nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒14
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Institutional and Behavioral Modeling of the Economic Fabric of Urban Eastern Ethiopian Communities: Shared Value System, Group Decision Making Behavior and Wellbeing By Demiessie, Habtamu
  2. Gender Economics: An Assessment By Sevilla, Almudena
  4. Commodities are Not Industries! A Value Chain Example By Randall Jackson; Patricio Aroca
  5. Post-Keynesian macroeconomic foundations for Comparative Political Economy By Engelbert Stockhammer
  6. Interview with Gérard Hirigoyen By Gillet Philippe
  7. Lessons for Today from Past Periods of Rapid Technological Change By Aránzazu Guillán Montero; David Le Blanc

  1. By: Demiessie, Habtamu
    Abstract: The essence of this study is to map the economic fabric of urban eastern Ethiopian communities. To that end, shared value system in the communities of interest was explored. The whole set of analysis and inferences were meant to hypothesize, conceptualize and/or characterize on key behavioral and institutional variables that defines the economic fabric of a particular society. Core behavioral and institutional variables subjected in this study that construct the group decision making behaviorswere: life style (philosophy of life), rationality of economic agents, life satisfaction, individualistic motives, workmanship traits, consumption and saving behavior. The study is essentially framed based on the principles of hypothetical research. By way of making inferences, techniques/tools from institutional/behavioral economics were borrowed. Moreover, theoretical and empirical evidences from positive psychology,behavioral economics, social economics, economic sociology & social anthropology were employed. The study found out that shared value system in the urban eastern Ethiopian setting manifests as in the followings: a) while making decisions, people often look the matter they supposed to decide in an absolute abstraction. It is customary that people are unwilling to look the pros and cons of their decisions. b) People try to disregard or even mitigate or 'avoid‘ the negative outcomes of their actions (decisions). The study inferred that the shared value system is a social construct meant to cope up from uncertainties arising out of uncertain (risky) nature of prevailing fabric of life, which is a typical feature of urban eastern Ethiopia. Furthermore, the study explained and/or hypothesized on how those behavioral elements are interpreted into wellbeing of people. More importantly, the behavioral/institutional modeling made can be used to understand the fabrics of collective/communal societies in general. Therefore, academic and research circles are expected to give due emphasis to probing why/how the prevailing shared values/institutional system would be progressive or retrogressive to wellbeing of people and communities of interest of the study. Moreover, policy regimes should consider those variables their concern, where interventions in this regard are expected to overcome retrogressive behavioral and institutional elements and nurture those which are progressive to wellbeing.
    Keywords: Eastern Ethiopian Communities Group Decision Making Behavior Involuntary Simplicity Wellbeing
    JEL: B5 B52 H3 J5 Z1
    Date: 2020–11–19
  2. By: Sevilla, Almudena (University College London)
    Abstract: Concerns about gender equality have jumped to the forefront of public debate in recent years, and Gender Economics is slowly affirming its place as a major field of study. This assessment examines where we are in terms of gender equality. It reviews the theoretical foundations that can explain existing inequalities, and documents the empirical findings supported by the theories, identifying avenues for future research and providing a fruitful framework to think about the effectiveness of policies and interventions targeting gender inequality. In doing so, I provide the foundations against which the contributions in this issue can be placed.
    Keywords: gender economics, gender inequality, technology, norms, policy
    JEL: D31 D63 F60
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Sheetal Bharat (BASE university)
    Abstract: Having found discrepancies in the definitions of opportunity cost in a few textbooks, I started disinterring its beginning and evolution. The journey, for over two years now, has resulted in this paper. It works along two related lines: i. It makes significant corrections and some additions to received knowledge regarding the beginning and evolution of the concept of opportunity cost. Frederick von Wieser is normally credited with having birthed the concept. The scholars who I credit with shaping and slowly building the concept are Cantillon, von Thünen, Ricardo, Mill, Patten, Macvane, Green, and Davenport, among others in the foundational phases. Further, the LSE scholars have worked extensively on the applicability issues surrounding the concept. Even in the past two decades, scholars have conducted surveys to gauge the level of understanding of the opportunity cost concept among economists, and proposed clarifications. ii. Based on the edifice of opportunity cost so constructed, I propose a schema for calculating it in a way that imbues it with conceptual rigor.
