nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2008‒05‒31
five papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. In Quest of Truth: The War of Methods in Economics By Pillai N., Vijayamohanan
  2. Knowledge Economics role in explaining growth and innovation By Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
  3. A la recherche des Merit Goods By Elodie Brahic; Valérie Clément; Nathalie Moureau; Marion Vidal
  4. The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified By Dietrich Franz
  5. Is Regional Science a Scientific Discipline? Answers from a Citation Based Social Network Analysis By Gunther Maier; Alexander Kaufmann; Michael Vyborny

  1. By: Pillai N., Vijayamohanan
    Abstract: The present paper discusses the ‘battle of methods’ in economics in its epistemic pursuit in the framework of a dialectics between science and art. The traditional distinction between deduction and induction has come to be characterized as a ‘theory-data confrontation’; while the former a priori approach has flourished in terms of mathematical economics, the inductive approach has fulfilled its mission through econometrics and experimental economics. The paper outlines the recent trends in econometrics and experimental economics in the context of empirical pursuit. We conclude the study, reiterating the contemporary consensus on the complementary roles of the two approaches: a theory-data confluence, not in a static, but in a dialectical framework.
    Keywords: Economic Methodology; Deduction; Induction; Dialectics; Mathematics; Econometrics
    JEL: B23 B16 B00 B41
    Date: 2008–05–25
  2. By: Khumalo, Bhekuzulu
    Abstract: This paper is written to show that there is a definite model that has been developed that explains the role of innovation to economic growth. This paper is based on the theorem that was built up in the paper that I wrote in 2007 entitled “Point X and the Economics of Knowledge”, as well as the so far unpublished papers concerning the long and short term properties of knowledge. This paper shall us the short term properties of knowledge to explain the relationship between growth and Knowledge. Stuart Kauffman of the university of Calgary believes that “Conventional economic theories about growth and the evolution of future wealth may be inadequate. We need a theory and historical examination of the growth of the actual economic web and of whether, in a supracritical economy, a sufficiently high diversity of the web autocatalytically drives its own growth. Furthermore, we need to understand the mutually and collectively cross-enhancing power of complementary technologies, regulatory structure and attraction of consumers in the creation of wealth.” I say this is wrong, the paper “Point X and the Economics of Knowledge”, gives an excellent framework to answer these questions. This paper will delve to be as simple as possible.
    Keywords: Knowledge Economics; growth; innovation; short term knowledge growth; knowl; research
    JEL: A20 C02 D20 O39 O31 A10 D80
    Date: 2008–05–19
  3. By: Elodie Brahic; Valérie Clément; Nathalie Moureau; Marion Vidal
    Abstract: Musgrave’s so-called merit goods, introduced in 1957, intend to deal with the situations where the social weight or concern of a good differs from the information given by individual preferences. Merit goods are often referred to as a case for government intervention in education, health care or biodiversity protection policies…. But the theoretical roots of this concept seem a bit fuzzy and are, at best, very controversial. To put it crudely, what –if anything- can justify that government choices rule out individual choices? The paper tries to answer this question. What role do merit goods play in economic theory? The first part of the paper defines the concept of merit good and emphasizes the theoretical issues at stake. The second part studies in what way the concept of merit good can be compatible with economic theory. We show, in particular, how this concept fits well with the development related to individual decision making theory, known as behavioural economics.
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Dietrich Franz (METEOR)
    Abstract: Condorcet''s famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: (i) whether a premise is justified depends on the notion of probability considered; (ii) none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justified. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
    Keywords: mathematical economics;
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Gunther Maier; Alexander Kaufmann; Michael Vyborny
    Date: 2008

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