé des indicateurs de bien-être et de soutenabilité, orienté par les valeurs européennes et les priorités nationales visant à déterminer les choix budgétaires au-delà des seuls critères de discipline fiscale.
    Keywords: Bien ëtre; Soutenabilité; PIB; Indicateurs alternatifs
    Date: 2018–12
  15. By: Benner, Maximilian
    Abstract: This paper discusses the nexus between economically-driven tourism development and broader societal aspects of social, cultural and ecological sustainability. The paper argues that similar to the discussion on the limits to growth in industrial development that started in the 1970s, the currently debated phenomenon of overtourism calls for a parallel discussion in tourism development. Similar to the argument that industrial development needs to be driven by qualitative, not quantitative growth, tourism development has to reorient itself away from the goal of ever-increasing tourist arrivals towards broader objectives of socially, culturally and ecologically sustainable qualitative growth. This argument leads to two policy implications. First, policymakers should consider which forms of tourism to encourage and which ones to discourage. Second, tourism policy should set incentives and disincentives accordingly. Institutional approaches from human geography can serve to analyze the prospects of these incentives and disincentives, and insights from behavioral economics such as the nudging approach can serve to shape policies accordingly. The paper takes the cases of two cities on the Adriatic sea, Venice and Dubrovnik, as examples.
    Keywords: tourism development, overtourism, qualitative growth, institutions, behavioral economics, Venice, Dubrovnik
    JEL: L83 Q56
    Date: 2019–02–15
  16. By: Daniel E. Sichel
    Abstract: This paper provides a non-technical review of the literature and issues related to the measurement of aggregate productivity. I begin with a discussion of productivity measures, their performance in recent decades, and key measurement puzzles that emerge from the data. The remainder of the review focuses on two important questions. First, how do we make more accurate the measures of prices used to deflate nominal output so as to win (or at least not lose) the race for economic measurement to keep up with a changing economy? This section frames the issues and points to the most important and promising areas for further research. Second, what does or should GDP measure? I defend GDP as a valuable measure of production and offer suggestions for improving it. At the same time, I emphasize the importance of measuring economic welfare (well being) and highlight the value of supplementing GDP with a satellite account that measures economic welfare.
    JEL: E01 E22 E24 E31
    Date: 2019–02
  17. By: Polterovich, Victor; Panchuk, Daria
    Abstract: Basing on the ideas of indicative planning, we propose an approach to the diversification of the Russian economy by deepening the hydrocarbon processing. We justify the expediency of forming a system of interrelated projects that ensure the improvement of technology and expansion of output in a set of productions, and analyze promising areas of development of such projects. The connection of the proposed approach with the concept of value chains is considered. The options of institutional organization of the processes of formation and implementation of a system of projects are discussed.
    Keywords: indicative planning, value chain, synergistic effect, oil refining, petrochemistry, polymers
    JEL: B52 N40 O10 Z10
    Date: 2019–02–20
  18. By: Hayward, Jane
    Abstract: A high-profile debate is taking place in China concerning the organization of agricultural land and production, with profound implications for China’s countryside. This debate is between those advocating for agricultural production to be taken over by large-scale agribusinesses, and those against this. Proponents regard agribusinesses as embodying modernity and progress, while those against forewarn of the channeling of profits out of peasant hands, the loss of peasants’ autonomy over labor and land, and the destruction of rural life. Recent English language publications on China’s agrarian change highlight the growing power of agribusiness and related processes of depeasantization, implying the Chinese debate on “who will till the land?” is futile. But this view obscures efforts by Chinese scholars and policymakers to promote forms of agricultural organization conducive to maintaining peasant livelihoods. By examining the Chinese debates on agribusinesses, family farms, and cooperatives, this article highlights points of contestation among policymakers and alternative possibilities, which may yet shape the course of China’s agrarian change. This article contributes to scholarship on China’s agrarian change, broader questions concerning depeasantization, and developmental possibilities under collective ownership.
    Keywords: China; peasants; land reform; agrarian change; privatization
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2017–08–16
  19. By: Scheller, Fabian; Johanning, Simon; Bruckner, Thomas
    Abstract: Modeling the diffusion of innovations is a very challenging task, as there are various influencing factors to consider. At the same time, insights into the diffusion process can help decision makers to detect weak points of potential business models. In the literature, various models and methodologies that might tackle this problem are presented. Between these, empirically grounded agent-based modeling turned out to be one of the most promising approaches. However, the current culture is dominated by papers that fail to document critical methodological details. Thus, existing agent-based models for real-world analysis differ extensively in their design and grounding and therefore also in their predictions and conclusions. Additionally, the selection of modeling aspects seems too often be ad hoc without any defendable rationale. Concerning this matter, to draw on experiences could guide the researcher. This research paper seeks to synthesize relevant publications at the interface of empirical grounding, agent-based modeling and innovation diffusion to provide an overview of the existing body of knowledge. The major aim is to assess existing approaches regarding development procedure, entity and dynamics consideration and theoretical grounding to suggest a future research agenda. This might lead to the development of more robust models. According to the findings of this review, future work needs to focus on generic design, model coupling, research consistency, modular testing, actor involvement, behavior modeling, network foundation, and data transparency. In a subsequent step and based on the findings, a novel model approach needs to be designed and implemented.
    Keywords: Innovation diffusion models,Agent-based models,Empirically grounded models,Data driven models,Literature review
    Date: 2019
  20. By: Adeline Gueret (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE)); Paul Malliet (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Aurélien Saussay (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Xavier Timbeau (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: The international process for tackling climate change endured several backslashes since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. Issues around the respective responsibilities are not fully solved yet. The underlying question of how to share efforts in order to reach a Zero Net Emissions state remains largely unclear and the INDCs process has still to deliver a pathway for decarbonization. In the last years, the concept of global carbon budget has emerged as one of the most direct ways to materialize the constraint from the climate. It mainly relies on the idea that only a limited quantity of carbon dioxide can be released in the atmosphere if we want to stay below the 2°C temperature change threshold above pre-industrial levels and, if possible, below +1.5°C, as agreed at the Paris Conference in 2015. By comparing what is in our carbon budget to what is done to reduce the carbon footprint of societies, we calculate a distance to the climate constraint. Expressed in euro this distance, called the “climate debt”, measure how much we avoid paying by delaying climate change mitigation. Using different rules for sharing the burden, acknowledging there is no negotiated nor consensual way to share it, we calculate this climate debt for main EU countries. The first step of the following work is to compute a carbon budget for both the European Union and member countries mixing population based sharing (egalitarian) for EU and rest of world budget and emission based sharing (grandfathering) for EU countries. In a second step, we determine how many years are left before these budgets are depleted at the regional and national levels, which requires assumptions on the future emissions trend. Combining these trends with assumptions on the abatement cost of remaining carbon dioxide emissions after the depletion date allows us to evaluate the “climate debt”. More precisely, the “climate debt” is the amount of money that will have to be invested or paid by countries for them not to exceed their carbon budget. This work led us to three key policy insights. First, there are few years left for major European countries before exhausting their carbon budget under the +2°C target. As for the +1.5°C target, carbon budgets are exhausted for EU main countries, which are thus running excessive climate deficits. Secondly, the carbon debt should be considered as one of the major issues of the decades to come since in the baseline scenario it represents about 50% of the EU GDP to stay below +2°C (120% for staying below +1.5°C). Thirdly, the results of the estimation of this carbon debt are subject to numerous moral, ethical and technical assumptions that should motivate further and urgent investigations on this subject, critical to climate change mitigation, from both state bodies and independent research institutes.
    Keywords: Climate change; Paris Agreement; Carbon budger
    Date: 2018–12
  21. By: Hübenbecker, Ulf
    Abstract: Die fehlende Einbettung der Wirtschaftswissenschaft in die Gesellschaft und ihr soziales Umfeld haben schwerwiegende Folgen. Ein tieferliegendes Verständnis ökonomischer Zusammenhänge ist verloren gegangen, was zu einer mangelnden Analysefähigkeit der Zunft geführt hat. Ein Kandidat für die Charakterisierung der aktuellen politischen und gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse ist der Neoliberalismus. Welche wechselseitigen Beziehungen zwischen orthodoxer Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Neoliberalismus vorherrschen, darauf will diese Arbeit versuchen Antworten zu geben. Insbesondere wird ersichtlich, dass der Neoliberalismus seine Legitimation auf den wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen der orthodoxen Wirtschaftswissenschaft aufbaut. Aufgrund dessen wird die orthodoxe Wirtschaftswissenschaft auf ihre ontologischen, epistemologischen und methodologischen Grundlagen hin untersucht. Es wird gezeigt, wie über Kriterien der Ermöglichung und der Demarkation ein Wissenschaftsbild transportiert wird, welches dem Neoliberalismus seine Legitimation verleiht. In Hinsicht darauf, dass Wechselwirkungen auch eine reaktive Wirkrichtung implizieren, wird versucht darzulegen wie der Neoliberalismus die orthodoxe Wirtschaftswissenschaft prägt. Hierbei wird vor allem das Journalsystem und die Drittmittelförderung betrachtet.
