WorldCat Identities

Hoff, Karla 1953-

Overview
Works: 93 works in 287 publications in 1 language and 4,775 library holdings
Genres: History 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other, Opponent
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by Karla Hoff
Poverty traps by Samuel Bowles( )

21 editions published between 2006 and 2016 in English and Undetermined and held by 2,339 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 )

24 editions published between 1993 and 1997 in English and Undetermined and held by 410 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
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( )

20 editions published between 2005 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 200 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
After the big bang? : Obstacles to the emergence of the rule of law in post-communist societies by Karla Hoff( )

20 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 159 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989-91, many economic reformers supported "Big Bang" privatization--the rapid transfer of state-owned enterprises to private individuals. It was hoped that Big Bang privatization would create the conditions for a demand-led evolution of legal institutions. But there was no theory to explain how this process of institutional evolution, including a legal framework for the protection of investors, would occur and, in fact, it has not yet occurred in Russia, in other former Soviet Union countries, in the Czech Republic, and elsewhere. A central reason for that, according to many scholars, is the weakness of the political demand for the rule of law. To shed light on this puzzle, Hoff and Stiglitz consider a model where the conditions for the emergence of the rule of law might be interpreted as highly favorable. Individuals with control rights over privatized assets can collectively bring about the rule of law simply by voting for it. These individuals are concerned with the wealth they can obtain from the privatized assets, and have two alternative strategies: building value and stripping assets. Building value under the rule of law yields higher benefits to a majority than stripping assets under no rule of law. But uncertainty about when the rule of law will be established may lead some individuals to choose an economic strategy--stripping assets, including converting corporate assets to private use--that gives them an interest in postponing the establishment of the rule of law. And therefore in the succeeding period, the rule of law may again not be in place, and so again individuals may strip assets. If they do, some of them may again have an interest in postponing the establishment of the rule of law. And so a weak demand for the rule of law can persist. The contribution of the paper is to show that the view that once stripping has occurred, the strippers will say "enough" and by supporting the rule of law seek public protection of their gains, is flawed. By abstracting from the obvious problem that strippers who obtain great wealth can buy special favored treatment from the state, the model highlights two less obvious flaws in the optimistic view about the Big Bang: First, that the asset-strippers can remove the assets from exposure to further stealing, and in that case they do not care about public protection for their gains. And second, that the perceived justice of a system is important to gaining the cooperation of those involved in the process of producing the rule of law (judges, regulators, jurors, potential offenders). Accordingly, state protection of asset strippers may be infeasible, even under an ostensible rule of law. Knowing this, strippers will be less supportive of the rule of law. The model makes one further point: what is at issue is how fast the rule of law will emerge. The presumption of the Big Bang strategy was that the faster state property was turned over to private hands, the faster a true market economy, including the rule of law, would be established. The analysis shows that, even if eventually a rule of law is established, the Big Bang may put into play forces that delay the establishment of the rule of law. The tortoise once again may beat the hare! Finally, Hoff and Stiglitz analyze the impact of certain policies, such as the particular structure of privatization and monetary policy. Policies that enhance the returns to investment and wealth creation rather than asset stripping not only serve to strengthen the economy in the short run, but enhance political support for the rule of law and thus put it in a position for stronger long-term growth. This paper--a product of the Investment Climate Team, Development Research Group--is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the evolution of property rights institutions
Homeownership, community interactions, and segregation by Karla Hoff( )

9 editions published between 2004 and 2013 in English and Undetermined and held by 127 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The authors 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
Equilibrium fictions : a cognitive approach to societal rigidity by Karla Hoff( )

13 editions published between 2010 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 124 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
The kin system as a poverty trap? by Karla Hoff( )

8 editions published between 2005 and 2012 in English and held by 111 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
Non-leaky buckets : optimal redistributive taxation and agency costs by Karla Hoff( Book )

12 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 101 WorldCat member 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
Joseph E. Stiglitz by Karla Hoff( )

4 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in English and held by 85 WorldCat member 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
Belief systems and durable inequalities : an experimental investigation of Indian caste by Karla Hoff( )

6 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 69 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
The transition from communism : a diagrammatic exposition of obstacles to the demand for the rule of law by Karla Hoff( )

6 editions published between 2004 and 2013 in English 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
Making up People The Effect of Identity on Preferences and Performance in a Modernizing Society by Karla Hoff( )

6 editions published between 2012 and 2013 in English and held by 63 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
Striving for balance in economics towards a theory of the social determination of behavior by Karla Hoff( )

6 editions published between 2015 and 2016 in English and held by 62 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper is an attempt to broaden economic discourse by importing insights into human behavior not just from psychology, but also from sociology and anthropology. Whereas the concept of the decision-maker in standard economics is the rational actor and, in early work in behavioral economics, the quasi-rational actor influenced by the context of the moment of decision-making, in some recent work in behavioral economics the decision-maker could be called the enculturated actor. This actor's preferences, perception, and cognition are subject to two deep social influences: (a) the social contexts to which he has become exposed and, especially, accustomed; and (b) the cultural mental models-including categories, identities, narratives, and worldviews-that he uses to process information. The paper traces how these factors shape individual behavior through the endogenous determination of preferences and the lenses through which individuals see the world-their perception and interpretation of situations. The paper offers a tentative taxonomy of the social determinants of behavior and describes the results of controlled and natural experiments that only a broader view of these determinants can plausibly explain. The perspective suggests more realistic models of human behavior for explaining outcomes and designing policies
Spite and development by Ernst Fehr( )

4 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 60 WorldCat member 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
Exiting a lawless state by Karla Hoff( )

2 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in English and held by 58 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
The transition from communism a diagrammatic exposition of obstacles to the demand for the rule of law by Karla Hoff( )

3 editions published between 2004 and 2013 in English and Undetermined and held by 58 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In an earlier paper, the authors 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
Political alternation as a restraint on investing in influence evidence from the post-communist transition by Branko Milanović( )

4 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 56 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
Dysfunctional finance : positive shocks and negative outcomes by Karla Hoff( )

5 editions published between 2010 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 55 WorldCat member 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
Belief systems and durable inequalities an experimental investigation of indian caste by Karla Hoff( )

2 editions published between 2004 and 2013 in English and held by 55 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

If discrimination against an historically oppressed social group is dismantled, will the group forge ahead? The authors 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
After the big bang? obstacles to the emergence of the rule of law in post-Communist societies by Karla Hoff( )

3 editions published in 2002 in English and Undetermined and held by 54 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

 
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Alternative Names
Hoff, K. 1953-

Hoff Karla

Hoff, Karla 1953-

Hoff, Karla Ruth

Hoff, Karla Ruth, 1953-

Languages
English (168)