nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Intangible assets and national income accounting By Leonard I. Nakamura
  2. 'Misunderestimating' Living Standards By John Schmitt; David Rosnick
  3. Values and Norms Matter – On the Basic Determinants of Long-Run Economic Development By Sang-Min Park; Stefan Voigt
  4. Statistical Fourier Analysis: Clarifications and Interpretations By D.S.G. Pollock
  5. Coral Games and the Core of Cores By James Bono
  6. Letters and Scientific Communities By Metiu, Anca; Fayard, Anne-Laure

  1. By: Leonard I. Nakamura
    Abstract: In this paper I focus on three related and difficult areas of the measurement of national income. I argue that the economic theory underlying measurement of these items is currently controversial and incomplete.
    Keywords: National income
    Date: 2008
  2. By: John Schmitt; David Rosnick
    Abstract: This issue brief finds that a forecast by Oxford Economics suggesting that the United Kingdom’s living standards will exceed those of the U.S. in 2008 is misleading. CEPR found that the forecast relies on a basic misunderstanding of standard methods of comparing international standards of living. Using the appropriate economic method, in 2008, the GDP per capita of the United States will exceed that of the United Kingdom by almost 19 percent.
    Keywords: standard of living, international standards of living
    JEL: O51 O57 O47 J24
    Date: 2008–01
  3. By: Sang-Min Park (MACIE (University of Marburg)); Stefan Voigt (MACIE (University of Marburg), CESifo and Alfried-Krupp Institute for Advanced Studies)
    Abstract: Over the last couple of decades, it has become a commonplace to claim that “institutions matter” for economic development. Yet, institutions are not exogenous but the result of hu-man action. It is argued here that the values and norms held by substantial parts of society’s members are an important determinant of its institutions. It is further argued that values and norms have both a direct and an indirect effect on economic development: the direct effect materializes because the values and norms also contain the work ethic which, if transformed into behavior, should have direct consequences on economic development. The indirect effect is conjectured to work via the relevant institutions: if institutions are important for economic development and institutions are influenced by the values and norms, then this is a more indi-rect channel through which values and norms can display their impact.
    Keywords: Institutions, Values and Norms, Democracy, Rule of Law, Culture, Social Capi-tal, Civil Society, Economic Development, Total Factor Productivity
    JEL: E19 E66 O11 O12 O17 Z13
    Date: 2008
  4. By: D.S.G. Pollock
    Abstract: This paper expounds some of the results of Fourier theory that are essential to the statistical analysis of time series. It employs the algebra of circulant matrices to expose the structure of the discrete Fourier transform and to elucidate the filtering operations that may be applied to finite data sequences. An ideal filter with a gain of unity throughout the pass band and a gain of zero throughout the stop band is commonly regarded as incapable of being realised in finite samples. It is shown here that, to the contrary, such a filter can be realised both in the time domain and in the frequency domain. The algebra of circulant matrices is also helpful in revealing the nature of statistical processes that are band limited in the frequency domain. In order to apply the conventional techniques of autoregressive moving-average modelling, the data generated by such processes must be subjected to antialiasing filtering and sub sampling. These techniques are also described. It is argued that band-limited processes are more prevalent in statistical and econometric time series than is commonly recognised.
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: James Bono
    Abstract: Casual observation reveals that groups of people interact on many levels simultane- ously. Examples include political party formation and interaction; the interaction of ¯rms in research consortia; and labor union and confederation formation. In this paper, a model of hierarchical group structures is developed. The model generalizes the existing coalitional theory in several ways and reveals a new connection between characteristic and partition function theories; that they are both valuable components of an overall theory. The stability concept that emerges is called the core of cores. Several results are presented, including necessary and su±cient conditions for the existence of the core of cores and a theorem that demonstrates the relationship between the cores of each level of the organizational structure and the core of cores. The results establish that stability can arise from any combination of stable and unstable components, and suggest a re-thinking of existing coalitional models, taking into account the e®ect of \nearby" games. The framework developed here has immediate applications to various topics in political econ- omy and industrial organization, such as representative voting and corporate mergers.
    Keywords: The Core, Complexity in Game Theory, Hierarchies of Groups
    JEL: C62 C71 C79 D72
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Metiu, Anca (ESSEC Business School); Fayard, Anne-Laure (Polytechnic Institute of New York University)
    Abstract: We enter the debate about the possibility of collaboration and of rich exchanges among physically distant individuals by offering a literacy perspective on communication to show how the dimensions of writing enable the development of scientific communities. We illustrate this perspective with an analysis of the correspondences of one philosopher and one scientist – Descartes and Emilie du Chatelet, as well as with a description of one of the most prominent communities of scientists and philosophers in Europe, the Republic of Letters. Our findings show that writing is essential for the expression and exchange of ideas, abstractions, complex thoughts, demonstrations, arguments – in sum, for the entire scientific enterprise. We discuss the implications of the literacy perspective and of our findings for the current understanding of online intellectual communities.
    Keywords: Orality and Literacy; Scientific Communities; Online Communities; Letters; Organizational Communication
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2008–10

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