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Hoff, Karla Ruth

Works: 65 works in 200 publications in 1 language and 2,725 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Editor
Classifications: HC79.P6, 339.46
Publication Timeline
Publications about Karla Ruth Hoff
Publications by Karla Ruth Hoff
Most widely held works by Karla Ruth Hoff
Poverty traps by Samuel Bowles( file )
9 editions published between 2006 and 2011 in English and held by 1,514 libraries worldwide
Much popular belief, and public policy, rests on the idea that those born into poverty have it in their powers to escape. But the persistence of poverty and ever-growing economic inequality around the world has led to many economists to seriously question the model of individual economic self-determination when it comes to the poor. In this book, the contributors argue that there are many conditions that may trap individuals, groups, and whole economies in intractable poverty. For the first time the editors have brought together the perspectives of economies, economic history, and sociology to assess what we know, and don't know, about such traps
The Economics of rural organization : theory, practice, and policy by Karla Ruth Hoff( Book )
18 editions published between 1993 and 1996 in English and held by 361 libraries worldwide
The objective of this book is to narrow the gaps between economic theory and empirical work, and between academic research and policy evaluation, with respect to the rural sector of developing countries
After the big bang? : Obstacles to the emergence of the rule of law in post-communist societies by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
17 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 116 libraries worldwide
When Russia launched mass privatization, it was widely believed that it would create a powerful constituency for the rule of law. That didn't happen. We present a dynamic equilibrium model of the political demand for the rule of law and show that beneficiaries of mass privatization may fail to demand the rule of law even if it is the Pareto efficient rule of the game.' The reason is that uncertainty about the legal regime can lead to asset stripping, and stripping can give agents an interest in prolonging the absence of the rule of law
The creation of the rule of law and the legitimacy of property rights the political and economic consequences of a corrupt privatization by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
15 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 113 libraries worldwide
How does the lack of legitimacy of property rights affect the dynamics of the creation of the rule of law? The authors investigate the demand for the rule of law in post-communist economies after privatization under the assumption that theft is possible, that those who have "stolen" assets cannot be fully protected under a change in the legal regime toward rule of law, and that the number of agents with control rights over assets is large. They show that a demand for broadly beneficial legal reform may not emerge because the expectation of weak legal institutions increases the expected relative return to stripping assets, and strippers may gain from a weak and corrupt state. The outcome can be inefficient even from the narrow perspective of the asset-strippers
Non-leaky buckets : optimal redistributive taxation and agency costs by Karla Ruth Hoff( Book )
9 editions published between 1994 and 1995 in English and held by 80 libraries worldwide
Economists have generally argued that income redistribution comes at a cost in aggregate incomes. We provide a counter-example in a model where private information gives rise to incentive constraints. In the model, a wage tax creates the usual distortion in labor-leisure choices, but the grants that it finances reduce a distortion in investment in human capital. We prove that simple redistributive policies can yield Pareto improvements and increase aggregate incomes. Where higher education is beyond the reach of the poor, the wage tax- transfer policy is under most circumstances more effective than targeted credit taxes or subsidies in increasing over-all efficiency
The kin system as a poverty trap? by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
6 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 58 libraries worldwide
An institution found in many traditional societies is the extended family system (kin system), an informal system of shared rights and obligations among extended family for the purpose of mutual assistance. In predominantly non-market economies, the kin system is a valuable institution providing critical community goods and insurance services in the absence of market or public provision. But what happens when the market sector grows in the process of economic development? How do the members of kin groups respond, individually and collectively, to such changes? When the kin system "meets" the modern economy, does the kin system act as a "vehicle of progress" helping its members adapt, or as an "instrument of stagnation" holding back its members from benefiting from market development? In reality, the consequences of membership in a kin group have been varied for people in different parts of the world. Hoff and Sen characterize the conditions under which the kin system becomes a dysfunctional institution when facing an expanding modern economy. The authors first show that when there are moral hazard problems in the modern sector, the kin system may exacerbate them. When modern sector employers foresee that, they will offer employment opportunities on inferior terms to members of ethnic groups that practice the kin system. These entry barriers in the market, in turn, create an incentive for some individuals to break ties with their kin group, which hurts members of the group who stay back in the traditional sector. The authors then show in a simple migration model that if a kin group can take collective action to raise exit barriers, then even if migrating to the modern sector and breaking ties increases aggregate welfare (and even if a majority of members are expected to gain ex post, after the resolution of uncertainty about the identity of the winners and losers), a majority of agents within a kin group may support ex ante raising the exit barrier to prevent movement to the modern sector. This result is an example of the bias toward the status quo analyzed by Raquel Fernandez and Dani Rodrik in the context of trade reform. The authors do not claim that all kin groups will necessarily exhibit such a bias against beneficial regime changes. But they provide a clear intuition about the forces that can lead to the collective conservatism of a kin system facing expanding opportunities in a market economy-forces that can lead the kin group to become a poverty trap for its members
