nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒06‒30
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Les économistes et "La cité des femmes": le débat théorique sur l'accès des femmes au marché du travail (1850-1914) By Nathalie Le Bouteillec; Loïc Charles
  2. Karl Brunner il monetarista By Michele FRATIANNI
  3. W. Stanley Jevons (1835-1882) From a Man of Science to an Economist By Takutoshi Inoue
  4. Smith and Rawls Share a Room By Bettina Klaus; Flip Klijn
  5. The Atlantic divide: methodological and epistemological differences in economic history By Pier Angelo Toninelli
  6. Conventions and Exemplars: an alternative conceptual framework By John Latsis
  7. A Thermodynamic Theory of Economics By John Bryant
  8. The Fundamental Theory of Knowledge By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  9. Point X and the Economics of Knowledge By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  10. The Impossibility of a Just Pigouvian By Vega, Casilda Lasso de la; Seidl, Christian
  11. On the Origins of Border Effects: Insights from the Habsburg Customs Union By Schulze, Max Stephan; Wolf, Nikolaus
  12. What Emotional Labor is: A Review of Literature By Mishra Sushanta Kumar

  1. By: Nathalie Le Bouteillec; Loïc Charles
    Abstract: Historians of Economics use two main types of approaches. The first one interprets history of economic thought in terms of doctrines – mercantilism, socialism, liberalism, to name a few. Since the publication of Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis, this axiomatic has lost importance to an approach that focused on theoretical analysis as the main agency in the history of economics. There are however episodes of history of economics that stand in-between these two types of axiomatic, and neither one nor the other seem to offer an appropriate frame to un-derstand them. The debate on labour market legislation for women that spread across European countries at the end of the 19th century fits into this category. Because it concerned a major as-pect of labour market, it was in the core of the main economic theories (classical political econ-omy, marxism, marginalism) and doctrines (liberalism VS socialism) from mid-19th century on. However, the frontier between partisans of legal restrictions for women access to labour market and free market contenders did not correspond with those of historians of economic thought.
  2. By: Michele FRATIANNI (Indiana University, Graduate School of Business Bloomington)
    Abstract: Karl Brunner (1916-1989) was, with Milton Friedman and Allan Meltzer, the leader of the monetarist revolution of the Sixties and the Seventies. His work on asset markets placed the credit market, along with the money market, at center stage and focused on monetary policy as a primary source of instability. With Allan Meltzer he challenged the validity of the Keynesian paradigm and proposed an alternative model of the economy where the transmission of monetary impulses to the economy did not depend exclusively on the interest sensitivity of the demand for money but on the relative interest elasticities of the asset markets as well on variations in wealth. An unexpected feature of the alternative model is that fiscal policy determines the price level. Brunner had a strong foundation in methodology and was an adherent of the empirical philosophy school. In addition to asset markets and macroeconomics, Krunner wrote extensively on the nature of man, the role of markets and institutions. Finally, Brunner launched and managed the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking , the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Konstanzer Seminar on Monetary Theory and Monetary Policy, the Interlaken Conference on Analysis and Ideology, the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, and the Shadow Open Market Committee (the last two with Allan Meltzer).
    Keywords: IS-LM model, credit market, monetarism, money supply
    JEL: B22 B31 E44 E51 E58
    Date: 2007–06
  3. By: Takutoshi Inoue (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)
    Date: 2007–06
  4. By: Bettina Klaus; Flip Klijn
    Abstract: We consider one-to-one matching (roommate) problems in which agents (students) can either be matched as pairs or remain single. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we review a key result for roommate problems (the ``lonely wolf'' theorem) for which we provide a concise and elementary proof. Second, and related to the title of this paper, we show how the often incompatible concepts of stability (represented by the political economist Adam Smith) and fairness (represented by the political philosopher John Rawls) can be reconciled for roommate problems.
