nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2006‒06‒03
five papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Leeds Metropolitan University

  1. Materialism on the March: From Conspicuous Leisure to Conspicuous Consumption? By Paul Frijters; Andrew Leigh
  2. Regional Knowledge Accessibility and Regional Economic Growth By Karlsson, Carlie; Gråsjö, Urban; Andersson, Martin
  3. Financial Systems and Economic Growth: An Evaluation Framework for Policy By Iris Claus; Veronica Jacobsen; Brock Jera
  4. Institutions, Firms and Economic Growth By Jane Frances
  5. Economic Rights, Human Development Effort and Institutions By Mwangi S. Kimenyi

  1. By: Paul Frijters; Andrew Leigh
    Abstract: This paper inserts Veblen’s (1898) concepts of conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption into a very simple model. Individuals have the choice to either invest their time into working, leading to easily observable levels of consumption, or into conspicuous leisure, whose effect on utility depends on how observable leisure is. We let the visibility of leisure depend positively on the amount of time an individual and her neighbors have lived in the same area. Individuals optimize across conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption. If population turnover is high, individuals are made worse off, since the visibility of conspicuous leisure then decreases and the status race must be played out primarily via conspicuous consumption. Analyzing interstate mobility in the US, we find strong support for our hypothesis: a 1 percentage point rise in population turnover increases the average work week of non-migrants by 7 minutes. The negative externality of population turnover on the visibility of conspicuous leisure is an argument for higher transport taxes.
    Keywords: conspicuous leisure, conspicuous consumption, mobility, labour supply, status races
    JEL: J22 J61 D10 D60 B15
    Date: 2005–09
  2. By: Karlsson, Carlie (Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University); Gråsjö, Urban (Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University); Andersson, Martin (Department of Economics, Jönlöping International Business School, Jönköping University)
    Abstract: Knowledge is maintained as a core variable for growth in a large set of contemporary theories. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between knowledge accessibility and regional growth. The knowledge resource used in our model R&D conducted at universities and in companies. A precise definition of accessibility was introduced and calculations were based on actual travel time distances. Using data at the municipality level in Sweden, the hypothesis that knowledge accessibility has a positive effect on growth cannot be rejected. The knowledge accessibility in a given period has a statistically significant effect on the growth in value-added per employee in subsequent periods. The total accessibility of a municipality was divided into three types, (i) intra-municipal accessibility, (ii) intra-regional accessibility and (iii) extra-regional accessibility. The paper has shown that this division gives a clear indication of that there is spatial dependence in the sense that the knowledge resources in a given municipality tend to have a positive effect on the growth of another municipality, conditional on that the municipalities belongs to the same functional region. Thus, the results of the analysis indicate that knowledge flows transcend municipal borders, but that they tend to be bounded within functional regions. The findings in the paper provide support for the theories that emphasize the role of knowledge for growth. However, the paper demonstrates that spatial proximity to knowledge resources is important to materialize the positive effect of such resources. Accessibility to knowledge in space is thus imperativ
    Keywords: knowledge; R&D; economic growth; accessibility; spatial; region; spillovers
    JEL: O30 O40 O52 R11
    Date: 2006–05–31
  3. By: Iris Claus; Veronica Jacobsen; Brock Jera (New Zealand Treasury)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to develop an analytical framework for discussing the link between financial systems and economic growth. Financial systems help overcome an information asymmetry between borrowers and lenders. If they do not function well, economic growth will be negatively affected. Three policy implications follow. First, the analysis underscores the importance of maintaining solid legal foundations because the financial system relies on these. Second, it demonstrates the necessity for reforming tax policy as it applies to investment, as this is demonstrated to significantly affect the operation of the financial system. Finally, given the importance of financial development for economic growth, a more in-depth review of New Zealand’s financial system in the context of financial regulation and supervision would be valuable.
    Keywords: Economic growth; financial development; financial systems; financial regulation; legal system; institutions; tax
    JEL: G10 G20 G38 H25 K20 K34 O16
    Date: 2004–09
  4. By: Jane Frances (New Zealand Treasury)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on institutions and explores the ways in which institutions can influence economic growth, with a particular focus on how institutions affect the use that firms make of human capital to improve their productivity. It discusses the influence of underlying institutions, such as law and order and secure property rights, on the general environment within which the economic activities of production and exchange takes place. It also explores the influence of activity-specific institutions, such as labour market institutions, on firm decisions about resource use and innovation and through these on economic activity and economic growth.
    Keywords: institutions; human capital; regulation; norms; firms; economic growth; New Zealand
    JEL: D00 D20 J24 K00 L51 O40 P00 Z13
    Date: 2004–09
  5. By: Mwangi S. Kimenyi (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the link between economic rights and institutions. Simple analysis of data is used to demonstrate countries' human development effort in advancing economics rights of the citizens. A country's human development effort is evaluated on the basis of the well-being of the poorest members of the society. An analysis of data reveals that there is a wide variation in countries' pro-poor stance. While it is accepted that positive rights are pro-poor, this paper argues that so too are negative economic rights and in fact the two are complements rather than substitutes. Classifying countries into human development income deficit and human development effort deficit, it is demonstrated that a large number of countries could achieve higher welfare levels for the poor if they improved on bother positive and negative economic rights. The paper attempts to explain variations in the observed commitment to economic rights by focusing on pro-poor institutions. The basic thesis advanced in the paper is that pro-poor policies are more likely to be implemented and sustained in those institutions where power is sufficiently diffused such that even the poor have leverage over policy outcomes. The paper focuses on how institutions impact on power diffusion and therefore the adoption of pro-poor growth and policies. The failure of countries to adopt pro-poor growth and policies is attributed to institutional failures manifested in concentration of power. The policy recommendations emanating from the analysis focus on institutional reforms to enhance power diffusion. These policies include enlarging the political space through democratization, strengthening institutions and capacity to fight corruption and improve transparency, and bringing the government closer to the people through appropriate design and implementation of decentralization schemes. Some recent examples of improvements in economic rights following power diffusion are provided.
    JEL: O15 I30 I31
    Date: 2005–10

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