nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒07‒08
eighteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Neuroeconomics and modern neuroscience By Daniel Serra
  3. The Precariat Class Structure and Income Inequality Among US Workers: 1980-2018 By Joshua Greenstein
  4. Financialization and Institutional Environments By Philipp A. Thompson
  5. Using structural diversity to measure the complexity of technologies By Tom Broekel
  6. Book Review: Samuel Bowles The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens, Reviewed by: Javed Ahmad Khan مراجعة علمية لكتاب: الاقتصاد الأخلاقي: لماذا الحوافز الجيدة ليست بديلاً للمواطنين الجيدين - المؤلف: سامويل باولز - مراجعة : جاويد أحمد خان By Javed Ahmad Khan
  7. (Il)licit economies in Brazil: an ethnographic perspective By Feltran, Gabriel
  8. Mapping stratification: The industry-occupation space reveals the network structure of inequality By Hartmann, Dominik; Jara-Figueroa, Cristian; Kaltenberg, Mary; Gala, Paulo
  9. Escalation and Well-being By Fabio D'Orlando; Sharon Ricciotti
  10. La neuroéconomie en question : débats et controverses By Daniel Serra
  11. "Agricultural policy for the environment or environmental policy for agriculture?" On myths and (stylized) reality By Balmann, Alfons; Appel, Franziska; Heinrich, Florian; Pitson, Christine
  12. FABIO - The Construction of the Food and Agriculture Biomass Input-Output Model By Bruckner, Martin; Wood, Richard; Moran, Daniel; Kuschnig, Nikolas; Wieland, Hanspeter; Maus, Victor; Börner, Jan
  13. Technological unemployment and income inequality: a stock-flow consistent agent-based approach By Laura Carvalho; Corrado Di Guilmi
  14. The increasing impact of environmental policies on agriculture: Perspectives from Norway By Mittenzwei, Klaus; Øygarden, Lillian
  16. Trade Models in the European Union By Claudius Graebner; Dennis Tamesberg; Timo Kapelari; Philipp Heimberger; Jakob Kapeller
  17. Path-dependencies of past and future agri-environmental policies By Arovuori, Kyösti; Lehtosalo, Heini; Kohl, Johanna; Yrjölä, Tapani; Niemi, Jyrki
  18. Closing the Finance Gap by Nudging: Impact Assessment of Public Grants for Women Entrepreneurs By Stjepan Srhoj; Bruno Skrinjaric; Sonja Radas; Janette Walde

  1. By: Daniel Serra (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: The paper is an overview of the main significant advances in the knowledge of brain functioning by modern neuroscience that have contributed to the emergence of neuroeconomics and its rise over the past two decades. These advances are grouped over three non-independent topics referred to as the "emo-rational" brain, "social" brain, and "computational" brain. For each topic, it emphasizes findings considered as critical to the birth and development of neuroeconomics while highlighting some of prominent questions about which knowledge should be improved by future research. In parallel, it shows that the boundaries between neuroeconomics and several recent subfields of cognitive neuroscience, such as affective, social, and more generally, decision neuroscience, are rather porous. It suggests that a greater autonomy of neuroeconomics should perhaps come from the development of studies about more economic policy-oriented concerns. In order to make the paper accessible to a large audience the various neuroscientific notions used are defined and briefly explained. In the same way, for economists not specialized in experimental and behavioral economics, the definition of the main economic models referred to in the text is recalled.
