Monday, October 16, 2017

Modelos de propriedade alternativos (II)

Labour's Alternative Models of Ownership Report (New Socialist):

Today Labour launch a report, Alternative Models of Ownership, commissioned by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey, that could mark a major milestone in the development of the Corbyn project and its ambitious attempt to re-make the British left. The report, authored by a group of theorists and practitioners at the cutting edge of ‘new economics’ thinking in the UK, potentially provides the basis for the most far-reaching, radical, yet practical, economic strategy to be argued for within the Labour Party in forty years. In a political landscape long characterised by triviality and a sullen lack of imagination, the authors of the report – as well as McDonnell and Long-Bailey – deserve enormous credit and have further demonstrated that it is the left that is producing the only serious, grown-up ideas for tackling our deepening social, economic, and ecological crises. The ideas contained in the report manage to be both justifiably pessimistic about the consequences of continued business-as-usual for the vast majority of people and for the environment, while also demonstrating powerful optimism regarding our capacity to change things for the better – for the many, not the few. (...)

In considerable detail, the report sets out the practicality and necessity of a shift to a variety of alternative forms of ownership and control of productive enterprises, including co-operatives, municipal and locally-led ownership forms, and finally – and most ambitiously – new democratic forms of national ownership. Ultimately, Alternative Models of Ownership is a remarkable document to be circulating at the highest levels of a major political party, combining a sober and plausible practicality with a profound radicalism in demanding a new socialist political economy that goes beyond nostalgia for a reheated, golden-age social democracy (...)

More generally, the report also contains certain policy themes that have not always been the preserve of the left – or at least of the left exclusively. Such themes include co-operatives, which formed a large part of the Big Society agenda; greater devolution of budgets to regions and councils, which superficially parallels both the “Northern Powerhouse” and the reason given for the support of some right-wing Labour council leaders for Liz Kendall’s 2015 leadership bid; a concern with automation and Unconditional Basic Income, which have interested figures like Tom Watson and Jonathan Reynolds; and a suspicion of how far states subject to the discipline of globalised capitalism can redistribute that underpinned Ed Miliband’s “predistribution” agenda (...).

[Via A Very Public Sociologist]

Diga-se, já agora, que a a análise do New Socialist ao documento dos Trabalhistas parece-me ser maior (e talvez mais aprofundado) que o documento propriamente dito...

Modelos de propriedade alternativos

Alternative Models of Ownership[PDF], documento do Partido Trabalhista britânico sobre diferentes formas de organização empresarial altertnativas ao modelo capitalista típico:

The economic system in Britain, in its current guise, has a number of fundamental structural flaws that undermine economic strength and societal well-being. The predominance of private property ownership has led to a lack of long-term investment and declining rates of productivity, undermined democracy, left regions of the country economically forgotten, and contributed to increasing levels inequality and financial insecurity. Alternative forms of ownership can fundamentally address these problems.

These issues are all the more pronounced given the increasing levels of automation in our economy. Automation has an emancipatory potential for the country’s population, but the liberating possibilities of automation can only be realised – and the threats of increased unemployment and domination of capital over labour only countered – through new models of collective ownership that ensure that the prospective benefits of automation are widely shared and democratically governed.

Cooperative ownership has the ability to increase employment stability and increase productivity levels, as well as making firms more democratic. To support the expansion of cooperatives in the UK it is necessary to improve their access to finance, and examples from Italy and Spain point in the direction necessary to achieve this. Cooperatives can further be supported by national legislation and a re-worked government procurement policy.

Municipal and locally-led ownership can improve service provision and guarantee that economic prosperity is not concentrated in certain regions of the country. A variety of policies, including place-based budgets, increased powers being handed to local authorities, and the relocation of various major institutions outside of London can foster this type of ownership.

