Abstracts for Papers accepted for presentation at the 2023 conference of ICAPE,
the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics
January 5 and 13, 2023
Rafed Amin Al-Huq, Visiting Lecturer, Tulane University
Spatial effect models and sudden cascade effects in population behavior
It has been observed many times that a sudden shift appears in the preferences of a population. This could be a political preference, or acquiescence to corruption, or even a change in popularly held economic ideas. All of a sudden a large fraction of the population shifts in their particular belief system and its associated behavior. This change in behavior appears unexpected given that the underlying preference parameters of the population usually shift slowly. Using models of spatial effect, especially the Granovetter threshold model, we show that this cascade behavior is actually to be expected and that slow shifts are unlikely to happen. This paper explores how people affecting each other in their local network can have long range spatial effects that lead to the sudden changes in the overall population’s behavior.
Fenet Jima Bedaso, PhD Candidiate, Trier University & IAAEU
Occupational Segregation and Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from Ethiopia
Closing the gender inequality in earnings is crucial to achieving economic growth and women empowerment goals. In this regard, developing countries have improved women’s educational attainment in the past few decades. Despite the rising female education level, the gender pay gap is persistent: female workers earn, on average lower than male workers. Thus, understanding the factors behind the gender pay gap is vital from equality and economic perspectives. In this paper, I investigate the role of occupational segregation on the gender pay gap in Ethiopia. Empirical evidence suggests that occupational segregation is crucial in explaining the wage gap between men and women. However, the empirical evidence on gender inequality in the labor market, in general, and the implications of occupational segregation on the gender pay gap is limited in Africa. Using the 2013 Labor Force Survey with a total sample size of 8 219 female and 13,931 male employees, I test the crowding hypothesis and glass ceiling effects. The empirical estimation applies several strategies such as OLS, traditional decomposition, quantile regression, and the Heckamm selection method. The result suggests that women earn lower than men throughout the wage distribution, other things being constant. This is due to discrimination against women in the hiring stage or other unobserved characteristics. Moreover, I find that women’s lower earnings are partially explained due to their attachment to lower-paying occupations. Also, I show evidence of glass ceiling effects in Ethiopia; the gender pay gap is higher at the upper part of the wage distribution than at the bottom, and the negative correlation of occupational segregation increases as we move to the upper part of the pay distribution. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence of female occupational segregation and the gender wage gap in Ethiopia. The result suggests that policies should prioritize tackling discrimination against women in hiring. At the same time, policies promoting women in high-paying jobs may mitigate Ethiopia’s glass ceiling effects.
Pradeep Kumar Choudhury, Assistant Professor of Economics, and Deepak Kumar, Graduate Student, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Do parental resources reduce gender gap in math for primary school-going children? Evidence from India
While a large body of evidence suggests that gender inequality in access to primary education has reduced significantly in India, there has been relatively little research on gender gap in learning outcomes, particularly math scores. Furthermore, there is dearth of studies which examine the role of gender inequality in household investment in education on gender gap in math skills in India. Given the socioeconomic and cultural contexts of gender inequality in school education in India, it is important to examine how parental resources arbitrate in explaining gender gap in math skills. Using a nationally representative household dataset, this study has examined gender differences in math scores by parents’ education, household assets, and family investment in their education. Using a nationally representative household dataset (India Human Development Survey data), this study examines the role of parental resources in explaining gender gap in math scores for primary school-going children in India. This survey covers 2,04,569 individuals and 42,152 households covering 1,420 villages and 1,042 urban neighbourhoods across all the states and union territories in India. In this survey, there is a separate section on the education status of children aged 8-11 years (accessing primary school grades) that provides information on their math skills. Overall, we find evidence that male children have significantly higher math scores than their female counterparts. The availability of parental resources is found to be an important factor in explaining gender gap in math performance. We find that male advantage in math skills disappears at higher levels of parental resources. For instance, gender gap in math is higher among poor households than in their rich counterparts. In fact, female children have significantly higher math scores than males at a higher level of household assets. Also, we find a low gender gap in math scores among highly educated parents vis-à-vis less-educated parents. Our results show that gender gap in math scores declines with the increase in family investment in education. These findings support the established argument that although parents send their girls to schools, they do not invest on them at par with their sons, especially in rural India. Our findings provide a new understanding of gender gap in math scores in India. It has important policy implications for minimizing gender gap in academic achievement to make school education more gender-inclusive.
Pradeep Kumar Choudhury, Assistant Professor of Economics, and Amit Kumar, Graduate Student, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Wage Employment or Self-Employment? A Gender Analysis of Graduates’ Choice for Jobs in India
One of the most predominant contemporary public policy debates in India is to boost up self-employment opportunities among the youth, specifically for women-folk, and this is linked to the ‘demographic dividend, the country is currently passing through. It is argued that entrepreneurial skills and attributes achieved through higher education play a critical role in driving up self-employment (vis-à-vis wage and salaried jobs) opportunities in India. While we find a few recent works on examining the role of higher education and training on job preference, studies in understanding the issue through a gender lens are sparse. Given the patriarchal set-up of the Indian society and also wide gender inequality in subject choice (significantly a smaller number of women enrol in STEM courses) in higher education, it is critical to look at the gender inequality in graduates’ choice for jobs. Using a nationally representative household survey data, this paper analyses the gender differences in the employment preferences (wage employment vis-à-vis self-employment) among university graduates in India. Specifically, we analyse how the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the students matter in explaining such variations. We find that female graduates have significantly higher chances of getting employment in wage/salaried jobs (over self-employment) as compared to males – with stark differences by household’s economic status and region. Also, females with postgraduate degrees and with technical qualifications are more likely to be employed in salaried occupations. We provide evidence that young graduates (particularly male youth) are more likely to go for self-employment than their older counterparts. The findings of the study are instrumental in understanding the changing contours of the labour market for higher education graduates in India through a gender lens.
Asimina Christoforou, Assistant professor, Panteion University, and Fikret Adaman, Professor Department of Economics, Boğaziçi University
Citizen engagement in economic policies: an appraisal of civil society institutions in governance structures of the European Union
The civil society generally includes non-governmental, not-for-profit self-governing organisations, voluntary associations, and informal groupings and networks, which express and shape collective interests, values, and goals. Its importance lies in its potential to function as a source of economic and social transformation by gathering diverse worldviews, engaging in democratic dialogue, and collectively determining the principles and practices of social and environmental protection. Despite the critical role these institutions play in the economy and public policy, they are understudied in economics. In our paper, we focus on the role of civil society institutions in governance structures of the European Union (EU). Most institutional, neo-Gramscian, and Polanyian approaches of civil society in the EU point to the obstacles posed by the predominance of neoliberal policies, which restrict civil society to a rather passive and advisory role in economic and policy deliberations and decisions at the supranational level. We conduct an appraisal of civil society institutions in EU governance structures not only to unfold the obstacles, but also to explore their potential in ensuring citizens’ active participation in economic and policy decisions and outcomes. We focus on several institutions in which the imperative for cooperation and participation of civil society has been acknowledged in EU policy reports, albeit somewhat partially: the EU budget, including the economic recovery package NextGeneration EU; the community-led local development models in common regional and agricultural policy; the Economic and Monetary Union and the exclusive competence of supranational bodies in monetary policy; the social and solidarity economy within and across Member States; and the EU Green Deal. We conduct a politico-institutional analysis of these cases by applying the social planning framework proposed by Fikret Adaman and Pat Devine. The framework is based on certain principles, such as procedural rationality; economic and political democracy; values of ecological sustainability and social justice; the functioning of eco-social enterprises and development councils to collectively deliberate on economic investment and public policy; and the principle of subsidiarity in forming a multi-layered political process of deliberation and governance at the local, regional, national, and supranational levels. We assess the role of civil society within the aforementioned EU institutions in relation to these principles. The aim of this framework is to unravel and unleash civil society’s potential to re-embed the economy within a post-growth eco-socialist world, which is founded on self-governing societies and is committed to the flourishing of all living beings on the planet.”
