African and african american studies

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Kevin Mitchell,

College of Southern Nevada

Kevin Thompson,

North Dakota State University
Nour Jasem Alnabhany,

Independent Scholar

“Ethnic Microaggressions against Arab Americans: A Critical Analysis of Semi-Structured In-Depth Interviews of Arab Americans”
Racial microaggressions are brief, everyday exchanges that include denigrating messages that are verbal, nonverbal, offences, snubs, or insults whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages against racial minorities. The research focuses on only âethnic microaggressions, as Arab American are not a racial group but an ethnic group. This research employed semi-structured and in-depth interviews to explore the impact on ten Arab American participants. The findings were organized based on the two research questions and emerging themes. Research question one inquired: Do Arab Americans experience microaggressions in their daily lives and how? Participants responded that yes they had experienced microaggressions. Question two inquired: What are the coping strategies developed by Arab Americans who experience ethnic microaggressions? Participants responded that yes they did develop coping methods when experiencing ethnic microaggressions. The results were also organized using several themes, which include the time frame of the experiences, location of the experiences, and male/female experiences. Findings also included insights on how participants were impacted by their experiences, in addition to the coping methods that they used. Finally, the research offers recommendations for further research on how Arab Americans are experiencing microaggressions and how they are coping with them.

Dennis W.Catlin,

Northern Arizona University
“The Criminal Justice System’s Response to Drone Related Crime”
Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS), commonly known as drones, have proliferated in the last few years, and with that proliferation has come a dramatic increase drone related crime. The criminal justice system has struggled to develop responses to this proliferation. This paper focuses on the legal, strategic, and tactical responses of local, state, and federal agencies to drone related crime.

Kimberly Gardner,

Boise State University
“Questioning the IQ of Smart Policing: Trust as Performance Measure”
Data-driven decision making is in vogue. Supporters are found in the typical sectors of academia and industry, but also more recently from the White House. At the heart of this enthusiasm is the promise that satisfaction in government will improve with a more efficient delivery of government services. This belief assumes data driven decisions are inherently more efficient than decisions based on unsystematic experiences or tradition. In the case of policing services, this belief is translated into performance measures derived from the professional model of policing which stresses measurable decreases in actual crime rates or an increase in arrests. Techniques of predictive policing generally promise to deliver results based on these outcome measures. But, as the literature from the community oriented model of policing has shown, residents perceptions of fairness, both on the levels of outcome and procedural justice, tend to matter more in residents assessments of police services than those associated with the professional model of policing. Therefore, an important measure of the success or failure of predictive policing techniques must its effect, if any, on levels of trust. However, most the literature measuring residents perceptions of the police of levels of trust focus on the behavior of the police officer rather than the techniques utilized. The purpose of this paper is to track the effects of the technique of predictive policing concomitant with police behavior toward point-of-contact residents.

Keith Hullenaar,

Northern Arizona University
“Investigating the Sexual Victimization of Transgender Female Inmates within the Hypermasculine Male Prison”
In 2007, Val Jenness and her associates investigated sexual assault victimization within the California prison system and discovered that over half of the transgender female inmates she interviewed had experienced sexual violence within prison. Using this research and related literature as a foundation, my paper delineates the causes of transgender female prisoner sexual victimization within male prisons in the United States. I choose to focus my analysis on certain, well-studied cultural variables related to male prisons “primarily, hypermasculine values” that may be conducive to transgender sexual victimization. I argue that the deprived conditions of the prison environment and broader U.S. cultural values related to masculinity intersect to enculturate prisoners into a hypermasculine value system, and that it is this value system that serves to increase the vulnerability of transgender females within male prisons. Using decades of literature on prison sexual violence, I discuss why transgender inmates are likely targets for sexual victimization, and I outline possible ways states and federal prison institutions can help to prevent further sexual victimization.

Howard A.Kurtz,

Southwestern Oklahoma State University
“Gun Toting Professors, the case of guns on campus”
This paper is an examination of the positive and negative consequences of arming teachers and college professors. The paper will include a discussion of the current literature and cases.

Robert Morin,

Western Nevada College
Colleen Morin,

University of Nevada, Reno

“Congress and Campus Sexual Violence: An Examination of Issues and Statutory Provisions.
Sexual violence has been and continues to be a significant public policy issue at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Congress has enacted legislation to address crime on campus in general and specifically sexual violence. This paper examines Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act of 1991 (Clery Act), and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013 (SaVE Act). Issues regarding sexual violence, statutory provisions, the interplay of the three statutory enactments issues will be discussed.

Doris Schartmueller,

California State University, Chico
“Assessing Dangerousness: An Analysis of California Governor Browns Parole Review Decisions”
Offenders serving parole-eligible life sentences constitute a particularly large group of prisoners in California. Parole from a life sentence is a two-step process in California. While the Board of Parole Hearings initially decides on whether to grant or deny parole, the governor may still reverse the board’s grant decision. In this study, I analyze the content of the parole board decisions, which Governor Brown reversed from 2011 to 2014. More specifically, I examine on which specific factors the governor based its reversal decisions on. These factors are the nature of the governing offense, criminal history, the offenders expression of remorse, disciplinary record, rehabilitative efforts, victim impact statements, and parole plans. What emerged from this analysis is that the governor’s perception of the offenders continued dangerousness derived from the nature of the governing offense framed the majority of reversal decisions. These findings suggest that the gubernatorial reversal power is a tool used to satisfy the safety concerns of a late modern Californian risk society.

Melanie Taylor,

University of Nevada, Reno
Tara Cole,

University of Nevada, Reno

“The Long-Term Impact of a Delinquency Record on Employment”
A criminal record is widely recognized as a serious barrier to reentry for former offenders, especially for employment outcomes. Formerly incarcerated African American and Hispanic males face the brunt of these negative outcomes, as they are less likely to be employed and have lower wages than formerly incarcerated Caucasians. What remains unclear is if a delinquency record similarly harms employment outcomes in adulthood. Recently, protections granted to juveniles in the juvenile justice system have been eroded, as records are less likely to be expunged and court proceedings are increasingly publicized, suggesting that an employer may now be more likely to consider a juvenile record. In the current study university students were presented with fictitious resumes indicating either involvement or non-involvement with the juvenile justice system. Students then selected which resumes would receive a callback. Findings, policy implications, and directions for future research will be discussed.

Kevin Thompson,

North Dakota State University
“When do Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders Matter?”
Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders (DANCO's) came under fire in Minnesota due to charges that this process lacked due process under the law. As a result, prosecutors were unable to file as many DANCO's on domestic violence cases as they had in previous years. This study examines the impact of a DANCO on recidivism rates among a group of court ordered domestic violence offenders. A profile is also offered as to who might and might not be a good candidate for a DANCO.

Samuel Umoh,

University of Kwa Zulu Natal
“Police - Public Relations and Crime Management in Durban; What’s Happening?”
In August 2014, 34 striking miners were gunned down while 44 people died during the period by police during unplanned strikes. The killing was referred to the worst police killing in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Stories of officers soliciting for bribes, corruption, violation of human rights, to mention but a few abound in the Newspaper. The South African Police Service (SAP) is one of the initial point of entry to the criminal justice system. This shows that the use of force and brutality has been one of the tactics the South African police maintain peace and order. Despite that the United Nations articulated a set of principles for police agencies on, guidance on the use of deadly force, guarantees of safety and fair treatment of persons detained or arrested, accountability of law enforcement officials for their actions, and refugees. The relations between the police and public could also reveal the extent to which they are democratic. However, the quality of relationship between the police and the public will also be dependent on compliance, cooperation and public trust which underpins democratic societies and effective policing. With this background, the paper examines police-public relationship in Durban, and approaches to police-community interaction. The question that came to bare is what factors promotes or inhibits police-public relationship as regards crime management? What is its impact on service delivery? What strategies can be put in place can be for improved police - public relations. Chan (1996) theory of police culture was the theoretical framework for the study. Based on interview with ten police officers and member of the public through interview and observation. Community surveys and media coverage of the police. The study found out that much effort have been concentrated on crime prevention, while less investment is made on crime prevention, this requires a balance. The paper recommended re-training of police on handling protest, legislation on weapon need to be reviewed, enhancing â customer satisfaction and force should be used sparingly and fairly.

