nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒04‒03
ten papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. Critical Realism in Economics and Open-Systems Ontology: A Critique By Andrew Mearman
  2. 'Open-Systems' and Economic Methodology By Andrew Mearman
  3. Economics and Language By Ariel Rubinstein
  4. Introduction to Economic Analysis By R. Preston McAfee
  5. Art and the Internet: Blessing the Curse? By Patrick Legros
  6. Quelles relations entre science de l'organisation et management ? Penser la contribution de H.A. Simon By FIOL, Michel; SOLE, Andreu
  7. Les grands auteurs du contrôle de gestion - Mary P. Follet : Le contrôle pour penser By FIOL, Michel
  8. Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini's "The Economic Effect of Constitutions" By Daron Acemoglu
  9. Research Note: Athletic Graduation Rates and Simpson’s Paradox By Victor Matheson
  10. Is There an "Iron Law of Happiness"? By Richard A. Easterlin

  1. By: Andrew Mearman (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: This paper examines the treatment of ontology offered by Critical Realism. Three main criticisms are made of the Critical Realist treatment of open systems. It is argued that Critical Realism, particularly in the project in economics emanating from Cambridge, UK, tends to define systems in terms of events. This is shown to be problematic. The exemplar of a closed system provided by Critical Realism of the solar system is shown to be flawed in that it is not closed according to the closure conditions identified by Critical Realism. Second, the negativity of the definitions adopted is problematic for heterodox traditions attempting to build positive programs. The dualism of the definitions is also inconsistent with Dow’s approach. This has ramifications for the coherence of Post Keynesianism. Third, the definitions tend to polarize open and closed systems and ignore the degrees of openness evident in reality. This polarization of systems leads to polarized methodology and unsustainable arguments to reject so-called closed-systems methods.
    Keywords: open systems, closed systems, Critical Realism, Post-Keynesianism, dualism
    Date: 2004–01
  2. By: Andrew Mearman (School of Economics, University of the West of England)
    Abstract: This paper discusses some of the methodological implications of an ‘open-systems’ reality. It presents a possible ontology of open systems which draws on various literatures including, but not limited to, Critical Realism. The paper then extrapolates from the ontology to a set of methodological arguments. Many methods in economics presuppose a degree of closure in their operation. Deductive logic is discussed in this context. This constitutes a disjuncture with reality. It could be argued, therefore, that these methods should be rejected. However, an open-systems methodology is also an open system and it will reflect the impact of other literatures. Thus, based on fallibilism and an avoidance of dualism (in Dow’s terms) rejection of so-called ‘closed-systems methods’ is not an option. Also, given the preponderance of closures in available methods, this would leave little scope for investigation. Thus, a strategy of triangulation should be adopted.
    Keywords: methodology, open-systems, triangulation, Critical Realism, deduction, dualism
    JEL: B4 B5 P0 Z0
    Date: 2004–02
  3. By: Ariel Rubinstein
    Date: 2005–03–17
  4. By: R. Preston McAfee
    Date: 2005–03–25
  5. By: Patrick Legros
    Date: 2005–03–21
  6. By: FIOL, Michel; SOLE, Andreu
    Abstract: The importance of H.A. Simon's contribution to understand the relations between organization science and management.
    Keywords: organizational science; managerial theory
    JEL: L20 M10
    Date: 2004–07–01
  7. By: FIOL, Michel
    Abstract: Information on the activity of Mary P. Follet, her theory on business management and her contribution to the understanding of control concept.
    Keywords: management; control
    JEL: B31 M40
    Date: 2004–04–01
  8. By: Daron Acemoglu
    Abstract: In this essay I review the new book by Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini, The Economic Effects of Constitutions, which investigates the policy and economic consequences of different forms of government and electoral rules. I also take advantage of this opportunity to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a number of popular empirical strategies in the newly emerging field of comparative political economy.
    JEL: P16 O10
    Date: 2005–03
  9. By: Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: Graduation rates for male athletes overall as well as men’s football and basketball players lag behind those of male non-athletes at Division I colleges and universities. Scholarship athletes, however, are much more likely to be drawn from racial and ethnic groups with lower average graduation rates. After accounting for differences in racial composition, graduation rates for male athletes overall as well football players match or exceed those of their peers, and racial differences account for over one-quarter of the shortfall in men’s basketball graduation rates. This is a classic example of Simpson’s Paradox.
    Keywords: college sports, sports economics, graduation rates
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2005–03
  10. By: Richard A. Easterlin
    Abstract: Contrary to the setpoint model of some psychologists, individual happiness does not tend to fluctuate around a constant level. Although the personality and genetic factors emphasized by setpoint theorists are important in explaining individual differences in happiness at a point in time, survey evidence demonstrates that over the life cycle economic circumstances, family life, health, and work are important in determining the course of happiness. However, life events do not necessarily dominate life cycle satisfaction in different domains, and economic theories of well-being would benefit from following psychologists’ lead by incorporating goals and adaptation.
    Keywords: Happiness, Aspirations, Adaptation
    JEL: D60 I31 A12
    Date: 2005–01

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