nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2008‒10‒07
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Chicago

  1. The age of Professor Narmadeshwar Jha By Mishra, SK
  2. How can a psychologist inform economics? The strange case of Sidney Siegel By Alessandro Innocenti
  3. Lectures : L'homme économique - Essai sur les racines du néolibéralisme, de Ch. Laval By Ingrid France
  4. Reversal of Opinion: The Implications of the Work of Acemoglu and Robinson for Marxist Thought By Howard Petith
  5. Au-delà de la dichotomie marché-société : l’institutionnalisme de Douglass C. North By Claude Didry; Caroline Vincensini
  6. Social status in economic theory: a review By Tom Truyts
  7. Nash Equilibrium and Dynamics By Sergiu Hart
  8. Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality? By Bruno S. Frey; Katja Rost
  9. Ethics and decision making in publishing journal: Issues to be taken into account By Safa, Mohammad Samaun
  10. How do economists differ from others in distributive situations? By Astri Drange Hole

  1. By: Mishra, SK
    Abstract: Professor Narmadeshwar Jha was a noted scholar on History of Economic Thought that took its shape under the influence of Alfred Marshall. His widely referred book - The Age of Marshall: Aspects of British Economic Thought, 1890-1915 – was written under the supervision of Professor A.J. Brown of Leeds (UK) and published with a commendatory foreword written by Sir Dennis H. Robertson. Professor Jha devised a methodology to conduct research in the history of economic ideas. This brief paper presents Professor Jha as a teacher, economist and scholar.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought; Bhagalpur University; Bihar; India; Alfred Marshall; Institutional Economics; Will to economize; Rabindranath Tagore; Dennis H. Robertson; A. J. Brown; University of Leeds (UK)
    JEL: B31 A23 B13 B32
    Date: 2008–09–28
  2. By: Alessandro Innocenti
    Abstract: Before Kahneman and Tversky showed how behavioural economics could bring psychology and economics into a unified framework, in the 1950s a social psychologist, Sidney Siegel, entered the realm of economics and laid the foundation of experimental economics. This paper gives an assessment of Siegel’s overall contribution and claims that Siegel was not only a pioneer of experimental economics but also of behavioural economics. Had his view on the integration of psychology and economics been more promptly received, it might have triggered a different and more successfully path to the injection of greater realism in economics. When Siegel died, his approach to integrate psychology and economics lost its main advocate. Although his legacy was paramount in the work of the Nobel Prize Vernon Smith, Siegel endorsed a quite different approach to how make interdisciplinary research effective.
    Keywords: economics, psychology, behavioural economics, bargaining theory, utility theory.
    JEL: B20 B30 C70
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Ingrid France (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Économie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - CNRS : UMR5252 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II)
    Abstract: Cet article est une note de lecture de l'ouvrage de Christian Laval "L'homme économique. Essai sur les racines du néolibéralisme", paru chez Gallimard en 2007 traitant de l'avènement de l'homme économique par une archéologie de la pensée qui constitue le socle du néo-libéralisme.
    Keywords: théorie économique ; libéralisme ; pensée économique
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Howard Petith
    Abstract: This paper describes the implications for Marxist thought of the work of Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. In the first two periods of this they explained how the rise of democracy brought prosperity to Europe  and why the same process had not worked in Latin America because of the possibility of coups. The implication is that mass poverty can better be alleviated by safeguarding democracy rather than moving to socialism. In the last period A and R have formalized doubts about the efficacy of democracy in this role. The implication here is that Marxists should work to find a system of government that is immune to elite dominance. Hugo Chávez is taken as an example.
    Keywords: Marx, democracy, revolution, participatory democracy
    JEL: B14 B51 D72 D74 O15 P16
    Date: 2008–08–01
  5. By: Claude Didry (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis - Université de Paris X - Nanterre - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan); Caroline Vincensini (IDHE - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie - CNRS : UMR8533 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis - Université de Paris X - Nanterre - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan)
