nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒02
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Milton Friedman and U.K. economic policy: 1938-1979 By Edward Nelson
  2. Chaos in Economics and Finance By Dominique Guegan
  3. On Rational Exuberance By Stefano Bosi; Thomas Seegmuller
  4. History-Dependent Individual Behavior, Polarization, and Pareto-Improving Activating Welfare By Peter Funk
  5. A Suggested Method for the Measurement of World-Leading Research (Illustrated with Data on Economics) By Oswald, Andrew J.
  6. Ranking Economic History Journals: A Citation-Based Impact-Adjusted Analysis By Gianfranco Di Vaio; Jacob Weisdorf
  7. Journal rankings in economics: handle with care By Howard J. Wall

  1. By: Edward Nelson
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the interaction of Milton Friedman and U.K. economic policy from 1938 to 1979. The period under study is separated into 1938-1946, 1946-1959, 1959-1970, and 1970-1979. For each of these subperiods, I consider Friedman's observations on and dealings with key events, issues, and personalities in U.K. monetary policy and in general U.K. economic policy.
    Keywords: Friedman, Milton ; Economic policy - Great Britain
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Dominique Guegan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the use of dynamical chaotic systems in Economics and Finance. In these fields, researchers employ different methods from those taken by mathematicians and physicists. We discuss this point. Then, we present statistical tools and problems which are innovative and can be useful in practice to detect the existence of chaotic behavior inside real data sets.
    Keywords: Chaos ; Deterministic dynamical system ; Economics ; Estimation theory ; Finance ; Forecasting
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Stefano Bosi (EQUIPPE - Université de Lille I, EPEE - Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne); Thomas Seegmuller (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: In his seminal contribution, Tirole (1985) shows that an overlapping generations economy may monotonically converges to a steady state with a positive rational bubble, characterized by the dynamically efficient golden rule. The issue we address is whether this monotonic convergence to an efficient long-run equilibrium may fail, while the economy experiences persistent endogenous fluctuations around the golden rule. Our explanation leads on the features of the credit market. We consider a simple overlapping generations model with three assets : money, capital and a pure bubble (bonds). Collateral matters because increasing his portfolio in capital and bubble, the household reduces the share of his consumption paid by cash. From a positive point of view, we show that the bubbly steady state can be locally indeterminate under arbitrarily small credit market imperfections and, thereby, persistent expectation-driven fluctuations of equilibria with (rational) bubbles can arise. From a normative point of view, monetary policies that are not too expansive, are recommended in order to rule out the occurence of sunspot fluctuations and enhance the welfare evaluated at the steady state.
    Keywords: Bubbles, collaterals, indeterminacy, cash-in-advance constraint, overlapping generations.
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Peter Funk
    Abstract: This paper assumes that human capital not only generates market incomes but is a direct source of utility as well. In an otherwise standard framework it is shown that the interaction between human capital and effort in raising human capital and in generating utility naturally leads to history-dependent optimal individual behavior. Depending on the initial distribution of skills, this history-dependence divides each group of otherwise identical households into two perpetually separated groups: one rich and educated, the other poor and uneducated. If the rich have a common interest in the education of the poor (for instance financing public goods), such polarized equilibria are typically Pareto-inefficient. While unconditional transfers only reduce the incentives of the uneducated to accumulate skills, it is shown that there exist activating tax-transfer systems that Pareto-dominate any non-redistributing tax-system and involve a negative marginal income tax on household income below a certain threshold.
    Date: 2009–07–22
  5. By: Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Countries often spend billions on university research. There is growing interest in how to assess whether that money is well spent. Is there an objective way to assess the quality of a nation's world-leading science? I attempt to suggest a method, and illustrate it with modern data on economics. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10%, and the rest of Europe slightly more. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these elite UK articles came from outside the best-known university departments. The proposed methodology could be applied to almost any academic discipline or nation.
    Keywords: Research Excellence Framework (REF), peer-review, United Kingdom, European economics, evaluation, science, citations, Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
    JEL: A1 O38
    Date: 2009–07
  6. By: Gianfranco Di Vaio (Faculty of Economics, Libera Università Internazionale delle Scienze Sociali); Jacob Weisdorf (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This study ranks - for the first time - 12 international academic journals that have economic history as their main topic. The ranking is based on data collected for the year 2007. Journals are ranked using standard citation analysis where we adjust for age, size and self-citation of journals. We also compare the leading economic history journals with the leading journals in economics in order to measure the influence on economics of economic history, and vice versa. With a few exceptions, our results confirm the general idea about what economic history journals are the most influential for economic history, and that, although economic history is quite independent from economics as a whole, knowledge exchange between the two fields is indeed going on.
    Keywords: economic history; journal ranking; citation analysis; scientometrics; impact factor
    JEL: A10 A11 A14 N10
    Date: 2009–06
  7. By: Howard J. Wall
    Abstract: Nearly all journal rankings in economics use some weighted average of citations to calculate a journal's impact. These rankings are often used, formally or informally, to help assess the publication success of individual economists or institutions. Although ranking methods and opinions are legion, scant attention has been paid to the usefulness of any ranking as representative of the many articles published in a journal. First, because the distributions of citations across articles within a journal are seriously skewed, and the skewness differs across journals, the appropriate measure of central tendency is the median rather than the mean. Second, large shares of articles in the highest-ranked journals are cited less frequently than typical articles in much-lower-ranked journals. Finally, a ranking that uses the h-index is very similar to one that uses total citations, making it less than ideal for assessing the typical impact of articles within a journal.
    Keywords: Economics
    Date: 2009

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