Professor Morris Altman
Dean and Head of School
Newcastle Business School
- Phone:(02) 4913 8155
The science of wealth
Observing and analysing ordinary human life from multiple angles, Professor Morris Altman is seeking to help explain and predict economic decision-making in the 21st century.
Though chiefly concerned with the 'what is' in the world of economics, Professor Morris Altman is also adept at considering the possibilities - 'what could be' and 'what ought to be.' The celebrated academic explores aspects of both in his research, scrutinising and subsuming socio-economic phenomena into several broad categories.
Behavioural economics and institutional economics have been and continue to be particular focal points of mine.
"The former looks at the interface between economic theory, psychology, sociology and politics."
"Institutional economics on the other hand, focuses on understanding the role of historically-bound social systems in shaping human behaviour."
A fast start
Morris proved to be a leader early on in his career, establishing a student journal as an undergraduate at Canada's McGill University in the 1970s. A workhorse and a wordsmith, he received the Newcomen Award for his 400-page Master's thesis a few years later in 1981.
"I then undertook a PhD," the bilinguist recalls.
"It principally dealt with cliometrics, which applies empirical data and statistical methods to the study of economic history."
Lecturing and presenting this research around the world in the decades immediately following his doctoral degree, Morris sought to strengthen the nexus between teaching, training and practice.
"I spent most of my time as the Head of Department of Economics at the University of Saskatchewan," he says.
"I held visiting appointments at Stanford, Duke, Cambridge and Cornell as well."
"Before moving to Australia, I was also the Head of Economics and Finance at Victoria University in New Zealand."
Morris joined the University of Newcastle in 2015.
Getting down to business
As the new Dean of the Newcastle Business School, Morris has a bold and emblazoned vision.
"I plan to build on its strengths, lift research performances, and reengage with external stakeholders," the economist affirms.
"It's very exciting!"
Splitting resources between the City, Callaghan, Ourimbah and Sydney campuses, Morris similarly intends to create unique senses of empowerment and voice. Hoping to level the playing field, the accomplished scholar is in the process of renaming each branch and assigning deputies too.
"For example, at the Central Coast campus we're reorganising the School in such a way that it will be able to cater a full suite of courses and compete with Macquarie and other Sydney-based universities," he clarifies.
"I like to think of both Sydney and the Central Coast as small, interdisciplinary communities – students want to come because it's easier to get to know each other and their professors."
"In all campuses we need to work as a team."
Though Morris has only held the position for mere months, he has already rolled out a handful of impressive initiatives.
"I'm currently setting up an experimental economics and trading lab for financial markets," the social scientist elaborates.
"These will help to prove or disprove associated theories and provide insights into real-world behaviour."
Morris is also helping to develop interdisciplinary programs to capitalise on the outstanding teachers and scholars in Newcastle. He's also building on past achievements to develop and launch programs in innovation and entrepreneurship. Also being launched are programs on cooperative management and organisation, professional economics and sport management.
"I'm emphasising the importance of internationalisation in classes as well."
"The attention has been on China for a long time so Dr Tony Drew and I are now shifting it more towards Europe, Africa and other parts of the Asian Pacific as well."
Closer to home, Morris is collaborating with the Wollotuka and Hunter Medical Research Institutes. A master at multitasking, the cofounding editor of the Review of Behavioural Economics is simultaneously endeavouring to relaunch the executive education area at these two prime locations, and energise and incentivise community engagement.
"We're badging it a couple of ways," he illuminates.
"People can either take our one-day courses to get a certificate of completion, or get a partial credit for one of the existing postgraduate programs."
"I believe these are vitally important as they link us strategically and spiritually to the Hunter and Central Coast communities."
Additionally looking to reenergise student and staff relationships, Morris is also working with great faculty and support staff to deliver a new "blended, more interactive" model of learning.
"Instead of having classes of 400 students where lecture attendance is a dismal 30%, we will split the students across 80 or so class units," he explains.
"Typically, they will then go to one formal lecture a fortnight and a series of tutorials based on problem questions."
"Institutions that have reconfigured courses like this have seen attendances increase to around 70%."
