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Notes on a real world economics curriculum
Paul Ormerod

[Keywords: economic history; simulation; networks; non-equilibrium; JEL: B41, B59, D85]

I propose a well founded and radical reform of the curriculum. However, it is not meant to be a detailed manifesto. For example, the core model of agent behaviour in mainstream economics should still be taught. It is not completely irrelevant to the real world. Nevertheless, it should be just one of a number of ways in which agents behave rather than the way. International trade theory, for example, particularly in its latest Sraffa-Ricardo guise, has much to be recommended. The literature on cross-sectional econometrics inspired by Heckman is important. In ways which become readily apparent when confronted with a great deal of the statistical analysis of such data carried out in the other social sciences. Inevitably, quite a lot of things from the standard curriculum would have to give. However, the main reforms which I would make are, in summary: teaching macro through the perspective of important episodes in economic history, teaching the use of modern simulation software which enables behaviour out of balance to be explored; teaching alternative models of agent decision making, which again can be examined using simulation; teaching network theory, and using this to challenge the assumptions that agents operate independently with fixed tastes and preferences.

The economists’ decisions: Coase and cognitive biases in theoretical work
Mario García Molina y Liliana Chicaíza Becerra

[Keywords: Coase, methodology, Kuhn, cognitive bias, behavioral economics; JEL: B41, B52, D83, B25, D03]

The paper reviews Coase’s ideas on methodology as explored in his criticism of Friedman, and compares them with concepts from other fields. Coase’s adaptation of Kuhn is shown to be more accurate for current economics than for the examples Coase presents. Some of Coase’s work is examined in terms of confirmation bias, and his ideas on motivated confirmation bias are contrasted with protocols used in medicine to deal with conflicts of interest. Finally, the need for pluralism in economics is stressed.

International migration return and entrepreneurship: a literature review
Luis Miguel Tovar Cuevas y María Teresa Victoria Paredes

[Keywords: return migration, entrepreneurship, self employment, international migration; JEL: F22, O15, M51]

This paper reviews the national and international literature on the relationship between return migration and entrepreneurship. Consulting secondary sources, we present the causes of return migration and the theories that explain it. In addition, we describe the results of the reviewed studies, carrying out a comparative analysis of the methodologies and the data used by the most representative ones. Finally, we present a critical reflection, highlighting what is known about the subject and the gaps that still exist, along with some recommendations for future research.

The Constitutional Court: a public policy actor
Juan Carlos Henao Pérez[pdf][html]

[Keywords:separation of powers, Constitutional Court, public policy, constitutional powers; JEL:K40, K49, Z18]

This article indicates that the classic notion of division of power is being questioned in Colombia today. The high Courts, and especially the Constitutional Court, tend to promote public policies and to intervene in their design and implementation. The discussion begins with a definition of public policies and then presents some arguments that support and legitimize the Constitutional Court’s intervention. It then analyzes some critical points of view and establishes the limits that the Court must respect in order to avoid exceeding its constitutional authority. Finally, it examines several cases in which the Constitutional Court has acted within these limits, giving other powers instructions to fulfill their constitutional obligations.

Violence against trade unionists in Colombia’s armed conflict
Camilo Echandía Castilla [pdf][html]

[Keywords: union, violence, armed conflict, guerrillas, paramilitaries, homicides, Colombia; JEL: D74, I38, K14]

The study of violence against trade unionists in the middle of the Colombian armed conflict is relevant because it reveals armed groups selective and systematic use of violence to weaken, neutralize, break up or counteract social organizations; reduce their ability to put pressure on or convene meetings; limit their requests or claims, and consequently limiting their possibilities to act. The reduction of trade unionist homicides in the last years is a clear consequence of the changes in the dynamics of the armed conflict. This is related, on the one hand, to paramilitary groups’ demobilization of parts of its armed component; and on the other hand, to the retreat of the guerrillas and the withdrawal of paramilitary groups in disputed areas. The commonly called “criminal gangs” carry out homicides but at moderate levels.

Access to water for human consumption in Colombia
Martha Yánez Contreras y Karina Acevedo González[pdf] [html]

[Keywords: distribution of water quality to human consumption, discriminant analysis, equity; JEL: Q25, C33, C35]

Access to water is a human right that must be guaranteed without discrimination. This article examines the existence of inequalities in the enjoyment of this human right through a discriminant analysis that identifies the factors that explain differences in levels of water quality for human consumption in the Colombian municipalities during the year 2009. The results indicate that there is statistical evidence of the existence of inequalities. In particular, poorest municipalities register the worst levels of water quality for human consumption.

