nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2024‒05‒06
fifteen papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. Finance, violence et justice selon Blaise Pascal By Bernard Gazier
  2. Decommodifying wealth: Lauderdale and ecological economics beyond the Lauderdale paradox By Simon Hupfel; Antoine Missemer
  3. Uncertainty-Denial By Sheila Dow
  4. The Urgent Need to Delegitimate Laissez-Faire Ideology By Jon D. Wisman
  5. Insider apology for microeconomic theorising? By Janssen, Maarten; Knuuttila, Tarja; Morgan, Mary S.
  6. Conflict inflation: Keynesian path dependency or Marxian cumulation? By Peter Skott
  7. Prezzi politici e ostacoli istituzionali in Maffeo Pantaleoni By Bellanca, Nicolo'
  8. Environmentalism in the light of Behavioral Economics By Halkos, George; Gkargkavouzi, Anastasia
  9. Industrial democracy between neocapitalism and postfordism. The political and intellectual trajectory of Bruno Trentin (1926-2007) By Francesco Sabato Massimo
  10. Bibliometric analysis of literature combining gender and the commons By Hélène PERIVIER
  11. Unequal contributions to CO2 emissions along the income distribution within and between countries By Federica Cappelli
  12. Power-law behavior and inequality in the upper tail of wealth, income and consumption: evidence from India By Kumar, Rishabh
  13. Social Dynamics of Consumer Response: A Unified Framework Integrating Statistical Physics and Marketing Dynamics By Javier Marin
  14. Long Short-Term Memory Pattern Recognition in Currency Trading By Jai Pal
  15. Economia social en tiempos de inflacion. Los precios de los bienes de primera necesidad de las cooperativas de consumo: España 1910-1920 By Francisco J. Medina Albaladejo; Giacomo Alfonso Diez Minguela

  1. By: Bernard Gazier (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This text aims at identifying and discussing the content and present meaning of Blaise Pascal's contribution to the understanding of justice in economic matters: which inequalities in terms of wealth, status and power are acceptable or not in a country or a community? Such a project faces a difficulty and a paradox. The difficulty is that economics as a separate discipline does not exist in Pascal's times; the paradox lies in the fact that while Pascal was politically conservative, his heirs in the XXth century converge in a strongly critical stance against capitalism and established order. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. In the first step, we briefly situate Pascal's approach in its historical context, by comparing it to the views of other authors of his time who are considered as forerunners of political economy. In this second, we discuss the content of the legacy as identified and used in the XXth century, by comparing Pascal's statements on justice to the conceptions of his heirs, in order to pinpoint convergences and divergences. The last step adopts an epistemologic and genealogic stance. We take into consideration the long-term changes in knowledge modalities leading to the "human sciences" and among them to "positive" and "normative" economics, in order to set and discuss the meaning of the references to Blaise Pascal in contemporary debates on economic and social justice.
    Abstract: Cette contribution a pour objet le contenu et l'actualité des apports de Blaise Pascal à la compréhension de la justice économique : quelles inégalités de richesse, de statuts et de pouvoirs sont admissibles ou non dans un pays, une communauté ? Elle affronte une difficulté et un paradoxe : d'une part l'économie en tant que discipline n'existe pas à l'époque de Pascal, et d'autre part l'orientation conservatrice de Pascal contraste avec celle de sa postérité au XXe siècle, rassemblant des auteurs qui convergent sur la critique du capitalisme et de l'ordre établi. Nous procéderons en trois étapes. La première situe historiquement la démarche de Pascal sur la justice, en la confrontant brièvement aux conceptions d'auteurs de son époque formulant les prémices de l'économie politique. La seconde étape interroge directement les contenus des filiations revendiquées au XXe siècle, en confrontant les énoncés de Pascal sur la justice à ceux de ses successeurs, pour établir les éventuelles convergences et divergences. La troisième étape esquisse une mise en perspective épistémologique et généalogique. Elle introduit les mutations successives des savoirs donnant lieu au déploiement des " sciences humaines " et parmi elles l'économie positive et normative, afin d'inscrire et de questionner le sens des références à Pascal dans les débats contemporains sur la justice économique et sociale.
