| Economía, Teoría y Práctica
| (55), 5-9, julio-diciembre 2021



Letter from the Editor

Alenka Guzmán


Yet another issue of Economía Teoría y Práctica emerges from partial confinement, successfully and virtually put together by the researchers that make up the editorial board, referees, the editorial team and, above all, the innovative researchers who submit their work for publication on the journal OJS portal following an enriching review process. The outcome, dear readers, is our pleasure in sharing eight articles and commentary on a book.

Increasingly, a number of environmental phenomena associated with the climate change that is taking place is further reflected in a worldwide temperature increase and rising sea level with catastrophic effects for humanity, among them harvest and food production damage, droughts and health risks for the population. Likewise, storms, hurricanes and forest fires have taken on huge dimensions, causing major disasters. Reducing fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions are urgent public policy issues that nations must undertake, as is the need for the human inhabitants of this Earth to bring about cultural change in order to protect the environment.

Research from a variety of locations and specificities has proliferated and been the focus of global summits, seminars and conferences. One highly relevant topic has been developed by Carlos Francisco Ortiz-Paniagua and Mario Gómez, both professors-researchers at the San Nicolás de Hidalgo Michoacana University Economic and Business Research Institute, in their article “Economic Growth and Environmental Quality in Latin America from a Kuznets Perspective, 1970-2016.”

After outlining the particular situation of Latin America, the authors shed light on new approaches for proposing articulation of environmental and social variables that support policies to strengthen sustainable development in the region. With a development model grounded in economic growth and based on the indiscriminate use of natural resources, how can we overcome adverse environmental impacts? Might technological innovation be able to reduce such impacts and achieve sustainable economic growth? The researchers delve into the causality link between economic growth and environmental deterioration to prove the environmental Kuznet curve hypothesis by evaluating the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth in Latin American countries during the period 1970-2016. Their interesting findings make it possible to ascertain what type of development and degree of sustainability would be advisable for this region.

The great challenge of developing economies is to build up innovation capacities that can devise creative, productive potentials and, therefore, lay the groundwork for economic and social development. In this context, Guadalajara University professor and researcher Moisés Alejandro Alarcón Osuna directs his effort and strives to identify the issue, starting with the very title of his article “State Innovation Capacities: an Analysis of Their Principal Components.” He resolves to compose a taxonomy of innovative capacities, clusters and groupings identified in various states, establishing the variables that characterize and affect their performance.

After reviewing the status of some of the research, the author discusses methodology and the variables to use, which leads him to cluster analysis as a way of discovering similarities and differences in innovative capacities among Mexican state groupings. The interesting results inspire taking the study further and formulating policy proposals that strengthen those groupings with greater advances, as well as designing strategies that promote a range in the development of capacities for specialized groupings in regions of greatest technological, economic and social backwardness.

Concern with developing endogenous capacities also extends to farming activities, particularly agroindustry. Alejandro Barragán Ocaña, professor and researcher at the National Polytechnic Institute, is the author of the article “Endogenous Technologies and Capabilities as Development Elements for the Mexican Countryside: the Role of Biofertilizers in Localized Agri-food Systems (LAFS).”

What is the relevance of fostering local capacities in this sector? What factors characterize the relationship between localized agri-food systems, local companies and endogenous capacities (organizational and technological)? Such lines of questioning are at the core of the case study research on Biofábrica Siglo XXI, a biofertilizer and compost producing company. The findings contribute to measuring the importance of the local production of these quality and novel agricultural input products so they may be incorporated into the agri-food chain of small and even large producers. The magnitude of the technological and social innovation undertaken by SIAL and solving problems of low productivity in agricultural crops, combatting infestations and pathogenic agents, as well as reducing soil, land and water pollution turns out to be huge, in an environment of adequate governance. This piece is recommended reading.

Remittances sent to Mexico to complement the income of people in the country is a highly sensitive topic, and numerous studies have addressed the phenomenon from different angles. Miguel Ángel Mendoza González, professor- researcher in the UNAM Economics Faculty post-graduate program, relies on a Keynesian and post-Keynesian framework to analyze the importance of remittances, identifying the effects on the growing private consumption trends of durable, semi-durable, non-durable, national and imported goods and services in Mexico for the 1995-2019 period.

In the article “Remittances in the Context of Private Consumption Determinants in Mexico, 1995-2019,” the author uses the methodology for cointegration functions without endogeneity bias (FMOLS) to try and prove the hypotheses posed. The results report on the degree of response remittances have for various types of consumer goods and the sectors in which they have no effects.

“Life Satisfaction and Employment Conditions in Mexico,” an intriguing title by co-authors Jaime Lara Lara, Monterrey University professor-researcher, and Leobardo Pedro Plata Pérez, professor-researcher at San Luis Autonomous University.