    Keywords: neoliberalism,orthodox economics,mainstream economics,epistemology
    JEL: B10 B13 B40 P16
    Date: 2019
  22. By: Jorge Andrés Gutiérrez del Castillo
    Abstract: Los estudios culturales como una aproximación a la investigación sobre las instituciones económicas a partir de las premisas del desarrollo Cultural studies as an approach to research on economic institutions from development premises Jorge Andrés Gutiérrez del Castillo* * Comunicador Social y Periodista de la Universidad del Norte, Mg Comunicación de la Universidad de Puerto Rico y estudiante becado del Doctorado en Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad del Norte. Resumen Este artículo responde a una revisión que discute entre la metodología y la teoría para evaluar la forma en que los estudios culturales pueden servir como una forma de entendimiento cualitativo para analizar las instituciones económicas. De esta forma, el texto parte de debatir la mirada cualitativa como un escenario de estudio que profundiza sobre elementos antropológicos que sirven para comprender procesos humanos tan relevantes para los sistemas económicos. En este sentido, las instituciones, entendidas desde estos términos, se caracterizan por ser fundamentalmente propuestas culturales que crecen y cambian siguiendo patrones sociales que las definen y establecen dentro de los pilares de desarrollos de las sociedades contemporáneas. Palabras clave: estudios culturales, metodología, instituciones económicas. Clasificación JEL: C16, L83, N36, O10, O15. Abstract The following article responds to a version that discusses between the theory and mythology to evaluate the way in which the cultural studies can serve as a form of qualitative understanding to analyze the economic institutions. In this manner, the text begins by debating the qualitative point of view as a scenario of study that portrays on anthropological elements which work to comprehend human processes, relevant to the economic systems. In this sense the institutions, understood from these terms, are characterized for being mainly cultural proposals that grow and change following social patterns which define and establishes in the pillar of social contemporary growth. Keywords: cultural studies, methodology, economic institutions. JEL Codes: C16, L83, N36, O10, O15. 1. INTRODUCCIÓN Cuando en 1898 Thorstein Veblen publica el artículo “Why is Economics Not an Evolutionary Science?” realiza una importante sentencia acerca de la forma como se han abordado las dinámicas que componen los campos teóricos y metodológicos de las ciencias económicas. Su cuestionamiento es un reproche que amonesta la manera en que la economía se ha quedado aislada y, por ende, rezagada frente a otras disciplinas. Lo interesante de esta reflexión es que para Veblen es determinante evaluar estos parámetros, pues entiende que existe un valor antropológico que es sustancial para revisar los componentes metodológicos con los cuales se han abordada las ciencias económicas. Comprender a Veblen es el primer paso en la revisión del concepto de las instituciones, no porque aquí se vaya a plantear una discusión que no se haya abordado anteriormente, sino porque fundamentalmente se revisarán los estudios culturales como una aproximación para entender, desde el método, las instituciones económicas desde su componente humano y social. El valor cultural es intrínseco al estudio de las estructuras sociales, y la economía no es ajena a esto. Por ejemplo, Veblen señala que el ser humano responde a una estructura cambiante de acuerdo con sus hábitos y propensiones según la búsqueda de una realización. Según esto, la actividad económica es coherente con los deseos y la vida del individuo; es un proceso acumulativo de adaptación, de hábitos traídos del pasado y las circunstancias de la vida misma. Bajo esta premisa, el ser humano es la base de todo criterio económico y la actividad no debe limitarse a la relación causa—efecto como relación de la verdad que caracteriza a los métodos científicos modernos. Esta mirada es parcial, y en muchos sentidos excluyente, puesto que al ser una ciencia que aborda situaciones sociales o que comprometen directamente el actuar cotidiano de los diferentes grupos humanos, dicho abordaje debe hacerse desde la pluralidad, con el fin de encontrar otras dinámicas metodológicas que amplíen la relación entre las ciencias sociales y la economía. Entender lo anterior desde el concepto de las instituciones significa también que no se habla de una sola economía, sino de economías que se suscriben a los procesos de desarrollo humano. Al respecto, Geoffrey Hodgson (2006) inspirado en Searle señala que …las representaciones mentales de una institución y sus reglas forman parte de esta institución, dado que una institución puede existir solo si su gente tiene creencias particulares y actitudes mentales relacionadas. Por lo tanto, una institución es un tipo especial de estructura social que implica reglas potencialmente codificables y normativas (evidentes o inherentes) de interpretación y comportamiento. Algunas de estas reglas se refieren a símbolos o significados. (p. 25). Para el autor, esto es un reflejo del interés por comprender la Teoría Económica Institucional a través de otras disciplinas. En este sentido, al entrar en la discusión sobre las formas del pensamiento económico a partir del concepto de las Instituciones, se presenta también una reflexión acerca de la organización de la sociedad, no tanto desde el estudio de los sistemas, el mercado y el capital, sino como una propuesta política que, desde la economía, estudie la condición humana de la sociedad. Los primeros economistas institucionales, en la tradición de Thorstein Veblen y John R. Commons, concibieron las instituciones como un tipo especial de estructura social con el potencial de lograr cambios en los agentes, incluyendo cambios en sus propósitos o preferencias. (Hodgson, 2006, p.23). Desde esta perspectiva, los tintes metodológicos para estudiar la economía institucional deben dialogar en diferentes campos, pues se trata de una propuesta para abordar la sociedad a partir de sus estructuras políticas, sociales y, sobre todo, culturales. Con esto presente, la propuesta de este artículo se desarrolla a partir de un acercamiento a los estudios culturales como una reflexión que considera este campo de investigación un ejercicio que permite entender los procesos culturales que atraviesan las dinámicas y la organización de las instituciones. Esta premisa sigue la articulación entre los procesos socioculturales y las formas de interacción humana como puentes que establecen las reglas de juego en una sociedad. (North, 1990). De esta forma se entiende que este concepto (sociocultural) es una forma de articulación entre lo simbólico y lo material, una dualidad como parte del intercambio entre lo humano1, la acción, el resultado, pues dicho así y, siguiendo las palabras de North, es un escenario cambiante atravesado por individuos que eligen y se organizan a partir de modelos derivados subjetivamente. Esta postura tiene como punto de partida los planteamientos de la antropóloga Rossana Reguillo (2004), quien a partir de una revisión crítica sobre los estudios culturales observa un escenario de investigación con la posibilidad de acceder a una fuerza productiva de significación en la que los actores (y sus subjetividades) responden a procesos establecidos a partir de parámetros sociales. Se trata de investigar sobre las relaciones que se originan desde el orden simbólico como un ejercicio que busca observar los mecanismos desde los cuales se configuran las instituciones de la sociedad. Así, para Reguillo, desde los estudios culturales se puede acceder a formas de organización humana, un espacio que, haciendo eco en las palabras de la autora, se constituye en … el lugar donde se tocan y se afectan las estructuras sociales y objetivas y los procesos simbólicos, lugar de cruce de los sistemas como fuerza productiva y constrictiva con la capacidad de agencia de los actores sociales que desde la subjetividad son capaces de apropiarse, negociar o resistir el sistema; lugar de interfase entre la reproducción y la capacidad de transformación e imaginación social. (p. 9). Dicho así, la obra de North (2007) se vuelve pertinente pues, como se trabaja aquí, permite un análisis de la importancia de los estudios culturales a partir de las relaciones sociales, económicas y políticas que se conforman en las instituciones. Aunque es claro que North no trabaja explícitamente en este campo de estudio, su propuesta sobre el cambio institucional, es una renovación de la manera de abordar la historia económica y el modo en que evolucionan las sociedades. Señalar entonces esto, es acercar la reflexión sobre las formas de organización de las instituciones, prestando atención a los fenómenos de re—significación propios de los campos de estudios culturales. Se trata de una revisión manifestada por Veblen (1989) sobre la necesidad de que en el estudio de las instituciones se radique primero la comprensión del tejido social antes que las teorías de la economía tradicional. Si bien con esto Veblen intenta presentar una teoría institucional basada en el ser humano, el enfoque cultural se limita únicamente a la parte social del individuo. (Parada, 2011). Veblen planteó para su época una arriesgada reflexión sobre las ciencias y el método en la que la naturaleza humana es el epicentro de la teoría económica y desarrollo social. En este sentido, el desafío de la economía desde Veblen se concentra en la condición humana como análisis de los procesos sociales que determinan las teorías económicas. Se trata de la apertura a la tradición hermenéutica dentro de los estudios de la economía institucional (Parada, 2011). Esto, frente a los términos de las ciencias sociales, significó un abordaje interdisciplinar que permite comprender las instituciones como un proyecto en el que se observan múltiples estructuras sociales que dialogan en la formación de universos que, más que centrarse en la existencia de los hechos, siguen los hábitos del pensamiento humano para entender la teoría económica. Con esto presente, uno de los puntos por reseñar en este artículo es el debate sobre los métodos de investigación que ha caracterizado a las ciencias modernas (y, por ende, toda la raíz de las ciencias sociales). Son muchos los diálogos que se complementan y cruzan desde las diferentes disciplinas y campos de estudios dentro de las ciencias sociales y humanas. Tal vez por ello, al plantear una reflexión sobre la elaboración de un método, se tome como punto de partida una aproximación epistemológica que permita a la investigación ubicarse en un enfoque paradigmático (siguiendo los términos de Kunh) como respuesta al universo de estudio del que se espera lograr un conocimiento. Es entonces importante señalar que las ciencias forman parte de un sistema de representaciones en el que el sujeto siempre es atravesado por el conocimiento como mecanismo de apropiación de experiencias que parten de procesos subjetivos. Tal vez esta sea la clave de los estudios culturales, pues se trata de un ethos del conocimiento que entiende al sujeto y su sentido como primera medida, antes que un panorama de lo fáctico o medible como la primera forma de entender el mundo.2 Así, al pensar las instituciones desde los estudios culturales, también se plantea una propuesta del método con objeto de percibir la construcción social por sus evocaciones3 (Tyler, 1998) antes que por sus deducciones empíricas. En este sentido, se dibuja aquí una reflexión sobre una forma de estudiar las Instituciones a partir de representaciones sociales que no son estáticas, sino que mutan por sus simbologías y ejes culturales. 