    Keywords: neuroeconomics,neuroscience,behavioral economics,experimental economics
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Jacques Fontanel (CESICE - Centre d'études sur la sécurité internationale et les coopérations européennes - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Economic globalization is a powerful factor of vertical and national inequalities, but also of a slow reduction of international horizontal inequalities. Growing inequalities in wealth compounds increasing income inequality. However, the market economy does not work without the support of the states, which, indirectly at least, by establishing the laws favours or supports this situation. Today, the process of globalization has changed the balance of power. The "possessors" have means of communication to support their actions, they justify their wealth through a questionable value system and they continue to develop their wealth at irrational levels of inequality. The runoff theory is only a decoy that justifies the current situation by a better situation for everyone tomorrow. Inter-state organizations are under the orders of liberalism. Companies remain hooked on the idea of maximum profit, by applying violent management rules. The indicators (HDI, Human Development Index or IBN, Index of well-being) and the qualitative expressions of poverty are debatable and testify especially to the durability of this one. The example of poverty in the United States is significant of power relations (sex, territories, gender, etc.)
    Abstract: La globalisation économique est un facteur puissant d'inégalités verticales et nationales, mais aussi d'arasement des inégalités horizontales internationales. A l'augmentation des inégalités de revenus se conjuguent les inégalités croissantes des patrimoines. Or, l'économie de marché ne fonctionne pas sans le soutien de l'Etat, lequel, indirectement au moins, en établissant les lois favorise ou soutient cette situation. Aujourd'hui, le processus de la globalisation a modifié les rapports de force. Les « possédants » disposent des moyens de communication pour valoriser leurs actions, ils justifient leurs richesses par un système de valeur discutable et ils continuer à justifier leurs richesses à des niveaux d'inégalités irrationnelles. La théorie du ruissellement n'est qu'un leurre qu'un discours qui justifie la situation actuelle par une situation meilleure pour tout le monde demain. Les organisations interétatiques sont aux ordres du libéralisme. Les entreprises restent accrochées à l'idée du maximum de profit, en appliquant des règles de management discutables. Les indicateurs (IDH, Indice de développement humain ou IBN, Indice de bien-être) et les expressions qualitatives de la pauvreté sont discutables et témoignent surtout de la pérennité de celle-ci. L'exemple de la pauvreté aux Etats-Unis est significative des relations de pouvoir (sexe, territoires, genre, etc.)
    Keywords: pauvreté,Théorie du ruissellement,PIB,Inégalités,Globalisation économique,Indice de développement humain,Etats-Unis,Patrimoine,Inequality,Economic globalisation,poverty,runoff theory
    Date: 2019–05–28
  3. By: Joshua Greenstein (Department of Economics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
    Abstract: I apply the precariat class schema developed by Standing to the US workforce from 1980-2018. I use a decomposition of inequality to show that this schema explains a substantial and growing portion of income inequality. I find that that the precariat, typified by unstable and benefit-free jobs, make up a large and growing share of the US work force, that the “old” working class shrank precipitously, and that the demographics of these two classes differ substantially. Finally, I illustrate that insight into these difficult to measure phenomena can be gained with an easily replicable class schema using plausible class definitions.
    Keywords: Economic class, precarious labor, inequality,dDistribution,structural change
    JEL: B59 D63 J21 J42 O17
    Date: 2019–06
  4. By: Philipp A. Thompson (Freie Universität Berlin)
    Abstract: This conceptual paper is concerned with the outcomes of the financialization of non-financial firms, and particularly with the role of institutions in shaping these outcomes. It centers on the question of whether the institutional setting of economies can be expected to moderate the effects of financialization on companies' employment practices, investment decisions, R&D activities, and value chain. To approach this question, I first sketch out the concept of financialization and its meaning when considering its firm-level implications. I then draw on the literature on comparative institutional theory to identify two opposite institutional settings, liberal market economies and coordinated market economies. In a third step I combine empirical findings from the literature with theoretical reasoning, to hypothesize about how the outcomes of financialization on the firm-level differ between liberal and coordinated economies, developing two different scenarios about the trajectory of firm-level financialization in coordinated market economies. Finally, I discuss the implications of these scenarios for our understanding of financialization and its connection to institutional environments. Overall, the paper argues that taking an institutionally comparative perspective on financialization alerts us to the possibility that financialization does not represent a uniform process causing the same outcomes to manifest in non-financial corporations around the globe. Instead, as the financialization of firms takes place in diverse institutional settings, associated practices will have to be adapted to local institutions enabling and constraining them.
