nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2016‒01‒18
eleven papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. "How Long Before Growth and Employment Are Restored in Greece?" By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Michalis Nikiforos; Gennaro Zezza
  2. "The US Census Asks About Race and Ethnicity: 1980-2020" By Joel Perlmann; Patrick Nevada
  3. Representation without taxation, taxation without consent; the legacy of Spanish colonialism in America By Irigoin, Alejandra
  4. "Ethno-Racial Origin in US Federal Statistics: 1980-2020" By Joel Perlmann; Patrick Nevada
  5. Can subsidized housing help address homelessness in New England? By Clifford, Robert; Jackson, Osborne
  6. Inequality, Interactions, and Human Development By Suman Seth
  7. A Tale of Two Diversities By Chloé Mulier; Pierre Courtois; Charles Figuières
  8. Os economistas marxistas portugueses e a teoria das crises económicas By Ana Bela Nunes; Carlos Bastien
  9. Financial globalisation dynamic thresholds for financial development: evidence from Africa By Asongu, Simplice; De Moor, Lieven
  10. Growth and Institutions in African Development by Augustin K. Fosu By Asongu, Simplice
  11. Teaching Economics and Providing Visual "Big Pictures" By Seyyed Ali Zeytoon Nejad Moosavian

  1. By: Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Michalis Nikiforos; Gennaro Zezza
    Abstract: The Greek economy has not succeeded in restoring growth, nor has it managed to restore a climate of reduced uncertainty, which is crucial for stabilizing the business climate and promoting investment. On the contrary, the new round of austerity measures that has been agreed upon implies another year of recession in 2016. After reviewing some recent indicators for the Greek economy, we project the trajectory of key macroeconomic indicators over the next three years. Our model shows that a slow recovery can be expected beginning in 2017, at a pace that is well below what is needed to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment. We then analyze the impact of a public investment program financed by European institutions, of a size that is feasible given the current political and economic conditions, and find that, while such a plan would help stimulate the economy, it would not be sufficient to speed up the recovery. Finally, we revise our earlier proposal for a fiscal stimulus financed through the emission of a complementary currency targeted to job creation. Our model shows that such a plan, calibrated in a way that avoids inflationary pressures, would be more effective--without disrupting the targets the government has agreed upon in terms of its primary surplus, and without reversing the improvement in the current account.
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Joel Perlmann; Patrick Nevada
    Abstract: This policy note examines the formulation and reformulation of questions deployed by the US Census Bureau to gather information on racial and ethnic origin in recent decades. The likely outcome for the 2020 Census is that two older questions on race and Hispanic origin will be combined into a single question on ethno-racial origin. The authors welcome these changes but suggest that this may also be an opportune time to drop the "race or origin" label from this new, unified question. They also argue for modest and readily implemented modifications to capture valuable information on parental birthplaces in the American Community Survey. This information would support our ability to measure the social and economic well-being of the population and thus better understand the trajectory of demographic groups over time. This policy note is accompanied by Working Paper No. 857, "Ethno-Racial Origin in US Federal Statistics: 1980-2020," in which the authors explore these issues in greater detail.
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Irigoin, Alejandra
    Abstract: The article examines Spain’s colonial legacy in the long run development of Spanish America. It surveys the fiscal and constitutional outcomes of independence and assesses the relative fiscal and trade burden imposed by colonialism. Constitutional asymmetries between revenue collecting and spending agents constrained de facto governments’ power to tax. Inherent disparities embedded in colonial fiscal system worsened with vaguely defined representation for subjects and territories and troubled their aggregation into a modern representative polity. Governments with limited fiscal capacity failed to deliver public goods and to equitably distribute costs and benefits of independence. Growing indirect taxes, debt and money creation allowed them to transfer the fiscal burden to other constituents or future generations. Taxpayers realised the asymmetry between private contributions and public goods and hence favoured a low but regressive taxation. Comparisons with trajectories in the metropolis and the US are offered to qualify the legacy. Forthcoming in: Revista de Historia Económica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History
    Keywords: colonial legacies; taxation and representation; debt and monetary policy; institutions and long run development; Spain, Spanish America, USA
    JEL: E63 N10 N20 N40
    Date: 2015–12–15
  4. By: Joel Perlmann; Patrick Nevada
    Abstract: This paper describes the transformations in federal classification of ethno-racial information since the civil rights era of the 1960s. These changes were introduced in the censuses of 1980 and 2000, and we anticipate another major change in the 2020 Census. The most important changes in 1980 introduced the Hispanic Origin and Ancestry questions and the elimination of two questions on parental birthplace. The latter decision has made it impossible to adequately track the progress of the new second generation. The change in 2000 allowed respondents to declare origins in more than one race; the anticipated change for 2020 will create a single question covering race and Hispanic Origin--or, stated more broadly, race and ethnic origin. We show that the 1980 changes created problems in race and ethnic classification that required a "fix," and the transformation anticipated for 2020 will be that fix. Creating the unified question in the manner the Census Bureau is testing will accomplish by far the hardest part of what we believe should be done. However, we suggest two additional changes of a much simpler nature: restoring the parental birthplace questions (to the annual American Community Survey) and possibly eliminating the Ancestry question (the information it gathered will apparently now be obtained in the single race-and-ethnicity question). The paper is historical in focus. It surveys how the classification system prior to 1980 dealt with the tension between ethno-racial continuity and assimilation (differently for each major type of group); how the political pressures producing the changes of 1980 and 2000 changed the treatment of that tension; and, finally, the building pressure for a further change.