2. SOBRE LOS ESTUDIOS CULTURALES, LAS INSTITUCIONES Y LAS CIENCIAS MODERNAS Es mucho lo que se puede discutir a partir de los estudios culturales. Teóricos como Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Immanuel Wallerstein, Néstor García Canclini y Jesús Martín—Barbero han planteado diferentes discusiones en torno a este campo de estudio que ha permitido abordar los fenómenos sociales desde un universo mucho más dinámico y plural. Sin embargo, no es propósito de este escrito reseñar nuevamente lo que ya se ha planteado, sino entender la discusión a partir de la crítica que se ha generado como origen de este tipo de estudio y comprender estas afirmaciones a partir del estudio de las Instituciones Económicas. En el texto Desarrollo a Escala Humana Max—Neef plantea una profunda crítica a la forma como la economía ha dado prioridad al desarrollo del mercado antes que al del ser humano. Aunque sus planteamientos podrían resultar utópicos, es importante rescatar de su escrito el llamado de atención sobre la manera como se comprende la crisis de Latinoamérica. Para este autor, el dilema consiste en que no se comprende lo que significa comprender. El describir y el explicar se vinculan al conocimiento que es materia de las ciencias. El comprender, en cambio es una forma de iluminación respecto de la esencia y del sentido de las cosas y, por lo tanto, más que contribuir al incremento del conocimiento, es generador de sabiduría”. (p.126). Lo relevante de esta premisa es que abre la reflexión sobre la manera de formular un problema y ayuda a definir el método sobre el cual se desarrolla una investigación. Sin embargo, sus palabras encierran, además, una reflexión sobre los esquemas que han determinado la búsqueda de conocimiento desde las ciencias modernas. Por ejemplo, en medio del “Siglo de las luces”, la sociedad moderna se construye desde el sujeto crítico y con la libertad de un pensamiento opuesto a las antiguas represiones premodernas. Esto permite que la razón emerja como argumento principal de todo conocimiento y se convierte en el ethos de la verdad y el anhelo de certidumbre de una sociedad moderna distanciada de las parábolas de la Iglesia medieval. Para este tiempo, los metarrelatos religiosos se desgastan como “la fuente sagrada” productora de la verdad4 y dan paso a una realidad que, dentro del paradigma positivista, descarta como objeto de estudio todo aquello que no puede medirse u observarse con exactitud. (Hernández Sampieri, Fernández Collado, y Baptista Lucio, 2010). Es esto lo que se convierte en la base de las ciencias modernas: una producción de conocimiento empírico que recae sobre lo comprobable, homogéneo, experimental y tangible, e igualmente, abre la puerta a una sociedad que crece con este paradigma como su pilar de desarrollo. En esta medida, el sujeto moderno concibe al mundo dentro de parámetros objetivos como método que justifica y leS da sentido a los fenómenos del entorno, las ciencias naturales y, eventualmente, de la sociedad misma. Se trata de un proyecto que, anclado en las ideas de libertad de la Revolución francesa, da entrada a un individuo que prefiere la lógica y la razón para sentar las bases de su futuro y así mismo de la modernidad contemporánea. Sin embargo, los estudios culturales, al estar enraizados en los métodos de estudio de las ciencias sociales, deben partir de proponer una mirada pluralizada de la realidad, debido a que aspectos como la amplitud de la muestra, las estadísticas y la medición como método único solo se traducen en un conocimiento parcial. En términos de Max—Neef (2000), se trata de una percepción del mundo que utiliza teorías simplistas para la interpretación de realidades socialmente complejas. Un sistema que le asigna valor a lo económico “en contraposición a otros ámbitos de la preocupación humana, como la política y la cultura. De hecho, parecería que la preocupación central de la política es la economía”. (p.129) Ahora bien, al situar esta discusión en la teoría institucional, la crítica adquiere relevancia, pues las Instituciones son construcciones humanas compuestas de motivaciones, interacciones, complejidades subjetivas que están determinadas (y también determinan) los contextos sociales sobre los que se desarrollan las dinámicas económicas (North, 1990). Teniendo presente esto, las afirmaciones de Max—Neef adquieren importancia, pues al asignarle un valor complejo al ejercicio de investigación (y por lo tanto a las teorías), se abre un espacio a estudios culturales en los que la pluralidad del método y las disciplinas son inherentes al proceso de investigación. Esto denota una contraposición a los supuestos conductuales que emplean los economistas para determinar o esquematizar la elección racional. Esta postura responde a la propuesta científica moderna y que, en términos de North (1990), abarca métodos económicos experimentales situados en el estudio de la conducta humana: En los últimos 20 años, este enfoque ha sido fuertemente atacado, aunque también ha encontrado defensores decididos (…) Al parecer, la conducta humana es más compleja que la que está encarnada en la función utilitaria individual de los modelos de los economistas. Muchos casos no simplemente maximizan la conducta de la riqueza, sino también del altruismo y de las limitaciones autoimpuestas, lo cual cambia radicalmente los resultados con respecto a las elecciones que de hecho hace la gente. (pp. 34, 35). De acuerdo con estos planteamientos, los estudios económicos dibujan una dicotomía entre la teoría de la conducta humana y la realidad. Al respecto, Bonilla – Rodríguez (1997) plantea que la regla de oro del método científico en las ciencias sociales, es “abordar el conocimiento de la realidad social a partir de sus propios parámetros” (p.48), pues entiende que el método es una construcción que, a partir de las elaboraciones culturales, constituye un escenario donde la negociación entre el sujeto y realidad es parte del eje de estudio. Así, el marco de investigación resulta un campo flexible y no impuesto (como sucede en la teoría de los supuestos conductuales). Al respecto, Parada (2005) coincide con los planteamientos de Dewey y Grunchy con respecto a que los pilares metodológicos de la Economía Institucional Original están compuestos por un método “culturalista”, en lugar del formalista de la economía tradicional. Al respecto señala que “el sistema económico es un resultado histórico—cultural en vez de uno hipotético idealizado” (p. 4), es decir, que las premisas que sustentan las decisiones en un sistema económico se componen de eventualidades históricas, políticas y sociales, y que por lo tanto implican interacción humana. Así, al utilizar únicamente cifras para abordar ese “saber” objetivo y certero, se visualiza solo una parte de la realidad social. La investigación desde los parámetros cuantitativos permite observar un mapa organizado y puntual de las tendencias de un panorama “hipotético idealizado”. El problema de este abordaje estriba en acceder casi de manera exclusiva a la medición como parámetro de evaluación, dándole así prelación al paradigma cuantitativo. Tal vez como método cumpla con lo reglamentario, pero desde un punto de vista fenomenológico, el universo de la realidad no puede, ni debe, amoldarse al método, sino que es el método el que debe ser flexible para moldearse a la realidad estudiada. El trabajo desarrollado a partir de la exclusión de una otra metodología (cualitativa — cuantitativa) genera serias restricciones a la capacidad de conocer la realidad en su totalidad. Sobre esto Chajín (2005) señala: Ningún paradigma es más valido que otro, pues ambos son productos de una determinada racionalidad, lo que en sí mismo no garantiza su validez universal. Tal validez emerge en la adscripción o apoyo que las comunidades científicas, e incluso la gente común, le den a las teorías. (p.123). Frente a esto, el debate se ha mantenido y la fuerza que adquirió a mediados de los años 70 con el crecimiento de los estudios hermenéuticos y el método cualitativo sigue pendiente, pues no se trata de un tema que busque resolverse, sino de una discusión continua para fortalecer el campo de las ciencias. Sin embargo, en referencia a los estudios culturales, Reguillo (2004) señala que los límites de lo que son y lo que representan en el mapa de la producción contemporánea de conocimiento no son una tarea fácil de precisar, “en tanto no hay un “acuerdo” que establezca su definición y marque con claridad las fronteras que separan este modo particular de observar la realidad frente a otras perspectivas interpretativas”. (p.1). Por ejemplo, Pratts (1997), comparte el pensamiento de Clifford Geertz, y señala que en la construcción de símbolos existe una correlación entre ideas y valores, dos conceptos inherentes a la estructura cultural e individual del ser humano. Al respecto, el autor menciona que los símbolos están intrínsecamente relacionados con el sentido humano que, desde su concepción ontológica, también se relaciona con una concepción emocional: La principal virtualidad del un símbolo es su capacidad para expresar de una forma sintética y emocionalmente efectiva una relación entre ideas y valores. Dicho de otra forma, el símbolo tiene la capacidad de transformar las concepciones y creencias en emociones de encarnarse, y de condensarlas y hacerlas, por tanto, mucho más intensas. (Pratts, 1997, p. 29). Planteado de esta manera, las instituciones contienen uno de los significados más polisémicos en el lenguaje de la política y la economía contemporánea5, cuya fortaleza tiene una base social como epicentro de las transformaciones. En este sentido, el patrimonio es un proceso en constante movimiento que al estar dentro de un sistema simbólico emergen conflictos, negociaciones, tensiones y luchas que pluridimensionan la mirada respecto a lo que sería su valor social y su carácter cultural. A partir de estos términos, los estudios culturales no pueden desarrollarse como una fórmula metodológica, sino como un mapa que sirva como guía flexible de los procesos de estudios e interacciones simbólicas, pues al analizar las prácticas humanas y sociales, el universo no se determina desde un marco de observación homogéneo. Los estudios sociales constituyen entonces un discurso científico como corriente alternativa que desmenuza las acciones de la realidad y las convierte en múltiples fragmentos que dialogan entre sí, en el que cada trozo de la realidad es una dimensión que se narra por sí misma, con un lenguaje propio y diferente que, al buscar la representación, su significado no se limita a lo material, sino a la comprensión de lo inmaterial de la realidad. En este sentido, los estudios culturales van más allá de una secuencia lógica, pues se plantean desde una mirada que no se reduce a la descripción, ni tampoco la racionalidad, más bien evoca el “caos” (Tyler, 1998) para tomar nuevas formas desde la polifonía propia en la inmaterialidad del universo cultural y, para este caso, del universo de las Instituciones económicas. 