nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2021‒01‒18
fifteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Unbridgeable: Why Political Economists Cannot Accept Capital as Power By Nitzan, Jonathan; Bichler, Shimshon
  2. Poverty in the COVID-19 Era: Real Time Data Analysis on Five European Countries By Giorgia Menta
  3. Gender-inclusive governance of “self-help†groups in rural Kenya By Aberman, Noora-Lisa; Birner, Regina; Odoyo, Elizabeth Auma Okiri; Oyunga, Mary Anyango; Okoba, Barrack; Okello, George Otiep
  4. Global value chains, value-added generation and structural change in EU core and periphery economies: An Input-Output approach By Tiago Domingues; João Ferreira do Amaral; João Carlos Lopes
  5. Academic in-group bias in economics By Lutmar, Carmela; Reingewertz, Yaniv
  6. Going green with behavioural economics: How to combine business and ethics By Enste, Dominik; Wildner, Julia; Nafziger, Lucia
  7. Who's Afraid of Incoherence? Behavioural Welfare Economics and the Sovereignty of the Neoclassical Consumer By Guilhem Lecouteux
  8. Informal versus Formal Corporate Social Responsibility: a Tale of Hidden Green Attitude By Olivier Beaumais; Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline
  10. Financialization's conservation and transformation: from Mark I to Mark II By Tristan Auvray; Cédric Durand; Joel Rabinovich; Cecilia Rikap
  11. Introduction: Whose Social Problems? By Fontaine, Philippe; Pooley, Jefferson
  12. Organizational Action Between Individual and Collective Knowledge: Case for Application of Cognitive Paradigm in Dealing with Organizational Complexity By Domagoj Hruska
  13. Spatial and Externality Determinants of Co-operatives and their Growth Dynamics in Morocco By Adil Outla; Koraich Almahdi; Moustapha Hamzaoui
  14. Savings Groups Reduce Vulberability but have Mixed Effect on Financial Inclusion By Frisancho, Veronica; Valdivia, Martin
  15. Users and Uses of Environmental Accounts By Robert Smith

  1. By: Nitzan, Jonathan; Bichler, Shimshon
    Abstract: The theory of capital as power (CasP) is radically different from conventional political economy. In the conventional view, mainstream as well as heterodox, capital is seen a 'real' economic entity engaged in the production of goods and services, and capitalism is thought of as a mode of production and consumption. Finance in this approach is either a mere reflection/lubricant of the real economy (the mainstream view), or a parasitic fiction (the heterodox perspective). CasP rejects this framework. Capital, it argues, is not a productive economic entity, but a symbolic representation of organized societal power writ large, and capitalism should be analysed not as a mode of production and consumption, but as a mode of power. In this approach, finance is neither a reflection nor a fiction, but the symbolic language that organizes and creorders - or creates the order of - capitalized power. These are foundational claims. They go to the very heart of political economy, and they have far-reaching implications. So far-reaching, in fact, that if we accept them, we must rewrite, often from scratch, much of the theory, history and possible futures of the capitalist order. Many have complained about CasP being aloof. Our approach, they have argued, insists on being 'right' - to the exclusion of all others. It shows no interest in 'building bridges'. It dismisses neoclassical liberalism altogether, and although sometimes sympathetic to Marx, it aims not to revise Marxism, but to discard it altogether. In this research note - excerpted and revised from our 2020 invited-then-rejected interview with Revue de la regulation - we explain the basis for these complaints and why CasP and conventional political economy cannot be easily bridged. Stated briefly, the problem is not unwillingness but built-in barriers. As it stands, political economy cannot accept capital as power. Its very foundations prevent it from doing so.
