nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2006‒05‒20
four papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Keynes's Principles of Writing (Innovative) Economics By Rod O'Donnell
  2. The neoliberal "rebirth" of development economics. By Rémy Herrera
  3. Resources versus capabilities: a critical discussion By Bojer, Hilde
  4. The Economic Dynamics in Amoroso's Contribution By Cristina Nardi Spiller; Mario Pomini

  1. By: Rod O'Donnell (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates Keynes’s writings in the 1920s and 30s to uncover his views on the writing of economics, especially the writing of innovative or path-breaking works. His ideas were mainly presented in comments on other economists (particularly Marshall, Jevons and Malthus), and in reflections on his own experiences (chiefly in his 1932-33 lectures and a 1934 draft preface to the General Theory). These ideas are converted into five underlying principles, the implications of which are discussed in terms of their impact on the clarity and interpretation of his writings and of their relevance to all writings in economics.
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Rémy Herrera (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This article is to be published in the May 2006 issue of the Monthly Review. Nowadays, neoclassical economics' domination of development theory is on par with that of high finance's neoliberal power over development policies. There are important complementarities between these two forms of ideological domination which are mutually reinforcing and interdependent. Thus, it is not only the absence of a scientific basis and the logical inconsistencies that disqualify these approaches, but the ideological function and antisocial project that their methodologies and conclusions support in the service of world capital.
    Keywords: Development, neo-classical economics, neo-liberalism, crisis, heterodoxies.
    JEL: A12 B24 B41 F20 N10 O11
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: Bojer, Hilde (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the concept of "resourcism'" as an alternative to the capability approach. It argues that the term economic resources covers too many different concepts for the term "resourcism" to be useful when analysing distributional justice. In particular, the "resourcism" of Dworkin is radically different from that of Rawls, because resources in Dworkin's usage are not the same as Rawls's "income and wealth". The term "economic goods" is proposed as a more precise term than resources. Furthermore, it is argued that, since all theories of distributional justice concern the distribution of economic goods, they are all in some sense "resourcist." The paper then discusses in the concept of resourcism defined by Thomas Pogge (2004), and concludes that his concept of resourcism is not logically consistent. Pogge also maintains that the just distribution of economic goods should take into account only standard human needs. The paper argues that taking natural human diversity into account is both possible and desirable as far as valuable human functionings are concerned, and that Pogge's criticism of the capability approach in this respect therefore is unfounded. Finally, it is argued that the relation between capabilities and access to economic goods merits investigation.
    Keywords: resourcism; capability approach; distributional justice; Dworkin; Rawl; economic goods
    JEL: D31 D63 I31
    Date: 2006–04–15
  4. By: Cristina Nardi Spiller (Dipartimento di Scienze economiche (Università di Verona)); Mario Pomini (Università di Padova)
    Abstract: This paper aims to highlight the main features of Amoroso's reflections on macroeconomic dynamics to which he dedicated a large part of his scientific activity. He developed an original theory of business cycle and he formulated a dynamic generalisation of the Paretian theory of general economic equilibrium which can be considered the main achievement of dynamic macroeconomics due to its ability to extend the analysis of optimising behaviour to an intertemporal context of resource allocation. The influence of Amoroso was modest despite its undoubted analytical capacity, probably because it was too faithful to a Paretian vision of economic relations and at epistemological level too closely connected to the models of nineteenth century physics which he tried to economic reasoning
    Keywords: business cycles, growth, dynamic theory
    JEL: N1
    Date: 2006–01

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.