nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2023‒12‒11
twelve papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. “[Don’t] let them have their leets”! Joan Robinson and her legacy for heterodox economics By Graham White
  2. Smart Agent-Based Modeling: On the Use of Large Language Models in Computer Simulations By Zengqing Wu; Run Peng; Xu Han; Shuyuan Zheng; Yixin Zhang; Chuan Xiao
  3. Rigorous agent-based modeling is critical: Modeling the diffusion of green products and practices By Angelika Abramiuk-Szurlej; Mikolaj Szurlej; Katarzyna Sznajd-Weron
  4. Exploring Credit Relationship Dynamics in an Interbank Market Benefiting from Blockchain-based Distributed Trust: Insights from an Agent-based Model By Morteza Alaeddini; Julie Dugdale; Paul Reaidy; Philippe Madiès
  5. Uncovering the Contributions of Black Women to Economics By Nina Banks
  6. Challenging the ecological economics of water: Social and political perspectives By Arnaud Buchs; Iratxe Calvo-Mendieta; Olivier Petit; Philippe Roman
  7. Gendering the Company: A Critical Perspective on German Business History By Heinemann, Isabel; Reckendrees, Alfred
  8. Resilience Challenge Salience in Bioeconomy Policies: A Global Analysis By Schulz, Nicolai; Proestou, Maria; Feindt, Peter
  9. Reframing Relationships Between Humans and the Earth: The "Anthropocene", a New Ideology to Justify the Status Quo? By Pilon, Andre Francisco
  10. Impact investing and the politics of leverage: towards a meso-level perspective on derisking By Golka, Philipp
  11. Dinámica de la Concentración de Mercados: simulaciones Basadas en el Enfoque de Gibrat By Ramírez Mordán, Nerys; Rodríguez Núñez, Juan Bautista
  12. Are low-income workers financially irresponsible? An analysis of financial and accounting practices in Nairobi By Thereza Balliester Reis; Vincent Mugo Kamau

  1. By: Graham White
    Abstract: The paper considers three aspects of Joan Robinson’s writings all of which have a link to concern for the treatment of time and history in economic analysis. The first aspect is Robinson’s view of the significance of the capital-theoretic critique of orthodoxy, a critique in which she played a significant role. The second aspect relates to her concerns about the use of equilibrium in economic analysis and particularly the concept of long-period equilibrium. The third aspect is Robinson’s view of the significance of Sraffa’s Production of Commodities, and particularly as part of the positive side of the critique of orthodoxy; in particular, its potential role in an alternative non-marginalist approach. As such, the discussion inevitably to turns to the tension between Robinson’s views and those of the Sraffian camp, noting however that the possibility of some common ground remains open. stabilization policy tool by influencing the velocity.
    Keywords: Capital; time; equilibrium; Robinson; Sraffa
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Zengqing Wu; Run Peng; Xu Han; Shuyuan Zheng; Yixin Zhang; Chuan Xiao
    Abstract: Computer simulations offer a robust toolset for exploring complex systems across various disciplines. A particularly impactful approach within this realm is Agent-Based Modeling (ABM), which harnesses the interactions of individual agents to emulate intricate system dynamics. ABM's strength lies in its bottom-up methodology, illuminating emergent phenomena by modeling the behaviors of individual components of a system. Yet, ABM has its own set of challenges, notably its struggle with modeling natural language instructions and common sense in mathematical equations or rules. This paper seeks to transcend these boundaries by integrating Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT into ABM. This amalgamation gives birth to a novel framework, Smart Agent-Based Modeling (SABM). Building upon the concept of smart agents -- entities characterized by their intelligence, adaptability, and computation ability -- we explore in the direction of utilizing LLM-powered agents to simulate real-world scenarios with increased nuance and realism. In this comprehensive exploration, we elucidate the state of the art of ABM, introduce SABM's potential and methodology, and present three case studies (source codes available at, demonstrating the SABM methodology and validating its effectiveness in modeling real-world systems. Furthermore, we cast a vision towards several aspects of the future of SABM, anticipating a broader horizon for its applications. Through this endeavor, we aspire to redefine the boundaries of computer simulations, enabling a more profound understanding of complex systems.