3. ESTUDIOS CULTURALES PARA COMPRENDER EL DESARROLLO Todo escenario de estudio que aborde las instituciones desde la composición cultural y social dialoga, a su vez, acerca de las formas de desarrollo. Al respecto, el trabajo de Ayres (1962) significó un aporte considerable en la discusión de este tema cuando en el texto Teoría sobre el Progreso Económico plantea una reflexión sobre la posibilidad de la cultura como epicentro del desarrollo social y suscribe la definición de la tecnología dentro de estos términos. En este sentido, para el autor, el desafío de la economía se concentra en la condición humana (y eso incluye lo que él define como la tecnología) y abre las puertas a la tradición hermenéutica dentro de los estudios de la economía institucional. (Parada, 2011). Esto, frente a los términos de las ciencias sociales, significó un abordaje multidisciplinar que permitió comprender las instituciones como un proyecto en conjunto en el que se observan múltiples estructuras sociales que dialogan en la formación del universo que compone los caminos del desarrollo social. Aunque autores como Commons y Ayres desarrollan una teoría de las instituciones y muchos de sus puntos de partida se basan en las reflexiones de Thorstein Veblen, la manera como evolucionan en sus reflexiones hacen que se distancien dentro del mismo campo de estudio. Por una parte, para Commons, las instituciones tienen una estructura de hábitos. Tal como lo reseña el texto Institutionals Economics (1990), es una visión holística y ambiciosa sobre las instituciones que destaca los hábitos del ser humano como elemento sustancial para generar rutinas y costumbres. Para este autor, se forman conductas que estructuran la composición de las instituciones. Sin embargo, al ubicar al ser humano como foco de la discusión, no eleva la cultura como algo etéreo (Parada, 2011), sino como un proceso complejo de interacciones que destaca la acción colectiva sobre la acción individual. Esto para Ayres es diferente. Aunque también ubica al ser humano en el centro del razonamiento económico, lo hace para destacar las habilidades humanas como centro del desarrollo. Se comprende esto para como una reflexión sobre el deslustre del proyecto moderno. En la década de 1930 no podía legitimarse más las iniciativas económicas liberales ante las estrategias privadas y las corrientes individualistas de las organizaciones impulsadas por el crecimiento económico del siglo XIX (libres de las ataduras estatales) y que habían jugado un papel determinante en los moldeamientos de los órdenes capitalistas contemporáneos (Vadi, 1998; Polanyi, 2007). Las críticas a los sistemas políticos se hacían evidentes en protestas simbólicas como las del arte contemporáneo, el cine y la literatura6. Los metarrelatos del “hombre máquina” como un organismo de naturaleza mecánica, de alma adiestrada y manipulable (Mattelart, 2001) se desgastan ante los efectos de un capitalismo que tildaba casi en lo absoluto. Al respecto Grassi (2003) señala que es aquí donde se observan los problemas de la falta de legitimidad del Estado para gobernar o fortalecer las Instituciones que forman parte del orden social y que garantizan el bienestar general. Esto afectó sustancialmente la noción y comprensión del desarrollo. Lo importante de este análisis es que observa la forma en cómo se organizan instituciones de la sociedad a partir de mecánicas culturales convenientes para las economías capitalistas. En este sentido esa “estructura de hábitos” que resalta Commons (1990) genera rutinas y costumbres humanas a favor de un razonamiento económico que no suscribe el desarrollo humano. Esto a todas luces es una contradicción al espíritu de la vida y la cultura humana que pregona la Modernidad. Este acercamiento es más explícito en lectura de Amartya Sen (1988). Para este autor, el concepto de desarrollo es uno de los más controvertidos dentro de la academia de las ciencias sociales, pues la literatura no presenta un consenso al respecto. Esto hace que se puedan encontrar variadas definiciones y que en algunos casos son incompatibles. Así, para Sen, hablar de desarrollo es primero analizar la vida de quienes integran una comunidad, pues no puede considerarse que hay éxito económico sin tener en cuenta la vida de los individuos. El desarrollo es entonces parte de las personas un proceso de expansión de las capacidades de que disfrutan los individuos, a lo que el autor señala en su texto como “the Common Safety” and “each Man’s particular Happiness”. Sin embargo, Sen no descarta que el concepto de desarrollo tenga una estrecha relación con la economía en general, pues al tratarse como “economía del desarrollo” difícilmente puede separarse de las investigaciones clásicas de la economía sobre aspectos de la Naturaleza y Causas de la Riqueza de las Naciones. Aun así se comprende que desarrollo no puede reducirse a estos parámetros; de hecho, es una suma de composiciones variables y divididas que mutan conforme a múltiples criterios7. Tal vez por esto los estudios que han abordado el concepto de desarrollo se han mantenido en constante movimiento, dado el escepticismo, casi inquisitivo, que se abre ante el debate de definirlo o explicarlo a partir del contexto social, político y económico. De esta forma, sin ánimo de violentar la literatura establecida, lo cierto es que el concepto de desarrollo siempre será un término en construcción. Se menciona lo anterior porque al comprender o definir un concepto desde un entendimiento científico, estos no se deben interpretar como una noción de descubrimientos, sino, más bien, coma “la sucesiva transformación de todo un conjunto de representaciones, cada una de las cuales define un periodo de la práctica científica”. (Danto, 2003, p.23). Entendiendo esto, es comprensible que el concepto de desarrollo aterrice en nociones utópicas frente a la postura ontológica y epistemológica sobre las que se han abordado con frecuencia. De hecho, Hodgson (2006) cuestiona la forma en que la teoría neoclásica propone que los cambios únicamente ocurren mediante el sistema de mercado y, dicho así, el concepto de desarrollo también se reduce a este tipo de sistema y excluye, con ello, las interacciones culturales que hacen parte también del orden en las estructuras sociales. Sobre esto Veblen plantea una mirada para comprender que el comportamiento humano (psicología y biología) aterrizado dentro de la teoría del desarrollo económico abre campo a un enfoque ontológico y hermenéutico diferente dentro de las aproximaciones metodológicas para que la racionalidad experimental se comprenda también desde una racionalidad social. Aunque esto resulta problemático para las escuelas de pensamiento de las ciencias con enfoques clásicos, resulta determinante para la mirada que plantea Hodgson (2006) frente a la crítica que realiza sobre un enfoque metodológico puramente racional predictivo. Para explicar esto, se comprende (para este escrito) que el autor aborda el rol de las instituciones como ejemplo del desarrollo económico, pues desde aquí juegan interacciones humanas, sumergidas en relaciones sociales y que, a su vez, se organizan en estructuras con sistemas de reglas establecidas. Se trata de reglas de juego de una sociedad donde las restricciones forman parte de la interacción humana. (Parada 2011) y al mismo tiempo la potencian. En síntesis, las instituciones, bajo esta perspectiva, no derivan solo del comportamiento individual; surgen de un campo social desde donde las interacciones con los individuos estructuran comportamientos que son indispensables observar para comprender, igualmente, las estructuras del desarrollo económico. Desde aquí, Supelano (2005), inspirado en Veblen, explica que la teoría darwiniana como un proceso revolucionario de selección, no por la supervivencia del más fuerte, sino también por la oportunidad de la herencia y la variación. Si se plantea desde esta medida, estudiar el desarrollo se aleja de la noción clásica que no ha dado resultado en su práctica, pero tampoco recae en la crítica que plantea una visión utópica del desarrollo económico y social. Lo que se observa es que más allá de las analogías biológicas que se pueden entender de la teoría darwiniana, y para los términos desde donde aquí se plantea, se observa una propuesta que, en clave teórica/metodológica, abre la discusión a un estudio sobre el desarrollo pensado desde la democracia, la cultura, la sociedad civil, sus costumbres y valores, como primera medida, antes que solo la del individuo, y planteado así, es un ejercicio que recae fundamentalmente dentro de los estudios culturales. Notas 1 Para este escrito se entiende por lo “humano” los procesos culturales derivados de intercambios subjetivos que organizan los parámetros de la realidad social. Al respecto Gonzalo Abril (1997), una reflexión sobre los enunciados que configuran el discurso social, señala que parten son actos semio—comunicativos como resultado de entes simbólicos que, al estar en constante ejercicio, se manifiestan dentro de los diálogos culturales que conforman el orden dentro de la sociedad. 2 No es propósito de este ensayo abrir un debate acerca de los métodos de investigación que han caracterizado a las ciencias modernas. Sin embargo, es importante señalar esta crítica para establecer la idea sobre la relevancia de aproximar la investigación de las instituciones a los estudios culturales. 3 Los estudios culturales surgen como el discurso científico de la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Se trata de una corriente alternativa que desmenuza las acciones de la realidad y las convierte en múltiples fragmentos que dialogan entre sí. 4 Sobre verdad existió un hombre atado a un poder invisible que era capaz de garantizar en la fe, la certidumbre necesaria para dar seguridad. Así lo plantea Gil Calvo (2003): “La invención de Dios o de cualquier otra de sus múltiples metáforas, permite creer en la realidad como algo dotado de conciencia, necesidad y certidumbre”. (p.118). 5 Al referirme al lenguaje político, traigo a colación la discusión de la Unesco en París el 17 de octubre de 2003 que define como “patrimonio cultural inmaterial” los usos, representaciones, expresiones, conocimientos y técnicas ?junto con los instrumentos, objetos, artefactos y espacios culturales que les son inherentes? que las comunidades, los grupos y en algunos casos los individuos reconozcan como parte integrante de su patrimonio cultural. Este patrimonio cultural inmaterial, que se transmite de generación en generación, es recreado constantemente por las comunidades y grupos en función de su entorno, su interacción con la naturaleza y su historia, infundiéndoles un sentimiento de identidad y continuidad y contribuyendo así a promover el respeto de la diversidad cultural y la creatividad humana. A efectos de la presente Convención se tendrá en cuenta únicamente el patrimonio cultural inmaterial que sea compatible con los instrumentos internacionales de derechos humanos existentes y con los imperativos de respeto mutuo entre comunidades, grupos e individuos y de desarrollo sostenible. Ver más en 6 En 1935 Charles Chaplin produce el film “Tiempos Modernos”, una imagen de la modernidad divorciada de las idílicas imágenes planteadas por el desarrollo y el progreso. Igualmente, el arte, reducido a una función estética (por su carencia de razón y argumento empírico), se convierte en uno de los críticos más duros de la sociedad. La literatura también juega un papel de crítico en las producciones textuales de la generación del 98 y la del 27. 7 Se habla de múltiples criterios a partir de la propuesta de Max Neef (2000), quien, siguiendo la línea de Amartya Sen, menciona que las ciencias humanas ofrecen una vasta y variada literatura. Entra las combinaciones se puede reconocer las necesidades de Ser, Tener, Hacer y Estar; y, por la otra, las necesidades de Subsistencia, Protección, Afecto, Entendimiento, Participación, Ocio, Creación, Identidad y Libertad. REFERENCIAS Abril, G. (1997). Teoría General de la información. Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra. Ayres, C (1962). The theory of economic progress. New York: Shocken books Bonilla – Castro, E y Rodriguez Sehk, P. (2000). Más allá del dilema de los métodos. La investigación en ciencias sociales. Bogotá: Norma Chajin Florez, M. (2005). La perspectiva dialógica como un paso hacia la unificación de la ciencia. Revista Ensayos Disciplinares: Universidad Autónoma Del Caribe V.4. p.9 – 20. Commons, J. (1990) Institutional economics: Its place in political economy. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, Vols, 1—2. Calvo, G. (2003). El miedo es el mensaje. Madrid: Alianza. Danto, A. (2003) El cuerpo/el problema del cuerpo. Madrid: Síntesis. Grassi, E. (2003). Política y problemas sociales en la sociedad neoliberal, otra década infame. Buenos Aires: Espacio. Hernández Sampieri, R., Fernández Collado, C. y Baptista Lucio, P. (2010). Metodología de la investigación. McGraw—Hill: México. Hogdson, G. (2006). What are institutions. Journal of Economic Issues, 40, 1. Mattelart, A. (2001). Historia de la sociedad de la información., Barcelona: Paidós. Max—Neef, M. (2000). Desarrollo a Escala Humana. Suecia: Fundación Dag Hammarskjöld. North, D. (1990). Instituciones, cambio institucional y desempeño económico. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. North, D. (2007). Para entender el procesos del cambio económico. Bogotá: Norma Parada, J (2005). La economía institucional original: una introducción necesaria. Revista Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas y Sociales, 5—6, 115—142. Parada, J. (2011). Instituciones, desarrollo y regiones. El caso de Colombia. Barranquilla: Ediciones Uninorte. Polanyi, K. (2007), La gran transformación. Los orígenes políticos y económicos de nuestro tiempo, Fondo de Cultura, Buenos Aires. Pratts, Ll. (1997). Antropología y Patrimonio. Ariel: Barcelona. Reguillo, R. (2004). Los estudios culturales. El mapa inco?modo de un relato inconcluso. Recuperado el julio de 2011 de Portal de Comunicación Sen, A. (1988). The concept of development. En Hollis Chenery y T.N. Srinivasan (Eds.), Handbook of Development Economics (vol. 1, chap. 1, pp. 9—26). Cambridge Supelano, A. (Ed). (2005). Fundamentos de Economía evolutiva; ensayos escogidos. Bogotá, D.C.: Universidad Externado de Colombia. Tyler, A. (1998). Etnografía posmoderna: de documento de lo oculto a documento oculto. En C. Geertz (1998). El surgimiento de la antropología posmoderna (pp. 297—303). Barcelona: Gedisa. UNESCO. (2003). Convenio para la salvaguarda del patrimonio cultural inmaterial. Recuperado de : Vadi Fantauzzi, J. (1998). La privatización como estrategia del proyecto económico neoliberal en Puerto Rico. Tesis de maestría no publicada. Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras. Veblen, T. (1989). The theory of leisure class. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