Masimo Cingolani, Managerial Advisor, ASE, SIE, AFEP, STOREP, IPKN
Country risk premiums: market price or market failure?
The foreign exchange market is the world’s largest financial market, with a size that is of the order of 10 times that of global equity markets (Mancini, Ranaldo & Wrampelmeyer, 2013). With such a high volume of transactions, the price prevailing in this market should reflect closely the optimality conditions associated with perfect markets. However, the academic literature documented the lack of explanations for the level of exchange rates and their non-forecastability (Meese & Rogoff, 1983; Engel & West, 2005; Rogoff, 2009; Itskhoki & Mukhin, 2021). Taylor (2004a and 2004b) provided a detailed theoretical explanation of the indeterminacy of exchange rates. Destabilizing short-term capital movements provoke exchange rates movements that become exogenous factor of increased uncertainty in the local economy. The pervasive effects of increased uncertainty are exacerbated in fragility contexts (Crespo Cuaresma, Huber & Onorante, 2020) and represent an obstacle to increased investment and development. The paper argues that part of the higher level of risk and uncertainty that is both a cause and an effect of fragility, represents a market failure. Conceptually, market failure is defined as a situation where the conditions for maximum efficiency do not apply (Allais, 1978) due to “”too few markets, non-competitive behaviour, or nonexistence problems”” (Ledyard, 2008). Discussing uncertainty in terms of market failure complies with the preliminary requirement of some of the available public support for development actions (EC, 2021). Building on the concept of “”expectational market failure”” introduced by Guesnerie (2013) the paper characterizes the market failure in exchange rate markets for developing countries in terms of non-competitive market power on the side of suppliers of hard currency, in contexts where high risk, ambiguity, and uncertainty prevail. Given the oligopolistic concentration of liquidity supply in financial markets, and the natural monopoly character of first-tier currencies’ supply, the idea is to extend to financial markets well-known results routinely applied in the analysis of non-competitive markets for real goods and services. While recognizing some of the theoretical and practical difficulties linked to the concepts used, the text concludes that the levels of the exchange rates and the related risk premiums represent an element of market failure that genuinly justifies a public policy intervention in a development context. The objectives of international public cooperation policies such as the Sustainable Development Goals thus require using public funds to provide lending and other forms of revolving finance in local currency, particularly in fragility contexts.
Amy S Cramer, President, of Voices On The Economy and Economics Faculty at Pima Community College
Sparking solutions to extreme income inequality with VOTE
Participants become fluent in conservative, liberal, and radical economic approaches to income distribution through role play and other entertaining activities. This method is applied so that people from all walks of life use their voices on the economy as educated voters to inspire new solutions within a culture of respectful listening, passionate advocacy, and intelligent debate.
SATYAKI DASGUPTA, Graduate Student, Colorado State University
Analyzing mid-day meal schemes in India using social reproduction theory
Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) in India is a landmark scheme which addresses the issue of hunger and malnourishment among children in public schools. Children of parents of working class attend these public schools, which makes MDMS a crucial support to the working class. There is a dearth of any theoretical discussion of MDMS. The current contribution addresses this gap using social reproduction theory, and shows how MDMS affects the reproductive as well as the productive sphere. This theoretical analysis helps us understand the role of state in implicitly furthering capitalist agenda, and the effect that the recent slashing in budget allocated to this scheme and the pandemic has had on the economy. The study proposes that India is in a cusp of entering a crisis of social reproduction. The study analyzes this scheme using social reproduction theory, and understand how the scheme contributes to surplus value extraction by capital. Looking at MDMS through the lens of social reproduction helps us understand the contribution of this scheme in the broad economic system of the country. We can also analyze the role of state in setting up an environment conducive to the capitalist system in India. Further such an analysis helps us situate the impact of decrease in budget allocation for MDMS as well as the impact brought about by the pandemic on the students and their families. In the light of the decrease in budget allocated to MDMS and the closure of schools brought about by the pandemic induced lockdown, we talk about a crisis in social reproduction.
Owen Davis, PhD student, New School for Social Research
Model Uncertainty and Fundamental Uncertainty
In mainstream accounts of economic decision-making, agents must form models of their environments in order to develop expectations and make decisions. Yet these models are certain to be misspecified. Agents aware of their own inability to perfectly capture the structural relationships of their observed world will entertain model uncertainty. Under the plausible assumptions that the “true” model is not known to the decision-maker and the decision-maker knows this, uncertainty over propositions becomes numerically irreducible. This result holds true even within the axiomatic assumptions underlying conventional decision theory, a field that has only recently begun to grapple with the possibility and ramifications of model uncertainty. This paper surveys recent advances within decision theory, including the recent literature on unawareness, and connects the notion of model uncertainty to Post-Keynesian theories of fundamental uncertainty. Model uncertainty is shown to provide the most direct route from traditional economic rationality to the types of uncertainty associated with Knight and Keynes. The paper also shows that some long-standing Post-Keynesian critiques of mainstream decision theory—including those associated with Davidson and Shackle—might be amended once model uncertainty is explicitly recognized.
Ann Elizabeth Davis, Associate Professor of Economics (retired), Marist College
Dollar Doom or Weaponization
For decades, political analysts have predicted the decline of the dollar (Helleiner; Prasad; Cohen; Gourinchas). Alternatively, there is analysis of the “weaponization” of the dollar, such that excluding any country from US dollar credit at the global scale is a threat of serious punishment. The most recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, in 2/24/2022, represents a testing ground for these two approaches to global financial regimes. On the one hand, the timing of this invasions comes after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the COVID pandemic, as well as slowing growth and rising inequality. The Western industrial nations are already in carrying heavy debt burdens, and tarrying with regard to the threat of global climate change. This timing intensifies the immigration crisis in Europe, which was already impacted by the Civil War in Syria. The recent joint military exercises with Russia, China, and India, suggest that Russia has support in its claims for sovereignty over Ukraine based on the history of the Russian empire. Emerging market countries as well as the Middle East have not aligned themselves with the US/EU coalition, at this point. The associated inflation and uncertainty of the war has increased financial risk and contributed to stock market corrections. On the other hand, a military invasion with little excuse has validated the mistrust of Russia under Putin in Europe. The presumed provocation of NATO expansion did not mass troops on the border of Russia. NATO leadership did not threaten use of nuclear weapons, as Putin has, or used a Ukrainian nuclear power plant as sabotage. The carpet bombing of civilian cities has no precedence, along with suspicions of war crimes on the civilian population. This is a time of competing narratives, and alternative alliance building. Will this period in history be a time of regime change, including a “great decoupling” of 1) US and China (“Chimerica”); 2) a decoupling of energy and fossil fuels; 3) a decoupling of the US dollar and oil pricing on global markets (where China is already importing Russian oil and making payments in yuan). Will this period achieve global reform for support for emerging market countries with debt forgiveness and sharing of renewable technologies, and payments to improve their infrastructure? That is, will this be a time of greening of the global economy? This paper will assess the alternative narratives, along with the impact of the war, and the potential for global financial crisis or substantial reform.