    Keywords: roommate problem, stability, fairness
    JEL: C62 C78
    Date: 2007–06–20
  5. By: Pier Angelo Toninelli (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)
    Abstract: In the paper the development of economic history will be placed within the evolution of Western thought and culture. Therefore an analysis of the connections between economic history and contemporary epistemology will be carried out. In this perspective an analogy with the traditional division between analytic philosophy and continental philosophy would appear to be useful for economic history too: the first had long prevailed in Anglo-Saxon, the second in continental, culture. This partition evokes and embraces the antithesis between scientific and humanist culture, between logic and rhetoric, analysis and interpretation, conceptual clarification and visions of the world. The paper suggest that the opposition that loomed large over the post W.W.II decades between Anglo-American and European economic histories can also be conceived as a specific form of the wider opposition between ‘analytic style’ and ‘continental style’.
    Keywords: economic history, methodology, epistemology, cliometrics, business history, economic thought
    JEL: N01 A12 B41
    Date: 2007
  6. By: John Latsis
    Abstract: This paper proposes an alternative reading of what conventions are and how they might be used by social scientists in theoretical and empirical work. In the first section of the paper, I trace the modern conception of convention to two characterisations offered by David Hume. I claim that Hume’s two notions of convention provide the basic intuition behind the majority of modern approaches. The second section highlights an important and often implicit characteristic that most theories of convention share: the desire to explain the normativity of conventional practices has led commentators to characterise convention as a sub-category of social rules. I go on to argue that the Wittgensteinian literature on rule-following undermines this strategy and that rules cannot provide the normative guidance required of them by social theorists. The third section describes a promising alternative. I argue that the notion of exemplar, first proposed by Thomas Kuhn in the history and philosophy of science, can be used to clarify and advance the study of convention. The paper concludes with a illustration of how this alternative framework can be used by social scientists.
    JEL: D43 D51
    Date: 2007
  7. By: John Bryant (Vocat International)
    Abstract: An analogy between thermodynamic and economic theories and processes is developed further, following a previous paper published by the author in 1982. Economic equivalents are set out concerning the ideal gas equation, the gas constant, pressure, temperature, entropy, work done, specific heat and the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. The law of diminishing marginal utility was derived from thermodynamic first principles. Conditions are set out concerning the relationship of economic processes to entropic gain. A link between the Le Chatelier principle and economic processes is developed, culminating in a derivation of an equation similar in format to that of Cobb Douglas production function, but with an equilibrium constant and a disequilibrium function added to it. A trade cycle is constructed, utilising thermodynamic processes, and equations are derived for cycle efficiency, growth and entropy gain. A thermodynamic model of a money system is set out, and an attempt is made to relate interest rates, the rate of return, money demand and the velocity of circulation to entropy gain. Aspects concerning the measurement of economic value in thermodynamic terms are discussed.
    Keywords: Thermodynamics, economics, Le Chatelier, entropy, utility, money, equilibrium, value, energy
    JEL: A1 C02 C68 D5 E O1
    Date: 2007–04
  8. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the theory of knowledge from the book of the same title by the same author. The paper begins by asking, and answering, what knowledge is. In searching for precise definitions it rids itself of the ambiguous term of infinity. The seven main laws of knowledge are laid out and discussed. The theory is an economic theory and as such must mention how people choose to seek knowledge. Knowledge is treated like any other commodity or product such as an apple, copper or a television set. Choices must be made in order to acquire knowledge. The tool used is the same tool used for analyzing other commodities - marginal utility analysis. The paper moves on to develop a working function of knowledge. This function helps to give a clear picture of how knowledge gains and loses occur within a society. The function leads to an understanding of critical levels of knowledge as well as the term obsolete knowledge. The paper introduces the term ‘negative’ knowledge and demonstrates how time is lost and gained within the context of knowledge. The sum of knowledge is the last major issue discussed in this paper and it can be considered the ‘signature’ of the theory. The concept that two plus two is not always four differentiates the commodity knowledge from other commodities and products. Finally the implications of this unique property of the commodity knowledge are discussed with the aim of demonstrating how the world would end up as a better place for all with food, shelter, and security for all.
