International Journal of Social Economics

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 0306-8293
Publications
Article
This article examines trends in poverty among the elderly in the United States from two perspectives. "First, we are interested in changes that took place in the magnitude, characteristics and incidence of poverty within this sector, as a result of the functioning of the economy as well as the poverty programme during the past decade. Our second primary objective is to present analytical models of the severity of poverty and use these models to describe techniques that might be employed in evaluating ways of alleviating poverty in one category of the aged poor where it seems most acute and most intractable, i.e. aged women living alone."
 
Article
"Nine causes for the occurrence of surplus agricultural labour with the modernisation of agriculture have been identified. Several solutions to this problem are presented. Urbanisation of the agricultural population in a way suited to China's characteristics is necessary, important and possible." An example of labor saving through mechanization in Heilongjiang province is presented.
 
Article
PIP The attempt is made to estimate the cost of family planning service provision and to demonstrate a means of showing the effectiveness of these services. The empirical results presented relate to the Grampian Health Board Area, located in North-East Scotland, for the financial year 1977-1978. The total population is about 450,000. Grampain is divided into 3 districts -- North, West and South, and the South district includes the City of Aberdeen with a population of over 200,000. A measure of effectiveness was developed which is based on the use-effectiveness of contraceptive methods used by family planning services users compared to that of those most likely to be used by this population in the absence of family planning services. The measure was then modified in view of the constraints on contraceptive use and demographic data. The measure used showed that the effectiveness of the services is dependent upon both the take-up rate and the use-effectiveness of the services provided. Concentrating on the conception-avoidance goal only underestimates the services' achievements, for family planning is also concerned with achieving wanted family creation. It was estimated that given the utilization rate of Grampian's community-based family planning services in 1977-1978, between 828 and 1242 unwanted conceptions were avoided, with an associated cost to the National Health Service per unwanted conception avoided of between 264 pounds and 396 pounds.
 
Article
PIP Addresses the question of whether Malthus, were he alive today, would support compulsory family planning (a policy generally referred to as "Malthusian"). The neomalthusian position is basically that the race between population growth and development of resources, especially food supply, is highly unequal; poverty and stagnation are the inevitable outcome. Population growth must therefore be curbed by whatever means are available, through legal compulsion if necessary. A number of statements from Indian government sources during the mid 1970s, with regard to sterilization, are offered as illustrations. The Malthusian paradigm described has been subjected to severe criticism, which leads to questions about its validity as a justification for compulsory sterilization. Malthus distinguished between policy measures for control of population, rejecting all but the moral restraint implied in postponement of marriage. Thus, like Gandhi, he rejected the belief that the ends justify the means. The Malthusian basis is seen as untenable for 3 reasons: it is erroneous (science and technology have nullified the thesis of over population as the cause of poverty); it is dangerous (treating symptoms rather than the disease); it is inadequate, leaving out variables other than the economic from its analysis. Malthus the moralist would have rejected compulsion, and the use of his paradigm to justify such a policy does him an injustice.
 
Article
PIP The author attempts to identify the determinants of infant mortality in developing countries and, in particular, to overcome some of the deficiencies of a previous study by G. B. Rodgers. The roles of income and inequality as determinants of infant mortality are first examined. Next, consideration is given to the effects of education and medical care. A selection of regression results is then presented. The results provide some evidence as to why infant mortality rates, which fell rapidly in the two decades following World War II, stabilized in the late 1960s and 1970s. They also suggest that developing countries that place low priority on improving women's education and on attaining a more egalitarian distribution of incomes are unlikely to achieve a rapid reduction in their infant mortality rates.
 
Article
"The economic law of population distribution and migration has been studied chiefly based on the Chinese situation. The distribution and development of productive forces decide the distribution and migration of population, and in turn, the latter influences the former. The population distributions in three different stages of social development, namely agricultural, industrial and information society, are described. A new concept in population economics is introduced, i.e. population economic density, which is different from the concept of population density. The formula of population economic density is P(population)/R(resources). Many kinds of migration are analysed, and it is believed that the main efficient cause of migration is economy."
 
Article
"Economists are divided about population growth: the pessimism of neo-Malthusians contrasts strongly with the optimism of cornucopians. Despite their differences, however, both schools of thought reject economic orthodoxy and prefer evolutionary forms of theory. Their interpretations of evolution are different: the neo-Malthusians appeal to the entropy law, whereas the cornucopians emphasize human creativity expressed through markets. [The author argues] that both schools are right to adopt an evolutionary outlook, but that they are too restrictive in their conception of evolution. A more complete evolutionary view, which allows properly for social institutions, could give a more balanced account of population growth."
 
Article
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to outline and compare the land ownership, land taxes and citizens' dividend proposals by Thomas Paine and Thomas Spence. Design/methodology/approach – Paine wrote “Agrarian justice” in which he argued that every proprietor of cultivated land owes to the society a ground-rent for the land which the person holds because it is common property. This ground rent would take the form of a tax per year of 10 per cent on inheritances. It is this ground-rent that would fund the payments made to every person based on some age restrictions. In response, Spence wrote “The rights of infants” in which he went a step further as he recommended the abolition of aristocracy. As a result, there would have been common ownership of land and revenue derived from land would be administered by the parishes and distributed to everyone equally. Findings – In assessing the two proposals using the citizens' dividend criterion, each proposal has consistent and inconsistent elements. Practical implications – It can be argued that the two proposals are primitive versions of citizens' dividend as espoused today. Originality/value – The paper contributes to knowledge regarding the debate at the time. During that period, public opinion associated classical political economy with a resolute denial of the right to subsistence to the poor and vigorous opposition to the English Poor Law based on the ideas of Malthus. Students of social economics would benefit from this paper in placing on equal footnoting in the historical debate the counter-proposals to the dominant position at the time.
 
