Friday, July 1, 2016

My selection from "Science Direct Top 25 Hottest Articles Economics, Econometrics and Finance October to December 2015"

What follows is my selection from "Science Direct Top 25 Hottest Articles Economics, Econometrics and Finance October to December 2015".

This post divides a selection of articles thematically into categories according to my research interests:
  1. Intersections of Morality and Economics
  2. Economics of Ecology
  3. Industry Organization and Corporate Responsibility
  4. Poverty and Development
I cite each article and give a brief quote which summarizes the article for me. Follows a commentary as regards possible usefulness of the article.

1. Intersections of Morality and Economics

Cho, S. Y., Dreher, A., & Neumayer, E. (2013). Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking?. World Development41, 67-82. 
25th on the list. The article finds that legalized prostitution increases amounts of human trafficking inflow in the country. 

2. Economics of Ecology

De Groot, R. S., Wilson, M. A., & Boumans, R. M. (2002). A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services. Ecological economics41(3), 393-408.
User:Gaeanautes Own work by Gaeanautes.
The "paper presents a conceptual framework and typology for describing, classifying and valuing ecosystem functions, goods and services in a clear and consistent manner.(De Groot, R. S., Wilson, M. A., & Boumans, R. M. (2002), p.1)" 

21st in the list.  This could be inspiration for designing cost-benefit analyses of policies according to their environmental impact.

Pimentel, D., Zuniga, R., & Morrison, D. (2005). Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecological economics52(3), 273-288.
"Invading alien species in the United States cause major environmental damages and losses adding up to almost $120 billion per year. There are approximately 50,000 foreign species and the number is increasing. About 42% of the species on the Threatened or Endangered species lists are at risk primarily because of alien-invasive species.(Pimentel, D., Zuniga, R., & Morrison, D. 2005, Abstract)"

17th on the list. Surprisingly large percentage of risk to biodiversity is caused by invasive species.

Wüstenhagen, R., Wolsink, M., & Bürer, M. J. (2007). Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept. Energy policy,35(5), 2683-2691.
"This paper introduces three dimensions of social acceptance, namely socio-political, community and market acceptance. Factors influencing socio-political and community acceptance are increasingly recognized as being important for understanding the apparent contradictions between general public support for renewable energy innovation and the difficult realization of specific projects.(Wüstenhagen, R., Wolsink, M., & Bürer, M. J. 2007, Abstract)" 

 13th on the list. What determines social acceptance of a concrete renewable energy project? I would add that lack of acceptance might be a sign the project needs some reworking, example of this could be need to move towards second generation of bio fuels because the first generation caused major food security risks and exacerbated poverty issues in developing countries (source: newspaper article in Nový Prostor, June 2016).

Shafiee, S., & Topal, E. (2009). When will fossil fuel reserves be diminished?. Energy policy, 37(1), 181-189.

3rd on the list. The article claims that in around 30-103 years the gas, oil and coal reserves would probably be depleted using a novel methodology. As far as I learned at Sustainable entrepreneurship class at WFI Ingolstadt, the problem with non-renewab
le energy sources is not so much reserve depletion as drastic changes in world climate and loss in biodiversity.

Guest2625 - Own work

3. Industry organization and Corporate responsibility

Armstrong, C. S., Blouin, J. L., Jagolinzer, A. D., & Larcker, D. F. (2015). Corporate governance, incentives, and tax avoidance. Journal of Accounting and Economics60(1), 1-17.
12th on the list. They find that for very low and very high tax avoidance, board independence seems to be a key factor (high independence is in this case associated with low tax avoidance and vice versa). Note: Tax avoidance means that the company uses the loopholes in the tax law of a country to minimize its tax rate. This, however, increases risk of the company because future changes in the law might increase its tax rate unsustainably. (Armstrong, C. S., Blouin, J. L., Jagolinzer, A. D., & Larcker, D. F. 2015)

Dechow, P., Ge, W., & Schrand, C. (2010). Understanding earnings quality: A review of the proxies, their determinants and their consequences.Journal of Accounting and Economics50(2), 344-401.
"Researchers have used various measures as indications of “earnings quality” including persistence, accruals, smoothness, timeliness, loss avoidance, investor responsiveness, and external indicators such as restatements and SEC enforcement releases.(Dechow, P., Ge, W., & Schrand, C. 2010, Abstract)

9th on the list. Deals with measuring earnings quality and what firm specifics determine it. This could be useful when making firm comparisons or in order to better understand what matters in this aspect of job quality when creating new jobs. Also, average earnings quality could be used in regional inequality indices or for policy evaluation purpose.

