nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒10‒08
seventeen papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. The Impartial Observer Theorem of Social Ethics By Philippe Mongin
  2. Modern Perspectives on Stabilization Policies By Jordi Galí
  3. A Estrutura das Revoluções Científicas na Economia e a Revolução Keynesiana By José Guilherme Silva Vieira; Ramón Vicente Garcia Fernandes
  4. Monetary Policy and its Theoretical Foundations By David Laidler
  5. O valor-trabalho como fundamento dos preços By Cláudio Gontijo
  6. Ota Sik - Der lange Weg zur Einsicht By Oldrich Kyn; Jiri Slama
  7. Separating the Business Cycle from Other Economic Fluctuations By Robert E. Hall
  8. A Challenge to Marxian economics By Oldrich Kyn
  9. Macroeconomic Theory and Policy By David Andolfatto
  10. Epistemic Systems By Roger Koppl
  11. Necessary Conditions for Improving Civic Competence: A Scientific Perspective By Arthur Lupia
  12. Evidence and Ideology in Macroeconomics: The Case of Investment Cycles By Hillinger, Claude
  13. The Nature of the ADAS Model Based on the ISLM Model By B Bhaskara Rao
  14. Academic Publishing in Internet - The Role of Open-Access E-Print Archives By Vania Lazarova
  15. La neutralidad del dinero y la dicotomía clásica en la macroeconomía By Andrés Felipe Giraldo Palomino
  16. A transformação de valores em preços segundo o Sistema Temporal Único: uma apreciação crítica By Cláudio Gontijo

  1. By: Philippe Mongin (CNRS & Ecole Polytechnique)
    Abstract: Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgments, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and above all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument, using a simple mathematical formalism, as well as a conceptual critique of each its premisses.
    Keywords: Utilitarianism, Impartiality, Sympathy, Von Neumann- Morgenstern Utility Theory, Subjective Probability.
    JEL: D63 B21 D81
    Date: 2005–10–01
  2. By: Jordi Galí
    Abstract: The present paper describes recent research on two central themes of Keynes’ General Theory: (i) the social waste associated with recessions, and (ii) the effectiveness of fiscal policy as a stabilization tool. The paper also discusses some evidence on the extent to which fiscal policy has been used as a stabilizing tool in industrial economies over the past two decades.
    Keywords: business cycles, inefficient allocations, government spending multiplier, non-Ricardian households, countercyclical policies
    JEL: E32 E63
    Date: 2005–06
  3. By: José Guilherme Silva Vieira (Universidade Federal do Paraná); Ramón Vicente Garcia Fernandes (Universidade Federal do Paraná)
    Abstract: The starting point of this paper is 'The structure of scientific revolutions' written by Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn´s framework essentially proposes that science(s) evolve through a sequence of periods of “normal science”, exceptionally interrupted by “scientific revolutions” leading to “paradigm shifts”. This paper analyzes whether this scheme can be applied to the evolution of Economics. Evidence suggests that the Keynesian Revolution can be treated as the best example of a kuhnian revolution in Economics; this model, however, is not so useful. to explain the fall of this paradigm.
    Keywords: Keywords: 1) Thomas Kuhn 2) Paradigms 3) Keynesian Revolution; 1) Thomas Kuhn 2) Paradigms 3) Keynesian Revolution
    JEL: B
    Date: 2005–09–30
  4. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper briefly discusses why a monetary policy framework that emphasises interest rates has become standard in recent years, and why so many economists have been persuaded simultaneously to downgrade the importance of monetary aggregates. Then it describes Michael Woodford's particular contribution to these developments, and contrasts it with a more traditional approach to the theory of money that stresses its means of exchange role. It suggests that, though there are difficulties aplenty with the latter, Woodford's cashless simplification of the monetary economy presents problems of its own, both for monetary theory per se, and for the discussion of currently relevant monetary policy questions. It concludes that the theoretical basis for monetary policy should embrace wary eclecticism.
    Keywords: money; interest rates; inflation; monetarism; cashless economy; open-market operations rates; unemployment; multiplier
    JEL: E10 E31 E42 E44 E52 E58
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Cláudio Gontijo (FACE-UFMG)
    Abstract: This article shows that the law of value is axiomatic and constitutes the necessary foundation of the system of prices of production, explaining the double character of the commodities, which cost capital for capitalists and labor for workers and the society as a whole. It sustains that economics becomes a science - which does not admit any unproved hypothesis - through the theory of labor value. Given up this foundation means to break with the principle of self-found of science, clearly formulated in Marx’s Capital, which starts with the commodity as an immediate concrete and ends with the commodity as a product of capital. It means to give up the unifying principle of classical economics in favor of un-systematic theories based on ad hoc hypotheses, like those regarding profit maximization and capital accumulation. This article also shows that the neo-Ricardian proposal to determine prices and the profit rate directly from "technical coefficients" and the real wage omits the length of the working-day and the intensity of the labor process, not to say about the sociologic nature of the real wage. This means to conceal the sociologic content of those variables, beginning with the exploitation of labor. Finally, the labor theory of value furnishes not only an explanation for all economic categories of the capitalist economy (market prices; prices of production; wages; profit and the profit rate; interests and the interest rate; ground rent and the price of land; the price of the financial assets, etc.), but for the simple commodity mode of production as well, so that its abandonment means to give up on a general theory of market economies of all kind.