Article
Purpose – To review one of the earliest Chinese debates on socialism, highlighting the consequent changes in outlook by Sun Yat‐sen and Liang Qichao; and to demonstrate the influence of Western economic writers especially Richard T. Ely, Henry George, and German Bismarckian socialists. Design/methodology/approach – Textual analysis of original Chinese‐language materials with extensive direct quotations (in translation). Findings – Sun initially gave primary attention to land policy, using a (somewhat inconsistent) combination of George's “single tax” and a very different idea of land nationalization. As a result of the debate, however, Sun gave more attention to economic growth, capital formation, and import restriction. Liang initially favored Bismarckian socialism, but moved during the debate to increasing skepticism about a major economic role for government, recognizing the need for entrepreneurship and capital formation. Originality/value – Existing literature fails to perceive the radical shifts in viewpoint which developed for both Sun and Liang. This is particularly important for Sun, whose later ideas had a major influence on Chinese economic policy after 1927.
 
Article
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to understand how, in tough economic times, British-owned, English language newspapers such as The Pioneer received and filtered news, especially gender-related and nationalist-related events and thinking. Design/methodology/approach – Using qualitative and quantitative methods to assess communications by and about pro-nationalist women, coverage of female activities was categorised into two groups: first, educational, social and peaceful campaigns and second, direct action such as strikes, burning of British cloth and business/land rent boycotts. Findings – Direct action provided “bad news” coverage, but it simultaneously gave a small window for publicity. Less threatening peaceful campaigns provided a bigger window – enhanced by the novelty value of female activism. Research limitations/implications – Historians need to look specifically at Indian newspapers during the struggle for independence for a counter-hegemonic discourse that reached a wide public. When evidence of women's activism is paired with financial news, it becomes clear that women had a negative impact on British business. Furthermore, The Pioneer's own business dilemmas made the paper part of the economic and ideological maelstrom that it reported on. Originality/value – This is the first time that the colonial press in India itself has been scrutinised in detail on the subject of the rising nationalist movement and women. Findings underline female influence on both economics and ideology – a neglected aspect of Indian gender scholarship and economic history.
 
Article
This paper presents and discusses the rent-seeking process that occurred during Franco's regime in Spain (1939-1975). Once the Civil War (1936-1939) was over, those who won the war (militiaman, right-wing factions) took control of the key positions in the new government. That meant the transfer of rents from the budget to veterans of war and their relatives, fuelled by the creation of an increasingly strong and well-organised interest group. The author takes a public-choice approach and is inspired by a similar study by R. Holcombe on the American Civil War.
 
Periodogram for L (10 3 ) 
Periodogram for K (10 2 )
Periodogram for Y/L (10 2 ) 
Periodogram for R&D (10 6 ) 
Periodogram for 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to deal with questions of instability and economic crises, deriving theoretical arguments from Marx's and Schumpeter's works and presenting relevant empirical evidence for the case of the US food manufacturing sector. Design/methodology/approach – The paper attempts to interpret the economic fluctuations in the US food sector and find causal relationships between the crucial variables dictated by Schumpeterian and Marxian theory, such as technological change, output and profitability. In this context, a number of relevant techniques have been used, such as de-trending, cointegration analysis, white noise tests, periodograms, cross-correlations and Granger causality tests. Findings – Most economic variables in the food manufacturing sector exhibit a similar pattern characterized by periodicities exhibiting a short-term cycle, a mid-term cycle and a long-term cycle. Also, the economic variables investigated follow patterns which are consistent with the total economy. Furthermore, a relatively rapid transmission of technology in the economy takes place along with bidirectional causality between technology and output/profitability, which can be interpreted as indicating an ambivalent relationship in the flow of cause and effect. These findings give credit to certain aspects of the Schumpeterian and Marxist theories of economic crises, respectively. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the literature in the following ways: first, it introduces a relevant methodological framework building on Schumpeterian and Marxist insights. Second, it uses several variables to study the economic fluctuations instead of delimiting its analysis, for instance, to industrial output. Third, the results are discussed in a broader political economy context, related to the US economy, as a whole.
 
Article
The paper estimates a household money demand function for Poland from 1969 to 1995. Contrary to theoretical belief and earlier empirical evidence portfolio arguments are found to be significant. Despite regime shifts during the 1980s and full liberalization of the Polish economy in the beginning of 1990, cointegration relationships are found between broad real money holdings, real household income, an interest rate on an alternative asset, the inflation rate and shortage of goods. Because Poland knew severe policy shocks and monetary data show a development from a cash to a savings economy, extensive attention is paid to parameter constancy and stability of the cointegration relationships. Tests generally confirm stability of long-run income and interest elasticities. Short-run money demand estimates illustrate expectations of increased income and interest elasticities, as well as an increasingly active adjustment behavior. Some implications of our main findings for monetary stabilization policy are discussed.
 