    Date: 2019–05
  5. By: Tom Broekel
    Abstract: The paper introduces structural diversity as a new approach to quantify the complexity of technologies. By modeling technologies as combinatorial networks, a measure of technological complexity is derived that represents the diversity of (sub-)network topologies in these networks. It is further argued that this measure can be empirically approximated with the Network Diversity Score (NDS). The paper also presents an application of this approach to European patent data from 1980 to 2015. On this basis, the measure of structural diversity is shown to replicate a number of stylized facts commonly associated with technological complexity: Complexity increases over time and younger technologies are more complex than older technologies. Complex technologies are also associated to larger R&D efforts and require more collaborative R&D activities. Lastly, when controlling for technologies? size, technologies scoring high on structural diversity are also shown to concentrate in space.
    Keywords: Complexity, technology, patents, technological complexity, network, diversity
    JEL: O11 O31 N70
    Date: 2019–05
  6. By: Javed Ahmad Khan (Professor, Centre for West Asian Studies Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India)
    Abstract: The words ‘moral’ and ‘economy’ originated in the classical intellectual world and in Aristotle’s social theory; besides the politics and ethics, economy was the third domain of practical philosophy where excessive profit making and charging of interest were not the moral practices. However, in the middle of the eighteenth century, the ‘moral economy’ got separated from the morality, and turned out to be simply a religious concept. Defining the moral economy in the 21st century on the basis of goodness, fairness, and justice is something perplexing for the proponents of market economies. But can we ignore the moral basis in our ‘ordinary business’ of life? The book under review, The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles raises several questions in this regard and tries to show that our basic human goodness is more effective in decision making than the financial incentives. The strength of this book lies in its using different case studies and behavioral experiments with evidence-based arguments on the workable economic and financial world of the 21st century. Islamic economics is based on morality and ethics. Thus, the purpose behind the review of this path breaking work is to understand its relevance to Islamic economics that has emerged as a new paradigm in recent decades. نشأت الكلمات "الأخلاق" و "الاقتصاد" في عالم الفكر الكلاسيكي وفي النظرية الاجتماعية لأرسطو؛ إلى جانب السياسة والأخلاقيات (ethics)، كان الاقتصاد هو المجال الثالث للفلسفة العملية أو التطبيقية، حيث كان يُنظر إلى الإفراط في تحقيق الربح والتعامل بالربا كممارسات غير أخلاقية. ومع ذلك، ففي منتصف القرن الثامن عشر، انفصل "الاقتصاد الأخلاقي" عن الأخلاق، وأصبحت الأخلاق مجرد مفهوم ديني. إن محاولة تعريف الاقتصاد الأخلاقي في القرن الحادي والعشرين على أساس الخير، والعدالة، والوسطية أمر "مثير للحيرة" بالنسبة لأنصار اقتصاديات السوق (الاقتصاد الليبرالي). لكن هل يمكننا تجاهل الأسس الأخلاقية في "أعمالنا العادية" في الحياة؟ إن الكتاب قيد المراجعة، "الاقتصاد الأخلاقي" لساموئيل باولز يثير العديد من الأسئلة في هذا الصدد، ويحاول أن يوضح أن الخيرية الأساسية المرتكزة في الفطر الإنسانية أكثر فاعلية في صنع القرار من الحوافز المالية. تكمن قوة الكتاب في استخدامه لدراسة حالات مختلفة ولتجارب سلوكية متنوعة مع حجج مستندة إلى أدلة مستمدة من عالم الاقتصاد والمال القابل للتطبيق في القرن الواحد والعشرين. يعتمد الاقتصاد الإسلامي على الأخلاق والقيم. ولذا، فإن الهدف من وراء مراجعة هذا الكتاب هو فهم علاقته بالاقتصاد الإسلامي التي برزت كنموذج جديد في العقود الأخيرة.
