nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
thirteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Monopoly Capitalism in the Digital Era By Andrea Coveri; Claudio Cozza; Dario Guarascio
  2. The many faces of health justice By Sudhir Anand
  3. Neoliberalism: An entrenched but exhausted growth regime By Mark Setterfield
  4. Multi-asset financial bubbles in an agent-based model with noise traders’ herding described by an n-vector Ising model By Davide Cividino; Rebecca Westphal; Didier Sornette
  5. Global Shock and Small Firm Failures: How Small Financial Cooperatives Are Reacting to Uncertainty during COVID-19 By Bora, Siddhartha; Kim, Kevin
  6. Are Wine Cooperatives Less Successful at Marketing Their Wines Than Other Types of Organisation? a Comparison of Models Using Hedonic Price Analysis By Hansen, Rebecca; Hess, Sebastian
  7. Revisiting the Properties of Money By Isaiah Hull; Or Sattath
  8. Financial instability and economic activity By Fortin, Ines; Hlouskova, Jaroslava; Soegner, Leopold
  9. On the Limits of Design: What Are the Conceptual Constraints on Designing Artificial Intelligence for Social Good? By Jakob Mokander
  10. Economic complexity shapes attitudes about gender roles By Athanasios Lapatinas; Anstasia Litina; Skerdilajda Zanaj
  11. L'interprétation géopolitique du PIB By Jacques Fontanel
  12. On Some Problems of Using the Human Development Index in Economic History By Nicola Amendola; Giacomo Gabbuti; Giovanni Vecchi
  13. Resilience, Social Capital, Active Citizenship and Subjective Wellbeing: the Contribution of Generativity By Leonardo Becchetti; Gianluigi Conzo

  1. By: Andrea Coveri; Claudio Cozza; Dario Guarascio
    Abstract: The paper applies the radical view of Monopoly Capitalism to the digital platform economy. Based on the seminal ideas of Hymer and Zeitlin that led Cowling and Sugden to define the large monopolistic firm as a means to plan production from a unique centre of strategic decision-making, we attempt to develop a framework where digital platforms are conceived as an evolution of large transnational corporations. Power and control in our Monopoly Capitalism view are then meant not only in terms of market relations, but rather as levers for coordinating global production and influencing world societies. Applying this framework to the Amazon case, we highlight the key analytical dimensions to be considered: not only Amazon dominates other firms and suppliers through its diversification and a direct control of data and technology; its power is also linked to global labour fragmentation and uneven bargaining power vis-Ã -vis world governments, as in the Hymer and Cowling's tradition.
    Keywords: Monopoly Capital; Monopoly Power; Digital Platforms; Amazon; Multinational corporation
    JEL: L12 L22 P12
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: Sudhir Anand
    Abstract: This paper develops the idea of health justice as a plural conception. It draws on the literature on justice from philosophy and economics, and investigates its application and reach in the space of health. Several distinctions are invoked in identifying and contrasting different facets of health justice and injustice. These include active versus passive injustice; process fairness versus substantive justice; comparative versus non comparative justice; compensatory and distributive justice. Within distributive justice, the health implications of alternate principles – viz. equality, priority, sufficiency, and efficiency – are examined and evaluated. Many faces of health justice are thus exposed which help to address the varieties of injustice observed in the health sphere.
    Date: 2021–10–20
  3. By: Mark Setterfield (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes Neoliberalism in the US economy with a view to identifying the e ects of Neoliberalism on macroeconomic performance since 1990, underlying problems with the structure of the Neoliberal economy, and the e ects of Neoliberalism on the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is shown that Neoliberalism 'worked' from 1990-2007 by combining an 'incomes policy based on fear' that permitted non-inationary growth and low unemployment with a debt-financed, consumption-led demand regime that, as evidenced by the 2007-09 financial crisis and Great recession, was unsustainable. Since 2009 Neoliberalism has proved to be an entrenched but exhausted growth regime, producing only a 'depressed upswing' 2009-2019 that was terminated by the onset of the COVID-19 recession -- the response to which was neither efficient nor equitable. The paper concludes that at this juncture, the epithet 'build back better' must be applied to the entire US economy.