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Clifford, Robert (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Jackson, Osborne (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: This report examines the scope of homelessness in New England and the potential role of subsidized housing in alleviating homelessness in the region. The report finds that the number of sheltered homeless families in Massachusetts and Vermont is on the rise, driving an increase in measured homelessness in New England. The authors consider three theories for the cause of the increase: the interaction of national market forces and area-specific shelter policies, area-specific market forces, and challenges in accurately measuring the homeless population. The research also explores the extent to which increased affordable housing can decrease neighborhood homelessness in moderately poor areas, focusing on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) as a source of subsidized housing. The authors find that local increases in subsidized housing are likely to reduce neighborhood homelessness, especially in New England.
    Date: 2015–12–01
  6. By: Suman Seth
    Abstract: The Human Development Index, which is multidimensional by construction, is criticized on the ground that it is insensitive to any form of inequality across persons. Inequality in the multidimensional context can take two distinct forms. The first pertains to the spread of the distribution across persons, analogous to unidimensional inequality. The second, in contrast, deals with interactions among dimensions. The second form of inequality is important as dimensional interactions may alter individual-level evaluations as well as overall inequality. Recently proposed indices have incorporated only the first form of inequality, but not the second. It is an important omission. This paper proposes a two-parameter class of human development indices that reflects sensitivity to both forms of inequality. It is revealed how consideration of interactions among dimensions affects policy recommendations. Finally, the indices are applied to the year 2000 Mexican census data to contrast the present approach with the existing approaches. Creation-Date: 2009-08
  7. By: Chloé Mulier (LAMETA); Pierre Courtois (INRA-LAMETA); Charles Figuières (INRA-LAMETA)
    Abstract: Efficient management of biodiversity aims at allocating conservation efforts in order to maximize diversity. Defining a diversity criterion is however far to be trivial; there is not one but several indices that can be used as biodiversity measures. This paper elicits and compares two in situ criterions for biodiversity conservation, based on two biodiversity indices stemming from different disciplines: Weitzman's index in economics and Rao's index in ecology. Both indices combines differently pieces of information about (1) species survival probability, and (2) measures of dissimilarity between species. In order to truly have in situ protection criterions, we add another layer of information about (3) the ecological interactions between species. Considering a simple three species ecosystem, we show that choosing one criterion or the other has policy implications, for they sometimes deliver diverging protection recommendations. We unravel the role played by the elements (1), (2) and (3) in the ranking, which allows us to highlight some specificities of the in situ criterions. For example, other things equal, Weitzman's in situ ranking tends to favor "robust" species, while Rao's in situ ranking gives priority to "fragile" species.
