nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒23
six papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. Economic Equality and Victory in War: An Empirical Investigation By James K. Galbraith; Corwin Priest; George Purcell
  2. Pay Inequality in Cuba: the Special Period and After By James K. Galbraith; Laura Spagnolo; Daniel Munevar
  3. Axel Leijonhufvud and the Quest for Micro-foundations -- Some Reflections By David Laidler
  4. From "best practice" to "best fit": A Framework for Analyzing Pluralistic Agricultural Advisory Services Worldwide By Birner, Regina; Davis, Kristin; Pender, John; Nkonya, Ephraim; Anandajayasekeram, Ponniah; Ekboir, Javier; Mbabu, Adiel; Spielman, David; Horna, Daniela; Benin, Samuel; Cohen, Marc J.
  5. What We Research in Social Sciences: Is Homo Oeconomicus Dead? By Kaire Põder
  6. Riding the Elephants: The Evolution of World Economic Growth and Income Distribution at the End of the Twentieth Century (1980-2000) By Albert Berry; John Serieux

  1. By: James K. Galbraith (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin); Corwin Priest (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin); George Purcell (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: This paper tests a simple hypothesis: that given the occurrence of war between two countries, the country that is more egalitarian at the moment of military decision is likely to emerge the victor. First, we examine cases where comparative economic inequality can be measured directly, using the nearly comprehensive global data-sets of the University of Texas Inequality Project for the years 1963-1999. Second, we examine cases where reasonable inferences about comparative economic inequality may be drawn by analogy to UTIP measurements or from other political and economic evidence, including both bi-national wars and larger wars where there existed clear pair-wise fronts. Third, we discuss selected cases where inferences may be drawn from literary or historical sources. We find, all in all, that the evidence for an egalitarian victory proposition is remarkably strong.
    Date: 2006
  2. By: James K. Galbraith (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin); Laura Spagnolo (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin); Daniel Munevar (The University of Texas Inequality Project, The University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of pay inequality in Cuba from the early 1990s through 2004, during what was known as the “Special Period in Times of Peace” and after. We measure pay inequality across sectors and regions, using the between-groups component of Theil’s T statistic, and we map the changing components of that statistic in order to provide a compact summary of structural change in Cuba. This method helps us to observe the transition of the Cuban economy from one based fundamentally on sugar to one based largely on services, especially tourism, but also others with greater growth potential, such as information technology, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Regionally, we observe that a main dividing line between winners and losers is the presence of tourist attractions: the recent increase of regional pay inequality is associated primarily with changing incomes in the city of Havana and the province of Matanzas.
    Date: 2006
  3. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Axel Leijonhufvud's On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes (1968) was a seminal contribution to the literature on what came to be known as the micro-foundations of macro-economics, but its Marshallian approach, which involved analysing the disequilibrium dynamics of markets in which trade at non-market clearing prices would occur, was not that eventually adopted in the early 1970s. Instead, a Walrasian development of monetarism, namely new- classical macroeconomics, which combined the postulate of continuously clearing markets with the rational expectations hypothesis became dominant. Even so, Leijonhufvud's subsequent work on the costs of inflation had an important influence in establishing this phenomenon's policy importance, and, along with his earlier analysis of employment fluctuations, provides still important insights about why the relevance of now-orthodox economics might be limited to helping us understand the economy's performance within a corridor whose boundaries lie close to its full-employment-price-stability equilibrium.
    Keywords: macroeconomics; micro-foundations; Keynesian economics; monetarism; new-classical economics; general equilibrium; disequilibrium; auctioneer; false prices; money; unemployment; inflation
    JEL: B22 B31 D50 D80 D90 E12 E31
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Birner, Regina; Davis, Kristin; Pender, John; Nkonya, Ephraim; Anandajayasekeram, Ponniah; Ekboir, Javier; Mbabu, Adiel; Spielman, David; Horna, Daniela; Benin, Samuel; Cohen, Marc J.
    Abstract: "The paper develops a framework for the design and analysis of pluralistic agricultural advisory services and reviews research methods from different disciplines that can be used when applying the framework. Agricultural advisory services are defined in the paper as the entire set of organizations that support and facilitate people engaged in agricultural production to solve problems and to obtain information, skills and technologies to improve their livelihoods and well-being... To classify pluralistic agricultural advisory services, the paper distinguishes between organizations from the public, the private and the third sector that can be involved in (a) providing and (b) financing of agricultural advisory services. The framework for analyzing pluralistic agricultural advisory services presented in the paper addresses the need for analytical approaches that help policy-makers to identify those reform options that best fit country-specific frame conditions. Thus, the paper supports a shift from a “one-size-fits-all” to a “best fit” approach in the reform of public services... Based on a review of the literature, the paper presents a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches derived from different disciplines that can be applied when using the framework in empirical research projects. The disciplines include agricultural and institutional economics, communication theory, adult education, and public administration and management. The paper intends to inform researchers as well as practitioners, policy-makers and development partners who are interested in supporting evidence-based reform of agricultural advisory services. from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Agricultural extension work, Pro-poor growth, Capacity strengthening,
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Kaire Põder (Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: Transition is not just transition of formal institutions, convergence of price levels and living standards. The closure or the gap in formal institutions is probably less time demanding than the closure of ideological or mental gap, created in many fields in academy or social life. Social sciences have been erased during half a century and post-soviets still struggle for academic prestige of these areas. We have seen many misunderstandings concerning the interrelations, hierarchy and even object of study in social sciences. Superiority of economics is sometimes created by market signals, or superiority of some other discipline by “political signals”. Our aim is to show that in the body of social sciences economics is a normal science which can be defined by method, not by subject matter. We will introduce the alternative methodological approaches to rational choice and indicate their advantages and disadvantages. Mainly two questions are answered. First, is there some alternative methodology which has been more successful in producing efficient predictions and explanations of social affairs? Second, how methodological criticism has changed rational choice perspectives and can these changes be justified? Finally, changes in methodology of economics are discussed showing that there is no clear answer – how to parcel our social sciences?
    Keywords: rational choice, methodology in economics, structuralism
    JEL: B4 B5
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Albert Berry; John Serieux
    Abstract: This paper presents estimates of world economic growth for 1970-2000, and changes in the intercountry and interpersonal distribution of world income between 1980 and 2000. These estimates suggest that, while the rate of growth of the world economy slowed in the 1980-2000 period, and average within-country inequality worsened, the distribution of world income among individuals, nevertheless, improved a little. However, that result was wholly due to the exceptional economic performances of China and India. Outside these two countries, the slowdown in world growth was even more dramatic, the distribution of world income unequivocally worsened, and poverty rates remained largely unchanged.
    Keywords: world inequality trends; international income distribution, convergence, world poverty trends
    JEL: F0 I3 O4
    Date: 2006–09

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