Samuel Umoh,

University of Kwa Zulu Natal
“Impact of Social Media on Student Protests in South Africa”
Social media and Protest has been one of the instrument students channel their grievances and a means of activism; and their quest in inclusion in decision-making process. Through the social media as Facebook, twitter, Internet, it is now possible to access, almost instantaneously, information and debate them almost instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world. The Internet and social media have changed the way in which young people communicate among themselves and, very likely, the ways in which they can and want to engage in civic life. (Menard, 2010). Protest is on the increase because youth not be adequately involved in decision making process, and parochial government /state actions youths in the developmental needs of youth. The paper objective of the paper is to students response to public policy through the use of social media as Facebook in mediating their basic right. The paper discuss the role of Social Media on Student Protest in Durban. What are the forms and levels of student activism in Universities in South Africa? Does youth activism benefit the students they represent, community and society, how might they address barriers to participation? The study found out that social and economic challenges in their transition to adulthood, which interfere with their involvement in politics. The question that also came to bear is that is their connection /coping mechanism between students and politics Almeida, Bergdorf, Nederveen, (2007) and Harry Shier (2001),model of Ladder of Young Voice and Flower of participation underpinned the theoretical framework of the study.

Donald L.Yates,

Alabama A&M University
Vijayan K. Pillai,

University of Texas at Arlington

“Testing the Comparative Strength of Three Factors For Successful Outcome of Neighborhood Community Policing Initiatives: An Exploratory Study”
No Abstract

Zdravka Todorova,

Wright State University
Bret Anderson,

University of Rhode Island

“Defeminization of Manufacturing, Pre-Mature Deindustrialization, and Gender Competition for Good Jobs”
Although regional variations exist, globally there appears to be two parallel structural changes taking place. The first is the process of pre-mature de-industrialization in which many countries are seeing a decline in manufacturing employment at an earlier stage of development than was otherwise historically the case. In parallel, there are many cases of a de-feminization of manufacturing. This paper begins by providing evidence of the timing and nature of these two processes. This evidence suggests that Latin American and Asian countries are de-feminizing and de-industrializing in very different ways. In turn, these patterns provide a testable hypothesis that de-industrialization is a cause of de-feminization of manufacturing and that gender competition for higher value added manufacturing jobs has a significant impact on changes in women and men’s relative well-being stemming from long run structural change.

Jean Arment,

University of Utah
“Wishful Thinking as Economic Theory: A Commentary on the Worldview of Alfred Marshall, the Employment Problem, and the Possibilities of Economic Chivalry”
It is a curious historical anomaly that Alfred Marshall was able to publish his Principles of Economics with its smoothly functioning relations of exchange and mathematical continuity to replace the politically fraught Ricardian tradition during an era of social upheaval that appears to have matched the chaos of Ricardo’s own time.  This paper, by situating itself within the context of recent work by Amitava Dutt calling for the development of alternative—specifically more realistic—approaches to economic analysis, argues that Marshall’s ability to formulate an economic theory that ignored the economic realities of his own time—in particular, the high unemployment and social unrest—leaned heavily on his own uniquely Marshallian worldview.  Using contemporary sources as well as more recent assessments, an attempt is made to show that Marshall’s three-faceted worldview—combining the narrow marginalist ontology of homo economicus, a strict Victorian morality, and an evolutionary belief in social progress—led him ultimately to the conviction that the only solution to the poverty, unemployment and social unrest of 1890s Britain would be the (eventual) “economic chivalry” of a capitalist class that, according to Marshall, was advancing along a smoothly-continuous upward curve of altruism. 

Ellen Mutari,

Stockton College of New Jersey
Deborah M. Figart,

Stockton College of New Jersey

Glen Atkinson,

University of Nevada, Reno

Dell Champlin,

Oregon State University

Janice Peterson,

California State University, Fresno

William Waller,

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

The panel is co-sponsored by the Association for Social Economics. The panelists will discuss the 2015 book by Ellen Mutari and Deborah M. Figart Just One More Hand: Life in the Casino Economy (Rowman&Littlefield). The book is about work in the global gaming industry in the context of Atlantic City’s history and development policies, and shows the difficulties for local communities that are building new casinos. Based on life stories of individual workers the book discusses the realities of the casino industry’s cost-cutting measures and the limitations of of public-private partnerships for development through building casinos. The authors are going to provide a brief overview of the book and the rest of the participants are going to offer reflections on the book, which will be followed by a discussion.

Rohjat Avsar,

Columbia College
“Relevance of Evolutionary Psychology for Economic Policy-making”
The distaste for methodological individualism among economists operating outside the mainstream seems to stem from their strong reservations for the rational choice theory. Although we agree that individual behavior cannot be meaningfully analyzed independent of the institutional structure in which they are embedded, the relevance of human nature for aggregate consequences should be re-evaluated in the light of growing evidence from such fields as evolutionary psychology and neuroscience. In this paper, we will entertain the following question: to what extent could aggregate phenomenon be explained in terms of human nature? In particular, we argue that our evolutionary heritage could shed lights on individual motives which, in turn, enhances the effectiveness of policy measures addressing wasteful and self-destructive behavior. Moreover, treatment of morality as a natural phenomenon could help policy makers determine which policies are more likely to resonate with the public.

Joe Ballegeer,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Q and Investment: Tobin Versus Veblen”
Economic policy is often aimed at encouraging investment among firms, so understanding the firm behavior is important to effective decisions. This paper seeks empirical evidence in support of either Tobin’s q or Veblen’s theory of investment. Each theory suggests a similar metric, while the subsequent firm behavior is distinctly different. Tobin’s q, the market valuation over replacement costs, has its foundation in competitive markets and rational managers. Veblen presented a view of the firm incorporating oligopolistic market power and conflicting motivations between ownership and industrial production. Implicit to his theory is a q equal to putative earning capacity over actual earning capacity. I review the literature surrounding the calculation of Q, marginal q, and average q to suggest a method to represent both theories. I employ Compustat data in hierarchical regression to judge firm investment behavior relative to q. If it can be shown that firms behave in a manner consistent with either theory, the evidence can be used to support effective policy planning.

Stephen Bannister,

University of Utah
“Industrial Capitalism – What Veblen, Ayres, and beyond add to Nef and Mantoux”
John Nef and Paul Mantoux have richly described institutional formation resulting from the Industrial Revolution. In this paper I explore the theme that derived demand for capital was the cause of industrial capitalism by incorporating the more theoretical work of Thorstein Veblen and Clarence Ayres. My core research is that the English Industrial Revolution was primarily an energy revolution on the supply side, with fundamental aggregate demand being driven by global population growth. Prior to the energy revolution – embodied in learning to use coal to replace wood in heating applications and muscle in manufacturing and transport applications – economic growth was supply constrained. English inventors and entrepreneurs were pushed to substitute coal for wood because of rising relative wood prices; they substituted steam power for muscle power because of high relative wages. Compared to prior supply systems, these two changes caused an unprecedented rise in capital demand, which elicited sufficient capital supply to fuel the Industrial Revolution and create the institution of industrial capitalism. I seek to add theoretical foundations to my data-driven and descriptive approach by incorporating the work of Veblen and Ayres, and explore the theme of how institutions have historically contributed to economic development across space and time.

Avraham Izhar Baranes,

Rollins College
“Intangible Assets and the Business Enterprise”
This paper seeks to examine the role of intangible assets within the business enterprise, and how such assets influence the enterprises evolution. The key emphasis of this paper is the differing interpretations taken by Veblen and Commons when it comes to understanding how intangible assets have influenced the ability for the business enterprise to generate earning capacity. Specifically, I trace the differing uses of such assets through the degrees of separation, emphasizing how the way in which earning capacity is generated has changed with these uses. I find that as the enterprise has grown and the community has become further separated from its joint stock of knowledge, intangible enterprise transform from their initial monopoly rights to forming the basis of capitalization.

Avraham Izhar Baranes,

Rollins College
“Mergers and Acquisitions and their Effect on Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry”
Innovation in the modern capitalist economy has never been an individual action. The existence of private property rights, both tangible and intangible, serves to lock out those who may use the existing joint stock of knowledge to innovate. Within the existing legal framework, business enterprises are forced to form networks through which they have access to various pockets of knowledge that assist them in innovating. The formation of these networks occurs through mergers and acquisitions, as this is how the innovating enterprise at the center of the network gains access to the knowledge held by the property owners. This paper expands upon this by examining Pfizer’s merger and acquisition history, building on the work done by Chandler (2005) and Nitzan & Bichler (2001) to examine the overall impact of mergers and acquisitions on innovation within the pharmaceutical industry.

