nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒12‒20
twelve papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. Le cycle économique: survol de quelques aspects théoriques By Ludwig van den Hauwe
  2. The empirics of social capital and economic development. A critical perspective By Fabio Sabatini
  3. Inertia and Incentives: Bridging Organizational Economics and Organizational Theory By Rebecca Henderson; Sarah Kaplan
  4. New Anti-Merger Theories: A Critique By Edward J. Lopez
  5. On the Research Value of Large Games: Natural Experiments in Norrath and Camelot By Edward Castronova
  6. Real Business Cycle Models: Past, Present and Future By Sergio Rebelo
  7. Management ideologies and organizational spirituality: a typology By Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Rego, Armenio; D'Oliveira, Teresa
  8. Money and Inflation: A Taxonomy By Matias Vernengo
  9. Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues By Antonio Merlo
  10. Clues, cues and complexity: unpackuing the concept of organizational surprise By Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Kamoche, Ken; Clegg, Stewart R.
  11. Probability and uncertainty: the legacy of Georgescu-Roegen By Fulvio Fontini
  12. Wissensmanagement und Controlling: Eine Forschungsperspektive? [Engl.: Knowledge Management and Management Control Systems: A New Research Field?] By Jennifer Kunz; Stefan Linder

  1. By: Ludwig van den Hauwe
    Abstract: In recent times the field of macroeconomics has witnessed a renaissance of classical capital-based macroeconomics. Furthermore an institutional reorientation has taken place within several subdisciplines of economics (new institutional economics). An integration of these strands of thought may yield a coherent framework for approaching the study of business cycles.
    JEL: E
    Date: 2005–12–12
  2. By: Fabio Sabatini (University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics)
    Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the concept of social capital, and carries out a critical review of the empirical literature on social capital and economic development. The survey points out six main weaknesses affecting the empirics of social capital. Identified weaknesses are then used to analyze, in a critical perspective, some prominent empirical studies and new interesting researches published in last two years. The need emerges to acknowledge, also within the empirical research, the multidimensional, context-dependent and dynamic nature of social capital. The survey also underlines that, although it has gained a certain popularity in the empirical research, the use of “indirect” indicators may be misleading. Such measures do not represent social capital’s key components identified by the theoretical literature, and their use causes a considerable confusion about what social capital is, as distinct from its outcomes, and what the relationship between social capital and its outcomes may be. Research reliant upon an outcome of social capital as an indicator of it will necessarily find social capital to be related to that outcome. This paper suggests to focus the empirical research firstly on the “structural” aspects of the concept, therefore excluding by the measurement toolbox all indicators referring to social capital’s supposed outcomes.
    Keywords: Social capital, Social networks, Social norms, Trust, Economic development, Relation of economics to other disciplines, Relation of economics to social values
    JEL: O P
    Date: 2005–12–16
  3. By: Rebecca Henderson; Sarah Kaplan
    Abstract: Organizational theorists have long acknowledged the importance of the formal and informal incentives facing a firm’s employees, stressing that the political economy of a firm plays a major role in shaping organizational life and firm behavior. Yet the detailed study of incentive systems has traditionally been left in the hands of (organizational) economists, with most organizational theorists focusing their attention on critical problems in culture, network structure, framing and so on -- in essence, the social context in which economics and incentive systems are embedded. We argue that this separation of domains is problematic. The economics literature, for example, is unable to explain why organizations should find it difficult to change incentive structures in the face of environmental change, while the organizational literature focuses heavily on the role of inertia as sources of organizational rigidity. Drawing on recent research on incentives in organizational economics and on cognition in organizational theory, we build a framework for the analysis of incentives that highlights the ways in which incentives and cognition -- while being analytically distinct concepts -- are phenomenologically deeply intertwined. We suggest that incentives and cognition coevolve so that organizational competencies or routines are as much about building knowledge of “what should be rewarded” as they are about “what should be done.”
    JEL: L0 M0
    Date: 2005–12
  4. By: Edward J. Lopez (San Jose State University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two new anti-merger instruments, innovation markets and unilateral effects, on the basis of economic theory and evidence. I first discuss how the economics of antitrust has developed over the years, with the intention of characterizing the intellectual inheritance of 1990s’ antitrust regulators. Within this context, I then discuss each anti-merger instrument, how it has been applied in specific cases, and how it accords with underlying economic science. On the basis of these arguments, antitrust regulators should pause and reconsider the theoretical and empirical bases of applying unilateral effects and innovation markets to merger investigations.
    Keywords: antitrust, mergers, innovation markets, unilateral effects
    JEL: K
    Date: 2005–12–12
  5. By: Edward Castronova
    Abstract: Games like EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot occasionally produce natural experiments in social science: situations that, through no intent of the designer, offer controlled variations on a phenomenon of theoretical interest. This paper examines two examples, both of which involve the theory of coordination games: 1) the location of markets inside EverQuest, and 2) the selection of battlefields inside Dark Age of Camelot. Coordination game theory is quite important to a number of literatures in political science, economics, sociology, and anthropology, but has had very few direct empirical tests because that would require experimental participation by large numbers of people. The paper argues that games, unlike any other social science research technology, provide for both sufficient participation numbers and careful control of experimental conditions. Games are so well-suited to the latter that, in the two cases we examine, the natural experiments that happened were, in fact, perfectly controlled on every relevant factor, without any intention of the designer. This suggests that large games should be thought of as, in effect, social science research tools on the scale of the supercolliders used by physicists: expensive, but extremely fruitful.