The movement of EMP in Fiji: 1975-2005  
Plot of CUSUM test  
Plot of CUSUM of squares test  
Article
Purpose – Under the fixed exchange rate regime Fiji's currency, which is pegged to a basket of currencies of its major trading partners, has been experiencing severe pressures. The purpose of this paper is to study annual exchange market pressure (EMP) over a 31‐year (1975‐2005) period and attempt to determine the factors behind EMP. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing procedure, which is applied to a multivariate model covering four variables, namely EMP in index numbers, and budget deficit, domestic credit to private sector and external debt, all the three expressed as percentages of gross domestic product. Additionally, an uncertainty variable is added to the regression analysis with a view to finding out whether political uncertainty has been responsible for speculative attacks on currency. Existence of a cointegration vector is then investigated. It is then followed by Granger‐causality tests in an error‐correction model with view to exploring the short‐ and long‐term relationships between the variables. Findings – The study findings are: there existed a long‐run relationship between EMP and budget deficit, domestic credit to private sector, external debt and political uncertainty; and EMP was positively related to budget deficit, domestic credit to private sector and external debt as well as speculative pressures exercised by political uncertainty. Originality/value – The empirical study on EMP in the South Pacific Island countries and in Fiji in particular is the first of its kind. The paper is expected to promote further interest in the studies of currencies of small island countries.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine gender differences in occupational status among South Korean workers in 1988 and 1998. In 1988, the South Korean National Assembly enacted an Equal Employment Opportunity Act. The goal is to better understand how occupational status differs by gender between these time periods. Design/methodology/approach – Using the “88 and 98 Occupational Wage Bargaining Survey on the Actual Condition (OWS),” the paper examines occupational differences by gender and log wage using OLS. Findings – Occupational segregation by gender was more extreme in 1988 than 1998. In 1988, 83.3 percent of all female workers were employed in three broad occupational categories. Few women (5.4 percent) worked as professional, technical or administrative workers. By 1998, 11.5 percent of female workers were employed as professionals. The highest paid occupational categories, in South Korea, have the lowest percentage of female workers. Women benefit from additional educational experience, though less so than holds for men, and from being in a union (in 1988). Women are penalized, in terms of occupational status prestige, when working in large firms and when married. Practical implications – If South Korea aims to make full use of the human capital of all workers, measures need to address how women might enjoy returns on their educational investment that approach those realized by men. Further, efforts to integrate women into professional occupations categories might be examined. Originality/value – Little has been explored with regard to occupational gender differences in South Korea. This work provides a better understanding of occupational status differences by gender and how they vary across time.
 
Article
Purpose – To analyze the impact of policy on people's identities, and the conflicts which can result from this. Design/methodology/approach – The case of the Rwanda genocide is used to examine identity disturbances related to policies. Findings – Identity adjustments generated by policies can have devastating effects such as genocide. This raises the issue of national decision makers' responsibilities as well as those of the international institutions advocating and enforcing such policies. Research limitations/implications – This study implies that we need to consider the impacts of policies on people's identities and to extend such empirical research. Practical implications – The issue of institutions' responsibilities must be discussed, for both national and international institutions; and a precautionary principle in decision making must be set for expert advisors. Originality/value – The paper addresses the links between economic policies and their effects on individual identity, an area which has not yet been examined in economic studies.
 
Article
b>Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to forecast Fiji's exports and imports for the period 2003-2020. Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the goal of this paper, the autoregressive moving average with explanatory variables (ARMAX) model was applied. To this end, the paper drew on the published export demand model and the import demand model of Narayan and Narayan for Fiji. Findings – The paper's main findings are: Fiji's imports will outperform exports over the 2003-2020 period; and current account deficits will escalate to be around F$934.4 million on average over the 2003-2020 period. Originality/value – Exports and imports are crucial for macroeconomic policymaking. It measures the degree of openness of a country and it signals the trade balance and current account balances. This has implications for inflation and exchange rate. By forecasting Fiji's exports and imports, the paper provides policy makers with a set of information that will be useful for devising macroeconomic policies. <br /
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to articulate the etiology of ethnic conflict in Fiji that moves beyond polemical interpretations which routinely and often erroneously apportion blame. Design/methodology/approach – A critical survey of ethnic conflict between in Indo‐ and indigenous Fijians is offered. The implication of British colonialism on the conflict is underscored. Findings – The paper concludes that the first three coups that occurred in Fiji between 1987 and 2000 were, to varying degrees, the coupled result of the deterioration of indigenous paramountcy in Fijian politics on the one hand and the lack of their improvement in socio‐economic status on the other. In contrast, the 2006 coup is the product of intra‐ethnic discord amongst indigenous Fijians, which ultimately sidelines the question of indigenous paramountcy. Originality/value – Unlike previous arguments that have largely ignored economic determinants in creating and perpetuating ethnic conflict in Fiji, this paper illustrates how such factors are crucial to conceptualize an understanding of discord between Indo‐ and indigenous Fijians.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the topic of the informal economy, exploring its definition from both economic and criminological standpoints. It seeks to consider possible linkages with organised crime and the conditions under which these may be facilitated, with reference to the papers in this double special issue. Design/methodology/approach – The papers in this issue are deliberately from different methodological perspectives, in order to illustrate the need for multidisciplinarity to show both the extent of the informal and criminal economies and their links to geographical and social context. Findings – As well as revealing the endemic nature of corruption in Ukrainian workplaces and the high levels of informal activity undertaken by workers the research found that many people wish for their workplace to become more regulated. Research limitations/implications – The issue can only, for reasons of space, explore a number of facets of the informal economy. The nature of the informal economy depends upon place, time, social and ethnic context, and historical links and trade routes. The issue concentrates upon criminogenic potential, rather than the survival value of informal solutions or their place in cementing household and community economies and interactions. Originality/value – The issue contains papers which reveal new theoretical insights on this rather unresearched and complex topic, as well as new empirical findings. It highlights the impact of internationalisation and globalisation.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to estimate wheat productivity in Bangladesh and forecast the future expected population and food requirements in the country by 2010. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reaches the objectives using total factors productivity approach, Box Jenkins approach, and sensitivity analysis for wheat farms in the country. The study used data on wheat during 1972-2002. Findings – In the existing situation, the national average level wheat yield was 1.9?MT/ha that was lower than any other stations. The reasons are late sowing, coupled with lack of seed quality, excess moisture at sowing, lack of fertilizer at reasonable price and timeliness at the farmers' level, and lack of capital. The total productivity grew at an average annual rate of 1.35 percent. Practical implications – The results show that the Bangladeshi government could increase the domestic wheat supply by 56.84, 115.79, 247.37, and 321.58 percent depending, respectively, on the applied model I-IV, that is much higher than the existing level of production. Originality/value – This paper brings together diverse views and fusing them together providing a future path for research and taking suitable policy for wheat production to meet the demand for food.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the alleged link between institutional quality and economic performance in 27 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries during the period 1984-2003. Design/methodology/approach – Four institutions' quality indicators, namely government stability, corruption, ethnic tensions and socioeconomic conditions, along with other control and policy variables, are employed in a panel data analysis. Findings – The institutional variables assume a key role in the process of economic development whereas the control variables display a limited effect. Thus, the “conventional variables” of economic theory may not be able to fully explain the SSA experience. Research limitations/implications – Future research efforts should explore how the vast changes experienced by the countries in that region influenced their economic evolution during the last decades. Practical implications – Policy makers should primarily focus on improving institutional quality, which is likely to positively affect economic performance in SSA countries. Social implications – Improving institutional infrastructure (enhancing rule of law and quality regulation, improving contract enforcement, securing property rights and reducing uncertainty) play a key role in delivering long-run economic development and social prosperity. Originality/value – The paper analyzes the impact of institutional quality on economic performance using data from 27 SSA countries.
 
