nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2009‒09‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Moral Judgments in Social Dilemmas: How Bad is Free Riding? By Robin Cubitt; Michalis Drouvelis; Simon Gaechter; Ruslan Kabalin
  2. Moralische Gefühle als Grundlage einer wohlstandschaffenden Wettbewerbsordnung: ein neuer Ansatz zur Erforschung von Sozialkapital und seine Anwendung auf China By Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
  3. Revisiting the unemployment controversy: Pigou's viewpoint By Norikazu Takami
  4. Increasing returns By Krugman, Paul
  5. A Neo-Schumpeterian Approach towards Public Sector Economics By Horst Hanusch; Andreas Pyka; Florian Wackermann
  6. A Theory of Minsky Super-Cycles and Financial Crises By Thomas I. Palley
  7. Reshaping the international monetary architecture : lessons from Keynes'plan By Piffaretti, Nadia F.
  8. Game Harmony: A Behavioral Approach to Predicting Cooperation in Games By Daniel John Zizzo; Jonathan H.W. Tan
  9. New routines, growing interference and operational efficiency gains: the influence of Czar Peter the Great's economic policy on Dutch maritime shipping with Russia, 1709-1724 By Scheltjens, Werner
  10. Economistas liberales y cuestión femenina. El singular discurso de la domesticidad de la escuela economista española (1861-1909) By Susana Martínez Rodríguez
  11. Liberal Principles for Social Welfare Relations in Infinitely-Lived Societies By Michele Lombardi; Roberto Veneziani
  12. Learning backward induction: a neural network agent approach By Leonidas, Spiliopoulos

  1. By: Robin Cubitt (University of Nottingham); Michalis Drouvelis (University of York); Simon Gaechter (University of Nottingham); Ruslan Kabalin (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: In the last thirty years economists and other social scientists investigated people’s normative views on principles of distributive justice. Here we study people’s normative views in social dilemmas, which underlie many situations of economic and social significance. Using insights from moral philosophy and psychology we provide an analysis of the morality of free riding. We use experimental survey methods to investigate people’s moral judgments empirically. We vary others’ contributions, the framing (“give-some” vs. “take-some”) and whether contributions are simultaneous or sequential. We find that moral judgments depend strongly on others’ behaviour; and that failing to give is condemned more strongly than withdrawing all support.
    Keywords: moral judgments, framing effects, public goods experiments, free riding
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten
    Abstract: In his comprehensive critique of current economic approaches to social capital, Durlauf (2002) recommends a stronger reliance on methods of experimental economics and social psychology. This paper surveys different notions of social capital and submits an alternative conceptual approach based on the economics of identity (Akerlof and Kranton 2000), which is supplemented by recent interdisciplinary insights into the role of emotions in coordinating human interactions. I claim that this perspective goes back to Adam Smith and his Theory of Moral Sentiments. A new definition of social capital is proposed that puts shared framed emotions into the central place. I apply this new approach on China, especially with reference to the notion of guanxi (networks).
    Keywords: Social capital,Adam Smith,economics of identity,shared framed emotions,China
    JEL: A12
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Norikazu Takami (the Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University and Suntory Foundation Torii Fellow)
    Abstract: This paper examines the unemployment controversy between J. M. Keynes and A. C. Pigou, mainly from the latter's viewpoint. In this controversy, although he eventually conceded de- feat, Pigou attempted to prove that money wage cuts were effective on employment regardless of the level of interest rate. His defeat in the controversy was not due to the inconsistency in his perspective, but rather due to his inability to theorize a relevant notion, \forced anti- levies" as expounded in Industrial Fluctuations (1927). The \Pigou effect" devised later in 1943 could be considered as theorization of forced anti-levies. This allowed Pigou to formally demonstrate that money wage cuts were effective in increasing employment regardless of the level of interest rate. Thus, we conclude that the unemployment controversy was gainful at least to Pigou, resulting in the formulation of the notion originated in Industrial Fluctuations.