    Keywords: Knowledge; time; mthetho; konke; critical level; negative knowledge; sum of knowledge
    JEL: O1 A10 D83
    Date: 2006–12–01
  9. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: In this paper the theory developed in the paper The Fundamental Theory of Knowledge by the same author is developed further. This paper looks at point X, as it exists in the dimension that is called mthetho, the laws that govern the universe. Analyzing point X gives a more firm understanding of knowledge and its properties. The timelessness and independence of point X shall first be established and verified. The paper will eventually demonstrate that the timelessness and independence of this point X is what gives knowledge its power in terms of economics. The concepts developed in the paper. The Fundamental theory of Knowledge are tested against this concept of timelessness and independence of point X, if a contradiction where to be found the theory would have serious contradictions, the paper proves that there are no contradictions. The principles of negative and obsolete knowledge are discussed in relation to point X. The laws of knowledge are tested against point X, against the timelessness and independence of point X. The law of consistency, arguably the most powerful law in investigative knowledge is also discussed in relation to point X; again the paper establishes that there are no contradictions. The law of consistency demonstrates the importance of point X, and therefore knowledge in the economic reality of human beings. Finally the foundations of material progress are discussed in the paper again with point X being the reference point.
    Keywords: knowledge; point X; laws of knowledge; consistency; use knowledge; point U
    JEL: O33 A10 B41
    Date: 2007–02–15
  10. By: Vega, Casilda Lasso de la; Seidl, Christian
    Abstract: An income inequality measure satisfies the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle if progressive transfers decrease income inequality. When transfers cause transaction costs, one can trace out the maximum leakage such that the transfer pays at the margin. An income inequality measure is leaky-bucket consistent if the transaction costs of a transfer are neither negative nor do they exceed the amount of the transfer. We show that the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle and leakybucket consistency are not reconcilable. Experimental research has shown that subjects’ behavior exhibit graded compensating justice, that is compensating income changes which maintain the degree of income inequality and point in the same direction should provide less income compensation for richer than for poorer income recipients. We also show that the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle and graded compensating justice are not reconcilable.
    JEL: D31 D63
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Schulze, Max Stephan; Wolf, Nikolaus
    Abstract: This paper examines the emergence and dynamics of border effects over time. We exploit the unique historical setting of the multinational Habsburg Empire prior to the Great War to explore the hypothesis that border effects emerged as a result of persistent trade effects of ethno-linguistic networks within an overall integrating economy. While markets tended to integrate, the process was strongly asymmetric and shaped by a simultaneous rise in national consciousness and organisation among Austria-Hungary’s different ‘nationalities’. We find that the political borders which separated the empire’s successor states after the First World War became visible in the price dynamics of grain markets already 25-30 years before the First World War. This effect of a ‘border before a border’ cannot be explained by factors such as physical geography, changes in infrastructure or patterns of asymmetric integration with neighbouring regions outside of the Habsburg customs and monetary union. However, controlling for the changing ethno-linguistic composition of the population across the regional capital cities of the empire does explain most of the estimated border effects.
    Keywords: border effects; Habsburg Empire; market integration; networks; pre-1914 Europe
    JEL: F15 N13 Z13
    Date: 2007–06
  12. By: Mishra Sushanta Kumar
    Abstract: The dominance of customer over the production/service employee, and as a result of this, increasing use of emotional labor in the workplace furthers the need to understand what emotional labor is. In this regard, the present paper reviews the literature to explain the concept ‘emotional labor’. In explaining emotional labor and its nomological network, the paper discusses the factors that affect and are affected by it. This paper contributes to the existing literature by assimilating different works done in this domain and providing a comprehensive understanding of emotional labor. This paper focuses on some of the critical issues, about which, the existing literature on emotional labor is silent and thus, providing a platform for further research.
    Date: 2006–12–28

This nep-hpe issue is ©2007 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.
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