nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2006‒07‒09
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Les monnaies de la république. Un retour sur les idées monétaires de Jean Bodin By Jérôme Blanc
  2. Contributions of Zvi Griliches By James Heckman
  3. Rottenberg and the Economics of Sport after 50 years: An Evaluation By Peter Sloane
  4. On the General Relativity of Fiscal Language By Laurence J. Kotlikoff; Jerry Green
  5. The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer By N. Gregory Mankiw
  6. Satisficing or Optimizing? - An Experimental Study By Werner Güth; Gerlinde Fellner; Ev Martin
  7. Discipliner les autres et agir sur soi : les vies du contrôleur de gestion By Lambert, Caroline; Pezet, Eric
  8. La question du genre en comptabilité : analyses théoriques et méthodologiques By Lambert, Caroline; Dambrin, Claire
  9. Le discours capitaliste libéral : fondements et portée sociale : comment le discours économique fonctionne comme discours dominant By Ingrid France
  10. The Legacy of History for Development: The Case of Putnam's Social Capital By Guido de Blasio; Giorgio Nuzzo

  1. By: Jérôme Blanc (LEFI - Laboratoire d'économie de la firme et des institutions - [Université Lumière - Lyon II])
    Abstract: Les écrits monétaires de Bodin portent principalement sur le rapport des monnaies à la souveraineté. Bodin cherche à concevoir un système de monnaies à l'épreuve des contrefaçons, altérations et dégradations. Après avoir exposé sa conception de la monnaie et de la fausse monnaie, on expose la façon dont Bodin cherche à contraindre l'exercice de la souveraineté monétaire : en soumettant la manipulation des monnaies non à la loi mais au contrat, en construisant un système de monnaies idéal et en définitive en définissant une contrainte internationale. La souveraineté monétaire, absolue dans son principe, apparaît ainsi contrainte dans son exercice.
    Keywords: Histoire de la pensée économique et monétaire ; Bodin ; souveraineté monétaire ; fausse monnaie
    Date: 2006–06–29
  2. By: James Heckman
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the major research contributions of Zvi Griliches.
    JEL: B31 D24 O33
    Date: 2006–06
  3. By: Peter Sloane (University of Wales Swansea; IZA)
    Abstract: Simon Rottenberg’s seminal 1956 article in the Journal of Political Economy, 1956, is generally accepted as the starting point for the development of the economics of sport. While he recognised that certain features of professional sports leagues were unusual he saw little reason to treat this industry any differently from a conventional industry. He discusses the importance of uncertainty of outcome, the monopsonistic nature of the labour market, the nature of the product and demand (attendances). He considers alternatives to the reserve clause, such as equal revenue sharing, maximum salary limits, equal market franchise distribution and roster limits. Each of these is rejected in favour of a free market solution which, on the basis of the invariance principle, he suggests will perform just as well as the reserve clause in allocating talent to where it is most productive. The ensuing literature has focused on all these issues, many of which have created considerable debate amongst sports economists. In particular the assumption of profit maximisation has been challenged and a divergence of views, reflected in the so-called North American and European models of sports leagues has emerged. Over the last 50 years sports leagues have expanded, TV markets have opened up and legal challenges to existing practices have multiplied. This paper seeks to evaluate Rottenberg’s contribution to a rapidly expanding field and to judge its relevance today.
    Keywords: Sport, Monopsony, Monopoly Power
    JEL: J0 L0 L83
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Laurence J. Kotlikoff; Jerry Green
    Abstract: A century ago, everyone thought time and distance were well defined physical concepts. But neither proved absolute. Instead, measures/reports of time and distance were found to depend on one’s reference point, specifically one’s direction and speed of travel, making our apparent physical reality, in Einstein’s words, “merely an illusion.” Like time and distance, standard fiscal measures, including deficits, taxes, and transfer payments, depend on one’s reference point/reporting procedure/language/labels. As such, they too represent numbers in search of concepts that provide the illusion of meaning where none exists. This paper, dedicated to our dear friend, David Bradford, provides a general proof that standard and routinely used fiscal measures, including the deficit, taxes, and transfer payments, are economically ill-defined. Instead these measures reflect the arbitrary labeling of underlying fiscal conditions. Analyses based on these and derivative measures, such as disposable income, private assets, and personal saving, represent exercises in linguistics, not economics.