National ownership of certain industries promotes long-term planning of the economy, helps to provide modernising infrastructure, quality health and social care, and to combat climate change. Examples around the world point to the positive contribution of national ownership, but in the UK national state ownership has historically tended to be too centralised, with power in the hands of a private and corporate elite. To improve national ownership in the UK requires taking measures to increase the democratic accountability of state ownership.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A "aversão à perda" vista por uma óptica mais clássica

[38] A Better Explanation Of The Endowment Effect, por Joe Simmons (via Marginal Revolution):

Weaver and Frederick’s theory is simple: Selling and buying prices reflect two concerns. First, people don’t want to sell the mug for less, or buy the mug for more, than their own value of it. Second, they don’t want to sell the mug for less, or buy the mug for more, than the market price. This is because people dislike feeling like a sucker. [2]

To see how this produces the endowment effect, imagine you are willing to pay $1 for the mug and you believe it usually sells for $3. As a buyer, you won’t pay more than $1, because you don’t want to pay more than it’s worth to you. But as a seller, you don’t want to sell for as little as $1, because you’ll feel like a chump selling it for much less than it is worth. [3]. Thus, because there’s a gap between people’s perception of the market price and their valuation of the mug, there’ll be a large gap between selling ($3) and buying ($1) prices.
Eu por mim dispensava as partes do "feeling like a sucker" e do "feel like a chump" - esse comportamento pode ser explicado assumindo apenas agentes racionais procurando maximizar o rendimento (e que portanto não vão vender por 2 euros algo que estão convencidos que poderão vender por 3).

A Reference Price Theory of the EndowmentEffect[pdf], por Ray Weaver e Shane Frederick (Journal of Marketing Reasearch, vol. XLIX, outubro de 2012, pp. 696–707):
The common finding that selling prices exceed buying prices (the so-called endowment effect) is typically explained by the assumptions that consumers evaluate potential transactions with respect to their current holdings and that the owners of a good regard its potential loss to be more significant than nonowners regard its potential acquisition. In contrast to this “pain-of-losing” account, the authors propose that the endowment effect reflects a reluctance to trade on terms that appear unfavorable with respect to salient reference prices. In six experiments (and eight more summarized in appendixes), the authors show that manipulations that reduce the gap between valuations and reference prices reduce or eliminate the endowment effect. These results suggest that the endowment effect is often best construed as an aversion to bad deals rather than an aversion to losing possessions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Economia comportamental e conservadorismo social

Why Conservatives Should Celebrate Thaler's Nobel, por Tyler Cowen:

Richard Thaler, winner of the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics, is not usually considered to be a right-of-center thinker. His major idea in “Nudge,” co-authored with my fellow Bloomberg View contributor Cass Sunstein, however, is the most significant contribution to conservative thought in a generation.

As the debate usually proceeds, advocates of nudging call upon the government to structure “choice architecture” to produce better decisions. If you sign up for a pension plan with your employer, perhaps the default option should be the maximum contribution to a savings plan; in turn, the enrollee must check a box to receive a different option. Choice is still present, but the employer (or the government) is suggesting that people make a particular choice. Such practices have become widespread, and the British government has created an entire “nudge unit.”

As this debate has unfolded, many conservatives and libertarians have been very critical of Thaler and Sunstein. They describe nudging as manipulation, and perhaps one step down the road to an Orwellian future based on surveillance and subtle behavioral control. When I look around though, I mostly see the nudge idea in service of the ends of social conservatives. (...)

Consider marriage as a longstanding form of the nudge idea. Divorce, of course, is possible, but our government doesn’t allow marriage contracts that automatically expire after 5 years, or 10. That’s a nudge encouraging people to stay married, and a good one for the most part. (...)

Another conservative nudge comes in immigration policy. Throughout much of the 20th century, there wasn’t much, if any, barrier to people crossing from Mexico into the U.S. These days, there is an active Border Patrol. That said, Mexicans can buy false papers or overstay their visas if they don’t wish to hazard what is now a fairly dangerous border crossing experience. Even if we build President Donald Trump’s wall, these basic facts will not change: Mexicans have the option of entering illegally, but they must engage in considerable planning and incur some expense to do so. They are nudged to stay home, although a choice remains. (...)

An especially controversial conservative nudge is all the policy steps and regulatory restrictions and funding cuts that make it harder for women to get abortions. Many Americans must now travel a considerable distance to reach a qualified abortion provider, in some cases hundreds of miles. The cost is discouraging. And the greater inconvenience widens the gap of time between decision and final outcome, perhaps inducing some women to change their minds or simply let the plan go unfulfilled. Yet it is still possible to get an abortion, albeit with greater effort.(...)

I find it striking that nudge theorists usually market the idea using relatively “liberal” examples, such as improving public services. How much we view nudge as freedom-enhancing or as a sinister manipulation may depend on the context in which the nudge is placed. Neither conservatives nor liberals should be so quick to condemn or approve of nudge per se.