    Keywords: transformation problem, labor-value, prices of production, Neo-Ricardian theory, theory of value, value and distribution
    JEL: B51
    Date: 2005–09
  6. By: Oldrich Kyn (Boston University); Jiri Slama (Osteuropa Institut, Muenchen)
    Abstract: This is a brief but critical survey of the life and accomplishments of the Czech economist Ota Sik. He joint Communist Youth organization already before the WWII. During the war, he was in the Mauthausen concentration camp, together with the future secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and president of Czechoslovakia Antonin Novotny. That helped him to get some prestigeous position in the Communist Party soon after the war. First he was quite orthodox Marxian economist, but after he was appointed as the Director of the Economic Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, he started to be critical of the Stalinist system and eventually became a head of the movement for the economic reform of 1960's. After the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 he emmigrated from Czechoslovakia and became a professor of economics in Switzerland. There he was more and more critical of the Soviet version of centrally planned socialism, but never fully accepted a free-market capitalism. As a result he advocated the 'Third Way' social and economic system.
    Keywords: Ota Sik, Third Way, Economic Reform, Market Socialism, Marxism, Critique of Orthodox Marxian Economics.
    JEL: O P
    Date: 2005–09–28
  7. By: Robert E. Hall
    Abstract: Macroeconomists——especially those studying monetary policy——often view the business cycle as a transitory departure from the smooth evolution of a neoclassical growth model. Important ideas contributed by Friedman, Lucas, and the developers of the sticky-price macro model generate this type of aggregate behavior. But the real-business cycle model shows that the neoclassical model implies anything but smooth growth. A purely neoclassical model, devoid of anything resembling a business cycle in the sense of transitory departures from neoclassical equilibrium, nevertheless explains most of the volatility of GDP growth at all frequencies. Monetary policymakers looking to a neoclassical model to provide the neutral levels of key variables-potential GDP, the natural rate of unemployment, and the equilibrium real interest rate, need to solve a complicated and controversial model to find these constructs. They cannot take average or smoothed values of actual data to find them. Further, low-frequency movements of unemployment suggest a failure of the basic idea that departures from the neoclassical equilibrium are transitory. I discuss new theories of the labor market capable of explaining the low-frequency movements of unemployment. I conclude that monetary policymakers should not try to discern neutral values of real variables. Some branches of modem theory do not support the concepts of potential GDP, the natural rate of unemployment, and the equilibrium real interest rate. Even the theories that do support the concepts suggest that measurement in real time is impractical.
    JEL: E32 E52
    Date: 2005–10
  8. By: Oldrich Kyn (Boston University)
    Abstract: An article published in Czechoslovakia just before the Soviet invasion of 1968, which stopped the progress of the economic reform aiming to transform the centrally planned command economy into a kind of market socialism. The article was acknowledging that the Marxian economics have no satisfactory answer to von Mises' claim, that the socialist economy cannot work, if it removes the possibility of 'economic calculation' that requires the operation of the free market system.
    Keywords: Central planning, Command economy, Market socialism, Economic Calculation, von Mises, Czechoslovakia, Marxism,
    JEL: O P
    Date: 2005–09–30
  9. By: David Andolfatto (Simon Fraser University)
    JEL: E
    Date: 2005–10–04
  10. By: Roger Koppl (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
    Abstract: Epistemic systems are social processes generating judgments of truth and falsity. I outline a mathematical theory of epistemic systems that applies widely. Areas of application include pure science, torture, police forensics, espionage, auditing, clinical medical testing, democratic procedure, and the market economy. I examine torture and police forensics in relative detail. This paper in an exercise in comparative institutional epistemics, which considers how the institutions of an epistemic system influence its performance as measured by such things as error rates and the volume of judgments generated.
