nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2019‒11‒04
nineteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Virtue Ethics and Environment By Leszek Pyra
  2. The Credit Cycle and the Financial Fragility Hypothesis: An Evolutionary Population Approach By JORGE OMAR RAZO-DE ANDA; ANA CECILIA PARADA-ROJAS; SALVADOR CRUZ-AKÉ
  3. Multilevel evolutionary developmental optimization (MEDO): A theoretical framework for understanding preferences and selection dynamics By Adam Safron
  4. Using network science to quantify economic disruptions in regional input-output networks By Emily P. Harvey; Dion R. J. O'Neale
  5. Social polarisation at the local level: a four-town comparative study By Koch, Insa; Fransham, Mark James; Cant, Sarah; Ebrey, Jill; Glucksberg, Luna; Savage, Mike
  6. Why Do We Observe a Regional Balassa-Samuelson Effect? (Japanese) By TOKUI Joji
  7. Hipsters and the Cool: A Game Theoretic Analysis of Social Identity, Trends and Fads By Russell Golman; Aditi Jain; Sonica Saraf
  8. Scaling up climate-compatible infrastructure: Insights from national development banks in Brazil and South Africa By OECD
  9. Structural change in times of increasing openness By Gräbner, Claudius; Heimberger, Philipp; Kapeller, Jakob; Schütz, Bernhard
  10. De la propriété à l'autonomie :la propriété privée est-elle une institution démocratique? By Eric Fabri
  11. Adoption History. From Ancient Societies to Contemporary Societies By Silvia Timofti
  12. State Power and Conflict Driven Evolution By David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
  13. New Ecological Paradigm meets behavioral economics: On the relationship between environmental values and economic preferences By Ziegler, Andreas
  14. Rising to the Challenge: Bayesian Estimation and Forecasting Techniques for Macroeconomic Agent-Based Models By Domenico Delli Gatti; Jakob Grazzini
  15. How should rural financial cooperatives be best organized? Evidence from Ethiopia By Koru, Bethelhem
  16. Determinants of environmental product and process innovations By Gutsche, Gunnar; Ziegler, Andreas
  17. Hedging and the regret theory of the competitive firm By Broll, Udo; Welzel, Peter; Wong, Kit Pong
  18. Stepping up to the mark? Firms' export activity and environmental innovation in 14 European countries By Semrau, Finn Ole; Hanley, Aoife
  19. Power Laws without Gibrat's Law By John Stachurski

  1. By: Leszek Pyra (The Pedagogical University of Cracow)
    Abstract: One can definitely distinguish three major trends in a normative ethics: consequentialist, deontological and the one represented by virtue ethics. At the very beginning of the paper shortly a story of virtue ethics is reminded and then the status of the contemporary virtue ethics, which undergoes a spectacular revival nowadays, is briefly discussed. After this it is shown that an ethics of character can be modified in such way as to be applicable to an environment as such, and even that it may be normative in an effective way helping to solve some environmental problems with which both deontological and consequentialist theories have problems. In this context especially R. L. Sandler's project of a virtue-oriented environmental ethics is presented, analyzed and evaluated. His naturalistic, pluralistic and teleological project proposes some environmental virtues and vices especially referring to the environment. In such context, an axiology concerning the relation man-nature has been discussed. On the basis of some values appearing in nature virtue-oriented principles of right, adequate action has been formulated by Sandler which may, however, be hotly disputed. Then, concluding, I discuss some specific objections directed towards the possibility of developing an adequate virtue environmental ethics. It has been shown, I hope, that a project under discussion, a very interesting and certainly daring, is however still in statu nascendi, it has strong points when compared to anthropocentric (J.Passmore), biocentric (P.Taylor) and holistic (J.B.Callicot) standpoints in environmental ethics, but at the same time it also shows some weaknesses and therefore requires some further elaboration.
