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Mesoeconomics from the Heterodox Perspective and Its Structure

Mesoeconomics from the Heterodox Perspective and Its Structure

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The paper discusses the logic of the development of the structure of mesoeconomics as a new direction of heterodox economic theory. It develops and complements previously published works of the authors (Kirdina-Chandler, Mayevsky, 2017; Kirdina-Chandler, 2018; Mayevsky, 2018; Mesoeconomics: status and prospects, 2018; Mesoeconomics: elements of a new paradigm, 2020), devoted to discussion of the methodology and specifics of mesoeconomic research. This paper proposes the grouping of heterodox mesoeconomic studies by their directions, which is based on a historical-chronological approach and takes into account the specifics of the mesostructures studied in Russia and abroad. The grouping comprises four directions, namely “mesoeconomics of localised structures”, “mesoeconomics of network structures”, “institutional mesoeconomics”, and “mesoeconomics of reproduction”. A summary table, which describes the main objects of consideration, subjects of research, theoretical bases and instruments in these different directions of heterodox mesoeconomics, is presented. In parallel, the specifics of the methodological foundations of research in modern heterodox mesoeconomics are also discussed.

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How Much Substance is There Behind the Concept of «Institutional Trap»?

How Much Substance is There Behind the Concept of «Institutional Trap»?

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The paper examines the phenomenal popularity of the ‘institutional trap’ metaphor and concept among economists and concludes that this term has lost precision and clarity. Its interpretation by economists has become overly liberal and lax. Practically any economic phenomenon can be labelled an ‘institutional trap’, so it became a buzzword. In most cases it refers to obstacles, drawbacks, inefficiencies and negative effects of institutional change, all of which already have proper names in academic literature. When studying specific cases, researchers seldom use technical reasons to prove that what they examine is a ‘trap’. The subject of a ‘trap’ is not identified, and we remain unaware about potential motivation and benefit of the entity that sets the ‘trap’. The concept of ‘institutional trap’ implies that there is a deliberate plan. It sounds like a version of a ‘conspiracy theory’, partly explaining the popularity of the concept. The author proposes a rectification of names (zhèngmíng) in order to start getting rid of redundant substances. Otherwise, academics might consider giving up the use of ‘institutional trap’ term in their research.

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Middle Income Trap: Institutional and Cognitive Foundations

Middle Income Trap: Institutional and Cognitive Foundations

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The middle-income trap is a well-known phenomenon that the growth of per capita GDP slows sharply after reaching a certain level. This is usually associated with an increase in labor costs – the price of labor in the country becomes higher than in poor countries, and advanced technologies that could ensure the growth of labor productivity are not available. In the article, an ideational hypothesis is used to explain this phenomenon. It is assumed that the ideals and values of actors influence institutions, and institutional conditions largely determine the rate of economic growth. Thus, factors exogenous with respect to the national economy – ideals of intellectuals and international institutions that regulate economic relations – are included in the analysis. The conviction of intellectuals in the existence of a simulacrum of world science contributes to the orientation of national business towards joining the world elite. The latter legitimizes the predatory export of capital and the acquisition of foreign assets, which reinforces the dependence of semi-peripheral countries on world hegemonic policies. Corruption in middle-income countries reinforces this dependence. The trap is also stabilized with the help of a “performance society” culture, when in a semi-peripheral country, financial resources are invested in the development of professional sports and the entertainment industry, but not in domestic R&D.

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Conspicuous Consumption and Its Informational Functions

Conspicuous Consumption and Its Informational Functions

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The article deals with the institution of conspicuous waste and focuses on its functions and its role in constructing and spreading information in the community. First part of the article provides a detailed consideration of the classical theory of conspicuous consumption by Veblen and highlights his views regarding the social impact of conspicuous waste, as well as his concept of social evolution of institutions. This part also analyses the split of conspicuous waste into luxury consumption and conspicuous leisure that Veblen introduced in his “The Theory of the Leisure Class”. Second part of the article offers a thorough analysis of the informational functions of conspicuous consumption and compares them with similar functions of gift-exchange. It considers creation and preservation of information through economic practices of conspicuous waste, as well as the impact that information spreading has on utility. Classic Veblenian position on conspicuous waste is compared with communicative theory by Douglas and Isherwood and with the concept of symbolic capital by Bourdieu. This comparison creates a basis for a synthesis of the obtained conclusions regarding the nature of symbolic utility, derived through informational functions of conspicuous consumption, and the concept of heuristics, suggested by Kahneman and Tversky. The final part of the article applies the conclusions to the analysis of motivation of individuals who take loans for conspicuous consumption goods.

