nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
sixteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. What Are Reflexive Economic Agents? Position-Adjustment, SLAM, and Self-Organization By Davis, John B.;
  2. Coupling agent-based modeling with territorial LCA to support agricultural land-use planning By Tianran Ding; Wouter Achten
  3. The Economic Surplus, the Baran Ratio, and Long Wave Cycles By Lambert, Thomas
  4. Theories of Market Selection: A Survey By Luca Fontanelli
  5. Conceptual Mutations of Change Management and the Strategy–Technology–Management Innovation By Vlados, Charis
  6. O que aprender do espírito de Gesell hoje? Sobre o programa não-marxista de Keynes By Everton Sotto Tibiriçá Rosa; Tiago Camarinha Lopes
  7. Reconnecting the Broken Bonds: Environment, Politics, Economics and the State of the World By Pilon, André Francisco / AF
  8. Social Implications of Technological Disruptions: A Transdisciplinary Cybernetics Science and Occupational Science Perspective By Pedro H. Albuquerque; Sophie Albuquerque
  9. A Framework to Interpret Macroprudential Policies in an Era of Financialization By Vernengo, Matías
  10. Kinship can hinder cooperation in heterogeneous populations By Boyu Zhang; Yali Dong; Cheng-Zhong Qin; Sergey Gavrilets
  11. 'Ergodicity Economics' is Pseudoscience By Alexis Akira Toda
  12. Neo-Confucian Ethics and Economic Development in East Asia: From the Perspective of Confucian Modernity and Political Democracy By Yuxin Zhang
  13. The disruption index is biased by citation inflation By Alexander M. Petersen; Felber Arroyave; Fabio Pammolli
  14. Critical density for network reconstruction By Andrea Gabrielli; Valentina Macchiati; Diego Garlaschelli
  15. Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May By Bankovsky, Miriam
  16. Coopetition in Mearth By Schilirò, Daniele

  1. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University); (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: If mainstream economics and its view of economic agents is designed for a world in which reflexivity and feedback processes in the economy are ‘tamed’ and predictable, how are we to understand economic agents in a world in which reflexivity is ‘untamed’ and economies regularly exhibit unexpected fluctuations and significant nonlinearities? In a nonlinear world, economies evolve and undergo critical phase transitions from one form of organization to another. It seems, then, that we should also expect economic agents to evolve and undergo critical phase transitions from being one type of agent to another just as we observe that economies evolve and undergo phase transitions from being one type of economy to another. Minsky’s analysis of how economies evolve in financial crises and how firms as agents evolve as their financial status changes seems a clear example of this. But then we would need a new conception of what economic agents are. This chapter offers such a conception in the idea of reflexive economic agents, both to redevelop an evolutionary, complexity account of what agents must be and also to forestall complexity researchers from falling back upon the standard utility conception of individuals. The chapter builds its reflexive agents conception around Herbert Simon’s complexity thinking about quasi-independence. It describes reflexive economic agents in what it call position-adjustment terms, and focusing on the ‘reflexive moment’ when agents find they need to revise and adjust their positions in regard to what they are doing. To explain how we can understand adjustment, the chapter employs the thinking behind recent ‘simultaneous localization and mapping’ (SLAM) research in robotics engineering to explain how agents understood in position-adjustment terms can be attributed a form of mobility understood as a capacity for self-direction reliant on a kind of locational self-awareness. The chapter then frames the reflexive individual conception that results in terms of Simon’s quasi-independence, evaluates this conception in identity terms, and then returns to the issue of why complex economic systems made up of utility maximizing agents cannot function as evolutionary systems. The chapter closes with a discussion of complex systems seen to evolve through phase transitions.