    Abstract: En proposant une analyse des institutions comme règles du jeu, D. North est conduit à identifier une présence des institutions dans l’ensemble des activités économiques. Sa démarche s’inscrit à première vue dans le large ensemble que constitue le « nouvel institutionnalisme », mais elle s’en démarque par la remise en cause de la coupure entre marché et non marchand sur laquelle reposent les analyses de la nouvelle économie institutionnelle d’O. Williamson et de la sociologie économique. Dans la perspective de D. North, les institutions ne peuvent en aucun cas être assimilées aux organisations. De plus, la présence des institutions à titre de « structures d’incitation » dans les motifs des agents confère aux normes formelles une place que les analyses fondées sur l’ « encastrement » leur dénient. Pour dégager la portée des analyses de D. North, nous reviendrons en premier lieu sur la coupure radicale entre marché et structures sociales que pose K. Polanyi. Nous envisagerons ensuite deux formes d’intégration des dimensions non marchandes de l’économie dans une analyse d’ensemble, l’économie des organisations d’O. Williamson et l’hypothèse de l’encastrement avancée par M. Granovetter, tout en montrant que la prise en compte de ces dimensions maintient la dichotomie entre marchand et non marchand. Enfin, nous envisagerons comment les travaux de D. North conduisent à sortir de cette dichotomie pour poser les bases d’une explication historique de l’économie à partir des institutions.
    Keywords: nouvel institutionnalisme, institution, marché, économie, encastrement, D. North, K. Polanyi, O. Williamson, M. Granovetter
    Date: 2008–09–22
  6. By: Tom Truyts
    Abstract: Social distinction or status is an important motivation of human behaviour. This paper provides a selective survey of recent advances in the economic analysis of the origins and consequences of social status. First, a selection of empirical research from a variety of scientific disciplines is discussed to underpin the further theoretical analysis. I then consider the origins and determinants of tastes for status, discuss the endogenous derivation of such a preferences for relative standing and assess the different formalisations these preferences. Subsequently, the consequences of preferences for status are studied for a variety of problems and settings. The last section discusses a number of implications of status concerns for normative economics and public policy.
    Date: 2008–08
  7. By: Sergiu Hart
    Abstract: John F. Nash, Jr., submitted his Ph.D. dissertation entitled Non-Cooperative Games to Princeton University in 1950. Read it 58 years later, and you will find the germs of various later developments in game theory. Some of these are presented below, followed by a discussion concerning dynamic aspects of equilibrium.
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: Bruno S. Frey; Katja Rost
    Abstract: Publication and citation rankings have become major indicators of the scientific worth of universities and countries, and determine to a large extent the career of individual scholars. We argue that such rankings do not effectively measure research quality, which should be the essence of evaluation. For that reason, an alternative ranking is developed as a quality indicator, based on membership on academic editorial boards of professional journals. It turns out that especially the ranking of individual scholars is far from objective. The results differ markedly, depending on whether research quantity or research quality is considered. Even quantity rankings are not objective; two citation rankings, based on different samples, produce entirely different results. It follows that any career decisions based on rankings are dominated by chance and do not reflect research quality. Instead of propagating a ranking based on board membership as the gold standard, we suggest that committees make use of this quality indicator to find members who, in turn, evaluate the research quality of individual scholars.
    Keywords: Rankings; Universities; Scholars; Publications; Citations
    JEL: H43 L15 O38
    Date: 2008–09
  9. By: Safa, Mohammad Samaun
    Abstract: One of the most prioritized questions of publishing a new journal in the almost similar fields covered by many other journals warrants certainly some clarification which needs to be addressed in the inaugural issue. A very straight response to this query is promoting business and management science in the country as well as in the region. The unique aim of IJBMR is to focus on quantitative aspects of business and management research. IJBMR has envisioned a future for IJBMR to surrogate the research works that centre around business and management problems of this century with a quantitative view. In this editorial ethical issues in publishing journal articles has been discussed from the perspective of editor, author and reviewer. For decision making in journal publication a new method has been proposed which is known as the SAFA system. the SAFA stands for the "Standardized Acceptance Factor Average". The SAFA of the articles included in this issue are also analyzed.
    Keywords: Standardized Acceptance Factor Average; the SAFA system; IJBMR; ethics; PR-PR dilemma; Texoplagiarism
    JEL: Y2
    Date: 2008–07–15
  10. By: Astri Drange Hole
    Abstract: There are mainly two conjectures on why economists may behave differently than others in distributive situations: the selection hypothesis and the learning hypothesis. In this paper the “Are economists different?” question is addressed. Potential differences in three dimensions are studied: the weight people attach to fairness considerations, the prevalence of fairness ideals, and how people react to communication about fairness. A dictatorship game experiment with a production phase and a communication phase is run with first-year economics and engineering students. This experimental design is particularly suited for examining differences in all three dimensions. To the best of the author’s knowledge, no previous experimental study has been able to address this question as comprehensively as the current analysis.
    Keywords: experiment
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2008–09

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