Behavioral economics and new paternalism
The paper provides a critical appraisal of the normative program of behavioral economics known as ‘new paternalism’. First, it explores the theoretical foundations of behavioral economics, describes major behavioral anomalies associated with bounded rationality of economic agents and discusses its normative principles and political implications. It then discusses the main empirical and conceptual drawbacks of new paternalism and provides arguments for the alternative non-welfarist normative tradition based on the idea of freedom.
The book considers how to make the methodology of business ethics more scientific, especially its normative branch. Storchevoy explores the attempts of economic theory to contribute to the scientific normative analysis of economic behavior, particularly the welfare economics of 1910-1950 and methodological discussions of economics and ethics from 1980-2015. He then examines the development of the methodological structure of business ethics in general since the 1980s and the scientific validity of normative business ethics, including stakeholder theory, the separation thesis, integral social contract theory, corporate social responsibility, virtue ethics and other frameworks. He concludes by suggesting an additional step to make business ethics a more systematic discipline by developing a typology of moral issues and dilemmas. Business Ethics as a Science will be a thought-provoking resource for students and practitioners of business ethics and economists alike.
Projects and reforms targeting infrastructure services can affect consumer welfare through changes in the price, coverage, or quality of the services provided. The benefits of improved service quality—while significant—are often overlooked because they are difficult to quantify. This article reviews methods of evaluating the welfare implications of changes in the quality of infrastructure services within the broader theoretical perspective of welfare measurement. The study outlines the theoretical assumptions and data requirements involved, illustrating each method with examples that highlight common methodological features and differences. The article also presents the theoretical underpinnings and potential applications of a new approach to analysing the effects of interruptions in the supply of infrastructure services on household welfare.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.