    Keywords: Blaise Pascal, social justice, normative economics, justice sociale, économie normative
    Date: 2024–01
  2. By: Simon Hupfel (Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) - Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) Mulhouse - Colmar, BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) - Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) Mulhouse - Colmar - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Antoine Missemer (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The term "Lauderdale paradox" has been used by ecological economists since the late 1980s. It refers to the idea, developed by the Earl of Lauderdale in 1804, according to which private riches -- the sum-total of the exchangeable value of goods -- and public wealth -- the sum-total of the use value of goods -- vary in opposite directions. The Lauderdale paradox has been used in ecological economics in relation to the valuation of ecosystem services, and also in connection to some branches of political ecology, especially eco-Marxism. Based on a careful reading of Lauderdale's work, taking into account his political context, this article shows that some of the recent interpretations of the Lauderdale paradox, especially regarding wealth indicators, deserve to be qualified in the light of the original meaning of Lauderdale's words. Other aspects of Lauderdale's reflections that could be sources of inspiration for today's research programs in ecological economics are also emphasized: the extension of environmental accounting to human capital, the study of commodification and decommodification processes in a comprehensive anthropological perspective, and the specification of the characteristics of a steady-state economy.
    Keywords: Commodification, Environmental accounting, Steady state, Public good, Commons, Contrived scarcity, History of economic thought
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Sheila Dow (Department of Economics, University of Victoria)
    Abstract: The uncertainty which has characterised the financial crisis has encouraged renewed attention to uncertainty in economics. Yet, not only is uncertainty seen as unpalatable in financial markets and economic life more generally, it also poses challenges for economists to the extent that uncertainty is absent from most of mainstream theory. The purpose of this paper is to consider the reasons for this in terms of attitudes to uncertainty and the coping mechanisms which society develops to deal with uncertainty. The causes, nature and consequences of uncertainty are therefore reviewed, both in the economy and among economists. This is followed by a review of mechanisms for bringing order to uncertainty. It is argued that the coping mechanism of uncertainty-denial can be counterproductive where it arises from a closed-system understanding of uncertainty as being exogenous and inevitably anathema. But an open-system understanding sees uncertainty as more integral to economic life. Further it allows for uncertainty which, as the counterpart of creativity, can be seen in some circumstances in a positive light. It is concluded that economists could profitably consider embracing uncertainty by tailoring our methodologies and theories to address uncertainty. In this way we can tailor policy to reducing uncertainty in the economy and also reduce our own uncertainty
    Keywords: uncertainty, open systems, financial behaviour
    Date: 2024–03–21
  4. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: Ever since exploitation and extreme inequality became possible with the rise of the state, ideology serving the interests of elites has almost always persuaded non-elites that the prevailing social order is also in their best interest. This ideology was first expressed in religion that evolved to depict extremely unequal social conditions as in accord with sacred forces. Ideology provided a more efficient means of maintaining exploitation than violence. With the rise of capitalism, secular doctrines, and especially political economy and then economics, joined and eventually mostly replaced religion in justifying inequality. Since the late eighteenth century, laissez faire has been the dominant expression of this ideology. Only once, due to the extreme hardship of the Great Depression, has it been sufficiently delegitimated such that public policies were enacted that reduced inequality and significantly improved the quality of life for non-elites. However, laissez-faire ideology resurged to dominance in the 1970s, resulting in policies over the next half century that have led to exploding inequality. The fact that this ideology survived intact the Great Recession following the financial crisis of 2008 poses the question of whether it can again be adequately delegitimated. Yet there is urgency that this occurs prior to the death of democracy and thus capability of avoiding ecological Armageddon. This chapter suggests that only an adequately attractive alternative social vision to that of laissez-faire capitalism might delegitimate laissez-faire ideology. It concludes with a brief sketch of such a vision.