    Keywords: moral economy, social theory, ethics, good incentives, good citizens. الاقتصاد الأخلاقي، النظرية الاجتماعية، الأخلاقيات، الحوافز الجيدة، المواطنون الجيدون.
    Date: 2018–07
  7. By: Feltran, Gabriel
    Abstract: Illicit economies are an issue of paramount importance and an opportunity for social mobility for millions in Brazil. The literature about them lacks empirical accuracy and less normative interpretive keys. Based on field research conducted between 2005 and 2018, this paper explores two stories: i) that of a young man working for illegal markets in the outskirts of São Paulo; and ii) that of a Toyota Hilux he stole. It adopts an approach centered on a theory of everyday action and focused on the boundary between legal and illegal and its pragmatic social effects. I argue the lack of public regulation of illicit economies has, over the last few decades, prevented their actors from obtaining social rights and started a vicious cycle of violence and reproduction of inequalities on a social level, as well as given rise to criminal populism in the public arena.
    Keywords: illicit economies; Violence; Inequalities; São Paulo: Brazil
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–06–04
  8. By: Hartmann, Dominik; Jara-Figueroa, Cristian; Kaltenberg, Mary; Gala, Paulo
    Abstract: Social stratification is determined not only by income, education, race, and gender, but also by an individual's job characteristics and their position in the industrial structure. Utilizing a dataset of 76.6 million Brazilian workers and methods from network science, we map the Brazilian Industry- Occupation Space (BIOS). The BIOS measures the extent to which 600 occupations co-appear in 585 industries, resulting in a complex network that shows how industrial-occupational communities provide important information on the network segmentation of society. Gender, race, education, and income are concentrated unevenly across the core-periphery structure of the BIOS. Moreover, we identify 28 industrial occupational communities from the BIOS network structure and report their contribution to total income inequality in Brazil. Finally, we quantify the relative poverty within these communities. In sum, the BIOS reveals how the coupling of industries and occupations contributes to mapping social stratification.
    Keywords: labor markets,social structure,stratification,economic sociology,wages,inequality
    JEL: J31 L0 Z13
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Fabio D'Orlando (University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale); Sharon Ricciotti (University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale)
    Abstract: Escalation is a key characteristic of many consumption behaviors that has not received the theoretical attention it deserves. The aim of this paper is to propose both a definition and a theoretical treatment of escalation in consumption. We shall define escalation as the attempt to engage in consumption acts that are “more intense” on a measurable quantitative or qualitative, objective or subjective, scale (more difficult ski slopes, stronger drugs, harder sex, better restaurants, riskier games, etc.), even if, previously, the subject preferred less intense consumption behaviors. Further, this evolution in preferences also occurs if the budget constraint does not change. We will find endogenous and exogenous theoretical microfoundations for escalation in models of hedonic adaptation, desire for novelty, acquisition of consumption skills, rising aspirations, positional effects, and envy. However, we will also discuss the possibility that the tendency to escalate is a specific innate behavior inherent to human nature. Finally, we will propose a preliminary theoretical formalization of such behavior and indicate the possible implications of taking escalation into adequate consideration.
    JEL: B52 D11 D90 D91 I31
    Date: 2019–06–28
  10. By: Daniel Serra (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: As any nascent discipline, neuroeconomics raises many questions. The article reports on the main debates and controversies that neuroeconomics has aroused in the literature. Three major issues relating to the status of knowledge produced are addressed. Are results reliable? Are they scientifically legitimate? What is their usefulness for an economist? This framework allows to assess the main criticisms addressed to neuroeconomics and the nature of the parades which can be deployed.
