Journal of Economic Issues

Volume 33, December 1999

Volume 33, December 1999 

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De Martino, George
Anti-Essentialist Marxism and Radical Institutionalism: Introduction to the Symposium.
This paper introduces the three papers that follow and briefly elucidates the ontological, epistemological, normative and methodological features of anti-essentialist Marxism.  It is argued that this kind of Marxism shares critical components with radical institutionalism. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 797-800, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

Cullenberg, Stephen
Overdetermination, Totality, and Institutions: A Genealogy of a Marxist Institutionalist Economics.
Institutionalist economists have been critical of theoretical approaches that seek to understand history as the unfolding of some fundamental essence or laws of motion, as do classical Marxist theories of historical materialism.  This paper discusses the development of what might be called an “institutionalist” approach to Marxian theory by tracing the development of the decentered Marxism from Louis Althusser, to Anthony Cutler, Barry Hindess, Paul Hirst and Athar Hussain, to the more recent work of Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff.  Overdetermination is considered as a possible method for institutionalist economics. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 801-815, University of California, Riverside, U.S.A.

Garnett, Robert F., Jr.
Postmodernism and Theories of Value: New Grounds for Institutionalist/Marxist Dialogue?
Recent institutionalist and Marxist writing show similar aversions to the reductionism of traditional value theories (classical, neoclassical, and Marxian).  Further commonalities are found in rethinking of markets as socially embedded and the domain of value theory as “more than markets,” and in decentering of value theory from its modern role as core and foundation of scientific-economic discourse.  One barrier to recognition of these similarities is the enduring pardigmism of many institutionalist and Marxist theorists, displayed in their repeated efforts to formulate the institutionalist or Marxian approach to value theory.  Postmodernism is suggested as an antidote to this tendency. J.Econ. Issues, December 1999, 33(4), pp. 817-834, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.

Waller, William
Institutional Economics, Feminism , and Overdetermination.
This paper explores recent methodological discussions of the ontological, epistemological and methodology status and meaning of the Veblenian dichotomy and its components: institutions, technology, ceremonial and instrumental aspects of behavior.  These discussions and debates have had to the developments in institutional economics that bring it close to the scholarship of overdeterminist Marxists.  This congruence is shared with various branches of feminist economists.  This offers the opportunity for shared research and a productive common discourse among these groups of heterodox economists. J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4 ), pp. 835-844, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York, U.S.A.

Nooteboom, Bart
Voice- and Exit-Based Forms of Corporate Control: Anglo-American, European, and Japanese.
Considerable differences exist in corporate control between “voice systems” in continental Europe and Japan, and “exit systems” in Anglo-American countries.  This article provides an analysis of welfare implications, including innovation and diffusion, taking into account the role of institutions.  Forms of corporate control cannot be switched without wider socioeconomic consequences.  The exit system requires integrated firms that are easily broken up, and the beneficial effect of that is doubtful.  The voice system is based on inter-firm networks, which may obstruct radical innovation, but this can be mitigated by modifying the system., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 845-860, , Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Lee, Frederic S. and Downward, Paul
Retesting Gardiner Means’s Evidence on Administered Prices.
Gardiner Means made empirical claims regarding administered and market prices as well as their movement over the business cycle, and their relationship to production and concentration.  In this article, we readdress his results more formally using econometric testing to help evaluate his administered price thesis.  By these tests, Means’s claims regarding administered prices and the business cycle are valid, and his claims regarding administered prices and production and concentration are invalid.  Our results suggest that the non-neoclassical behavior of administred prices has no impact on aggregate economic activity and the explanation for unemployment is better found in Keynes’s theory of effective demand., J. Econ. Issues,December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 861-886, DeMontfort University, Leicester, U.K. and Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, U.K