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Late for the Third Educational Revolution (Comparative Analysis of Human Capital of Russian Professional Specialists)

Late for the Third Educational Revolution (Comparative Analysis of Human Capital of Russian Professional Specialists)

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The authors focuses on the question of the quality of the human capital of profession-als in modern Russia in comparison with the similar characteristics of workers and profes-sionals in 17 foreign countries. The comparative analysis is based on the data of the Interna-tional Social Research Program ISSP «Work Orientation». In addition to the database for 2015, the data on similar ISSP studies for 2005 and 1997 were used. Identification of the professional status was carried out on the basis of the classifier ISCO-08. Summary esti-mates show that over the past decade there has been a significant lag in the characteristics of human capital of Russian professional specialists (basic education, experience gained and additional vocational education) from similar characteristics of employees of foreign coun-tries. By these characteristics Russia turns out to be comparable only with not the best coun-tries of the third world (India, Venezuela, Mexico). The greatest lag is in the characteristic of knowledge renewal. This is due primarily to the fact that Russia has been poorly involved in the third educational revolution, which is an organic element of the genesis of post-industrial society – a transition not only to the mass education of higher education, but also to «lifelong learning».

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Russian Constitutional Conversion in the Context of Deinstitutionalization of Marriage in the USA

Russian Constitutional Conversion in the Context of Deinstitutionalization of Marriage in the USA

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The global trends in the transformation of the institution of the family and the attempts to normatively convert the status of the traditional family have raised a number of long-researched issues that were considered mainly in foreign literature. Is it advisable to determine the social function of marriage through procreation and the accumulation of specific marriage capital? Is marriage a guarantee of growth in the level of individual well-being, in particular due to the division of family responsibilities and costs? The discussion among leading researchers continues, but there are undeniable trends that characterize the process of deinstitutionalization of marriage. The transition to companionate marriage from institutional marriage is noted, where the latter is more and more distinguished by its symbolic value (including as the Veblen effect), rather than practical. In this regard, it is quite difficult to clearly define the social function of marriage and regulate it within the institutional framework. This statement reveals a significant challenge to social policies supporting marriage and procreation in developed countries. In the Russian Federation, constitutional amendments have been submitted to a popular vote, which in particular propose a legislative definition of marriage by analogy with the 1996 American DOMA directive. The article provides a description of this process in terms of institutional change.

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Evolutionary Genetic Mechanisms of Economic Growth and Development

Evolutionary Genetic Mechanisms of Economic Growth and Development

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

Evolutionary ideas in economics has a long history – this is because considering the general problems of economic development in its broad formulation requires going beyond the strict framework of orthodox economic theory. At the same time, contemporary mainstream theorizing provides significantly broader opportunities for evolutionary economists. During the last years we have seen a willingness to accept implicit evolutionary perspective and history-friendly approach regarding much of what is going on in the economic world, deeply review ideas about human activity and the behavior of economic actors. Evolutionary economists themselves are faced with internal fragmentation of research areas and methodological principles, as well as an increasingly need to create a systematic and compelling approach to regulation, for example, in the field of macroeconomic policy. The authors attempted, using the potential of the evolutionary genetic approach to take a more methodologically systematic view at the mechanisms of growth and development in all their complexity. The article focuses on the institutional and genetic patterns, principles and problems of economic evolution and growth, the practical application directions of the identified theoretical approaches. The logical and semiotic nature of economic genes, the structure of the genotype, it’s place in the conservative and liberal structures are revealed. The development of the genotype in the economic system in the process of evolution is demonstrated, the main genetic mechanisms and factors of economic growth are identified. In the article we show the impact of economic mutations, phenotypic features of economic system on economic growth and development, the formation of national economy results and social wealth.

