nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
eighteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. How economics became an interventionist science (and how it ceased to be) By Rafael Galvão de Almeida
  2. Exposure to More Female Peers Widens the Gender Gap in STEM Participation By Brenøe, Anne Ardila; Zölitz, Ulf
  3. Un héritage des Annales, la cliométrie à Strasbourg. By Claude DIEBOLT; Michel HAU
  4. Are U.S. Industries Becoming More Concentrated? By Gustavo Grullon; Yelena Larkin; Roni Michaely
  5. Dynamics of social networks of urban informal entrepreneurs in an African economy By Jean-Philippe Berrou; Claire Gondard-Delcroix
  6. A Statistical Field Approach to Capital Accumulation By Pierre Gosselin; Aïleen Lotz; Marc Wambst
  7. Moral Foundations and Voluntary Public Good Provision: The Case of Climate Change By Heinz Welsch
  8. The decline in entrepreneurship in the West: Is complexity ossifying the economy? By Naudé, Wim
  9. Looking forward via the Past: An Investigation of the Evolution of the Knowledge Base of Robotics Firms. By Estolatan, Eric; Geuna, Aldo
  10. Pluralism and political economy in interwar britain: G.D.H. Cole on economic planning By Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
  11. Uneven and combined development as a methodological tool: a dynamic approach after a dialogue between Kondratiev and Trotsky By Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque
  12. Emerging the U.S. Firm Size Distribution Using 4.2 Billion Individual Tax Records By Joseph A.E. Shaheen
  13. How do participants understand and interpret questions about 'retirement planning'? By Abbassian, Lindsay; Beth, Dokal; Joyce, Lucy; Pudney, Stephen; Kanabar, Ricky; Gush, Karon; Burton, Jonathan
  14. Socialist Legacies and Human Resource Management in European Transition Economies : An Analytical Survey By Horie, Norio; Kumo, Kazuhiro
  15. Pourquoi les filles ne sont-elles pas plus nombreuses à choisir une carrière scientifique ? By Tarek Mostafa
  16. El desgobierno del mercado educativo y la intensificación de la segregación escolar socioeconómica en el Perú By Balarin, María; Escudero, Aurora
  17. Fiscalité du patrimoine : un débat capital By Sandrine Levasseur
  18. Fraud Deterrence Institutions Reduce Intrinsic Honesty By Fabio Galeotti; Valeria Maggian; Marie Claire Villeval

  1. By: Rafael Galvão de Almeida (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The relationship between economics and State has been intimate ever since classical political economy. However, perceptions about the role and size of the State have changed according to the epoch. In other words, economic theory assigned a bigger or a smaller role to the State depending on the political situation. This article analyses the change in economists and economic theory’s perception of the role of the State in the economy, from favoring an interventionist approach from the 1930s to the 1960s, and a liberal approach from 1970s, in order to understand the factors behind this change.
    Keywords: theory of economic policy; economic planning; liberalism; neoliberalism
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Brenøe, Anne Ardila (University of Zurich); Zölitz, Ulf (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how high school gender composition affects students' participation in STEM at college. Using Danish administrative data, we exploit idiosyncratic within-school variation in gender composition. We find that having a larger proportion of female peers reduces women's probability of enrolling in and graduating from STEM programs. Men's STEM participation increases with more female peers present. In the long run, women exposed to more female peers are less likely to work in STEM occupations, earn less, and have more children. Our findings show that the school peer environment has lasting effects on occupational sorting, the gender wage gap, and fertility.
    Keywords: gender, peer effects, STEM studies
    JEL: I21 J16 J31
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Claude DIEBOLT; Michel HAU
    Abstract: C’est par sa volonté de combiner la rigueur des modèles théoriques et mathématiques avec la prise en compte, de la façon la plus exhaustive possible, de la complexité de toutes les données (qualitatives et quantitatives) que l’Ecole cliométrique strasbourgeoise reste fidèle à l’esprit des Annales et prolonge le mouvement initié en 1929 par Marc Bloch et Lucien Febvre.
