nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒02
eleven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The strength of strong ties: Co-authorship and productivity among Italian economists By Giulio Cainelli; Mario Maggioni; Erika Uberti; Annunziata De Felice
  2. To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma By Julie L. Hotchkiss; M. Melinda Pitts; Mary Beth Walker
  3. The Wealth Of Nature: Valuing Ecosystem Services By A. Myrick Freeman III
  4. National accounts: barometer, telescope and compass for the national economy By Bos, Frits
  5. Neoliberalism as Liberation: The Statehood Program and the Remaking of the Palestinian National Movement By Khalidi, Raja J.; Samour, Sobhi
  6. Temporal stability and psychological foundations of cooperation preferences By Volk, Stefan; Thoeni, Christian; Ruigrok, Winfried
  7. Envy and agricultural innovation: An Experimental Case Study from Ethiopia By Bereket Kebede; Daniel John Zizzo
  8. Sanctions that Signal: an Experiment. By Roberto Galbiati; Karl Schlag; Joel van der Weele
  9. Emotions and Chat in a Financial Markets Experiment By Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap; Daniel John Zizzo
  10. A Century of Inflation Forecasts By D'Agostino, Antonello; Surico, Paolo
  11. Emotions, Sanctions and Cooperation By Joffily, Mateus; Masclet, David; Noussair, Charles N.; Villeval, Marie Claire

  1. By: Giulio Cainelli (Università di Padova); Mario Maggioni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Erika Uberti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Annunziata De Felice (Università degli Studi di Bari)
    Abstract: Increased specialization and extensive collaboration are common behaviours in the scientific community, as well as the evaluation of scientific research based on bibliometric indicators. This paper aims to analyse the effect of collaboration (co-authorship) on the scientific output of Italian economists. We use Social Network Analysis to investigate the structure of co-authorship, and econometric methodologies to explain the productivity of individual Italian economists, in terms of "attributional" variables (such as age, gender, academic position, tenure, scientific sub-discipline, geographical location, etc.), "relational" variables (such as propensity to cooperate and the stability of cooperation patterns) and "positional" variables (such as betweenness and closeness centrality indexes and clustering coefficients).
    Keywords: co-authorship, scientific productivity, Italian economists, social network analysis.
    JEL: I23 I28 J24
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Julie L. Hotchkiss; M. Melinda Pitts; Mary Beth Walker
    Abstract: Utilizing linked vital statistics, administrative employer, and state welfare records, the analysis in this paper investigates the determinants of a woman's intermittent labor force decision at the time of a major life event: the birth of a child. The results indicate that both direct and opportunity labor market costs of exiting the workforce figure significantly into that decision. Further, the analysis reveals the importance of including information about the mother's prebirth job when making inferences about the role various demographics play in the intermittent labor force decision.
    Date: 2011
  3. By: A. Myrick Freeman III (William D. Shipman Professor of Economics Emeritus, Bowdoin College)
    Abstract: In May, 2009, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report titled "Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services" (U.S. EPA, 2009). I was a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board's Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services (C-VPESS) that produced the Report. In this paper, I will try to clarify what we mean by the terms "ecosystem services," "value," and "the wealth of nature." I will also try to see what lessons can be drawn from the C-VPESS Report and the 5 years of Committee deliberations that lie behind it and what conclusions and implications this work has for EEPSEA researchers working in the field of the economics of natural resources.
    Keywords: ecosystem
    Date: 2010–07
  4. By: Bos, Frits
    Abstract: This note briefly describes the merits and limitations of the national accounts, e.g. GDP per capita is a simple measure of material welfare, but not a comprehensive measure of welfare.
    Keywords: GDP; welfare; measurement in economics; macro-economic statistics; fiscal policy; macro-economic policy; economic growth
    JEL: C82 A20 E01 C67 O40 E60
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Khalidi, Raja J.; Samour, Sobhi
    Abstract: The Palestinian statehood-by-2011 program, framed through neoliberal institution building, redefines and diverts the Palestinian liberation struggle. Focusing on its economic aspects, and in particular the underlying neoliberal thought that goes beyond narrow economic policy applications, this essay argues that the program cannot succeed either as the midwife of independence or as a strategy for Palestinian economic development. Its weaknesses, the authors contend, derive not only from neoliberalism’s inability to deliver sustainable and equitable economic growth worldwide, but also because neoliberal “governance” under occupation, however “good,” cannot substitute for the broader struggle for national rights nor ensure the Palestinian right to development.