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Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Communicativeness of Employees in the Institutional Context

Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Communicativeness of Employees in the Institutional Context

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

This study examined two dimensions of organizational citizenship behaviour (specifically – offering quality ideas and suggestions, providing help and support) and organizational communication skills of professionals at the work group level (e.g., department, research unit) and at the division level (e.g., management, faculty) in organizations of various professional fields, such as business, law enforcement and higher education. Ninety-one managers from eleven commercial companies, one law enforcement agency and seven higher education state institutions evaluated 624 employees (i.e., their subordinates) on two dimensions of citizenship behaviour and organizational communication using two questionnaires. It was found that the citizenship behaviours of offering quality ideas and suggestions and of providing help and support, as well as the organizational communicative skills of employees are more pronounced in work groups than in divisions in all three professional areas. Quality ideas and suggestions and organizational communication skills of employees (both at the group and at the division levels) are higher in the educational institutions and the law enforcement agency than they are in commercial companies. The help and support of employees (only at the division level) is noticeably higher in universities and in companies than in the law enforcement agency. Gender emerged as a significant predictor of two dimensions of the citizenship behaviour and, even stronger of communication in groups and divisions among company employees, as well as of the citizenship behaviour and communication at the division level in educational institutions. Neither age nor the length of group/organization membership correlated with the citizenship behaviour and communicativeness among all categories of workers (with just a few exceptions).

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Information Platforms as a Network Institutional Transformation

Information Platforms as a Network Institutional Transformation

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

The aim of this work is to disclose the phenomenon of information platforms (IP) as an innovative institution, a universal network organizational form, which is based on the use of information and computer technologies and the complementary combination of hierarchical and horizontal principles of interaction between ecosystem elements (owners, platform core, producers and consumers of services). The study starts from the consideration of the evolution of theoretical approaches to the study of organizational forms of institutional interaction in the context of determining the potential application of appropriate methodological apparatus in the course of studying the institutional specifics of IP. The approach to the taxonomy of the principles of coordination of economic interaction used by representatives of the French school of regulation is used. On its basis, the place of IP in the system of organizational forms of institutional interaction is substantiated. The attention is focused on the specificity of the internal complementarity of elements of ecosystems of IP, the impact of information technology on the organization of their functioning. The prerequisites of transformation within the framework of ecosystems of IP of value chains in the network of creating value are revealed. Attention is focused on the role of IP in the deployment of the modern stage of globalization in the direction of globalization of production and regional localization of international trade. The role of IP as network institutional forms in changing organization of business is shown. Based on the analysis of differences and similarities in the institutional structure of TNC and IP describes the advantages of the latter in the area of expanding global business in the conditions of formation of information economy.

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The Influence of Geopolitical Factors and Multiculturalism on the Personnel Security of Russian Federation

The Influence of Geopolitical Factors and Multiculturalism on the Personnel Security of Russian Federation

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 12 (no. 2),

In general, one would probably agree with the fact that geopolitical factors and multiculturalism both have a considerable influence on the personnel security. Factors such as the human mobility, the quality of human resources, internal and international migration, regional policies as well as the political and economic decisions of the central governments, or even the brain drain that involves the outflux of the highly-qualified specialists are all linked to the profound institutional changes that are taking place in our globalized and interconnected multicultural world. Moreover, personnel security is deeply linked to the national security which makes it very crucial for any country. Our paper focuses on the assessment of the specifics of personnel security in Russia and its vast regions. It shows the main trends and issues that are related to the personnel security in Russia and demonstrate the strength and weaknesses stemming from them. Moreover, we identify the factors influencing the personnel security in the country and give recommendations for its improvement. We provide a blueprint for the institutional research that sheds the light on these factors and helps to understand how they should be treated. Moreover, we provide some relevant and valuable recommendations regarding the substantiation of personnel policy directions at the federal, regional, and local levels. Our results might be of a special interest for regional and central policymakers, relevant stakeholders, and researchers.

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