    JEL: L86
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Sergio Rebelo (Northwestern University, NBER, and CEPR.)
    Abstract: In this paper I review the contribution of real business cycles models to our understanding of economic fluctuations, and discuss open issues in business cycle research.
    Date: 2005–12
  7. By: Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Rego, Armenio; D'Oliveira, Teresa
    Abstract: The topic of spirituality is gaining an increasing visibility in organization studies. It is our contention that every theory of organization is a theory of organizational spirituality. Based on Barley and Kundas 1992 Administrative Science Quarterly article, we discuss the evolution of management theories as spirituality theories. From such analysis, we suggest that there may be both a meaningful/liberating and an instrumental/exploitative side in the relationship between organizations and spirituality. Such a possibility is illustrated with a typology that advances four possible types of organizations regarding spirituality: the soulful organization, the holistic organization, the ascetic organization, and the professional organization. The expression of spirituality in each of these forms is discussed with the aim of contributing to a theoretically-based analysis of organizational spirituality.
    Keywords: management ideologies, organizational spirituality, religion
    Date: 2004
  8. By: Matias Vernengo
    Abstract: This paper reviews the various explanations for inflation and the relation between inflation and money aggregates. Two analytical distinctions are useful to understand different explanations of inflationary processes of all types. First, and more importantly, theories can be seen as cost-push or demand-pull theories of inflation. Second, the distinction between exogenous and endogenous money supply is important for a proper taxonomy of inflation theories. This second analytical cut results from the fact that there is a clear empirical connection between inflation and monetary stock measures. A tentative taxonomy is presented at the end, allowing an evaluation of the dominant view on money and inflation and the main counter points from a heterodox perspective.
    Keywords: Inflation, Macroeconomic Schools
    JEL: E11 E12 E13 E31
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Antonio Merlo (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: In this paper, I discuss recent developments in political economy. By focusing on the microeconomic side of the discipline, I present an overview of current research on four of the fundamental institutions of a political economy: voters, politicians, parties and governments. For each of these topics, I identify and discuss some of the salient questions that have been posed and addressed in the literature, present some stylized models and examples, and summarize the main theoretical findings. Furthermore, I describe the available data, review the relevant empirical evidence, and discuss some of the challenges for empirical research in political economy.
    Keywords: microeconomics of political economy, voters, politicians, parties, governments
    JEL: D72 D78 H11
    Date: 2005–08–01
  10. By: Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Kamoche, Ken; Clegg, Stewart R.
    Abstract: We discuss why surprises, defined as events that happen unexpectedly or expected events that take unexpected shapes, are important to organizations and should be considered in the organizational literature. The concept of organizational surprises is unpacked on the basis of a typology built around the (un)expectedeness of issue and process. This typology uncovers the several types of surprising events that organizations may face, and contributes to the literature by suggesting that different surprises require distinct approaches.
    Date: 2004
  11. By: Fulvio Fontini (University of Padua)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider Georgescu-Roegen's approach to uncertainty, showing that his characterization of expectations cannot be reduced to any probabilistic decision making model. Drawing upon Georgescu-Roegen lesson a lexicographical utility function is proposed and analyzed in the mark of his own peculiar scientific methodology. It is demonstrated that such a formulation can be useful in solving usual failure of the expected utility model, such as the Ellsberg paradoxes. The epistemic limits of our re-construction are considered, too.
    JEL: B31 D84
    Date: 2005–12
  12. By: Jennifer Kunz (WHU, 56179 Vallendar Germany); Stefan Linder (WHU, 56179 Vallendar Germany)
    Abstract: GERMAN ABSTRACT: Wissensmanagement und Controlling werden seit Jahrzehnten parallel in der betriebswirt-schaftlichen Forschung diskutiert. Bis dato wurden aber kaum Versuche unternommen, die Zusammenhänge zwischen beiden Bereichen aufzudecken und die so identifizierten Schnittstel-len als potenzielles Forschungsfeld herauszuarbeiten. Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier hat zum Ziel, diese Schnittstelle anhand des beiden Bereichen gemeinsamen Forschungsobjektes unternehmensrelevantes Wissen zu identifizieren und bei-spielhaft ein Vorgehen aufzuzeigen, dass für beide Forschungsstränge zum Erkenntnisfort-schritt führen kann. Darüber hinaus wird eine Einschätzung der Erforschungswürdigkeit von einzelnen Themen wie alternativen Vergütungssystemen und Kennzahlensystemen in diesem Schnittstellenbereich vorgenommen. ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Knowledge management and management control have been discussed separately in business literature for many years. This working paper looks at the possibility to achieve a linkage be-tween the two research arenas and the value of such a linkage with respect to progress in eco-nomic thought. It shows that knowledge management and management control, in fact, overlap in their analy-sis of explicit, declarative and procedural knowledge. Consequently, it is possible to link the two research perspectives. And doing so, in fact, seems very promising with respect to the po-tential advancement in knowledge that can be achieved in both of the two research arenas. Fi-nally the paper shows that analysis of alternative payment schemes and modern, financial and non- financial performance measurement systems seem the two most promising areas for re-search linking knowledge management and management control.
    Keywords: Wissensmanagement, Controlling, Knowledge Management, Management Control Systems
    JEL: P Q Z
    Date: 2005–12–14

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