Denilson Beal,

Federal University of Parana (UFPR), Brazil
“Institutional Economics and Political Communitarianism on the Discontent of American Farmers in the Late Nineteenth-Century”
This article claims that the large-scale commercialization in the post-Civil War period in the United States engendered an institutional change that prompted the emergence of a quantitative business ethic based on individualism and monetary canons of value. Therefore, we build upon the case study of the discontent of American farmers in such context to evidence potential spaces for constructive dialogue between the school of original institutional economics and the political communitarianism of Michael J. Sandel. We uphold that these strands of thought may be reasonably treated as complementary to one another, especially in respect to the concepts of individual, community and freedom. The parallels proposed herein might contribute to both scientific fields and to contemporary philosophy of economics, particularly over the importance of bringing the civic consequences of economic arrangements back to public debate.

Natalia Bracarense,

North Central College
“Development Economics and Green Jobs: How Fuzzy Logic Can Inform ELR”
Development economics contains two main public policy guidelines. First, and currently, an “outward-oriented” program based on exports of primary commodities and alternatively, following World War II, a domestic industrialization from within strategy. This intermission is partly due to the UN’s 1945 goals to promote “higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development.” Post-Keynesians have lately supported the revival of the latter strategy, arguing that underdeveloped countries tend to have an abundance of labor resources, whose potential is untapped. The possibility of employing these resources to promote development from within, along with the tendency of a modern capitalist economy to sustain unemployment and instability, justifies the implementation of an employer-of-last-resort (ELR) program. The current paper contributes to the debate by, first, arguing that discussions about employment cannot be divorced from the broader social and environmental systems. With that objective in mind, it proposes ways in which implementation of ELR may incorporate the UN’s proposal for green jobs (ILO 2013). Secondly, the paper suggests that most jobs are not completely green, introducing then a metric that can measure how green is a job in a scale of 0 to 1, as proposed by “fuzzy logic.”

Chris Brown,

Arkansas State University
“On the Prospects of a Green Kondratieff Cycle”

Achieving significant reductions in carbon emissions per unit of GDP will require a structural transformation that extends across virtually all sectors of the U.S. economy, from transportation and manufacturing to agriculture. The mass diffusion of technologies that reduce carbon emissions has the potential to catalyze a long growth wave or a Green Kondratieff cycle. The argument is made that public policy should aim to actuate a Green Kondtratieff cycle insofar as such a policy offers the best hope of reconciling environmental values with the imperatives of growth and employment. The argument is made, moreover, that the obstacles to a green structural transformation are primarily political and

institutional, not technological. These obstacles include the political influence wielded by interests that would face a de facto forfeiture of carbon assets, and an intellectual property environment inhospitable to the creation of new green combinations.

Dell Champlin,

Oregon State University
Paula Cole,

University of Denver

Eric Hake,

Catawba College

Janice Peterson,

California State University, Fresno

Daniel A. Underwood,

Peninsula College and University of Washington

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the application of this year’s AFIT conference theme, “social innovation and social impact” to college teaching. Education, and higher education in particular, has traditionally been viewed as the institution at the forefront of social innovation, the source of new ideas that challenge the status quo and promote progressive social change. However, education can also stifle creativity, promote uniformity of thought, and reinforce existing power structures. The struggle between these two forces is also evident in recent trends in higher education including: the use of information technologies, the “unbundling” of the teaching process, the availability of teaching resources prepared by private corporations, and the expansion of non-tenured faculty, both full and part-time.

Stefanie Cole,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Answering Economic Imperialism with Social Action in the Academy”
Methods of institutional analysis are applied to the problem of economic imperialism within the academy; a cause of much social harm. The setting for this examination focuses on research areas that succinctly illustrate the origin of economic imperialism, the extent of the problem, and the existing body of theory that is inherently opposed to such encroachment. This is accomplished by revealing the institutional overlaps between the physical sciences, anthropology, and economics. First, a terse explanation of the underlying social, political, cultural and scientific issues which shaped the rise of modern geosciences and social sciences. The paper begins with the world systems approach and shows how the emergence of the geosciences and archaeology are the outcome of the enlightenment project and the backlash against socialism in the academy. The narrative is followed-up by the story of how economic imperialism first dominated social sciences and eventually encroached into the physical sciences: the outcome of a dynamic struggle for ideological supremacy among conservatives, liberals, socialists and radicals with the academy. The progressive wing of Anthropology is both an existing theoretical counterpoint to the philosophical, moral, and logical basis of economic imperialism; and a source for allies in the ongoing struggle against it.

Jerome D. Cox,

Wright State University
“On the Nature of “Human Nature”: Making Economic Assumptions with an Evolutionary, Interdisciplinary, and Institutional Framework”
This paper seeks to clarify the nearly ubiquitous use of the concept of human nature in philosophical, biological, sociological, and economic contexts. Historically, human nature is an often debated and highly controversial concept, and its inclusion at fundamental ontological, and epistemological levels have been often times problematic. Specifically, this paper presents two main competing conceptions of human nature as essentialist and nomological; these competing paradigms are juxtaposed in order for comparison and contrast, as well as to present arguments for and against their use in scientific inquiry. Veblen’s analysis and arguments about human nature are presented as a specific example of how these controversial concepts have been historically used in institutional economic inquiry.

Richard Dadzie,

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
“Youth Employment in Ghana: Is Social Entrepreneurship and the Employer of Last Resort the Key?”
This article marries the growing field of social entrepreneurship with the employer of last resort within a Sub-Saharan African context. In Ghana and many other Sub-Saharan African countries, youth unemployment continues to be a pressing issue of national importance. In Ghana, initiatives such as the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and its predecessor the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) have been established to tackle the employment crisis with limited success. This paper argues that success is dependent on rethinking entrepreneurial activity, embracing social entrepreneurship and innovation, and increasing the role of the state rather than decreasing it. It is argued that embracing social entrepreneurship and innovation represents an important and necessary departure from traditional conceptions of the role of the entrepreneur in the economy and development. Further, it is argued that this departure is precisely what is needed to boost youth employment, entrepreneurial activity, and economic development in Ghana.

Erik Dean,

Portland Community College
“Innovation and Idolatry: Institutionalist and Post Keynesian Perspectives on the ‘Innovative Enterprise’ and the ‘Knowledge Economy’”
This paper extends Ayres’s ‘myth of creative potency’ to a critique of contemporary ideas concerning technological innovation, business enterprises, and the so-called ‘knowledge economy’. Following Veblen, it is argued that that such innovation occurs more or less naturally, compelled by idle curiosity and the instinct of workmanship in those whose employments touch directly on the productive activities of the community. In contrast, modern capitalism, in general, and the business enterprise, in particular, are best characterized as suppressing innovation in the interests of pecuniary gain, and with the aid and sanction of public policy. Theoretical coherence with economists more closely associated with post Keynesianism, particularly Keynes and Eichner, is demonstrated. Finally, implications for public policy are discussed.

Christian Dodge,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Peirce and Holmes: Institutionalism as a 'Deductive' Science”
It’s unsurprising that Institutional Economists have longed for themselves to be a branch of post-Darwinian Biology given Veblen’s seminal article ridiculing the mainstream for being non-evolutionary. Much work has been done to elaborate and operationalize biological metaphors in social science symbolized in the work of Professor Hodgson (see especially Hodgson and Knudsen 2010).
While there is much to be admired from a strictly biological approach, I want to offer another avenue. I want to tie together Peircian Abductive Inference and the methods of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to produce an alternative orientation for Institutional Economics. Specifically, I want to suggest we change our orientation from naturalist to detective – uncovering the causes of social processes. To make the argument, I blend insights from Peirce, Holmes, and the burgeoning ideas of Critical Institutionalism.

Joanna Dzionek-Kozlowska,

University of Lodz
Rafal Matera,

University of Lodz

“Institutions without Culture. Critique of Acemoglu and Robinson's Theory of Economic Development”
The Acemoglu and Robinson’s answer to the question about the roots of wealth and poverty of nations unquestionably should be placed among the institutional theories of economic development. Their mantra-frequently repeated message is that institutions are the crux of the matter for both economic development and growth and, as such, are the key factor to explain differences in economic performance over the centuries. Yet, the problem is they strongly differentiate their concept from the so-called culture hypothesis, which they reject. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that such a strong rejection of the culture hypothesis is inconsistent with their own analysis, it triggers some principal problems with understanding of the basic notion of institution and suggests that they are concentrated on the formal institutions only, which significantly impoverishes the research perspective. Moreover, it leads towards explaining the institutional changes in terms of conflicts of interests and collective choices, which is difficult to accept in authoritarian and all the more totalitarian regimes. The paper concludes by the statement that paradoxically Acemoglu and Robinson’s unconvincing rejection of the culture hypothesis may be regarded as a sign of the culture-related factors’ importance.