    Keywords: reflexive agents, complex systems, position-adjustment, SLAM robotics research, phase transitions, Minsky, Simon
    JEL: B41 B52 D91
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Tianran Ding; Wouter Achten
    Date: 2023–06–01
  3. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper briefly outlines the idea and development of the economic surplus concept at the macroeconomic level as opposed to the one in microeconomics often labeled as a Marshallian surplus. Of special interest and focus is the concept as developed and used by heterodox economists. The notion of a residual amount of output or income over and above what is necessary for a society’s consumption (education, housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation, and other necessities of life) that can be used either for further consumption by an elite class, used for reinvestment in productive activities, and/or wasted on unproductive efforts is one that has been and continues to be taught and used in heterodox and neo-Marxian economics. The relevancy of the economic surplus view to modern and recent US economic growth is examined especially in light of new ways that have been created to apply the economic surplus concept. Applications using the Baran Ratio and long wave cycles theory are demonstrated, and it appears that the Baran Ratio is a useful concept to help predict long wave movements that are based on the economic surplus.
    Keywords: Baran Ratio, economic surplus, investment, Kondratiev waves, monopoly capital
    JEL: B22 B24 B51 B52
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Luca Fontanelli (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: We provide a survey of the main mechanisms of market selection used in economics. We gather them in three theoretical paradigms (rational equilibrium, Simonesque and evolutionary), that we try to reconcile in terms of underlying laws of selection. We show that the three paradigms have been converging in their focus on firm heterogeneity and increasing returns. These selection mechanisms are however fostered by theories which differ in terms of sources of increasing returns, generating mechanisms of firm heterogeneity, firm rationality and emphasis on equilibrium states vis-Ã -vis out-of-equilibrium dynamics. Our discussion suggests that the convergence between the three theoretical paradigms is taking place in the direction of research, which is aimed at the replication of empirical patterns related to firm heterogeneity, rather than in the theory underlying selection mechanisms.
    Keywords: Selection, competition, monopolistic competition, quasi-replicator, Gibrat’s Law
    JEL: L10 D20 D40
    Date: 2023–05
  5. By: Vlados, Charis (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Change management theory arises from various scientific fields of socioeconomic sciences, expressed either implicitly or explicitly as an interdisciplinary subject. This theory-building contribution aims to critically examine fundamental theoretical dimensions of management by elliptically investigating different managing change theories and suggesting a refocused conceptual framework. Specifically, some notable managing change perspectives are presented, such as the learning organisation, the leading change context, and doing business in the age of chaos. We contend that the most profound problems for managing change originate from the organisation’s “Stra.Tech.Man” physiological core of innovation, which refers to the effective strategy–technology–management synthesis. Against this theoretical backdrop, a repositioned five-step Stra.Tech.Man change management process is proposed, which is structurally extended to all socioeconomic organisations.
    Keywords: change management; learning organisation; systems thinking; organisation’s reinvention; paradigm-shift; change in the organisation’s mind; maintaining balance; results-based change management; leading change; doing business in the age of chaos; Stra.Tech.Man organisational generator
    JEL: B52 M11 O32
    Date: 2022–12–12
  6. By: Everton Sotto Tibiriçá Rosa (FACE-UFG); Tiago Camarinha Lopes (FACE-UFG)
    Abstract: As teorias econômicas de Keynes e Marx possuem muitas similaridades considerando o padrão do pensamento econômico neoclássico mainstream. Mesmo que ambos os autores entendam o papel central do dinheiro e do capital em um sistema econômico, eles divergem nitidamente no campo político. Para fazer uma comparação adequada entre Marx e Keynes é necessário relembrar a obra de Silvio Gesell, economista da virada do século 19 para o século 20 pouco lembrado na história do pensamento econômico. Este artigo questiona o que se poderia aprender do espírito de Gesell hoje como maneira de apreender o entendimento de Keynes sobre o Marxismo e o sistema econômico que deriva dessa doutrina. Keynes discordava principalmente da teoria do dinheiro de Marx, pois ela não seria construtiva no sentido de uma reforma monetária para controlar o movimento de acumulação do capital. Concluímos que as propostas de política econômica de Keynes funcionam como uma reforma sistêmica para atingir um sistema econômico não-Marxista, o que difere da linha de Gesell de buscar um caminho de transformação econômica e social que pode ser caracterizado como anti-Marxista.