    Keywords: Pigou, unemployment, macroeconomics, Pigou effect, Keynes
    JEL: B22 B31 E24
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Krugman, Paul (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Paul Krugman delivered his Prize Lecture on 8 December 2008 at Aula Magna, Stockholm University. He was introduced by Professor Bertil Holmlund, Chairman of the Economics Prize Committee.
    Keywords: Trade; Geography
    JEL: F10
    Date: 2008–12–08
  5. By: Horst Hanusch (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics); Andreas Pyka (University of Hohenheim, Department of Economics); Florian Wackermann (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Innovation is the major driver of economic growth and development. To analyze innovation processes the restriction of a framework suited to the analysis of innovation towards the industrial sphere of an economy is not sufficient because of the important co-evolutionary dimensions of innovation. Instead, a comprehensive economic theoretical approach is needed which encompasses all spheres of economic life. This paper is filling this gap by introducing Comprehensive Neo-Schumpeterian Economics and the Neo-Schumpeterian approach towards public sector economics.
    Keywords: innovation, uncertainty, public sector, co-evolution
    JEL: B52 H11 L2 O20 P0
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Thomas I. Palley (Economics for Democratic & Open Societies, Washington DC)
    Abstract: This paper argues that Hyman Minsky's financial instability hypothesis weaves together a medium term Keynesian approach to the business cycles in the spirit of Samuelson (1936) and Hicks (1950) with long cycle thinking of economists such as Schumpeter (1939) and Kondratieff. Post Keynesians have devoted considerable attention to the medium term dimension of Minsky's thinking. The current paper concentrates on the long swing dimension and introduces the idea of "Minsky super-cycles." It is the supercycle that ultimately permits financial crisis. Whereas financially driven business cycles occur every decade, financial crises occur over longer durations reflecting the longer phase of the super-cycle.
    Keywords: Minsky, business cycles, financial instability hypothesis
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Piffaretti, Nadia F.
    Abstract: As the global economy undergoes profound changes, it is becoming apparent that the so-called"Revived Bretton Woods System"has increased the overall vulnerability of the global financial architecture. Therefore, it is worth revisiting the origins of the Bretton Woods conference, and pointing out the relevance for today’s framework of Keynes’ original 1942 plan for an International Clearing Union. This note explores the main characteristics of Keynes'original plan, by revisiting his original writings between 1940 and 1944, and outlining its relevance to the current debate on the international financial architecture. The note suggests that reforms of the international financial architecture should include anchoring the international monetary system on sounder institutional ground.
    Keywords: Currencies and Exchange Rates,Debt Markets,Banks&Banking Reform,Emerging Markets,Access to Finance
    Date: 2009–08–01
  8. By: Daniel John Zizzo (University of East Anglia, School of Economics, Norwich, UK); Jonathan H.W. Tan (Nottingham University Business School, UK)
    Abstract: Game harmony describes how harmonious (non-conflictual) or disharmonious (conflictual) the interests of players are in a game, as embodied in the game? raw payoffs. It departs from the traditional game-theoretic approach in that it is a non equilibrium behavioral approach which can be psychologically founded. We experimentally test the predictive power of basic game harmony measures on a variety of well-known 2×2 games and randomly-generated 2×2 and 3×3 generic games. Our findings support its all rounded predictive power. Game harmony provides an alternative tool that is both powerful and parsimonious, as it does not require information on a subject? degree of rationality, social preferences, beliefs and perceptions are required.
    Keywords: games, game harmony, cooperation, behavioral economics.