Article
Purpose – To develop a model that bridges the gap between CSR definitions and strategy and offers guidance to managers on how to connect socially committed organisations with the growing numbers of ethically aware consumers to simultaneously achieve economic and social objectives. Design/methodology/approach – This paper offers a critical evaluation of the theoretical foundations of corporate responsibility (CR) and proposes a new strategic approach to CR, which seeks to overcome the limitations of normative definitions. To address this perceived issue, the authors propose a new processual model of CR, which they refer to as the 3C‐SR model. Findings – The 3C‐SR model can offer practical guidelines to managers on how to connect with the growing numbers of ethically aware consumers to simultaneously achieve economic and social objectives. It is argued that many of the redefinitions of CR for a contemporary audience are normative exhortations (“calls to arms”) that fail to provide managers with the conceptual resources to move from “ought” to “how”. Originality/value – The 3C‐SR model offers a novel approach to CR in so far as it addresses strategy, operations and markets in a single framework.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reveal some basic characteristics in social and economic process, and lay the analytic foundation for advance-retreat course (ARC). Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents the analytic model of stochastic ARC (SARC), which is based on the partial distribution and partial process (belonging to the probability theory and stochastic process), and describes some important characteristics of social and economic process in a quantitative method. Findings – The successful socio-economic process, including many biological process, are usually divided into three basic stages: the weak growth, the quick development and the swift decline. In general, rapid growth brings with it the weak persistence, and slow growth brings with it the strong persistence. The socio-economic fluctuations are mainly caused by the excessive environmental pressures. The duration of the socio-economic growth is inverse with the environmental pressure. Research limitations/implications – All the basic variables and parameters in an ARC model should be no less than zero. Practical implications – Based on US GDP (chained) price index data (1940-2005), American economic process in recent 70 years is analyzed, and the analysis indicates, American economic motivity is clearly insufficient after 2008, and the present economic recovery will be very arduous and prolonged. Social implications – The environmental pressures will become the main problem for future global socio-economic development. Originality/value – SARC model in this paper presents a special way to analyze the social development and economic growth, and is helpful to related academic research and socio-economic decision making.
 
Article
The purpose of the present paper is to test this premise of no positive obligations against a challenging critique that can be made of it. To wit, abandonment of babies. That is, does the mother who abandons her baby have the positive obligation to at least place it “on the church steps”, e.g. notify all other potential care givers of the fact that unless one of them comes forward with an offer to take in the infant, it will die? If so, then there is at least one positive obligation in the libertarian philosophy; if not, then, at least at the outset, the libertarian claim to be generally utilitarian must be greatly attenuated. At best, there would now be an exception to the previously impermeable principle of no positive obligations; at worst, one exception tends to leads another, posing the risk that the premise will be fatally compromised, which can undermine the entire philosophical edifice.
 
Article
Purpose – Aims to focus on air pollution as one of the environmental problems that tends to improve at higher income levels.Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a combination of narrative with argument and analysis.Findings – Between the early 1970s and the mid‐1980s, air pollution in Japan, in particular that caused by sulfur dioxide (SO2), was reduced to a remarkable degree. This reduction resulted from responses to mounting civil protest: governmental regulation policy on the one hand, and innovation of abatement technology and energy efficiency on the other. In large Southeast Asian cities, despite rapid economic growth, air pollution is less severe than it was in Japan in the early 1970s. This is because both government and industry in Southeast Asia took early initiatives to prevent environmental degradation, learning from the experiences of developed countries.Originality/value – The conclusions drawn help in understanding the prerequisites for reducing CO2 emissions. If developed countries actually succeed in creating abatement technology for CO2, this will surely affect the development policy in developing countries.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically estimate the effect the costs of an abortion have on the supply of infants relinquished for adoption in the USA. Design/methodology/approach – This paper, using pooled time-series cross-section state data, over the years 1982, 1992, and 2000, empirically estimates an adoption supply equation based on the rational choice economic model of fertility. Findings – The empirical results find that increases in the price of an abortion and the enforcement of a Parental Involvement Law decrease the number of infants available for adoption in a state. States that do not fund Medicaid abortions do not have higher rates of infant relinquishment. Research limitations/implications – One implication of the results in this paper is that to have an abortion or relinquish an infant for adoption are not considered to be substitutes by women with unwanted pregnancies and that for poor women with unwanted pregnancies either an abortion or raising an infant is preferable to relinquishing an infant for adoption. It would be of interest to see whether comparable results occur in other countries which have changed their abortion policies. Originality/value – If the goal of society is to increase the number of adoptable infants, the conclusions reached in this paper suggest ways to accomplish this goal.
 