    Keywords: capital as power,Marxism,neoclassical economics,political economy,power,value
    JEL: P16 D46 C18
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Giorgia Menta (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Using real-time data from the University of Luxembourg’s COME-HERE nationally representative panel survey, covering more than 8,000 individuals across France, Germany,Italy, Spain, and Sweden, I investigate how income distributions and poverty rates havechanged from January to September 2020. I find that poverty rates increased on average in allcountries from January to May and partially recovered in September. The increase in povertyis heterogeneous across countries, with Italy being the most affected and France the least;within countries, COVID-19 contributed to exacerbating poverty differences across regions inItaly and Spain. With a set of poverty measures from the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke family, I thenexplore the role of individual characteristics in shaping different poverty profiles acrosscountries. Results suggest that poverty increased disproportionately more for youngindividuals, women, and respondents who had a job in January 2020 – with different intensityacross countries.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Poverty, TIP, Europe, Headcount ratio
    JEL: I14 I18 I32
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Aberman, Noora-Lisa; Birner, Regina; Odoyo, Elizabeth Auma Okiri; Oyunga, Mary Anyango; Okoba, Barrack; Okello, George Otiep
    Abstract: There is vast literature on groups as a useful mechanism for rural development, especially for women. However, for group participation to fulfil on potential benefits to women, gender-specific constraints must be addressed. This study examines how to promote gender-inclusive governance of mixed-sex self-help groups in the African context, analysing twenty mixed-sex focus group discussions with 190 group members in rural western Kenya. Emphasizing group member perceptions and beliefs about participation and governance, we undertake an empirical assessment of institutional factors that explain and facilitate effective participation of female members. We find that group-member endowments impact the group’s interpretation in terms of their understanding of gender issues and political processes, and that the pro-gender intentions behind governance structures are more important than the structures themselves. Furthermore, groups in this context serve as a distinct parallel institution to that of the home that enable them to push the boundaries of community gender norms.
    Keywords: KENYA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; rural areas; gender; inclusion; self help; social behaviour; governance; group approaches; institutions; gender inclusivity
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Tiago Domingues; João Ferreira do Amaral; João Carlos Lopes
    Abstract: Backward and forward integration are growing in most sectors across the European Union (EU). To benefit from this increasing participation in Global Value Chains (GVC), the increase in imports, namely of intermediate inputs, should be followed by adequate growth in exports. The external dependency of many industries and the corresponding low domestic value-added generated in production,combinedwith relatively weak export potential can cause high trade deficits and growing external debt to GDP ratios. This paper evaluates the inter-industry participation in GVCs considering eightdifferent EU economies and 25 tradable sectors. Based on Input-Output production multipliers and intermediate import coefficients, we propose an empirical method to assess the evolution of vertical specialization, domestic value-added generation and external dependency. After a convenient arrangement of the Leontief inverse matrix, the evolution of backward linkage indicators can be used to detect structural changes, particularly quantifying a "net growth effect" and an "external dependency effect". This method allows the classification of each sector into different areasconsidering their recent structural evolution and it can be useful as a simple, but suggestive, device to compare different economies in a given period or assess their structural development processes in time. Adetailed comparison of one EU periphery country (Portugal) and one EU core country (Germany) is made, based on WIOD data for the period 2000-2014, followed by a brief presentation of sixother cases (Austria, Check Republic, Belgium, Finland, Greece, and Netherlands). Particular attention is given to differences within and between countries before and after the global financial crisis.
    Keywords: Global Value Chains; Input-Output analysis, External dependency, Structural change
    JEL: C67 E01 F14 F62 L60 L70 L96
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Lutmar, Carmela; Reingewertz, Yaniv
    Abstract: This paper studies academic in-group bias in the top five economics journals. We examine citation counts for articles published in these journals during the years 2006–2015, and compare counts for articles written by in-group members versus out-group members, where in-group status is defined based on whether at least one author shares the journal’s institutional affiliation. Our results suggest that in-group bias exists in the QJE, but not in the JPE or REStud (the AER and Econometrica are the control group). We thus confirm the existence of academic in-group bias in some, but not all, top five economics journals.
    Keywords: Academic in-group bias, top five, economics journals, editorial favoritism
    JEL: A14 I23 O34
    Date: 2020–12–14
  6. By: Enste, Dominik; Wildner, Julia; Nafziger, Lucia
    Abstract: This paper calls for an increased discourse between Fridays for Future and representatives of business. Fridays for Future play a key role in educating the public and raising awareness of scientific reports, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, which demonstrate the urgency with which we must tackle climate change. This is important to gain world attention on pressing questions of our time. At the same time, it is crucial to examine the main drivers in our socio-economic system to understand that the spread of information alone is insufficient to bring fundamental change. Human behaviour remains propelled by both the quest for prosperity and the call for a fair and sustainable economic system. We need to understand how to expand our economy in a sustainable way, how business can foster sustainable innovations and how to motivate consumers to support companies by buying green products. Companies are the necessary key for green innovations. These innovations are only as strong as their demand. Concern about the environment has widely spread in our society. At the same time this concern is not always translated into our actions. Behavioural Economics integrates psychological insights of human behaviour into economic theory and shows us solutions how to overcome the attitude-behavior-gap. Our aim is to work out how behavioural economics can be used to support environmentally friendly practices with incentives. All of our purchase decisions are influenced by cognitive biases. It is estimated that 40 percent of our day-to-day decisions are based on habits. The status quo bias or the discounting of future value often hinder pro-environmental behaviour. Therefore, purely apportioning blame will not result in changes. Instead, an adjustment of the framework through restructuring incentives to overcome biases can as a piece of the puzzle help to achieve the change required. Through the recognition of human "defaults" these can then be harnessed to nudge green actions. Similarly, the individual structural pursuit of profit can be channelled towards green growth. Through the spread of information and effective incentives, we can spark innovations which defuse tensions between economic growth and environmental protection, facilitating sustainable development.
