nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒09‒24
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. The evolution of markets in early modern Europe, 1350-1800: A study of grain prices By Victoria N. Bateman
  2. Can We Rehabilitate the Guilds? A Sceptical Re-Appraisal By Ogilvie, S.
  3. Pigou's theory of business cycle as an inquiry into unemployment: on the relative effects of the gold standard and the wage rigidity in the twenties By Norikazu TAKAMI
  4. Aggregate Demand and Supply By Roger E. A. Farmer
  5. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the happiest of them all? By Benno Torgler; Nemanja Antica; Uwe Dulleck
  6. Trust and Reciprocity: Implications of Game Triads and Social Contexts By James C. Cox
  7. Preferences For Redistribution and Perception of Fairness: An Experimental Study By Ruben Durante; Louis Putterman
  8. The glue of the economic system: the effect of relational goods on trust and trustworthiness By BECCHETTI LEONARDO; DEGLI ANTONI GIACOMO; FAILLO MARCO; MITTONE LUIGI
  9. Ranking Dutch Economists By Ours, J.C. van; Vermeulen, F.M.P.
  10. Evaluating the Performance of UK Research in Economics By Nicholas Vasilakos; Gauthier Lanot; Tim Worrall

  1. By: Victoria N. Bateman
    Abstract: This paper attempts to establish the trend of market development in Europe in the centuries before the industrial revolution, by applying three different measures of market integration to a compilation of monthly and annual price data. In contrast to much of the existing work, which suggests that markets generally improved during this time, the findings propose that markets were as well integrated in the fifteenth century as in the late eighteenth century. In between these two times, markets are found to have suffered a severe contraction. These results provide a challenge to our current thoughts on economic growth.
    Keywords: Market Integration, Economic Growth, European Economic History, Price Data, Fixed Effects Panel Model
    JEL: F15 N13 O10 O52
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Ogilvie, S.
    Abstract: This paper examines recent attempts to rehabilitate pre-modern craft guilds as efficient economic institutions. Contrary to rehabilitation views, craft guilds adversely affected quality, skills, and innovation. Guild rent-seeking imposed deadweight losses on the economy and generated no demonstrable positive externalities. Industry flourished where guilds decayed. Despite impairing efficiency, guilds persisted because they redistributed resources to powerful groups. The ‘rehabilitation’ view of guilds, it concludes, is theoretically contradictory and empirically untenable. Key words: Institutions; guilds; rent-seeking; monopoly; craft; industry; quality; human capital; training; technology; innovation; economic history; methodology; local studies; case studies.
    JEL: N01 N43 O17 O43 P48
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Norikazu TAKAMI (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: In this paper I examine A. C. Pigou's views on the unemployment policies, based on the premise that, as he himself acknowledged, his theory of business fluctuations was one integral part of his whole thought about unemployment. In his Industrial Fluctuations (1927), Pigou gave the most extensive treatment to the monetary policy among the measures against business fluctuations. There he advocated more prompt and smooth action by the Bank of England in order to effectively stabilize the movement of general prices and the economy as a whole. In order for its action not to be affected by external monetary shocks, he suggested the withdrawal from the gold standard should the public opinion and international diplomatic relations allow it. Pigou, meanwhile, placed much less importance on wage adjustment as a palliative against business cycle. The recent studies direct attention to the fact that Pigou pointed out that after World War I money wages were made rigid by such factors as contemporary institutional changes in labor markets. This picture, however, lacks a more important element of his thought: the monetary cause due to the gold standard on the prewar parity. Putting his indirect remarks on this influence together, I argue that Pigou was well aware of the monetary situation and seemed to place greater importance on the monetary influence than the wage rigidity.
    Keywords: history of economic thought, Pigou, unemployment
    JEL: B13 B31 E24
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Roger E. A. Farmer
    Abstract: This paper is part of a broader project that provides a microfoundation to the General Theory of J.M. Keynes. I call this project 'old Keynesian economics' to distinguish it from new-Keynesian economics, a theory that is based on the idea that to make sense of Keynes we must assume that prices are sticky. I describe a multi-good model in which I interpret the definitions of aggregate demand and supply found in the General Theory through the lens of a search theory of the labor market. I argue that Keynes' aggregate supply curve can be interpreted as the aggregate of a set of first order conditions for the optimal choice of labor and, using this interpretation, I reintroduce a diagram that was central to the textbook teaching of Keynesian economics in the immediate post-war period.
    JEL: E12 E2 E24
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: Benno Torgler; Nemanja Antica; Uwe Dulleck
    Abstract: This paper turns Snow-White’s magic mirror onto recent economics Nobel Prize winners, top economists and happiness researchers, and through the eyes of the “man in the street” seeks to determine who the happiest academic is. The study not only provides a clear answer to this question but also unveils who is the ladies’ man and who is the sweetheart of the aged. It also explores the extent to which information matters and whether individuals’ self-reported happiness affects their perceptions about the happiness of these superstars in economics.
    Keywords: happiness; subjective well-being; perceptions; superstars; economists
    JEL: A11 D10 I31
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: James C. Cox
    Abstract: null
    Date: 2007–09
  7. By: Ruben Durante; Louis Putterman
    Date: 2007
    Abstract: The role of “relational goods” is almost unexplored in the literature, yet our experimental results document that, even in their weakest form (opportunity of meeting an unknown player at the end of an experimental game), they significantly affect important “lubricants” of economic activity such as trust and trustworthiness and generate significant departures from the standard Nash equilibrium outcome in trust (investment) games. Our findings do not reject the hypothesis that relational goods are an important “source of energy” in economic interactions and that the study of this “neglected particle” of socioeconomic life may produce significant advancements on both positive and normative economics.
    Date: 2007–09
  9. By: Ours, J.C. van; Vermeulen, F.M.P. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper ranks Dutch economists using information about publications and citations. Rankings involve the aggregation of several performance dimensions. Instead of using a cardinal approach, where each dimension is weighted based on impact factors of journals for example, we use an ordinal approach which accounts for quality differences between journals and also takes citations into account. We find that this ordinal approach is more robust. Based on the ordinal ranking of publications and citations we find that Peter Wakker is the most productive economist, followed by Michel Wedel. The third place in the ranking is ex aequo for Philip-Hans Franses and Florencio Lopez de Silanes. Adding-up the individual output we find that the economists of Erasmus University Rotterdam are the most productive, followed ex aequo by Tilburg University and Free University Amsterdam.
    Keywords: Productivity of economists;ranking
    JEL: A11 J24
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Nicholas Vasilakos (Economics, Keele University); Gauthier Lanot (Keele University, Department of Economics); Tim Worrall (Economics, Keele University)
    Abstract: This paper reports on available bibliometric evidence on the performance of UK research in economics. It examines some standard and non-standard sources of bibliometric evidence and in particular evidence from the ISI and EconLit databases and the Repository of Papers in Economics (RePEc). It also reports on research capacity of UK economics and some non-bibliometric sources of evidence.
    Keywords: Research evaluation, bibliometrics.
    JEL: A10 I23
    Date: 2007–07

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