nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2009‒04‒05
eight papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Are conventions solutions ? Contrasting visions of the relationship between convention and uncertainty By Franck Bessis; Guillemette de Larquier; John Latsis
  2. Hayek’s approach to cognitive and social order By Göbel, Jürgen
  3. François Perroux, a precursor of the current analyses of power By René Sandretto
  4. Confidence, Crashes and Animal Spirits By Roger E.A. Farmer
  5. Um lugar, um tempo e um sistema de economia: ensaio interpretativo sobre o surgimento do institucionalismo norte-americano de Thorstein Veblen By Marco Antonio Ribas Cavalieri
  6. Inverting Bernoulli's theorem: the original sin By DE SCHEEMAEKERE, Xavier; SZAFARZ, Ariane
  7. Smith and Rawls Share a Room: Stability and Medians By Bettina Klaus; Flip Klijn
  8. Can A Rational Choice Framework Make Sense of Anorexia Nervosa? By Robert S. Goldfarb; Thomas C. Leonard; Sara Markowitz; Steven Suranovic

  1. By: Franck Bessis; Guillemette de Larquier; John Latsis
    Abstract: This paper maps out different conceptions and dynamic accounts of convention developed within game theory, Post Keynesian economics and the économie des conventions. These accounts are distinguished in terms of the way in which they conceive of uncertainty (as probabilistic or radical).
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Göbel, Jürgen
    Abstract: The human being can be regarded as a product of evolution. She has prevailed in the evolutionary process because of her ability to create and to use knowledge. The creation and the use of knowledge depend on the cognitive and on the social order. Both types of order are interdependent. Hayek sought to analyze the principles of both types of order. In particular, he based his analysis on three research disciplines: Evolutionary Epistemology, Cognitive Psychology, and Systems Theory. In this article, we recapitulate and revise his respective analysis. Hayek’s approach thus appears as particularly sustainable and powerful.
    Keywords: Hayek; cognition; social order
    JEL: D02 B53 D87
    Date: 2009–02–28
  3. By: René Sandretto (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: Despite its important contributions to economic thought, namely in the field of spatial economics and economics of development, François Perroux, one of the most important French economists of the 20st century, remains today poorly appreciated and frequently unrecognized.This paper tends to show how unfair is this deficit of recognition. We underline Perroux' illuminating views on asymmetry, domination and power which can be considered as a prefiguration and - to some extent - as a generalization of works made in this field half a century later, for example the American realist and neo-realist approaches of power (namely the concepts of hard and soft power) or by Susan Strange (with her concept of structural power).
    Keywords: Asymmetry; power; domination; influence; coercion
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Roger E.A. Farmer
    Abstract: This paper argues that the equilibrium business cycle theory which has guided macroeconomics for the past thirty years is flawed. I introduce an alternative paradigm that retains the main message of Keynes' General Theory and which reconciles that message with Walrasian economics. I argue that there are two market failures in the labor market: A lemons problem and an externality. I show how those two problems lead to inefficient equilibria in which the unemployment rate is determined by the self-fulfilling beliefs of stock market participants.
    JEL: E0 E12 E32
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: Marco Antonio Ribas Cavalieri (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper intends to present a particular analysis of Thorstein Veblen’s work. In this fashion, we have identified a central idea that commands his oeuvre: the non-teleologism. In addition, as a another central objective, the study pretends to establish a relationship between this hard core principle and the evolution of the ideological and political dichotomy between conservatism and reformism through United States history. For accomplish that, we use an epistemological justification that stands on the Strong Programme of Sociology of Science arguments. They suggest a relation, in a cause and consequence way, connecting the social context and the structures of scientific theories. Finally, this allows the suggestion of a general meaning for the Thorstein Veblen’s system of institutional economics.
    Keywords: history of economic thought, Thorstein Veblen, American institutionalism, teleology
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: DE SCHEEMAEKERE, Xavier; SZAFARZ, Ariane
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Bettina Klaus (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Flip Klijn (Institute for Economic Analysis (CSIC), Campus UAB, Barcelona, Spain)
    Abstract: We consider one-to-one, one-sided matching (roommate) problems in which agents can either be matched as pairs or remain single. We introduce a so-called bi-choice graph for each pair of stable matchings and characterize its structure. Exploiting this structure we obtain as a corollary the "lone wolf" theorem and a decomposability result. The latter result together with transitivity of blocking leads to an elementary proof of the so-called stable median matching theorem, showing how the often incompatible concepts of stability (represented by the political economist Adam Smith) and fairness (represented by the political philosopher John Rawls) can be reconciled for roommate problems. Finally, we extend our results to two-sided matching problems.
    Keywords: fairness, matching, median, stability.
    JEL: C62 C78
    Date: 2009–02
  8. By: Robert S. Goldfarb; Thomas C. Leonard; Sara Markowitz; Steven Suranovic
    Abstract: Can a rational choice modeling framework help broaden our understanding of anorexia nervosa? This question is interesting because anorexia nervosa is a serious health concern, and because of the following issue: could a rational choice approach shed useful light on a condition which appears to involve "choosing" to be ill? We present a model of weight choice and dieting applicable to anorexia nervosa, and the sometimes-associated purging behavior. We also present empirical evidence about factors possibly contributing to anorexia nervosa. We offer this analysis as a consciousness-raising way of thinking about the condition.
    JEL: D0 I0
    Date: 2009–04

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