The transition from communism a diagrammatic exposition of obstacles to the demand for the rule of law by Karla Ruth Hoff( Book )
5 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 56 libraries worldwide
Belief systems and durable inequalities an experimental investigation of Indian caste by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
5 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
Equilibrium fictions a cognitive approach to societal rigidity by Karla Ruth Hoff( Computer File )
9 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
This paper assesses the role of ideas in economic change, combining economic and historical analysis with insights from psychology, sociology and anthropology. Belief systems shape the system of categories ("pre-confirmatory bias") and perceptions (confirmatory bias), and are themselves constrained by fundamental values. We illustrate the model using the historical construction of racial categories. Given the post-Reformation fundamental belief that all men had rights, colonial powers after the 15th century constructed ideologies that the colonized groups they exploited were naturally inferior, and gave these beliefs precedence over other aspects of belief systems. Historical work finds that doctrines of race came into their own in the colonies that became the US after, not before, slavery; that out of the "scandal of empire" in India emerged a "race theory that cast Britons and Indians in a relationship of absolute difference"; and that arguments used by the settlers in Australia to justify their policies towards the Aborigines entailed in effect the expulsion of the Aborigines from the human race. Racial ideology shaped categories and perceptions in ways that we show can give rise to equilibrium fictions. In our framework, technology, contacts with the outside world, and changes in power and wealth matter not just directly but because they can lead to changes in ideology
Homeownership, community interactions, and segregation by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
5 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
Caste and punishment the legacy of caste culture in norm enforcement by Karla Ruth Hoff( Computer File )
8 editions published in 2009 in English and Undetermined and held by 36 libraries worldwide
Well-functioning groups enforce social norms that restrain opportunism, but the social structure of a society may encourage or inhibit norm enforcement. This paper studies how the exogenous assignment to different positions in an extreme social hierarchy - the caste system - affects individuals' willingness to punish violations of a cooperation norm. Although the analysis controls for individual wealth, education, and political participation, low-caste individuals exhibit a much lower willingness to punish norm violations that hurt members of their own caste, suggesting a cultural difference across caste status in the concern for members of one's own community. The lower willingness to punish may inhibit the low caste's ability to sustain collective action and so may contribute to its economic vulnerability
Tastes, Castes, and Culture The Influence of Society on Preferences by Ernst Fehr( file )
8 editions published in 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 34 libraries worldwide
Economists have traditionally treated preferences as exogenously given. Preferences are assumed to be influenced by neither beliefs nor the constraints people face. As a consequence, changes in behaviour are explained exclusively in terms of changes in the set of feasible alternatives. Here the authors argue that the opposition to explaining behavioural changes in terms of preference changes is ill-founded, that the psychological properties of preferences render them susceptible to direct social influences, and that the impact of "society" on preferences is likely to have important economic and social consequences
The second theorem of the second best by Karla Ruth Hoff( Book )
9 editions published between 1992 and 1994 in English and held by 18 libraries worldwide
Exiting A Lawless State by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
5 editions published in 2008 in English and Undetermined and held by 18 libraries worldwide
An earlier paper showed that an economy could be trapped in an equilibrium state in which the absence of the rule of law led to asset-stripping, and the prevalence of asset-stripping led to the absence of a demand for the rule of law, highlighting a coordination failure. This paper looks more carefully at the dynamics of transition from a non-rule-of-law state. The paper identifies a commitment problem as the critical feature inhibiting the transition: the inability, under a rule of law, to forgive theft. This can lead to the perpetuation of the non-rule-of-law state, even when it might seem that the alternative is Pareto-improving
Spite and Development by Ernst Fehr( file )
5 editions published in 2008 in English and Undetermined and held by 18 libraries worldwide
