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ABSTRACTS

 

REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA INSTITUCIONAL No. 13, SECOND SEMESTER 2005

 

 

The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation
Daron Acemoglu
, Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson [pdf] [html]

[Key words: European colonization, institutions, economic development, mortality rates, per capita income; JEL: D02, N30, N40, O15]

This article uses the different mortality rates of European colonialists to estimate the effect of institutions on economic performance. Europeans adopted very different colonization policies in different colonies. In places where mortality rates were high they did not settle, but set up extractive institutions that exist to the present day. By exploring the different mortality rates faced by soldiers, bishops and sailors in the colonies in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries, we were able to estimate the long-term effect of colonial institutions on per capita income.

 

Hume and Institutional Theory
Carlos Mellizo
[pdf] [html]

[Key Words: Hume, institutional theory, habit, patterns of behaviour; JEL: B52]

This paper shows the link
s between Hume's philosophy of customs, and the basic principles of institutional theory. This relationship has been suggested by contemporary economists such as Vernon Smith and others, who see in Hume the origins of today's broadly accepted dichotomy between constructive and ecological reasoning, essential to institutional thinking. For Hume habit, as the main guide of life, can be used to comprehend individual and collective behavioural patterns. The question is whether his reflections on the subject are consistent with the foundations of his own philosophy of belief.

Capitalism, Development and the State. A Critical Account of Schumpeter's Theory of the State
Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
[pdf] [html]

[Key words: Schumpeter, economic policy, technological innovation, income distribution, new industrialized countries; JEL: B00, O31, O38, P16]

Current theories of the State would benefit from a new look at the economic role of the State in the work of the great economists of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Schumpeter's central theme of technological innovation for long-term economic growth makes his work particularly interesting to development economics. However, Schumpeter's rejection of the State's role in income redistribution is too simplistic and contradictory. Structural change may enhance the prospects for long-term growth, but also creates social and economic disruptions. This paper explores this basic contradiction and briefly discusses the application of Schumpeter's theory of the State to new industrializing countries in East Asia and Latin America.

 

From the Knife Edge to the Nut Shell: A New Analysis of Harrod'sDynamic
Álvaro Martín Moreno Rivas
[pdf] [html]

[K
ey words: Harrod, dynamic theory, non linear cyclic growth; JEL: O49]

Harrod's research program was the first to integrate the central ideas of “magnum dynamics" into a mechanical framework of vector forces to endogenously explain cycles and growth. Mathematical economists ignored these points and Harrod's original work was presented in textbooks as the Harrod-Domar growth model. The aim of this paper is to present Harrod's dynamic and show that his real aim was to build a non linear cyclic growth model.
 

A Model of Herds and Social Learning
Juan Pablo Herrera and Francisco Lozano Gerena [pdf] [html]

[Key words: herds, social learning, Bayesian update; JEL: C11, D71, D83]

One of the most frequent questions asked by economists is how individual members of societies make choices. It can be observed that economic agents imitate other agents' actions. It should be asked why rational people choose to imitate other's behaviour and make decisions that are not based on their own private information. Bikhchandani, Hirshleifer and Welch (1992) showed that fully rational agents, who understand the history of decision making, can generate this kind of behaviour. An important feature of this model is that once individuals begin to imitate others, the social learning process is halted. This paper shows that social learning occurs if agents have a continuum set of actions to choose from or if they just have a sample of the history. It also shows that this type of learning can occur within a herd.

 

The Segmented City: A Revision of Neoclassical Spatial Synthesis
Óscar A. Alfonso R.
[pdf] [html]

[Key words: neoclassical spatial synthesis, real estate dynamics, urban residential structure; JEL: R12, R29]

This paper evaluates how economic theory deals with analyses of current real estate dynamics and urban residential structure. It shows the fundamental axioms of neoclassical spatial synthesis and their explanations in terms of equilibrium, and highlights ambiguous and unsatisfactory, but elegant, solutions to urban spatial economic structure and dynamics. It presents the critical heterodox approach to the fundamental axioms and the hypothesis of spatial equilibrium, and shows the main aspects of the central heterodox contribution to residential real estate dynamics.
 

The Effect of Space on the Cost of Local Provision. An Equalization Bloc Model for Bolivian Municipalities
Franz Xavier Barrios Suvelza
[pdf] [html]

[Key words: transfers, territorial order, supply costs, fiscal decentralization, equalization bloc, Bolivia; JEL: H53, H72, H79]

Bolivia went through a very important territorial transformation following the approval of the Popular Participation Law in 1994, which led to generalised municipal opening. The benefits of this reform were accompanied by a number of negative effects, such as those regarding the system of State transfers to municipalities. This article proposes a new model of transfers to municipalities that would complement the current “system of per capita fiscal endowments to municipalities" with a model of “inter-municipal fiscal equalization by blocks".
 

From the Firm to the Market: The Vertical Disintegration of Land Transport in Spain
Raúl Compés López
[pdf] [html]

[Key Words: land transport, vertical disintegration, regulation, Spain; JEL: D23, D40, L10, L91]

The sub-contracting of land transport is the governmental structure most used by Spanish transport firms. This model is the result of a vertical disintegration process that entails selling vehicles and reassigning tasks within or outside the business. Institutional reforms that regulate transport service provision, and fiscal, contractual and social regulations affecting the advantages and disadvantages of service provision, have had different effects on businesses. Vertical disintegration generates exit costs that affect the organizational model's rhythm, strategy and results.

Corruption y Capture in Public Service Regulation
Frédéric Boehm
[pdf] [html]

[Key words: corruption, capture, regulation, public services; JEL: L51, D73, D72, L97]

Regulation plays a key part in public service reforms. However, corruption and the risk of capture may undermine the purposes of these reforms. Both cost and incentive based regulations carry corruption and capture risks. This document shows that capture is a minor problem compared with market failures in different sectors, and thus proposes reforms to generate transparency and accountability in the regulatory processes.

 
 



Revista de Economía Institucional
Universidad Externado de Colombia
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Bogotá, Colombia
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ecoinstitucional@uexternado.edu.co

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