    Keywords: Keynes, Gesell, Marx, moeda, juros, teoria do capital
    JEL: B00 E11 E12
    Date: 2022–10
  7. By: Pilon, André Francisco / AF
    Abstract: An ecosystem theoretical and practical framework is posited for the evaluation and planning of advocacy, communication, public policies, research and teaching programmers, intertwining four dimensions of being-in-the-world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they combine, as donors and recipients, to induce the events (deficits/assets), cope with consequences (desired/undesired) and contribute for change (potential outputs). Earth’s regeneration and mankind’s regeneration, as faces of the same coin, are addressed simultaneously, in space and time, for their mutual support. Goals and new paths to reach them contemplate a set of values, norms and policies that prioritizes socio-ecological objectives, human well-being, natural and built environments, the aesthetic, ethical and cultural meaning of the existence.
    Keywords: Education, Culture, Politics, Economics, Ethics, Environment
    JEL: I23 I28 O21 O35 Z1 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2023–05–23
  8. By: Pedro H. Albuquerque (Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France and ACCELERATION & ADAPTATION, Aix-en-Provence, France); Sophie Albuquerque (Université de Sherbrooke, Canada; Aix Marseille Univ, SMPM Marseille, France and ACCELERATION & ADAPTATION Aix-en-Provence, France)
    Abstract: In this article we argue that the disruptive social implications of skill-replacing technological innovations are determined neither by human characteristics, such as "low skills" or "low cognition, " nor by task characteristics, such as "routine, " as it is typically assumed in the predominant economics and management science literature, but by the cybernetic characteristics of the innovations. We also propose that the negative effects of technological disruptions on human well-being cannot be fully understood without the use of a transdisciplinary approach involving cybernetics science and occupational science, and that it is urgent that policymakers look beyond their narrow effects on productivity and on the labor force, and consider instead the complexity of the interactions between cybernetic technologies and meaningful human occupations. We offer as an example the case of the fast adoption of online food delivery services and of remote work technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethical implications are derived from the arguments.
    Keywords: technological disruptions, technological innovations, cybernetics science, occupational science, labor and nonlabor occupations
    Date: 2023–05
  9. By: Vernengo, Matías
    Date: 2023–01–27
  10. By: Boyu Zhang; Yali Dong; Cheng-Zhong Qin; Sergey Gavrilets
    Abstract: Kin selection and direct reciprocity are two most basic mechanisms for promoting cooperation in human society. Generalizing the standard models of the multi-player Prisoner's Dilemma and the Public Goods games for heterogeneous populations, we study the effects of genetic relatedness on cooperation in the context of repeated interactions. Two sets of interrelated results are established: a set of analytical results focusing on the subgame perfect equilibrium and a set of agent-based simulation results based on an evolutionary game model. We show that in both cases increasing genetic relatedness does not always facilitate cooperation. Specifically, kinship can hinder the effectiveness of reciprocity in two ways. First, the condition for sustaining cooperation through direct reciprocity is harder to satisfy when relatedness increases in an intermediate range. Second, full cooperation is impossible to sustain for a medium-high range of relatedness values. Moreover, individuals with low cost-benefit ratios can end up with lower payoffs than their groupmates with high cost-benefit ratios. Our results point to the importance of explicitly accounting for within-population heterogeneity when studying the evolution of cooperation.
    Date: 2023–05
  11. By: Alexis Akira Toda
    Abstract: In a series of papers, Ole Peters and his collaborators claim that the 'conceptual basis of mainstream economic theory' is 'flawed' and that the approach they call 'ergodicity economics' gives 'reason to hope for a future economic science that is more parsimonious, conceptually clearer and less subjective' (Peters, 2019). This paper argues that 'ergodicity economics' is pseudoscience because it has not produced falsifiable implications and should be taken with skepticism.