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Angelika Abramiuk-Szurlej; Mikolaj Szurlej; Katarzyna Sznajd-Weron
    Abstract: Agent-based modeling (ABM), a bottom-up stochastic approach for simulating the interactions of multiple autonomous agents, is gaining popularity in the field of managing pro-environmental behavior change. In the field of ecology, it is a well-established and rigorous scientific method. However, within the social sciences, it is often criticized for its lack of rigor. In this paper, we demonstrate how best practices from ABM in ecology can be applied to the study of pro-environmental social change, with a special focus on energy-related behaviors. We argue that the two stages of ABM, namely description and verification, are fundamental for establishing ABM as a rigorous research method. However, upon critically reviewing the existing literature on ABM of energy-related behaviors, we find that these stages are frequently absent or poorly executed. Therefore, we provide a practical illustration of how to effectively execute these stages using an example of a model introduced in 2016 to study the diffusion of green products and practices. We describe the model using the ODD (Overview, Design concepts, Details) protocol. Furthermore, we present two different approaches to model analysis borrowed from the theory of complex systems to ensure rigorous model verification. We also clarify the circumstances under which the agent-based model can be reduced to an analytical model and when such reduction is not feasible.
    Keywords: agent-based model; ODD protocol; pro-environmental behavior change
    JEL: C63 D81 D91 O33 O35 Q42 Q5
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Morteza Alaeddini (AUT - Amirkabir University of Technology, UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Julie Dugdale (LIG - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Paul Reaidy (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Philippe Madiès (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Abstract: Trust is crucial in economic complex adaptive systems, where agents frequently change the other side of their interactions, which often leads to changes in the system's structure. In such a system, agents who seek as much as possible to build lasting trust relationships for long-term confident interactions with their counterparts decide whom to interact with based on their level of trust in existing partners. A trust crisis refers to the time when the level of trust between agents drops so much that there is no incentive to interact, a situation that ultimately leads to the collapse of the system. This paper presents an agent-based model of the interbank market and evaluates the effects of using a voting-based consensus mechanism embedded in a blockchain-based loan system on maintaining trust between agents and system stability. In this paper, we rely on the fact that blockchain as a distributed system only manages the existing trust and does not create it on its own. Furthermore, this study uses actual blockchain technology in its simulation rather than simply presenting an abstraction.
    Keywords: Agent-based simulation, Asymmetric information, Confidence, Distributed ledger, Interbank call loan market, Uncertainty
    Date: 2023–09–30
  5. By: Nina Banks
    Abstract: Economist Nina Banks reveals her own work and the work by Sadie T.M. Alexander, the first Black American to receive a doctorate in economics.
    Keywords: women in economics; Black women in economics
    Date: 2022–01–17
  6. By: Arnaud Buchs (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Iratxe Calvo-Mendieta (TVES - Territoires, Villes, Environnement & Société - ULR 4477 - ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale - Université de Lille, ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale); Olivier Petit (CLERSÉ - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UA - Université d'Artois); Philippe Roman (ICHEC - Brussels Management School [Bruxelles])
    Abstract: This paper introduces the special section entitled "Ecological Economics of Water: social and political perspectives", which brings together articles published in successive issues of the journal in 2020 and 2021. By discussing the literature, we review contemporary issues and controversies surrounding water management and water policies to highlight the importance of the social and political dimensions that an ecological economics of water should address. We promote comprehensive and reflective approaches that consider institutions and institutional change seriously, e.g. to discuss the role of water-related indicators in water policies. We demonstrate the relevance of this special section that comes after two water-related special issues already published in Ecological Economics. Finally, we introduce each of the articles of this special section, which we believe can help shape a new avenue of research among ecological economists of water.
    Keywords: Water policy, Interdisciplinarity, Ecological economics of water, Research agenda
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Heinemann, Isabel; Reckendrees, Alfred
    Abstract: In this short essay, we discuss the opportunities for German business history if it takes gender seriously as a category of inquiry and point out why historical gender research should focus more on the company as a social arena. We argue that business history should integrate gender as an analytical category and draw on methods of social and cultural history. We seek to encourage innovative research projects that explore the potential of gender – produced by social practices, values, norms and moral concepts – as an analytical category for business history. Likewise we are interested in exploring how historical gender studies might develop when they move to the social arena of the company as a field of investigation.
    Keywords: Business History; Germany; Gender; Historical Methods
    JEL: N83 N84 Y80
    Date: 2023–11–01
  8. By: Schulz, Nicolai; Proestou, Maria; Feindt, Peter
    Abstract: The sustainability of social-ecological systems has become a major concern in environmental policy. To address the sustainability challenges of the fossil-based economy, more than 50 countries around the world have promulgated policies to promote the transformation towards a bio-based economy. The success of this transformation, in turn, depends on the resilience of the bio-based production systems on which the bioeconomy rests. However, the continued delivery of the desired functions of these systems is challenged by environmental, social, economic, and political short- and long-term stresses. Despite the importance of such resilience challenges for a sustainable bioeconomy transformation, the extent to which they are addressed in bioeconomy policies remains unclear and under-researched. To fill this gap, we investigate the salience of resilience challenges in bioeconomy policies using the Resilience Policy Design (RPD) framework. Specifically, we conduct a systematic content analysis of bioeconomy policy documents in 50 countries to identify and discuss the specific challenges and instruments directly aimed at addressing these challenges. Overall, our analysis contributes to a better understanding of the role and origins of resilience concerns in global bioeconomy policymaking.