Noa De la Vega, Ph.D. candidate, Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University
The Differential Effect of Childbirth on Men’s and Women’s Careers
This paper studies the impact of first childbirth on parents’ labour supply and life satisfaction as a function of their pre-birth earnings. My contribution is to examine how childbearing differentially affects men and women according to their relative role within the household before childbirth. Using data from Germany and a quasi-experimental approach based on event studies around first childbirth, I find that the negative impact of children on women’s labour-market outcomes is significant and persistent regardless of their relative potential earnings before childbirth. In contrast, men tend to increase their earnings and employment rates after childbirth but only in households where women were primary breadwinners pre-birth. I also find that in these households, after childbirth, men invest more time in childcare and less in leisure activities whereas women invest more time in housework relative to men breadwinners households. Correspondingly, both spouses report a decrease in their housework satisfaction while men become dissatisfied with work and leisure.
Mame Adiouma DIENG, LINC-LMDAN/UCAD, and Pierre Mendy, Professor LMDAN/UCAD
Transition of young people in the situation of NEETs between 2005-2011 and 2011-2015 in Sénégal
Estimated at nearly 46% of the population, young people without education, training and employment (PSE, 2014) constitute a demand for work and strong social pressure in Senegal. Yet public spending on education is increasing almost every year, as are other economic aggregates (such as GDP) but the situation is still evident. With regard to poverty, studies have shown the movement of individuals between different situations during poverty surveys (ESPSI and ESPSII). But the question still remains unanswered with regard to young Senegalese NEETs. The purpose of this work is to trace the different transactions related to the exclusion of young NEETs between these two surveys by constructing cohorts, then between 2011 and 2015. Subsequently, we use state change functions within the cohorts. However, the results showed that the probability of remaining EET (84%) in 2011 when one was in 2005 is higher than that of remaining NEET (70%) in 2011 when one was in 2005. the probability of leaving (30%) the NEET situation is higher than the probability of entering it (16%). Consequently, a young NEET in 2005 has 70 chances out of 100 of remaining in this situation against 30 chances of leaving it, while a young person who is not NEET in 2005 has a 16% chance of moving towards a situation of NEET against 84% of stay there. Between 2011 and 2015 the probability of continuing to be NEET is 90.2% compared to 9.8% of leaving NEET status. Another approach confirms these results again, this time with a 95% probability of keeping the NEET status against a 5% probability of leaving this status (between 2011 and 2015). Throughout the study, the results showed that there are disparities in the transition between age groups, as well as by gender and place of residence. These results can thus give rise to a pluralistic approach to the NEET phenomenon (rather than relying on a continuous increase in public spending, following a classic approach, which is slow to produce the expected effects) in order to better understand it.
Pauline Fu, Ph.D. candidate, Social and Political Thought, York University
On 1950s China and the Question of Capitalism
The Third Chapter uses the occasion afforded therein to draw out the robust interpretation of heteronomy outlined in the First Chapter of the Dissertation, entitled, Against Commensurability, grounded in an unrelenting commitment to the foundational concern for the abolition of social injustice and persistent conviction in our obligations of intellectualism in the unequivocally historical present. In the present historical moment, we are predisposed to interpreting 1950s China as a failed project. Historical studies of the inaugural decade of the People’s Republic of China have frequently framed the “co–operative transformation of agriculture” as prelude to the disastrous Great Leap Forward in 1958. Those accounts often presuppose, whether explicitly or implicitly, that if state extraction had not been excessive, then the rural collective as a social form would have been adequate for the historical negation of capitalism. Or, they leave unaddressed that fundamental question of adequacy. Purportedly progressive work across the fortressed disciplines on Modern China, as is shorthanded, has been seduced by the teleologies of the Chinese Communist Party in their acceptance, explicit or implicit, of a foundational claim of the Party that Liberation in 1949 hailed into existence a “”period of building socialism””. Elsewhen, did Moishe Postone lament the failure of conventional Marxism to critique abstract forms of compulsion observed in states of “”actually existing socialism”” of the twentieth century. Hence is a secondary concern that inhabits the Chapter herein to elaborate an immanent critique that resists recuperation by a, putatively, emancipatory Party–State. Methodologically, the Chapter is not on the historiography of China in the Collective period per se, but uses “”China”” as a heuristic device to advance an argument of the Dissertation that attends to concerns foundational to Critical Theory, Political Philosophy and Political Economy, Ethics and Epistemology, Feminism and Colonial Modernity, Subaltern Studies and Postcolonial Theory.
Nestor Garza, Assistant Professor, California State University Dominguez Hills, and Jeniffer Garza, Professor, Universidad Minuto de Dios, Bogota, Colombia
Radical Uncertainty and the Effect of Transport Infrastructure on Land Values
Most contributions in the academic literature identify a positive effect of transport infrastructure on land prices. However, the short-run dynamics has not been routinely analyzed. One of the reasons for this lack of research is because neoclassical urban land economics models underlie, in some cases implicitly, most of the available literature on the topic. In this theory, land values converge to their long-term trends besides short-term shocks. We build upon monetary circuit theory, and design a post-keynesian spatial microeconomics testing framework. In this tradition, short-term shocks have long-term effects on the spatial distribution of land values due to radical uncertainty. Our case study is Transmetro, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Barranquilla (Colombia). We use static and dynamic panel-estimation to test the short-run dynamics of spatial land price adjustments during 2000-2010, including the construction and delivery years 2006-2010. The case study offers a good opportunity for assessment because the construction of Transmetro featured prominent problems and delays. We find volatile short-run adjustments that run counter to neoclassical predictions, while resembling spatial land price adjustments exposed to radical uncertainty.
Zarrina H. Juraqulova, Associate Professor, Denison University and Mieke Meurs, Professor of Economics, American University
Women’s Reproductive Rights and Choices in Central Asian Republics
The fertility rate has been considerably high in most regions of Central Asia compared to other former Soviet republics despite a history of Central Asian women exercising their reproductive choices, including freely receiving abortion services. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the reproductive rights of Central Asian women have been adversely affected by revived social traditions, the privatization of health service providers, the cost and scarcity of public health resources, changing government fertility regulation, and the decline of public childcare services, increasing childcare responsibilities. In addition, CA governments have actively sought to direct women’s reproductive choices through the adoption and implementation of policies to control fertility, but these policies differ. The government of Tajikistan calls on families/couples to reduce fertility to mitigate (generational) poverty and improve livelihood. The government of Uzbekistan has taken a more severe direction to lower births. According to the Sexual Rights initiative in 2008, the country introduced “”compulsory sterilizations”” in 2002 to control women’s births. Compulsory application of intrauterine devices (IUD) and hysterectomy are commonly found among Uzbekistani women at the age of 25 and younger who have two children. In contrast, the government of Kazakhstan, where population aging has begun, has pursued a policy to increase fertility levels by encouraging women to bear more children (Rani, et al. 2006). While there is some research on women’s reproductive health in Central Asia, little attention has been paid to the issue of women’s reproductive choices and rights. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature by, first, analyzing governments’ actions and strategies to control births in five countries of post-Soviet Central Asia: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. We then focus on two countries with the most recent Demographic Health Surveys and contrasting policy, Tajikistan (2017) and Kyrgyzstan (2012), to examine women’s fertility preferences and decisions in the context of the country policies, drawing on the concept of “”sense of entitlement”” proposed by Petchesky and Judd (1998) to “”illuminate the subjective component of ‘rights’ – what women feel entitled to (p. 187).”” Finally, we use the DHS data to examine services to which women have access, evaluating the ways that reproductive preferences and outcomes vary with policy-related access to services, and other factors including social norms and household structure.