    Keywords: Cliométrie, Ecole des Annales, Economie, Epistémologie, Histoire, Histoire économique, Histoire de la pensée économique.
    JEL: A12 A22 A23 B20 B41 C18 C81 C82 N01
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Gustavo Grullon (Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business); Yelena Larkin (York University - Schulich School of Business); Roni Michaely (University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI); Swiss Finance Institute)
    Abstract: In the last two decades, over 75% of U.S. industries have experienced an increase in concentration levels. We find that firms in industries with the largest increases in product market concentration have enjoyed higher profit margins and more profitable M&A deals. At the same time, we do not find evidence of a significant increase in operational efficiency, which suggests that market power is becoming an important source of value. These findings are robust to the inclusion of private firms, factors that account for foreign competition, as well as to the use of alternative measures of concentration. We also show that the higher profit margins associated with an increase in concentration are reflected in higher returns to shareholders. Overall, our results suggest that the nature of U.S. product markets has undergone a shift that has potentially weakened competition across the majority of industries.
    Keywords: industry concentration; HHI; product markets; profit margins; publicly-traded firms; M&A; antitrust
    JEL: G18 G30 G34 L40 L10
    Date: 2019–08
  5. By: Jean-Philippe Berrou (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LAM - Les Afriques dans le monde - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IEP Bordeaux - Sciences Po Bordeaux - Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux); Claire Gondard-Delcroix (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper carries out an analysis of the formation and transformation of social relations and networks of access to resources in the professional trajectory of micro-entrepreneurs operating in an urban informal African economy. The analysis of social networks is rooted in Granovetter's structural embeddedness framework combined with the dynamic and discursive conception of social relations of Harisson White (embeddedness and decoupling). Life stories of micro and small entrepreneurs in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina-Faso) are analyzed by mixing qualitative and quantitative methods. Results suggest that the construction of social networks and interpersonal relations of access to resources is a long-term process. A co-construction of social networks and economic activity is observed; it challenges the argument that social capital is a substitute for a lack of personal resources. The growth of small and micro activities is linked to the professionalization and stabilization of a social network, and even to the institutionalization of access to resources.
    Keywords: Embeddedness,Social Networks,Informal economy,Entrepreneurial stories,Mixed methods JEL Classification
    Date: 2018–01–09
  6. By: Pierre Gosselin (IF - Institut Fourier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Aïleen Lotz (Cerca Trova); Marc Wambst (IRMA - Institut de Recherche Mathématique Avancée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model of capital accumulation for a large number of heterogenous producer-consumers in an exchange space in which interactions depend on agents' positions. Each agent is described by his production, consumption, stock of capital, as well as the position he occupies in this abstract space. Each agent produces one differentiated good whose price is fixed by market clearing conditions. Production functions are Cobb-Douglas, and capital stocks follow the standard capital accumulation dynamic equation. Agents consume all goods but have a preference for goods produced by their closest neighbors. Agents in the exchange space are subject both to attractive and repulsive forces. Exchanges drive agents closer, but beyond a certain level of proximity, agents will tend to crowd out more distant agents. The present model uses a formalism based on statistical field theory developed earlier by the authors. This approach allows the analytical treatment of economic models with an arbitrary number of agents, while preserving the system's interactions and complexity at the individual level. Our results show that the dynamics of capital accumulation and agents' position in the exchange space are correlated. Interactions in the exchange space induce several phases of the system. A first phase appears when attractive forces are limited. In this phase, an initial central position in the exchange space favors capital accumulation in average and leads to a higher level of capital, while agents far from the center will experience a slower accumulation process. A high level of initial capital drives agents towards a central position, i.e. improve the terms of their exchanges: they experience a higher demand and higher prices for their product. As usual, high capital productivity favors capital accumulation, while higher rates of capital depreciation reduce capital stock. In a second phase, attractive forces are predominant. The previous results remain, but an additional threshold effect appears. Even though no restriction was imposed initially on the system, two types of agents emerge, depending on their initial stock of capital. One type of agents will remain above the capital threshold and occupy and benefit from a central position. The other type will remain below the threshold, will not be able to break it and will remain at the periphery of the exchange space. In this phase, capital distribution is less homogenous than in the first phase.