    Date: 2017–07–03
  23. By: William R. Baca Mejía; Sarah M. Walsh Rone
    Abstract: The free market ideology as a ceremonial feature in latin american La ideología del libre mercado como característica ceremonial en america LaTINA * Research Associate, Washington University—Saint Louis, Department of Sociology, Saint Louis, MO, USA. Profesor e investigador, Universidad del Norte, Departamento de Economía — IEEC. Barranquilla, Colombia. Email: Mail correspondence: Km 5 Antigua vía Puerto Colombia, Área Metropolitana de Barranquilla, Colombia. ** Political Scientist, University of Missouri—Kansas City, Former President of the Student Government at UMKC. William R. Baca Mejía, Ph.D.* Sarah M. Walsh Rone, B.A.** Abstract This paper offers an explanation on how the free market ideology gives rise to the social distinction of being considered a follower of democracy, but with the purpose of being admired from the social viewpoint. This only enhances the ceremonial feature of being a democracy follower. This habit of thought inculcated by the establishment supports pecuniary behaviors submerged in the state, and resigns excluded people to the apparently idea there is not alternatives for change. Understanding that the social process is complex continuously evolving, we propose several and basic elements to explain the negative influence of the establishment under its free market ideological discourse. Keyword: free market, ideology, ceremonial, establishment, institutional change. Jel Codes: B52, O17, P17. Resumen Este artículo ofrece una explicación sobre cómo la ideología del libre mercado da lugar a la distinción social de ser considerado un seguidor de la democracia, pero con el propósito de ser admirado desde el punto de vista social. Esto solo mejora la característica ceremonial de ser un seguidor de la democracia. Este hábito de pensamiento inculcado por el establecimiento apoya conductas pecuniarias sumergidas en el Estado, y resigna a las personas excluidas a la idea aparente de que no hay alternativas para el cambio. Entendiendo que el proceso social es complejo y evoluciona continuamente, proponemos varios elementos básicos para explicar la influencia negativa del establecimiento bajo su discurso ideológico de libre mercado. Palabras clave: libre mercado, ideología, ceremonial, establecimiento, cambio institucional. Clasificación jel: B52, O17, P17. 1. Introducción We claim the ceremonial ideology of the free market is a source of social distinction. After the failure of the dictatorships, socialist attempts, and Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean's (ECLAC) industrialization policies proposals, there has been the need to enhance democracy in Latin American nations. Therefore, development of capitalism through free market reforms thesis was received with hope between the end of the 80's and the beginning of 90's. Notwithstanding, the upshot has been the emergence of a predator government which works in coordinated action between big business groups and the political class leaving the middle class and poor excluded. Hereafter, we will refer to this as the institution of the establishment. The scope of the analysis is focused on the prevalence of a structure which conditions an agency which in turn behaves in a manner that reinforces that structure. A key component of the structure in this case is the habit of thought of the establishment. This suggests that the establishment is an institution in the Veblenian sense. We talk about Latin American throughout this paper although it is well known that each Latin American nation has its particularities. Specifically, we deal with which are considered the general and commonplace features of this ceremonial aspect of free market ideology. Of course it will be cited the Colombian case as the source of insights, but at the same time avoiding a generalization from the Colombian situation. We use only few examples of the Colombian situation. This paper consists of four sections. The first section will examine the free market ideology and its ceremonial features. The second section will be focused on the players of the free market. The third section is centered on the institutions of the lack of trust. A fourth section is based on the study of insights for the institutional change from authors as Dewey, Veblen, Ayres, Commons, and Foster. The last section will offer some conclusions aiming to a road for changing the establishment. 2. FREE MARKET IDEOLOGY AND ITS CEREMONIAL FEATURES We should establish a definition of the ceremonial free market ideology. The ideology tells us how the world works. It has an imposition tone, for human agents end up thinking there are not alternatives. Following this idea, free market economy is the foundation for the development of capitalism, and it is sustained by the conception of freedom. Freedom to choose is the flagship rhetoric that is to create a belief that market economies would be able to find democracy and peace (Friedman, 1962). That is the neoliberal message. The secret formula is just to promote free market capitalism and democracy will emerge as a by—product of it. Historically, the unregulated market was absent during the mercantilist and feudal times, but those were periods where the social relations included man's economy during those times. In a context where social relations do include man's economy, men and women act not for the accumulation of material goods guided by his self—interest, but to safeguard his social standing, and his social status. This means the division of labor is fixed by the social interactions among each member of society. In short, the economy is embedded in social relations and not the contrary (Polanyi, 1944). In looking for freedom in a democratic system, the change from a regulated market to a self—regulating one caused a complete transformation in the structure of society. If we know a market economy only can work in a market society, we will appreciate the conversion of labor, land, and money as commodities i.e. the creation of the labor, land, and money markets. This change brought about a transformation of the conditions of people in society: poverty and misery, high unemployment, wealth accumulation by the high—income classes and other manifestations of social exclusion. But it also brought about the end of the Malthusian world via industrialization (Polanyi, 1944; 1947). The market society destroyed the material prosperity of people who did not need the social institution of market to direct the social provisioning process. Before the market economy, people who later are going to be socially excluded by the market were self—sufficient and had their needs provided. Only the power of an ideology could destroyed the material base that was effectively providing the needs of the people. For instance, the peasants in the late XVII century in England suffered from the fact the lords enclosured their common lands (where the peasants used to work and provide for themselves) and sent the "free peasants" without property to the "promising urban centers", where manufacturing was starting to expand. Once there, the only option for them was to work for long hours without a decent wage (Humphries, 1990). Individualism arises and the idea that only through hard work the individual prosperity can be reached became the essential foundations of the economic life. Even religion played a role on it, the protestant ethics was functional to interest of the emergence of unfettered capitalism. Only through hard work salvation or at least signs of salvation can be seen. This individualistic perspective of life helps to separate men and women from the social aspect of the provisioning process. The production of goods and services is market—centered and does not respond anymore to the social needs (status or social distinction) that men and women have. Businessmen only look to maximize their profits, while consumers look to maximize their utility. All is reduced to a process of economic maximization. Whatever social consequence rises from that, it does not matter (Hunt, 2002; Sherman et. al., 2008). This alteration in people's life conditions will be the reason whereby the economic liberalism responded to the challenge of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution involves high social and human costs. Women, even while pregnant, had to work for 14 to 18 hours a day in the factories. Several times they had to suffer sexual abuse as well. Also, children were used in the factories. The robber baron capitalist style of the day considered advantageous to have a bigger labor supply, and most important, a passive labor supply (women and children) who were not thinking about unionization (Goldin and Sokoloff, 1982). Nevertheless, the laissez faire was kept to maintain law and order. It has officially become an ideology. When there was government intervention, this was motivated by the countermovement, which not necessarily was anti—liberal, but it looked for an inclusive behavior of the free market, and the preference of collectivist view instead of an individualistic one (Polanyi, 1944). The point of Polanyi is to prove that without the double—movement the market was doomed to disappear. As a matter of fact, with the double—movement the market could somehow accomplished the promise of providing material prosperity. For instance, the labor market could get stabilize due to all the regulations that formalize the relationship between the businessmen and workers. The regulations of working day length and the labor conditions on the shop floor contributed to make more efficient the process of production. This is why markets are social constructions and cannot be reduced to a simple intersection of two curves that relate quantitatively quantities and prices (Fligstein, 2001). Polanyi helps us to understand the transformation of the social structure under such economic system, but we have not described the ideological and ceremonial features of the free market. The ideological feature is what Polanyi (1947) called "the delusion of economic determinism as a general law for all human society". This determines directly social classes, and, indirectly, other institutions. If we use tools to make possible social distinction, we will be involved in ceremonialism (Ayres, 1944). The Latin American case exhibits what Adkisson (2004) calls ceremonial encapsulation. He asserts that "ceremonial values are allowed to alter or otherwise limit the application of technologies instrumental in the process of social problem solving". Technology should be taken here as a broad definition, precisely, as cumulative knowledge and not only tools or sophisticated machines. The free market ideology is a tool in the sense its policy implications have been extended as the best way to reach democracy in those nations where the political instability is commonplace. To be a follower of the free market is to be a follower of freedom and democracy, and, precisely, this is the social distinction, at least in Latin America, which is our interest here. The free market itself is not enough to have democracy. Democracy is a social technology. It gives us guidelines about how to organize our decision—making in our societies. The fact that unfettered markets allow people to freely buy and sell does not mean that democracy will rise to allow us to be politically empowered. Unfettered market economies do not allow democracy to rise, or at least limits it. Unregulated markets causes economic and social inequalities. It makes people different. People with different economic, political, and social status endowments have different levels of influence and access in the markets. Therefore, it is impossible to theorize that market economy automatically produces democracy. Democracy is a tool that can be used to harmonize the social tensions that unregulated markets generates. Democracy is not a by—product of free markets. But it is the ceremonial idea that neoliberals have been promoting. 