nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2009‒12‒11
eight papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Chaos in Economics and Finance By Dominique Guegan
  2. Welfare Creation and Destruction in a Schumpeterian World By Christian Schubert
  3. Recognition and political theory: Paradoxes and conceptual challenges of the politics of recognition By Tanja Hitzel-Cassagnes; Rainer Schmalz -Bruns
  4. Pleasure and belief in Hume's decision process By Marc-Arthur Diaye; André Lapidus
  5. Mathematization of risks and economic studies in global change modelling By Nicolas Bouleau
  6. Some Considerations Regarding the Problem of Multidimensional Utility By Martin Binder
  7. The Global Financial Crisis And After: A New Capitalism? By Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser
  8. Common reason to believe and framing effect in the team reasoning theory: an experimental approach By Leonardo Becchetti; Giacomo Degli Antoni; Marco Faillo

  1. 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
  2. By: Christian Schubert
    Abstract: Economic change, while creating innovation and growth, at the same time generates "gales of creative destruction". It is still largely unclear what this concept implies for the task of assessing welfare (and, correspondingly, the need for and scope of policy-making) in a novelty-generating, knowledge-based economy. By examining Joseph Schumpeter's explicit and implicit reasoning on welfare and linking his thoughts to recent ideas, within normative economics, about how to redefine "well-being" when preferences are variable and inconsistent, we argue that in an evolving economy, well-being should not be conceptualized in static preference-satisfaction terms, but rather in partly procedural terms of "effective preference learning".
    Keywords: Welfare Economics, Endogenous Preferences, Joseph Schumpeter, Creative Destruction Length 36 pages
    JEL: B25 D63
    Date: 2009–11
  3. By: Tanja Hitzel-Cassagnes; Rainer Schmalz -Bruns
    Abstract: Both in moral philosophy more generally and in political philosophy and theory (including constitutional theory) more specifically we have been witnessing a paradigmatic challenge of the conceptual foundations of moral constructivism and political liberalism. Although building on rather different sources such as the ethics of authenticity and difference, or on socio-philosophical inspirations derived from a critical interest in the pathologies of modern forms of life, approaches based on recognition theory seem to share a basic (Hegelian) conviction that morality and justice must be seen as anchored not in practical reason as such, but in a much broader web of normative concerns and orientations shaping an ethical form of life. Seen in this light, recognition presents itself as a theoretical alternative to political justice which acquires priority over justice, and in political terms promises to establish a new kind of balance between self-fulfilment, self-realisation, and self-determination. Accordingly, political liberalism is challenged as being too constrained as to handle the many faces of injustice and the multiple forms of oppression, exploitation and alienation; as such it seems too restrictive in order to do justice to all those concerned, be it within existing constitutional orders of ‘res publica’ or as a hypothetical idea of realising Kant’s ‘societas generis humani’ within the framework of a word-constitution. While acknowledging that recognition theory tries to capture the fact that self-realisation is not only a matter of justice, but that justice is a matter of self-realisation in the sense that we are asked to look for remedies of all sorts of failed or oppressed forms of self-realisation, we confront the question whether recognition theory allows for a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate claims to recognition – i.e., if it may also provide us with a normatively convincing account of self-limiting mechanisms that are built into the social, political or psychological dynamics of self-realisation.
    Keywords: constitution building; diversity/homogeneity; identity; legitimacy; normative political theory
    Date: 2009–11–15
  4. By: Marc-Arthur Diaye (Centre d'Etude de l'Emploi - Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne); André Lapidus (PHARE - Pôle d'Histoire de l'Analyse et des Représentations Economiques - CNRS : FRE2541 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I - Université de Paris X - Nanterre)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to introduce explicitly pleasure and belief in what aims at being a Humean theory of decision, like the one developed in Diaye and Lapidus (2005a). Although we support the idea that Hume was in some way – evidently different from Bentham's or Jevons' way – a hedonist, we lay emphasis less on continuity than on the specific kind of hedonism encountered in Hume's writings (chiefly the Treatise, the second Enquiry, the Dissertation, or some of his Essays). Such hedonism clearly contrasts to its standard modern inheritance, expressed by the relation between preferences and utility. The reason for such a difference with the usual approach lies in the mental process that Hume puts to the fore in order to explain the way pleasure determines desires and volition. Whereas pleasure is primarily, in Hume's words, an impression of sensation, it takes place in the birth of passions as reflecting an idea of pleasure, whose “force and vivacity” is precisely a “belief”, transferred to the direct passions of desire or volition which come immediately before action. As a result, from a Humean point of view, “belief” deals as well with decision under risk or uncertainty, as with intertemporal decision and indiscrimination problems. The latter are explored within a formal framework, and it is shown that the relation of pleasure is transformed by belief into a relation of desire, which belongs to a non-empty class of relations, among which at least one is a preorder.