    Keywords: Ex- change Space,Statistical Field Theory,Path Integrals,Capital Accumulation,Multi-Agent Model,Interaction Agents JEL Classification: C02,Phase Transition,E1,C60,E00
    Date: 2019–09–06
  7. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Economic theory has invoked moral motivation as an explanation for the voluntary provision of public goods but is vague with regard to the specific moral concerns involved. Using climate change as a case study, this paper relates morally-motivated public good provision to the six moral foundations (MFs) identified by moral psychologists: Care, Fairness and Liberty (individual-focused), and Loyalty, Authority and Sanctity (group-focused). Using data from the European Social Surveys it is found that using the MFs in addition to standard explanatory variables improves the explanation of climate-friendly behaviors and endorsement of climate-friendly regulations by 44 percent. While the Fairness and Care foundations are strong and robust predictors of the dependent variables, the Loyalty foundation contributes positively only when neglecting the nature of climate change mitigation as a global public good. More generally, in contrast to the individual-focused MFs (that apply to all individuals), the group-focused MFs are of little direct relevance for climate change mitigation, as the benefit from mitigation extends beyond the in-group (family, neighborhood, region, or nation) to which these MFs refer. Group-focused MFs are only of indirect relevance as their endorsement fosters general environmental concern.
    Keywords: voluntary public good provision, climate change, moral motivation, moral foundations
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Naudé, Wim (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, RWTH Aachen, and IZa, Bonn.)
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship in most advanced economies is in decline. This comes as a surprise: many scholars have expected an upsurge in entrepreneurship. What are the reasons for the decline? In this paper I first document the extent of the decline in terms of entrepreneurial entry rates; the share of young and small firms; and in terms of labor market mobility and in innovativeness. I then critically discuss the explanations that have been offered in the literature: slow population growth, market concentration, zombie-firm congestion, slower diffusion of knowledge, and burdensome business regulations. While having merit, these explanations are largely supply-side oriented and moreover fail to explain why the decline in entrepreneurship is associated with high levels of economic complexity. I argue that we need to consider the potential of negative scale effects and evolutionary pressures from rising complexity, as well as long-run changes in aggregate demand and energy costs. Whether the decline in entrepreneurship and the ossification of the economy is undesirable, is a point for debate, calling for more research and more attention to entrepreneurship in growth theories.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, start-ups, development, economic complexity, growth theory
    JEL: O47 O33 J24 E21 E25
    Date: 2019–09–11
  9. By: Estolatan, Eric; Geuna, Aldo (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The case studies described in this paper investigate the evolution of the knowledge bases of the two leading EU robotics firms - KUKA and COMAU. The analysis adopts an evolutionary perspective and a systems approach to examine a set of derived patent-based measures to explore firm behavior in technological knowledge search and accumulation. The investigation is supplemented by analyses of the firms' historical archives, firm strategies and prevailing economic context at selected periods. Our findings suggest that while these enterprises maintain an outwardlooking innovation propensity and a diversified knowledge base they tend to have a higher preference for continuity and stability of their existing technical knowledge sets. The two companies studied exhibit partially different responses to the common and on-going broader change in the robotics industry (i.e. the emergence of artificial intelligence and ICT for application to robotics); KUKA is shown to be more outward-looking than COMAU. Internal restructuring, economic shocks and firm specificities are found to be stronger catalysts of change than external technology-based stimuli.