3. WHO ARE THE PLAYERS IN THE MARKET? AND WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT? It is well—known that in Latin America, poverty, unemployment, wealth, land and income concentration, corruption, and privileged influences are extended although with some differences among the countries. The causes of these social problems can be found in an institutional explanation. Our concern here is not to explain the Latin American situation with respect to free market ideology from the Colombian case. The key point is to explain some general trends regarding institutional factors that Latin America countries share each other. Using a few examples of Colombia, we highlight how those general trends work in Latin America. Those general trends can be identified answering the following questions: 1) who are the players of the market in Latin America? Answer: big business groups, the middle class, and poor people, who represent more than 50% of the population throughout Latin America. 2) Where is the government? Answer: It is captured by politicians through a couple of ceremonial relations. On the one hand, there is the relation between big business groups and the political class, and on the other hand, poor people and the political class under the mechanism of clientelismo and the buying of votes, As we have said the players in the market are big business groups, the middle class, and the poor. The poor are characterized by high rates of illiteracy, high unemployment, precarious health conditions, lack of adequate public utilities, and living in condition of high risk due to the inadequacy where the poor neighborhoods are located. It is definite that they have rights to reach better conditions of life. But following Polanyi it is also true they receive their rights only on the paper because in this way the law and order will be kept. Notwithstanding, beyond Polanyi, there is the mechanism of clientelismo to guarantee votes during the election times. Under clientelismo the poor know they have rights to claim solutions to their needs, but politicians offer to them a faster way by which they can have access to "public goods and services" through the exchange of "favors" for votes. The upshot is the poor is committed with the political proposal/agenda without considering if it is convenient to them. Not only the clientelismo uses this strategy to gain votes, but it also uses the buying of votes1. These practices reproduce the lack of debate of ideas in politics, which is politics without considering policy agendas, proposals, or feasible goals. The middle class is comprised of manufacturing and banking workers, school teachers, university professors, independent workers, professionals, and temporal workers. The middle class tends to be apathetic with respect to political affairs although it is divided on this issue. We can find members of the middle class that participate with enthusiasm and independence during every election. It is also possible to find some members serving to the political class. Given that this particular class has more information in contrast to poor people, clientelismo does not exert the same coercion as it does on lowest income group2. However, it is affected by the operation of clientelismo. Middle class families do not find employment and to "cooperate and support" a politician could be the solution to the lack of job. The last member of the market is the big business groups. These are formed by independent companies in their functioning, but "they are linked through stockholder property or through the fact that the companies have a common owner, who is a single family. Nevertheless, it is often seen that the companies of the economic groups are linked by a combination of common owner and stockholder property". Moreover, these big groups have business in several economic activities such as the beverage industry, airlines, telecommunications, automobile manufacturing, food processing, banks, and insurance companies (Mason and Orjuela, 2003). Capital accumulation takes place on privileged hands. Cases of entrepreneurship are rare. In Colombia there are four big business groups: Bavaria Corporation, Ardila Lulle organization, Sarmiento Angulo organization, and the Group of Antioquia's companies. They represent a 14% of GDP. In addition, they are big employers and big taxpayers (at least in proportion to their sales). They are generous sources of financial support to political campaigns, and owners of the main mass media. Regarding to its relationship with the structures of the government, these business groups have direct access to the decisive instances in the executive and legislative branches of the government. The implementation of lobby is effective and overshadows any attempt that tries to bring more competition to the oligopolistic markets where they operate (Rettberg, 2003; 2001; Silva, 2004). A clear example of political and economic powers get interrelated and reproduced. The second question remains: what is the role of the government? It is captured by the politicians through two ceremonial relationships: the relation between big business groups and the political class (through lobby practices), and between poor people and the political class under the mechanism of clientelismo, The government is absentee. The rule of law loses its objectives. Governance gets weak and illegals groups (Guerrilla, Paramilitary, or organized crime) in many situations replace the presence the government. Nonetheless, the explanation we should provide is to answer why this type of behavior works in Latin American societies. What is the habit of thought that is allowing this ceremonial feature is maintained? The neoliberal agenda promotes democracy as a consequence of the application of free market reforms. As we have asserted above, the view of the neoliberals is that if you want democracy, you should follow the free market path. This speech is sustained by those privileged players in the market. The big business groups use their influence to maintain rents. Few of them value the spirit of capitalists. Risk—taking or entrepreneurship and innovation are not the favorite tools of Colombian capitalism. The political class, using clientelismo, makes sure its perpetual presence in the government. Recognized last names get established as political families. Amidst all this there are poor people who only see as possible to get benefits from the government through this opportunistic political class. Finally, the middle class, which is fragmented, does not have strong commitments to participate for a better politics. The picture clearly shows neither a participative democracy nor a market with a competitive characteristic. The orthodox view regarding markets, which states that competition will lead to the highest social benefit is utopian. Privileged social classes believe democracy is attainable through free market economy. Yet, this last part is only the surface of the reality. It is the tool to provide that social distinction (i.e. be a follower of the democracy). The free market ideology as a ceremonial feature of Latin American serves the establishment. This is not a physical thing, but a habit of thought. A habit of thought that is accepted by all these players, and all these players help to reproduce it. This is manifested in the functioning of Latin American societies. A habit of thought, using the Colombian case, that has its evolutionary roots during the colonial times, when the Spaniards found several forms of labor organization of the Natives and used them to obtain gold and servile labor. The political institutions had the centralized form of the Spaniard crown. There was not democracy to access public office; the public positions were sold, especially to Spaniards. In simpler terms, being a public servant was seen as pecuniary motive because it was an investment that should yield profits (Parada, 2006). This process of social relationships resulted throughout the time in a positive feedback which caused this habit of thought to be locked in. This involves us into a path dependence, which explains why the long lethargy to look for a positive social change in Latin America (Arthur, 1990; David, 1985). In short, the establishment is the structure that has molded the agency, and this agency has acted as well to the extent it has helped the reproduction of the establishment. The process of self—questioning and deliberation with respect to this exclusionary reality has not started yet (Fleetwood, 2008). Alvaro Gomez Hurtado, a conservative leader, used the word establishment to describe that Colombian politics was under the domain of practices such as clientelismo, which subordinates national politics to the preponderance of money interests. This was the form in which the public opinion was decimated and the government was taken. This sheds lights on the idea that Colombian politics is no longer about how to administer the government to provide public services and goods, but an embedded system of acquired commitments to gain social status and prestige. This is the establishment, a system of commitments and complicities that is dominating the totality of the civil national life (Bermudez, 1996). It is a mechanism of understanding the role of the public sector. It is a social practice that has reached the level of acceptance and tolerance (Carvajal, 2012). With a government that has been captured by private interests, and business groups that are mostly rentiers, the negative performance of social and economic aspects in Colombia is highly influenced by a pecuniary behavior which helps to reproduce it. In chapters 16 and 24 of The General Theory Keynes exposes the disappearance of the rentier. Keynes states that the euthanasia of the rentier, who is a cumulative oppressive power given that he exploits the scarcity—value of the capital, is the only way to eliminate the functionless investor (Keynes, 1936). In Veblen's terms this is the pecuniary motive of the business enterprise which clearly plays a role in the establishment in Latin America (Veblen, 1904). In The Theory of Business Enterprise Veblen argues that business men's pecuniary motives strongly influence the state and the society's notion regarding the functioning of the society itself. Simply put, the pecuniary motives take the society to accept that business' ends are the same government's ends. The natural rights are the rhetoric to support such idea. That is "So long as there is no overt attempt on life, liberty of the person, or the liberty to buy and sell, the law cannot intervene, unless it be in a precautionary way to prevent prospective violation of personal or property rights. The "natural" conventional freedom of contract is sacred and inalienable". Further, Veblen describes how the society's notion regarding its functioning is altered: "it follows that, with the sanction of the great body of the people, even including those who have no pecuniary interests to serve in the matter, constitutional government has, in the main, become a department of the business organization and is guided by the advice of the business men" (Veblen, 1904). Veblen gives us the two institutions where the popular approval of the government rests: patriotism and property. Therefore, the outcome is the general