A seamless juggler of administration and teaching responsibilities, Morris is ready and waiting to throw research into the mix. The enterprising expert is currently developing a number of survey experiments, for example, probing consumer behaviour and behaviour within a firm.
"Consumer behaviour is related to the preferences people have," he describes.
"We're asking why people buy directly from small businesses and cooperative organisations if it costs them more money."
"Behaviour within a firm looks at the reasons why workers might behave in a way which is inconsistent with traditional maximising behaviour in economic theory."
Equally concerned with testing hypotheses and forecasting future trends, Morris is trying to reframe how methodologies are used in applied economics too.
"They're often not used properly in a variety of areas," the prolific publisher asserts.
"They can produce misleading results."
A former visiting scholar at Cornell, Duke, Hebrew, and Stanford Universities, and Elected Visiting Fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, Morris Altman is Dean & Head of the Newcastle Business School and Professor of Behavioural & Institutional Economics, University of Newcastle. He was Head of the School of Economics and Finance and Professor of Behavioural and Institutional Economics, Victoria University of Wellington, from 2009 to 2014 and is Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, where he was Professor of Economics from the 1980s to 2009. Morris was Chair of Economics from 1993 to 2009. He is also a Centre Scholar, Centre for the Study of Co-ops, University of Saskatchewan and is a member of the International Cooperative Association Committee on Co-operative Research. Morris was President of the Society for Advancement of Behavioral Economics from 2003 to 2006 and President of the Association for Social Economics in 2009. Morris is founding Co-Editor of the Review of Behavioral Economics and was former Editor of the Journal of Socio-Economics and former Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Psychology. He has published over 90 refereed papers on behavioral economics, economic history, economics of cooperatives, and empirical macroeconomics and five books in economic theory and public policy and has made well over 200 international presentations on these subjects. He earned his PhD in economics from McGill University in 1984.Research Expertise
I have published about 100 refereed papers on behavioral economics, x-inefficiency theory, institutional change, economics of cooperatives, economic history, methodology, and empirical macroeconomics and five books in economic theory and public policy, most recently, Handbook of Contemporary Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Economics for Dummies, and Economic Growth and the High Wage Economy.
Since 1984 I’ve taught undergraduate and graduate courses and supervised MA and PhD students (the latter while at the University of Ottawa). I’ve taught in traditional core areas of economics with more emphasis on microeconomic theory. I’ve also taught and developed courses in labor economics, pay inequality, development economics, behavioral economics (with some emphasis on experimental economics), economic history and the history of economic thought. Most recently, my teaching and supervisory focus has been on behavioral/experimental economics. At the University of Saskatchewan, my home base since 1988, I’ve supervised over 10 MA theses and served on numerous MA thesis and project committees. I’m also supervising or co-supervising three Ph.D. theses at Victoria University of Wellington, where I teach a course on Behavioural Economics and a professional masters course in economic theory.
Professor and Dean, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia, 2015-. Professor and Head of School, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, 2009-2014. Professor and Head, Department of Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1994-2009. Co-Founding Editor, Review of Behavioral Economics, as of 2013: http://www.nowpublishers.com/journals/Review%20of%20Behavioral%20Economics/Preprint Co-Chair, Research Committee of Council, 1999-2000 Co-Organizer, University Research Symposium, Research Committee of Council, 1999-2000 Committee member, Vice-President Research’s Committee on Desrosiers Report., 1999-2000 Associate Chair, Research Committee of Council, 1998-99 Committee member, Sub-Committee on Research Symposium, Research Committee of Council. 1998-99 Committee member, Vice-President Research’s Committee on the Desrosiers Report. 1998-99 Faculty Association Representative (FAR), Department of Economics, 1990 93 Chair, Ad Hoc Benefits Committee, Faculty Association, 1991 93 Chair, Fringe Benefits Committee, Faculty Association, 1991 93 Member, Faculty Association Caucus, 1991 93 Chair, Budget Committee, Faculty Association, 1991-92
- Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University - Canada
- Master of Arts, McGill University - Canada
- behavioural economics
- decision making
- experimental economics
- microeconomic theory
- English (Fluent)
- French (Fluent)
Fields of Research
|140199||Economic Theory not elsewhere classified||50|
|140202||Economic Development and Growth||25|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Professor||University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (7 outputs)