    Keywords: Hume, decision, pleasure, belief, passion, desire, preference, rationality, discrimination, will, choice
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Nicolas Bouleau (CERMICS - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Mathématiques, Informatique et Calcul Scientifique - INRIA - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, CIRED - Centre international de recherche sur l'environnement et le développement - CIRAD : UMR56 - CNRS : UMR8568 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées - Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural des Eaux et Forêts)
    Abstract: With respect to the climate change, and more generally to the energy problem, in the laboratories working on the subject, scientists contribute to clarify the situation and to help decision makers by yielding and updating factual physical informations, and also by modelling. This conceptual work is mainly done in the language of economics. This discipline, which appears therefore in the core of the reflecting process in action at present, is however rather peculiar is the sense that it uses mathematics in order to think social phenomena. It is on this methodological configuration that we hold a philosophical enquiry. Our analysis focuses on risks, incertitude and on the role of mathematics to represent them. It concludes on the importance of a certain type of modelization, investigation modelling, which reveals new significations. This study attempts to enlighten some part of the limit between mathematized knowledge, as economics, and interpretative meaning used in every day life and social and human sciences
    Keywords: risk; probability distribution; heavy tail; finance : value at risk; coherent measure of risk; boundary at risk; interpretation; meaning; investigation modelling
    Date: 2009–11–25
  6. By: Martin Binder (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group, Jena)
    Abstract: The concept of 'utility' is often used in ambiguous ways in economics, from having substantive psychological connotations to being a formal placeholder representing a person's preferences. In the accounts of the early utilitarians, it was a multidimensional measure that has been condensed during the marginalist revolution into the unidimensional measure we know today. But can we compare different pleasures? This paper assesses the evidence from psychology and neurosciences on how to best conceive of utility. It turns out that empirical evidence does not favor a view of multidimensional utility. This does not eliminate the possibility to make a normative argument supporting a multidimensional notion of utility.
    Keywords: utility, pleasures, neuroeconomics, multidimensionality of utility
    JEL: D87 B41 B12
    Date: 2009–12–08
  7. By: Pereira, Luiz Carlos Bresser
    Abstract: The 2008 global financial crisis was the consequence of the process offinancialization, or the creation of massive fictitious financial wealth, that began in the1980s, and of the hegemony of a reactionary ideology, namely, neoliberalism, based on selfregulatedand efficient markets. Although capitalism is intrinsically unstable, the lessonsfrom the stock-market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s weretransformed into theories and institutions or regulations that led to the “30 glorious years ofcapitalism” (1948–77) and that could have avoided a financial crisis as profound as thepresent one. It did not because a coalition of rentiers and “financists” achieved hegemonyand, while deregulating the existing financial operations, refused to regulate the financialinnovations that made these markets even more risky. Neoclassical economics played therole of a meta-ideology as it legitimized, mathematically and “scientifically”, neoliberalideology and deregulation. From this crisis a new capitalism will emerge, though itscharacter is difficult to predict. It will not be financialized but the tendencies present in the30 glorious years toward global and knowledge-based capitalism, where professionals willhave more say than rentier capitalists, as well as the tendency to improve democracy bymaking it more social and participative, will be resumed.
    Date: 2009–12–04
  8. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Giacomo Degli Antoni (EconomEtica); Marco Faillo (University of Trento - Faculty of Economics)
    Abstract: The present paper is aimed at empirically verifying the role of the “common reason to believe” (Sugden 2003) and of framing (Bacharach 1999 and 2006) within the theory of team reasoning. The analysis draws on data collected trough a Traveler’s Dilemma experiment. To study the role of the common reason to believe, players’ belief in their counterpart’s choice are elicited and the correlation between the endorsement of team reasoning and beliefs is considered. With respect to the idea of frame proposed by Bacharach, we study the effect of the reduction of social distance on the probability that the “we-frame” comes to players’ mind. Social distance is decreased by introducing a meeting between the two players after the game. It is shown that the common reason to believe appropriately explains the internal logic of team reasoning and that the reduction of social distance makes the “we-frame” more likely.
    Keywords: Team Reasoning, Common Reason to Believe, Framing, Traveler’s Dilemma; Social Distance
    JEL: C72 C91 A13
    Date: 2009–11

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