    Keywords: Palestine economy; neoliberalism; development strategies
    JEL: N45 O53 A12 B50 P50
    Date: 2010–11–30
  6. By: Volk, Stefan; Thoeni, Christian; Ruigrok, Winfried
    Abstract: A core element of economic theory is the assumption of stable preferences. We test this assumption in public goods games by repeatedly eliciting cooperation preferences in a fixed subject pool over a period of five months. We find that cooperation preferences are very stable at the aggregate level, but less so at the individual level. Nevertheless, individual preferences are sufficiently stable to predict future behavior fairly accurately. Our results also provide evidence on the psychological foundations of cooperation preferences. The personality dimension 'Agreeableness' is closely related to both the type and the stability of cooperation preferences.
    Keywords: Social preferences, preference stability, conditional cooperation, free riding, personality, Big-Five.
    JEL: C91 C72 H41
    Date: 2011–01
  7. By: Bereket Kebede; Daniel John Zizzo
    Abstract: The underlying motivations for envy or related social preferences and their impact on agricultural innovations are examined by combining data from money burning experimental game and household survey from Ethiopia. In the first stage of the money burning experimental game, income inequality is induced by providing different endowments and playing a lottery. In the second, people are allowed to decrease (‘burn’) other players’ money at their own expense. Conditional on individual behaviour, experimentally measured envious preferences from others have a negative effect on real life agricultural innovation.
    Keywords: envy; social preferences; money burning games; agricultural innovations; Ethiopia
    JEL: C93 O12 O55
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Roberto Galbiati; Karl Schlag; Joel van der Weele
    Abstract: Sanctions are a means to provide incentives towards more pro-social behavior. Yet their implementation can be a signal that past behavior was undesirable. We investigate experimentally the importance of the informational content of the choice to sanction. We place this in a context of a coordination game to focus attention on beliefs and information and less on intrinsic or pro-social motivations. We compare the eect of sanctions that are introduced exogenously by the experimenter to that of sanctions which have been actively chosen by a subject who takes the role of a fictitious policy maker with superior information about the previous eort of the other players. We nd that cooperative subjects perceive actively chosen sanctions as a negative signal which eliminates for them the incentive eect of sanctions.
    JEL: C92 D83 K42
    Date: 2011–03
  9. By: Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap (University of East Anglia); Daniel John Zizzo (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: This paper examines experimentally two common conjectures in the popular literature on financial markets: that they are swayed by emotion and that they behave like a 'crowd'. We find consistent evidence that deviations of prices from fundamental value depend on the emotion of excitement and on the presence of independently identified 'irrational' traders. Other than through 'irrational' traders, there is no evidence, however, that non-price communication ('chat') influences prices. Subjects with an economics background make better traders.
    Keywords: asset bubbles; cheap talk; emotions; noise traders; behavioral finance.
    JEL: C91 G12
    Date: 2011–03–01
  10. By: D'Agostino, Antonello; Surico, Paolo
    Abstract: We investigate inflation predictability in the United States across the monetary regimes of the XXth century. The forecasts based on money growth and output growth were significantly more accurate than the forecasts based on past inflation only during the regimes associated with neither a clear nominal anchor nor a credible commitment to fight inflation. These include the years from the outbreak of World War II in 1939 to the implementation of the Bretton Woods Agreements in 1951, and from Nixon's closure of the gold window in 1971 to the end of Volcker’s disinflation in 1983.
    Keywords: monetary regimes; Phillips curve; predictability; time-varying models
    JEL: E37 E42 E47
    Date: 2011–03
  11. By: Joffily, Mateus (CNRS); Masclet, David (University of Rennes); Noussair, Charles N. (Tilburg University); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We use skin conductance responses and self-reports of hedonic valence to study the emotional basis of cooperation and punishment in a social dilemma. Emotional reaction to free-riding incites individuals to apply sanctions when they are available. The application of sanctions activates a "virtuous emotional circle" that accompanies cooperation. Emotionally aroused cooperators relieve negative emotions when they punish free riders. In response, the free-riders experience negative emotions when punished, and increase their subsequent level of cooperation. The outcome is an increased level of contribution that becomes the new standard or norm. For a given contribution level, individuals attain higher levels of satisfaction when sanctioning institutions are in place.
    Keywords: emotions, sanctions, cooperation, experiment, skin conductance responses
    JEL: C92 D62 D63 D64 D74
    Date: 2011–03

This nep-hpe issue is ©2011 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.