nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2008‒06‒27
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. Trygve Haavelmo’s visit in Aarhus 1938-39 By Olav Bjerkholt
  2. Pluralism and Heterodox Economics: Suggestions for an “Inside the Mainstream” Heterodoxy By David Colander
  3. The Talmud On Transitivity By Shlomo Naeh; Uzi Segal
  4. Innovation Studies – the emergence of a new scientific field By Jan Fagerberg; Bart Verspagen
  5. Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment By Tom Coupé; Victor Ginsburgh; Abdul Noury
  6. Theory and Empirical Work on Imperfectly Competitive Markets By Ariel Pakes

  1. By: Olav Bjerkholt (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
    Abstract: Trygve Haavelmo spent the academic year 1938/39 at the University of Aarhus as a teacher in statistics. He would immediately after his Aarhus stay leave for the United States, where he completed The Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944) and later worked at the Cowles Commission before returning to Norway in 1947. The purpose of the paper has been to assess whether Haavelmo in Aarhus was already on a path towards the Probability Approach or, as suggested in the history of econometrics literature, this path did not really open up until Haavelmo came to the U.S.A. and got converted to probability reasoning. The paper gives a survey of Haavelmo’s papers and other work while in Aarhus. The evidence indicates that Haavelmo had adopted probability ideas by the time he was in Aarhus and seemed well prepared to embark on his magnum opus.
    Keywords: Economic history, the probability approach in econometrics
    JEL: B23 B31
    Date: 2007–11–26
  2. By: David Colander
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Shlomo Naeh (Hebrew University); Uzi Segal (Boston College)
    Abstract: Transitivity is a fundamental axiom in Economics that appears in consumer theory, decision under uncertainty, and social choice theory. While the appeal of transitivity is obvious, observed choices sometimes contradict it. This paper shows that treatments of violations of transitivity al- ready appear in the rabbinic literature, starting with the Mishnah and the Talmud (1st–5th c CE). This literature offers several solutions that are similar to those used in the modern economic literature, as well as some other solutions that may be adopted in modern situations. We analyze several examples. One where nontransitive relations are acceptable; one where a violation of transitivity leads to problems with extended choice functions; and a third where a nontransitive cycle is deliberately created (to enhance justice).
    Keywords: transitivity, Talmud
    Date: 2008–06–23
  4. By: Jan Fagerberg (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo); Bart Verspagen (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: The scholarly literature on innovation was for a long time not very voluminous. But as shown in the paper, this is now rapidly changing. New journals, professional associations and organizational units within universities focusing on innovation have also been formed. This paper explores the cognitive and organizational characteristics of this emerging field of social science and considers its prospects and challenges. The research reported in this paper is based on a web-survey in which more than one thousand scholars worldwide took part.
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Tom Coupé (Kyiv School of Economics and Kyiv Economics Institute); Victor Ginsburgh (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain); Abdul Noury (CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: Leading papers in a journal’s issue attract, on average, more citations than those that follow. It is, however, difficult to assess whether they are of better quality (as is often suggested), or whether this happens just because they appear first in an issue. We make use of a natural experiment that was carried out by a journal in which papers are randomly ordered in some issues, while this order is not random in others. We show that leading papers in randomly ordered issues also attract more citations, which casts some doubt on whether, in general, leading papers are of higher quality.
    Date: 2008–06
  6. By: Ariel Pakes
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent methodological developments in the empirical analysis of imperfectly competitive markets highlighting outstanding problems. Some of these problems are econometric; e.g. the need for a deeper understanding of the small sample properties of our estimators. Most of the other problems relate to issues which have been a central part of ongoing research programs in economic theory for some time. We consider ways in which applied work can cope with these problems and, in so doing, also inform theory. The use of estimators based on moment inequalities opens up several possibilities in this regard and a detailed discussion of the assumptions used to rationalize these estimators is provided. An example, the analysis of contracts in buyer-seller networks, is used to highlight these points.
    JEL: C01 C5 C73 L0 L1 L4
    Date: 2008–06

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