nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒09‒30
five papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. The Treasury, Britain's post-war reconstruction and the industrial intervention of the Bank of England, 1921-1929 By Valerio Cerretano
  3. Understanding Trust By Sapienza, Paola; Toldra Simats, Anna; Zingales, Luigi
  4. On the Complexity of Rationalizing Behavior By Jose Apesteguia; Miguel A. Ballester
  5. The “Reasonable Man” and other legal standards By Miller, Alan D.

  1. By: Valerio Cerretano
    Abstract: This article describes how the Trade Facilities Act (TFA) and the liquidation of certain government-owned assets spurred the industrial intervention of the Bank of England in the 1920s. What emerges is a much greater role of the Treasury in the Bank of England's industrial intervention than has been hitherto suggested. This essay places the theme of the Bank of England's industrial intervention within the broader discussions about Treasury history and Britain's post-war reconstruction, and refines the argument that the original involvement of the Bank of England with industry merely represented an extension of its pre-war operations of branch banking and its duties as a central bank.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, Ireland)
    Abstract: The h-index is a recent but already quite popular way of measuring research quality and quantity. However, it discounts highly-cited papers. The g-index corrects for this, but it is sensitivity to the number of never-cited papers. Besides, h- or g-index-based rankings have a large number of ties. Therefore, this paper introduces two new indices, and tests their performance for the 100 most prolific economists. A researcher has a t-number (f-number) of t (f) if t (f) is the largest number for which it holds that she has t (f) publications for which the geometric (harmonic) average number of citations is at least t (f). The new indices overcome the shortcomings of the old indices.
    Keywords: rankings
    JEL: A10 Z00
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Sapienza, Paola; Toldra Simats, Anna; Zingales, Luigi
    Abstract: Several papers study the effect of trust by using the answer to the World Values Survey (WVS) question “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?” to measure the level of trust. Glaeser et al. (2000) question the validity of this measure by showing that it is not correlated with senders’ behaviour in the standard trust game, but only with his trustworthiness. By using a large sample of German households, Fehr et al. (2003) find the opposite result: WVS-like measures of trust are correlated with the sender’s behaviour, but not with its trustworthiness. In this paper we resolve this puzzle by recognizing that trust has two components: a belief-based one and a preference based one. While the sender behaviour’s reflects both, we show that WVS-like measures capture mostly the belief-based component, while questions on past trusting behaviour are better at capturing the preference component of trust.
    Keywords: Trust; trust game; trustworthiness
    JEL: G10 G30 Z10
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Jose Apesteguia; Miguel A. Ballester
    Abstract: We study the complexity of rationalizing choice behavior. We do so by analyzing two polar cases, and a number of intermediate ones. In our most structured case, that is where choice behavior is defined in universal choice domains and satisfies the "weak axiom of revealed preference," finding the complete preorder rationalizing choice behavior is a simple matter. In the polar case, where no restriction whatsoever is imposed, either on choice behavior or on choice domain, finding the complete preorders that rationalize behavior turns out to be intractable. We show that the task of finding the rationalizing complete preorders is equivalent to a graph problem. This allows the search for existing algorithms in the graph theory literature, for the rationalization of choice.
    Keywords: Rationalization, Computational complexity, NP-complete, Arbitrary Choice Domains
    JEL: D00
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: Miller, Alan D.
    Date: 2007–09

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