nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
eight papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Moral sentiments, democracy and redistributive politics: between nature and culture By Gilles Le Garrec
  2. Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid By Amegashie, J.; Ouattara, B.; Strobl, E.
  3. The Social Contract with Endogenous Sentiments By Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich
  4. Lucas vs. Lucas: On Inequality and Growth By Juan Carlos Cordoba; Genevieve Verdier
  5. "diviser pour mieux régner" : une interprétation microéconomique de la détérioration du rapport de force capital/travail By Cédric Durand
  6. Una revisión de literatura sobre características de las Instituciones del Mercado Laboral y un uso alterno de las fuentes de información en Colombia By Carlos Iván CAÑON SALAZAR
  7. Energy and the Global Economy By Faye Duchin
  8. Trust and Social Collateral By Markus Mobius; Adam Szeidl

  1. By: Gilles Le Garrec (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Amegashie, J.; Ouattara, B.; Strobl, E.
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich
    Abstract: Moral values influence individual behavior and social interactions. A specially significant instance is the case of moral values concerning work effort. Individuals determine what they take to be proper behaviour and judge the others, and themselves, accordingly. They increase their esteem -and self-esteem- for those who perform in excess of the standard and decrease their esteem for those who work less. These changes in self-esteem result from the self-regulatory emotions of guilt or pride extensively studied in Social Psychology. We examine the interactions between sentiments, individual behaviour and the social contract in a model of rational voting over redistribution where individual self-esteem and relative es-teem for others are endogenously determined. Individuals differ in their productivities. The desired extent of redistribution depends both on individual income and on individual attitudes toward others. We characterize the politico-economic equilibria in which s
    Keywords: Social Contract, Endogenous Sentiments, Voting over Taxes, Moral Work
    JEL: D64 D72 Z13 H3 J2
    Date: 2007–03–01
  4. By: Juan Carlos Cordoba; Genevieve Verdier
    Abstract: Lucas (2004) asserts that "Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution... The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production." In this paper we evaluate this claim using an extended version of Lucas' (1987) welfare-evaluation framework. Surprisingly, we find that the welfare costs of inequality outweigh the benefits of growth in most cases. These calculations support the case for a research agenda that treats not only growth but also inequality as a priority.
    Keywords: Poverty , Economic growth , Business cycles ,
    Date: 2007–01–31
  5. By: Cédric Durand (CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - [CNRS : UMR7115] - [Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII])
    Abstract: Cet article mobilise une analyse microéconomique marxiste pour éclairer l'évolution de la capacité de résistance des salariés des pays développés au cours de la période de montée en puissance du néolibéralisme qui s'étend des années 1970 à nos jours. Plus précisément, il s'agit de développer l'hypothèse selon laquelle la dislocation de la firme fordiste et l'internationalisation productive ont permis l'enracinement d'un mécanisme de type diviser pour mieux régner qui affaiblit durablement les capacités de lutte du salariat.
    Keywords: diviser pour mieux régner - néolibéralisme - conflit capital/travail
    Date: 2007–05–14
  6. By: Carlos Iván CAÑON SALAZAR
    Abstract: El objetivo principal de este informe es mostrar que es posible brindar una visión complementaria del mercado laboral utilizando mejor las fuentes de información sobre oferta y demanda laboral. Los conomístas colombianos, y también los que no lo son, deben saber que desaprovechar las encuestas de hogares del Dane implica hacer a un lado información relevante para el análisis del mercado laboral. Este informe persigue tres objetivos especíıficos. Primero, realizar una revisión de literatura lo más comprehensiva posible acerca de las instituciones del mercado laboral en Colombia y en otros países. Segundo, construir nuevas series del mercado laboral que son muy utilizadas en la literatura internacional, y que no han sido utilizadas en Colombia. Y tercero, siguiendo parámetros internacionales, realizar un primer análisis de la relación que dichas series puedan tener con la productividad laboral. El análisis de la literatura colombiana e internacional sugiere que implantar medidas que flexibilicen el mercado laboral redunda en menores tasas de desempleo, mayores tasas de participación, y en general en mayor eficiencia. Esta conclusión no es compartida por algunos estudios; por ejemplo, es posible que al incluir los beneficios de la regulación laboral los resultados cambien. En el caso colombiano los estudios tienden a hallar que a medida que el mercado laboral se torna más flexible, también se reduce el desempleo y la participación laboral. Vale la pena resaltar el trabajo de Vargas (2006) quien encuentra lo contrario. También se concluye que las reformas de los noventa flexibilizaron el mercado laboral, pero no lo suficiente como para aprovechar plenamente las ventajas potenciales.
    Date: 2006–10–31
  7. By: Faye Duchin (Department of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY 12180-3590, USA)
    Abstract: This article describes the contribution economists can make in uncovering energy choices capable of reducing carbon emissions on a global scale. All production and consumption activities involve the use of energy, and economists possess theoretical and analytic frameworks relating production and consumption in individual economies with international trade among them. Current challenges include deepening collaboration with physical scientists and engineers by according primacy to the formulation of scenarios and to the representation of physical stocks and flows of resources as factor inputs. Energy scenarios are discussed in terms of technological options, distinguishing those options that are already known but not yet widely applied from ones that still require research breakthroughs. Scenarios about household lifestyles and consumption in the areas of diet, housing and mobility are also discussed, distinguishing those that could already be initiated by households from those that would require changes in the built environment. Models and databases of the global economy have existed since the 1970s, and one was first used to analyze energy scenarios in the early 1990s based on the recommendations of the Brundtland Report of 1987. Relevant areas of progress since that time are described both in modeling the global economy and in compiling a global economic and environmental database. The paper concludes with a few examples of recent applications of a particular global economic model to analyzing energy scenarios to demonstrate both the progress that has been made and the nature of some of the challenges still to be faced.
    JEL: C6 F01 F18 Q01 Q42 Q43 Q56
    Date: 2007–05
  8. By: Markus Mobius; Adam Szeidl
    Abstract: This paper builds a theory of informal contract enforcement in social networks. In our model, relationships between individuals generate social collateral that can be used to control moral hazard when agents interact in a borrowing relationship. We define trust between two agents as the maximum amount that one can borrow from the other, and derive a simple reduced form expression for trust as a function of the social network. We show that trust is higher in more connected and more homogenous societies, and relate our trust measure to commonly used network statistics. Our model predicts that dense networks generate greater welfare when arrangements typically require high trust, and loose networks create more welfare otherwise. Using data on social networks and behavior in dictator games, we document evidence consistent with the quantitative predictions of the model.
    JEL: D02 D23
    Date: 2007–05

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