|2015||Altman M, Real-World Decision Making: An Encyclopedia of Behavioral Economics An Encyclopedia of Behavioral Economics, ABC-CLIO, 499 (2015) [A3]|
Altman M, Altman M, Altman M, Economic growth and the high wage economy: Choices, constraints and opportunities in the market economy (2013)
Â© 2012 Morris Altman.This book provides a theoretical framework to better understand how firms, economies and labor markets have evolved. This is done in a reader-friendly fashio... [more]
Â© 2012 Morris Altman.This book provides a theoretical framework to better understand how firms, economies and labor markets have evolved. This is done in a reader-friendly fashion, without complex mathematical arguments and proofs. Economic Growth and the High Wage Economy shows how high wage economies help make firms and economies more productive and why high wage economies can be competitive even in an increasingly globalized environment. It also demonstrates why concerns that labor supply will dry up as wages increase and social benefits rise are largely based on impoverished economic reasoning.The first chapters provide a theoretical basis for the rest of the book, showing for instance how higher wages are prone to increasing the level of economic efficiency by getting people to work harder and smarter (mainly smarter). Altman also explains that our understanding of technological change can be markedly improved by modelling technological change as a product of higher wages and improved working conditions and other shocks to the economic system. As the book develops, it is shown that increasing and high levels of income inequality are not necessary for growth and development, because the economic Â¿pieÂ¿ grows when the economic wellbeing of the lower half and even the middle improves. The evolution of the state can also be better understood by applying this analytical framework. So too can the persistence of inefficient systems of production and cultural traits that appear to be inconsistent with economic prosperity. On top of this, the book examines the implications of Altman's theoretical framework for macroeconomic analysis and policy. Finally, it is shown that labor supply can be better understood by introducing target income into the analytical mix.The main contribution of this book is providing the theoretical underpinning for why relatively high wages and, moreover, competition with high wages is good for dynamic growth and development. This work establishes why an alternative model of labor supply, based on the notion and reality of target income, does a better job of explaining the evolution of labor supply. The latter also reinforces the view that increasing wage and workers' benefits should not be expected to damage the economy, even in the realm of labor supply. This book will be of interest to public policy experts, trade unions, human rights experts and scholars of behavioural economics, labour economics and globalization.
|2012||Altman M, Behavioral Economics For Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 384 (2012)|
|Show 4 more books|
Chapter (36 outputs)
|2016||Altman M, 'Multiple Equilibria, Bounded Rationality, and the Indeterminacy of Economic Outcomes: Closing the System with Institutional Parameters.', Minds, Models and Milieux Commemorating the Centennial of the Birth of Herbert Simon, Springer, New York 167-185 (2016)|
Altman M, 'The social economics of growth and inequality', The Elgar Companion to Social Economics: Second Edition 253-276 (2015)
|2014||Altman M, 'Are Cooperatives a viable business form? Lessons from Behavioural Economics', Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era, Zed Books, London (2014)|
Altman M, 'Prospect Theory and Behavioral Finance', Behavioral Finance: Investors, Corporations, and Markets 191-209 (2011)
Altman M, 'Toward a theory of induced institutional change Power, labor markets, and institutional change', , ROUTLEDGE 300-329 (2008)
Altman M, 'The nobel prize in behavioral and experimental economics: A contextual and critical appraisal of the contributions of Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith', Leading Contemporary Economists: Economics at the Cutting Edge 164-205 (2008)
Altman M, 'The social economics of growth and income inequality', The Elgar Companion to Social Economics 227-248 (2008)
Altman M, Golden L, 'The Economics of Flexible Work Scheduling: Theoretical Advances and Contemporary Paradoxes', 313-341 (2007)
A theoretical economic model is developed to explain the disparities in flexible work scheduling observed across firms, workplaces, sectors, and time periods. Given heterogeneity ... [more]
A theoretical economic model is developed to explain the disparities in flexible work scheduling observed across firms, workplaces, sectors, and time periods. Given heterogeneity in firms' costs, the supply of flextime is determined by firms' costs of enacting versus not adopting it. The innovative practice would be adopted if it generates net unit labor cost savings. If it is cost neutral, the extent to which the supply of flextime falls short of worker demand for it depends on the extent to which employers must accommodate employee preferences for more time sovereignty and are induced by policy incentives to switch to flexible scheduling. Â© 2007.