In a segmented labor market that ranges from formality to informality, the authors examine wellbeing and life satisfaction differences in Mexico. To that end, methodology is developed that uses information from various bases and from a survey the authors carry out. It is supported by a specialized bibliography review on the formal and informal sectors, with one focus on capacities and another on subjective wellbeing, which enables debate regarding the relationship between quality of life, individual freedom of job choice decision, capacities and opportunities.

The 15 initial satisfaction domains considered are eventually pared down to nine: social life, family life, affective life, living standard or level, health, life achievements, future perspective, time to do what appeals and type of activity, from which specific variables are identified. This research is developed with methodological rigor that leads to findings showing the satisfaction level of the formal, informal and self-employed segments in the long and short terms, as well as possible influencing factors.

Criminality is a phenomenon that has an inverse influence on the propensity for businesses to invest, but is also an assault on the economy and social wellbeing. Several authors have studied the subject theoretically, as well as empirically. Mexico has seen a worrisome rise in crime, with alarming results for productive activity and negative effects on the labor market and family income. In their article “Determinants of Security Spending as a Form of Microbusiness Competitiveness Due to Crime. A Case Study for the Monterrey Metropolitan Area,” Elías Alvarado Lagunas, professor and researcher at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, along with Danae Duana Ávila and Karina Valencia Sandoval, professors-researchers at the State of Hidalgo Autonomous University, take on the task of analyzing the factors that influence the decision of businesspeople concerning spending money to confront the problem in a metropolitan region of northern Mexico.

After highlighting findings from related literature and the coinciding point about the ramifications of crime for the economy and society in cities, states and countries, the authors specify that over half of the microbusinesses in the metropolitan Monterrey area have been affected by different forms and degrees of crime. This leads first to the question: does crime influence protection expenditures of microbusinesses? and later to identifying the determinants of microbusiness expenditures on protection measures in this zone, considering qualities of microbusiness people, perception of crimes and geographic location. This empirical study contributes interesting results and reflections for public policy.

We now move on to the fishing sector, with the article “Bioeconomic Analysis of Fishery Management Objectives Considering Changes in Selling Price,” co-authored by Germán Ponce-Díaz, Francisco Javier Vergara-Solana, both from the IPN Inter-disciplinary Marine Sciences Center, and Fernando Aranceta-Garza, professor-re-searcher at the Northwest Biological Research Center. The authors pertinently high-light the importance of Mexico’s marine resources, considering how they should reasonably be used. It is shocking to find out that according to estimates, nearly half of stocks are close to maximum yield; over a quarter overexploited, almost a fifth collapsed and 6.9 percent of fisheries are still in the development phase. The challenges must also be faced, which involves including price information in keeping with fishery profitability when designing management policies.

Within that context, the authors decide to evaluate the effect of first-sale price changes on fishing performance indicators, through an empirical analysis based on a Gordon-Schaefer bioeconomic model of surplus production, using profitability performance indicators, effort, catches and stock size. Study conclusions show the role prices play in generating and modifying fishermen incentives and behavior, with positive effects on the health of resources and wellbeing of users.

As people currently living on the planet, we are all witnesses to the growing incorporation of information and communication technologies, although the rate at which it takes place varies, so digital gaps have developed across countries. Its importance for service sector activities has been surprising. Marlen Martínez-Domínguez, affiliated with the Conacyt-Center for Research and Higher Social Anthropology Studies addresses this phenomenon in her article “Adoption of Electronic Services in Mexico: the Case of E-Commerce, E-Banking and E-Government.” Based on the theoretical discussion of aspects that determine digital gaps, such as access, use and appropriation, each one associated with availability of infrastructure and TIC services, essential digital capacities for efficient Internet use and procurement of benefits through TIC use, the author sets out to identify the factors that determine individual decisions to use online commerce, virtual banking and electronic government in Mexico. The empirical study develops a demand model rooted in the neoclassical profit maximization theory and applies the Heckman two-stage method, based on the national survey on availability of information technologies in homes, (ENDUTIH, Inegi, 2017). The results contribute interesting data that are useful in designing public policies that encourage closing the digital gap between the various socioeconomic groups in Mexico.

Finally, Leopoldo Gómez-Ramírez and Alexander Villarraga-Orjuela, professors at University of the North, review the book Evolutionary Games and Poverty Traps, by Edgar J. Sánchez-Carrera. This highly suggestive book focuses on the scope and attributes of evolutionary game theory in identifying what leads to poverty traps and public policies to escape from them.

The reviewers focus on the book’s contribution. Evolutionary game theory is used to identify factors that lead to poverty traps, and it adequately formalizes that theory. Using the methodology, public policies that could overcome such traps are possible. Additionally, pundits take on the task of comparing the models from the book with other generic models.

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