Inferentials aspects of the dominance in poverty through global curves and their evolution in Colombia (2001-2005)
María Margarita Bahamón, Juana Domínguez y José Javier Núñez [pdf] [html]

[Keywords: poverty, TIPs/IID curves, dominance, stochastic inference; JEL: I32, C10, O54]

In this article, the methodology to analyze the poverty in Colombia using the TIPs/IID curves is explored. In addition, the stochastic dominance of first and second order in curve studies is analyzed, including its inferencial aspects, and a suitable contrast of hypothesis is proposed. For this we usedthe data of the Colombian survey Encuesta Continua de Hogares for the period 2001-2005. The results show that poverty in Colombia does not depend on the errors in the samples; it corresponds to variations in poverty experienced in those years.

Determinants of higher education demand in Colombia, 1980-2010
Cecilia Albert Verdú, Carlos Giovanni González Espitia y Jhon James Mora Rodríguez[pdf[html]

[Keywords: demand for education, demand for degrees, higher education, discreet choice models, robust estimation; JEL: I20, J12, C35]

The objective of this article is to analyze the main microeconometric factors that correlate with the demand for higher education in Colombia, using data from the ENH and ECH (GEIH) surveys carried outby the DANE and through the estimation of robust discreet choice models. The results show the importance of gender, parents’ educational level and work status, family composition and income in the demand for higher education. All these variables determine the fact that the principle of equal education opportunities is not fulfilled, as pointed out by Barr (1993).

Prices, money supply and economic growth in the New Granada of the late 18th century
James Vladimir Torres Moreno [pdf][html]

[Keywords: prices, economic growth, currency, interest rate, Viceroyalty of New Granada; JEL: E23, E66, N16, N26]

Recent economic historiography suggests that New Granada went through a period of significant economic growth during the second half of the 18th Century. The following research examines a group of variables which may have affected this result: prices, money supply and interest rates. Money supply is estimated using net currency exports as well as the quantitative equation of money. The latter has allowed us to analyze trends in various macroeconomic indicators, although it required the creation of new indexes for both prices and interest rates. The results point towards an important growth in both prices and the amount of coin available to the public, as well as a reduction in money velocity and various types of interest rates.

Coffee and transport system in Colombia: the Railroad of Cúcuta
Juan Santiago Correa R. [pdf][html]

[Keywords: coffee, transport system, railroad, Colombia; JEL: L92, N76, O18, R42]

This article analyzes the process of construction and operation of the Cúcuta Railroad, which was intended as a transport system with significant regional results. This project had one of the most interesting routes of the 19th century: the line from Cucuta to Puerto Villamizar, which was an initiative of private capital, built by national engineers without any funding or subsidy from the government. However, the other lines built later didn’t fulfill their purpose. The system built and operated by the Cúcuta Railroad gave the liberal elite of this region an efficient system of communication to move the main agricultural export product of the time: coffee. Also, it helped to consolidate the hegemonic elite, giving them the material means to oppose the government of the Regeneración during the civil wars of the 19th century.

Market and government failures in the Mexican aeronautical sector
Víctor Valdés [pdf][html]

[Keywords: market failures, government failures, aeronautical sector,Mexico; JEL: D02, L11, L93, R41, R42]

Although efficiency was defined as one goal of aeronautical policy in Mexico, public policy makers did not necessarily pursue this objective during the period 2001-2012. To evaluate the performance of these agents in promoting efficiency we propose a scheme of analysis that takes into account institutional capacity and technical capabilities through which we identified various market and government failures. International liberalization and infrastructure expansion policies accompanied by institutional strengthening would improve the efficiency of the industry.

Fiscal policy shocks, private consumption, investment and other macroeconomic variables. The case of Argentina
Luis N. Lanteri [pdf][html]

[Keywords: government spending and tax revenues; private consumption, investment, unemployment, inflation, SVAR models; JEL: E2, E3, H3]

This paper analyzes the effects of fiscal policy shocks on private consumption, investment and other macroeconomic variables in Argentine economy. The paper uses SVAR models with contemporary restrictions and quarterly data covering the period 1993-2012. We observed that expansionary shocks in government spending generate a positive effect on private consumption and investment and a fall in unemployment rates. In turn, variation tax revenues precedes private consumption and investment.



Revista de Economía Institucional
Universidad Externado de Colombia
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Bogotá, Colombia
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