Borensztein, E., De Gregorio, J., & Lee, J. W. (1998). How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?. Journal of international Economics45(1), 115-135.
"Our results suggest that FDI is an important vehicle for the transfer of technology, contributing relatively more to growth than domestic investment. However, the higher productivity of FDI holds only when the host country has a minimum threshold stock of human capital. (Borensztein, E., De Gregorio, J., & Lee, J. W. 1998Abstract)" 
7th on the list. Another related question would be how much of FDI brings interest to the shareholders abroad and how much stays in the country through salaries and increased human capital of workers, contributing to long term growth. 

4. Poverty and Development 
M Tracy Hunter - Own work

Wade, R. H. (2004). Is globalization reducing poverty and inequality?. World development32(4), 567-589.

10th on the list. The paper challenges the notion promoted for example by Rosling that globalization is reducing poverty and inequality. It challenges both the claim that we know for sure that poverty has fallen citing that the statistics are provided by the World Bank and might be biased. He questions also the definition of a globalized country according to increase in trade/GDP ratio. 

Geels, F. W. (2002). Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study. Research policy,31(8), 1257-1274.
"This paper addresses the question of how technological transitions (TT) come about? Are there particular patterns and mechanisms in transition processes? (Geels, F. W. 2002, Abstract)" 
4th on the list. Technological transitions are interesting from the historical perspective but also for forecasting purposes and planning measures to achieve transition. Example of such a transition could be transition to global clean energy economics and less resource extracting and biodiversity endangering economics. Another example would be transition to more participatory and just global economic system which would respect the basic human needs of the workers and farmers in Africa, Asia and other vulnerable and exploited people. There are also possible transitions with overall negative effect and studying them is vital for contingency plans. Preparing for and theoretizing about such transitions is vital. The article also provides empirical illustration of its theoretical concepts.

Note: All articles can be found by Charles University students of Economics using a search application

Interesting reads to learn about Institutional Economics and Commons

Dear readers,
this afternoon, I was wondering. How to keep track of my vaguely PhD related readings? Should I make notes in Mendeley? I do not like all the fine print you have to sign in order to join this web service and so I never joined it. Should I make offline notes on my computer? Since these readings are quite exploratory, a bulk of them might never be used in my own research. I think it would be a waste just to keep what I have distilled from them for myself. If I ever happen to use them, I will read them in a deeper way but this post provides me an opportunity to journal my thoughts at my first reading of them so that I can revisit them if I work on a related project.   

I cite each article and give a brief quote which summarizes the article for me. Follows a commentary as regards possible usefulness of the article.

Institutional economics

Hodgson, G. M. (1998). The approach of institutional economics. Journal of economic literature36(1), 166-192.
Geoffrey Hodgson

"A key argument in this paper is that the "old" institutionalism offers a radically different perspective on the nature of human agency, based on the concept of habit. Habits and rules are seen as necessary for human action.(Hodgson 1998 p.3)" 

What does this buzzword institutional economics mean? This article gives an opinion about it, comparing old and new institutionalism. The article advocates for developing theoretically and improving upon the work of the old institutional economists like Veblen and Commons.

Elinor Ostrom, © Holger Motzkau 2010,
Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (

National Research Council (2002) The Drama of the Commons. Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. E. Ostrom, T. Dietz, N. Dolšak, P.C. Stern, S. Stovich, and E.U. Weber, Eds. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

"This book provides a modern "review of knowledge about the commons.(NRC 2002, p.1)" 
Commons are things like a community forest, community lake or knowledge, coffee available for guests at the seminar etc. Their possible and documented good governance without either private ownership or central authority presents a challenge to the simplistic economic idea known as the Tragedy of the commons.
Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: polycentric governance of complex economic systems. Transnational Corporations Review2(2), 1-12.

Nobel  prize lecture of recently deceased Elinor Ostrom mainly concerns the commons. This was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in economics. She did not come from background in economics and instead of theorizing, she collected data in the field about how the actual commons are governed.

Note: All articles can be find by Charles University students of Economics using a search application

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Inspiration for 8 DIY Christmas Napkin Rings

This is a collection of ideas I found on the internet. I did not want anything with deers, Santa or ivy so instead you can find ideas connected with stars, snowlakes and bells. I hope my mother will enjoy seeing one of these at our Christmas table:)  
Looks really festive!
Seems easy to do if I end up not having much time.
I would do this one for christmas with different colors.
Such a cute idea!
These two might be more difficult to make. I see the second one could be done with a laser cutter at our local college. They look very elegant and the second one even reusable so they might be worth a little extra effort.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#30days 1st: My Manifesto as a Teacher

technically, I'm a tutor but who cares about this detail? ^^