Angie Kay Fuesel,

George Washington University
“Exploring the Dynamic Human Interactions that Shape Social Change: A Case Study of an Antitrafficking Social Entrepreneurial Effort”
This presentation highlights findings from a case study of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and proposes the methodology be used in other cases to advance understanding of the human interactions that shape social change. Led by an Ashoka Fellow, TAT is a social entrepreneurial nonprofit empowering and mobilizing the trucking industry to combat sex trafficking. The case explored how dynamic interactions between social structures and stakeholder actions shaped social change in anti-sex trafficking efforts in the US trucking industry. The conceptual frame used structuration (Giddens, 1984) and strong structuration (Stones, 2005) theories, and analysis was situated in three “game-changing” actions perceived to have created structural change. The presentation will describe how the theoretical frame, which builds on the suggestion of Schwandt and Szabla (2013), enabled rich, multi-level analysis of macro, meso, and micro level social structures. This enabled a more comprehensive analysis than institutional or structuration theories alone, and revealed the importance of internal structures in propelling the actions and contributing to change in external structures. The presentation will also share findings related to how TAT both adapted to and changed structures, gained legitimacy, and co-created innovative social practices with champions through emergent processes, yet used “structure” in the diffusion.

Kevin Furey,

Chemeketa Community College
“Reading on Business Cycles”
This paper is pedagogical in nature—a reading for introductory macroeconomics students on internally generated business cycles. One of the pedagogical advantages of orthodox economics is that its analysis is based on simple to reproduced pictures (graphs) and simple metaphors. I have developed a multiple cause heterodox model of business cycles that has as its core an easily reproduced picture to aid students in analysis. The starting point is a statement made by Nicholas Kaldor that an expansion is like “a peculiar steeplechase, where the horse is bound to fall at one of four obstacles.” The core of my model is the Basic Mechanism, the last hurdle that will always trip the economy if something else hasn’t. It is a profit squeeze model, which is based on rising costs as the expansion matures. Once the Basic Mechanism is developed, I then discuss other factors that tend to amplify it. Next, I discuss other forces that may trip the economy before the Basic Mechanism. Finally, I use the model to explain why certain events (slower growth, weaker labor unions and greater income inequality) have led to longer expansions.

Heidie George,

University of Utah
“Economic Model Analysis and Economic Thought: Effect of Social Relations on Model Analysis”
Throughout the ages studies of economics examine the interaction of individuals and societies within their communities. The goal is to determine the social values exhibited in the production, consumption and distribution of wealth in that community. Those social values are based on ethics, morals and cultural ideas. The purpose of this paper is to examine current economic theories to understand the level of inclusion of social relations in the analysis of those theories. Ethics is the knowledge of right and wrong and a person’s attitude towards the standards and values that ‘should’ be upheld. Their knowledge and attitudes form the base of ethical behavior. The origin of those values is based in a society’s cultural ideas, morals and values. Social legislation translates society’s cultural ideas, values and habits into laws, rules, and regulations and provides ethical context to everyday life. Social legislation reflects individual and social values. Social laws and rules are designed to provide protection for people and nature and to enhance the well-being of a community. Institutional economists are interested in understanding the economy in terms of social order defined by rules and organizations in the community’s economy.

Winston H. Griffith,

Bucknell University
“Can Caribbean Integration Be A Transformative Force?”
After Caribbean industrialization had apparently reached its limits, many believed that it could receive a stimulus from the integration of Caribbean economies. It was stated that economic integration, by making creating a single market, would help to overcome the smallness of individual markets and make the region more attractive to foreign investors who were considered indispensable to regional development. But economic integration has proved not to be the socially transformative force many expected. While some may look for the failure of the integration movement in traditional economic theory developed in and for the more developed countries, this paper argues that its failure lies in the social and economic structures which Caribbean countries have inherited from colonial times and which make it difficult for the integration movement to have a transformative effect on the Caribbean region.

Eric Hake,

Catawba College
“Understanding Economies of Speed: Ralph Ketner and his Five Fast Pennies”
From her early work on the significance and function of agrarian labor unrest in the late 19th century to her later work on narrating the rise of big business, a modern theory of the firm has been a part of Anne Mayhew's legacy to institutionalist theory and economic history.  Integrating arguments from Chandler, Veblen, Coase, and others, Anne Mayhew has developed an economic theory of the firm that explains and integrates the functions of the corporation, financial innovation, and supply chain management.  This project will explain this theory and develop a case study application to the growth of Food Lion and the business innovations of its founder, Ralph Ketner.

John Hall,

Portland State University
“Veblen, Social-Network Analysis, and the Emergence of Production Capitalism”
This inquiry pertains to the category emphasized in the CFP for our conference as “Social Innovations and Social Outcomes.” What Thorstein Veblen advanced as the “Machine Process” and which appears a Chapter One of his major inquiry, The Theory of Business Enterprise [1904]. Unfortunately, key insights tended to remain neglected and were not integrated into economic inquiry. This has now changed and “social-network analysis” should be seen and understood as extensions of Veblen’s thinking. Our proposed conference inquiry contains two major parts. Part 1 considers social-network analysis as a fairly recently emerging area in economic inquiry, that also helps to strengthen our heterodox tradition by offering elements of practicality. Part 2 relies upon social-network analysis in an effort to establish the emergence of what is termed “production capitalism” that can be contrasted to “mercantilism” or “trade capitalism.” Production capitalism can be traced back to southern England and the efforts the Lords to displace peasants that had been bound to land and lord, through what is known as “The Enclosures.” Research efforts seek to establish that the recently invading and established ethnic group known as “the Normans” played the crucial role in the rise of production capitalism during the 13th century.

Ayesha Tahir Hashmi,

University of Texas at Dallas
“Islamic finance and its adaptation to the US market”
The paper studies the role of religious institutions on finance and economy in contemporary world. This paper concentrates on how the US market is responding to the demand of Islamic finance. Islamic finance in the US is taken as a case study to understand its emergence as a distinct field in the modern financial system. It highlights regulatory issues within the US legal framework that affect growth of Islamic finance in the US market. The paper also finds increasing demand for Islamic finance based on interviews from the users and non-users of available instruments.
Building on the theories of Polanyi and Weber, who believed that society produces economic activity, and “man’s economy is submerged in his social relationships”; this paper finds increasing role of a religious institution in influencing financial decision making. The interplay of theology and market is creating a different political economy that is incorporating cross cultural norms. Islamic finance is a prominent case of religion transforming market activity through evolving organizational structures which operates on Islamic principles and espouses partnership models in business activity. Still a small percentage of the overall global economy, it has been outpacing conventional finance industry growth rate by 50%. This highly fast-paced industry has caught the attention of global financial, legal and educational institutions and offers new insights on evolving interactions between social institutions impacting economic activity.

Arturo Hermann,

National Statistical Institute, Italy
“The Studies in Social Economics of Léon Walras and his Far-Reaching Critique of Laissez Faire”
In economics, as in other social sciences, a reappraisal of the most important authors can lead to very unexpected results. It is the case of Léon Walras, who is mostly renowned for his theory of general equilibrium. According to a widespread interpretation, such theory would imply that the objective of political economy should be one of laissez faire: namely, to reduce as much as possible public intervention in order not to hinder the efficient working of market economy. However, a comprehensive appraisal of Walras’s work would reveal that he expounded a far-reaching theory in which public intervention and the ethical objective of social justice play a central role. This emerges in particular from a significant, but rather overlooked, contribution, the "Studies in Social Economics", which constitute the theoretical basis of his better known general equilibrium theory. Within this approach, the proposals of complete nationalization of land, of regulation of situations of monopoly and imperfect competition, and his sympathy with cooperative movements, place Walras’s perspective far apart from the extreme versions of neo-liberalism, and much closer to several heterodox economics’ contributions that underscore, within a principle of subsidiarity, the relevance of public action for economic and social progress.