Andjela Kaur, Assistant Professor of Disability Studies, Penn State
The Political Economy of Disability Unemployment in the United States: Disabled Workers as The Reserved Army of Labor
Since the advent of institutionalization of persons with disabilities in the late 1800s, the American vocational rehabilitation system has participated in defining disability in the context of capitalist labor market. By constructing the problem of disability unemployment as a particular kind of unemployment phenomenon and the central focus of its professional expertise, the vocational rehabilitation system has helped the American public, the industry, and the policy-makers view disability as simultaneously a viable reason for unemployment and a profit-making rationale for employing those unemployed due to disability. Such interpretation of disability in the labor economics of the nation has characterized disabled workers as a flexible source of labor and a desirable on-demand labor commodity. Although the construction of the disability unemployment problem may periodically enhance chances for the employment of vocational rehabilitation professionals, in the long run it helps preserve the kind of labor market in which employers have a strong upper hand, and it contributes to the economy that cultivates and thrives through the threat of unemployment for the disabled and abled workers alike. Through a historical review of the relationship between the industry, the vocational rehabilitation system, and the disabled labor force, this paper examines the problem of disability unemployment as a “special” labor force category that enables the use of disabled people’s labor as the latent Reserved Army of Labor.
Adam Kerenyi, doctoral candidate, Institute of World Economics
The Rise of Central Bank Digital CurrenciesThe revolutionary rise of digital financial innovations has heralded a new era in the operation of the banking system and central banks, which has brought about the digital transformation of money. Central banks must respond to challenges profoundly affecting and transforming the financial system. Central banks have been exploring the introduction of central bank digital currency (CBDC), in order to promote stability and sustainable development, to preserve competitiveness and to bolster the effectiveness of their monetary policies. In addition to smooth operation, the preservation of sovereignty and the effectiveness of the monetary policy also need to be ensured. Along with its expected advantages, the paper also discusses the risks relating to CBDC. CBDC appears in the international financial system, generating competition among global currencies. The rivalry between the dollar, the euro and the yuan may alter positions in the global financial system. A rearrangement of international power relations is at stake.
Adam Kerényi, doctoral candidate. Institute of World Economics
Soft budget constraint concept’s relevance
János Kornai coined the term of soft budget constraint syndrome (SBCS) 50 years ago, while he was analyzing the two great economic systems. He noted that shortage was opposed to surplus, he borrowed the expression “budget constraint” from the terminology of microeconomics, the expression “syndrome” from medicine. The budget constraints could be “”harder”” with the capitalist or “”softer”” with the socialist system. Although the idea was sparked by the socialist experience, “soft budget constraint” does not derive from Soviet or Eastern European terminology, but from the vocabulary of mainstream economics. The major common feature of the many variants of the SBCS is as follows: the behavior of every organization concerned is affected by the expectation that it will be bailed out if it gets into serious financial trouble. The breadth of the definition covers both single bailouts of single troubles and regular bailouts in response to chronic troubles. There are many types of budget-constrained organizations in whose behavior the SBCS syndrome may appear: households, firms, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), investment projects not tied to a for-profit enterprise, distinct local government organizations (LGOs or municipalities) within the apparatus of state, or other publicly funded institutions, and central government on a national level or a federal/union level. After great financial crisis, “Too big to fail” is the wisdom heard in US business circles about the major banks, banks now count quite consciously on such rescues. This was a typical example of the SBC syndrome in action. Especially during the pandemic and energy crisis the capitalist countries introduced soft fiscal and monetary actions. The ultimate danger is that due to the SBCS the reckless spending becomes the new norm, it replace fiscal responsibility.
Jongchul Kim, Associate Professor, Sogang University
Quantitative Easing and Inflation: The Myth of Expansionism
The current debate on inflation is proceeding on the following three topics: first, whether the current inflation is transitory or persistent; second, whether the current inflation is caused by international conflicts such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; and third, whether inflation will mitigate wealth inequality or increase it. Regarding these debates, this paper argues the following. First, global inflation may repeatedly surge at various intervals as long as advanced countries continuously use monetary and fiscal expansionist policies and as long as the world fails to recover the globalization of trade. Second, even though international conflicts have worsened inflation, there have been some cases in which global inflation occurred before or even without international conflict. For example, the surge in oil prices—a main determinant of inflation—had already begun in early 2020, long before Russia invaded Ukraine, and there were no international conflicts when oil prices spiked in 2008. Arguably, global inflation should be understood, basically, as a monetary phenomenon that occurs as a result of a loss in purchasing power of the world’s reserve currency—the U.S. dollar—for commodities. This loss has been accelerating since the gold standard of the Bretton Wood system was abolished and the U.S. monetary and fiscal expansionist policies have been actively implemented. Third, even though the growing bargaining power of labor could, as argued by Goodhart and Pradhan, contribute to mitigating inequality, inflationary policies—i.e., the monetary and fiscal expansionist policies of developed countries—have worsened, and will worsen, both domestic and global inequality. Recently, political struggles have occurred between two opposing ideologies: “sound finance” and “fiscal and monetary expansionism.” Expansionists have argued that sound finance should give way to unbalanced budgets and that the injection of money on a large scale by central banks is indispensable in saving the financial system. At present, the expansionists appear to have almost won this ideological struggle. However, this paper demonstrates that expansionism has also worsened inequality both within and between countries as shall be seen in the case of quantitative easing. This implies that this political struggle should be changed from a struggle between “sound finance” and “fiscal and monetary expansionism” into a struggle between “expansionism” and “direct wealth redistribution.” What we are currently lacking are the radical reforms that were implemented in the 1940s, which decreased wealth and income inequality by redistributing wealth.
Fatih Kirsanli, Assistant Professor, Bozok University
The Political Economy of Inflation : Turkish Case
Inflation is an important determinant of macroeconomic soundness and stability. Central banks use necessary monetary policy tools to have price stability to achieve sustainable growth in the long run. Although there exist studies finding positive impacts of inflation on economic growth and other variables, the overwhelming majority consider higher inflation harmful for economic development and growth. Nonetheless, it has not been easy to alleviate the repercussions of inflation due to various reasons (e.g., supply shocks). For example, following the 1973 oil crisis, the world struggled with high inflation. Between 1973-1984, average inflation hit double digits in OECD countries. After that, central banks fought against overheated economies by increasing the interest rates to have persistent levels of price stability. Starting from Paul Volcker of the US, central banks battled against inflation by increasing the interest rates, further reducing economic growth. After successfully lowering the inflation rates, central banks started implementing inflation targeting policies in the 1990s. Even though there were implicit attempts before this date, most countries have implemented inflation targeting. However, developing and developed countries have struggled with inflation again following the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it a hot topic after almost four decades. Major developed countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, and Germany are now wrestling with high inflation. On top of that, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing high number of COVID cases in China increase the supply shocks, which further accelerate inflation pressures. Considering these historical phases, this paper investigates the political economy of inflation in Turkey. It perhaps tells a story from inflation perspective only, as there are other human and social factors that endogenously affect the economic outcomes, but it will provide a reasonable historical view of Turkish inflation. The paper tries to answer the question of why Turkey always struggles with high inflation which affects exchange rate stability, purchasing power, and other dynamics. It also tries to get a response of the undetermined political atmosphere to reduce inflation. In this vein, examining the Turkish case of inflation provides certain outcomes and policy suggestions to alleviate and control it in the long run.