Total liquor consumption 2002-2006
Article
Purpose – South Africa is among the world's highest levels of alcohol consumption per drinker. Liquor abuse is hence rampant and many drinkers engage in risky drinking regularly. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problem of liquor abuse and seek to understand the degree to which respondents are aware of the alcohol problem in South Africa and whether they have experienced incidents of alcoholism, its impacts and in particular, the study seeks to determine the degree to which minors are exposed to liquor. Awareness of the seriousness of the problem is crucial to finding a lasting solution to it. Design/methodology/approach – This paper conducted a survey in five provinces of the socio‐economic aspects of liquor abuse. These are Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal (KZN), Mpumalanga and Western Cape provinces. The paper intends to address whether there are: differences in liquor abuse between experiences of demographic (racial) groupings per province; differences in the knowledge of alcohol‐related activities and impacts per province; and differences in exposure of minors to liquor‐related violence per province. Findings – South Africans are generally aware of the liquor abuse problem and many have had personal experiences or know family members who have had personal experiences. Liquor abuse is associated strongly with negative social activities in the country. Among occupational groups, administrative officers in Gauteng and Mpumalanga are significantly associated with being transported by drunk drivers. Drinking at work is significantly associated with professionals in KZN. Originality/value – There are few studies that examine issues related to the problem of liquor abuse and the awareness of its seriousness. The findings could assist in understanding how to target education campaigns to inform the public of the problem of liquor abuse.
 
Article
Purpose – Any adequate analysis of the nature of mathematics and its role in sciences necessarily requires fundamental understanding of the world views underlying the views expressed with respect to the nature and role of mathematics. Aims to discuss four general views with respect to mathematics and its role in sciences, corresponding to four broad worldviews. Design/methodology/approach – This paper starts with the premise that any worldview can be positioned on a continuum formed by four basic paradigms: functionalist, interpretive, radical humanist, and radical structuralist. It looks at the current state of mainstream academic finance and notes that it is founded only on the functionalist paradigm. It argues that any view expressed with respect to the nature of mathematics and its role in sciences is based on one of the four paradigms or worldviews. Findings – Emphasizes that the four views expressed are equally scientific and informative; they look at the nature and role of mathematics from a certain paradigmatic viewpoint. Originality/value – Concludes that there are opportunities for mainstream academic finance to benefit from contributions coming from the other three paradigms, if it respects paradigm diversity.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of industrial concentration on the level of access to financial services in a developing country context. In most studies, price is the only variable that is used to assess conduct. In this paper, we extend the standard approach by assessing the impact of concentration on the level of access to retail financial services in South Africa. Design/methodology/approach – Two regression models have been specified and tested. Findings – It is found – as with most of the literature – that concentration has an impact on the conduct of retail financial services firms. Specifically, the study illustrates that the pricing of retail banking products in South Africa fits with the structure-performance hypothesis and secondly, the level of access to services is inadequate, does not meet the needs of consumers and is a symptom of market power and the absence of a competitive market in retail banking. Practical implications – The findings imply that there is a need for greater regulatory focus on the enhancement of social welfare in the retail banking sector in South Africa. There is also a need to develop policy and increase provision of basic infrastructure, in particular, electricity so as to reduce the cost of distribution, supply and intermediation of retail bank products. Originality/value – The key contribution of this paper is that it delineates conduct into two parts. It separately illustrates that concentration in the financial services sector can adversely affect social welfare in two ways. First, as is well known, it increases prices second, it reduces the level of supply and access provided to points of need. This is believed to be the first study to explicitly do this in a developing country context.
 
Article
Purpose – Latinos comprise 12.5 percent of the overall population in the USA, and are the fastest‐growing minority, among which the Mexican‐origin population makes up about 66 percent. Undocumented Latino immigrants are a small, yet important group within the immigrant population. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature and discuss the most important factors that prevent immigrants from accessing health care. Design/methodology/approach – Literature review was conducted from the library database. A total of 50 items of literature related to the subject were reviewed. Findings – Border states have the highest concentration of Mexican‐origin people. The concentration of immigrants in the border has unique health and economic implications due to the vital role they have in US society, contributing both to the economy and diversity of the USA. Despite their important role, they disproportionately lack health insurance, and receive fewer health care services than US‐born citizens. This lack of insurance puts a burden on the nation's economy, and their health status deteriorates as they become more prone to chronic health conditions, and their complications due to lack of primary medical attention. Originality/value – Tailored public health interventions that address the health needs of Latino immigrants in the USA need to be based on reliable data and statistics in order to effectively place resources, and to track achievements and flaws.
 