Vincent (Yijiang) Huang,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Economic, Ecological, and Social Sustainability: A Proposed Framework to Apply Social Innovations in the Case of China”
The challenges that a modern capitalist society poses to its members in the provisioning process are multi-dimensional. Not only are there economic problems (such as unemployment, underemployment, and inflation, etc.) in the present, but also there are environmental and ecological issues that are increasingly constraining and reconfiguring our current provisioning process into the future. While ecological economics provides an interdisciplinary framework to approach economic and environmental issues as a whole, the issue of social sustainability might not have received enough emphasis. The paper argues that while economic and ecological sustainability concerns with the more conspicuous issues, social sustainability concerns with the less obvious but equally important social issues in one’s provisioning process. Therefore, social innovations, if not equipped with an understanding of the specific economic, ecological, and social challenges in a particular social context, might yield negative unintended consequences. Hence, the purpose of the paper is to propose a theoretical framework to help achieve such understanding. Using China as a case study, the paper adopts a broader concept of sustainability to analyze the economic, ecological, and social challenges specific to China and then envisions some of the feasible and meaningful social innovations.

Ali Jalali,

University of Utah
“Miller Cedar Spartan Spy: Warren J. Samuels and the Institutional Reprieve of the Coase Theorem”
In this article, we will define the Coase theorem in terms of conventional microeconomic theory and criticize the invariant property of the theorem along the lines of the Law & Economic approach of the Spartan Institutional school represented by Warren J. Samuels. We provisionally present a discussion of the Spartan Institutionalist School’s historical roots and mention a few of the main figures associated with the school. We will then highlight the 1928 Supreme Court decision in Millet et al. v. Schoene to develop a institutional approach to private property and formalize Warren J. Samuels’ position that the legal institutions and institutional arrangements are not auxiliary to economic exchange or choice, but rather a fundamental component at its core.

Svetlana Kirdina,

Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences
John Hall,

Portland State University

“Peter Kropotkin’s and Alexander Chayanov’s Prophesy of a Solidarity Economy: Forgotten Social Innovation”
In 1997 and in Lima, Peru the term economia solidaria (solidarity economy) was introduced into the international scientific and political discourse as a way to define the type of economic relations that would be found in a non-capitalist mode of production built upon self-help organizations, co-operatives, and the like. The solidarity economy can be considered as a social innovation that “… prioritizes benefits for the many rather than few.” This inquiry considers the introduction and advancement of earlier ideas for self-organization, mutual aid, and cooperation as found in selected works of two Russian scholars, namely, Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) and Alexander Chayanov (1888-1937). This inquiry builds upon Kropotkin’s ideas concerning solidarity as a base for a non-capitalist and self-organized society. In addition, this inquiry compares Kropotkin’s views with Alexander Chayanov, another Russian scholar. Chayanov’s main contribution, On the theory of Non-Capitalist Economic Society (originally published in German in 1924 and translated into English in 1966), introduced his understanding of cooperation while stressing the double value of cooperation as anti-capitalistic and also anti-bureaucratic.

Kalpana Khanal,

Nichols College
“Political Economy of India-Nepal trade Blockade (trade embargo)”
Nepal is a small land-locked country that shares open border with India. In addition to the economic relations across the border, people of Nepal and India share cultural and social ties. Recently Nepal promulgated its new constitution and it has led to a souring of ties with India. The main crux of the problem lies in the agitation of the Madesh/Terai origin people in Nepal demanding certain rights in the newly drafted constitution. India showed its displeasure publicly by cutting off essential supplies to Nepal. India’s trade embargo over the past month has stagnated Nepal’s economy and is causing genuine hardship to Nepali people. In the given context, the first section of this paper sheds some light on India-Nepal diplomatic relation in a historical context. The second section explains the current political developments in Nepal and India’s discontent over the new constitution. The third section elaborates on the socio-economic impact of current Indian trade embargo with Nepal. The fourth section offers recommendations on how diplomatic ties between Nepal & India could be strengthened. The same section also offers suggestions on how Nepal could settle the unrest going on in Madesh. The last section concludes the paper.

Matthew Klosterman,

Portland State University
“Mills and Veblen: An Institutional Approach”
This inquiry considers and also seeks to establish theoretical relationships between the thinking and contributions of Thorstein Veblen and C. Wright Mills. Selected writings of Veblen have not only formed new approaches to the field of economics, but also influenced prominent scholars, like Mills. In his contributions, Veblen employs various approaches to social science analysis, such as use of dichotomy (Veblenian Dichotomy), cumulative causation and subreption in his efforts to describe social change within an evolutionary-institutionalist framework. While not being explicit, contributions of Mills tend to utilize the same approaches advanced earlier by Veblen. In summary, Mills’ contributions to sociology appear to be heavily influenced by Veblen’s seminal contributions to institutional thought.

F. Gregory Hayden,

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“Relationship of Social Innovation, System Concerns, and the Social Fabric Matrix”
The functioning of all social institutions and innovations of social institutions work according to systems principles. The most important systems principal with regard to social innovations is the principal of differentiation and elaboration, that is, ongoing change in systems. When conducting analysis of differentiation and elaboration, a series of related concerns arise. They include: (1) the limitation of Darwinian based evolution, (2) openness of systems, (3) exogenous character of systems, (4) complexity, and (5) variant criteria for judging innovation. Those five concerns provide the outline for this paper. Each will be discussed with regard to the legitimacy of the current understanding of the concern and with regard to the modeling of social innovation in the social fabric matrix approach to analysis.

Barbara Hopkins,

Wright State University
“Ensuring Provisioning Security: Evolutionary Strategies for a Post-Capitalist Revolution”
In this paper, I envision an economic system that is environmentally sustainable and that meets human needs for care. Starting from the position that a growth economy is no longer viable, the challenge is to make reduced consumption palatable. I propose initial steps for building a system of mutual obligations to provide a social safety net for a no growth economy. In particular, I introduce the concept of provisioning risk, the risk that an individual will be unable to provide for themselves over their whole lifecycle not just in terms of income, but also through care. Thus, provisioning security, a broader concept than economic security that incorporates the need for care services, is a necessary condition for individuals to be willing to limit consumption to sustainable levels. While a complete solution to this problem would require fundamental changes to social safety nets and labor market institutions, these changes are not currently politically viable. An evolutionary approach begins with an honest accounting of the requirements for provisioning security. This can then form the basis for developing small provisioning security networks that would pool risk and create mutual obligations to guarantee provisioning security. Advantages and challenges of such networks are described.

Sherry Davis Kasper,

Maryville College
“Anne Mayhew as Teacher”

This presentation reviews the contributions made by Dr. Anne Mayhew as a teacher. It draws on recollections of the author and other students at the University of Tennessee and sets them in the context of best practices in college teaching.

Mila Malyshava,

University of Missouri – Kansas City

“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: An Institutional Analysis of the Post-Soviet Transition in Belarus”
Belarus has experienced two main stages of transition after the collapse of the USSR—a series of market reforms implemented during 1991-1994 as an attempt to shift away from the soviet production techniques; and the reversal reemergence of central planning. This inquiry seeks to demonstrate that an absence of a thorough institutional inquiry drove the failure of market reforms. While returning to the old methods of production improved the economic climate of the country temporarily, preservation of soviet techniques restricted the dynamic technological nature of the production mechanism. The paper draws (among others) on J. Fagg Foster’s principal of institutional adjustment and John Dewey’s analysis of habits within the framework of a critical analysis of the aforementioned reforms. The inquiry considers the transition back to the soviet mode of production, seeking to establish that the preservation of soviet traditions has guided the Belarusian economy towards an unproductive and damaging path-dependence. This path-dependence has contributed to retarding the process of cumulative causation and capped the influx to the joint stock of knowledge, both of which remain crucial for progressive institutional change.

Tony Maynard,

Franklin & Marshall College
“The Birth of Free Market Economics”
The rationistic approach to human behavior, based on a self-interested, atomistic individual, predicts actions that, while logical, tend to support a particular form of economic organization based on market totalitarianism. This organization appears natural because it seems to result from an innate human talent for reasoning. A little history, and a dash of anthropology, can quickly present alternative behaviors that accord with different forms of economic organizations, ones that are no less sensible.

Brandon McCoy,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Public Employment Guarantee: An Institutional Adjustment Towards an Inclusive Provisioning Process”
This inquiry seeks to establish that a public employment guarantee (PEG) animates a non-invidious re-creation of community, challenges hierarchy permeating social and economic relations, and facilitates institutional adjustment towards a more inclusive provisioning process. The analysis commences by elucidating the current failure to provide a non-invidious provision of the material means of life. This section demonstrates that the institution of ownership and the price system serve as the animating forces creating the in-egalitarian power structure effecting unemployment, an inequitable distribution, and hierarchy. After describing the social problem and institutional structure, the analysis considers and extends Hyman Minsky's proposal for a PEG. This section focuses on the institutional implications, emphasizing the restoration of community and promotion of an alternative organization of work. The theory of institutional adjustment elucidates the community’s integral role in the adjustment process, providing space for organizing across historical divisions while encouraging recognition of the interdependence necessary for change. The analysis draws to a close by considering how a PEG challenges the dominant and problematic institutions. This final section illuminates a transition which reduces hierarchy and domination while encouraging the community to participate in the social provisioning process.