Janet T Knoedler, Professor, Economics, Bucknell University, and Dell P Champlin, Professor, Economics, Oregon State University
The Message and Appeal of the slogan: Make America Great Again
Journalists, pundits and academics alike have struggled in recent years to explain the continued appeal of Trumpism, at least among a significant swath of the voting public, and specifically, the appeal of the slogan attached to this movement, “Make America Great Again” (or MAGA). Trumpism is sometimes defined favorably as a set of policies intended to help an anxious working class in long-term economic decline and thus to restore America’s greatness, or unfavorably in terms of the rank misogyny, nativism, demogaguery, cultural warfare, and racism embodied in those same policies and in statements by the former president and his most ardent supporters. In this paper, we will acknowledge the reality of economic decline in the form of flat or even declining wages and the loss of wealth and economic security faced by a growing segment of working Americans. While the causes of this economic decline can be traced to changes in the global economy and to various economic policies dating from the 1980s, Trump’s approach to explaining these long-term challenges to economic security has been simply to provide scapegoats. Specifically, Trump chose to distort the analysis of these economic challenges by interpreting them through the cruel lenses of racism and nativism. The larger picture, of course, is that while there have been shifts in the relative share of the rewards going to working class and middle class males versus the rewards going to the “other” groups targeted by the MAGA message, these shifts pale in comparison to the vast increases in wealth and income claimed by the wealthiest Americans. So what does MAGA actually mean? In this paper, we will go beyond the simple singular explanations by positing that a simple slogan –“Make America Great Again” — has been used to blur the lines between multiple and non-competing explanations — the inevitable reduction in American global dominance after a period of unusual American economic power, the relative decline of white male hegemony, and policy changes unfriendly to all but the top earners. The appeal of Trump’s MAGA message was that the economic insecurities experienced by many Americans were not the result of changes in the global economy or policies tilting toward the wealthiest but the result of nefarious actions on the part of “bad actors” identified as Democrats, people of color, and women.
Anil Kumar, Ananta Sarkar and S. Tanuja, ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture
Making women out of the girl : when are they initiated into unpaid work
Participation, time use and contribution in unpaid work by women and men in rural India were analyzed using first Time-Use Survey-2019. The data were collected from 134319 female and 137730 males. The activities reported by respondents over a period of 24 hours were recorded for every 30 min according to the International Classification of Activities for Time Use Statistics 2016. The unpaid work included domestic services, caregiving and others. Of the total female, 83.6 percent were engaged in unpaid work compared to 36.0 percent by men. Participation (in percent) in unpaid work by female and male, respectively in the age group 6-9 year was 15.3 vs 10.8, 10-14 year (37.8 vs 13.7), 15-19 year (72.6 vs 22.3) and 20-24 year (93.8 vs 31.6). Between 25 to 59 years of age more than 95 percent female were engaged in unpaid work. Men on an average spent 118 min per day in unpaid work whereas, for female it was 359 min per day. Men spent highest 140 min per day in the age group 65-69 year whereas, 465 min per day was devoted by female in the age group 25-29 years. The initiation of girls into unpaid work starts as early as 10 years of age. The overall time contribution to unpaid work by female was 87.3 percent as compared to 12.7 percent by men. In the age group 20-24 years, 92.1 percent of all unpaid work were done by female. After 60 years of age, men’s contribution start increasing and by 75 years of age the contribution of female and male become 75:25. We conclude that girls are initiated into unpaid work as early as 10 years of age and by the age of 19 years they are moulded to become women from being a playful girl.
Anna Kurysheva, Southern Federal University, and Andrei Vernikov, Institute of Economics, RAS
Living in debt: Institutional inertia vs. sustainability
Financialization seemingly contributes to economic growth by boosting consumption, but this effect may be unsustainable in the long run. The growing availability of credit and the acceptance of personal debt encourage people to acquire goods and services with money yet unearned. Banks enhance their power over private borrowers, who get trapped in debt and generate an outflow of financial resources to banks and associated beneficiaries. Being an integral part of the Sustainable Development agenda, financial inclusion was meant to be socially and economically benign, but instead became a manipulative narrative. It pushes credit to retail borrowers, ensuring profit to suppliers. We view empirical data on bank loans to Russian households since the early 2000s to 2021 and focus on the connection between consumerist culture and household debt. Data are collected from official statistics on consumer lending, household disposable income and expenditure, and banking statistics on revenue from retail loans. We construct several metrics to estimate the outflow of financial resources through loans from households to the banking industry. While consumer credit expansion drive banks’ revenue and profit, household debt dependence deteriorates. Debt-financed spending spree paradoxically occurs even during the economic downturn of Covid-19 pandemic, with banks’ profit skyrocketing. We explain this tendency arguing that banking organizations and government deliberately support a specific set of institutions which feed the habit of living beyond one’s means. At the same time, the institutions incompatible with credit-driven consumerist culture, such as traditional ethnic values of debt-free living and self-reliance, are deliberately marginalized. If we take the case of car loans, artificially constructed stereotypes are imposed on consumers to manipulate them into buying more expensive and ‘prestigious’ cars equipped with extra options. Socially-induced factors matter more than just technical reasons. This pattern strengthens the debt dependence and, thus, the financial fragility of households. Current institutional dynamics is difficult to change because it involves highly influential beneficiaries. We claim that a genuine sustainability agenda shall include boundaries to financialization and household debt dependence. Such an agenda requires an alternative discourse promoting financial self-reliance and prudence, which would counter-balance the suppliers’ self-serving narratives of consumerism and debt.
An Li, John A Hill Chair in Economic Analysis, Sarah Lawrence College, and Jingjing Wu, Assistant Professor, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Financialization and the energy transition in the United States: a political economy analysis
An energy transition such as the Green New Deal has been considered a solution to climate change and inequality, which are the most important challenges of the 21st century. A key question is whether the current financial system is compatible with the visions of the green and just transition. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the question. Focusing on the relationship between financialization and the energy transition, the paper shows the clean energy sector has become another arena of predatory value extraction, contributing to more inequality in the economy and slowing down the energy transition.
Emiliano López, Professor of Political Economics. Universidad Nacional de La Plata
National differences in the rate of surplus value between Global North and Global South: an empirical estimation (1980-2020)
National differences among rates of surplus value have been one of the most important discussions on competitive capitalism and unequal exchange theory. The notion of equalization of profit rate between different branches or countries in the Marxian analysis have limited the understanding of the inequalities between capital-labor in contemporary globalized capitalism. This paper focuses on accounting for national disparities in surplus rates, between the countries of the Global North and the Global South. Our interest is based on the need to give empirical support to the discussions that have been raised in relation to the logics of labor exploitation, unequal exchange and the new forms of imperialism in the 21st century. We work here with a database for 40 countries that will be grouped as part of the periphery, the semi-periphery and the center of the global capital. Also, we construct a methodological approach that allows us to estimate the rate of surplus value for different countries from the Marxian analysis.
Liudmila (Mila) Malyshava, Professor of Economics, Bard College
[Trade] Wars and the Dichotomy of East-West Relations
As the global community concluded the third decade since the fall of communism, the analysis of socialist economies appears exclusively in a historical context. Numerous anti-communist movements and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union (SU) withered the possibility of a widespread alternative to a capitalist system. Yet, the echoes of the forgotten Cold War continue to linger in today’s society as the hegemony battle between the East and the West continues. This paper explores repetitiveness, impact, and intersectionality of economic tensions and military conflicts in the economies of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Ideological battles between Russia and its developed Western counterparts have left a dramatic toll on the region’s socio-economic environment. Furthermore, the most recent example of the devastating 2022 war in Ukraine unequivocally demonstrated that “isolated” conflicts in the former USSR have a significant impact on the global economy expressed in global food and energy shortages, as well as numerous distortions in supply chains in other sectors. Traditional analytical frameworks and the universality of the Washington Consensus are not suitable for analyzing such crises due to their narrow focus, methodological inability to identify the root causes of inefficiencies, and a blatant disregard of the historical heritage of the nations in question. This study insists on the use of the Original Institutional analysis and Post-Keynesian framework in analyzing the rising tensions of the former USSR region, their impact on the rest of the world, and in forming comprehensive solutions for peaceful and sustainable social reproduction in the face of a long-standing tradition of East-West tensions.