acceptance of the democracy, free market economy, and the complete rejections to all those old systems that do not allow our apparent freedom. Veblen asserts that: "So that both businessmen whose gains are sought to be enhanced by business politics and the populace by whose means the business gains are secured work together in good faith towards as well advised business end, — the accumulation of wealth in the hands of those men who are skilled in pecuniary matters" (Veblen, 1904). Therefore, the Colombian government takes the form of predator one. It is influenced mostly by rentiers guided by pecuniary motives. Under these circumstances the government is in a servile function to the big business groups, the political class is the guarantor for those private interests, and the middle and low—income classes just believe there are not alternatives. As J. Galbraith (2008) has asserted into the predator government "the regulation is a burden for some businesses, it is competitive blessing for others". The blessed ones are the bigger business groups, the ones who are part of a leisure class, or are not necessarily big but keep a close relationship with those in power. The same Colombian reality is not far from other Latin American countries. As Parada (2006) has asserted since the colonial times the government is a position to obtain profits, it is an institution submerged in the pecuniary motives. Thus, we have a predator government under the administration of a political class serving to the particular interests. The establishment is nourished with the social distinction of being considered as a follower of democracy. Of course, the free market is always the answer. If there is some poverty or exclusion, it is owing to the mechanism of the market economy where there are winners and losers, but it will not be possible to talk about a structure—agency conditioned by the establishment, a complex social process that makes possible a privileged class. In Dewey's terms is described as "no social institution stands alone as a product of one dominant force. It is a phenomenon or function of a multitude of social factors in their mutual inhabitations and reinforcement" (Dewey, 1922). 4. THE INSTITUTION OF THE LACK OF TRUST As a social scientists, we know that clientelismo and the traffic of votes are not the only problems. There is an institution that plays a role in the predatory and ceremonial part of the social structure of Latin American nations. That is, the institution of the lack of trust. Of course, the conventional economics theory gives us a reasonable explanation of such developmental problems. It is enough to check the elements of the production function, like every standard introductory textbook in economics shows it. Once this is done, we conclude we do not produce for the market as the ideology of the free market demands. In Colombia like in other places in Latin America, rent—seeking is the goal. Such production function includes physical capital (K), labor (L), the natural resources (R), and technology (A). This last one tends to be measured as a residual. It is not hard to figure the Colombian problem out through this production function. As a typical emergent economy, Colombia does not count with large amounts of capital. Because either we do not (or even try to) produce it or we do not accumulate it. That is definitely something strange for a nation that claims to be capitalist. Without capital there is not a chance to generate material prosperity with positive effects over the people. Think about this, Colombia imports a lot of goods. Even goods that do not have a sophisticated level of technology and that we totally have the labor force with the necessary knowledge to pursue the production of such good. Regarding labor, Colombia is a country with a poor labor history. A strong conservative tendency is evident, because of the persecution against labor union leaders. In Colombia around 200 labor leaders get murdered and remain without being clarified the causes of the murderers (Echandia, 2013). In addition, the academic orthodox part claims the minimum wage is too high. The orthodox reasoning is well—known. Minimum wage is a point above the labor market equilibrium that causes supply to be greater than demand. This is what explains the supply excess or unemployment. Besides, there is literature in Colombia that points out that an increase in minimum wage only causes higher prices, which affect low—income households. Higher minimum wage does not have a positive effect over the poor, given this population is not benefited by it. The redistributive effects of the minimum wage in Colombia are overestimated (Posso, 2010; Lasso, 2010; Arango, Herrera, and Posada, 2008). The monetary orthodoxy in Colombia claim the minimum wage is an institutional rigidity that makes expensive to create jobs (Urrutia, 2001). We consider all these arguments overlook the fact that the real cause why Colombia does not create jobs is because of production rigidities. The capital accumulation in Colombia is not centered on the sphere of production, but in the exchange sphere. Such sphere is from where the orthodoxy only observes the world. Yet, the problem of Colombia is not an exchange problem, it is a productive one. It is that we do not have developed an industrial and productive ethics. The previous ideas allow asserting that Colombia is a nation that has not exploited its potential with regard to technological capabilities. It has not done the attempt to become self—sufficient in the production of goods and services on which Colombia counts with decent sources of capital, labor and a technology that should not be hard to replicate (and even improve) by Colombians. For instance, we claim Colombia has plenty of potential to be self—sufficient in the production and processing in the food industry. That could be a good starting point. Yet, speculative behavior dominates the context where such industry operates. It is recognized all the deliberate destruction of food surplus by certain companies with the objective of charging higher prices. This is what makes evident our point that what really matters is how we use the technology. It is not only enough to have technology, but to operate it instrumentally. By definition, if labor, capital, and technology are not being used efficiently to enhance the social provisioning process, the least we can expect is that the natural resources are not well utilized. The historical tendencies with regard cattle raising in the Caribbean region of Colombia proves this point. The real potential of the land is agriculture, but cattle raising is practiced instead because it generates rents and does not demand high levels of investment. Once again, this is not the representative behavior within capitalism. Needless to mention the land concentration issue. The property land concentration reaches a Gini coefficient of 0.862 in Colombia (IGAC, 2012). All these problems demonstrate, in conventional economics terms, that the possibilities production frontier is weak. It clearly proves that Colombia has production rigidities. This is a structural weakness that makes inflation a potential threat. Not because the minimum wage is too high, but because we have not embraced the spirit of capitalism: production to accumulate and expand. Hence, in a material context like this, it is just logical that people adopt the institution of lack trust. Colombians do not trust in their judicial system. High crime rates in certain regions prove that justice by their own hands is the standard procedure to follow. The sense of community is weak. Accepting help from a strange could be a risky situation. It is better to not to trust anyone. The lack of trust institution is reflected in the routinary behavior. Colombians do not strictly follow the traffic rules, or the place of someone on the line either in grocery store or a bank (Garay, 2003). We do not believe this is because human beings are selfish due to their human nature. This is clearly a social construction. The lack of opportunities both in the economic and political front are enough to explain this behavior. Before the absence of a strong government that makes possible the socialization and collectivization of public goods and investment, the sense community does not emerge. Cooperativism and solidarity are valued as weakness. Instead individualism is more valued, it is the exit out to any uncertain situation. Thus, the rule of law that is a social goal does not match with the individualistic behavior. The lack of trust institution in Colombia is the reason why this is a country where for even the smallest errand we do, it does require considerable amount of paperwork to prove that the action to be pursued is legitimate. The principle of good faith is not part of social values system in several Latin American nations. 5. IS THERE ANY WAY TO GET OUT OF THIS ESTABLISHMENT? I turn next to the search for insights that favor an institutional change in Latin America. It is time to find out if there is a way to get out of this apparently unchanged establishment. We do this examining the insights with respect to institutional change of Veblen, Dewey, Ayres, Commons, and Foster. Veblen suggested a dichotomous idea between technology and institutions/ceremony as an attempt to explain institutional change. Emphatically, the biological instincts (i.e. instinct of workmanship, idle curiosity, and parental bend) play an important role in the individual and collective action concerning their involvement into the social process. It is necessary to underline that Veblen' idea on institutional change cannot be reduced to technological or biological determinism. Regarding this, Parada (2006) points out that: "It implies an idea of systematic feedback in the whole system that cannot be reduced to the positivist view of endogenous and exogenous variables, where human beings as living creatures play a crucial role, changing their own environment. Indeed, human agency, individual and collective, is at the core of the whole system, far from cultural or biological determinism, and crude behaviorism". In short, Veblen's notion on institutional change is a process where material transformations of life could alter the institutional setting. Dewey (1922) asserts that "habits of thought outlive modifications in habits of overt action". He points that "the moral effects of even great political revolutions (...) do not show themselves till after the lapse of years. A new generation must come upon the scene whose habits of mind have been formed under the new conditions". This means we need a change in our expectations about the context which surrounds us; otherwise the institutional change will not be possible. He makes this point clearer by asserting: "where general and enduring moral changes do accompany an external revolution it is because appropriate habits of thought have previously been insensibly matured. The external change merely registers the removal of an external superficial barrier to the operation of existing intellectual tendencies". In other words, if previous conditions (i.e. habits of thoughts) are positive to the suggested change, there really will be a change. Turning to Ayres' insights, he considered that there were two forces: technology and ceremonialism, each of them affecting human behavior. On the one hand, technology should not be restricted to tools. It implies all human activities articulated with the use of tools going from the stone to mathematical symbols (Parada, 2006). On the other hand, the ceremonial aspect is explained through the use of tools with the goal of social distinction within the society. About social change, Ayres points out that "we know with certainty that inventions and discoveries are combinations of tools, instruments, and instrumentally manipulated materials; and that the more tools there are, the greater the potential of technological innovation and discovery". This is what causes the change in learned habits of thought. This complex process of technological innovation is the dynamic force in social change (Ayres, 1944). The essence of Ayres's idea regarding institutional