    Keywords: environment, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, deontology
    JEL: Y90
    Date: 2019–07
    Abstract: Minsky's idea of triggering a financial crisis is the adoption of risky financial positions by companies and their relationship with the financial system through banks and the credit they provide. The present work seeks to provide an explanation from a microeconomic point of view through the behavior of agents and their decision making under a Theory of evolutionary games, especially population games. The great advantage of this type of games is that it allows us to obtain proportions of the different decisions that a population or subpopulation is taking and how their interaction promotes equilibrium and the dynamics towards (or around) them.This allows us to determine the dynamics and equilibria of the credit cycle, following Minsky's idea of financial fragility. Additionally, the dynamics of the replicator allows transforming the differential equations in a Lotka-Volterra system, from which it can be concluded that both companies and banks adopt a predatory prey relationship in order to survive.
    Keywords: Capital Structure, Evolutionary Games, Financial crises
    JEL: C73 G02 G01
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Adam Safron
    Abstract: What is motivation and how does it work? Where do goals come from and how do they vary within and between species and individuals? Why do we prefer some things over others? MEDO is a theoretical framework for understanding these questions in abstract terms, as well as for generating and evaluating specific hypotheses that seek to explain goal-oriented behavior. MEDO views preferences as selective processes influencing the likelihood of particular outcomes, which are more or less consistent with the dynamics underlying those influences. With respect to biological organisms, these patterns must compete and cooperate in shaping system evolution. To the extent that shaping processes are themselves altered by experience, this enables feedback relationships where histories of reward and punishment can impact future motivation. In this way, various biases can undergo either amplification or attenuation, potentially resulting in enduring preferences and orientations. MEDO is unique in that it specifically models all shaping dynamics in terms of natural selection operating on multiple levels--genetic, neural, and cultural--and even considers aspects of development to themselves be evolutionary processes. Thus, MEDO reflects a kind of generalized Darwinism, in that it assumes that natural selection provides a common principle for understanding the emergence of complexity within all dynamical systems in which replication, variation, and selection occur. However, MEDO combines this evolutionary perspective with economic decision theory, which describes both the preferences underlying individual choices, as well as the preferences underlying choices made by engineers in designing optimized systems. In this way, MEDO uses economic decision theory to explain goal-oriented behaviors as well as the interacting evolutionary optimization processes from which they emerge.
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Emily P. Harvey; Dion R. J. O'Neale
    Abstract: Input Output (IO) tables provide a standardised way of looking at monetary flows between all industries in an economy. IO tables can be thought of as networks - with the nodes being different industries and the edges being the flows between them. We develop a network-based analysis to consider a multi-regional IO network at regional and subregional level within a country. We calculate both traditional matrix-based IO measures (e.g. 'multipliers') and new network theory-based measures at this higher spatial resolution. We contrast these methods with the results of a disruption model applied to the same IO data in order to demonstrate that betweenness centrality gives a good indication of flow on economic disruption, while eigenvector-type centrality measures give results comparable to traditional IO multipliers.We also show the effects of treating IO networks at different levels of spatial aggregation.