Joseph Mitchell-Nelson,

Portland State University
John Hall,

Portland State University

Alexander Dunlap,

Sussex University

“Subreption and Evolutionary Economics”
This inquiry considers subreption and its connections to the field of Evolutionary Economics. We relate subreption’s etymology and also its earlier appearances and uses in Roman, Canon and Scots Law, as well as in philosophy, to its later appearances and uses in the evolutionary economic thinking advanced initially by Thorstein Veblen and carried on some decades later by William Dugger. Understood as an approach to economic evolution derived from selected philosophical writings of Immanuel Kant, subreption is suggested to arise through the introduction of a falsehood that then sets off what we refer to as an évolution noire, defined as an institutional evolution concomitant with the dominance of business enterprises that involves a related moving away from a past governed by comparatively noble values and towards a deteriorated, debased and degraded economic and social reality governed by comparatively ignoble, pecuniary values.

Jairo J. Parada,

Universidad del Norte-Colombia
“Social Innovations for ‘Intelligent’ Territories: Fiction or Reality?”
In this paper I explore the theoretical claims about the existence of ‘intelligent’ territories, a concept that has been developed recently based on the concept of knowledge society and knowledge economy, sustainable development and social inclusion. Then I examine the preconditions for the possibilities of emergence of such type of territorial spaces regarding the economic development that must support it, the adequate social structure, the required quality of human agency and the social innovations that such endeavor requires. Finally, as a case study, an empirical exam of such conditions of the Caribbean Coast of Colombia are explored for that purpose, arriving to general conclusions and recommendations.

Jim Peach,

New Mexico State University
Richard V. Adkisson,

New Mexico State University

Stephen P. Paschall,

Lovett Bookman Harmon Marks, LLP

John P. Watkins,

Westminster College

Glen W. Atkinson,

Reno, Nevada

This session will be a panel discussion in honor of Glen W. Atkinson’s contributions to institutional economics. In addition to his more than 70 publications, Professor Atkinson has served as president of the Western Social Science Association (1987-86), president of the Association for Institutionalist Thought (1985-86) and president of the Association for Evolutionary Economics (2007-2008). In addition, Professor Atkinson received the Veblen-Commons Award (2010) and served as editor of the Journal of Economic Issues (2000-2006). The panelists include Jim Peach (New Mexico State University), Richard V. Adkisson (New Mexico State University), Stephen P. Paschall (Lovett Bookman Harmon Marks, LLP), and John P. Watkins (Westminster College). Following the panelists’ presentations, Professor Atkinson will have the opportunity to respond.

Jim Peach,

New Mexico State University
Richard V. Adkisson,

New Mexico State University

Reynold Nesiba,

Augustana College

Tonia Warnecke,

Rollins College

John P. Watkins,

Westminster College

Can America become simultaneously more prosperous and more equal? In his new 2015 book, The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them, Joseph E. Stiglitz attempts to answer this question. In this session, five scholars (Jim Peach, Richard V. Adkisson, Reynold Nesiba, Tonia L. Warnecke, and John P. Watkins) will discuss the author’s approach to understanding and explaining the causes, consequences, and possible policy solutions to America’s inequality problem.

David Plante,

Western State Colorado University
“Social Innovation and the Social Economy of Money”
This essay reviews two recent developments in order to further an understanding of the cultural meaning of money. The first is the recent resurgence in understanding the cultural and social significance of monetary arrangements in the works of Nigel Dodd, David Graeber, Felix Martin, and less recently Viviana Zelizer and Karl Polanyi, as well as others. The second is the expanding creation and use of alternative monies at the local and global levels. My primary focus will be on local currencies created in several locales in the Mountain West but I will also analyze these innovations in general. This investigation will address several questions? What is the economic and social role of these currencies? What monetary functions are facilitated by the alternatives? Whose interests are served?

Julia Puaschunder,

The New School
“Socio-psychological motives of socially responsible investors”
The 2008/09 World Financial Crisis underlined the importance of social responsibility for the sustainable functioning of economic markets. Financial Social Responsibility bridges the finance world with society in socially conscientious investments. Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) integrates corporate social responsibility in investment choices. Socially conscientious asset allocation styles add to expected yield and volatility of securities social, environmental and institutional considerations. In screenings, shareholder advocacy, community investing, social venture capital funding and political divestiture, socially conscientious investors hone their interest to align financial profit maximization strategies with social concerns. Apart from economic profitability calculus and strategic leadership advantages, this article sheds light on socio-psychological motives underlying SRI. Altruism, need for innovation and entrepreneurial zest alongside utility derived from social status enhancement prospects and transparency may steer investors’ social conscientiousness. Self-enhancement and social expression of future-oriented SRI options may supplement profit maximization goals. Theoretically introducing potential SRI motives serves as a first step towards an empirical validation of Financial Social Responsibility to improve the interplay of financial markets and the real economy. The pursuit of crisis-robust and sustainable financial markets through strengthened Financial Social Responsibility targets at creating lasting societal value for this generation and the following.

Julia Puaschunder,

The New School
“Trust and Reciprocity Drive Common Goods Allocation Norms”
In the emergent field of tax psychology, the focus on regulating tax evasion recently shifted towards searching for situational cues that elicit common goals compliance. Trust and reciprocity are argued to steer a socially-favorable environment that supports social tax ethics norms. Experiments, in which 256 participants played an economic trust game followed by a common goods game, found evidence for trust and reciprocity leading to individuals contributing to common goals. The more trust and reciprocity was practiced and experienced, the more common goals were supported – leveraging trust and reciprocity as interesting tax compliance antecedents. The results have widespread implications for governmental-citizen relations. Policy makers and public servants are advised to establish a service-oriented customer atmosphere with citizens breeding trust and reciprocity in order to reach common societal goals.

Jonathan Ramse,

University of Missouri-Kansas City
“Capitals Transformation in Community Economic Development”
The Community Capitals Framework (CCF) as developed by rural sociologists Cornelia and Jan Flora has been a useful tool for rural community development in a number of different contexts in the United States for more than a decade. The CCF focuses on how communities utilize seven interdependent capitals – natural, cultural, social, human, political, built and financial – in achieving the development goals of a vital economy, social inclusion and a healthy ecosystem. Working within this multidisciplinary framework, this paper proposes a theory regarding the processes and mechanisms by which community capitals are transformed from and into each other by communities through social action. A theoretical understanding of these capital transformations relies on an ontology that holds that social processes are elaborative and emergent. These elaborative and emergent capital transformations are mediated through social action of agents that are dependent upon resource structures and institutions. This theory provides a starting point, or stage, for the process of community development by reflecting on the dynamic interdependence of a diverse set of capitals people and groups can utilize. The CCF, and a theoretic understanding of capitals transformation, encourage non-conventional and empowering strategies for the social action communities define as development.

Nicholas Reksten,

Sarah Lawrence College
“Management, Stakeholders, and Climate Policy at Large U.S. Firms: An Institutionalist Analysis”
This paper discusses the results of interviews conducted with vice presidents and managers responsible for environmental sustainability initiatives at large U.S. firms on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate policy engagement. To situate the analysis, it develops an institutionalist framework that sees the firm as socially embedded, where stakeholder groups exert varying levels of influence and provide the context in which the technostructure responds to outside information in the face of uncertainty. The influence and power of groups that have strong preferences for or against environmental protection can be understood. The interviews provide empirical support for this model.  Subjects discuss the role of stakeholder groups such as activists, consumers, and workers in the development of the firm’s environmental policy. Different groups can prompt the firm to set greenhouse gas or energy-related goals, and they encourage the firm to re-examine production processes to find new ways to both reduce costs and emissions. Additionally, the socialization of managers to understand the interviews suggest that many firms are preparing for and eventually expect a national price on carbon in the United States, and this suggests that the policy may be less costly than some projections indicate.

