nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒07‒15
twelve papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Exploring the trade narrative in top economics journals By Matthias Aistleitner; Stephan Puehringer
  2. Substantive Economics and Avoiding False Dichotomies in Advancing Social Ecological Economics By Clive Spash
  3. Diversity of greenhouse gas emission drivers across European countries since the 2008 crisis By Quentin Perrier; Céline Guivarch; Olivier Boucher
  4. Organizational Stigma and Resource Mobilization Challenges in a Social Enterprise: Arguing for a Grounded Research By Sumit Mitra; Pradeep Kumar Hota
  5. Collective Actions: a Network Approach By Tiziano Distefano; Pietro Guarnieri
  6. Asymmetric use of punishment in socioeconomic segregated societies leads to an unequal distribution of wealth By Riccardo Pansini; Marco Campenni; Lei Shi
  7. Women in land struggles: The implications of female activism and emotional resistance for gender equity By Hennings, Anne
  8. Mothers, Peers and Gender-Role Identity By Olivetti, Claudia; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  9. Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households-Evidence from Sweden By Hederos, Karin; Stenberg, Anders
  10. Rethinking the double movement: expanding the frontiers of Polanyian analysis in the Global South By Goodwin, Geoff
  11. The neo-Goodwinian model reconsidered By Michael Cauvel
  12. Conflict as a closure: A Kaleckian model of growth and distribution under financialization By Srinivas Raghavendra; Petri T. Piiroinen

  1. By: Matthias Aistleitner (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Stephan Puehringer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: In the aftermath of recent populist upheavals in Europe, the U.S., the UK and other areas around the world, nationalist economic policies challenge the overly positive view on economic integration and the reduction of trade barriers established by standard economic theory. For quite a long time the great majority of economists supported trade liberalization policies, at least those, who were actively engaged in policy advice or public debates. Yet it was hardly investigated whether this general support emerges from a consensus view among economists on this issue or whether only a partisan interpretation of economic expertise is used to serve a distinct political purpose. Against this background, in this paper we examine the elite economics discourse on trade and trade policies by applying a multilevel mixedmethod approach. In doing so we combine quantitative methods with a discourse analytical approach in order to examine dominant narratives and imaginaries present in high impact papers dealing with trade, globalization and related policy issues. Our analysis yields the following results: First, the hierarchical structure of economics is also present in the economic debate on trade. Second, the top economic discourse on trade is predominantly characterized by a normative bias in favor of trade liberalization policies leading to a systematically underestimation of negative effects of free trade policies. Third, we found that other-thaneconomic impacts and implications (political, social and cultural as well as environmental issues) of trade policies either remain unmentioned or are rationalized by means of pure economic criteria. To sum up, we conclude that the narrow perspective present in top economics discourse on trade prevents a more comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted gains and challenges related to the issue of international integration.
    Keywords: trade narratives, discourse analysis, sociology of economics, bibliometric analysis, top economic journals
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Clive Spash
    Abstract: The proposal has been put forward that ecological economics seek to become substantive economics (Gerber and Scheidel 2018). This raises important issues about the content and direction of ecological economics. The division of economics into either substantive or formal derives from the work of Karl Polanyi. In developing his ideas Polanyi employed a definition from Menger and combined this with Tönnies theory of historical evolution. In this paper I explore why the resulting substantive vs. formal dichotomy is problematic. In particular the article exposes the way in which trying to impose this dichotomy on history of economic thought and epistemology leads to further false dichotomies. Besides Polanyi, the positions of other important thinkers informing social ecological economics (SEE) are discussed including Neurath, Kapp and Georgescu-Roegen. The aim is to clarify the future direction of ecological economics and the role, in that future, of ideas raised under the topic of substantive economics.
    Keywords: Substantive economics; Karl Polanyi; Formal economics; History of thought; Epistemology; Social ecological economics; Economic anthropology
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Quentin Perrier (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech); Céline Guivarch (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech); Olivier Boucher (LOA - Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique - UMR 8518 - INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lille)
    Abstract: In the context of climate change mitigation and the Paris Agreement, it is critical to monitor and understand the dynamics of greenhouse gas emissions over different regions of the world. In this study, we quantify the contributions of different drivers behind the observed emission decrease in Europe between 2009 and 2014. To this end, we build a novel dataset of deflated input-output tables for each of the 28 EU countries. This dataset enables us to conduct the first Structural Decomposition Analysis of emissions in European countries since the economic crisis. Our results show that the largest drivers of emissions have been the improvement in carbon intensity (−394 MtCO 2 e), largely offset by the economic recovery (+285 MtCO 2 e). However, other less intuitive drivers also played a significant role in the emission decline: changes in the production system (−104 MtCO 2 e), mostly driven by an increase in imports; the evolution of final demand patterns (−101 MtCO 2 e); a decrease in emissions due to household heating (−83 MtCO 2 e) and private transport (−24 MtCO 2 e), with a small offset from population growth (+39 MtCO 2 e). However, these aggregate figures mask significant variations between EU countries which we also document. This study highlights the importance of including changes in consumption patterns, trade and temperature anomalies in tracking and fostering progress towards the Paris Agreement goals.