Annie McGrew, Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Capitalism and Abortion in the U.S.: The Relationship in a Post-Roe World
In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion federally. Thus, the legality of abortion now resides with the states, with 12 states already having banned most or all abortions. In the wake of this decision, many large firms such as Microsoft, JPMorgan, and Tesla (among others) have announced that their companies will reimburse their employees for abortion-related travel expenses. The response of these companies flies in opposition to the theorizing of leftist scholars who suggest that restricting women’s access to reproductive rights is part of the larger capitalist-patriarchal agenda. The crux of this argument is that capitalists have an incentive to restrict access to reproductive control technologies in order to ensure a growing future labor force and force the costs of social reproduction onto women forced to have children. I argue that this argument fails to account for the contradictions between capital’s long-term interests of ensuring the social reproduction of future workers and their short-term interests of extracting the most surplus value out of their current workers (a large percentage of which are women). Childbearing presents a labor cost to capitalists today by loosening women’s attachment to the labor force even though it benefits them in the future by ensuring an ever-expanding exploitable labor force. The short-termism of capitalists helps explain why they might support access to abortion despite the desperate attempts by patriarchal forces to restrict it. However, this does not imply that firms’ subsidization of abortion-related travel is emancipatory. Instead, by facilitating access to reproductive services, firms exacerbate already existing inequalities in access to reproductive control technologies. Many of the same firms which announced abortion-related travel funding also offer a suite of reproductive services that encourage women to delay birth including offering reimbursement to their employees for in vitro fertilization services and egg freezing. These firms tend to employ higher-skilled workers. Thus, I argue that firm subsidization of abortion contributes to a dual reproductive regime between lower and higher skilled workers. Using firm subsidization of abortion as a case study, this paper aims to elucidate the role of capital in reproductive control and the relationship between capitalist and patriarchal forces. This relationship is not fixed but instead is dynamic and context-specific changing quickly over time, thus it must be revisited and evaluated often.
Daniella Lucy Medina, PhD Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Deterritorializing the Margins: Against Domination by Agglomeration
This paper, dedicated to bell hooks, uses Hotelling’s spatial analysis as a thought model for the superstructural assemblage of dominating schemas inscribed and reinscribed on the social body through the process of territorialization. The implications of (1) the mathematical extension of the model to n- dimensions; and (2) the inceptive and ongoing spatialization of exotic modes of being in economics for a discourse on domination is explored through a dialogical review of lived experiential, narrative-driven literature including the works of Black philosophers bell hooks, Joy James, Frank Wilderson, and (culminating toward) Sylvia Wynter. By poetic and visual extension (and hopefully, eventually, disarticulation) of the thought model, this paper aims to ask a series of evolving questions including: (1)How does domination constrain the social formation and mapping of identities to produce tractable paths of figurative consumption which keep us within the dynamics of domination?; (2) how can this application of spatial analysis be extended to describe the current paradigm in western culture, in which markets caricaturize and territorialize complex identities to create generalized focal points in markets to which we are positioned to gravitate?; (3) what if we, the intersectionally marginalized, root ourselves in the margins to resist and reconfigure the sign dominant culture has branded upon it as an act of radical decoding and thus de-territorialize the margins– disrupting the very schema which marginalizes us in efforts to liberate those rendered invisible and held captive as subjectivities, necessarily, to produce and reproduce a culture of domination? How might the marginalized resist re-territorialization?; (4) and finally, whose spatialization is it? What if we were to not take genres of being as given? In the spirit of Sylvia Wynter’s transhumanism, what if we elucidated higher dimensionalities of being and extended into those spaces, creating unseen, potentially liberatory space? Throughout, the distinction between emancipation on the level of the map and emancipation on the level of the territory are elucidated and explored.
Alejandro Montoya Castano, Angela Christine Lyons, Aiman Soliman and Yifang Zhang University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Josephine Kass-Hanna, Saint Joseph University of Beirut,
Gender-based poverty among forcibly displaced populations: A machine learning and geospatial approach
An estimated 84 million persons are forcibly displaced worldwide, with 70% at least living in conditions of extreme poverty. The effects of forced displacement can be more severe for women, particularly in outcomes such as poverty, food security, and other vulnerabilities. Humanitarian agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) primarily provide support to address these needs. However, current levels of support are no longer sufficient. Agencies are needing to redesign and implement assistance programs that more effectively target the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. How do gender inequalities affect different dimensions of poverty and vulnerability in forcibly displaced populations? What are the implications for the design and implementation of targeting mechanisms? This study applies machine learning and geospatial methods to novel data collected from Syrian refugees in Lebanon to identify patterns of gender inequality and develop more fair and equitable targeting strategies that minimize potential gender biases and inequities in the distribution of assistance. A few studies have begun to apply data science techniques to assist in the targeting of humanitarian aid. However, we are not aware of any studies that have used a gender-centric approach. Lebanon provides an interesting case, as it hosts an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees – 20% of its population and the highest per capita proportion of refugees in the world. The recent pandemic and Lebanon’s economic crisis have made it particularly challenging for humanitarian agencies to identify those most in need of assistance. The insights from this study have important implications for humanitarian organizations seeking to use more gender-centric targeting mechanisms to address increasing poverty and displacement among women and girls with limited humanitarian funding. This work is particularly timely given the mass displacement brought about by the current Russo-Ukrainian crisis, which is largely comprised of women and children.
Kristin Dilani Nadarajah, PhD Student, Charles University in Prague
How to win real-life Monopoly: The roles of tax havens in the monopolization of multinational corporations
Much like individual income inequality there is an increasing gap between top corporations and the rest in terms of revenue, profits, and power. This gap is reinforced and exacerbated by the largest corporations’ ability to minimize taxes through the use of tax havens. There has been extensive research mapping the scale of corporate tax avoidance, as well as documenting the rise of market and monopoly power (concentration), however, little research combines the two. This paper adds to the monopoly-finance capital literature by incorporating tax havens, which are crucial in increasing the profitability of MNCs and their monopolizing tendencies. It also contextualizes all the mainstream empirical findings into a larger whole, illustrating that tax avoidance is part of a larger system embedded within a monopoly capitalist system. This paper benefits from using a pluralist method by drawing from institutionalist insight, law, international political economy, as well as mainstream empirical research. However, there are several limitations for such work as stand-alone, partly due to the immense lack of data due to the opacity of the offshore system. Tax havens play a crucial role in the process of concentration and centralization of capital through three key mechanisms. First, the paper finds that tax havens provide highly cost-minimizing services that have become a central part of MNCs’ capital accumulation, most importantly, tax avoidance. A central part of this strategy is using the complex network of entities to shift their (intangible) assets in a way where most of the profits can be attributed to the entity of the MNC that is registered in a tax haven, as such paying minimal taxes. However, these shifts of assets are found to be mostly illegitimate and mispriced. Secondly, tax havens increase the opacity of finance, which aids the competitive advantages of the giant corporations that utilize them and enables them to increase the barriers to entry in their industries–and as a result, maintain and strengthen their monopoly position. Thirdly, albeit overlapping and complementing the two other aspects, they operate as vehicles of the financialization of the capital accumulation process, which in turn accelerates the processes of concentration and centralization. Tax havens and their usage by multinational corporations (MNCs) must therefore be seen as a systematic issue of the capitalist system and as a vehicle of capital accumulation in the hands of a few.