    Keywords: Ideology, exploitation, inequality, legitimation, material progress vision
    JEL: B15 N40 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2024
  5. By: Janssen, Maarten; Knuuttila, Tarja; Morgan, Mary S.
    Abstract: This comment on 'Economic theories and their Dueling interpretations' questions the descriptive adequacy of the ‘sociology of economics' proposed by Gilboa, Postlewaite, Samuelson, and Schmeidler (GPSS) (2022). We ask whether economists still perceive the role of microeconomic theory as central as do GPSS. In particular, is present-day economics unified by the principles of maximising, subject to constraints and equilibrium analysis? We argue that this is not the case. GPSS’ appeal to the interpretative flexibility of economic theories appears apologetic, especially the suggestion that theories and models, which once were considered positive descriptions or predictive instruments, are now cast as analytical or methodological exercises. We conclude on a more constructive note, drawing from the recent philosophical discussion of modelling which, quite paradoxically, grants highly idealized and simplified models a more important role than GPSS appear to allow.
    Keywords: interpretation; theories; models; economics; microeconomics; Horizon 2020 (Grant Agreement No 818772)
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2024–03–18
  6. By: Peter Skott
    Abstract: Notions of conflict inflation have been central to neo-Marxian and post-Keynesian economics. There are tensions, however, within the Marxian/post-Keynesian camp. Post-Keynesians emphasize weak feedback effects between price and wage inflation, thereby preserving the importance of aggregate demand in the determination of output and employment in the medium and long run. Like Kalecki (1943), Marxists typically suggest, on the contrary, that if unemployment is kept low, cumulative increases in workers. power and militancy imply severe limitations of aggregate demand policy in the long run. The paper discusses these rival perspectives and their implications, suggesting that (i) valid Marxian concerns are likely to derail ambitious reform programs that rely on fiscal expansion, (ii) Kalecki’s analysis failed to recognize the centrality of inflation for aggregate demand policy and the multidimensional character of class conflict, and (iii) rather than focus on the wage struggle, labor movements may benefit from prioritizing political and institutional change.
    Keywords: wage aspirations, fairness norms, worker militancy, hysteresis, welfare state, de-commodifcation
    JEL: E31
    Date: 2024–04
  7. By: Bellanca, Nicolo'
    Abstract: Maffeo Pantaleoni’s concepts of “political prices” and “economic prices” explore institutional change and the dynamics of rent-seeking society. He distinguishes between “objective” discriminations, which conform to the reproductive logic of an institution, and those that are entirely arbitrary. Additionally, he distinguishes between criteria of impartiality, which treat everyone the same way, and criteria of universalizability, which apply a rule regardless of whom it may benefit or harm. Through these concepts, he defines “economic prices” as characterized by proscriptive rules, which prohibit certain choices, rather than prescriptive rules, which allow certain options for some and not for others. They cannot eliminate privileges, but they eliminate privileged access to privileges. Their antithesis is “political prices, ” which emerge when groups compete with each other to grab rents and maintain privileges. The more the system of political prices generalizes across all institutions (private, public, commercial) of society, the less it is able to sustain itself, as every group desires to benefit from it, but no one wants to finance it. Here lies the historical resilience of economic prices.
    Keywords: Maffeo Pantaleoni, political prices, economic prices, institutional change, rent-seeking society, distributive coalitions
    JEL: B13 B15 O1 O10 P1 P16
    Date: 2024–04–09
  8. By: Halkos, George; Gkargkavouzi, Anastasia
    Abstract: Behavioral environmental economics (BEE) is an emerging field that combines principles from behavioral and environmental economics along with psychological theory to study how human behavior influences environmental issues. It recognizes that human behavior often deviates from the rational actor model assumed in traditional environmental economics and seeks to understand the psychological, social, and emotional factors that influence people's decisions related to the environment. By gaining insights intothe human decision-making mechanism, BEE can better explain economically relevant environmental behavior and increase the predictive power of existing models. The fieldguidesthe design of effective and tailored-specific policy interventions that work with human behavioral tendencies, such as using defaults, framing, and social reinforcement to "nudge" people toward environmentally friendly choices. While behavioral insights can complement traditional policy tools, broader reforms are also needed to achieve sustainability. New trends derived from interdisciplinary research combining Environmental Psychology and Behavioral Economics are discussed. Overall, BEE offers a more realistic understanding of human decision-making and can help maximize the environmental benefits achieved through limited resources.
