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The Test of Reasonability and Stable Rules of the Game
María Mercedes Cuéllar [pdf] [html]

[Key words: test of reasonability, rules of the game, constitutional decisions, jurisprudence; JEL: H89, K10, K20]

This article explores the implicit rationality of the sentences of Colombia's Constitutional Court in cases related to the wages of public servants, housing, value added taxes, workers' rights and the central bank. It emphasizes the legal system established by the Constitution of 1991 and the meaning of the test of reasonability used in sentences of the Constitutional Court. It faults Colombian economists for not having fully understood and analyzed the implications of the Constitution of 1991; and judges for changes in judicial precedents that are not clearly justified.

Have Tax Reforms Increased Revenue in Colombia?
Mario García Molina and Ana Paola Gómez [pdf] [html]

[Key words: tax reforms, revenue, tax, Colombia; JEL: C22, H23, H39, O23]

The efficacy of tax reforms is estimated for the period 1973-2000 using three ARIMAX models for the real revenue and the revenue/GDP ratio. The analysis, including only those reforms changing tax bases and/or tariffs, or that aim to increase revenue or reduce evasion, shows that only two out of the fifteen reforms considered managed to have an impact upon revenue, those of 1974 and 1990, whose effect is permanent.

Structural Reform, Wage Restraint and Increased Profits: the Mexican Experience
Alicia Puyana and José Romero [pdf] [html]

[Key words: wage, profit, skills, technology, liberalization; JEL: J21, J24, J31, O15, O32]

In Mexico, wages have stagnated and profits have increased since 1980. This paper analyzes the causes of this performance both at an aggregate and sectorial level. Although in theory trade liberalization should have led to increased wages and a reduction of profits, an unlimited supply of labor prevented wages from increasing and transformed productivity gains in higher returns on capital. Growth of qualified employment was not the result of generalized technological advances; it reflected changes in the composition of labor supply. Higher investment in human capital does not necessarily lead to higher productivity or income. If the improvement in education of the labor force is to generate higher productivity, a public policy of stimulus for economic growth is required.


Neoclassical Utility Theory: a Semantic Game of Strategic Interaction
Boris Salazar and Andrés Cendales [pdf] [html]

[Key words: neoclassical utility, semantic games, strategic interaction, parlor games; JEL: C70, C79, D89]

This article suggests that the methodological strength of what is known as the neoclassic utility theory (NCUT) comes from the relationship between the parlor games, typical of formal logic, and the seek and find games which are founded in the modal logic. Through the use of the semantic games we will establish two points: the conditions for the strategic interaction between the neoclassic player, who seeks to construct ideal utility functions, and an opponent who proposes tough counter examples, as well as semantics for the NCUT. In addition, we suggest that expansion of NCUT to other possible worlds does depend on the transformations carried out in the original model-set.

Dialectics in Economic Argumentation
Fernando Estrada Gallego [pdf] [html]

[Key words: dialectics, argumentation, epistemology, controversy; JEL: A10, A12, B49]

This paper presents a group of argument models with the purpose of highlighting which debate characteristics should be kept in mind when analyzing written texts or oral speeches in different activities of daily life. It describes the importance of controversies in conceptual change and epistemology illustrated with a typical case of the debate on the challenges of free trade. The authors elaborate an interpretation of the explanation/understanding dualism in the social sciences through argumentation models and controversies.


Information in Contemporary Societies
Gabriel Misas Arango [pdf] [html]

[Key words: information, journalism, democracy, cultural production, mass media; JEL: A12, D80, Z13]

This essay addresses the effects of journalism on politics, democracy and cultural production in Colombia during the past decade. The first part describes the characteristics of journalism and strategies used by mass media to increase market participation, as well as journalism's influence in other fields and its capacity distorting its own environment. The second part analyzes the relationship between democracy and the power of communication. Some suggestions on how to control that power are made.

The Design and Experience of Health Regulation in Colombia
Jairo Humberto Restrepo Zea and Sandra Rodríguez Acosta [pdf] [html]

[Key words: regulations, institutions, public choice, social security, health care system; JEL: D43, I18, L51]

Colombia adopted a health care system with regulated competition in the interaction of several markets: insurance, medical services, hospitalization and drugs. In this regulatory scheme, a collegiate body and two central dependencies of the executive branch intervene. Overall, the regulation design is appropriate; however, there are problems both in the coordination and monitoring of the norms. There are also critical aspects due to the lack of strategy or long run planning and some inherent elements of the collegiate body's structure and operation which puts in doubt its autonomy and its search for general welfare in the decision making processes.

Health Market Failures in Colombia: the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Case
Liliana Chicaíza [pdf] [html]

[Key words: chronic renal insufficiency, demand induction, oligopoly firm's incentives, high cost; JEL: D43, I11, I18]

Chronic renal insufficiency is one of the highest cost pathologies of greater financial impact for the general system of social security health care in Colombia. High-cost case concentration in some health entities made it necessary to distribute resources and patients to other entities in order to counteract the financial unbalance. This paper proposes that demand induction is the principal failure in this case. It presents some hypotheses regarding incentives facing firms in an oligopolic market and argues for the necessity of regulatory intervention in prices and quality and, especially, prevention.

Contractual Forms in Emergency Services: An Economic Transaction Cost Perspective
Sergio Torres Valdivieso, Rafael Guillermo García Cáceres and John Jairo Quintero [pdf] [html]

[Key words: contractual forms, emergency services, transaction costs, production costs, JEL: C19, I11, I18, L51]

This paper evaluates how third level of attention hospitals in Bogotá choose between different contractual arrangements with health maintenance organizations (HMO), using criteria which seek to reduce transaction costs. Williamson's theoretical framework is used as a basis for an empirical test. Likert scales are used to operationalize the independent variables and the stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis (SMAA) and multiple discriminant analysis (MDA) for the test of the hypothesis. Results indicate that both HMO's and third level of attention hospitals in Bogotá seek to reduce production rather than transactions costs.


Revista de Economía Institucional
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Cra. 1 No. 12-68 Casa de las Mandolinas
Bogotá, Colombia
(571) 2826066 ext. 1307

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