    Keywords: Neoliberalism, incomes policy based on fear, depressed upswing, COVID-19 recession
    JEL: B52 E12 E31 E32 E64 E66
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Davide Cividino (Polytechnic University of Turin); Rebecca Westphal (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC)); Didier Sornette (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); Swiss Finance Institute; Southern University of Science and Technology; Tokyo Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We present an agent-based model (ABM) of a financial market with n > 1 risky assets, whose price dynamics result from the interaction between rational fundamentalists and trend following imitative noise traders. The interactions and opinion formation of the noise traders are described by an extended O(n) vector model, which generalise the Ising model used previously in ABMs with a single risky asset. Efficient rejection-free transition probabilities are derived to describe realistic investment decisions at the micro level of individual noise traders. The ABM is validated by testing for several characteristics of financial markets such as volatility clustering and fat-tails of the distribution of returns. Furthermore, the model is able to account for the development of endogenous bubbles and crashes. We distinguish three different regimes depending on the traders’ propensity to imitate others. In the subcritical regime of the O(n) vector model, the traders’ opinions are idiosyncratic and no bubbles emerge. Around the critical value of the O(n) vector model, cross sectionally asynchronous bubbles emerge. Above the critical value, small random price fluctuations may be amplified by noise traders herding into a given asset, which then impels fundamentalists to re-equilibrate their more valuable portfolios that have become unbalanced, thus pushing the prices of the other assets upward. The resulting transient increase of the momenta of these assets triggers a reorientation of the noise traders’ portfolios that further amplifies the burgeoning bubbles. We have thus identified a mechanism by which the cautious risk-adverse contrarian rebalancing strategy of fundamentalists leads to systemic risks in the form of cascades of bubbles spreading the whole financial market.
    Keywords: financial bubbles; agent-based model; arbitrageurs; noise traders; fundamentalists; multi-assets; O(n) vector model; synchronisation
    JEL: C63 G01 G17
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Bora, Siddhartha; Kim, Kevin
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Hansen, Rebecca; Hess, Sebastian
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis, Marketing
    Date: 2021–08
  7. By: Isaiah Hull; Or Sattath
    Abstract: The properties of money commonly referenced in the economics literature were originally identified by Jevons (1876) and Menger (1892) in the late 1800s and were intended to describe physical currencies, such as commodity money, metallic coins, and paper bills. In the digital era, many non-physical currencies have either entered circulation or are under development, including demand deposits, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), in-game currencies, and quantum money. These forms of money have novel properties that have not been studied extensively within the economics literature, but may be important determinants of the monetary equilibrium that emerges in the forthcoming era of heightened currency competition. This paper makes the first exhaustive attempt to identify and define the properties of all physical and digital forms of money. It reviews both the economics and computer science literatures and categorizes properties within an expanded version of the original functions-and-properties framework of money that includes societal and regulatory objectives.
    Date: 2021–11
  8. By: Fortin, Ines (Macroeconomics and Business Cycles, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria); Hlouskova, Jaroslava (Macroeconomics and Business Cycles, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria and Dept. of Economics, Faculty of National Economy, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia); Soegner, Leopold (Macroeconomics and Business Cycles, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria and Vienna Graduate School of Finance (VGSF), Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: We estimate new indices measuring financial and economic (in)stability in Austria and in the euro area. Instead of estimating the level of (in)stability in a financial or economic system we measure the degree of predictability of (in)stability, where our methodological approach is based on the uncertainty index of Jurado, Ludvigson and Ng (2015). We perform an impulse response analysis in a vector error correction framework, where we focus on the impact of uncertainty shocks on industrial production, employment and the stock market. We and that financial uncertainty shows a strong significantly negative impact on the stock market, for both Austria and the euro area, while economic uncertainty shows a strong significantly negative impact on the economic variables for the euro area. We also perform a forecasting analysis, where we assess the merits of uncertainty indicators for forecasting industrial production, employment and the stock market, using different forecast performance measures. The results suggest that financial uncertainty improves the forecasts of the stock market while economic uncertainty improves the forecasts of macroeconomic variables. We also use aggregate banking data to construct an augmented financial uncertainty index and examine whether models including this augmented financial uncertainty index outperform models including the original financial uncertainty index in terms of forecasting.
    Keywords: financial (in)stability, uncertainty, financial crisis, forecasting, stochastic volatility, factor models
    JEL: C53 G01 G20 E44
    Date: 2021–11
  9. By: Jakob Mokander
    Abstract: Artificial intelligence AI can bring substantial benefits to society by helping to reduce costs, increase efficiency and enable new solutions to complex problems. Using Floridi's notion of how to design the 'infosphere' as a starting point, in this chapter I consider the question: what are the limits of design, i.e. what are the conceptual constraints on designing AI for social good? The main argument of this chapter is that while design is a useful conceptual tool to shape technologies and societies, collective efforts towards designing future societies are constrained by both internal and external factors. Internal constraints on design are discussed by evoking Hardin's thought experiment regarding 'the Tragedy of the Commons'. Further, Hayek's classical distinction between 'cosmos' and 'taxis' is used to demarcate external constraints on design. Finally, five design principles are presented which are aimed at helping policymakers manage the internal and external constraints on design. A successful approach to designing future societies needs to account for the emergent properties of complex systems by allowing space for serendipity and socio-technological coevolution.