    JEL: H3 H6
    Date: 2006–06
  5. By: N. Gregory Mankiw
    Abstract: This essay offers a brief history of macroeconomics, together with an evaluation of what has been learned over the past several decades. It is based on the premise that the field has evolved through the efforts of two types of macroeconomist— those who understand the field as a type of engineering and those who would like it to be more of a science. While the early macroeconomists were engineers trying to solve practical problems, macroeconomists have more recently focused on developing analytic tools and establishing theoretical principles. These tools and principles, however, have been slow to find their way into applications. As the field of macroeconomics has evolved, one recurrent theme is the interaction—sometimes productive and sometimes not— between the scientists and the engineers.
    Date: 2006–07
  6. By: Werner Güth; Gerlinde Fellner; Ev Martin
    Abstract: This experimental study investigates whether individuals prefer bounded rationality over rational choice theory when facing simple investment tasks. First, participants state some personal parameters that serve as an input to render a theoretical approach, namely satisficing or optimality, applicable. Then, they are guided through the decision making process where either ‘satisficing’ or ‘optimality’ is suggested and has to be implemented. The behavioral appeal of the two approaches is measured by the adjustments of personal parameters until accepting the investment decision suggested by theory. Additionally, a questionnaire is administered to elicit subjective contentment with the two approaches.
    Keywords: Theory absorption; Satisficing behavior; Portfolio selection
    JEL: C91 D81 G11
    Date: 2006–07
  7. By: Lambert, Caroline; Pezet, Eric
    Abstract: Numerous critical studies argue that control of individuals is obtained through domination. In this article, the authors focus on the design and on the development of a Panoptic organization and not on its implementation. By taking this point of view, they demonstrate the possibility of going further the disciplinary metaphor, and they underline the commitment of the subject in games of truth (Foucault, 1984b). Another main contribution relies on the specific point of view adopted to observe the Panopticon: the one of the overseer, i.e, the controller.
    Keywords: Foucault; subjectivation; games of truth; controller; car industry
    JEL: M49
    Date: 2006–07–07
  8. By: Lambert, Caroline; Dambrin, Claire
    Abstract: Gender issues are examined in the French and the Anglo-Saxon accounting literatures. The authors propose an overview of the theoretical frameworks and the methodologies used in the selected articles. An analysis of the glass ceiling in the accounting profession is provided. This article highlights the triple nature (individual, organisational and social) of obstacles that hinder the career path of women in the accounting profession. The detailed analysis of this specific theme confirms that methodological, theoretical and political questions are deeply embedded.
    Keywords: gender; glass ceiling; accounting profession; feminism; methodology
    Date: 2006–07–07
  9. By: Ingrid France (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Economie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - [CNRS : FRE2664] - [Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II])
    Abstract: L'objet de notre propos est de mettre en lumière les ressorts du discours économique actuel, le discours capitaliste libéral, dans son déploiement comme discours dominant. Il s'agira en premier lieu de présenter ses fondements. Nous verrons comment il est issu de la théorie libérale qui prétend rendre compte "objectivement" du fonctionnement de l'économie en s'appuyant sur la méthode propre aux sciences de la nature. Nous montrerons que ce discours procède d'une élaboration théorique purement formelle sans référence au réel, à vocation normative, et qu'il se révèle ainsi porteur d'une dérive scientiste dans sa prétention à fonder un ordre autoréférentiel. Nous nous attacherons dans un deuxième temps à repérer comment ce discours économique fonctionne comme discours dominant, quelles sont les modalités de ce déploiement. Nous verrons comment il opère en promouvant un ordre social contractuel auquel il conforme des pratiques et comportements. Nous proposerons ensuite quelques pistes de réflexion pour tenter de comprendre pourquoi ce discours économique a pu devenir dominant. Enfin, nous suggérerons quelques perspectives pour rompre avec le scientisme dont il procède.
    Keywords: discours ; théorie économique ; libéralisme ; capitalisme ; économie capitaliste
    Date: 2006–06–30
  10. By: Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy, Research Dept.); Giorgio Nuzzo (Bank of Italy, Branch of L'Aquila)
    Abstract: Putnam (1993) argues that (i) center-northern Italy has developed faster than southern Italy because the former was better endowed with social capital; and (ii) that the endowments of social capital across Italian territories have been highly persistent over centuries. This paper provides an empirical investigation of Putnam’s case. To evaluate the relevance of social capital, we present a test based on worker productivity, entrepreneurship, and female labor market participation. Using as instruments regional differences in civic involvement in the late ninetieth century and local systems of government in the middle age, we show that social capital does have economic effects.
    Keywords: Social Capital, Economic Development
    JEL: Z10 O10 D10
    Date: 2006–05

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