nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒03‒24
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig von Mises on Probability By van den Hauwe, Ludwig
  3. Kritisk realisme og post keynesianisme By Finn Olesen
  4. Freedom of choice and paternalism in contract law: a law and economics perspective By Peter Cserne
  6. Interdisciplinary Trust Meta-Analysis By Ebert, Tara

  1. By: van den Hauwe, Ludwig
    Abstract: The economic paradigms of Ludwig von Mises on the one hand and of John Maynard Keynes on the other have been correctly recognized as antithetical at the theoretical level, and as antagonistic with respect to their practical and public policy implications. Characteristically they have also been vindicated by opposing sides of the political spectrum. Nevertheless the respective views of these authors with respect to the meaning and interpretation of probability exhibit a closer conceptual affinity than has been acknowledged in the literature. In particular it is argued that in some relevant respects Ludwig von Mises´ interpretation of the concept of probability exhibits a closer affinity with the interpretation of probability developed by his rival John Maynard Keynes than with the views on probability espoused by his brother Richard von Mises. Nevertheless there also exist significant differences between the views of Ludwig von Mises and those of John Maynard Keynes with respect to probability. One of these is highlighted more particularly: where John Maynard Keynes advocated a monist view of probability, Ludwig von Mises embraced a dualist view of probability, according to which the concept of probability has two different meanings each of which is valid in a particular area or context. It is concluded that both John Maynard Keynes and Ludwig von Mises presented highly nuanced views with respect to the meaning and interpretation of probability.
    Keywords: General Methodology; Austrian Methodology; Keynesian Methodology; Quantitative and Qualitative Probability Concepts: Meaning and Interpretation; Frequency Interpretation; Logical Interpretation; John Maynard Keynes; Ludwig von Mises; Richard von Mises;
    JEL: C00 B49 B53 B50 B40 B00
    Date: 2007–03–12
  2. By: A Feduzi
    Abstract: A number of scholars have noted that Ellsberg’s seminal 1961QJE critique of the subjective expected utility model bears certain resemblances to ideas expressed in J. M. Keynes’s earlier 1921 A Treatise on Probability. Ellsberg did not mention Keynes’s work in his article, but did do so in his doctoral dissertation submitted in 1962 and recently published in 2001. This gives rise to a number of interesting questions concerning the relationship between the contributions of the two authors. The present paper, drawing in part on a conversation with Ellsberg, attempts to answer these questions. The main conclusions that emerge are that Ellsberg formulated the ideas advanced in the QJE article before having read, and thus independently of, Keynes’s work, and that, even though he later recognised the importance and originality of Keynes’s work in his PhD dissertation, he did not fully appreciate the constructive part of Keynes’s analysis. 1. Introduction The last twenty years have seen a revival of
  3. By: Finn Olesen (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: In the history of economic thought Post Keynesianism offers a different inter-pretation of John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory than what is known as mainstream Keynesianism. One of the fundamentals of Post Keynesianism in this regard is the statement that the economic universe of Keynes can not be understood correctly if one does not take the methodology of Keynes into ac-count. According to at least some of the Post Keynesians we ought to let our methodology to be inspired by what is called critical realism. This paper tries to give a discussion of this kind of methodology and of its possible connection to the writings of Keynes. And finally, has Post Keynesianism reached a kind of coherence that makes it reasonable to characterise this group of economists as a theoretical research programme in the Lakatosian sense of the term?
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Peter Cserne (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This paper is a preliminary discussion of some theoretical and methodological issues related to my PhD thesis. The topic of the dissertation can be succinctly formulated as the legal and economic analysis of paternalism in contract law. The thesis starts with some discussion of conceptual and normative issues of paternalism in political and legal philosophy, and then focuses on legal policy questions in contract law. Methodologically, my purpose is to analyse whether and how the traditional economic arguments against paternalism and for freedom of contract should be reassessed in light of recent empirical and theoretical studies. More specifically, the question is whether the anti-paternalist view based on consumer sovereignty remains valid if, following behavioural decision theory we assume that not only (at least one of)the contracting individuals but also the legislator/regulator is imperfectly rational or not fully informed. That is, whether we have to modify the traditional anti-paternalism of law and economics for anti-anti-paternalism: a limited and critical version of paternalism. In this paper I discuss the conceptual and methodological background of an economic approach to paternalism in contract law.
    Keywords: paternalism, contract regulation,
  5. By: Oren Gazal-Ayal (University of Haifa, Faculty of Law)
    Abstract: The academic world is wonderful. Like few other professionals, we can choose what we want to do and what questions we think are important, which in our line of work means choosing what topics we want to research. But what influences our choices? This paper examines what drives scholars to select Law and Economics (L&E) as a topic for research. It does so by implementing the methodology of many L&E papers - by assuming that regulation and incentives matter. Legal scholars face very different academic incentives in different parts of the world. In some countries, the academic standards for appointment, promotion and tenure encourage legal scholars to concentrate on L&E. In others, they strongly discourage such research. Thus, we should expect wide variation in the rate of participation of legal scholars in the L&E discourse across countries. On the other hand, economists are evaluated with similar yardsticks everywhere. Thus, participation of economists in the L&E discourse is likely to vary much less from one place to another. The hypothesis of this paper is that the academic incentives are a major factor in the level of participation in the L&E scholarship. This "incentives hypothesis" is presented and then examined empirically on data gathered from the list of authors in L&E journals and the list of participants in L&E conferences. The data generally supports the hypothesis. In the legal academia, the incentives to focus research on L&E topics are the strongest in Israel, they are weaker in North America and weakest in Europe. In fact, the data reveal that lawyers' authorship of L&E papers weighted by population is almost ten times higher in Israel than in North America; while in Europe it is almost ten times lower than in North America. By comparison, the weighted participation level of economists - who face relatively similar academic environments across countries - in L&E research is not significantly different across countries.
    Keywords: Law and Economics, Legal Education, Comparative Law,
  6. By: Ebert, Tara
    Abstract: A meta-analysis of approximately 800 trust articles written from 1966 to 2006 in A+, A, and B journals are structured and analyzed. Contributions from the number of published trust articles, multidisciplinarity, trust objects, trust interactions types, and occurrence of key variables in addition to the term trust - are deduced.
    Keywords: trust
    JEL: A30
    Date: 2007–03

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