    Date: 2023–06
  12. By: Yuxin Zhang (Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China)
    Abstract: It is a theoretical and practical difficulty to re-examine the relationship between Confucianism and modernization in the era of "cultural globalization" and "postmodern". This study claims that the connection between Confucianism and modernization is determined by the continuity of social development and the historical inheritance of culture, based on the historical perspective and the enlightenment spirit of Confucianism. Even at the start of East Asia's modernization, Confucianism's Tradition never entirely faded from history, and Confucianism's involvement in the transformation of East Asian countries from tradition to modernity is obvious. From East Asia's authoritarian politics to Asian-style democracy, East Asia's political democracy is a shadow of Confucianism rather than a carbon duplicate of Western democracy. The new Confucian ethics has its own logic, emphasizing the importance of the self in all sorts of relationships, as well as the sense of obligation, self-control, self-cultivation, consensus, and cooperation. It places a great importance on politeness and education. Therefore, this paper presents the close relationship between the Neo-Confucian Ethics and the rise of Asia from the perspective of the modernity of the Confucian tradition in East Asia and Asian political democracy. Neo-Confucian Ethics has shaped Asia's industrial civilization, and Asia's economic development is consistent with the philosophical theory inherent in Confucian ethics.
    Keywords: Confucian, Rise of East Asia, Neo-Confucian Ethics, East Asian Politics, Economic Development
    Date: 2022–10
  13. By: Alexander M. Petersen; Felber Arroyave; Fabio Pammolli
    Abstract: A recent analysis of scientific publication and patent citation networks by Park et al. (Nature, 2023) suggests that publications and patents are becoming less disruptive over time. Here we show that the reported decrease in disruptiveness is an artifact of systematic shifts in the structure of citation networks unrelated to innovation system capacity. Instead, the decline is attributable to 'citation inflation', an unavoidable characteristic of real citation networks that manifests as a systematic time-dependent bias and renders cross-temporal analysis challenging. One driver of citation inflation is the ever-increasing lengths of reference lists over time, which in turn increases the density of links in citation networks, and causes the disruption index to converge to 0. A second driver is attributable to shifts in the construction of reference lists, which is increasingly impacted by self-citations that increase in the rate of triadic closure in citation networks, and thus confounds efforts to measure disruption, which is itself a measure of triadic closure. Combined, these two systematic shifts render the disruption index temporally biased, and unsuitable for cross-temporal analysis. The impact of this systematic bias further stymies efforts to correlate disruption to other measures that are also time-dependent, such as team size and citation counts. In order to demonstrate this fundamental measurement problem, we present three complementary lines of critique (deductive, empirical and computational modeling), and also make available an ensemble of synthetic citation networks that can be used to test alternative citation-based indices for systematic bias.
    Date: 2023–06
  14. By: Andrea Gabrielli; Valentina Macchiati; Diego Garlaschelli
    Abstract: The structure of many financial networks is protected by privacy and has to be inferred from aggregate observables. Here we consider one of the most successful network reconstruction methods, producing random graphs with desired link density and where the observed constraints (related to the market size of each node) are replicated as averages over the graph ensemble, but not in individual realizations. We show that there is a minimum critical link density below which the method exhibits an `unreconstructability' phase where at least one of the constraints, while still reproduced on average, is far from its expected value in typical individual realizations. We establish the scaling of the critical density for various theoretical and empirical distributions of interbank assets and liabilities, showing that the threshold differs from the critical densities for the onset of the giant component and of the unique component in the graph. We also find that, while dense networks are always reconstructable, sparse networks are unreconstructable if their structure is homogeneous, while they can display a crossover to reconstructability if they have an appropriate core-periphery or heterogeneous structure. Since the reconstructability of interbank networks is related to market clearing, our results suggest that central bank interventions aimed at lowering the density of links should take network structure into account to avoid unintentional liquidity crises where the supply and demand of all financial institutions cannot be matched simultaneously.
    Date: 2023–05
  15. By: Bankovsky, Miriam
    Abstract: Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May.
    Date: 2023–05–15
  16. By: Schilirò, Daniele
    Abstract: The Moon and Earth together represent Mearth, a new geographic space. This paper is about the innovations that can contribute to an improved future. To attract investments, produce technologies, build out a new ecosystem within the new geographic space Mearth, the coopetition strategy that essentially considers cooperation between competitors may represent the most suitable solution to join efforts to implement Mearth's economic system and its ecosystem.
    Keywords: Mearth; Coopetition; Innovations; Strategy; Space Economy
    JEL: L1 L2 O30
    Date: 2023–04

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