    Keywords: GHG emissions,Structural decomposition analysis,European Union
    Date: 2019–06–19
  4. By: Sumit Mitra (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode); Pradeep Kumar Hota (LM Thapar School of Manegement)
    Abstract: Social enterprises (SEs) blend social goals with for-profit motive and such a blending provides unique opportunity and challenges for the enterprise. Owing to their primary goal of solving social problems, SEs emerge in areas where government fails to solve issues and private sector does not find them to be profitable to pursue. Such a context poses unique challenges for social enterprise in terms of availability of resource because their predominant social focus fail to tap in to traditional sources for resources unlike their private counterparts. This creates challenges for resource management of SEs. SEs, which otherwise fulfill their social mission, but due to nature of their business are ‘core-stigmatized’ further discourage external resource holders to associate and share resources with such SE creating additional resource challenges because of the stigma attached to the business. Hence, it is interesting to understand how such ‘core stigmatized’ SEs manage their resources. With limited research in this area, studies may need to understand this through in- depth investigation of one or more revelatory cases of a SE that is stigmatized because of the nature of its core product like tobacco, men’s’ bath-house. Following established process of inductive theory building such studies may develop grounded resource management framework. Such studies have important implications for literature on social entrepreneurship particularly of the stigmatized type as also contribute to designing grounded research in such emerging areas.
    Keywords: Social Enterprise, Resource Mobilization Challenges
    Date: 2019–03
  5. By: Tiziano Distefano; Pietro Guarnieri
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the issue of collective action by advancing an epistemology of agency based on the idea that individuals' propensity to act (attitudes) depends on relevant features of their social context. To this purpose, we develop a network model that links the probability that an agent joins collective action to the characteristics of the social structure, which is, in turn, shaped by the activation of collective actions within it. Our underlying assumption is that preferences for collective action are not only an individual endowment, but crucially depend on collective processes, that affect preference formation and characterize rationality as ecological.
    Keywords: partial decenstralisation; party alignment; accountability; intergovernmental transfers
    JEL: B41 D85 D83
    Date: 2019–07–01
  6. By: Riccardo Pansini (Kunming Institute of Zoology); Marco Campenni (Yunnan University of Finance and Economics); Lei Shi (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: Investigating hierarchical class segregation and the use of punishment applied downward in a hierarchy acts as a key aspect to ascertain how dominant and subordinate partners cooperate to achieve mutual profit. In countries with an uneven wealth distribution, this mutual profit may be reduced, especially for the lower socioeconomic classes. In this experiment, we implemented an Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Game in one such country with a starkly high Gini index, China. We split relatively richer and poorer subjects into separate classes and gave only one the authority to punish the other. When rich subjects could unidirectionally punish poor subjects (as in a segregated society), rich subjects decreased their cooperation effort while punishing poor subjects. When rich and poor subjects, instead, could punish each other in random combinations (as in an integrated society) they de- creased defections so they could punish more. In the segregated society model, the punishing classes earned twice as much as the non-punishers. Conversely, in the integrated society model, weak differences in earnings were found, leading to a decrease in inequality. An Agent Based simulation confirmed these results when the interacting agents became thousands rather than the over three hundred human participants. From our research, we conclude that, especially in developing economies, stimulating the wealthier and poorer individuals towards a socioeconomic integration of their cooperative exchanges may ultimately lead to a redistribution of wealth.
    Keywords: cooperation, punishment, Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game, socioeconomic class segregation, Agent Based Modelling
  7. By: Hennings, Anne
    Abstract: Despite deeply engrained images of female domesticity and conventional gender norms, women are increasingly joining land struggles in Cambodia. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, my findings suggest that land rights activism in Cambodia has undergone a gendered re-framing process. Reasoning that women tend to use non-violent means of contestation and are less prone to violent responses from security personnel, nongovernmental organizations push women affected by land grabs and eviction to the frontline of protests. Moreover, female activists are encouraged to publicly display emotions such as sorrow and pain, in sharp contrast with the notion of feminine modesty. I critically question the women-to-the-front strategy and, drawing on Sara Ahmed's politics of emotions, show the adverse risks for female activists. Following that, I argue that the instrumentalization of female bodies and emotions in land rights protests perpetuates gender disparities instead of strengthening female agency in Cambodian society or opening up political space for women.