    JEL: F64 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Guilhem Lecouteux (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to critically assess the argument advanced in behavioural welfare economics that preference inconsistency and violations of rational choice theory are the result of errors, and offer a direct justification for paternalistic regulations. I argue that (i) this position relies on a psychologically and philosophically problematic account of agency, (ii) the normative argument in favour of coherence is considerably weaker than usually considered, and (iii) BWE fails to justify why agents ought to be coherent by neoclassical standards. I conclude by discussing how BWE could still justify paternalistic regulations by endorsing a more institutionalist perspective.
    Keywords: behavioural welfare economics; preference inconsistency; consumer sovereignty; paternalism
    JEL: B40 D01 D60 D91
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: Olivier Beaumais (CREAM - Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée à la Mondialisation - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - IRIHS - Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Homme et Société - UNIROUEN - Université de Rouen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université, LISA - Lieux, Identités, eSpaces, Activités - UPP - Université Pascal Paoli - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: We explore firms' commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Using a unique dataset of 8,857 French firms collected through a survey conducted at the end of 2011 by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), we first construct 3 CSR pillar scores for each firm, based on a non-parametric Item Response Theory model known as Mokken Scale Analysis. CSR scores, along with responses to specific items of the 2011 INSEE survey, allow us to characterize firms implementing formal versus informal CSR. We then estimate simple probit models and count data models to show that, with regards to CSR commitment, size definitely matters, and that a significant share of firms stating that they are not actively committed to CSR, actually engage significantly in CSR, with no monotonic size effect. Cooperation with external actors such as NGOs mitigates the size effect in the likelihood of carrying out informal CSR, whereas the pressure of NGO campaigns against large companies mainly spurs the environmental score of smaller firms in the same sector.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility,corporate environmental responsability,non-parametric Item Response,Theory scoring,stakeholders,SME,France
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Ksenija Vukovi? (Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to explore the positioning of female entrepreneurs in GEM reports for the Republic of Croatia between 2002 and 2018. The research adopts a qualitative approach by using critical discourse analysis. The research began with content analysis looking for content related to the positioning of women and their entrepreneurship and the creation of a timeline of discussion topics. In the second stage, two-level coding system was deployed to find the dominant discourse as well as the implicit discourses. We have found the legacy of discourse subordinating female entrepreneurship to other goals. The dominant discourse is growth-supporting: the imperative of firm growth stands before gender equality.
    Keywords: Female entrepreneurs, GEM, Croatia, critical discourse analysis
    JEL: L26
  10. By: Tristan Auvray (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Cédric Durand; Joel Rabinovich; Cecilia Rikap
    Abstract: This paper argues that, as far as the investment behavior of non-financial corporations is concerned, the apparent continuity over the last four decades suggested by the financialization label is misleading. Indeed, while the disconnection between profitability and investment is a robust stylized fact for most of the period, with cumulative detrimental consequences for labor, we contend that the underlying mechanisms changed meaningfully at the turn of the millennium. This contribution proposes to establish-empirically and theoretically-two distinctive successive financialization regimes (Mark I and Mark II) and to explain their evolutionary articulation. Financialization Mark I is characterized by the empowerment of financial actors: in a context of high-interest rates and full-blown liberalization, diminishing retained earnings by non-financial corporations resulted in a dramatic slowdown of investment with cascading negative effects for labor. Contrastingly, Financialization Mark II is characterized by a strongly established financial hegemony with new forms of intellectual and financial monopoly. In this configuration, interest rates are low and global value chains are deeply seated. This fuels rampant deflationary pressure, which changes the overall dynamic of the profit-investment nexus. Then, in Financialization Mark II, contrary to what occurred during Financialization Mark I, distributed profits are the consequence of slow investment.
