nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒07‒13
five papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Counteracting counterfeiting? False money as a multidimensional justice issue in 16th and 17th century monetary analysis By Jérôme Blanc; Ludovic Desmedt
  2. A Discussion on Empirical Micro-Bases of Hayek’s Methodological Individualism By zhao, liang; zhu, xian chen
  3. The Transformation Problem: A Tale of Two Interpretations By Bieri, David
  4. Smith and Rawls Share a Room By Klaus Bettina; Klijn Flip
  5. The New Keynesian Business Cycle Achievements and Challenges By Gaurav Saroliya

  1. By: Jérôme Blanc (LEFI - Laboratoire d'économie de la firme et des institutions - [Université Lumière - Lyon II]); Ludovic Desmedt (LEG - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion - [CNRS : UMR5118] - [Université de Bourgogne])
    Abstract: False money appeared as the general common issue in monetary debates that occured in European countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. It first refered to sovereignty, in a time of state-building, as well as to a serious economic problem. Beyond sovereignty and economy, justice and, then, the public faith, were endangered by those who devoted themselves to produce false coins. The thesis of this communication is that one cannot understand clearly the general topic of false money by reading texts of the time with today's general definition of false money. We propose, then, to identify the multiple dimensions of false money : counterfeiting (by individuals), degradations of coins (by individuals and officers of the Mint) and debasement and enhancement (by princes). These dimensions appeared in monetary discourses like Bodin's, Mariana's and Locke's ones, with sometimes a lack of clarity. Then, a general claim to counteract counterfeiting may conceal a claim to suppress any possibility of debasing currency. Making clearer monetary discourses on that topic and establishing a hierarchy between the three dimensions of false money helps to understand why the false money issue was firstly a matter of monetary justice by the prince himself. In order to do so, we pay special attention to Bodin, Mariana and Locke.
    Keywords: History of monetary thought; monetary history; modern times; counterfeiting; debasement
    Date: 2007–07–09
  2. By: zhao, liang; zhu, xian chen
    Abstract: There are essential differences in ‘methodological individualism(MI)’ between neoclassic economics and Hayek’s theory. On basis of The Sensory Order, this paper shows relations between Hayek’s MI and it, the micro-bases of Hayek’s MI from contemporarily empirical disciplines, and some viewpoints verified by succeeding ones; then points out some questions that need to be answered henceforth between Hayek’s theory and interdisciplinary studies in modern economics. It is concluded that Hayek’s MI has its empirical micro-bases, and that his interdisciplinary exploration in the youth can help advance modern economics.
    Keywords: methodological individualism; Hayek; the sensory order; empirical micro-bases; interdisciplinary research in economics
    JEL: B49 B53 A12
    Date: 2007–06–05
  3. By: Bieri, David
    Abstract: Over 100 years since Marx's value theory of labour was first published, the so-called ``transformation problem'' -- deriving prices from values and providing a theory of profits as arising from surplus value -- has inspired the imagination of economists of all shades of intellectual suasion. However, while mainstream economists have by and large come to dismiss the transformation problem as a trivial technical exercise, the issue has recently received renewed attention in Marxian economic theory. This paper provides a broad historical overview of the transformation problem and specifically focuses on similarities and differences of how the transformation problem has been interpreted, why it was put to rest in mainstream economics and how it has regained prominence in Marxian economics.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought; Marxian Economics; Value Theory of Labour
    JEL: B5 B14
    Date: 2007–05–15
  4. By: Klaus Bettina; Klijn Flip (METEOR)
    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: microeconomics ;
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Gaurav Saroliya
    Abstract: The New-Keynesian (NK) business cycle model has presented itself as a potential "workhorse" model for business cycle analysis. This paper seeks to assess afresh the performance of the baseline NK model and its various extensions. The main theme of the paper is that although the dynamic NK literature has secured a robust defence to criticism arising, inter alia, on account of lack of microfoundations, it still has a long way to go in terms of providing a fully satisfactory model of the business cycle. In this regard, it is conjectured that explicitly accounting for the role of heterogeneity in business-cycle dynamics could lead towards a viable solution.
    Date: 2007–07

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