Altman M, 'Effort discretion economic agency and behavioral economics: Transforming economic theory and public policy', Renaissance in Behavioral Economics: Essays in Honour of Harvey Leibenstein 105-145 (2007)
Altman M, 'The state and economic efficiency: A behavioral approach', Alternative Theories of the State 164-190 (2006)
|Show 33 more chapters|
Journal article (68 outputs)
Altman M, 'Cooperative organizations as an engine of equitable rural economic development', Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management, 3 14-23 (2015) [C1]
Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Cooperatives represent an alternative to large-scale corporate farms as well as to independent unaffiliated small private farms. This article presents a compa... [more]
Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Cooperatives represent an alternative to large-scale corporate farms as well as to independent unaffiliated small private farms. This article presents a comparative modeling narrative on cooperative organizational forms' potential impact on equitable rural development. This speaks to issues of both increasing the size of the economic pie and how this income is distributed. The case is made that cooperatives can potentially generate higher rates of growth and more equitable growth, even in competitive economic environments. An important type of cooperative that is focused upon is one based on the linking of smaller farms into a cooperative. Economies of scale and scope as well in transaction costs can be captured by the cooperatives. Given cooperative governance, one would also expect higher levels of x-efficiency. Overall, cooperatives can generate relative high incomes to cooperative members, whilst remaining competitive with the traditional privately owned large farms. Critical to the success of the cooperative is a set rules and regulation that place them on a level playing field with the privately owned farm. In addition, the implementation and practice of cooperative principles are key to the success of the cooperative farm.
Altman M, 'Economic Freedom, Material Wellbeing, and the Good Capitalist Governance Index', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES, 47 247-267 (2013)
|2013||Altman M, 'What behavioral economics has to say about financial literacy', Applied Finance Letters, 2 12-17 (2013)|
Altman M, 'Implications of behavioural economics for financial literacy and public policy', JOURNAL OF SOCIO-ECONOMICS, 41 677-690 (2012)
Altman M, 'Presidential Address: Freedom to choose and choice X-inefficiencies: Human and consumer rights, and positive and normative implications of choice behavior', Review of Social Economy, 68 395-411 (2010)
Altman M, 'A Behavioral-Institutional Model of Endogenous Growth and Induced Technical Change', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES, 43 685-713 (2009)
Altman M, 'The transition process from alternative theoretical prisms: A comparative analysis of Eastern European and former Soviet Block economies', International Journal of Social Economics, 36 716-742 (2009)
Purpose Â¿ The paper aims to examine the reality of, and, conditions for economic growth for former Soviet and Soviet Block economies with special attention to Ukraine and the Rus... [more]
Purpose Â¿ The paper aims to examine the reality of, and, conditions for economic growth for former Soviet and Soviet Block economies with special attention to Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Many of these economies' transition from Â¿CommunismÂ¿ remain plagued by problems of institutional design and outcomes characterized by high levels of corruption and low levels of accountability and transparency. The purpose of this paper is to analyze aspects of these socioÂ¿economic realities in the context of contemporary economic theory and ongoing revisions to it. Design/methodology/approach Â¿ The type of economic theory used to assess issues of transition has significant implications for public policy. Conventional economic theory has traditionally focused on secure private property rights, competitive markets, inclusive of Â¿flexibleÂ¿ labor markets, as the necessary if not the sufficient conditions to successfully and quickly transition from command style to market economies. Little attention is paid to the details of institutional design. The paper applies a behavioralÂ¿institutional analytical framework to analyze important aspects of failures and successes in transition economies using both economic and governance data sets. Findings Â¿ The paper finds that traditional measures of economic freedom are far from sufficient to generate economic growth. Accountability and transparency in governance structures is also required. Economic failure and success are closely connected with overall performance in socioÂ¿economic governance. Also an unnecessary emphasis on low wages, highly constrained social safety nets and labor market