    Date: 2021–11
  10. By: Athanasios Lapatinas (European CoJoint Research Centre, EC, ISPRA, IT); Anstasia Litina (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, GR); Skerdilajda Zanaj (Department of Economics and Management, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: “ He is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman’s daughter. So far we are equal ”, Pride and Prejudice, 1813. Imagine if Twitter or the Internet existed in 1813 when Jane Austen wrote the book! Would we observe similar gender roles we see today? Cultural norms that assign different roles to men and women originate from the use of primitive agricultural technologies and evolve with time. Does the knowledge accumulation part of economic growth affect attitudes towards women? We examine this hypothesis relating revealed attitudes of 26,727 to 64,954 individuals coming from 59 countries with the countries’ level of economic complexity. We find a U-shaped relationship. When economic complexity is limited, its further increase deteriorates female emancipation, back-lashing gender roles. However, when economic complexity is high, further knowledge accumulation favours more egalitarian attitudes. Our findings suggest that knowledge, encapsulated into technological advancement and the production of sophisticated goods, ultimately triggers a positive effect on female emancipation. Finally, we find that economic complexity favors the transition of female emancipation from the household into the society, but only when the level of economic development is sufficiently high.
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Jacques Fontanel (CESICE - Centre d'études sur la sécurité internationale et les coopérations européennes - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble)
    Abstract: Gross domestic product (GDP) is often an important indicator for comparing the comparative strength of states. However, this interpretation is not always relevant, in particular because of technical difficulties concerning intertemporal and international comparisons of the countries concerned, but also because of other factors that are not emphasized. Moreover, it is an aggregate that is increasingly contested in terms of its content and use, which the new production methods required to combat global warming and other pollution can no longer accept. There are positive goods and services capable of creating added value without producing negative effects, and goods and services that are produced only to repair the nuisances of polluting production systems. In this case, the estimation of the real wealth created must take into account the damage of the production process.
    Abstract: Le Produit Intérieur Brut (PIB) est souvent un indicateur important dans la comparaison de la puissance comparée des Etats. Cependant, cette interprétation n'est pas toujours pertinente, notamment du fait des difficultés techniques portant sur les comparaisons intertemporelles et internationales des pays concernés, mais aussi d'autres facteurs qui ne sont pas mis en exergue. Il s'agit en outre d'un agrégat de plus en plus contesté quant à son contenu et à son utilisation que les nouveaux modes de production nécessaires à la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique et autres pollutions ne peuvent plus accepter. Il y a des biens et services positifs capables de créer de la valeur ajoutée sans produire des effets négatifs et des biens et services qui ne sont produits que pour réparer les nuisances des systèmes productifs polluants. Dans ce cas, l'estimation de la vraie richesse créée doit tenir compte des dégâts du procès de production.
    Keywords: GDP,State power,international comparisons,PIB,Puissance des Etats,comparaisons internationales
    Date: 2021–10–21
  12. By: Nicola Amendola (CEIS & DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Giacomo Gabbuti (St.Antony’s College, University of Oxford); Giovanni Vecchi (CEIS & DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We argue against the use of composite indices, such as the Human Development Index (HDI), in economic history. We show that the HDI can be interpreted as a formal representation of the analyst’s ethical system. We support our claim by introducing a new class of paternalistic social welfare functions (Graaff 1957, Mas-Colell, 1995) which encompasses all the HDI formulas put forth by the literature. The theoretical framework is illustrated by an empirical investigation of the long-run evolution of Italians’ living standards and civic liberties. We conclude that any history based on composite indices is one where both data and history play a minor role, if any.
    Keywords: Human development index,Economic wellbeing,Composite indices,Living standards,CES,Social welfare functions,Italy
    JEL: N01 N3 O15
    Date: 2021–11–09
  13. By: Leonardo Becchetti (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Gianluigi Conzo (Università di Roma "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We define generativity as the combination of creativity and care for others wellbeing. Based on John Stuart Mill, Robert Kennedy and Antonio Genovesi quotes we test several research hypotheses on the available waves of the European Social Survey and find that generativity is associated positively and significantly with subjective wellbeing (under the different dimensions of life satisfaction and positive affect), resilience, interpersonal trust, active citizenship and participation to political elections. Our findings are robust across survey waves, gender, age, education splits and significant in estimates considering only individuals living in the same country. With an IV approach we provide evidence that the investigated nexus hides a direct causality link from all our the dependent variables.
    Keywords: generativity, subjective wellbeing, resilience, social capital, active citizenship.
    JEL: I31 O15 Z13
    Date: 2021–11–05

This nep-hme issue is ©2021 by Carlo D’Ippoliti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.