nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. What Behavioural Economics Teaches Personnel Economics By Uschi Backes-Gellner; Donata Bessey; Kerstin Pull; Simone Tuor
  2. Social Norms and Rationality of Choice By Bossert, Walter; Suzumura, Kotaro
  3. Foolishness and Identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith By Caroline Gerschlager
  4. Which development for the 21st century? Reflections on sustainable development\r\n (In French) By Eric BERR (GREThA)
  5. Economic and Religious Choice: A Case-Study from Early Christian Communities By Gotsis, George; Drakopoulos, Stavros A.
  6. Macroeconomics: A Survey of Laboratory Research By John Duffy
  7. Inequality, Happiness and Relative Concerns: What Actually is their Relationship? By Ed Hopkins

  1. By: Uschi Backes-Gellner (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Donata Bessey (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Kerstin Pull (Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen); Simone Tuor (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: In this survey article, we review results from behavioural and experimental economics that have a potential application in the field of personnel economics. While personnel economics started out with a “clean” economic perspective on human resource management (HRM), recently it has broadened its perspective by increasingly taking into account the results from laboratory experiments. Besides having inspired theory-building, the integration of behavioural economics into personnel economics has gone hand in hand with a strengthening of empirical analyses (field experiments and survey data) complementing the findings from the laboratory. Concentrating on employee compensation as one particular field of application, we show that for personnel economics there is indeed much to be learnt from the recent developments in behavioural economics. Moreover, integrating behavioural economics into personnel economics bears the chance of eventually reconciling personnel economics and “classic” HRM analysis that has a long tradition of relying on social psychology as a classical point of reference.
    Keywords: Behavioural Economics, Personnel Economics
    JEL: J3 M52 C9
    Date: 2008–02
  2. By: Bossert, Walter; Suzumura, Kotaro
    Abstract: Ever since Sen (1993) criticized the notion of internal consistency of choice, there exists a wide spread perception that the standard rationalizability approach to the theory of choice has difficulties coping with the existence of external social norms. This paper introduces a concept of norm-conditional rationalizability and shows that external social norms can be accommodated so as to be compatible with norm-conditional rationalizability by means of suitably modified revealed preference axioms in the theory of rational choice on general domains à la Richter (1966;1971) and Hansson (1968)
    JEL: D11 D71
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Caroline Gerschlager (Free University of Brussels, DULBEA, av. F. D. Roosevelt, 50, B-1050 Brussels,)
    Abstract: Drawing on Amartya Sen the paper aims at a better understanding of the motivational foundation of the economic agent by analysing Adam Smith’s insights into the foolishness of human ambitions. It inquires whether there is another side to the pursuit of self-interest in Adam Smith and particularly accentuates his parable of the poor man’s son as a prototypical example. Complementing the standard views of the self and their recent extensions, the present analysis of the parable advances a description of economic identity based on selfreflexivity and conscious change of preferences.
    Keywords: hypertrophic self-love, self-deceit, illusion, change of preference, self-reflexivity.
    JEL: B B21 B D
    Date: 2008–01
  4. By: Eric BERR (GREThA)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper, which synthesizes various researches, is twofold. First, starting from empirical studies, we show that development policies implemented since the beginning of the international debt crisis of 1982 led to a failure, showing that the Washington consensus based approach of development is unsustainable. Thus, from a heterodox perspective, we investigate the theoretical debate aiming at constructing a strong sustainability.
    Keywords: Washington consensus, sustainable development, debt, Keynes, post Keynesians.
    JEL: B31 E12
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Gotsis, George; Drakopoulos, Stavros A.
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to elaborate an evaluative framework of religious choice within the early Christian communities reconstructed through the narrative of a New Testament Epistle, 2Peter, based on an economic approach to moral dilemmas identified in this context. Thus the work concentrates on the stances, attitudes and social practices of deviant members who engaged in free-riding within early Christian congregations and were exposed to serious self-control problems. In our attempt to employ economic theories of religion, we are in a position to better assess the efficiency of early Christian responses to the entry of competing groups in the religious market of this era, as well as to identify and explore the sort of criteria that determine the intertemporal choices of distinct religious actors.
    Keywords: choice and markets; religious consumption; free-riding
    JEL: Z1 D1 B11
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: John Duffy
    Abstract: This chapter surveys laboratory experiments addressing macroeconomic phenomena. The first part focuses on experimental tests of the microfoundations of macroeconomic models discusing laboratory studies of intertemporal consumption/savings decisions, time (in)consistency of preferences and rational expectations. Part two explores coordination problems of interest to macroeconomists and mechanisms for resolving these problems. Part three looks at experiments in specific macroeconomic sectors including monetary economics, labor economics, international economics as well-as large scale, multi-sector models that combine several sectors simultaneously. The final section addresses experimental tests of macroeconomic policy issues.
    JEL: C9 E0
    Date: 2008–02
  7. By: Ed Hopkins
    Date: 2008–02–10

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