policy impedes successful growth and development. Practical implications Â¿ Transition economies' economic performance can be significantly enhanced through improvements in institutional design that facilitates the evolution of highÂ¿wage market economies. The market in and of itself does not suffice to generate successful transitions from command to vibrant market economies. Originality/value Â¿ This paper provides an original exposÃ© and analysis of transition economies from a behavioralÂ¿institutionalist perspective, with important public policy implications. Â© 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Altman M, 'How much economic freedom is necessary for economic growth? Theory and evidence', Economics Bulletin, 15 (2008)
The hypothesis that economic freedom and related variables are significant determinants of real per capita income and growth is critically evaluated. Economic freedom is found nec... [more]
The hypothesis that economic freedom and related variables are significant determinants of real per capita income and growth is critically evaluated. Economic freedom is found necessary for higher levels of per capita income and growth largely in terms of threshold effects as opposed to persistent marginal effects. More economic freedom does not appear to yield higher levels of per capita income. And securing particular levels of economic freedom does not guarantee higher levels of per capita income or growth. Secure private property rights is found to be a most significant positive causal variable as is sound money, whereas moderate amounts of labor regulation and big government are not found to be bad for the economy. Also, good corporate governance, in addition to economic freedom, is of considerable import. Unlike most studies, traditional statistical methods are supplemented by graphical analysis in an effort to determine threshold values for economic freedom and its components.
Altman M, 'Economic growth, 'globalisation' and labour power', Global Business and Economics Review, 9 297-318 (2007)
A contentious populist belief maintains that increasing international trade or economic 'globalisation', has deleterious effects upon the economic welfare of the vast majority of ... [more]
A contentious populist belief maintains that increasing international trade or economic 'globalisation', has deleterious effects upon the economic welfare of the vast majority of the world's population. Such negative effects are an inevitable consequence of capitalism, especially that which embraces globalisation. I argue that this anti-globalisation-trade-market hypothesis is fundamentally flawed. Increasing trade and other attributes of globalisation has the capacity to enhance the bargaining power of labour and thereby economic efficiency and the rate technological change with significant resulting benefits flowing to labour. Tight labour markets can be regarded as a key capability allowing for workers to improve their welfare. But institutions must be in place to allow labour to capitalise on its market generated advantage. Unlike many neoclassical renderings of the globalisation narrative, positive effects of globalisation are in no ways guaranteed and optimised by market forces. Copyright Â© 2007 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Altman M, 'Involuntary unemployment, macroeconomic policy, and a behavioral model of the firm: Why high real wages need not cause high unemployment', Research in Economics, 60 97-111 (2006)
The perspective of modern macroeconomic theory, be it new classical or old and new Keynesian, is that unemployment can be reduced only if real wages are cut. The modern Keynesians... [more]
The perspective of modern macroeconomic theory, be it new classical or old and new Keynesian, is that unemployment can be reduced only if real wages are cut. The modern Keynesians, basing themselves upon the microfoundations of efficiency wage theory, argue that real wages cannot and will not be cut by firms for efficiency wage reasons. This generates involuntary unemployment based on a market coordination problem. A behavioral model that contrasts with efficiency wage theory is presented here which suggests that reducing real wages need not affect the marginal cost of labor and, therefore, the number of individuals employed. In the behavioral model, wherein there exists some linearity in the relationship between real wages and working conditions and labor productivity, a lower real wage rate is not a necessary condition for reducing the unemployment rate nor is a higher real wage an obstacle to reducing it. In this scenario, unemployment, to the extent that it is demand-side induced, is not related to movements in real wages. Therefore, restoring full employment after a negative demand shock becomes a matter for demand management, not demand management that must be coordinated with measures designed to reduce real wages. Â© 2006 University of Venice.