Article
Purpose – Several scholars, policymakers and international development agencies have been suggesting that trade and capital openness would bring better governance, in particular higher level of voice and accountability (VA), for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows on VA in the MENA region. Design/methodology/approach – Applying two different panel models (fixed-effects and dynamic), this paper uses related observations from 19 MENA countries between 2000 and 2008 to analyze the impacts of FDI inflows on VA. Findings – The results reveal that FDI inflows do not contribute to the higher level of VA in the MENA region. Originality/value – With no previous studies of the linkage between FDI inflows and VA in the MENA region, the paper makes a significant contribution in this regard.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of natural resources accounting in sustainable development. Natural resource accounting is important because the welfare of a nation measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) has several weaknesses. Design/methodology/approach – This paper achieves this objective by identifying the present status, the constraints and the challenges for the economics and accounting professions. Findings – The main weakness of GDP as a measure of development is that it does not take into account damages to environmental resources. However, the improvement of the concept to include environmental resource use is made difficult because of the difficulties of measuring environmental damage. The challenge to the economics and accounting profession is to ensure interdisciplinary collaboration, development of a framework to explicitly include the environment, development of credible valuation procedures for the environment, and inclusion of the various ethical positions advanced by various groups on the value of the environment. Practical implications – Some headway has been made on these issues during the last decade but a major challenge still lies ahead in further improving these approaches so that sustainable development becomes an achievable goal. Originality/value – This paper brings together diverse views and fusing them together providing a future path for research in environmental accounting to achieve sustainable development.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper seeks to analyse the current poverty situation and poverty alleviation efforts of the NGOs in Bangladesh with emphasis on the impacts of two NGO programmes in two villages of Barisal district. Design/methodology/approach – This research has employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The research has primarily used first-hand empirical data. In order to substantiate primary data, relevant secondary information has also been used. Data were collected through household survey by applying both open- and closed-ended questionnaires. With a view to analysing data, inferential as well as descriptive statistics have been applied. Findings – The findings revealed that the economic condition of the poor in the study areas has not improved much when judged against some selected indicators, namely, income, food and non-food expenditure, productive and non-productive asset, food security, and employment creation. The Foster Greer Thorbecke index shows that the majority of the NGO beneficiaries remained below the poverty line in terms of income and the overwhelming majority of them remained below the underemployment line (less than 260 days of work in a year). The regression analysis shows that the income of the households is determined by landholding size, family labour, days suffered from morbidities and employment opportunity. The qualitative data on the perception of beneficiaries on the causes of poverty endorse this finding. Originality/value – Controversies over the issue of widespread poverty in Bangladesh have been revolving among the government, NGOs and the donor agencies as well. NGOs have been claiming the entire success of the economic wellbeing made to the rural poor. However, this study has directly challenged their claims by casting an empirical lens on the impact of their interventions. This study has detected the paucities of the NGO interventions and gaps between their objectives and their achievement.
 
Article
While several studies in regional economics and development economics have repeatedly suggested that selected regions are capable of exerting powerful growth impulses on national growth and development, there are studies in the literature which have raised doubts about the existence of transmitting growth impulses from one region to another. The objectives of this paper are to test whether there are any significant growth-transmission effects across Indian states and to examine whether institutional improvements induced through economic reform have improved such transmission effects. Using data from both pre- and post-1991 economic reform, this study suggests that the growth impulses passing from one state to another have been limited, although it appears to have increased in the post-reform period. What is evident from this study is that the structure of the state economies, in terms of their sectoral composition, and the quality of their human capital and infrastructure, is a relevant variable from the policy point of view in boosting the growth spillover effects from the leading to the lagging states.
 
Article
Purpose – This is an account-taking paper on the status of global poverty and its reduction. The purpose of this paper is to examine why some countries reduce poverty more quickly than others. Design/methodology/approach – The data on the population living below $1 a day during 2000 and 2002 reported in the World Development Indicators (WDI) 2004 have been used to identify the status and determinants of poverty across countries. Next, using the national data on poverty level with respect to countries having a $1 poverty level of more than 3 percent as reported in WDI-2004, the rate of change in the poverty level was calculated. In both cases, the explained and the explanatory variables used in the multiple regression frameworks were selected based on theory and other empirical findings. Findings – The results indicate that countries with sustainable agricultural growth, foreign capital flows, and better infrastructure tend to achieve a faster reduction in poverty. Research limitations/implications – In a cross-country empirical analysis, it is difficult to obtain consistent and uniform infrastructure indices. The proxies used in this paper could be improved. Practical implications – The practical implications of policy formulations are to strengthen economic activities such as labour-intensive export promotion, emphasis on agriculture productivity, improved communication and infrastructure, besides effectively implementing policy initiatives such as population control, reduced dependency on aids and reducing malnutrition to achieve a lower incidence of health expenditure. Originality/value – This paper identifies the common economic characteristics that prevail across the countries with extreme poverty by developing a statistically consistent model from a pool of explanatory variables selected from earlier cross-country poverty studies.
 
Article
Micro-finance institutions are critical to Africa's quest for solutions to the continent's development challenge. The area of their greatest potential impact, rural Africa, is not only home to the bulk of the continent's population, but also the vast majority of Africa's poor. This paper not only defines MFIs with examples from Zambia, South Africa, Mali and Zimbabwe, it also establishes a clear link between MFIs and both poverty eradication and the empowerment and equality of women, two of the major Millennium Development Goals. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations and a set of “best practices” for the future success of MFIs on the continent, including the need to ensure flexibility and careful government regulation and supervision of MFIs.
 
