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ABSTRACTS

 

REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA INSTITUCIONAL No. 3, SECOND SEMESTER 2000

The Ubiquity of Habits and Rules
Geoffrey M. Hodgson [pdf] [html]

[Key words: habits, rules, learning, communication, cognition, uncertainty, JEL: D81, D83, D84]

Under what circumstances is it necessary or convenient for an agent to rely on habits and rules? This paper focuses on the types of decision situation giving rise to their use. Even optimisation requires the development of rules, and for this reason mainstream economics cannot legitimately ignore these questions. It argues that habits and rules are ubiquitous in human activity, presents a new taxonomy and analyses seven types of decision situations classified according to the type of information problem involved. Neither neoclassical nor behavioural economics can provide a complete account of the bases of habits or rules in these cases.

Differing Paradigms, Similar Flaws: Constructing a New Approach to Federalism in the United States
Mark C. Gordon [pdf] [html]

[Key words: federalism, intergovernmental relationships, state and local governments, institutional design, JEL: H11, H71, H73, H77]

This article presents a new approach to federalism that focus more on the outcome desired than on formal power relationships, considers more realistically the role played by states and localities, and incorporates the role of citizens more directly in the analysis. This approach underlines, contrary to the approach of the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, how to structure the federal system so that each level of government can contribute best to public problems solutions and recognizes that interaction, partnership, and occasionally tension between levels of government are required to insure that citizens become more engaged in North American civic society.

The Constitutional Court and Labor Market Flexibility
Luis E. Fajardo y Juan C. Guataquí [pdf] [html]

[Key words: constitution, labor legislation, contracts, labor market flexibility, JEL: E24, K12, K31]

This document presents a number of theoretical and practical arguments to explain how constitutional jurisprudence (rulings on the constitutionality of laws and on the “acción de tutela“) has become a factor affecting the flexibility of labor legislation in Colombia. Two examples are presented. One of them deals with the acción de tutela, the other with a lawsuit demanding the unconstitutionality of a law. The latter example is formalized through a microeconomic model taken from the producer’s theory to demonstrate how a reduction in the degree of flexibility in labor contracts may affect decisions on wage levels and/or employment.

Political Economy and Public Finances: Theory, Evidence and Lab Results
Javier A. Gutiérrez, Carolina Guzmán y Ulpiano J. Jiménez [pdf] [html]

[Key words: experimental economics, public finances, fiscal deficit, principal-agent, JEL: C70, C91, H72]

This paper summarizes theoretical models and empirical evidence concerning political economy of public finances. It emphasizes political and institutional issues that influence different levels of public debt and fiscal deficits in countries and subnational entities with similar economic performance, and describes fiscal contract relationships between governors and voters using principal-agent theory. It then applies methods of experimental economics and game theory, to evaluate how these relationships contribute in debt accumulation and fiscal unbalances, in a laboratory experiment in which participants act as agents (governors) and then as principals (voters).

Public Debt Disjunctive: Pay or Excise
Antonio Hernández G., Luis I. Lozano E., Martha Misas A. [pdf] [html]

[Key words: public debt, fiscal deficit, monetary policy, central bank, JEL: E52, E58, H62, H63]

This paper contributes to the debate regarding national government debt. It asks if government should excise public debt through inflation or pay it as it was stipulated, and argues that, from an economic and social point of view, what is desirable is the just fulfillment of State obligations. First section describes the evolution of national government finances over the last ten years. Second section shows different simulations to analyze the determinants of interest payments. Final section examines proposals that seek to reduce public debt though monetary emission and discusses some of its possible consequences.

Disjunctive is not to Pay or Excise Debt, is to Pay it Extra Charge or at Just Price
Mauricio Cabrera G. y Jorge I. González [pdf] [html]

[Key words: fiscal deficit, public debt, monetary policy, interest rate, JEL: E52, E58, H62, H63]

The article shows that the disjunctive stated by Hernández et. al. between pay or excise national public debt is not relevant. Discussion should focus on the current price that is paid for national public debt. Treasury is offering TES on the market at an interest rate much greater than DTF. This extra charge, besides is not justified, increases national debt. Current management of national public debt should be restated so that fiscal adjustment and economic recovery can be accomplished.

 
 



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

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