    Keywords: conservation priorities, ecological interactions, biodiversity indices
    JEL: C6 Q5
    Date: 2015–12
  8. By: Ana Bela Nunes; Carlos Bastien
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to acknowledge the reflections of the Portuguese Marxist economists on the theory of economic crises. Although the references to Marx date back to the 1850s, both theoretical approaches and applied studies under this perspective were relatively late and superficial in Portugal. Relative backwardness of the Portuguese economy and other specificities to the Portuguese society were detrimental to the intellectual interest in the theory of economic crises. Anyway the approach to this subject by Marxist economists reveals the existence of three type of theories: the theory of the crisis in the business cycle, addressed from three different perspectives (the underconsumption theories, the disproportionality theories and the fall in the rate of profit theories); the theory of the crisis in the long cycle and the theory of the systemic crisis. Only after the Second World War II did the first relevant studies emerged and only after the 1970s did the academy appear sensitive to the subject. Meanwhile, the context of the late economic and financial crisis, that set in after 2007- 2008, resumed the topicality of the theory of economic crises, also from this heterodox perspective.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought; Marxism; Crisis. JEL classification: B2, B5
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Asongu, Simplice; De Moor, Lieven
    Abstract: Purpose - We investigate if financial development benefits from financial globalisation are questionable until certain thresholds of financial globalisation are attained. Design/methodology/approach - Financial globalisation is proxied with Net Foreign Direct Investment Inflows as a percentage of GDP (FDIgdp) whereas financial development entails dynamics of depth, efficiency, activity and size. The empirical evidence is based on; (i) data from 53 African countries for the period 2000-2011 and (ii) interactive Generalised Method of Moments with forward orthogonal deviations. Findings- The following findings are established. First, thresholds of FDIgdp from which financial globalisation increases money supply are 20.50 and 16.00 for below- and above-median sub-samples of financial globalisation respectively. Second, FDIgdp thresholds from which financial globalisation increases banking system activity and financial system activity for below-median sub-samples of financial globalisation are 13.81 and 13.29 respectively. Third, for financial size, there is evidence of: (i) a positive threshold of 21.30 in the full sample and (ii) consistent increasing returns without a modifying threshold for the above-median sub-sample. Practical implications- Evidence of a positive threshold implies that while the initial effect of financial globalisation on financial development is negative, there is a positive marginal effect, such that at a certain level of FDIgdp (or threshold), the overall effect of financial globalisation on the given financial development dynamic becomes positive. It follows that financial globalisation is both negative and positive for financial development, with a U-shaped relationship. Therefore the appropriate role of policy should neither be to stem the tide of capital flows nor to encourage them, but to understand what levels or thresholds of capital flows are required to benefit domestic financial development. Originality/value- We have extended the debate on initial or threshold conditions for the financial development benefits from financial globalisation by providing policy makers with levels of FDI (as percentage of GDP) that are required to start materialising financial development benefits from financial globalisation.
    Keywords: Banking; International investment; Financial integration; Development
    JEL: F02 F21 F30 F40 O10
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Asongu, Simplice
    Abstract: Augustin K. Fosu, a leading and respected expert in the field of African development has edited an interesting bulk of studies in a book entitled: Growth and Institutions in African Development. The book is a timely contribution to knowledge that offers very interesting insights into views and agenda within rigorous theoretical and empirical frameworks on policy issues surrounding the relevance of growth and institutions in African development. The book’s coverage comprises of 15 chapters presented into two main subject areas, namely: growth and institutions. Each of the two subjects is further divided into two parts. On the one hand, the growth area covers: (i) growth determinants (industrial embeddedness, innovation, exchange-rate regimes and environmental quality); and (ii) sectors, dynamics and distribution of growth. On the other hand, the institutions area entails: (i) institutional development; and (ii) institutions and development outcomes. An interesting common denominator among authors of various chapters in the two subject areas is that the empirical results are succinctly summarised to enhance accessibility and readability by interested readers who might have required technical reading skills to understand the rigorous empirical analyses and resulting policy insights. Hence, it is an easy-to-read and richly policy-relevant book for both specialists and non-specialists. Moreover, the underlying ease of readership is facilitated with an introductory chapter by Augustin K. Fosu which lays out the general framework with hard but interesting stylized facts, before summarising the key motivations and contributions of various chapters with very accessible and non-technical language. This is a critical review of the book.
    Keywords: Growth; Institutions; Development; Africa
    JEL: O1 O17 O5
    Date: 2015–09
  11. By: Seyyed Ali Zeytoon Nejad Moosavian
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to investigate the importance of providing visual "big pictures" in the teaching of economics. The plurality and variety of concepts, variables, diagrams, and models involved in economics can be a source of confusion for many economics students. However, reviewing the existing literature on the importance of providing visual "big pictures" in the process of learning suggests that furnishing students with a visual "big picture" that illustrates the ways through which those numerous, diverse concepts are connected to each other could be an effective solution to clear up the mentioned mental chaos. As a practical example, this paper introduces a "big picture" that can be used as a good resource in intermediate macroeconomics classes. This figure presents twenty-seven commonly-discussed macroeconomic diagrams in the intermediate macroeconomics course, and gives little detail on some of these diagrams, aiming at helping students to get the whole picture at once on a single piece of paper. This macroeconomics big picture mostly focuses on the routes through which common diagrams in macroeconomics are connected to each other, and finally introduces the general macroeconomic equilibrium that is graphically derived through those connections.
    Date: 2016–01

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