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Koch, Insa; Fransham, Mark James; Cant, Sarah; Ebrey, Jill; Glucksberg, Luna; Savage, Mike
    Abstract: The concept of polarisation, where the extremes of a distribution are growing and where there is a missing or shrinking ‘middle’, has attracted recent interest driven by concerns about the consequences of inequality in British society. This paper brings together evidence of economic, spatial and relational polarisation across four contrasting towns in the United Kingdom: Oldham, Margate, Oxford and Tunbridge Wells. Deploying a comparative community analysis, buttressed by quantitative framing, we demonstrate the need to recognise how local social processes vary amongst places that on the face of it display similar trends. We show how local polarisation plays out differently depending on whether it is driven ‘from above’ or ‘from below’. Across all four towns, we draw out how a ‘missing middle’ of intermediaries who might be able to play roles in cementing local relations poses a major challenge for political mobilisation in times of inequality
    Keywords: community studies; inequality; polarisation; segregation
    JEL: R00 P50
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: TOKUI Joji
    Abstract: Drawing a scatter diagram between differences in service prices and productivity among Japanese regions reveals a positive correlation. Additionally, all students of international economics know of the famous Balassa-Samuelson Effect, which explains why poorer countries tend to have cheaper service prices than richer countries. The apparent resemblance of the two phenomena could justify naming the domestic phenomenon the regional Balassa-Samuelson effect. Are the economic mechanisms that achieve these phenomena the same in the domestic and international contexts? The international version of the Balassa-Samuelson effect explains the phenomenon by relying on the presumption that labor productivity of rich countries is much higher than that of poor countries in the tradable manufacturing sector, but not in the non-tradable service sector. Although this presumption seems to be realistic in the international context, it does not hold in the domestic context. When we compare domestic labor productivity between rich urban areas and the other areas, while the manufacturing sectors exhibit little difference in productivity, the service sectors exhibit a pronounced productivity gap. Therefore we consider two alternative hypotheses that may explain the regional Balassa-Samuelson effect: high land use costs or high labor costs in urban areas. To conduct this research we constructed consistent prefectural-level input-output tables, and estimated land use costs for each industry in each prefecture. We apply the Leontief price model and calculate regional price differences caused by differences in both land use cost and labor cost and we estimate a regression equation with regional service price index as dependent variable and calculated price differences caused by land use cost and by labor cost as explanatory variables. Using the estimated regression equation we decompose the sum of squares for the dependent variable into that related to land use cost and that related to labor cost, to find that the former account for only 20 percent and the latter account for 80 percent. Thus the impact on prices of high urban labor cost is more important in accounting for the regional Balassa-Samuelson effect.
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Russell Golman; Aditi Jain; Sonica Saraf
    Abstract: Cultural trends and popularity cycles can be observed all around us, yet our theories of social influence and identity expression do not explain what perpetuates these complex, often unpredictable social dynamics. We propose a theory of social identity expression based on the opposing, but not mutually exclusive, motives to conform and to be unique among one's neighbors in a social network. We then model the social dynamics that arise from these motives. We find that the dynamics typically enter random walks or stochastic limit cycles rather than converging to a static equilibrium. We also prove that without social network structure or, alternatively, without the uniqueness motive, reasonable adaptive dynamics would necessarily converge to equilibrium. Thus, we show that nuanced psychological assumptions (recognizing preferences for uniqueness along with conformity) and realistic social network structure are both necessary for explaining how complex, unpredictable cultural trends emerge.
    Date: 2019–10
  8. By: OECD
    Abstract: National development banks (NDBs) and development finance institutions – domestically focused, publicly owned financial institutions with a specific development mandate – are poised to play a role in bridging the investment gap for climate-compatible infrastructure in developing countries. But delivering on the Paris Agreement will require NDBs to transition from their traditional role as ‘financer’ to ‘mobiliser’ of investment for infrastructure, and to be better recognised in the international climate and development finance landscape. This paper highlights the role of NDBs drawing from case studies of the Brazilian Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. As such, it provides important impetus to the international discourse on decisive climate action.
    Date: 2019–10–30
  9. By: Gräbner, Claudius; Heimberger, Philipp; Kapeller, Jakob; Schütz, Bernhard
    JEL: E14 E6 F15 F4 L52
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Eric Fabri
    Abstract: Voir infra
    Keywords: propriété; propriété privée; Autonomie; Castoriadis
    Date: 2019–10–18
  11. By: Silvia Timofti (Faculty of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, Law specialization from Suceava, Romania)
    Abstract: From the earliest times, the religious factor has said its word on several social systems. The social factor has been of great importance and relevance to the social construction of the communities as well as to the regulation of the various institutions I have chosen the ones that represent the interests of society. Among these institution is adoption, being one of the oldest law institutions. Adoption is a social phenomenon that has undergone changes that have been inevitable and a breakthrough in the turn of the century. This form of social protection of children, adoption, played a particularly important role in antiquity especially in the institutions of the Jews, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Indians and the Romans, because the adopted person was perceived as the one to represent the perpetuation of the religious and political interests of the people, after the persons who approached the children died.