Juliana Santos Oliveira, Mônica Yukie Kuwahara, Ana Luísa G. Abras, Ana Claudia Poleto e Fava, Federal Unviersity of ABC
Gender and race dimensions of inequality in the Brazilian labor market in the COVID-19 pandemic
The Brazilian labor market displays different dimensions of inequality intersecting gender and race aspects. The Covid-19 Pandemic deepened inequality’s negative effects on women and highlighted new facets of black women’s deprivations. We contribute to the studies regarding the situation of black women in developing countries during the pandemic. First, we review the Black Feminist’s literature and adopt the capabilities approach as a pluralistic theoretical framework for the analysis. Second, we perform an empirical exercise with data ranging from May to November in 2020. The data come from a special issue of the National Household Survey which concentrated on Covid-related questions (PNAD Covid). During these months, 52.97% of men had worked while just 32.83% of women held a job. Moreover, 70.5% of brown women and 67.84% of black women didn’t have a job. The double discrimination experienced by black women in the labor market is evident. Black women have lower average wages, lower educational attainment, and fewer opportunities in high-paying professions. The estimation of the IOP shows that 19.64% of wage inequality is related to gender (5.71%), race (8.76%) and education (85.5%) variables. The finding that educational attainment is a substantial contributor to wage differences between workers is not surprising. Returns to education are historically high in the country and attendance to public universities was only made more accessible to black women after the national affirmative action of 2012 with mandatory quotas for low-income families and people of color. The analysis of the PNAD COVID-19 data indicated differences in job occupations of black women compared to white women and men, besides the disadvantages faced by black women in terms of incomes. Analyzing the occupation distribution by gender, the women were the majority in domestic work (92.09%), caring for children, the sick or the elderly (91.94%), secretarial work or reception (87.54%), sewing (78 .43%), high school health technician (78.09%) and elementary, high school or higher education teacher (77.62%). The men were most truck drivers (98.58%), bricklayers (98.33%), mechanics (97.26%), delivery persons (96.69%) and drivers of applications, buses or vans (96.29%). The occupations with the highest proportions of black workers are among those with the lowest average earnings and lower education requirements.
Pallavi Panda, Associate Professor of Economics, State University of New York, Geneseo, Pasita Chaijaroen Vidyasirimedhi, Institute of Science and Technology, Wangchan Valley, Rayong, Thailand
Women’s Education, Marriage, and Fertility: Evidence from Thailand’s Compulsory Schooling Law
Increased education affects the market and non-market outcomes. This paper investigates the causal impact of the extension of compulsory education from 6 to 9 years on females’ education, marriage, and fertility outcomes in Thailand. Using interview data on women aged 15 to 49 years from the fourteen province 2015-16 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), we construct a women-age panel format using information on marriage and birth timings. This panel data format allows us to compare marriage and fertility outcomes between the treated and control groups at each particular age up to 20 years old. We employ a donut-hole Regression Discontinuity design in which individuals born within 12 months of the birth threshold are excluded to derive a causal impact of the policy. Province fixed effects are included in all estimations to account for possible time-invariant province-specific unobservables. Age fixed effects are also included in the models that utilize the women-age panel data. Our standard errors are clustered at the month-year of birth level following our treatment definition. We show that the new law increases lower secondary school completion in girls. We also show effects on social outcomes like marriage and births for girls from 14 to 20 years of age. We observe that the increased education and time spent in school decreased probabilities of ever being married and ever giving birth in the school-age years (14-17 years). The policy primarily affects the marginal child leading to the postponement of the timing of their fertility to after-school years. We also document heterogeneity and show that the results are stronger for Muslim women. More education leads to consistent drop in probability of marriage and cumulative births for Muslim women, which sustain beyond the completion of schooling years. The results hold with alternative bandwidth windows, trends, clustering, and falsification tests.
Clara Inés Pardo Martínez, Universidad del Rosario, Alexander Cotte Poveda, Secretaría Distrital de Gobierno, Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá D.C.,Dirección para la Gestión Policiva, Universidad Santo Tomás
TOWARDS A NEW MODEL OF CITIZENSHIP CULTURE: EXPLORING THE INCIDENCE OF URBAN, ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Cities develop different strategies to promote citizenship culture through their multiple benefits, such as social inclusion, active citizenship, democracy, security and equality, generating improvements in social and environmental performance in urban life. This research seeks to establish a citizenship culture index through variables related to public space, social agreement, trust, and institutions and determine what factors could affect citizenship culture by applying a quantile regression model using the localities of Bogotá as a case study. The results of this study indicate that better socioeconomic conditions generate a higher citizenship culture index because these citizens have more opportunities and respect for the collective; a higher household quality positively affects the citizenship culture index, considering the close connection between household features and socioeconomic well being; and higher practice of or attendance at artistic and cultural activities promote a higher citizenship culture index. The findings of this study are important to developing adequate policies.
Janice Peterson, Professor of Economics, CSU Fresno
Pluralistic Teaching in Times of Crisis: Examples from “Women in the Economy”
This paper seeks to address the ICAPE 2023 conference theme – “Crises and Pluralist Economics: Strategies for a way forward”– through a discussion of pluralistic teaching in the current environment. This discussion will reflect on my experiences teaching undergraduate courses on “Women in the Economy” over several decades encompassing significant policy debates and economic crises, in which pluralism has been a central and evolving component of my approach to teaching. I will pay particular attention to my most recent offering of the course (Spring 2021), my first attempt at a fully asynchronous on-line course in the midst of the COVID-19 economic crisis and remote teaching. This challenged me to think very carefully about the best methods and materials to engage students in both exploring the multi-faceted experiences of women in the still unfolding crisis as well as considering what we learn about the crisis by examining it through the different lenses of women’s experiences.
TIAGO COUTO PORTO, PhD student, Getulio Vargas Foundation of Sao Paulo
Capturing aggregate demand and its impact on the investment function
This article aims to investigate whether the profit rate/level has a short and/or long-term impact on investment decisions of manufacturing sectors of developed and developing countries. First, a critical review of the post-Keynesian investment function is realized. Second, it is proposed a small extension of Bleckers’ accelerator model by decomposing the profit variable into operational revenues and costs and financial determinants of retained profits, in order to better understand the effect of profits on investment in an era of trade and financial globalization. Additionally, decomposing the profit rate allows us to investigate the hypothesis of the New Developmentalism theory which argues that having a satisfactory aggregate demand does not guarantee that competent entrepreneurs will be able to access this demand, which may be absorbed by foreign competitors (Bresser-Pereira, 2012a, 2014, 2020). Third, we followed the methodology of Porto (2022) to estimate the access to the global demand AGD), in terms of value-added, using ICIO tables of OECD and created a database to estimate econometrically (using Dynamic GMM technics) the investment function proposed in the theoretical section for the investment in the manufacturing sector of 66 countries from 2000 to 2018. Due to the considerable share of developing countries in the dataset, it was possible to question the common hypothesis that the profit variable has only a short-term impact on investment. This must be reassessed since investments in developing countries are typically financed by internal funds rather than capital markets and local producers’ investment decisions may depend substantially on international competitiveness, and, as a consequence, profit margins may have a persistent influence on investment. In our study, this effect depended on the behavior of the elements of the profit variable and has indicated that increasing profits due to rising access to the global markets has a positive and persistent impact on investment, whether rising profits by reducing costs (unit labor costs) may be inefficient in both the short and long term.
