WorldCat Identities

Hoff, Karla Ruth

Works: 81 works in 248 publications in 1 language and 3,473 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other
Classifications: HC79.P6, 339.46
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Karla Ruth Hoff
Poverty traps by Samuel Bowles( Book )

12 editions published between 2006 and 2011 in English and held by 677 WorldCat member 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 Hoff( Book )

22 editions published between 1993 and 1996 in English and held by 377 WorldCat member 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 Hoff( Book )

24 editions published in 2002 in English and Undetermined and held by 103 WorldCat member 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 Hoff( Book )

20 editions published in 2005 in English and Undetermined and held by 93 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"How does the lack of legitimacy of property rights affect the dynamics of the creation of the rule of law? We 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 towards rule of law, and that the number of agents with control rights over assets is large. We 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"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
The kin system as a poverty trap? by Karla Hoff( )

9 editions published in 2005 in English and Undetermined and held by 66 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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. "--World Bank web site
The transition from communism a diagrammatic exposition of obstacles to the demand for the rule of law by Karla Hoff( )

8 editions published in 2004 in English and Undetermined and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In an earlier paper, Hoff and Stiglitz presented a mathematical exposition of a theory that demonstrated that mass privatization without institutions to limit asset-stripping may not lead to a demand for the rule of law ["After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies," American Economic Review 94(3), June 2004, pages 753-63]. This report makes the same argument in terms of simple diagrams. The central idea is that economic actions (to build value or strip assets) and political positions of individuals are interdependent. "Big bang" privatization may give individuals an interest in taking what they can quickly, rather than waiting for the establishment of property rights protection that would permit them to build more valuable assets. Asset stripping gives some of these individuals an interest in prolonging the absence of the rule of law so that they can enjoy the fruits of stripping without the constraint of government enforcement of property rights. Each individual, in attempting to influence society's choice of the environment, focuses on the impact on himself, not the impact on others. In choosing their economic actions, individuals ignore the effect of their economic decisions on how they themselves vote, how other people believe the system will evolve, and thus how others invest and vote. Thus, two distortions of individual behavior are associated with the public good nature of votes. The authors use this framework to make one further point. Because of the interdependence between individuals' economic and political choices, demand for and opposition to the rule of law cannot be separated from macroeconomic policy. A too stringent macroeconomic policy can lower the returns to building value relative to stripping assets and thereby weaken the equilibrium demand for the rule of law. Macroeconomic policies and institutional evolution are not independent issues. This paper--a product of Investment Climate, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to understand how good governance emerges
Homeownership, community interactions, and segregation by Karla Hoff( )

8 editions published in 2004 in English and Undetermined and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Hoff and Sen consider a multi-community city where community quality is linked to residents' civic efforts, such as being proactive in preventing crime and ensuring the quality of publicly provided goods. Homeownership increases incentives for such efforts, but credit market imperfections force the poor to rent. Within-community externalities can lead to segregated cities--with the rich living with the rich in healthy homeowner communities, and the poor living with the poor in dysfunctional renter communities. The pattern of tenure segregation across communities in the United States accords well with the study's prediction. The authors analyze alternative tax-subsidy policies to alleviate inefficiencies in the housing market and identify the winners and losers under such policies. This paper--a product of Investment Climate, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to understand how external agents can best complement the strategies of the poor to improve the responsiveness of local government and to strengthen community institutions
Non-leaky buckets : optimal redistributive taxation and agency costs by Karla Hoff( Book )

10 editions published in 1994 in English and held by 61 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Abstract: 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
Belief systems and durable inequalities an experimental investigation of indian caste by Karla Hoff( )

8 editions published in 2004 in English and Undetermined and held by 61 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

If discrimination against an historically oppressed social group is dismantled, will the group forge ahead? Hoff and Pandey present experimental evidence that a history of social and legal disabilities may have persistent effects on a group's earnings through its impact on individuals' expectations. In the first experiment, 321 high-caste and 321 low-caste junior high school male student volunteers in rural India performed the task of solving mazes under economic incentives. There were no caste differences in performance when caste was not publicly revealed, but making caste salient created a large and robust caste gap. When a nonhuman factor influencing rewards (a random draw) was introduced, the caste gap disappeared. To test whether the low caste's anticipation of prejudicial treatment caused the caste gap, the authors conducted a second experiment that manipulated the scope for discretion in rewarding performance. When the link between performance and payoffs was purely mechanical, making caste salient did not affect behavior. Instead, it was in the case where there was scope for discretion and judgment in rewarding performance that making caste salient had an effect. The results suggest that when caste identity is salient, low-caste subjects expect that others will judge them prejudicially. Mistrust undermines motivation. The experimental design enables the authors to exclude as explanations of the caste gap in performance socioeconomic differences and a lack of self-confidence by low-caste participants. This paper--a product of Investment Climate, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to understand social exclusion--why certain social groups in certain localities remain poor and disempowered, while others enjoy greater mobility and power
Spite and development( )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 34 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Exiting a lawless state( )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 34 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Joseph E. Stiglitz( )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 34 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Political alternation as a restraint on investing in influence evidence from the post-communist transition by Branko Milanović( )

3 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 34 WorldCat member 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
Caste and punishment the legacy of caste culture in norm enforcement by Karla Hoff( )

6 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member 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
Making up People The Effect of Identity on Preferences and Performance in a Modernizing Society by Karla Hoff( Book )

3 editions published in 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 19 WorldCat member 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
Equilibrium fictions : a cognitive approach to societal rigidity by Karla Hoff( Book )

12 editions published between 2010 and 2011 in English and held by 11 WorldCat member 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
Tastes, Castes, and Culture the Influence of Society on Preferences by Ernst Fehr( )

9 editions published in 2011 in English and Undetermined and held by 7 WorldCat member 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 we 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
Exiting A Lawless State by Karla Hoff( )

4 editions published in 2008 in English and Undetermined and held by 4 WorldCat member 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
"Small miracles" behavioral insights to improve development policy : World Development Report 2015 by Allison Demeritt( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

One of the most fruitful advances in modern economics has been the introduction of psychological realism into the model of "economic man." The World Development Report 2015 organizes the evidence about how humans actually think and make decisions into a coherent framework useful for designing development policy. This paper elaborates on the three principles of human thinking that constitute the report's intellectual framework: Human thinking is dual process -- automatic as well as deliberative (thinking automatically); it is conditioned by social context and the salience of social identities (thinking socially); and it is shaped by mental models that are socially constructed (thinking with mental models). Behavioral insights create scope for policy interventions that produce "miracles" from the perspective of traditional economics
Behavioral economics and social exclusion can interventions overcome prejudice? by Karla Hoff( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Behavioral economics recognizes that mental models -- intuitive sets of ideas about how things work -- can bias an individual's perceptions of himself and the world. By representing an ascriptive category of people as unworthy, a mental model can foster unjust social exclusion of, for example, a race, gender, caste, or class. Since the representation is a social construction, shouldn't society be able to control it? But how? This paper considers three interventions that have had some success in developing countries: (1) Group deliberation in Senegal challenged the traditional mental model of female genital cutting and contributed to the abandonment of the practice; (2) political reservations for women and low castes in India improved the way men perceived women, the way parents perceived their daughters, and the way women perceived themselves, but have not generally had positive effects on the low castes; and (3) reductions in the salience of identity closed performance gaps between dominant and stigmatized groups in experiments in India and China. Spoiled collective identities need to be changed or made less prominent in order to overcome social exclusion
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Poverty traps
Alternative Names
Hoff, K. 1953-

Hoff, Karla.

Hoff, Karla 1953-

Hoff, Karla Ruth

English (154)