In a wide variety of settings, spiteful preferences would constitute an obstacle to cooperation, trade, and thus economic development. This paper shows that spiteful preferences - the desire to reduce another's material payoff for the mere purpose of increasing one's relative payoff - are surprisingly widespread in experiments conducted in one of the least developed regions in India (Uttar Pradesh). In a one-shot trust game, the authors find that a large majority of subjects punish cooperative behavior although such punishment clearly increases inequality and decreases the payoffs of both subjects. In experiments to study coordination and to measure social preferences, the findings reveal empirical patterns suggesting that the willingness to reduce another's material payoff - either for the sake of achieving more equality or for the sake of being ahead - is stronger among individuals belonging to high castes than among those belonging to low castes. Because extreme social hierarchies are typically accompanied by a culture that stresses status-seeking, it is plausible that the observed social preference patterns are at least partly shaped by this culture. Thus, an exciting question for future research is the extent to which different institutions and cultures produce preferences that are conducive or detrimental to economic development
Joseph E. Stiglitz by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
4 editions published in 2008 in English and Undetermined and held by 17 libraries worldwide
Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, helped create the theory of markets with asymmetric information and was one of the founders of modern development economics. He played a leading role in an intellectual revolution that changed the characterization of a market economy. In the new paradigm, the price system only imperfectly solves the information problem of scarcity because of the many other information problems that arise in the economy: the selection over hidden characteristics, the provision of incentives for hidden behaviors and for innovation, and the coordination of choices over institutions
Dysfunctional Finance : Positive Shocks And Negative Outcomes by Karla Ruth Hoff( file )
4 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 15 libraries worldwide
This paper shows how badly a market economy may respond to a positive productivity shock in an environment with asymmetric information about project quality: some, all, or even more than all the benefits from the increase in productivity may be dissipated. In the model, based on Bernanke and Gertler (1990), entrepreneurs with a low default probability are charged the same interest rate as entrepreneurs with a high default probability. The implicit subsidy from good types to bad means that the marginal entrant will have a negative-value project. An example is presented in which, after a positive productivity shock, the presence of enough bad type's forces the interest rate so high that it drives all entrepreneurs out of the market. This happens in an industry in which there are good projects that are productive. The problem is that they are contaminated in the capital market by bad projects because of the banks inability to distinguish good projects from bad. One possible explanation for the lack of development in some countries is that screening institutions are sufficiently weak that impersonal financial markets cannot function. If industrialization entails learning spillovers concentrated within national boundaries, and if initially informational asymmetries are sufficiently great that the capital market does not emerge, then neither industrialization nor the learning that it would foster will occur
Making up People The Effect of Identity on Preferences and Performance in a Modernizing Society by Karla Ruth Hoff( Book )
2 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 13 libraries worldwide
It is typically assumed that being hard-working or clever is a trait of the person, in the sense that it is always there, in a fixed manner. However, in an experiment with almost 600 boys in India, cues to one's place in the traditional caste order turn out to influence the expression of these traits. The experiment assigned students to different treatments with respect to the salience of caste and had them solve mazes under incentives. It turned out that making caste salient can reduce output by about 25 percent, which is equivalent to twice the effect on output of being one year younger. The channels through which this occurs differ by caste status. For the upper castes, the decline in performance under piece rates can only be explained by a shift in preferences regarding the provision of effort. When the ascriptive caste order is cued, upper-caste individuals may think, "I don't need to excel." In contrast, for the lower castes, which were traditionally "untouchables, " publicly revealing caste identity impairs the ability to learn and may lead individuals to think, "I can't (or don't dare to) excel." This paper provides a measure of the impact that ascriptive, hierarchized identities can have on preferences and performance after a society-in its public pronouncements and legislation-has adopted norms of equality in a formal sense. The findings are important because they suggest that when contexts cue identities founded on the superseded rules of a hierarchical institution, the effects on human capital formation and development can be first-order. Contexts that make traditional identities salient are an underemphasized source of impediments to institutional change
Political alternation as a restraint on investing in influence : evidence from the post-communist transition by Branko Milanović( file )
1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 13 libraries worldwide
"The authors develop and implement a method for measuring the frequency of changes in power among distinct leaders and ideologically distinct parties that is comparable across political systems. The authors find that more frequent alternation in power is associated with the emergence of better governance in post communist countries. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that firms seek durable protection from the state, which implies that expected political alternation is relevant to the decision whether to invest in influence with the governing party or, alternatively, to demand institutions that apply predictable rules, with equality of treatment, regardless of the party in power. "--World Bank web site
World Bank Research Observer 18 (2), Sept 2003 by Mark Gersovitz( Computer File )
2 editions published in 2003 in Undetermined and English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
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Alternative Names
Hoff, K. 1953-
Hoff, Karla.
Hoff, Karla 1953-
English (140)
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