    Abstract: Comme toute discipline émergente, la neuroéconomie soulève bon nombre de questions donnant lieu à débats et controverses. L'article en rend compte en les regroupant autour de trois questions majeures qui portent sur le statut des connaissances à ce jour produites : Des connaissances certaines ? Des connaissances scientifiquement justifiées ? Des connaissances utiles à l'économiste ? Sans prétendre à l'exhaustivité, ce cadre d'analyse permet d'apprécier les lignes de force des principales critiques adressées à la neuroéconomie en même temps que la nature des parades susceptibles d'être déployées
    Keywords: Neuroéconomie,economie comportementale,economie expérimentale,méthodologie économique,epistémologie scientifique
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Balmann, Alfons; Appel, Franziska; Heinrich, Florian; Pitson, Christine
    Abstract: This paper argues that the question whether there is rather a need for an agricultural policy for the environment or an environmental policy for agriculture requires to reflect on the question how to address trade-offs and synergies between agricultural and environmental objectives. In particular, the question is raised to which extend current agricultural policy presumptions are based on myths rather than facts. Scepticism about these presumptions are substantiated by reference to issues related to the ignorance of the heterogeneity of the agricultural sector, of the potential of overcoming unexploited returns to size and structural changes, as well as implications of sunk costs, ruinous competition and a subsidy trap which lead to a misunderstanding of the role and meaning of resilience in order to overcome path dependences of the sector as well as the policy formations.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2019–05–29
  12. By: Bruckner, Martin; Wood, Richard; Moran, Daniel; Kuschnig, Nikolas; Wieland, Hanspeter; Maus, Victor; Börner, Jan
    Abstract: Primary crops are linked to final consumption by networks of processes and actors that convert and distribute food and non-food goods. Achieving a sustainable metabolism of this bio-economy is an overarching challenge which manifests itself in a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Modelling the physical dimensions of biomass conversion and distribution networks is essential to understanding the characteristics, drivers and dynamics of our societies' biomass metabolism. In this paper, we present the Food and Agriculture Biomass Input-Output model (FABIO), a set of multi-regional supply, use and input-output tables in physical units, that document the complex flows of agricultural and food products in the global economy. The model assembles FAOSTAT statistics reporting crop production, trade, and utilisation in physical units, supplemented by data on technical and metabolic conversion efficiencies, into a consistent, balanced, input-output framework. FABIO covers 191 countries and 130 agriculture, food and forestry products from 1986 to 2013. The physical supply-use tables offered by FABIO provide a comprehensive, transparent and flexible structure for organising data representing flows of materials within metabolic networks. They allow tracing biomass flows and embodied environmental pressures along global supply chains at an unprecedented level of product and country detail and can help to answer a range of questions regarding environment, agriculture, and trade.
    Date: 2019–06
  13. By: Laura Carvalho; Corrado Di Guilmi
    Abstract: The paper presents a stock-flow consistent agent-based model with effective demand, endogenous credit creation, and labor-saving technological progress. The aim is to study the joint dynamics of both personal and functional distribution of income as a result of technological unemployment, together with the effect on household debt. Numerical simulations show the potentially destabilizing effect of technological unemployment and reveal that an increase in the profit share of income amplifies the negative effect of income inequality on business cycle and growth. The sensitivity analysis provides indications on the effectiveness of possible mixes of fiscal and redistributive policies, but also demonstrates that the effectiveness of policy measures is strongly dependent on behavioral and institutional factors.
    Keywords: stock-flow agent-based consistent model; income inequality; functional distribution; technological unemployment; social imitation
    JEL: C63 D31 E21 E25
    Date: 2019–02–05
  14. By: Mittenzwei, Klaus; Øygarden, Lillian
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it gives an account of recent developments in Norwegian environmental policy that affect agriculture. Climate action and the protection of predators are two prominent examples of environmental policy with a potentially significant impact on agriculture. Secondly, we present results from a partial equilibrium model for the Norwegian agricultural sector in which we use various policy instruments to balance multiple agricultural and environmental objectives regarding agriculture.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019–05–29
  15. By: Matteo Deleidi; Mariana Mazzucato
    Abstract: The paper investigates the determinants of economic growth from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. The paper combines the Sraffian supermultiplier model of growth with the Neo-Schumpeterian framework that emphasizes the entrepreneurial role of the state. We aim to detect the macroeconomic effect generated by alternative fiscal policies: generic ones and “mission-oriented” ones. Using a SVAR model for the US economy for the 1947–2018 period, we show that mission-oriented policies produce a larger positive effect on GDP (fiscal multiplier) and on private investment in R&D (crowd-in effect) than the effect produced by generic public expenditures.
