nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2009‒03‒07
four papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. A comparison of the processes of institutionalisation of political economy in Spain and Italy (1860-1900) By F. Javier San Julian Arrupe
  2. Is the Hand of God Involved in Human Cooperation? An Experimental Examination of the Supernatural Punishment Theory By Ahmed, Ali; Salas, Osvaldo
  3. Awareness in Repeated Games By Mengel Friederike; Tsakas Elias; Vostroknutov Alexander
  4. Econometric reduction theory and philosophy By Genaro Sucarrat

  1. By: F. Javier San Julian Arrupe (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The institutionalisation of political economy, this is, the processes through which political economy turned into a scholarly discipline, has become a field of increasing interest in the realm of the history of economic thought. The analysis of the evolution of these processes has been made through the study of the presence and significance of political economy in some key institutions, considered the pillars of the diffusion of economics in Western societies in the second half of the 19th century and first decades of the 20th: universities, economic associations, economic periodical publications and the national parliaments. This paper presents a comparison between the development of the process of institutionalisation of political economy in Spain and Italy, through the study of the presence of political economy in the aforementioned set of institutions in both countries in the period 1860-1900. Its aim is to assess the existence of a common path in the development of this process in both countries. This would be a starting point in order to test the existence of a model of institutionalisation of economics in this period.
    Keywords: parliament, italy, university, economic societies, institutionalisation, economic press, political economy, spain
    JEL: N23 N13 N01 B19
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Ahmed, Ali (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO)); Salas, Osvaldo (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))
    Abstract: This paper examines the supernatural punishment theory. The theory postulates that religion increases cooperation because religious people fear the retributions that may follow if they do not follow the rules and norms provided by the religion. We report results for a public goods experiment conducted in India, Mexico, and Sweden. By asking participants whether they are religious or not, we study whether religiosity has an effect on voluntary cooperation in the public goods game. We found no significant behavioral differences between religious and nonreligious participants in the experiment.
    Keywords: Games; Punishment theory; Experiments; Behavioural Economics; Religion
    JEL: C71 C90 D01
    Date: 2008–03–10
  3. By: Mengel Friederike; Tsakas Elias; Vostroknutov Alexander (METEOR)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a framework to reason about limited awareness of the action space in finitely repeated games. Our framework is rich enough to capture the full strategic aspect of limited awareness in a dynamic setting, taking into account the possibility that agents might want to reveal or conceal actions to their opponent or that they might become "aware of unawareness" upon observing non rationalizable behavior. We show that one can think of these situations as a game with incomplete information, which is fundamentally different, though, from the standard treatment of repeated games with incomplete information. We establish conditions on the "level of mutual awareness" of the action space needed to recover Nash and subgame perfect Nash equilibria from the standard theory with common knowledge. We also show that the set of sustainable payoffs in games with folk theorems does not relate in a monotone way to the "level of mutual awareness".
    Keywords: mathematical economics;
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Genaro Sucarrat
    Abstract: Econometric reduction theory provides a comprehensive probabilistic framework for the analysis and classification of the reductions (simplifications) associated with empirical econometric models. However, the available approaches to econometric reduction theory are unable to satisfactory accommodate a commonplace theory of social reality, namely that the course of history is indeterministic, that history does not repeat itself and that the future depends on the past. Using concepts from philosophy this paper proposes a solution to these shortcomings, which in addition permits new reductions, interpretations and definitions.
    Keywords: Theory of reduction, DGP, Possible worlds, Econometrics and philosophy
    JEL: B40 C50
    Date: 2009–02

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