    Date: 2019–06
  10. By: Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The political philosophy of pluralism enjoyed great currency in Britain during the early decades of the 20th century, as an alternative to the extreme poles of individualism and collectivism. Positing the existence of multiple types of political allegiances in any society, pluralism questioned the notion of state sovereignty by advocating that other forms of associational life should be recognized as legitimate sources of political power. In an age of increasing state intervention in economic affairs, however, this fragmentation of power concerned political economy as well. The paper explores the interplay between political claims for a weaker state and economic claims for a stronger state through a case study of G.D.H. Cole, the foremost British advocate of guild socialism and a prolific writer on economic planning. While defending the cause of democratic industrial self-management, Cole envisioned stateled economic planning as a transitional device for developing the communal loyalties necessary for a well-functioning socialist economy.
    Keywords: pluralism, state sovereignty, economic planning, G.D.H. Cole, democracy.
    Date: 2019–09
  11. By: Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper suggests that Trotsky's elaboration on uneven and combined development can be a methodological tool to understand contemporary capitalism. A dialogue with Kondratiev is a starting point, as each new technological revolution creates a new level of unevenness. Technological revolutions also transform channels through which combination takes place. As both unevenness and combination change over time, it is possible to have a dynamic approach to the process of uneven and combined development. This dynamic approach is a methodology to investigate how new amalgams between modern and archaic forms shape varieties of capitalism at the periphery and transform the global dynamic of capitalism.
    Keywords: technological revolutions; center-periphery divide; varieties of capitalism; expansion of global capitalism
    Date: 2019–09
  12. By: Joseph A.E. Shaheen (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA)
    Abstract: The firm size distribution describes important economic and labor properties of any economy. Government entities must expend enormous resources in data collection, cleaning, and analysis in order to construct this and other important distributions describing the aggregate properties large economies. In the U.S., this process can be cumbersome and relies on querying multiple databases and utilizing significant computational resources. I show that construction of the U.S. firm size distribution is plausible using only individual income tax records (W2s) drawn directly from Internal Revenue Service tax records (micro data) and that the emergent distribution is statistically identical to what is reported by the United States Census Bureau. The methodology represents an incremental advance for population-scale studies in economic analysis—specifically firm and labor analysis. Finally, this paper acts as a re-validation of earlier work in fitting the firm size distribution.
    Keywords: firm size, labor, taxation, data policy, economic analysis, data science
    Date: 2019–04
  13. By: Abbassian, Lindsay; Beth, Dokal; Joyce, Lucy; Pudney, Stephen; Kanabar, Ricky; Gush, Karon; Burton, Jonathan
    Abstract: ISER commissioned Kantar to conduct cognitive testing followed by a short qualitative discussion to support the development of the retirement planning module. The cognitive testing explored how participants understood and interpreted questions in the module to identify any barriers to responding and potential areas for improvement. The qualitative discussion captured broader views on and experiences of planning for retirement. The idealised version of retirement evoked ideas of personal and financial freedom, which did not align to participants' expectations of the own retirement.
    Date: 2019–09–19
  14. By: Horie, Norio; Kumo, Kazuhiro
    Abstract: This paper takes up the human resource management studies targeting European transition economies (ETEs) in the context of transition economies and empirically examines the relationship between the existing studies, which discuss the institutional and cultural legacies of their socialist period, and the attributes of the literature. This analytical survey clarifies that the major studies in human resource management in ETEs still keep focus on the old socialist legacies, particularly in traditional industries, and that the socialist institutional legacies are actively and continuously discussed in ETEs to understand the diversity of European HRM, though there is a possibility that the divergence theory based on cultural legacies may become inapplicable in accordance with their deepening integration with the EU economy.