Altman M, 'Human agency and free will: Choice and determinism in economics', International Journal of Social Economics, 33 677-697 (2006)
Purpose - The assumption of free will in contemporary economics is an important starting point for socio-economic analysis in contrast to methodologies which assume that human act... [more]
Purpose - The assumption of free will in contemporary economics is an important starting point for socio-economic analysis in contrast to methodologies which assume that human action is pre-determined by forces beyond individual control. However, contemporary economic theory is devoid of choice in critical domains with important implication for economic analyses and public policy, given the ancillary assumption of the importance of market forces in determining choice behavior. The purpose of this paper is to argue that freedom of choice exists given traditional constraints such as relative prices and income. Design/methodology/approach - This is a theoretical paper examining the assumption of free will in choice behaviour in economic theory. It makes reference to literature in economics and philosophy that shed light on this critical working assumption in economics. Findings - Conventional analysis pays little heed to non economic constraints on human action that affect and delimit but do not preclude free choice or free will. Of vital importance to free will in choice behavior are institutions which delimit the extent of coercion in the decision-making process. Practical implications - An important implication for research is the determination of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of free will in choice behaviour. Given the existence of free will and free choice, individuals are morally responsible for their choices. It is therefore important to determine the extent which free will exists and that which constrains free will in choice behaviour. Originality/value - This paper challenges the extremes of the free will debate in economics and suggests the boundaries within which free will exists in economic behaviour. It also suggests the welfare implications of limitations on free will where no negative externalities exist. Â© Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Altman M, 'Opening-up the objective function: Choice behavior and economic and non-economic variables-core and marginal altruism', Economics Bulletin, 4 (2006)
A revised model of the preference function is presented incorporating utility maximizing acts of material self-sacrifice. This model incorporates neoclassical and behavioral argum... [more]
A revised model of the preference function is presented incorporating utility maximizing acts of material self-sacrifice. This model incorporates neoclassical and behavioral arguments, allowing for the stylized fact that economic agents are motivated by both material and non-material incentives. Given such a preference function, choice behavior is modeled as a function of relative opportunity costs (price) and real income. Preferences are determined by a variety of variables inclusive of social capital and education. There is therefore a core preference based upon non-economic variables and a 'marginal' component which is a function of conventional economic variables. The relative importance of these two components in determinating choice behavior is an empirical question. Building upon conventional tools, a demand curve for moral acts is derived and underlying income and substitution effects discussed. Empirical evidence from the tipping literature is used to illustrate the model.
Altman M, 'Behavioral economics, power, rational inefficiencies, fuzzy sets, and public policy', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES, 39 683-706 (2005)
Altman M, 'The ethical economy and competitive markets: Reconciling altruistic, moralistic, and ethical behavior with the rational economic agent and competitive markets', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PSYCHOLOGY, 26 732-757 (2005)
Altman M, 'The economics of ethics revisited and importance of economics: A response to the critics', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PSYCHOLOGY, 26 774-778 (2005)
|2005||Altman M, 'Rationalizing capitalist democracy: The cold war origins of rational choice liberalism', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE, 43 148-150 (2005)|
Altman M, 'Why unemployment insurance might not only be good for the soul, it might also be good for the economy', Review of Social Economy, 62 517-541 (2004)
Contrary to the conventional view that unemployment insurance serves to directly increase the rate of unemployment as well as reducing an economy's competitiveness by increasing t... [more]
Contrary to the conventional view that unemployment insurance serves to directly increase the rate of unemployment as well as reducing an economy's competitiveness by increasing the market wage of labor, the argument presented in this paper is that this worldview critically depends on unrealistic behavioral assumptions. A more realistic modeling suggests that unemployment rates need not rise and competitiveness need not deteriorate with the introduction of or improvements in unemployment insurance, which can also induce increases in economic efficiency. These analytical predictions are consistent with the empirics of unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance can therefore protect the unemployed without damaging the economy.