    Keywords: Financialization regimes,Investment-profit nexus,Payout,Globalization,Intellectual monopoly,Asset managers
    Date: 2020–12–17
  11. By: Fontaine, Philippe; Pooley, Jefferson (Muhlenberg College)
    Abstract: The social sciences underwent rapid development in postwar America. Problems once framed in social terms gradually became redefined as individual with regards to scope and remedy, with economics and psychology winning influence over the other social sciences. By the 1970s, both economics and psychology had spread their intellectual remits wide: psychology's concepts suffused everyday language, while economists entered a myriad of policy debates. Psychology and economics contributed to, and benefited from, a conception of society that was increasingly skeptical of social explanations and interventions. Sociology, in particular, lost intellectual and policy ground to its peers, even regarding 'social problems' that the discipline long considered its settled domain. This introduction frames the book's ten chapters, each of which explore this shift refracted through a single 'problem': the family, crime, urban concerns, education, discrimination, poverty, addiction, war, and mental health, examining the effects an increasingly individualized lens has had on the way we see these problems.
    Date: 2020–12–09
  12. By: Domagoj Hruska (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: This theoretical paper argues that a proper way to deal with the problem of organizational complexity is through the paradigm of managerial and organizational cognition and proposes a three part framework for analysis of organizational dynamics. The perspective of organizational complexity arises from the notion that a number of different kinds of activities are being carried out simultaneously by different people or groups of people. Therefore, there is no single authoritative locus of control that sets tasks and controls results for everybody. The paper proposes that in order to generate helpful theories of organizational action in such context we should be adapting a cognitive paradigm which define ways in which people in organizations define the situation, become aware of alternative courses of action, evaluate the consequences of these actions, and consider the significance of the action in a socially constructed world. The paper argues that there are three crucial tension that would benefit from the application of complexity theory in organizational studies: the tension between subjects and their surroundings which give rise to its unpredictability, the tension from discrepancy and ambiguity of interpretations of organizational members and the tension between individual interpretations and coherent and meaningful modus operandi set by the management.
    Keywords: Organizational complexity, managerial and organizational cognition, interpretations, organizational mind
    JEL: D23 M10 M14
  13. By: Adil Outla (UAE - Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi); Koraich Almahdi (UAE - Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi); Moustapha Hamzaoui (UAE - Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi)
    Abstract: Drawing on the literature on business dynamics, entrepreneurship and the spatial determinants of firms' creation, this study use Exploratory spatial data analysis and spatial panel data to test the spatial patterns and dynamics of cooperatives growth in Morocco. The results confirm the existence of spatial concentration of cooperatives, a global spatial autocorrelation and local spatial autocorrelation with different spatial typologies. The results also show that the main positive spatial determinants for cooperatives growth are the existence of cooperatives culture, the males' unemployment rate, and the density of population. However, there are also negative spatial determinants on the growth and dynamics of cooperatives. These include coops density, firm's density, male activity, Business turnover, population growth, Higher education, primary education, and urbanization.
    Keywords: Co-operatives growth,spatial determinants,spatial distribution,social entrepreneurship
    Date: 2020–12–28
  14. By: Frisancho, Veronica; Valdivia, Martin
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the introduction of savings groups on poverty, vulnerability, and financial inclusion outcomes in rural Peru. Using a cluster randomized control trial and relying on both survey and administrative records, we investigate the impact of savings groups over a two year period. We find that savings groups channel expensive investments such as housing improvements and reduce households’ vulnerability to idiosyncratic shocks, particularly among households in poorer districts. The treatment also induces changes in households’ labor allocation choices: access to savings groups increases female labor market participation and, in poorer areas, it fosters greater specialization in agricultural activities. Access to savings groups also leads to a four-percentage point increase in access to credit among women, mainly driven by access to the group’s loans. However, the introduction of savings groups has no impact on the likelihood to use formal financial services. On the contrary, it discourages access to loans from formal financial institutions and microfinance lenders among the unbanked.
    Keywords: Banca de desarrollo, Economía, Familia, Finanzas, Investigación socioeconómica, Pobreza, Sector financiero,
    Date: 2021
  15. By: Robert Smith
    Keywords: Environment - Environmental Economics & Policies Environment - Environmental Information Systems Environment - Environmental Protection
    Date: 2020–01

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