nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒09‒02
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. What Was “It” that Robbins Was Defining? By David Colander
  2. The Credit is a Right By Reggiani, Tommaso
  3. Notes(1) on a Thermodynamic Theory of Economics By John Bryant
  4. The Making of a Latin American Global Economist By David Colander; Hugo Nopo Key Words: Latin American economics, global economics, political economy, graduate training, Latin America, applied economics
  5. Book Review to Luigino Bruni -'Reciprocita'- Economic Thought and Reciprocity Theories By Reggiani, Tommaso
  6. Keynesianism, PostKeynesianism and Newkeynesianism: ¿Three different doctrines just one real theory? By León Díaz, John Jairo
  7. The Economics of Citation By Jeong-Yoo Kim; Insik Min; Christian Zimmermann
  8. The Ricardian Model By Alan V. Deardorff
  9. Diversity and Crowd-out: A Theory of Cold-Glow Giving By Daniel M. Hungerman
  10. The Law of the Few By Andrea Galeotti; Sanjeev Goyal

  1. By: David Colander
    Abstract: This paper argues that Robbins’ famous definition of economics was of “economic science” which he saw as only a narrow branch of the field of economics. Moreover, it was descriptive, not prescriptive, and was simply a statement that that was what economists were then doing in the science of economics. His prescriptive message was that policy belonged in the “political economy” branch of economics, and that the science of economics should avoid value judgments, but that political economy should include value judgments. That prescriptive message has been lost.
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Reggiani, Tommaso
    Abstract: This article proposes to analyze Grameen Bank operational system and its own evolution, illustrating the values that support this economics theory and the innovations that microcredit brings to the understanding of economics and banking phenomena.
    Keywords: Microcredit; Grameen Bank; Poverty; Yunus; Ethics in Economics
    JEL: R51 G21
    Date: 2007–06–01
  3. By: John Bryant (Vocat International)
    Abstract: The paper re-visits two points of a paper by the author, published earlier in 2007. Additional analyses are set out first, on the issue of the boundary between products of economic value and flows between them, and second, on the structure of the Cobb Douglas function derived from thermodynamic theory.
    Keywords: Thermodynamics, economics, Le Chatelier, entropy, utility, money, equilibrium, value, energy
    Date: 2007–08
  4. By: David Colander; Hugo Nopo Key Words: Latin American economics, global economics, political economy, graduate training, Latin America, applied economics
    Abstract: This paper provides some background for considering the future of these two traditions by looking at global Latin American graduate economic programs. It reports the findings of a survey of Latin American global economics programs and discusses the debate between global economics and traditional economics, arguing that there is a role for both, with global economics concentrating on the science of economics, and traditional economics concentrating on the applied policy "political economy" branch of economics--which is much broader than the applied policy training that graduate students get in global economics.
    Date: 2007–05
  5. By: Reggiani, Tommaso
    Abstract: "Written with the attempt to tell credible history and possible scenes, in order to anticipate still latent tendencies, or in order to imagine communities and societies more civil, richer than reciprocity, in all its shapes. " (p. xv). From this ambitious premised the author of the issue takes the movements and it invites to us to explore one region of social sciences, until today, inadequately explored: the dimension of the reciprocity between the economic and social agents. - This book review, focused on a historical perspective, describes the debate developed by the history of economic thought regarding theories of reciprocity. -
    Keywords: reciprocity; Luigino Bruni; game theory; cooperation; civil society ; civil economy
    JEL: C70 A12 D70 B21 A13
    Date: 2007–01–01
  6. By: León Díaz, John Jairo
    Abstract: During the seventies, Keynesianism faced the most critical decade. It was characterized by some deep critics to the "General Theory", due to the ausence of strong microfoundations and a overdimensionated importance of demand shocks over the role of supply shock in economic theory. Eighties unleash the beginning of a new authors stream; it has as a main purpose to develop an answer to all those critics made during the past decade. In such way, a new stream named the newkeynesianism had appeared. On the other side, the Postkeynesianism seemed to be far from the critics. It was supossed to be the next step in Keynesianism theory, since its major effort was to provide a framework for the analysis of long run economics, just like a growth theory.
    Keywords: Keynesianismo; Poskeynesianismo; Nuevokeynesianismo
    JEL: B20 B51 B25 B30
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Jeong-Yoo Kim (Kyun Hee University); Insik Min (Kyun Hee University); Christian Zimmermann (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the citation decision of a scientific author. By citing a related work, authors can make their arguments more persuasive. We call this the correlation effect. But if authors cite other work, they may give the impression that they think the cited work is more competent than theirs. We call this the reputation effect. These two effects may be the main sources of citation bias. We empirically show that there exists citation bias in Economics by using data from RePEc. We also report how the citation bias differs across regions (U.S., Europe and Asia).
    Keywords: citation bias, correlation effect, reputation effect, signal, strategy, RePEc
    JEL: D81
    Date: 2007–08
  8. By: Alan V. Deardorff (The University of Michigan)
    Abstract: This essay was written for the Princeton Encyclopedia of the World Economy. The Ricardian Model describes a world in which goods are competitively produced from a single factor of production, labor, using constant-returns-to-scale technologies that differ across countries and goods. With only two goods and two countries, the standard textbook model shows that countries will export the good in which they have comparative advantage. Equilibrium takes two forms, one with both countries completely specialized and gaining from trade, the other with one country producing both goods and neither gaining nor losing from trade. The model is easily extended to more than two goods or more than two countries, but not both. Important extensions have been provided by Dornbusch, Fischer, and Samuelson (1977) to a continuum of goods with two countries, and by Eaton and Kortum (2002) to a continuum of goods with many countries and random technologies.
    Keywords: Ricardian Model, Comparative Advantage
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Daniel M. Hungerman
    Abstract: Research has repeatedly shown that altruism is lower in diverse communities. Can this phenomenon be counteracted by government intervention? To answer this question, this paper introduces diversity to the canonical model of "warm glow" giving. Diversity may have two effects on incentives: it may attenuate individuals' altruistic preferences for public goods, and it may "cool off" the warm glow that individuals get from voluntarism. Either of these effects leads to diverse communities having lower levels of public goods, consistent with prior research. However, these effects have opposite implications for the efficacy of government intervention. I then empirically investigate whether government intervention is more effective in diverse communities. For identification, I exploit the Supreme Court-mandated 1991 expansion of the SSI program. Using a new dataset of United Methodist churches from 1984 to 2000, the results show that the expansion of SSI crowded-out charitable spending by churches. The crowd-out estimate for the average church is reasonably large, but this masks significant differences in crowd-out between communities. Crowd-out occurred almost entirely in relatively homogeneous communities; there is only modest evidence of crowd-out in racially diverse communities. Thus diverse communities, while having the lowest levels of altruism, are in this instance the most amenable to government intervention.
    JEL: H41 I38 J15 Z12
    Date: 2007–08
  10. By: Andrea Galeotti; Sanjeev Goyal
    Abstract: The law of the few refers to the following empirical phenomenon: in social groups a very small subset of individuals invests in collecting information while the rest of the group invests in forming connections with this select few. In many instances, there are no observable differences in characteristics between those who invest in information and those who invest in forming connections. This paper shows that the law of few naturally emerges in environments with identical rational agents. We develop a strategic game in which players have the opportunity to invest in collecting information as well as in investing in bilateral connections with others. We find that every strict equilibrium of this game exhibits the ‘law of the few’. We also show that this pattern of social differentiations is efficient in some cases.
    Date: 2007–08–29

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.