    Keywords: epistemics, torture, forensic science, economics of science
    JEL: D83
    Date: 2005–10–05
  11. By: Arthur Lupia (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Many attempts to increase civic competence are based on premises about communication and belief change that are directly contradicted by important insights from microeconomic theory and social psychology. At least two economic literatures are relevant to my effort to improve matters. One is the literature on strategic communication, which includes Spence (1974), Crawford and Sobel (1982), Banks (1991), and Lupia and McCubbins (1998). The other is the literature on mechanism design, which includes Green and Laffont (1977), Myerson (1983) and Palfrey (1992). While both literatures have the potential to convey important insights, many scholars and practitioners do not yet see a need for such insights. This paper lays such a foundation. It explains how greater attention to basic scientific principles can help people who want to increase civic competence use the generosity of donors and the hard work of well-intentioned citizens more effectively. The paper continues as follows. First, I discuss the topic of competence more precisely. Then, I introduce the necessary conditions for increasing civic competence described above. Next, I describe implications and applications of these conditions – focusing in this paper on the growing contention that deliberation is an effective way to increase civic competence. Applying the necessary conditions to this topic reveals a need to revise and clarify common expectations about what deliberation can accomplish. A brief concluding section follows.
    Keywords: incomplete information, strategic communication, learning, behavioral economics,
    JEL: D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–10–05
  12. By: Hillinger, Claude
    Abstract: The paper reports the principal findings of a long term research project on the description and explanation of business cycles. The research strongly confirmed the older view that business cycles have large systematic components that take the form of investment cycles. These quasi-periodic movements can be represented as low order, stochastic, dynamic processes with complex eigenvalues. Specifically, there is a fixed investment cycle of about 8 years and an inventory cycle of about 4 years. Maximum entropy spectral analysis was employed for the description of the cycles and continuous time econometrics for the explanatory models. The central explanatory mechanism is the second order accelerator, which incorporates adjustment costs both in relation to the capital stock and the rate of investment. By means of parametric resonance it was possible to show, both theoretically and empirically how cycles aggregate from the micro to the macro level. The same mathematical tool was also used to explain the international convergence of cycles. I argue that the theory of investment cycles was abandoned for ideological, not for evidential reasons. Methodological issues are also discussed.
    JEL: C50 C32 E32 E22
    Date: 2005–10
  13. By: B Bhaskara Rao (University of the South Pacific)
    Abstract: The aggregate demand and supply model (ADAS) is interpreted as a synthesis of the Keynesian and neoclassical models. It uses the ISLM model, without explaining its nature, to derive aggregate demand (AD). It is combined with an aggregate supply (AS) curve to explain price- inflation and output dynamics. This paper argues that neither the AD nor AS curve is conceptually the same as its microeconomic counterpart and ADAS is not a synthesis. In fact ADASimplies that discretionary policy is necessary and that price changes do not perform their traditional negative feedback function.
    Keywords: eynesian and neo classical models, aggregate demand and supply, monetary policy rule, price adjustments, stabilization policy
    JEL: E
    Date: 2005–10–01
  14. By: Vania Lazarova (Department of Management and Informatics, University of National and World Economy)
    Abstract: In this paper, I try to make popular idea of academic publishing.
    Keywords: e-print archives
    JEL: Z Z0
    Date: 2004–05
  15. By: Andrés Felipe Giraldo Palomino
    Abstract: El efecto de las variables nominales, en particular el dinero, sobre las variables reales es uno de los temas centrales en la macroeconomía. En este documento se presenta una revisión teórica de las principales escuelas que tratan sobre la neutralidad del dinero y la dicotomía clásica. Este debate tiene consecuencias para la política monetaria y, junto al debate de reglas y discreción, constituye uno de los elementos clave para su ejecución y el análisis de su efectividad.
    Keywords: neutralidad del dinero
    JEL: E49
    Date: 2005–10–06
  16. By: Cláudio Gontijo (FACE-UFMG)
    Abstract: This article presents a critique of the solution of the Temporal Single System Marxism (TSS) for the problem of transforming values into prices, which establishes that values and prices are simultaneously determined in a sucession of periods of production and circulation; the value transferred by constant and varaible capital are not equal to the value of the goods they purchase but to the value of the money used to purchase these goods; and money represents a definite number of labor hours. It shows that the TSS does not go beyond the Samuelson-Steedman’s criticism, according to which values and prices are separately determined. In their attempt to salve "Marx’s lemma", the defenders of this approach re-read Marx’s Capital, discharging the long run equilibrium method, adopting an ideal concept of money in the place of commodity-money, abandoning the axiom that value is not generated in circulation and breaking with the structural logic of Capital. Despite criticizing the traditional usage of simultaneous equations to deal with the transformation question, they end up generating simultaneous equations that converge towards the tradicional long-run equilibrium positions.
    Keywords: transformation problem, labor-value, prices of production, Temporal Single System, theory of value, value and distribution
    JEL: B51
    Date: 2005–09
  17. By: Ricardo Arlegi (Departamento de Economía-UPNA)
    Date: 2005

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