Article
Purpose – The paper aims to examine the coexistence of formal and informal resource sectors in resource-dependent economies, whose production depends on an exhaustible (e.g. minerals) and a renewable resource stock (e.g. forest), respectively. It then examines the implications of declining mineral stocks on public revenues, labour movements between sectors, and economic growth in an attempt to elucidate the poor economic performance of many mineral-dependent countries. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a theoretical model that describes the coexistence of a formal and informal resource-dependent sector, where individuals can direct their work effort. It then assesses how declining mineral stocks influence labour mobility across sectors and environmental degradation. Findings – Decreasing mineral stocks induce a relocation of labour towards informal production and deprive local authorities from public revenues collected within the formal economy. This constrains the ability to improve infrastructure and welfare over time and simultaneously imposes pressure on the local environment. Originality/value – The paper provides a novel theoretical mechanism that attempts to elucidate the “resource curse”, i.e. the poor economic performance of many mineral-rich economies. It purposely explores the implications of a coexistence of formal and informal resource activities on economic development for resource-dependent economies, in order to obtain new insights into this direction.
 
Article
Purpose – The first French context of microfinance dates from the 1980's. As a matter of fact, the “grameen bank” model was imported at this time to France by M. Nowak, through her Association for an individual right to undertake: “Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique” (ADIE). But today the domestic landscape of solidarity-based finance counts plenty of “new” actors, such as: CIGALES, la NEF among others, not to forget intermediated social finance firms: Cooperative banks and public banks with social objectives like the Crédits Municipaux. The purpose of this paper is to show how solidarity-based finance actors try to supply banking products and services to those who are excluded from access to the banking system and to test the hypothesis of an alternative financial system that is “socially responsible” in articulation with public and private sectors. Design/methodology/approach – A typology of social banking actors is proposed. The nature of responsibility of each actor of this other kind of finance is described. Findings – Social and solidarity-based economy needs to be recognized by contemporary economics. Solidarity-based finance shows us that another sustainable development model is possible. Originality/value – This paper provides incentive to other social economists to continue this work in cooperation.
 
Article
Using a case study approach, this article presents findings on a small plastic manufacturing firm and entrepreneur in Nigeria. The study identifies performance factors of a firm that has received hardly any external support and, as a result, the entrepreneur had to independently sustain his firm through creative abilities. Findings from the study revealed that there are external and internal constraints such as lack of financial capital, inadequate infrastructure facilities, competition from large firms, unfavorable government policies, dearth of machines and spare parts and paucity of raw materials. Internal obstacles like incompetent planning, poor organizational skills and limited knowledge were also obstacles. Funding assistance is biased on the basis of favoritism and not on developmental goals being achieved. This particular case is an example of a potential avant-garde entrepreneur whos talent should not be neglected
 
Article
Purpose – In the Western world the voices calling for a secular society have grown ever louder over the last three centuries. This paper seeks to return to one of the founders of modernity for guidance. Adam Smith advocated globalization on economic and moral grounds. Design/methodology/approach – A discussion focusing on those calling for a secular society and, in addition to these normative advocates, various social scientists have propounded the “secularization thesis”; after analysing history from a purportedly positive view, they have argued that “modernization” leads to a secular society. Recently globalization has been seen as another cause of secularization. At the same time, the revival of various religions has cast doubt on these claims. Findings – Smith did not see secularization as an inevitable consequence of globalization. Further, despite his awareness of the arguments of the advocates of secular society (and contrary to some commentators like Minowitz), he rejected their advice. For him, a secular community was neither a necessary nor a desirable consequence of globalization. Originality/value – Provides a viewpoint on some of Adam Smith's thoughts and ideas.
 
Article
Purpose – At the 2009 Devos economic forum on the global financial crisis, David Cameron, then leader of the British Conservative Party and now Britain's Prime Minister, called for embracing a “moral capitalism.” The purpose of this paper is to consider the insights into a moral framework for the modern economic order that might be drawn from natural religions perceived by Adam Smith and Thorstein Veblen. Design/methodology/approach – A review of the two perceptions of natural religions provide the basis for assessing their compatibilities with the type of competitive market economy that Smith observed in the eighteenth century, and with a modern market economy of large corporate enterprises and global financial markets. Particular attention is given to reforms that curb the practices that led to the global financial crisis. Findings – Smith's “pure and rational” natural religion has been interpreted as being compatible with the type of competitive market economy that he analyzed in Wealth of Nations. Veblen's natural religion of “Christian morals” had a natural rights analogue in the ethics of a competitive market economy in which market relationships were heavily influenced by production resting heavily on personal skills of craftsmen and trade relying on the honesty of small merchants. Research limitations/implications – The primary focus is on reforms in those aspects of the financial sector of the modern market system that have been associated with the current global financial crisis. What the two natural religions might suggest in the nature of broader socio-economic reforms, e.g. corporate governance issues, would require a much larger study. Social implications – While debates over a “moral capitalism” will be influenced doctrinal stances of institutional religions, sectarian differences may be bridged by considering natural religions that are rational and rest on the principle of fair play and mutual service. Originality/value – Because of the attention that has been given to Smith's and Veblen's critical commentaries on institutional religions, the paper shows that their perceptions of natural religions and how those religions might relate to the economic order are easily overlooked.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to review the issues involved in determining the appropriate speed of adjustment and the sequencing of economic reforms, and to develop a checklist of key guidelines for policymakers as a basis for their decision-making process. Design/methodology/approach – The paper develops a conceptual framework based on a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature, and the practical experience of the authors in this area. Findings – The analysis in the paper shows that the optimal speed and sequence of reforms is country-specific. But key policy considerations can help guide policymakers in the design of their reform strategy. Practical implications – The arguments favoring a shock approach or a gradual approach are not absolute. Each country has to choose the proper speed of adjustment and sequencing of reforms by examining country-specific factors. A thorough case-by-case analysis is needed before a decision on the appropriate timing and sequencing of reforms can be made. Originality/value – The analysis in the paper leads to key reform guidelines for policymakers – covering areas such as prerequisites and resource constraints, political economy considerations, credibility and sustainability of reforms – that are instrumental in developing a well-sequenced strategy.
 