    Keywords: Behavioral environmental economics; Human decision-making; Environmentalism; Environmental policy; Sustainability.
    JEL: I30 Q00 Q51 Q59
    Date: 2024–04
  9. By: Francesco Sabato Massimo (CSO - Centre de sociologie des organisations (Sciences Po, CNRS) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: During his long political trajectory Bruno Trentin (1926-2007) never ceased to question the relationship between work and democracy. The Italian intellectual and trade union leader denounced the domination of the «productivist ideology» of scientific management over the entire social and political Left. According to this ideology, trade union action was reduced to the animation of distributive conflict, while the political struggle was played out outside the economic sphere, through the conquest of the state. Contrary to this vision, the 1960s were the source of a new self-management political culture, born of the encounter between the Marxist, Christian and libertarian traditions of the labour movement, which aimed to make workers and their unions «political subjects» in their own right by gaining real decision-making power over the organisation of work. The decline of Fordism offers an opportunity for a new "contract" in which work can achieve its political recognition and autonomy within the workplace and not from outside. It is from this history that Trentin draws to defend the actuality of a project of liberation from subordinate «work». In this article I reinscribe Trentin's reflections in the long history of his career as an intellectual, trade unionist and political activist, as well as in the controversies and the impasses that have shaped his life and the history whole Italian and European labour movement during the twentieth century.
    Keywords: Organisational democracy, Unions and labour history, Industrial relations, Neocapitalism, Postfordism, Italian and European Left, Democrazia organizzativa, Storia del sindacato e del lavoro, Relazioni industriali, Neocapitalismo, Postfordismo, Sinistra italiana ed europea
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Hélène PERIVIER
    Abstract: This research is based on a bibliometric analysis of the academic literature linking the gender perspective with that of the commons. The idea is not to report on all the theoretical and empirical contributions of these two fields, but rather to propose a framework for reading the heuristic intersection between gender and the commons in order to facilitate its understanding and appropriation by various categories of actors (academics, practitioners).The analysis is based on a literature review that is as exhaustive as possible, which led to the creation of a database, Genre&Com. This database makes it possible to identify some of the characteristics of the different approaches that have been used at the intersection of the two domains, namely gender and the commons. The idea is to capture the diversity of this dual field in order to identify avenues for future research.
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2024–04–04
  11. By: Federica Cappelli (University “Niccolò Cusano”, National Research Council of Italy – CNR, Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean – ISMed)
    Abstract: The question of whether changes in income inequality affect CO2 emissions remains a topic of debate at both theoretical and empirical levels. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of changes in the full spectre of income distribution on consumption based CO2 emissions per capita. To do so, we estimate a dynamic difference-GMM model and a dynamic threshold regression model allowing for endogeneity on a panel database covering 107 countries between 1990 and 2019. Our analysis highlights how different income classes contribute very differently to consumption-based CO2 emissions. In addition, by accounting for between-country inequalities in the average income of each income group, we uncover non-linearities in the impact on carbon emissions. More specifically, the impact of an increase in the income share of the top 10% on per capita consumption-based carbon emissions varies according to their average income level: it is negative at lower income levels and becomes positive as their income rises. The contribution of the middle class is negative at all income levels, while the CO2 contribution of the poorest segments is negligible.
    Keywords: Inequality, Emissions, Income Distribution, Climate Change
    JEL: D31 D63 Q54 Q57
    Date: 2024–04
  12. By: Kumar, Rishabh (University of Massachusetts Boston)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the upper tails of wealth, income, and consumption in India over the period 2012-18 using rich- lists, wealth surveys, income tax returns and consumer expenditure surveys. We find the upper tail to obey a power- law in all three economic resources. Comparing our estimates in 2012 – where we possess data on wealth, income, and consumption simultaneously – we find that the upper tail of wealth is most concentrated, income slightly less, and consumption is much less concentrated. Unlike wealth and income, the Pareto coefficients for consumption are estimated to have a well-defined mean and variance. Our findings are suggestive of convex saving functions in the income distribution.