    Keywords: adoption, adrogation, family, the system of adoption, social protection
    Date: 2019–08
  12. By: David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
    Date: 2019–10–27
  13. By: Ziegler, Andreas
    JEL: Q50 A13 C93 D91 Q57
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Domenico Delli Gatti; Jakob Grazzini
    Abstract: We propose two novel methods to “bring ABMs to the data”. First, we put forward a new Bayesian procedure to estimate the numerical values of ABM parameters that takes into account the time structure of simulated and observed time series. Second, we propose a method to forecast aggregate time series using data obtained from the simulation of an ABM. We apply our methodological contributions to a medium-scale macro agent-based model. We show that the estimated model is capable of reproducing features of observed data and of forecasting one-period ahead output-gap and investment with a remarkable degree of accuracy.
    Keywords: agent-based models, estimation, forecasting
    JEL: C11 C13 C53 C63
    Date: 2019
  15. By: Koru, Bethelhem
    Abstract: What is the optimal size and composition of Rural Financial Cooperatives (RFCs)? With this broad question in mind, we characterize alternative formation of RFCs and their implications in improving rural households’ access to financial services, including savings, credit and insurance services. We find that some features of RFCs have varying implications for delivering various financial services (savings, credit and insurance). We find that the size of RFCs exhibits nonlinear relationship with the various financial services RFCs provide. We also show that compositional heterogeneity among members (including diversity in wealth) is associated with higher access to credit services, while this has little implication on households’ savings behavior. Similarly, social cohesion among members is strongly associated with higher access to financial services. These empirical descriptions suggest that the optimal size and composition of RFCs may vary across the domains of financial services they are designed to facilitate. These pieces of evidence provide some suggestive insights on how to ensure financial inclusion among smallholders, a pressing agenda and priority of policy makers in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The results also provide some insights into rural microfinance operations which are striving to satisfy members’ demand for financial services.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Financial Economics
    Date: 2019–09
  16. By: Gutsche, Gunnar; Ziegler, Andreas
    JEL: Q55 O32 O33 C23 C25
    Date: 2019
  17. By: Broll, Udo; Welzel, Peter; Wong, Kit Pong
    Abstract: This paper examines the production and hedging decisions of the competitive firm under price uncertainty when the firm is not only risk averse but also regret averse. Regret-averse preferences are characterized by a modified utility function that includes disutility from having chosen ex-post suboptimal alternatives. The extent of regret depends on the difference between the actual profit and the maximum profit attained by making the optimal production and hedging decisions had the firm observed the true realization of the random output price. While the separation theorem holds under regret aversion, the prevalence of hedging opportunities may have perverse effect on the firm's optimal output level, particularly when the firm is sufficiently regret averse. The full-hedging theorem, however, does not hold. We derive sufficient conditions under which the regret-averse firm's optimal futures position is an under-hedge (over-hedge). We further show that the firm optimally increases (decreases) its futures position when the price risk possesses more positive (negative) skewness.
    Keywords: Futures,Production,Regret theory
    JEL: D21 D24 D81
    Date: 2019
  18. By: Semrau, Finn Ole; Hanley, Aoife
    JEL: F18 O31 Q52 Q56
    Date: 2019
  19. By: John Stachurski
    Abstract: This paper shows that the power law property of the firm size distribution is a robust prediction of the standard entry-exit model of firm dynamics. Only one variation is required: the usual restriction that firm productivity lies below an ad hoc upper bound is dropped. We prove that, after this small modification, the Pareto tail of the distribution is predicted under a wide and empirically plausible class of specifications for firm-level productivity growth. We also provide necessary and sufficient conditions under which the entry-exit model exhibits a unique stationary recursive equilibrium in the setting where firm size is unbounded.
    Date: 2019–10

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