Wisman, Jon D. and Smith, James F.
American Institutionalism on Technological Change.
American institutionalist thought has treated technological change as the most dynamic force in social evolution.  But it has also widely accepted a version of the Veblenian dichotomy (progressive technological change versus ceremonial institutions) as forming the core of economic analysis.  This article argues that adherence to this dichotomy, combined with a wide-spread antipathy toward markets, has handicapped understanding of forces propelling technological change, and hence the dynamic character of modern capitalism.  Counter to institutionalism’s  empircally-oriented methodological self-understanding, the central importance given to the dichotomy has channeled energies into highly abstract and seemingly fruitless theoretical debates., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4 ), pp. 887-902, American University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Long, Jennifer
Government Job Creation Programs–Lessons from the 1930s and 1940s.
Public sentiment that all able-bodied, non-retired adults should work in paid employment, will at some point in the future meet the reality of the business cycle and produce revived interest in job creation.   Three programs – the Tennessee Valley Authority, relief programs such as the WPA, and the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons complex – are reviewed .  All provided employment but did not succeed in attaining the same level of public acceptance.  Three factors affected perceived success: levels of government involvement, the scope of the project, and social hierarchies of work, including ideas about gender and race-appropriate jobs.  J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999,33(4), pp. 903-918, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Hoag, John and Kasoff, Mark
Estonia in Transition.
Examines Estonian economic transition from 1990 through 1998.  Estonia moved rapidly toward inflation and unemployment rates consistent with successful Western economies.  Policy institutions, policy options, and future challenges are discussed.  In an economy with a fixed exchange rate, a currency board, a balanced budget fiscal policy, and rigid monetary policy, there is little room for discretionary economic policy.  When economic forces adversely affect the Estonian economy, the Estonians will likely be forced to re-evaluate economic policy making options., J. Econ, Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 919-932, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, U.S.A

Seldon, Zena
Drawn on a U.s. Bank: The Curious Behavior of Retail Check Clearances in a Global Financial Environment.
Banking and associated institutions, including payments systems, are intricate and it is difficult to disentangle outcomes from the organizations involved in their making.  Most institutional analysis focuses on existing organizations and institutions.  This paper investigates the absence of a structure – a north American cross-border check clearance mechanism – where one could have been expected to develop.  The absence of an infrastructure may prevent an institution from development but substitutes are likely to emerge.  In short, infranstructure is enabling rather than compelling., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 933-950, University of the Cariboo, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

Simons, Colin and Supri, Salinder
Failing Financial and Training Institutions: The Marginalization of Rural Household Enterprises in the Indian Punjab.
Two problems constraining the establishment and growth of private, non-farm, household enterprises in the developing world are the inaccessibility of credit and training.  This study investigates the experience of a representative cluster of villages in the north-west state of the Indian Punjab – an area noted for its successful adoption of the Green Revolution technology a generation ago and therefore seemingly well served by rural institutions to diversify.  Our findings, however, revealed administrative complexity, poor information, serious discrimination, gender bias and corruption.  This forces entrepreneurs to rely upon informal channels and stymies potential., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 951-972, University of Salford, Salford, U.K. and Middlesex University, London, U.K.

Lambert, Tom
Thorstein Veblen and the Higher Learning of Sport Management Education.
The growth and popularity of sport management education at U.S. colleges and universities is assessed using Thorstein Veblen’s writings on sports, competition, and higher education.  Sports and gaming industries have become multibillion dollar operations over the last decades.  Meanwhile, U.S. institutions of higher education have been increasingly reliant upon their sports programs to promote and raise money for their schools.  These factors as well as the leisure class values noted by Veblen in 1899 have helped fuel the growth in sport management education., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 973-984, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

Rahman, Mohammad Mafizur and  Khanam, Rasheda, and Absar, Nur Uddin
Child Labor in Bangladesh: A Critical Appraisal of Harkin’s Bill and the MOU-Tye Schooling Program.
Child labor is a serious and growing problem in many parts of the world today, including Bangladesh.  Employment of children, who are seriously derived of education and are affected by chronic occupational diseases, has become increasingly controversial in part because of Senate Tom Harkin’s bill, The Child Labor Deterrence Act of 1993.    This paper analyzes the existing child labor problem in Bangladesh, evaluates the impact of Harkin’s Bill, and examines the viability of schooling programs postulated in the Memo of Understanding signed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association with the ILO and UNICEF., J. Econ. Issues, December, 1999, 33(4), pp. 874-1003, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh


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Last Updated on: December 29, 1999