    Date: 2024–03–22
  13. By: Javier Marin
    Abstract: Comprehending how consumers react to advertising inputs is essential for marketers aiming to optimize advertising strategies and improve campaign effectiveness. This study examines the complex nature of consumer behaviour by applying theoretical frameworks derived from physics and social psychology. We present an innovative equation that captures the relation between spending on advertising and consumer response, using concepts such as symmetries, scaling laws, and phase transitions. By validating our equation against well-known models such as the Michaelis-Menten and Hill equations, we prove its effectiveness in accurately representing the complexity of consumer response dynamics. The analysis emphasizes the importance of key model parameters, such as marketing effectiveness, response sensitivity, and behavioural sensitivity, in influencing consumer behaviour. The work explores the practical implications for advertisers and marketers, as well as discussing the limitations and future research directions. In summary, this study provides a thorough framework for comprehending and forecasting consumer reactions to advertising, which has implications for optimizing advertising strategies and allocating resources.
    Date: 2024–04
  14. By: Jai Pal
    Abstract: This study delves into the analysis of financial markets through the lens of Wyckoff Phases, a framework devised by Richard D. Wyckoff in the early 20th century. Focusing on the accumulation pattern within the Wyckoff framework, the research explores the phases of trading range and secondary test, elucidating their significance in understanding market dynamics and identifying potential trading opportunities. By dissecting the intricacies of these phases, the study sheds light on the creation of liquidity through market structure, offering insights into how traders can leverage this knowledge to anticipate price movements and make informed decisions. The effective detection and analysis of Wyckoff patterns necessitate robust computational models capable of processing complex market data, with spatial data best analyzed using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and temporal data through Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) models. The creation of training data involves the generation of swing points, representing significant market movements, and filler points, introducing noise and enhancing model generalization. Activation functions, such as the sigmoid function, play a crucial role in determining the output behavior of neural network models. The results of the study demonstrate the remarkable efficacy of deep learning models in detecting Wyckoff patterns within financial data, underscoring their potential for enhancing pattern recognition and analysis in financial markets. In conclusion, the study highlights the transformative potential of AI-driven approaches in financial analysis and trading strategies, with the integration of AI technologies shaping the future of trading and investment practices.
    Date: 2024–02
  15. By: Francisco J. Medina Albaladejo (Universitat de Valencia); Giacomo Alfonso Diez Minguela (Universitat de Valencia)
    Abstract: Las cooperativas de consumo españolas eran de tipo rochdaliano en su mayor parte, al igual que en el resto de Europa. Esto suponia que comercializaban productos basicos a precios similares a los de mercado y repartian los beneficios entre sus asociados en forma de dividendos o de servicios sociales y culturales. El objetivo de este trabajo es conocer la reaccion de estas entidades asociativas en epocas de dificultades, como durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, con una elevada inflacion que amenazo la capacidad de poder adquisitivo de la clase trabajadora. Para ello, se va a realizar un analisis comparativo de tipo cuantitativo, a partir de una encuesta de precios al por menor elaborada por el Instituto de Reformas Sociales entre 1910 y 1920. En dicha fuente se recoge una amplia muestra de precios de bienes de primera necesidad (alimentos, fuentes de energia domestica y productos del hogar) de distintas provincias españolas. La informacion era proporcionada por las instituciones locales y por los responsables de las cooperativas de consumo, lo que permite hacer una comparacion de los precios ofrecidos por el mercado y las cooperativas. Los resultados muestran que, efectivamente, las cooperativas de consumo españolas eran de tipo rochdaliano, con precios similares a los de mercado. Pero con la llegada de la inflacion esta situación cambio, y aplicaron políticas de precios de crecimiento moderado con el fin de amortiguar la caida del poder adquisitivo y ayudar a sostener el nivel de vida de sus asociados.
    Keywords: Cooperativas de consumo, modelo rochdaliano, bienes de primera necesidad, inflacion
    JEL: N14 N34 N84 P13
    Date: 2024–03

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