nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒09‒11
four papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. Carl Barks: A classical economist? By Gunnar Bårdsen
  2. The Grip of History and the Scope for Novelty: Some Results and Open Questions on Path Dependence in Economic Processes By Carolina Castaldi; Giovanni Dosi
  3. Random Graphs and Social Networks: An Economics Perspective By Yannis M. Ioannides

  1. By: Gunnar Bårdsen (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: The paper gives an introduction to the economic theories of Carl Barks using an interpretation of his analysis of cyclone money as an example.
    Date: 2005–04–03
  2. By: Carolina Castaldi; Giovanni Dosi
    Abstract: -
    Keywords: Path dependence, irreversibility, increasing returns, learning, lock-in.
  3. By: Yannis M. Ioannides
    Abstract: This review of current research on networks emphasizes three strands of the literature on social networks. The first strand is composed of models of endogenous network formation from both the economics and the computer science literature. The review highlights the sen- sitive dependence of the topology of endogenous networks on parameters of the behavioral models employed. The second strand draws from the recent econophysics literature in order to review the recent revival of interest in the random graph theory. This mathematical tool allows one to study social networks that result from uncoordinated random action of indi- viduals in setting up connections with others. The review explores a number of examples to assess the potential of recent research on random graphs with arbitrary degree distributions in accommodating more general behavioral motivations for social network formation. The third strand focuses on a specific model of social networks, Markov random graphs, that is quite central in the mathematical sociology and spatial statistics literatures but little known outside those literatures. These are random graphs where the events that different edges are present are dependent, if edges are incident to the same node, and independent, otherwise. The paper assesses the potential for economic applications with this particular tool. The paper concludes with an assessment of observable consequences of optimizing behavior in networks for the purpose of estimation.
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Jesus Felipe; J. S. L. McCombie
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of whether or not a theory of total factor productivity (TFP) is needed in order to explain the documented large per capita income differences across countries. As the argument that it is needed has been reached by calculating TFP empirically, we show that the way the estimates of TFP have been computed is not an innocuous issue. To prove our point, we discuss how two well-known textbooks on growth theory present the arguments and the problems associated with these expositions. We conclude that the tautological nature of the estimates of TFP lies at the heart of an important question that the empirical literature on economic growth has been dealing with during current years. Hence, our arguments cast doubt on the need for a theory of TFP.
    JEL: O11 O16 O47 O53
    Date: 2004–10

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