change will be based on who will dominate over who i.e. "the outcome of a society was determined by the forward urging of its technology and the backward pressure of its ceremonial system" (Parada, 2006). All the complex processes that make possible technological innovations do not necessarily allow technological advances as progressive and positive for the society. On the other hand, it is not easy to identify Commons' source of institutional change. Basically, his thinking of collective and individual action helps to understand his insight with regard to this issue. Collective action is necessary to limit the individual action through time. Nonetheless, each new institutional change is linked with its evolutionary sense given that common law is its main referent. Under these circumstances "the changing customs of the dominant portion of the people at the time and formulating them, by a rationalizing process of justification, into working rules for future collective action in control of individual action" (Commons, 1934). Commons emphasizes that "within this changing complexity and uncertain futurity they must act now. It is out of these complexities and uncertainties that the concepts of reasonable practices and reasonable values emerge and change the institutions themselves from day to day and age to age". In short, the change is possible through the reasonable value implemented by the society. The way we value social processes can change. Naturally, when an institution like the Supreme Court in the United States interprets such change in the value systems, changes become legalized and accepted. We should recall the common law is not an extended feature in the Latin America, but the constitutional court plays a key role in the setting of the working rules for society. In the Colombian case, the constitutional court has established as mandatory for the central bank that its macroeconomic stability concept should not be only price stability, but also full employment. The same court has impeded the indefinite presidential reelection. Other issues have been studied by the constitutional court in Colombia as owner—labor conflict, gender exclusion, and civil rights recognition to the LGBT community (Safford and Palacios, 2002). The central point is that the value of an independent constitutional court can exert changes for the society. For it is constantly interpreting the society's value system. With regard to Foster's insight, he sees society in an evolving process and where the development of technology permanently generates adjustment in institutions. These institutions can be instrumental functions or ceremonial ones. To Foster there is not a contradiction between institutions and technology when he described social progress. This is because he believes that technology has ceremonial and instrumental features. The same applies for institutions. The institutional change in Foster is conceived as the way through instrumental efficiency of the institutions is increased by human agency (Parada, 2006). Foster states three principles that show the self—questioning process and deliberation whereby human agency goes through. The principles are: 1) the principle of instrumental determination, which explains that human agency realizes that a ceremonial institution has to be replaced by an instrumental one. Also, human agency understands that is possible due to we have the technological capabilities to pursue so. This is when collective and individual agency knows that is possible to reach structural change; 2) the principle of recognized interdependence, describes the institutional change will affect some portion of the society where such is taking place. Someone will be affected. Any institutional change has to identify such affections over the others. This a moment when collective and individual agency knows there is social tension; 3) the principle of minimal dislocation states the institutional change has a rate of change. It has limits. Such change has to take into account those who are considerably affected by the change. We believe minimal dislocation is a theoretical possibility for social changes that are reached via consensual mechanisms. Yet, there is the possibility of maximal dislocation, whereby there is not room for consensual mechanisms but conflictual. The third principle makes emphasis on the fact that social conflict exists and can be carried out through consensus attainments or conflict—based ones (Foster, 1981; Sherman and Dugger, 2000). All these authors have showed us that society works in a complex process of relationships between structures and collective and individual agency. Technology, i.e., the mechanic way we do things and the social way we do things, appears to be the path for the institutional change. This should not be confused with technological determinism. Because we are emphasizing the role of technology over the material conditions of life of people. Veblen states in The Theory of the Leisure Class that "the transition from peace to predation therefore depends on the growth of technical knowledge and the use of tools". But Veblen states that this transition defines the mechanical and social way we do things. In the end such transition was driven by "the predatory phase of culture conceived on gradually, through a cumulative growth of predatory aptitudes, habits, and traditions" (Veblen, 1899). The technological change is mediated by institutions endogenously and not exogenously as the mainstream economics presumes. We should not forget Dewey's idea that the change has to be accompanied with a general acceptance of the new expectations created by the proposed change. This last point is important for the Latin American cases. These countries have received technology in some extent, but it has been exclusively put to serve the establishment. It is time to turn our attention toward the conclusions of these insights. They allow us to set theoretical ideas regarding the instinct of workmanship, idle curiosity, and parental bend, about to incentive them to rise and contribute to innovation and technology. But in a way our material aspect life changes, suggesting this the way we think has to adapt to the new circumstances. This is how social change becomes necessary. 6. CONCLUSIONS The establishment is a habit of thought. It is sustained by the ceremonial feature of the free market ideology. The ceremonial is explicit when the belief exists that free market is the perfect way to enhance democracy. Democracy is a general desire of the Latin American population induced by this ideological belief. Therefore, the free market solution is accepted by all members of the unequally stratified Latin American society. The problem of this ceremonial path is that free market reforms have not had positive effects. This means they have not manifested in a better democracy for Latin America. There is still the traditional way to do politics: clientelismo and buying of votes. Furthermore, there are not sources of good jobs and income (i.e. they are informal). The industrial employment has declined in a sustained way since early 1990s. Colombia imports too much and has supply rigidities, for it is evident it does not produce certain products that are not beyond its technological capabilities. It is a mercantilist type of capitalism: buying cheap to sell expensive. Capital accumulation takes place without a sustained real production foundation. Thus, poor people do not have an alternative and accept their role in succumbing to predatory behavior. Although there is a market economy with some social benefits3 allocated by the government, poverty and misery are persistent. Poor people would be worse off if they did not accept these minimum benefits. Even though the political class, specifically in the Colombian case, is in its majority of a predatory kind, there are some alternatives which are independent of these practices and continuously in the last 15 years have made appearance in national politics. In fact these alternatives have struck the old and predator alternatives in cities as Bogota and Medellin. It has emerged a form of citizen control movements, e.g. the Electoral Observation Mission, to denounce abuses of the political class during the elections. Therefore, there are alternatives with a new approach to politics and governance; an approach that is more convenient to underprivileged people. This could mean the beginning of the self—questioning and deliberative processes. Taking into account there are alternatives in this pecuniary political context, the quality of the education will be a definitive element. The more educated the people the more critic they will be regarding the national situation. This will encourage a national consciousness for change. In Colombia we have advanced in education coverage although it is not only the optimal goal. A qualified and democratic education will be the underpinning for a better context where rewards to the individual and collective productive efforts are possible. Here we are calling for a change in values and attitudes of the population. We do need entrepreneurs and not more rentiers, and a regional industrial policy that links our rural economies, which are focused on activities that underestimated their real potential (e.g., extensive cattle raising), with our urban economies. We do need a new concept of macroeconomic stability as the constitutional court has required. The fiscal deficit must start not to be seen as a sin, but as an instrument for full employment and price stability altogether with a regulatory framework that does not bless big business groups and detains the conspiracy of monopolies and oligopolies against the middle and low—income classes. Free market policies have to be abolished. The only outcome these policies have left is a well—positioned distinctive social class at cost of increasing social exclusion. The establishment will be out of the Colombians' minds once there are alternatives: a decent employment opportunity, a democratic and qualified education, and a justice not considered as an instrument for social distinction, but as an authority that citizens can trust. We need these tools to allow the instinct of workmanship, parental bend, and idle curiosity work into society without predatory behavior that limited them. Apparently the original institutional economists cited above taught us the only way is through a material transformation of life. Though we know that some of them have some methodological problems, the most important thing to recall is that if we believe that technology advances are the basis of change, we shall be misunderstanding their lessons. We cannot assert the establishment will disappear only through technological advances. We do not forget they also concluded that the social complex process is constantly evolving and social absorption of technology depends upon what the habits of thought of society do with it. We should consider that promoting change with the recommendations mentioned above, individual and collective agency will have a better answer against the structure (in this case the establishment). In this way, technological advances will be possible, not exclusively in the sense of more sophisticated machines but in the sense of an efficient social provisioning that allows a far better livelihood for society. It seems neither as a hard task or impossible. It is a long—term evolving process. Notas 1 A good reference for this particular issue can be found in Stokes (2003). She uses as methodology the game theory approach, the description of this particular problem (i.e. the buying of votes) in Latin American countries is widely used. 2 Some evidence have been offered in Gamarra (2005) regarding to the lower the income the higher the political participation. What this means is that in Colombia, as in many countries of Latin American, poor people and in some degree middle class members are susceptible to the exertion of the interest groups through clientelismo. 3 Most of these social benefits are based on just assist poor people and not in change their structural problems. 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