nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒03‒10
nine papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Instruction publique et progrès économique chez Condorcet. By Charlotte Le Chapelain
  2. Econometrics: A Bird’s Eye View By John Geweke; Joel Horowitz; M. Hashem Pesaran
  3. The Establishment and Development of Cambridge Environmental Economic Thought By Masayuki Omori
  4. Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface) By Ronald Findlay; Kevin H. O'Rourke
  5. The Truth about Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection. Eighteenth Annual Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Health Policy. By Mark V. Pauly
  7. The Relation between Democracy and Religion: Towards a European Discursive Model? By Camil Ungureanu
  8. La teoría pura del Derecho y la secularización incompleta del Derecho. Una interpretación del trabajo de Kelsen y su relación con algunas reflexiones de Max Weber By Isaac de León-Beltrán
  9. Individual Well-Being in a Dynamic Perspective By Conchita D’Ambrosio; Joachim R. Frick

  1. By: Charlotte Le Chapelain
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous nous intéressons à une dimension particulière de la pensée de Condorcet : la question de l'instruction publique dans son rapport au progrès économique. Nous défendons l'idée qu'à côté de sa dimension politique fréquemment mise en lumière, le plan condorcétien d'instruction, par son organisation et ses principes, est, entre autres fins, dirigé vers un objectif de progrès économique. Nous argumentons ce point de vue en présentant le lien entre les réflexions de Condorcet sur l'innovation et le projet d'instruction publique. Nous montrons ainsi que la pensée de Condorcet soutient déjà l'idée du rôle de l'éducation sur le progrès technologique et la croissance affrmé par les théories modernes du capital humain.
    Keywords: Condorcet, instruction publique, croissance économique
    JEL: B1 I20 O15
    Date: 2007
  2. By: John Geweke; Joel Horowitz; M. Hashem Pesaran
    Abstract: As a unified discipline, econometrics is still relatively young and has been transforming and expanding very rapidly over the past few decades. Major advances have taken place in the analysis of cross sectional data by means of semi-parametric and non-parametric techniques. Heterogeneity of economic relations across individuals, firms and industries is increasingly acknowledged and attempts have been made to take them into account either by integrating out their effects or by modeling the sources of heterogeneity when suitable panel data exists. The counterfactual considerations that underlie policy analysis and treatment evaluation have been given a more satisfactory foundation. New time series econometric techniques have been developed and employed extensively in the areas of macroeconometrics and finance. Non-linear econometric techniques are used increasingly in the analysis of cross section and time series observations. Applications of Bayesian techniques to econometric problems have been given new impetus largely thanks to advances in computer power and computational techniques. The use of Bayesian techniques have in turn provided the investigators with a unifying framework where the tasks of forecasting, decision making, model evaluation and learning can be considered as parts of the same interactive and iterative process; thus paving the way for establishing the foundation of “real time econometrics”. This paper attempts to provide an overview of some of these developments.
    Keywords: History of econometrics, Microeconometrics, Macroeconometrics, Bayesian Econometrics, Nonparametric and Semi-parametric Analysis
    JEL: C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
    Date: 2006–11
  3. By: Masayuki Omori (Meiji University, Japan)
    Abstract: In this paper we try to make clear that the original utilitarian economic thought of J. S. Mill, which was like a headwater, ran to Cambridge University, after which his followers could tackle environmental problems of their days from an economic point of view (1). First of all we refer to the utilitarian background of Mill’s theoretical suggestions in his Political Economy and his political activities in the Commons Preservation Society (CPS) and the Land Tenure Reform Association (LTRA) (section 2). Next we introduce two of Mill’s disciples of Cambridge insiders, the economist Fawcett and the moral philosopher Sidgwick, and discuss their theoretical and practical succession to Mill’s thought (section 3). Likewise two Cambridge outsiders, the critic Ruskin and the economic theorist Jevons, criticized Mill’s orthodoxy and influenced new Cambridge insiders. We describe these two outsiders (section 4) and identify one insider, Marshall, who established the foundation of today’s Environmental Economics (section 5). Then we mention his disciple, another insider, Pigou, who developed this study (section 6). Lastly, we discuss methodological criticism of Cambridge Environmental Economic Thought (CEET) and suggest other streams to establish and develop Environmental Economics (section 7).
    Keywords: Development; thought; establishment; philosophy; Waste management; Recycling; Composting, Choice experiment; Preference heterogeneity
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Ronald Findlay; Kevin H. O'Rourke (Department of Economics, Columbia University; Department of Economics, Trinity College)
    Abstract: This book provides the first systematic, integrated, analytical account of the evolution of the international economy during the last millennium.It emphasizes the two-way interaction between trade and geopolitics, and the importance of such interactions for world economic development.
