nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2018‒09‒24
eight papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Ethics and Economics: A Complex Systems Approach By John B. Davis
  2. Employment and the minimum wage: A pluralist approach By Bernhard Schuetz
  3. Growth, Exploitation and Class Inequalities By Giorgos Galanis; Roberto Veneziani; Naoki Yoshihara
  4. Education and 'Human Capitalists' in a Classical-Marxian Model of Growth and Distribution By Amitava Krishna Dutt; Roberto Veneziani
  5. Inequality Aversion, Populism, and the Backlash Against Globalization By Pástor, Luboš; Veronesi, Pietro
  6. Pluralism in economics: its critiques and their lessons By Claudius Graebner; Birte Strunk
  7. The Classical Treatment of Skilled Labor By Anwar Shaikh; Kyle Glenn
  8. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques

  1. By: John B. Davis (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: This chapter examines the nature of ethics and economics as a single subject of investigation, and uses a complex systems approach to characterize the nature of that subject. It then distinguishes mainstream economic and social economic visions of it, where the former assumes that market processes encompass social processes, and the latter assumes that market processes are embedded in social processes. For each vision, string and weak theses are compared. Both visions are first explained in terms of their respective views of the positive-normative distinction, then in terms of a central normative principle, and then in terms of their policy strategies. The chapter closes with comments on the future status of ethics and economics as a single subject of investigation.
    Keywords: ethics and economics, complex systems, mainstream economics, social economics, positive-normative distinction, efficiency, externalities, cost-benefit, capabilities, 'off limits,' 'taming the market'
    JEL: A12 A13 B41
    Date: 2018–05
  2. By: Bernhard Schuetz (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: When discussing the employment effects of minimum wages, mainstream economic discussion as well as mainstream economics textbooks mainly center around two variations of the neoclassical model: the model of the competitive and the monopsonistic labor market. The current paper offers a different perspective: it provides an assessment of the broader variety of existing theories and develops a new theoretical account which integrates these different views. For the comparison as well as for the later integration of these theories, it draws on an evolutionary economic concept: a micro-meso-macro framework. Here it shows that due to its simple structure and conceptual flexibility, the micro-meso-macro framework is very well suited to the task of integrating these different theoretical visions as well as assessing their evolutionary features. It follows from the analysis that from a theoretical viewpoint, the effect of the minimum wage on employment is indeed ambiguous, which is perfectly in line with the existing empirical evidence.
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Giorgos Galanis (University of Warwick, and Goldsmiths, University of London); Roberto Veneziani (Queen Mary University of London); Naoki Yoshihara (University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hitotsubashi University, and Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper provides a formal dynamic analysis of exploitation, class inequalities and profits. A stylised model of a capitalist economy with two classes - workers and capitalists - is considered which extends Roemer [21, 22]. First, a dynamic generalisation of a key Marxian insight is provided by proving that the profitability of capitalist production is synonimous with the existence of exploitation. Second, it is shown that, in a competitive environment, asset inequalities are fundamental for the emergence of exploitation, but they are not sufficient for its persistence, both in equilibria with accumulation and growth, and, perhaps more surprisingly, in stationary intertemporal equilibrium paths. Finally, it is shown that labour-saving technical progress may yield persistent exploitation by ensuring the persistent abundance of labour.
    Keywords: Dynamics, Accumulation, Exploitation, Classes
    JEL: E11 D51 D63 C61 B24
    Date: 2017–01–01
  4. By: Amitava Krishna Dutt (University of Notre Dame, and FLACSO); Roberto Veneziani (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: A simple classical-Marxian model of growth and distribution is developed in which education transforms low-skilled workers into high-skilled ones and in which high-skilled workers save and hold capital, therefore receiving both high-skilled wages and profit income. We analyze the implications for class divisions, growth and distribution, of the transformation of the modern capitalist economy from one in which the main class division is between capitalists who own capital and workers who only receive wage income into one in which education and human capital play a major role. We show than an expansion in education can have a positive effect on growth but by altering the distribution of income rather than by fostering technological change, and that it yields some changes in income distribution and the class structure of the capitalist economy, but need not alter its fundamental features.
    Keywords: Education, Human capital, Workers' savings, Growth, Distribution
    JEL: E2 E11 O41 I24
    Date: 2017–01–01
  5. By: Pástor, Luboš; Veronesi, Pietro
    Abstract: Motivated by the recent rise of populism in western democracies, we develop a model in which a populist backlash emerges endogenously in a growing economy. In the model, voters dislike inequality, especially the high consumption of the ``elites." Economic growth exacerbates inequality due to heterogeneity in risk aversion. In response to rising inequality, rich-country voters optimally elect a populist promising to end globalization. Redistribution is of limited value in containing the backlash against globalization. Countries with more inequality, higher financial development, and current account deficits are more vulnerable to populism, both in the model and in the data. Evidence on who voted for Brexit and Trump in 2016 also largely supports the model.
    Keywords: Brexit; Globalization; inequality; populism; risk aversion; Trump
    JEL: D72 G11 G12 G18 P16
    Date: 2018–08
  6. By: Claudius Graebner; Birte Strunk
    Abstract: This paper provides a taxonomy and evaluation of five common arguments against pluralism in economics: (1) the claim that economics is already pluralist, (2) the argument that if there was the need for greater plurality, it would emerge on its own, (3) assertion that pluralism means "anything goes" and is thus unscientific, (4) the claim that economics must have a single core paradigm to justify its role as a major science, and (5) the contention that pluralism is an ideological movement from the left, and should not be granted scientific attention. We provide counter-arguments to all these arguments. Based on the assesment of these critques we identify two main challenges to be faced by advocates of pluralism: first, the need to derive adequate quality criteria for a pluralist economics, and second, the necessity to propose strategies that ensure the communication across different research paradigms. The paper concludes with some suggestions to meet these challenges.
    Date: 2018–08
  7. By: Anwar Shaikh (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research); Kyle Glenn (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: The ability to accommodate heterogenous types of labor has presented a serious issue for the labor theory of value. Ever since Bohm-Bawerk's criticizism of Marx's theory as circular, Marxist's have contributed considerable e orts to prove the labor theory of value holds with the inclusion of heterogenous labor. This paper analyzes some of the more notable approaches to the problem. This paper proceeds in the following manner: Section 1 brie y introduces the topic of skilled labor within the labor theory of value as well as Bohm-Bawerk's theoretical critique. Section 2 presents the basic framework and notation used in the paper. Section 3 explores Hilferding's solution to the problem as formalized by Rowthorn. The well known contribution to the literature by Bowles and Gintis is also addressed here. Section 4 examines the extension to heterogenous labor within the \New Interpretation" of Dumenil and Foley. Section 5 introduces a method formalized by Shaikh which this paper refers to as a "cost of skilling" approach. Finally, section 6 discusses key implications of the varying approaches and situates the cost of skilling amongst them.
    Date: 2018–09
  8. By: Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multi-dimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multi-dimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multi-dimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: D1 D13 D6 D63 I3 I32 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–08–31

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