    Keywords: opportunity cost, pedagogy, evolution, economic thought
    JEL: A2 B19
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Randall Jackson (Geology and Geography Department and Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University); Patricio Aroca (Business School, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez)
    Abstract: Wassily Leontief received the 1973 Nobel Prize in Economics for his 1936 introduction input-output accounts and laying the foundations for decades of studies of economic structure and analyses of systemwide impacts of economic shocks (Leontief, 1936). In 1961, Richard Stone published “Input-Output and National Accounts,” which recognized and dealt explicitly with the realities of secondary production (?), and for which he received the 1984 Nobel Prize in Economics. Despite these recognitions and widespread use and acceptance internationally and in other disciplines and public sector planning applications, the Leontief and Stone framework gained little traction in mainstream U.S. economics. However, inputoutput modeling frameworks have attracted new attention in a variety of problem domains, including environmental attribution, water use, life-cycle assessment, and supply and value chains. Yet many – if not most – contemporary economists continue founding their work directly the Leontief framework, eschewing the power and versatility of Stone’s enhancements. Moreover, many are failing to understand and appreciate the conceptual differences between the two frameworks and as a result are failing to match constructs to variables in their their newly developed analytical metrics, even in top economics journals. In this paper, we use an increasingly common approach to value chains analysis as one of many possible examples that demonstrate such conceptual misunderstandings, and by developing and implementing properly formulated value chain metrics, we demonstrate both the extent of the consequences of neglecting the Stone enhancements and the important role of reproducing results in advancing scientific knowledge.
    Keywords: Input-Output, SNA, Value Chains, Primary and Secondary Products
    JEL: F10 F14 L16 L23 C67
    Date: 2020–10–12
  5. By: Engelbert Stockhammer (None)
    Abstract: Since the global financial crisis and the ensuing weak growth interest in macroeconomic issues has grown within Comparative Political Economy (CPE). The dominant Varieties of Capitalism approach focuses on how different institutional arrangements contribute to competitiveness and thus has a strong supply-side focus, which is complementary with modern mainstream economics. Baccaro and Pontusson (2016) have suggested basing CPE on post-Keynesian theory of distribution and growth. This paper generalises their point and makes a systematic case for post-Keynesian (PK) foundations for CPE. It highlights the PK theory of money and finance and that PKE analyses inequality as well as financial relations as based on class and power relations. The paper identifies the analysis of financialisation, financial cycles, the understanding of neoliberal growth models and the political economy of central banks as areas where PKE can provide specific insights for CPE.
    Keywords: post-Keynesian economics, comparative political economy, growth models, financial instability
    JEL: E02 E12 P50
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Gillet Philippe (CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: In this wide-ranging interview, Gérard Hirigoyen, interviewed by Philippe Gillet, looks back on his career as a teacher-researcher. In particular, he details his research in financial theory, corporate finance and especially on family businesses. He also shares his experiences as director of IAE, president of the agrégation jury and president of a University.
    Abstract: Dans ce grand angle Gérard Hirigoyen, interrogé par Philippe Gillet revient sur sa carrière d'enseignant-chercheur. Il détaille en particulier ses recherches en théorie financière, finance d'entreprise et surtout sur les entreprises familiales. Il partage également ses expériences de directeur d'IAE, de président du jury d'agrégation et de président d'université.
    Keywords: Finance,family businesses,value creation,financial theory,entreprises familiales,création de valeur,théorie financière
    Date: 2020–11–04
  7. By: Aránzazu Guillán Montero; David Le Blanc
    Abstract: We provide a history of past periods of rapid technological change starting from the Industrial Revolution continuing up to today. We find that it takes decades for technological breakthroughs to make a difference to the aggregate economy. The reason for this delay is that to realize the value of these breakthroughs requires complementary investments. Second, for good or for bad, government has played an important role in facilitating these transitions through both investments in physical infrastructure and legal reforms. We also emphasize that because technological breakthroughs are difficult to predict, the responses of governments are necessarily improvisational.
    Keywords: automation, technological anxiety, Industrial Revolution
    JEL: O33 N10
    Date: 2019–03

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