Roberto Resende Simiqueli,

Universidade Estadual de Campinas
“Technology and Authoritarianism in the Brazilian Military Dictatorship (1964-1985)”
Arguably the less known of Thorstein Veblen's insights is his peculiar account of German and English development paths, Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution. In its pages, the reader would find a puzzling description of how modern industrial technology, in the hands of the German Dynastic State, becomes just another asset in justifying and maintaining political power and privilege.
Although the Hohenzollern might have been the pioneers in subverting technological progress to autocratic ends, they are definitely not alone. Under the Brazilian military government (1964-1985), the first attempts at developing software and hardware industries were coordinated by the SNI (Serviço Nacional de Informações), the same intelligence agency responsible for silencing those who opposed the regime.
In this paper, we intend to revisit the peculiar way in which SNI promoted state of the art computing technologies while being the de facto manager of the repressive apparatus of the Brazilian military dictatorship, aided by Veblen's careful study of the tensions between change and conservatism. Moreover, we aim to discuss how technology cannot be accounted for exclusively positive change.

Jordan Shipley,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Urban Development in Original Institutional Economics”
Focusing the inquiry of economics to the urban level brings to light a particular set of issues in the way of establishing theory and policy for providing the material means of life. This survey paper serves as a basis for understanding the conceptual framework, theory, and methodology within Original Institutional Economics (OIE) on urban issues and development. Several of these works employ the techniques of case studies, including historical analysis, and pattern modeling, alongside other more conventional tools of economic analysis. Although there have been changes in the widespread acceptance and use of institutional aspects of the economy in understanding development, there are many differences between the conventional approaches and those found in work based in OIE. I aim to bring out important themes within OIE’s approach to the city, urbanity, and urban development, thereby creating the foundations for an institutional urban economics. I conclude with suggestions for future research incorporating an OIE approach to the analysis of urban issues and forming urban development policy, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS), and the social fabric matrix approach.

Kaitlyn Sims,

California State University, Fresno
“Work-Family Policy and Economic Cycles in Western Europe: Bridging the Gaps in Women's Labor Force Participation Research”
This study will use data from labor force statistic databases as well as research in the field to draw insights on the impact of work-family policy on women’s labor force participation during times of growth and recession in Western Europe. This study will aim to bridge the gap between the research on the impact of work family-policy on women and the effects of economic cycles on women’s labor force participation. Feminist and institutionalist economic frameworks will be utilized to drive the primary questions being examined. A cross-national comparison of changes in work-family policy and the source of these work-family policies (i.e. government mandated, collectively bargained, etc.) can yield rich analysis of the relationships these policies may with women’s labor force participation across economic cycles. As discussions of creating and expanding work-family policy are brought up in the United States, these case studies in my research can serve as indicators of what may be considered “best practices” for work-family policy abroad, and what should be considered for domestic policy.

Manuel Ramon Souza Luz,

Federal University of ABC Region – UFABC
“Logic of Scientific Investigation and The Evolutionary Process: Contributions for an abductive-indiciary model”
A striking feature of Thorstein Veblen’s institutional economics is interdisciplinarity. In his works Veblen refers among others to concepts from anthropology, psychology, philosophy and biology to build his economic approach. Indded, a challenge to scholars interested in Veblen's thought is to understand the manner in which these interdisciplinary references appear and relate each other in his works. The following paper aims to contribute for an interpretation that integrates two relevant themes of Veblen’s work: his vision of the logic of scientific inquiry and the manner in which this original institutionalist understands the dynamic of evolutionary processes. Beyond the traditonal focus on Veblen's reference to Charles S. Peirce pragmatic philosophy and Charles Darwin’s approach on evolution, we seeks to introduce a new point of view that enables a new articulation between both perspectives. In this sense, the paper presents the concept of “indiciary paradigm” as developed by the italian historian Carlo Ginzburg, understanding the potential of this concept as an interpretative alternative that not only makes possible an integrated vision of veblenian theoretical approach, but provides elements for a descriptive model for evolutionary economics.

Manuel Ramon Souza Luz,

Universidade Federal do ABC
Roberto Resende Simiqueli,

Universidade Estadual de Campinas

“Conservatism and Change in the June Journeys: an exercise in institutional political economy”
In recent Brazilian history, June 2013 is remembered as the heyday of popular demonstrations after the turn of the century. Initially directed against increases in bus fares in São Paulo, the rallies quickly took an unusual turn to the right; middle-class citizens saw the gigantic acts as a valid proxy for voicing their concerns on education, corruption, and the Federal Government's economic and social policies.
What is peculiar is that Brazil faced extremely favorable economic conditions, at the time. Unemployment rates were close to a historical minimum, real wages had experienced noticeable raises and inflation was almost a non-issue. Then, what prompted the "wellborn" to take to the streets and voice their discontent? What is implied in the agenda of these mobilizations, now led by right wing propagandists?
Our aim is to assess this specific period of Brazilian history through the tension between change and conservatism in institutional political economy. By revisiting Thorstein Veblen's insights on the leisure class' interest in defending status quo and privilege, our paper seeks to provide an explanation of the inherently conservative claims for change issued by the Brazilian middle-class.

Christian Spanberger,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“An Empirically Grounded Institutional Analysis of Product Development”
Innovation is commonly seen in economics as a benign and socially beneficial process, and is therefore commonly used synonymously with technical progress. Building on the Schumpeterian distinction between invention and innovation, the Veblenian dichotomy (especially its development by Instituitonalist scholars such as Bush, Juncker, and Foster) and the concept of degrees of separation related to the going concern nature of the business enterprise, it is argued that an innovation process based on pecuniary habits of thought will not necessarily (or even likely) lead to the most advantageous use of the community’s joint stock of knowledge. The present paper will seek to vindicate this view through an empirical analysis of product development in modern capitalist business enterprises, identifying the relevant structures and agencies both within and outside the going concern.

Jacqueline Strenio,

University of Utah
“Economic stress and physical intimate partner violence around the time of pregnancy: do institutions matter?”
Research to date has highlighted the fact that intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health epidemic that transcends socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity, affecting more than one out of every 5 women in the United States. Despite widespread prevalence, socioeconomic status plays an integral role in the risk of IPV, with poorer women at elevated risk. Although researchers have looked at many economic factors in relation to IPV prevalence, no previous study has assessed the impact of micro- and macro-level economic stress on the likelihood of physical IPV around the time of pregnancy, where stresses tend to be high and effective interventions might particularly present themselves. Utilizing data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), a population-based sample of women that have recently given birth, this paper seeks to assess the connection between economic stressors before and during pregnancy and their relationship to women’s’ socioeconomic status. The analyses will not only address the role of individual SES factors, but also the role of institutions, utilizing state level variables on economic conditions, gender equality, political environment, and reproductive environment so as to illuminate the potential for certain institutional policies to reduce IPV.

Zdravka Todorova,

Wright State University
“Processes and the Multidimensional Individual in Institutional Economics”
The paper discusses how the concept of process is connected to a multidimensional notion of the individual, and how those contribute to further develop institutional theory and problem solving. The paper discusses a previously developed system of processes and explains how this conception addresses issues of intersectionality and circumvents problems of reductionism and dualisms. It is argued that the delineated processes provide the starting point for theoretical developments not limited by conventionally defined economic activities, human action, and the economy, and for problem solving.

Daniel A. Underwood,

Peninsula College and University of Washington
Dan Friesner,

North Dakota State University and Washington State University

“Sustainable Community Economic Development: Asset Mapping and the Social Fabric Matrix as a Policy Planning Framework”
Asset mapping, which defines, identifies and quantifies available resources, has two advantages available for planning economic development. First, while labor intensive, it is simple to implement. Second, it yields useful information to inform, determine and achieve policy goals. Its limitations are, first, a static approach; second, the absence of an evolutionary process to evaluate goal attainment and planning for future activities. This paper demonstrates how asset mapping can be embedded into a social fabric matrix which provides a template for policy evaluation and assessment, and a qualitative predictive framework to evaluate attainment of goals – here to be understood as the criteria for sustainability and justice proposed by Underwood, Hackney and Friesner (JEI, December 2015) – and to develop future plans. Asset mapping in the next time period, when consistent with the evaluative outputs of the social fabric matrix while satisfying the criteria for sustainability and justice, can be re-evaluated using the social fabric matrix which provides necessary information to re-define and re-implement development policies. Thus, the process becomes purposeful, evolutionary, and pragmatic.

Richard Wagner,

Rockhurst University
“Promoting the innovation and use of vision in 21st century institutional economics: Looking backward to look forward”
This paper reviews noteworthy discussions of vision within institutional economics in the last century as a way to discuss the use and innovation of vision in the present century. Many institutional economists have recognized the importance of the use of vision in economic discourse, revealing it as a method to analyze current economic conditions as well as purport change. Some have used vision to suggest ideas which would facilitate the “good economy”, “sustainability”, and sound development, while others have used vision as a way to discuss utopian worlds. As institutional economists purport an evolutionary and socially embedded economy, vision can also serve as a mechanism which can facilitate institutional adjustment, and as such must continue to be discussed and innovated.