Eric Scorsone, Professor, and Sarah Klammer, Academic Specialist Michigan State University
Constructing Jural Relations in the Software Industry: Implications for Distribution of Wealth
In 2021, the United States Supreme Court heard the case of Google vs Oracle. This case dealt with the issue of the fair use doctrine in copyright right law and how it applied in the case of software code. Software code now represents perhaps one of the top three or four keys to economic value as the economy is currently constructed. According to recent reports, It represents almost $2 trillion in U.S. economic output or 10 percent of the national economy (software.org, 2021). The distribution of rights and duties will play a critical role in the distribution of wealth in the 21st century similar to the case of intangible property as discussed by John R. Commons and Thorstein Veblen in the early 20th century. The case of Google v. Oracle represents an important step in how the legal system will construct jural relations and which parties will benefit to this large and growing part of the economy. However, this is not a case between a small company, individual or group of freedom fighters against a large corporate entity. It is in fact a case between two large corporate entities. It pits the $1.5 trillion dollar value of Alphabet (Google) versus the relatively smaller Oracle Corp. ($211 billion). This may in fact be seen as a battle over the massive economic rents that exist in this sector between two large companies. Oracle, Inc simply wanted to obtain ownership of software programming language and force other companies to pay them for using that language. For example, the civil liberties organization argued that, “In a win for innovation, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that Google’s use of certain Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is a lawful fair use”. This raises the question of what is innovation and who benefits from this type of innovation? This paper explores the underlying arguments used by both sides and the type of rhetoric to justify their position. These questions will be examined through the notion of which set of jural relations promotes the serviceability of the software industry over the predatory aspects of the industry. The briefs filed before the Supreme Court will serve as material for this study and analysis. Data and information from the briefs will be examined using the new legal economic performance framework by Klammer and Scorsone (2022) will be used along with work by legal scholar Sanjukta Paul.
Hannah Beth Sheldon, Allison Shwachman Kaminaga, Bryant University
Children’s malnutrition in Rwanda: An empirical exploration on the impacts of women’s land tenure security
The Covid-19 Pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have disrupted supply chains and contributed to higher food prices, resulting in an increase in the prevalence of undernourishment. Rwanda is not immune from these pressures, and in a country where over 1/3 of children under five are stunted, understanding the drivers of children’s nutritional status is more important than ever. Using data from the 2019-2020 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), we contribute to the relatively scant literature examining the determinants of children’s nutritional status in Rwanda. We pay particular attention to the role of mother’s land ownership and titling on children’s nutritional status and examine three different measures of children’s health: height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and weight-for-height (WHZ) z-scores. Our OLS regressions reveal significant regional variation within Rwanda. For example, women in Kigali and the North who own land are more likely to have well-nourished children. However, land ownership is not a significant determinant of children’s nutritional outcomes in the South or West. The impact of land titling also differs by region. Titling has no impact on children’s nutritional status in the South or West, yet in Kigali, children with mothers that have titles to their land have better health. Furthermore, our results suggest that excluding mother’s names from titles leads to poorer child nutrition in both Kigali and the Northern region. In the regions where land ownership and titling does impact child nutrition, we conduct mediation analysis to try and better understand the pathways of this relationship. Our analysis indicates that the impact of land ownership and titling on children’s nutritional outcomes is direct and is not mediated by the ability of land to provide credit or other means of empowerment as theory may suggest. Our results once again confirm that context matters, as even within one country, titling efforts have differential effects on children’s nutrition. Consequently, programs and policies that seek to lower malnourishment and improve children’s health should consider local contexts.
Wendy Sigle, Professor of Gender Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science
Feminist Economics: A Plea for the Extra-Ordinary
Over the past several decades, gender scholars have challenged conceptual frameworks of the social world that depict gender as an individual-level characteristic, a role that is learned early in life and produced largely within the separate sphere of the family. Alternative frameworks such as gender as structure or gender regime, conceptualize gender as a dynamic and multi-level source of social stratification, and see the family not as separate from the political economy but interacting with it. Importantly, these frameworks reject conceptual frameworks which liken societies to biological organisms that progress through similar stages of development and which predict a tendency towards social stasis. Feminist epistemologists have challenged positivist assumptions of the possibility of objective researchers whose social and geographical location can and ideally should play no role in how the social world is described and explained. Reflecting on the insights from post-structural theorists, feminist scholars have challenged assumptions of social problems that are “out there” waiting to be discovered and addressed, rather than constructed by influential social actors who see the world in a particular way. In problematising the idea that there can ever be a thing as “just description”, these insights raise important ethical questions about the impact – both representationally and materially – of research on social problems and crises. I maintain that research in feminist economics has not yet sufficiently engaged with or incorporated these contributions and insights. The uncritical acceptance of the kinds of the questions that are worth asking and the methods that are most appropriate and rigorous is a serious impediment to this project. This essay is a plea for scholars and educators to direct their attention to the ways that much of what can be found in our collective disciplinary toolbox implicitly reproduces earlier, problematic frameworks. My aim is to explain why I think truly feminist economics requires more attention to theory and more attention to the gaps between theoretical and methodological innovation. In a world confronted with a number of seemingly intractable crises, the field of economics needs a crisis in the Kuhnian sense. Nothing short of a period extraordinary science will do.
Sarah Faustina Small, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Utah
Motivations for a More Diverse History of Economic Thought Course: A Study of Syllabi and Strategies
Moving Forward History of economic thought courses are often touted as opportunities to improve economics students’ understandings of pluralism in the discipline, as well as their understanding of historical contexts in which current economic ideas were bred. However, courses have typically only covered the ideas of White men in the discipline: Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Mill, Friedman, Keynes, and the like. I argue that a course focused on solely the thoughts of White men is unwelcoming to many students and provides an incomplete depiction of the development of economic thought. In this paper, I analyze five decades of history of economic thought syllabi to illustrate the evolution of course content. I find that courses have shifted to include new aspects of economic thinking but remain steadfastly fixated on works by White men from the United States and Europe. In response, I provide alternative course content for a history of economic thought syllabus, which include works by commonly excluded economic thinkers, including those from the Global South, women, and those in marginalized racial and ethnic groups. With these changes, students are better able to see aspects of themselves in great economists and have a renewed appreciation for the diversity of economic thought.
Oleksandr Valchyshen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, Bard College
Russia’s war on Ukraine through the MMT lens
Russia has extended its war on Ukraine that lasts since February 2014 with a new wave of full-scale war invasion of Ukraine since February 2022. The bloc of developed market-based countries—the US, most of the EU, etc—responded with additional economic sanctions. These are just factual observations. According to the established theory, economic sanctions are supposed to work by imposing substantial costs on a bad actor and their costs outweigh the benefits accruing to such an offender (Early 2021). In simple words, even their threat brings “the nation to its senses” (Mulder 2022). So that bad acting caves in. As a matter of fact, the Russia’s war nevertheless goes on, destroying Ukraine’s economy and revealing it what uncertainty is all about. Meanwhile, there has been an emerging trend in the thinking of prominent mainstream economists. In terms of the above-mentioned costs-vs-benefits analysis there is appears a shift to acknowledge that Russia’s benefits do outweigh the costs (Itskhoki 2022a). Too, the timing of the impact of the economic pressure on the Russia’s economy extends into long-term instead of the hoped-for short-term (Itskhoki 2022b). Theory behind the economic sanctions allows a bit of self-doubt. This presentation/paper however proposes a radical step: let us to use the framework of modern money theory (MMT) and take a fresh look at the underlying economic currents of the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. The concept of monetary sovereignty is central together with evolutionary and institutional detail of the transition of the FSU economies from a non-business (non-market-based finance) monetary economy towards a business (market-based finance) one. Lastly, there is a point for a moral part of MMT via job guarantee policies in these sovereign democratically governed countries.