    Keywords: Mission-oriented innovation policies, Sraffian supermultiplier, SVAR, fiscal multiplier, crowding-in effect.
    JEL: C32 E22 E62 O25 O30
    Date: 2019–06
  16. By: Claudius Graebner (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Dennis Tamesberg (Department for Economic, Welfare and Social Policy, Chamber of Labour, Linz, Austria); Timo Kapelari (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Philipp Heimberger (Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies); Jakob Kapeller (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria; Institute for Socio-Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
    Abstract: By studying the factors underlying differences in trade performance across European economies, this paper derives six different "trade models" for 22 EU-countries and explores their developmental and distributional implications. We first introduce a typology of trade models by clustering countries based on four key dimensions of trade performance: endowments, technological specialization, labour market characteristics and regulatory requirements. The resulting clusters comprise countries that base their export success on similar trade models. Our results indicate the existence of six different trade models: the 'primary goods model' (Latvia, Estonia), the 'finance model' (Luxembourg), the 'flexible labour market model' (UK), the 'periphery model' (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France), the 'industrial workbench model' (Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic), and the 'high-tech model' (Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Germany and Austria). Subsequently, we comparatively analyse the economic development and trends in inequality across these trade models. We observe a shrinking wage share and increasing personal income inequality in most of the trade models. The 'high-tech model' is an exceptional case, being characterised by a relatively stable economic development and an institutional setting that managed to counteract rising inequality.
    Keywords: Trade policy, cluster analysis, European Union, trade models
    Date: 2019–06
  17. By: Arovuori, Kyösti; Lehtosalo, Heini; Kohl, Johanna; Yrjölä, Tapani; Niemi, Jyrki
    Abstract: This study analyses the path-dependencies of past, current and future agricultural policies. The research is based on the futures-research methodologies and foresight methods. The data was collected in a series of workshops with an aim to define path-ways for future agricultural policies in Finland. Our results show that horizontal path-dependencies of agri-environmental policies in Finland started to evolve from the 1980s. Focus has been on nutrient run-offs, soil erosion, water quality, among others. Current policy aims to take wider view based on ecosystem services. For the future policies, the main breaking-point identified is the role of agriculture in the climate change mitigation. The changing demands of future policies will challenge policy design. It is quite likely, that to respond to the increasing demand for agri-environmental policies, a shift from sector policy towards wider system-based pol-icies is required.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2019–05–29
  18. By: Stjepan Srhoj (Department for Economics and Business Economics, University of Dubrovnik); Bruno Skrinjaric (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Sonja Radas (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Janette Walde (Department of Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: Several recent papers draw attention to a lack of rigorous research on public policies supporting women entrepreneurs' competitiveness. This paper evaluates the effect of small business development gender-specific matching grants using a quasi-experimental approach. The grants have a positive effect on firm survival, as well as positive effects on obtaining bank loans, turnover, value added, employment, and total factor productivity. Heterogeneous treatment effects show that the grants increase the chance of young women entrepreneurs' firm survival and are even more effective for firms owned by mature women. Cost-benefit analysis estimates an increase in value added, which outweighs scheme-induced costs by 80% in the short-run and 170% in the long run.
    Keywords: women entrepreneurship, public grants, policy evaluation, gender financing gap, behavioral additionality, nudging
    JEL: B54 J16 H81 L26 L38 H43
    Date: 2019–05

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