nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒09‒09
fifteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Institutions, Frames, and Social Contract Reasoning By Virginia Cecchini Manara; Lorenzo Sacconi
  2. From insurgency to movement: an embryonic counterhegemonic labor movement in South China By Li, Chunyun
  3. Business and Moralities By Nelu Burcea
  4. Role conflict, coping strategies and female entrepreneurial success in sub-Saharan Africa By Hundera, Mulu
  5. Social Confusion and Corruption: Investigating the Causes and Effects of a Breakdown of Ethics By Suzuki, Taku; Mizobata, Satoshi
  7. Compliance with socially responsible norms of behavior: reputation vs. conformity By Virginia Cecchini Manara; Lorenzo Sacconi
  8. Evaluating the feasibility of consolidations in agricultural cooperatives. By Ekong, Olabisi; Briggeman, Brian C.
  9. The Impact of Microfinance on Poverty Reduction and Women Empowerment By Bogale Berhanu Bent
  10. The impact of militarization on gender inequality and female labor force participation By Adem Elveren; Valentine M. Moghadam
  11. Can cooperatives increase farmers' income: A Study of Tea in China By Zhang, Xiaorong; Kong, Xiangzhi
  12. The Power Law Distribution of Agricultural Land Size By Akhundjanov, Sherzod B.; Chamberlain, Lauren
  13. True Development or Just Some Nugatory Digits? A Social-Epistemological Study of Iran’s Global Rank in Scientific Output By Roohola Ramezani
  14. The Environmental Effects of FDI: Evidence from MENA Countries By Imad Moosa
  15. Exploiting the ?Communist Threat?, for the Privatized Internet By Noel Packard

  1. By: Virginia Cecchini Manara (University of Trento); Lorenzo Sacconi (University of Milan)
    Abstract: This work aims at filling a gap in the cognitive representation of institutions, starting from Aoki’s account of institutions as equilibria in a game- theoretical framework. We propose a formal model to explain what happens when different players hold different representations of the game they are playing. In particular, we assume that agents do not know all the feasible strategies they can play, because they have bounded rationality; grounding on the works by Johnson-Laird and his coauthors, we suggest that individuals use parsimonious mental models that make as little as possible explicit to represent the game they are playing, because of their limited capacity of working memory and attention. Second, we rely on Bacharach’s variable frame theory: agents transform the objective game into a framed game, where strategies are “labeled†in some sense. In such a context, we argue that a social contract – given its prescriptive and universalizable meaning – may provide a shared mental model, accepted by all players, that allows agents to select a joint plan of action corresponding to an efficient and fair distribution.
    Keywords: social institutions, shared beliefs, mental models, framing, social contract
    JEL: B52 C7 D02 D83
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Li, Chunyun
    Abstract: This paper provides a new analysis of Chinese labor politics. Most scholars suggest that there is no labor movement in China because Chinese labor protests are apolitical, cellular, and short-lived, and thus inconsistent with the properties of social movements identified in the political process model. In contrast, the author draws on Gramsci’s ideas regarding counterhegemonic movements and on ethnographic and archival research to demonstrate that the activities of movement-oriented labor NGOs (MLNGOs) coupled with associated labor protests since 2011 constituted the embryo of a counterhegemonic labor movement. MLNGOs have reworked the hegemonic labor law system to undermine the regime’s legal atomization of workers, nurtured worker leaders as organic intellectuals of migrant workers to temporarily substitute for impotent workplace unions, and developed alternative organizational networks of labor organizing that challenged monopolistic union bureaucracy. This incipient counterhegemonic movement persisted several years after state repression in late 2015 but was curtailed by another wave of repression in January 2019. The very severity of state repression suggests that a counterhegemonic movement has been formed.
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2019–08–27
  3. By: Nelu Burcea (Athenaeum University of Bucharest)
    Abstract: This research paper aims to bring the business ethics into perspective through a theoretical approach of the terms ethics, morality and business in the desire to draw attention to the need for ethics in business and its impact on society and the business environment. It is often questioned why the association of these two terms is important as long as the purpose of business is the profit and not the correct behavioral or decisional conduct of an economic institution? Certainly the tension created between the two poles is not easy to reduce, what this paper seeks is to set the theoretical basis of the concept of business ethics and to have a theoretical approach both locally, with reference to Romania, but also an international approach, by trying to investigate the interest in terminology in various other economic and political areas.
