nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2007‒11‒17
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. "Nurkse and the Role of Finance in Development Economics" By Jan Kregel
  2. The Adaptation Problem, Evolution and Normative Economics By Mozaffar Qizilbash
  3. Wealth, Well-being and Value(s): A Proposition of Structuring Concepts for a (real) Transdisciplinary Dialogue within Ecological Economics By Ali DOUAI (GREThA)
  4. Manifesto of Dynamic Social Economics By Leonardo Boncinelli
  5. On the Marxian law of the falling rate of profit and Marx-biased technical change By Capaldo Jeronim
  6. What is Behavioural Economics Like? By Lanteri, Alessandro; Carabelli, Anna
  7. How to Get Tenured (in Germany, in Economics) By Michael Graber; Andrey Launov; Klaus Wälde

  1. By: Jan Kregel
    Abstract: Ragnar Nurkse was one the pioneers in development economics. This paper celebrates the hundredth anniversary of his birth with a critical retrospective of his overall contribution to the field, in particular his views on the importance of employment policy in mobilizing domestic resources and the difficulties surrounding the use of external resources to finance development. It also demonstrates the affinity between Nurkse’s theory of mobilizing domestic resources and employer-of-last-resort proposals.
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Mozaffar Qizilbash
    Abstract: Amartya Sen has advanced a number of distinct arguments against utilitarianism and ‘utility’-based views more generally. One of these invokes various ways in which underdogs can ‘adapt’ and learn to live with their situations. Sen’s argument is related to Jon Elster’s discussion of ‘adaptive preferences’ but is distinct in part because Sen cites the need for underdogs to survive. When read in combination with his discussion of Darwinism, Sen’s discussion of adaptation is relevant to recent work in normative economics which is influenced by evolutionary biology. It poses a problem for Richard Layard’s book on happiness, particularly its policy conclusions. It also poses a problem for Ken Binmore’s account of justice because the empathetic preferences in terms of which interpersonal comparisons are made in Binmore’s account are formed through social evolution.
    Keywords: adaptation, preferences, utilitarianism, capability, evolution, happiness Length 21 pages
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Ali DOUAI (GREThA)
    Abstract: This paper provides theoretical tools for discussing some aspects of the nature’s value controversy within Ecological Economics. It is argued that the critical stance of ‘incommensurability of values’ can be reinforced with key insights coming from a political economy of wealth inspired by Ricardo and Marx. Having dismissed any reference to the idea of economic value for non-market goods, it remains to outline the role of notions of utility, welfare and interest for giving a richer model of the human actor in a transdisciplinary perspective.
    Keywords: Ecological Economics, value, political economy, wealth, well-being
    JEL: Q51 Q57 B10 I31
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Leonardo Boncinelli
    Abstract: Numerous contributions in the last decades are based on similar inspiratory principles, which, at least if considered altogether, are highly innovative with respect to the existing tradition in economics. This paper is a perspective and speculative guess aiming at identifying the gist of this ongoing change in economics and at promoting its accomplishment. First, the features characterizing what I argue is a new approach to economic theorizing – labelled “dynamic social economics” – are presented and extensively discussed. Then, given the prominence of some mathematical techniques as general tools of analysis for this kind of models, a synthetic survey of the main relevant results is provided.
    Keywords: evolution; dynamics; social economics; limited cognitive capabilities; perturbed Markov chains
    JEL: B0 D0
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Capaldo Jeronim
    Abstract: Karl Marx was one of the first analysts of capitalism’s trends and problems. Here I offer a formal exposition of his thesis that the rate of profit tends to fall as a consequence of capital accumulation and analyze the most well-known counter-arguments. I then use the framework developed in the text to suggest a particular standpoint from which to look at development policy.
    Date: 2007–11
  6. By: Lanteri, Alessandro; Carabelli, Anna
    Abstract: Behavioural Economics’ milestones, Endowment Effect and Loss Aversion, have been recognized as ‘well documented,’ ‘robust,’ and ‘important’ even by the critics. But well documented, robust, and important what? Are these stylized facts, theoretical constructs, or psychological truths? Do they express genuine preferences or are they judgement mistakes? We discuss the problems with the nature of these claims in the lights of the goals of Behavioural Economics: to improve economics’ realisticness and to be considered mainstream. We argue that, under sensible interpretations of Loss Aversion and Endowment Effect, Behavioural Economics is neither more realistic than, nor part of the mainstream.
    Keywords: Behavioural Economics; Decision-Making; Endowment Effect; Loss Aversion; Uncertainty
    JEL: D81 A12 D8
    Date: 2007–11
  7. By: Michael Graber; Andrey Launov; Klaus Wälde
    Abstract: Getting a tenured position in economics in Germany is viewed as a random outcome where the probability of tenure depends on the quantity and qual- ity of publications, age and years since PhD. We measure publications both in units of Top 5 journals and in units of the European Economic Review (EER). We find that the average age of a professor in the year of his …rst appointment in Germany in the period of 1970 to 2005 is 38. This is ap- proximately 8 years after the PhD. He has 1.5 "standardized" Top 5 papers or 2.2 "standardized" EER papers, i.e. written with one coauthor and of 20 pages length. Results vary across subfields and over time. Someone aiming for a tenured job after 2010 should by then (average over all fields) have 3.3 standardized Top 5 papers or 5 standardized EER papers
    Date: 2007–08

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