    Date: 2009–07–13
  9. By: Scheltjens, Werner
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to analyze how the Dutch shipping and trade system reacted to the profound changes that occurred in Dutch-Russian trade relations in the first two decades of the eighteenth century. It will be substantiated that the changes that occurred had complex underlying causes: it is in fact the combination of far-reaching protectionist measures aimed at the polarization of St. Petersburg, changes in product demand in the Netherlands and the weakened position of Dutch maritime shipping as opposed to its direct competitors (primarily English shipping). In this paper, the primary focus will be on the effects of the polarization of St. Petersburg. It will be argued that Czar Peter the Great's foreign and domestic economic policies led to the emergence of new routines, the abandonment of the traditional Archangel route, growing interference between nearby destinations in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and operational efficiency gains in goods transportation to and from Russia. The paper challenges the traditional view of maritime shipping as a spin-off effect of trade and embraces a more comprehensive analytical point of view that has its foundations in evolutionary economic theory.
    Keywords: maritime shipping, Peter the Great, operational strategies
    JEL: N7
    Date: 2009–06–14
  10. By: Susana Martínez Rodríguez (Unidad de Historia Económica – Dpto. de Economía e Historia Económica ; Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The texts by the Spanish Economist School (second half of the 19th century) –so called liberals- valued the role of women in the economy and the society in a way which strongly confronted the prevailing discourse that defended a unique and exclusive role for all women: housewife and mother. Most members of the Spanish liberal economic trend defended female work in the factories, arguing in terms of wages; they even asked for professional training for illiterate women (who in many cases could not even write and read for the fact of being a woman). The texts of those economists provided new ideas about the economic and social role of women in a Spain dominated by a discourse that denied the need for female work even for poor working class families
    Keywords: discourse of the domesticity, role of women in the contemporary societies, Spanish Economists School, Spain, 19th century
    JEL: B54 B29 Z19
    Date: 2009–09
  11. By: Michele Lombardi (University of Surrey); Roberto Veneziani (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper extends the analysis of liberal principles in social choice recently proposed by Mariotti and Veneziani (2009a) to infinitely-lived societies. First, a novel characterisation of the inegalitarian leximax social welfare relation is provided based on the Individual Benefit Principle, which incorporates a liberal, non-interfering view of society. This result is surprising because the IBP has no obvious inegalitarian content. Second, it is shown that there exists no weakly complete social welfare relation that satisfies simultaneously the standard axioms of Finite Anonymity, Strong Pareto, and Weak Preference Continuity, and a liberal principle of Non-Interference that generalises IBP.
    Keywords: Infinite utility streams, Individual Benefit Principle, Leximax, Non-Interference, Impossibility.
    JEL: D63 D70 Q01
    Date: 2009–09
  12. By: Leonidas, Spiliopoulos
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of whether neural networks (NNs), a realistic cognitive model of human information processing, can learn to backward induce in a two-stage game with a unique subgame-perfect Nash equilibrium. The NNs were found to predict the Nash equilibrium approximately 70% of the time in new games. Similarly to humans, the neural network agents are also found to suffer from subgame and truncation inconsistency, supporting the contention that they are appropriate models of general learning in humans. The agents were found to behave in a bounded rational manner as a result of the endogenous emergence of decision heuristics. In particular a very simple heuristic socialmax, that chooses the cell with the highest social payoff explains their behavior approximately 60% of the time, whereas the ownmax heuristic that simply chooses the cell with the maximum payoff for that agent fares worse explaining behavior roughly 38%, albeit still significantly better than chance. These two heuristics were found to be ecologically valid for the backward induction problem as they predicted the Nash equilibrium in 67% and 50% of the games respectively. Compared to various standard classification algorithms, the NNs were found to be only slightly more accurate than standard discriminant analyses. However, the latter do not model the dynamic learning process and have an ad hoc postulated functional form. In contrast, a NN agent’s behavior evolves with experience and is capable of taking on any functional form according to the universal approximation theorem.
    Keywords: Agent based computational economics; Backward induction; Learning models; Behavioral game theory; Simulations; Complex adaptive systems; Artificial intelligence; Neural networks
    JEL: C45 C7 C73
    Date: 2009–09–12

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