nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒05‒29
six papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. Did the market-clearing postulate pre-exist new classical economics ? The case of Marshallian theory By Michel, DE VROEY
  2. 05-04 "Rationality and Humanity: A View from Feminist Economics" By Julie A. Nelson
  3. Women and Formal and Informal Science By Gupta Anil K; Mashelkar R A
  4. The empirical test of the Aesthetic Matrix of Art Economics: the Magic Flute by W.A.Mozart By Aldo SPRANZI
  5. Trust: A Concept Too Many By Timothy W. Guinnane
  6. Labor Surplus Economies By Gustav Ranis

  1. By: Michel, DE VROEY
    Abstract: Have new classicists invented market clearing or have they rehabilited it ? This is the question addressed in the present paper. It is generally agreed that market clearing underpins Walrasian theory, so my exploration is limited to the question of whether this is also true for Marshallian theory. I will claim that this is broadly the case : once Marshallian theory is properly reconstructed, it exhibits market clearing as a constantly present result. Still; an important difference between market à la Walras and market clearing à la Marshall exists : in the former market clearing is equilibrium, while in the latter market clearing can coexist with disequilibrium. Next, I investigate whether my conclusion extends to the labour market. Again the conclusion reached is affirmative both for Marshall’s theory and for present-day Marshallian models. As to the latter, I take Friedman’s Phillips Curve model as a case study. I show that this is a market clearing model in which, strictly speaking, there is no place for the concept of unemployment - quite an ironical result for the paper that introduced the notion of the natural rate of unemployment !
    Keywords: market clearing; equilibrium; Lucas; Marshall; Friedman
    JEL: B20 B40 D50
    Date: 2005–04–15
  2. By: Julie A. Nelson
    Abstract: Does Rational Choice Theory (RCT) have something important to contribute to the humanities? Jon Elster and others answer affirmatively, arguing that RCT is a powerful tool that will lend clarity and rigor to work in the humanities just as it (presumably) has in economics. This essay examines the disciplinary values according to which the application of RCT in economics has been judged a “success,” and suggests that this value system does not deserve general approbation. Richness and realism must be retained as important values alongside precision and elegance, if anti-scientific dogmatism and absurd conclusions are to be avoided.
  3. By: Gupta Anil K; Mashelkar R A
    Abstract: Gender imbalance among various streams of professionals is a constant cause of concern to policy planners and institution builders. The situation becomes more serious when we notice that girls often perform much better academically at secondary school level and then there is a sharp decline in their performance at graduate and postgraduate levels. The situation in the field of science and technology is no less serious. There are very few scientific institutions, which have women scientists as directors, or senior leaders of programmes. In this paper, we compare our insights from the formal scientific sector with our investigations in informal scientific sector. The effort to blend excellence in formal and informal scientific sectors would require overcoming the gender imbalances in both these sectors. A review of the current status and offer of some policy and institutional suggestions are also included, which could help in overcoming asymmetry in the knowledge and power of women in formal and informal sciences.
    Date: 2005–05–24
  4. By: Aldo SPRANZI
    Abstract: In order to confront the problems of art marketing, the economist must trod on aesthetic terrain, and become concerned with all of the epistemological, aesthetic, critical and pedagogical aspects connected with the consumption of art. He can do it professional ly, without invading others’ fields, so that art itself - which he encountered in the guise of a simple consumer – reveals its na ture and the method with which every simple user might make it hi s or her own. The interpretation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute pres ented here shows how the art economics method works and the resul ts it leads to. It also shows that it does not require special sk ills of any kind. This working paper forms part of the forthcomin g publication: A.SPRANZI, Economics of the Arts. A new Approach t o Art Economics, Unicopli/Cuesp, Milano (
    Keywords: Art Economics, Art Marketing, Cultural Industry, Opera, Mozart, Magic Flute
  5. By: Timothy W. Guinnane (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)
    Abstract: Research on "trust" now forms a prominent part of the research agenda in history and the social sciences. Although this research has generated useful insights, the idea of trust has been used so widely and loosely that it risks creating more confusion than clarity. This essay argues that to the extent that scholars have a clear idea of what trust actually means, the concept is, at least for economic questions, superfluous: the useful parts of the idea of trust are implicit in older notions of information and the ability to impose sanctions. I trust you in a transaction because of what I know about you, and because of what I can have done to you should you cheat me. This observation does not obviate what many scholars intend, which is to embed economic action within a framework that recognizes informal institutions and social ties. I illustrate the argument using three examples drawn from an area where trust has been seen as critical: credit for poor people.
    Keywords: Trust, Social Capital, Credit Cooperatives, Uniform Laws
    JEL: G2 N2
    Date: 2005–02
  6. By: Gustav Ranis (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)
    Abstract: The labor surplus economy model has as its basic premise the inability of unskilled agricultural labor markets to clear in countries with high man/land ratios. In such situations, the marginal product of labor is likely to fall below a bargaining wage, related to the average rather than the marginal product. The reallocation of such disguisedly unemployed workers by means of "balanced" intersectoral growth ultimately permits the entire economy to operate on neo-classical principles. Finally, the paper introduces open economy dimensions, indicates the existence of other labor surplus sub-sectors and briefly responds to neo-classical critiques on both theoretical and empirical grounds.
    Keywords: Development Theory, Labor Markets
    JEL: O10 O12 O17
    Date: 2004–12

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