nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
five papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Robert Aumann’s Game and Economic Theory By Sergiu Hart
  2. Review of Theories of Invention and Innovation By Kaiserfledt, Thomas
  3. Sraffa's Prices By Sydney Afriat
  4. Simon Rottenberg and Baseball, Then and Now: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective By Allen R. Sanderson; John J. Siegfried
  5. John Charles Harsanyi By John A. Weymark

  1. By: Sergiu Hart
    Date: 2006–03–27
  2. By: Kaiserfledt, Thomas (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper review existing theories of invention and innovation putting them at the center of the understanding of cultural change. After a survey of different categories of inventions and innovations, it introduces a taxonomy relying on the origins of invention and innovation highligting individual qualities, social invironments, resources access and incentives for problem solving. Following this taxonomy, different theories are analyzed and compared. Features of theories are evaluated with respect to their explanatory power. Conclusively. historical trends of theories are outlined as well as some preliminary results ragarding different points of directionss of existing theories.
    Keywords: Innovation theory; innovation; invention
    JEL: B00
    Date: 2006–03–28
  3. By: Sydney Afriat
    Abstract: First we consider the existence question in Sraffa’s Chapter I dismissed by counting equations and unknowns. A theorem from the theory of Markov processes, applied to distributions not now of probability but of goods to sectors, shows the general existence of non-negative prices satisfying the conditions imposed by the value equation, that value of output equals value of input. The further condition for these to be unique and positive is that the economy be irreducible, or that no independent sub-economy should exist. Sraffa provides a precise formula determining unique prices, he barely escapes imposing too many conditions on them and certainly cannot require more. In the background and giving motive to the enquiry is the Labour Theory of Value, that goes further. It asserts that the value of anything is ultimately equal to the labour that has gone into making it; so it implies the same principle expressed by the value equation, but a further condition has been added about the nature of the unit. Since the value equation alone makes prices fully determined, there is no room for further conditions, so there is an obstacle to the application of the theory. Standing as a canonical text in a revival of interest in the Theory Of Value serving earlier thought and the later concentration of Ricardo, it offers an exercise in labour value arithmetic, where the only fruit is to find the arithmetic is impossible. An extended interdependence, which applies to repeated production, appears as a stability condition for prices in an adjustment process, and so does the existence of what Sraffa calls a standard commodity, one depending on all others for its production. After treating a case where there is a surplus, and joint production, the relation with Leontief and von Neumann is considered.
    Keywords: Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology, Current Heterodox Approaches, Socialist, Marxian, Sraffian
    JEL: B B5 B51
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Allen R. Sanderson (Department of Economics, University of Chicago); John J. Siegfried (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)
    Abstract: Fifty years ago the JPE published Simon Rottenberg's "The Baseball Players' Labor Market", the first professional journal article in sports economics. In this retrospective we review some of his insights and analyses with regard to competitive balance, constraints on payroll and freedoms to contract, revenue sharing, territorial rights and the supply of talent. We also note subsequent industry developments Rottenberg could not have anticipated, and identify where he was ahead of his time.
    Keywords: Rottenberg, baseball, invariance theorem, Coase theorem, reserve clause
    JEL: B21 B31 D23 J3 J4 L83
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: John A. Weymark (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: This article provides an overview of the main events in the life of John Harsanyi and a summary of his research on decision-theoretic foundations for utilitarianism, cooperative bargaining theory, games of incomplete information, and equilibrium selection in noncooperative games.
    Keywords: John Harsanyi, utilitarianism, bargaining theory, games of incomplete information, equilibrium selection
    JEL: B31
    Date: 2006–03

This nep-hpe issue is ©2006 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.