Altman M, Lamontagne L, 'Gender, human capabilities and culture within the household economy: Different paths to socio-economic well-being?', International Journal of Social Economics, 31 325-364 (2004)
An important hypothesis put forth by Amartya Sen is that a given level of per capita real income in a population can generate quite different levels of socio-economic well-being d... [more]
An important hypothesis put forth by Amartya Sen is that a given level of per capita real income in a population can generate quite different levels of socio-economic well-being depending on the economic infrastructure of that population and the distribution of income. Sen's hypothesis is refined in this paper to reflect the manner in which income is spent and labor is allocated and utilized within a household specific to particular groups within society and how this impacts upon both the level of well-being and economic efficiency. The evidence on living conditions and mortality presented here from early twentieth century New York City, underlies the potential significance of the household economy as a key determinant of economic well-being. Focusing simply on per capita income estimates, even corrected for the distribution of income, misses fundamentally important determinants of human capabilities and economic well-being with potentially important implications for public policy. Â© 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Altman M, 'The Nobel Prize in Behavioral and Experimental Economics: A Contextual and Critical Appraisal of the Contributions of Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith', Review of Political Economy, 16 3-41 (2004)
Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith were the joint recipients of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Kahneman's work challenges the assumption that individuals behave in a manner cons... [more]
Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith were the joint recipients of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Kahneman's work challenges the assumption that individuals behave in a manner consistent with conventional economic wisdom. He maintains that individuals tend to be systematically error prone and possibly irrational. Smith, on the other hand, developed experiments and experimental environments to test hypotheses emanating from the conventional economic wisdom. Smith finds that, in spite of Kahneman's work, economic agents are rational and that economies are efficient. These differing views are discussed and placed in the context of the methodological and public policy debates in economics.
Altman M, 'Introduction', Journal of Socio-Economics, 33 523-525 (2004)
Altman M, 'Statistical significance, path dependency, and the culture of journal publication', Journal of Socio-Economics, 33 651-663 (2004)
A brief introduction to the misuse and abuse of tests of statistical significance is presented. This is followed by an analysis of why such an inappropriate socially sub-optimal a... [more]
A brief introduction to the misuse and abuse of tests of statistical significance is presented. This is followed by an analysis of why such an inappropriate socially sub-optimal and inefficient practice can persist over time in the face of a multiplicity of competing peer-reviewed journals. It is argued that this practice is path dependent and represents a market failure often resulting in misleading research findings and misguided public policy. This can only be corrected by changes to institutional parameters related to publication. Â© 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Altman M, Lamontagne L, 'On the natural intelligence of women in a world of constrained choice: How the feminization of clerical work contributed to gender pay equality in early twentieth century Canada', JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES, 37 1045-1074 (2003)
Altman M, 'Economic growth and income equality: Implications of a behavioural model of economic growth for public policy', CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY-ANALYSE DE POLITIQUES, 29 S87-S118 (2003)
Altman M, 'Economic theory and the challenge of innovative work practices', ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY, 23 271-290 (2002)
Altman M, 'When green isn't mean: economic theory and the heuristics of the impact of environmental regulations on competitiveness and opportunity cost', ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS, 36 31-44 (2001)
Altman M, 'A behavioral model of labor supply: Casting some light into the black box of income-leisure choice', Journal of Socio-Economics, 30 199-219 (2001)
The economics of labor supply, a basic building block of economic theory, cannot provide any substantive analytical predictions on the course of labor supply by an individual or a... [more]
The economics of labor supply, a basic building block of economic theory, cannot provide any substantive analytical predictions on the course of labor supply by an individual or a group. This is largely due to the absence, in the theory of income-leisure choice, of any consequential behavioral content which speaks to existing and changing preferences of individuals and to the differences in preferences across individuals. Introducing a discussion of preferences into the argument, in particular target real income and target nonmarket time, provides for a richer model of labor supply and for a more precise set analytical predictions with important public policy implications. Â© 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.
Altman M, 'Culture, human agency, and economic theory: Culture as a determinant of material welfare', Journal of Socio-Economics, 30 379-391 (2001)
In this paper cultural factors are incorporated into a behavioral model of economic growth and development and the circumstances under which culture can make a difference are arti... [more]
In this paper cultural factors are incorporated into a behavioral model of economic growth and development and the circumstances under which culture can make a difference are articulated. In this context, the question of the long run survival, in a competitive environment, of firms and societies imbued with cultural precepts that are not conducive to growth and development, is addressed. This discussion attempts to redress a gap in economic theory, which does not well incorporate cultural factors as independent and causally substantive variables. Â© 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.