    JEL: N00 N70 F10
    Date: 2007–02
  5. By: Mark V. Pauly (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This brief is actually going to have two levels. One level will go with the advertised title, and I’ll tell you my current views on the truth about moral hazard and adverse selection. Adverse selection will serve as somewhat of a handmaid of moral hazard, as you will see. That’s one level. The other level, though, which continues to surprise me, is that these two topics—they’re two buzzwords from insurance theory—have generated an enormous amount of policy interest and, yes, passion. Some people passionately believe some things about moral hazard that others passionately disbelieve. And so as part of this second level I will draw back a bit from the actual subject matter to ask a kind of positive public policy question: Why is it that some people can get so passionate about a subject that seems fairly esoteric?
    Keywords: health insurance, adverse selection, moral hazard
    JEL: D80 G18 G22 I10
    Date: 2007–03
  6. By: Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: John Rawls, uno de los más influyentes filósofos contemporáneos, nos hizo volver a pensar en términos de justicia. Desde el comienzo del desarrollo de su teoría, Rawls intentó establecer un diálogo con los economistas porque creía que tenían un enorme ascendiente sobre nuestros proyectos de sociedad. Así, Rawls identifica la historia de la teoría económica, desde sus inicios, con la del utilitarismo. La economía, para Rawls, como resultado de desarrollos utilitaristas podía ejercer una influencia negativa sobre la construcción de una sociedad liberal. Rawls presenta entonces su Teoría de la Justicia como Equidad o como Imparcialidad como una alternativa frente al utilitarismo, haciendo reflexionar a los economistas no sólo sobre su historia si no también sobre la justicia de los arreglos institucionales que presentan. Según Rawls, el utilitarismo es una base pobre para la construcción de una sociedad pluralista y democrática. El utilitarismo falla por su incapacidad de reconocer la diferencia entre individuos. Rawls considera que esta falla proviene de una figura que fusiona los deseos individuales: el espectador imparcial. Este texto muestra que la crítica de Rawls parte de una equivalencia infundada. El espectador imparcial, figura central de la teoría de Adam Smith, no corresponde al legislador utilitarista de Jeremy Bentham. Sólo homologando estas figuras, puede Rawls extender su crítica del utilitarismo a Adam Smith. Analizar el sistema de la simpatía de Smith muestra que esta homologación lleva a la pérdida de una teoría verdaderamente liberal, respetuosa de la autonomía individual y del contexto histórico.
    Date: 2006–04–10
  7. By: Camil Ungureanu
    Abstract: In this paper we advance the argument that, under certain socio-political and cognitive conditions, the manifestation of religion in the opinion-oriented public spheres can have an inherent value for democratic life. However, it is only after processes of selective interpretation and transformation through inclusive discursive practices that religious semantic contents may legitimately influence decisional interpretations of constitutional principles and rights. This model draws on republicanism and deliberative democracy: given that these two conceptions do not start out from an abstract principle of liberty as non-interference but from a multidimensional conception of freedom embedded in various historical contexts of mutual recognition, they are more predisposed to provide conceptual resources for envisaging a discursive relation between democracy and religion.
    Keywords: democracy; fundamental/human rights
    Date: 2006–12–01
  8. By: Isaac de León-Beltrán
    Abstract: Este trabajo trata de mostrar algunas similitudes entre el pensamiento teórico de Hans Kelsen y Max Weber en torno a la noción de Derecho-Estado. El escrito muestra que la discusión en torno a la validez y el valor del Derecho se puede plantear en términos de consolidación del Estado moderno. También se propone una explicación de las tensiones entre el iusnaturalismo al que se enfrenta Kelsen y lo que he denominado la secularización incompleta del Derecho.
    Date: 2006–04–15
  9. By: Conchita D’Ambrosio (Università di Milano-Bicocca and DIW Berlin); Joachim R. Frick (DIW Berlin, TU Berlin and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper explores the determinants of individual well-being as measured by self-reported levels of satisfaction with income. Making full use of the panel data nature of the German Socio-Economic Panel, we provide empirical evidence for well-being depending on absolute and on relative levels of income in a dynamic framework. This finding holds after controlling for other influential factors in a multivariate setting. The main novelty of the paper is the consideration of dynamic aspects: individual’s own history as well as the relative income performance with respect to the others living in the society under analysis do play a major role in the assessment of well-being.
    Keywords: Interdependent Preferences, Inequality Aversion, Status, Subjective Well-Being, SOEP.
    JEL: D63 I31 D31
    Date: 2007

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