    Keywords: Business, Morality, Ethics, Economics, Business Environment
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Hundera, Mulu (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This dissertation shed light on the various issues related to role conflict, coping strategies and the success of female entrepreneurs in SSA. It did so by conducting four studies. The studies show that the female entrepreneurs experience role conflict in balancing social role expectations and entrepreneurial role demands. They cope with the role conflicts in various ways, which depend on the level of role conflict, stage of business where they are active and personal resources available. The coping strategies were also found to affect the female entrepreneurs’ success in business. Finally, the researcher recommends responsiveness to the issue of role conflict, particularly from gender stereotypic social role expectations. This can be done during the provision of business development services are provided to effectively empower women economically.
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Suzuki, Taku; Mizobata, Satoshi
    Abstract: While studies of transitions to market economies have long focused on the issue of corruption, the perspectives from which their analyses have been based have diverged. Accordingly, this paper employs a systematic review through testing 14 hypotheses from the perspectives of political and economic causes, as well as culture and values, based on 558 works from the literature on the subject. Its findings make it clear that the liberalization and privatization of ownership both expand and contract corruption; the effects of culture and values also should not be overlooked, while mostly rejecting the so-called "greasing-the-wheels" hypothesis.
    Keywords: corruption, systems, economic growth, democracy, tradition, systematic review
    JEL: C00 O17 P24 P26
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: Kavous Ardalan (Marist College)
    Abstract: Any explanation of culture is based on a worldview. The premise of this paper is that any worldview can be associated with one of the four broad paradigms: functionalist, interpretive, radical humanist, and radical structuralist. This paper takes the case of culture and discusses it from the four different viewpoints. It emphasizes that the four views expressed are equally scientific and informative; they look at the phenomenon from their certain paradigmatic viewpoint; and together they provide a more balanced understanding of the phenomenon under consideration.
    Keywords: Culture; Paradigms; Diversity
    Date: 2019–07
  7. By: Virginia Cecchini Manara (University of Trento); Lorenzo Sacconi (University of Milan)
    Abstract: The Social Responsibility of Business usually involves self-regulation, which entails spontaneous compliance with social norms or standards that are not imposed by hard law. In this paper we discuss the mechanisms that lead economic agents to comply with socially responsible norms that are not legally enforced, and do not coincide with profit, or self-interest, maximization. Companies exist because individuals need to cooperate and some institutions can facilitate cooperation, but at the same time these institutions may turn into places where unfair distributions are amplified and cooperative behaviours and motivations disrupted. The agents who decide to organize themselves into firms are usually motivated by the need to earn some benefit from mutual cooperation: since they have limited knowledge and bounded rationality, team production can highly improve their results. Therefore the main motivation to enter an organization is to gain from cooperation; but this also brings problems of how to divide the surplus that is generated and we find conflicts on the attribution of benefits among stakeholders, with a particular problem of abuse of authority by those who hold power. One of the drivers of socially responsible behaviour is the quest for reputation, which in turn induces a cooperative response from the stakeholders. This can be described in game-theoretical terms with a repeated Trust Game between a trustor (the stakeholder) and a trustee (the management of the firm). The problem with reputation is that it is compatible with multiple equilibria, included the one in which stakeholders always trust the firm, and the firm often abuses this trust. This leads to consider an alternative mechanism for norm compliance: conformity and reciprocity that derive from an impartial agreement among stakeholders. The present work analyses in depth the role of an agreement on cognitions and motivations, grounding on insights from psychology, game theory and experimental findings.