We should also consider that the politically relevant alternative to nudge may indeed be violence, rather than freedom of choice. That tends to make the nudge idea look better, though perhaps not in a way that social liberals should feel totally comfortable with.

Vagamente relacionado, um artigo que escrevi há uns tempos - Economia, política e os "agentes racionais", onde alego que assumir que muitas das decisões humanas são irracionais é muito mais fácil de enquadrar num programa de direita do que de esquerda.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Faleceu Pedro Romano (do blogue Desvio Colossal)

Morreu Pedro Romano, analista do Jornal Económico

O ex-jornalista, consultor e analista económico Pedro Romano faleceu esta quinta-feira em Braga, onde residia, segundo fonte próxima da família. Pedro Romano completava 32 anos este mês. A causa da morte ainda não é conhecida.

Licenciado e mestre em Ciências da Comunicação pela Universidade do Minho, Pedro Romano iniciou a sua carreira no jornalismo económico em 2008, tendo sido jornalista do “Diário Económico” e do “Jornal de Negócios”, especializando-se na área de macroeconomia. Foi também assessor económico do Grupo Parlamentar do CDS e da Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, entre outras entidades. Atualmente trabalhava como consultor e, embora estivesse afastado do jornalismo, era colaborador permanente do Jornal Económico, assinando semanalmente a coluna “Radar Económico”. Alimentava também o blogue Desvio Colossal.

A profundidade da sua análise, juntamente com a fineza e a lucidez dos seus raciocínios, faziam de Pedro Romano um dos mais promissores jovens analistas económicos em Portugal. E o seu sentido de humor apurado vai fazer muita falta a todos aqueles que tiveram o privilégio de o conhecer e de trabalhar com ele.
É daquelas pessoas que, sem o conhecer pessoalmente, é quase como se o conhecesse, de tão habituado que estava a "falar" com ele nos nossos blogues e no Facebook, durante os últimos dez anos.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A economia de serviços e a pós-verdade

Economic Roots of Post-Truth Politics, por Chris Dillow:

Here’s a conjecture: the rise of “post-truth” politics (defined by the OED as a process whereby “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals”) is in part the product of deindustrialization.

What I mean is that in manufacturing, facts defeat emotions and opinions. If your steel cracks, or your bottles leak or your cars won’t start, all your hopes and fancy beliefs are wrong. Truth trumps opinion.

Contrast this with sales occupations. In these, opinion beats facts. If customers think a shit sandwich is great food, it’ll sell regardless of facts. And conversely, good products won’t sell if customers think they’re rubbish. Opinion trumps truth.

(Finance is a mix of these. In trading and asset management, beliefs are constantly defeated by cold hard facts. In asset gathering, sales and investor relations, however, bullshit works.)

Isn’t it therefore possible that a shift from manufacturing to other occupations will contribute to a decline in respect for facts and greater respect for opinions, however ill-founded? In 1966 – when employment in UK manufacturing peaked – 29.2% of the workforce were in manufacturing. This meant that millions more heard tales from fathers, husbands and friends about how brute facts had fouled up their day. A culture of respect for facts was thus inculcated. Today, however, only 7.8% of the workforce is in manufacturing and many more are in bullshit jobs. This is an environment less conducive to a deference to facts.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Esquerda, direita e liberdade de expressão

Ou, mais exatamente, "liberals", "conservatives" e liberdade de expressão.

Most liberals and smart people want racists to be allowed to speak, por Razib Khan:

Over the past year or so there have been many worries that liberals are backing off from their support for free speech. Even mainstream figures such as Howard Dean have started to chant the mantra “hate speech is not free speech”. And then you have op-eds from professors such as When ‘free speech’ becomes a political weapon.

But whenever I look at the General Social Survey I see no great change in support for free speech in terms of the patterns. Perhaps something has changed in the year 2017, but I think what we are seeing are vocal and motivated minorities who are drowning out liberal (in the classical sense) majorities. (...)

What the above plot shows is that liberals support free speech for both racists and Muslim radicals. Conservatives are more skeptical of free speech for both groups, but especially the Muslims. You might be curious why moderates seem so skeptical of free speech. That’s because on average moderates are less intelligent than people at the ideological poles, and the less intelligent are generally less supportive of heterodox speech