    Date: 2023–11–16
  9. By: Pilon, Andre Francisco
    Abstract: The evils attributed to the “Anthropocene” are not the responsibility of all humanity; the main culprits, who have the political and economic power to shape the forms of production and consumption and define lifestyles, must be distinguished from the majority of the population, whose power to change things cannot be compared with those. “Systemic” interpretations, supported by theories of “complexity” and the “Anthropocene” as a new era in human history, may inadvertently obscure the role and effective action of people and groups that control economics and politics in today's world, who find an easy excuse to decline their responsibilities in the destinies of humanity.
    Keywords: Anthropocene, Environment, Politics, Economics, Development, Public Policies, Advocacy, Communication
    JEL: P17 Z13
    Date: 2023–11–04
  10. By: Golka, Philipp
    Abstract: Scholars of financialization are increasingly turning to the role of the state in creating and supporting financial markets. The notion of the derisking state has been proposed to make sense of various state activities that alter the risk/returns of private investments in a hope to attract private capital. Despite its important contributions, the current under-standing of the derisking state as a macrofinancial phenomenon leaves key questions regarding the role of democratic politics unanswered. To address this question, this chapter argues for an analytical shift towards the politics of leverage, that is, how derisking is made politically beneficial. Drawing on an in-depth, qualitative case study of social impact investing in Britain where considerable subsidies have been paid in a hope to attract private investments to various issues of social welfare, this chapter shows how the amplitude of subsidies can be accounted for by a gradual, meso-level development that affected the political favorability of derisking policies. This also shows how institutional entrepreneurs exploit the unique malleability of the impact investing label to navigate challenging political terrains to mobilize subsidies.
    Date: 2023–11–14
  11. By: Ramírez Mordán, Nerys; Rodríguez Núñez, Juan Bautista
    Abstract: This document employs simulation techniques (of what kind) to attempt to replicate the market's behavior under various conditions associated with its competitive structure and the potential existence of entry barriers. The aim is to connect these simulations with theoretical and empirical findings identified in the literature. The results indicate that the individual dynamics of each company tend to generate historical variations in the level of market concentration, typically converging towards increased concentration over time. However, as the probabilities of entry increase, markets tend to be less concentrated, particularly when there is no company with a high level of market share. This effect on competition is contingent upon the persistence in the participation level of the leading companies. It has been observed that the impact of a higher probability of entry on the level of market concentration is lower in those markets where the leading company maintains a higher level of participation over time, as well as in markets where there is a higher likelihood of exit.
    Keywords: Microeconomics, Competition Policy, Entry Barriers, Simulations, Industrial Organization
    JEL: C63 D22 D43 L10 L13
    Date: 2023–11–01
  12. By: Thereza Balliester Reis (Department of Economics, SOAS University of London); Vincent Mugo Kamau (Independent Researcher)
    Abstract: Studies on financial inclusion place strong emphasis on financial literacy and individual financial responsibility. Over-spending and over-indebtedness are often thought to be consequences of a lack of understanding of prudent budgeting, saving, and investment. Building on the critical accounting and everyday financialisation literature, this study challenges those claims. By interviewing 30 low-income workers in Nairobi, Kenya, we find that many are highly financially literate and have extensive knowledge on how to save on transaction costs and to select optimal borrowing opportunities. In fact, participants report several new techniques to save on costs, such as splitting transactions on M-Pesa to avoid fees. Yet, as their income is low, those individuals often find themselves indebted over sustained periods, particularly for basic needs such as food and transport. Furthermore, where individuals select costly financial services or are unable to save for the future, these seem to be consequences of structural and income constraints rather than a lack of understanding of accounting practices. Taken together, our article critiques established understandings of financial knowledge by presenting new evidence on everyday financial practices in Nairobi. Our results suggest that financialisation of everyday life has spread to countries beyond the Global North and might have severe consequences for development goals.
    Keywords: everyday life financialisation; financial literacy; critical accounting; Kenya
    JEL: B50 D14 G51 G53
    Date: 2023–11

This nep-hme issue is ©2023 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.