    Keywords: European transition economies, human resource management, socialist legacy
    JEL: J50 M12 M54 P31
    Date: 2019–09
  15. By: Tarek Mostafa
    Abstract: Chaque nouvelle publication de données PISA est l’occasion pour des chercheurs du monde entier de se lancer dans de nouvelles analyses afin d’apporter un nouvel éclairage sur des questions de toutes sortes. Parmi celles-ci, l’une reste pour l’instant sans réponse : comment expliquer la sous-représentation des femmes dans les professions en rapport avec les sciences, la technologie, l’ingénierie et les mathématiques (STIM) ? À partir des données du Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA), Gijsbert Stoet et David Geary se sont intéressés à la nature des écarts entre les sexes dans les domaines des STIM. Ils ont analysé les données de 67 pays et économies ayant participé au cycle 2015 de l’enquête PISA, analyse que sont venus compléter des indicateurs nationaux d’égalité entre les sexes (indice global d’égalité entre les sexes) et le pourcentage de femmes diplômées en STIM. Et leurs travaux se sont avérés des plus fructueux…
    Date: 2019–09–17
  16. By: Balarin, María (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE)); Escudero, Aurora
    Abstract: El Perú es el país de Latinoamérica con la mayor brecha en los logros educativos de estudiantes provenientes de familias ricas y pobres. A la vez es un ejemplo radical de la tendencia global hacia el desarrollo de mercados educativos. En el marco de la liberalización de la inversión educativa privada, la libre elección de escuelas se ha enraizado en el sistema educativo. No obstante, las familias no cuentan al momento de elegir con el apoyo de fondos públicos, con información transparente, con una regulación apropiada ni con políticas que amortigüen los efectos de la elección escolar en las dinámicas de segregación educativa. Este documento analiza las tendencias de segregación escolar por nivel socioeconómico en el país. Consideramos que lo que principalmente explica sus patrones existentes es el uso extendido de la elección escolar, tanto en el sistema educativo privado como en el público.
    Keywords: Discriminación educacional, Desigualdad social, Desigualdad económica, Educación, Zonas urbanas, Perú, Educational discrimination, Economic disparity, Social inequality, Education, Urban areas, Peru
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2019
  17. By: Sandrine Levasseur (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: La fiscalité du patrimoine constitue un élément important de notre politique socio-fiscale. Elle contribue de façon non négligeable au financement des dépenses publiques : les revenus fiscaux sur la détention, les revenus et la transmission du patrimoine représentent en France environ 70 milliards d’euros, soit l’équivalent de 3,5 % du PIB ou de 7 % des recettes fiscales. Pour autant, la fiscalité du patrimoine n’a pas qu’une dimension économique et financière. Au travers de sa transmission, le patrimoine a une forte composante familiale, ce qui va le doter d’une valeur symbolique. La fiscalité du patrimoine a aussi une forte composante sociétale car tous les individus ne sont pas en mesure d’épargner alors que l’épargne est souvent un préalable à la constitution d’un capital. De même, tous les individus n’héritent pas. D’où un patrimoine qui, d’une part, est source d’inégalités entre les ménages et d’autre part, peut être considéré comme n’ayant pas la même légitimité selon qu’il est reçu ou acquis. Sujet sensible, très médiatisé, émotionnel même[1], la fiscalité du patrimoine nécessite une approche pluridisciplinaire afin d’en aborder ses différentes facettes et oblige très souvent à convoquer des éléments de sociologie, d’histoire en plus de ceux de l’économie.
    Keywords: Fiscalité; France; Inégalités
    Date: 2019–09
  18. By: Fabio Galeotti (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Valeria Maggian (University of Ca’ Foscari [Venice, Italy]); Marie Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Deterrence institutions are widely used in modern societies to discourage rule violations but whether they have an impact beyond their immediate scope of application is usually ignored. Using a natural field experiment, we show that they affect intrinsic honesty across contexts. We identified fraudsters and non-fraudsters in public transport who were or not exposed to ticket inspections by the transport company. We then measured the intrinsic honesty of the same persons in a new unrelated context where they could misappropriate money. Instead of having an educative effect across contexts, the exposure to deterrence practices increases unethical behavior of fraudsters but also of non-fraudsters.
    Keywords: Deterrence Institutions,Intrinsic Honesty,Spillovers
    Date: 2019

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