    Keywords: dispossession,land grabbing,gendered reistance,politics of emotion,Cambodia,Enteignung,Landraub,geschlechtsspezifischer Aktivismus,Politik der Emotionen,Kambodscha
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Olivetti, Claudia (Boston College and NBER); Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University, USA); Zenou, Yves (Monach University)
    Abstract: We study whether a woman's labor supply as a young adult is shaped by the work behavior of her adolescent peers' mothers. Using detailed information on a sample of U.S. teenagers who are followed over time, we find that labor force participation of high school peers' mothers affects adult women's labor force participation, above and beyond the effect of their own mothers. The analysis suggests that women who were exposed to a larger number of working mothers during adolescence are less likely to feel that work interferes with family responsibilities. This perception, in turn, is important for whether they work when they have children.
    Keywords: Role models; Identity; Female labor supply; Peer effects; Workfamily conflict
    JEL: J22 Z13
    Date: 2019–07–04
  9. By: Hederos, Karin (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Stenberg, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Bertrand et al. (2015) show that in the U.S.,the distribution of the wife’s share of household income drops sharply at the point where the wife starts to earn more than her husband. They attribute the drop to a gender identity norm prescribing that a wife’s income should not exceed her husband’s income. We document a similar sharp drop in Swedish administrative register data. However, we also show that there is a large spike in the distribution of the wife’s share of household income at the point where spouses earn exactly the same. The wives in the equal-earning couples do not have higher earnings potential than their husbands, suggesting that the spike is not generated by couples seeking to avoid that the wife earns more than her husband. Excluding the equal-earning couples, the drop is small and mostly statistically insignificant. We conclude that, if anything, we find only weak evidence that Swedish couples comply with a norm against wives earning more than their husbands.
    Keywords: Gender roles; gender norms; marriage market; gender gap; gender identity
    JEL: D10 J12 J16
    Date: 2019–06–28
  10. By: Goodwin, Geoff
    Abstract: Over the last two decades a rich and diverse body of literature has emerged which uses the ‘double movement’ to analyse social, political and economic change in the global South. The main aims of this article are to expand the boundaries of this scholarship and improve our understanding of how to use the concept to analyse capitalist development in the region. It seeks to achieve this by explaining and extending the original formulation of the double movement, creating a dialogue between scholars who follow alternative readings of the concept, and proposing a revised formulation which builds on the existing literature while moving in new directions. The article concludes by signposting potentially fruitful areas of Polanyian analysis.
    Keywords: double movement; fictitious commodities; commodification; decommodification; countermovement; embeddedness; Karl Polayi
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–05–18
  11. By: Michael Cauvel
    Abstract: This paper estimates the relationship between aggregate demand and the functional distribution of income in the U.S. economy using a series of aggregative VAR models. Like most previous aggregative studies, it finds evidence of Goodwin cycle effects—i.e. profit-led demand and a profit-squeeze effect—for the U.S. economy in baseline estimates using assumptions traditionally used in the aggregative literature. However, the results of other specifications suggest that these observed Goodwin cycle effects likely reflect a misinterpretation of procyclical variation in labor productivity—one of the main components of the wage share. When correcting for the cyclical effects of demand on productivity, the results differ dramatically; estimates are indicative of wage-led demand, and the effects of demand on distribution are mixed or insignificant. These findings suggest that evidence of Goodwin cycle effects is likely the result of biased estimates. Instead, it appears that the short-run relationship between the wage share and demand should be viewed as a combination of wage-led demand and procyclical productivity effects.
    Keywords: Functional distribution of income, neo-Kaleckian model, wage-led and profit-led demand regimes
    JEL: E11 E12 E25 E32
    Date: 2019–07
  12. By: Srinivas Raghavendra (J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland Galway); Petri T. Piiroinen (School of Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Mathematics, National University of Ireland Galway)
    Abstract: In this paper, we show how the conflict between the shareholders (owners) and managers of firms in terms of profit rates generates dynamics between growth and distribution that results in a long-run variation in the capacity utilization rate. The model developed here generates oscillations in the rate of capacity utilization in the short run before settling down to its long-run value. Furthermore, the long-run value of the rate of capacity utilization falls within a range of plausible values and this range is determined by the conflict between shareholders and managers. The conflict as a closure, we believe, provides a more realistic microeconomic underpinning to study the impact of distribution on accumulation and long-run utilization. In doing so, we have not taken the approach of the existence of normal utilization rate that is relied upon by the Harrodian authors (Skott 2008, Skott and Ryoo, 2008) and the endogenization of animal spirits in such a way that the actual utilization influences the desired or normal rate of utilization by the Kaleckian authors (Hein 2012, Lavoie, 2003). The model yields hysteresis in that it generates two different disequilibrium growth paths when shareholders and managers struggle to gain control of the firm.
    Keywords: Capital accumulation, Rate of capacity utilization, Conflict, Rate of profit, Long run Equilibrium, Hysteresis, Efficient frontier, Finance frontier, Leverage ratio, Shareholders, Managers, Power struggle
    Date: 2019–07

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