Article
Neoliberal structural adjustment policies (SAPS) have been criticized as having negative effects on women's employment. An analysis of several Latin American countries in the 1980s and 1990s suggests that differences in SAP contribute to differences in the growth of women's relative employment. Countries with less orthodox adjustment policies appear to have had greater growth in women's relative employment than countries with more orthodox policies. This pattern is illustrated with reference to specific countries and is tested for generality using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, incorporating data from all Latin American countries from which suitable data are available.
 
Article
Purpose – To explore the assumptions underlying the traditional “principles of administration” in the light of the rise of interest in corporate social responsibility, business ethics and corporate governance and to link revised principles to practical stakeholder models, using, for example, modern communications media. Design/methodology/approach – Using concepts of “fit” between traditional administrative principles and common problems of business administration, such as those identified in the corporate social responsibility, business ethics and corporate governance literature, the approach is to locate principles on which sound administration and “proper” expectations of stakeholders can be adjusted acceptably. Findings – Traditional lists of principles can be fruitfully replaced by methods for identifying and meeting the aspirations of stakeholders, within agreed principles, which may vary, depending on the level of generality and on circumstances. Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on observation and conceptual analysis. Developments appear to depend on willingness to replace codes and practices that are devised from the top and imposed on others by ones that are responsive to stakeholders. Practical implications – Responsive codes imply a need to respond in a principled way to differing aspirations, and a willingness to use modern digital media to identify the aspirations accurately. Originality/value – Traditional principles of administration are essentially principles for administering the internal labour market in large organisations. The proposed approach broadens the range of application and offers practical ways forward.
 
Article
Purpose – This study attempts to find the socio‐economic factors behind the differential achievement level in adult literacy in developing countries. Design/methodology/approach – Considers a number of theories. These include modernization theory, dependency/world systems theory, developmental state theory, new human ecology theory and convergence‐divergence theory as an explanation of the differential level of adult literacy rate. Findings – The findings reveal the importance of the initial level of adult literacy and the population growth. Similarly short‐term economic growth has a significant impact on the initial level of adult literacy, and the medium human development and low human development samples Originality/value – This attempt to find the factors behind adult literacy is of importance not only as a constituent indicator of the human development index, but also through its various contributions towards economic growth.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight that child labour is complementary to adult labour in the brick kiln industry. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a case study of bonded labourers in the brick kiln industry of Southeast India. Findings – The paper finds that child labour is used by parents in the moulding process in order to avoid falling into debt bondage. In this industry, brick making is organized as a home‐based enterprise. Thus, child labour increases the family productivity and consequently its income. In case of a ban on child labour bonded parents will be worse‐off. NGOs can play an essential role by preventing families from falling into bondage and by improving their living standards. Originality/value – The results may help the NGOs address child labour issues in the developing world.
 
Article
JEL classification – I00, I12 This paper is part of SOCIOLD, a project supported by the European Commission through the Fifth Framework Programme “Quality of life and management of living resources” (Contract Number: QLRT‐2001‐02292). The financial support of the European Commission is gratefully acknowledged. The very helpful comments of S. Drakopoulou‐Dodd are also gratefully acknowledged.
 
The distribution of work in advanced economies  
Article
Purpose – A recurring assumption across the social sciences is that non-commodified work has been increasingly replaced by the commodified sphere in which goods and services are produced and delivered for monetary exchange by capitalist firms for profit-motivated purposes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate this thesis critically. Design/methodology/approach – A review is conducted of the extent of commodified and non-commodified work in the advanced economies. Findings – Analyzing the extent of commodified and non-commodified work in the advanced economies, the commodified sphere is shown to be far from hegemonic and, if anything, to have receded rather than penetrated deeper during the last four decades. This is here explained in terms of both the existence of resistance cultures to market-ism and the contradictions inherent in the structural shift towards commodification. Practical implications – The outcome is a call to transcend the representation of commodified work as victorious, all-powerful and hegemonic, and for greater discussion of the feasibility of, and possibilities for, alternative futures beyond a commodified world. Originality/value – It contests the dominant narrative that we live in an ever more commodified world.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper aims to explore the reports of housing shortages in post‐Katrina New Orleans especially for low‐income residents in the face of a returning working poor population. Despite the availability of housing vouchers by the New Orleans Housing Authority to any previous residents of New Orleans housing projects, a political uproar has claimed no homes are available and that destroying the previously failing New Orleans housing projects would amount to “forced homelessness.” Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is done by reflecting on different commentary from persons claiming the housing projects must be preserved while also exploring the failed goals of the same public institutions. Further, a brief overview of the housing situation regarding availability of homes is conducted. Findings – The findings show that the poor of New Orleans are being misled about available housing, and there is a continuing process of decline in sovereignty of local public policy makers. Politicians benefit by elevating their public persona. Originality/value – The paper explores the political benefactors of perpetuating falsehoods in order to make political gains.
 
Top-cited authors
K.Kuperan Viswanathan
  • Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia
Jon Sutinen
  • University of Rhode Island
Simplice Asongu
  • African Governance and Development Institute
Clement Allan Tisdell
  • The University of Queensland
Bob Doherty
  • The University of York