Altman M, 'Labor rights and labor power and welfare maximization in a market economy: Revising the conventional wisdom', International Journal of Social Economics, 27 1252-1269 (2000)
Standard neoclassical theory argues that an economy is negatively affected by increased labor rights and power since it is assumed that economic agents are always x-efficient; per... [more]
Standard neoclassical theory argues that an economy is negatively affected by increased labor rights and power since it is assumed that economic agents are always x-efficient; performing at the height of efficiency. However, a behavioral model of the firm suggests that more rights and power, with its positive impact on labor standards, need not produce the deleterious results predicted by conventional economic wisdom, due to their productivity-efficiency enhancing impact on the firm. This suggests that ice should not assess the impact of enhanced labor power and control in terms of a zero sum game. It is possible to have both equilibrium improvements in working conditions and economic prosperity, with the former contributing to the latter. Â© MCB University Press, 0306-8293.
Altman M, 'A behavioral model of path dependency: The economics of profitable inefficiency and market failure', Journal of Socio-Economics, 29 127-145 (2000)
In this article, a model of path dependency is developed, grounded in behavioral economics (x-efficiency/efficiency wage theory), where it becomes possible and reasonable to expec... [more]
In this article, a model of path dependency is developed, grounded in behavioral economics (x-efficiency/efficiency wage theory), where it becomes possible and reasonable to expect a multiplicity of equilibrium solutions to identical economic problems and for the dominant solution to be sub-optimal and inefficient. Unlike in the pioneering work on path dependency by Paul David and Brian Arthur, the sup-optimal outcomes generated in this model do not provide economic agents with exploitable economic opportunities in the context of their particular objective functions. Such opportunities constitute, from the perspective of the conventional wisdom, the Achilles Heel of their work. Â© 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
Altman M, 'A theory of population growth when women really count', KYKLOS, 52 27-43 (1999)
Altman M, 'New estimates of hours of work and real income in Canada from the 1880s to 1930: Long-run trends and workers' preferences', REVIEW OF INCOME AND WEALTH, 353-372 (1999)
Altman M, 'The methodology of economics and the survival principle revisited and revised: Some welfare and public policy implications of modeling the economic agent', REVIEW OF SOCIAL ECONOMY, 57 427-449 (1999)
|1998||Altman M, 'Land tenure, ethnicity, and the condition of agricultural income and productivity in mid-nineteenth-century Quebec', AGRICULTURAL HISTORY, 72 708-762 (1998)|
|Show 65 more journal articles|
Conference (4 outputs)
Peyrovian B, Kriz A, Cunneen D, Rosenberger III PJ, 'Innovation activities during the NPD process of independent entrepreneurs and the relationship with new-firm outcomes' (2016)
Leembruggen R, Cunneen D, Rosenberger III PJ, Kriz A, 'Product innovation in the Australian defence industry Â¿ An exploratory study of success factors and constraints in high technology defence innovations' (2016)
|2000||International Association for Research in Economic Psychology, 'Fairness and cooperation: XXV Annual Colloquium on Research in Economic Psychology and SABE 2000 Conference', Conference proceedings : Fairnes & Cooperation : XXV Annual Colloquium on Research in Economic Psychology and SABE 2000 Conference, Baden, Vienna/Austria, 12-16 July 2000 (2000)|
|Show 1 more conference|
Other (147 outputs)
|2015||Altman M, 'Economic Rights, Economic Efficiency, and Market Failure', Eastern Economics Association Meeting. Boston (2015)|
|2014||Altman M, 'Why Happiness Increases Productivity', Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) Annual Meeting. Philadelphia (2014)|
|2013||Altman M, 'Consumer-Owned Banks, Moral Hazard, And Financial Crises', International Cooperative Association Global Research Conference 2013. Cypress (2013)|
|Show 144 more others|
Number of supervisions
Total current UON EFTSL
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2017||PhD||Human Behavior in Extreme Environments and Disasters: A Discrete Choice Experiment.||PhD (Economics), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2017||PhD||An Experimental Investigation on Inequality, Trust and Trustworthiness||PhD (Economics), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2015||PhD||Ownership Structure, Managerial Behaviour and 'The New Zealand Productivity Puzzle': Theory, Evidence and Applications||PhD (Economics), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
June 8, 2016
Newcastle Business School has received a $200,000 grant for research focusing on developing strategies to improve Indigenous participation and success in business.
Professor Morris Altman
Dean and Head of School
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law
|Phone||(02) 4913 8155|
|Building||Social Sciences Building|
Callaghan, NSW 2308