    Keywords: corporate culture, CSR, social contract, agreement, trust game
    JEL: C72 M14 L14 D91
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Ekong, Olabisi; Briggeman, Brian C.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance
    Date: 2019–06–25
  9. By: Bogale Berhanu Bent (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
    Abstract: This paper is to examine the impact of microfinance on poverty reduction and women empowerment as perceived by microfinance institutions and experienced by aspiring women credit participant in Ethiopia. The study reviewed different literatures and broadly focused on social activities and economic empowerment of women beside household poverty reduction and economic development and the effect of household income, the objective of this study is to show how microfinance works, by using women participants for reducing poverty and how it affects the living standard (income, saving etc.) of the household poor people in Ethiopia, The microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide the opportunity for the people who are living under the poverty lines, the institution particularly encourage poor women households and the result will show that how poverty reduced by encouraging and providing access to finance poor household. Microfinance institutions are claimed to directly affect household income by encouraging productivity, increasing diversity of production and productivity, and maximizing the utilization of the available resources (Binswanger, 2007; Dejene, 2007; Sudan, 2007; Akintoye, 2008; Belwal et al., 2012; Fletschner & Kenney, 2014)
    Keywords: microfinance institutions, poverty, women
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Adem Elveren (Fitchburg State University); Valentine M. Moghadam (Northeastern University)
    Abstract: Feminist research has revealed significant relationships between militarization, patriarchy, and gender inequality. This paper takes that research forward through an empirical analysis of the impact of militarization on gender inequality and on women’s participation in the labor market. Using the Gender Inequality Index and the Global Militarization Index for the period of 1990-2017 for 133 countries, the paper shows that higher militarization is significantly correlated with higher gender inequality and lower level of female labor force participation rate, controlling for major variables such as conflict, democracy level, regime type, fertility rate, and urbanization rate. The results are significant in the case of Islam and MENA countries, and with respect to countries with different income levels.
    Date: 2019–08–21
  11. By: Zhang, Xiaorong; Kong, Xiangzhi
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2019–06–25
  12. By: Akhundjanov, Sherzod B.; Chamberlain, Lauren
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2019–06–25
  13. By: Roohola Ramezani (Independent Post-Doctoral Researcher, Tehran, Iran)
    Abstract: In the last decade Iranian academia has witnessed a glaring growth in scientific output, as can be seen in the relevant international rankings. However, there are serious doubts, among Iranian researchers themselves, as to the true meaning of Iran’s status in such rankings. To see whether such ostensibly promising status indicates true development in scientific practice in Iran, we seem to need a philosophical account on what scientific practice is. In this paper I introduce a social-epistemological account of scientific practice based on which I analyze Iran’s status in the international rankings. My analyses shows that, once science is viewed as a practice of social-epistemological nature, Iran’s status in such rankings should not be taken at face value.
    Date: 2019–08–21
  14. By: Imad Moosa (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT)
    Abstract: Empirical work on the environmental effects of FDI has produced a mixed bag of results, with hardly any evidence for MENA countries. A theoretical model is presented, postulating that whether FDI has a positive or negative effect on the environment depends on the position of the underlying country or region on the environmental Kuznets curve. This paper presents results indicating that FDI leads to environmental degradation in MENA countries and that they fall on the rising sector of the EKC. The theoretical model is supported by the empirical results.
    Date: 2019–08–21
  15. By: Noel Packard (University of Auckland)
    Abstract: Levine?s Surveillance Valley reports how the Internet was privatized without public debate or resistance but overlooks decades of neoliberal economic and anti-communist purging history that had chilling effects on public resistance to Internet privatization - that history gap is explored here. How did military-industrial-complex contractors, using neoliberal and Communist threat rational, incentivize Internet development, while lessening the possibility of public interference to Internet privatization? Weber?s special-skilled-occupational-status-group-theory is overlaid onto neoliberal economic and military-industrial-complex history to argue occupational-contractor-status-groups, with their monopoly access to early computer technology, fulfilled neoliberal doctrine by creating and protecting private markets for the Internet and exploited Communist threat rational to help clear the privatization path of people who might impede market plans.
    Keywords: Internet, neoliberal, DARPA, Communist Threat, Cold War, national security
    JEL: A14 H56 O33
    Date: 2019–07

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