We survey the rich literature studying the behaviour of labor shares in recent decades. To explain
their dynamics – the main feature being the decline of European and American shares starting
in the 1980s – such literature considers models that use either neoclassical or Leontief-type production
functions, with both perfectly competitive markets and monopolistic competition coupled with
bargaining between firms and workers. These empirical studies in general have produced results that
are not very robust. However, they suggest that technical change has a negative and significant impact
on the labor share. Evidence for a negative effect of globalization variables is clearly revealed
for developing countries, whilst for advanced countries, this effect finds less support. Also, they
show that product and labor market regulation issues have mixed effects on the labor share. An alternative
to the econometric explanation of labor share is given in the final section.
Key words: Factor shares, functional income distribution.
JEL Classification: E24, E25.
Two main subjects are dealt with in this paper: the democratic road to socialism in Marx and
Engels’s works and, more generally, a feasible transition to a new social order. Starting out from the
Marxian definition of revolution as the transition from one production mode to another, the author
expatiates on different possible modes of transition. Marx and Engels often declared themselves in
favour of a transition realised through a worker management of firms, and one purpose of this article
is to suggest that the establishment of a system of producer cooperatives would be the correct way
out of capitalism.
Key words: socialism, marxism, cooperative firms.
JEL Classification: P13, P2, B14, B51, J54.
This paper has two parts. In the first, theoretical, section it explores issues concerning the enforcement
of a mandatory environmental scheme in which firms make decisions about compliance by
considering both the expected fines in the case of cheating, and the costs of compliance. Two alternative
scenarios are considered: mutual exclusiveness vs. coexistence of public and private standards.
The second part investigates the possibility of setting up a common environmental standard across
countries. Two main variables influence the advantage of any country in adopting a common standard:
the nature of environmental damage (local vs. trans-frontier) and the relative efficiency of domestic
firms. Analysis has revealed on the one hand how the advantage of complying with the standard
may differ widely across countries, and on the other which factors must be taken into consideration
when setting up a single standard.
Key words: Environmental labelling, regulatory governance, enforcement, compliance, common
JEL Classification: D21 F53 K42 Q28.
A growing body of thought in the literature and the policy debate is calling for eligibility criteria
and funding methods in healthcare to be predicated on individual responsibility. To date this approach
has had no tangible impact on public health systems: the choice adopted is to avoid discrimination
in access to health services, while instead emphasising public intervention intended to influence
behaviour. As regards forms of intervention, we observe the expansion of the standard instruments:
mandatory rules, information, education, subsidies and taxes. However, a new approach is
also emerging. This is labelled «libertarian paternalism» to indicate that it pursues an acceptable
compromise between the corrective objective and respect for the freedom of individual choice. We
argue that this road should be pursued cautiously, with prior assessment and ex-post evaluation of
the impact of intervention designed to affect individual behaviour, through an appropriate adaptation
of the traditional criteria of cost-effectiveness analysis.
Key words: Individual behaviour, individual responsibility, health promotion, libertarian paternalism,
JEL Classification: I12, I18, H51.