William Waller,

Hobart & William Smith Colleges
“Instincts and Care”
If we mean the biological foundations of behavior that make us human are what we mean by human nature then certainly part of that human nature is instincts, or as they are currently called adaptations. This paper will explore how we move from an aspects of human nature, the instinct or adaptation Thorstein Veblen referred to as the parental bent, to social institutions concerned with care. We will then explore how institutional behavior, habits of thought and action, are transformed through the process of social valuation into an ethic of care.

Tonia Warnecke,

Rollins College
“Social Entrepreneurship and Women's Employment in China and India”
Much research on gender equality has focused on integrating women into the workforce, but in so doing, women’s source of dependence partially shifts from their partner to the marketplace—it does not disappear. Although in many cases access to personal income is associated with greater bargaining power in the household, we cannot assume that engaging in paid labor increases female empowerment. This depends on job quality, social policy/protection, and the gender division of unpaid labor, among other factors. The recent focus on female entrepreneurship as a source of female empowerment illustrates this dichotomy, given the difference between informal sector-based necessity entrepreneurship (which is not associated with upward mobility) and formal sector-based opportunity entrepreneurship (which is). One response has been the growing popularity of social entrepreneurship, which focuses on the creation of social value, not wealth. This paper will discuss the evolution of social enterprise in China and India (from both domestic and international sources) and discuss the ways these businesses have impacted women’s employment opportunities and experiences in these countries, particularly in the informal sector.

Tonia Warnecke,

Rollins College
“Social Innovation, Gender, and Technology”
Technology can facilitate new forms of social innovation and scale existing social innovations. In the developing world, technology can address basic human needs in a variety of ways, from provision of farmer training and cloud-controlled clean water systems to health information and mobile money services. Some of these services expand access to resources in ways that particularly benefit women, who disproportionately engage in unpaid household labor and (in some areas) subsistence agriculture; women are also more likely than men to be unbanked. Where male-female interactions or decent work opportunities for women are limited, information and communications technologies can enable women to avoid some forms of gender bias, improving the ability to shift to the formal sector, access wider markets through e-commerce, partake in distance learning programs, and share experiences with and gain mentorship from other women. However, there are large gender gaps in access to technology, particularly in rural areas. With particular focus on female employment, this paper will discuss how technology is utilized to create social impact, reduce gender inequalities and increase female empowerment in the developing world context. Challenges hindering the impact of technology in these areas will also be discussed.

John P. Watkins,

Westminster College
“J.R. Commons and the Financialization of the American Economy”
As Glen Atkinson points out, J.R. Commons anticipated the financialization of the American economy. The emergence of the corporation was associated with a new definition of property, a view of property as an intangible asset, the present value of anticipated profits. Commons following Veblen attributed the corporate ability to extract value in excess of its corporeal value to its strategic power, to its ability to drive up prices and hence profits. Both Commons and Veblen omitted, however, that property as an intangible asset provided an alternative strategy, that of the financialization of the consumer. Financialization involves expanding demand by extending consumers credit. Consumer credit both enabled businesses to increase revenues without increasing costs while helping solve the problem posed by modern technology, the problem of ever-expanding output. From a historical point of view, extending credit to consumers depended on consumers acquiring assets, and a process of financial innovation involving the liquefication of those assets. As the financial crisis reveals, however, the process of extending consumers credit ultimately depends on consumers having the income to repay the credit.

James L. Webb,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Dewey’s Habit-Centered Psychology: Its Continued Relevance for Theory and Policy”
Dewey lamented about the lack of an adequate social science to inform a reasoned public policy serving a communitarian society, now and in the future. Dewey urged that philosophy and social inquiry take into account the best available relevant knowledge – particularly the fruits of scientific inquiry. Dewey’s analysis, focused on habits (as dispositions) provides many insights, including: the dynamics of intelligent habits of thought must be learned -- they are not the default mode; it cannot be expected that democratic political institutions yield a quasi- scientific process; the manner in which proposals are framed has a large effect on public choices.
First, the model of human psychology (necessarily a social psychology) postulated by Dewey is sketched. Second, some relevant extensions, revisions, corroborations of Dewey’s postulates coming out systematic inquiry in recent behavioral psychology, cognitive science and neuro-physiology are discussed. Finally some implications for Institutional Economics and policy contexts are briefly discussed.

Neal J. Wilson,

University of Missouri – Kansas City
“Observations from the re-emergence of bottled water”
Bottled water is one of the hallmark products of contemporary life. Its popularity in the USA invites contemplation. There is no consumer product so popular with a radically less expensive and indistinguishable substitute as readily available. There is no more popular beverage, the consumption of which is so widely ridiculed. The paper examines the phenomena of bottled water by recounting three historical moments in the Industry's history. 1) The eclipse of bottled water following the introduction of chlorine to public drinking water. 2) The re-emergence of bottled water and the Perrier marketing campaign of 1977. 3) The triumph of the bottled water in the contemporary beverage industry. Special attention is given to the Industry's under-discussed implications regarding public infrastructure, private property and "the right of thirst".

Jon D. Wisman,

American University
“Conspicuous Consumption and the Evolutionary Dynamic that Veblen Missed”

Veblen’s theory of conspicuous consumption is one of his most powerful contributions to social science. Conspicuous consumption is undertaken in an attempt to maintain or increase social standing. But why do humans seek to acquire status through their consumption practices? Or more fundamentally, why do they seek status? Veblen does not present it as grounded in an instinct such as his instincts of parental bent, workmanship or idle curiosity, although he claims that “the propensity for emulation is probably the strongest and most alert and persistent of the economic motives proper… a pervading trait of human nature.” But why? Had he read Darwin more fully or carefully, he would have picked up on Darwin’s concept of sexual selection and recognized it as the driving force behind conspicuous consumption as well as all other behavior intended to favorably impress others. Sexual selection is a form of natural selection that works through mate selection as opposed to physical survival. How much an individual can consume signals an ability to command resources essential for successfully raising children. This article adds the Darwinian depth that Veblen missed to his important concept of conspicuous consumption, and in doing so adds clarity to humanity’s prospects.

Yavuz Yasar,

University of Denver

“From Development to Poverty Management: Social Policy in Turkey between 2003 and 2014”
As the universalist/right-based social protection has weakened due to global neoliberalism, debates about the role of Islamic provision of social welfare have increased in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This study focuses on Turkey as a case study to evaluate the effectiveness of the provision of the faith-based social protection practices from social classes and gender perspectives. It has two objectives. First, it briefly examines the historical transformation of social policy in Turkey under the rule of the AKP (the Justice and Development Party), 2002-present. Second, it evaluates the outcome of this transformation and its potential implications for both social protection and politics. The study uses Household Budget Survey micro-data between 2003 and 2014 as well as qualitative data collected during the fieldwork in Turkey in the summer of 2013 and 2014.The preliminary results suggest that the provision of faith-based social welfare under AKP moved from social policies’ traditional distributive and protective functions. It became a highly selective almsgiving as it is inclusive for only those who are poor and willing to give political support to the government in return. This also widened the gap between genders in terms dependency on welfare transfers.

Katrina Zdanowicz,

Rollins College
“Which factors are most influential in encouraging or dissuading commercial Orlando buildings to seek LEED certification?”
Orlando, Florida, is home to 159 building projects that have received, or are in the process of receiving, a Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) certification. Over 90 percent of these buildings are rated based on commercial LEED standards. This paper argues that the overall number of LEED-certified commercial structures in Orlando could be expanded through government legislation and incentives. Currently, explicit instructions for designing or retrofitting municipal structures in LEED fashion are publicized in city legislation, but the same criteria have not been created for the commercial sector. The benefits of LEED certification include reduced operating costs, higher productivity and health standards for occupants, efficient use of resources, and higher quality site care. This paper analyzes these benefits and provides two case studies that show why Orlando businesses choose to either seek or ignore LEED certification.  Publicizing these benefits can help to create incentives for businesses to seek LEED certification. Project developers of Orlando’s Amway Center suggest that large companies pursue LEED certification for competitive market advantages and to reduce operating costs. A study of East End Market found that smaller businesses may not seek LEED certification because of the cost, and because their mission already incorporates environmental sustainability.  

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