nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒23
fifteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. « Appliquer la théorie économique de l’équilibre général » : de Walras à Leontief By Akhabbar, Amanar; Lallement, Jerôme
  2. Wassily Leontief and Léon Walras: the Production as a Circular Flow By Akhabbar, Amanar; Lallement, Jérôme
  3. Testing Behavioral Public Economics Theories in the Laboratory By James Alm
  4. Wissenschaftlicher Fortschritt in den Wirtschaftswissenschaften: Einige Bemerkungen By Gebhard Kirchgässner
  5. Thorstein Veblen: A Marxist Starting Point By Kirsten Ford and William McColloch
  6. О российской экономической науке сквозь призму публикаций российских ученых в отечественных и зарубежных журналах за 2000-2009 гг By Muravyev, Alexander
  7. Transnational Justice and Democracy By Rainer Forst
  8. Recent Advances in the Economics of Risk By Covaci, Brindusa
  9. Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life By Andrew E. Clark
  10. The Great Recession and the Great Depression: Reflections and Lessons By Barry Eichengreen
  11. Quel projet pour l'économie sociale ? By Alain Leroux
  12. Gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Ideale - 'Gute Gesellschaften' bei Hayek, Nozick, Marx und Keynes By Heise, Arne
  13. Words Speak Louder Than Money By Maroš Servátka; Steven Tucker; Radovan Vadovič
  14. Honest Lies By Li Hao; Daniel Houser
  15. Renouveler la science économique néo-classique ? Prendre l’historicité au sérieux By Jean Luc Demeulemeester; Claude Diebolt

  1. By: Akhabbar, Amanar; Lallement, Jerôme
    Abstract: The way the expresssion "applied economics" was employed changed deeply from one author to another. In this article we examine the meaning of this concept in Leon Walras' and Wassily Leontief's works regarding mathematical models of general interdependence and general equilibrium. It appears that empirical analysis played very different roles in their works but that they both considered economics should develop policy-oriented theory.
    Keywords: Leontief; Walras; Keynes; épistémologye; application; general equilibrium theory; input output analysis; economic policy
    JEL: P0 B21 B23 B13 B41
    Date: 2011–01–01
  2. By: Akhabbar, Amanar; Lallement, Jérôme
    Abstract: Leontief’s input-output models are usually viewed as simplified classical (neo-Ricardian) models. However, this interpretation hides two opposed views. On the one hand, the common interpretation, based on Koopmans and Samuelson’s works, considers the so-called “models of Leontief” as simplified Ricardian models, in the sense of Samuelson, which are shown to be special cases of general equilibrium theory. In their framework, general equilibrium theory might be interpreted as a generalized model of Leontief and, reversely, models of Leontief are simplified Walrasian general equilibrium models. According to this theoretical tradition, classical theory and Walrasian general equilibrium theory are intimately linked and Classical economics is an “archaic” general equilibrium theory. On the other hand, neo-Ricardians view models of Leontief as simplified classical models that are incompatible with Walras’ general equilibrium theory. Our paper examines in details the last argument: the incompatibility argument. Such a work will require to examine in details the definition of vague categories as "Walrasian", "Classical" and so forth. We show that incompatibility between models of Leontief and Walras’ general equilibrium theory is ultimately based on Sraffa’s worldview: “The connection of [my] work with the theories of the old classical economists has been alluded to in the preface... It is of course in Quesnay’s Tableau Economique that is found the original picture of the system of production and consumption as a circular process, and it stands in striking contrast to the view presented by modern theory of a one-way avenue that leads from ‘Factors of production’ to ‘Consumption goods’.” (Sraffa, 1960) Neo-Ricardian’s opposition between classical economics and Walrasian theory is based on the representation of production: classical economics refers to circular flow while Marginalist theory refers to a one-way avenue production process. As it makes a sharp distinction between the two theoretical traditions, we call this criterion "Sraffa’s Guillotine". Based on Leontief’s PhD dissertation (1928) and his early input-output model (1937), the main result of our inquiry is that this criterion is powerless to distinguish Leontief’s representation of production as a circular flow and Walras one. Indeed, while Leontief based his models on Marx’ reproduction scheme, his representation of production is the same than Walras’ complete one, in striking contrast with neo-Ricardian critical apparatus. Hence we argue in favor of a pluralist interpretation of the models of Leontief: both Classical and Walrasians.
    Keywords: Walras; Sraffa; Leontief; input-output analysis; Marx; production; non substitution theorem; general equilibrium theory
    JEL: B51 B1 B23 C67 D24
    Date: 2010–12–01
  3. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: "Behavioral economics", or the application of methods and evidence from other social sciences to economics, has increased greatly in significance in the last two decades. An important method by which many of its predictions have been tested has been via laboratory experiments. In this paper I survey and assess experimental tests of various applications of behavioral economics to the specific area of public economics, or "behavioral public economics". I discuss the basic elements of behavioral economics, the methodology of experimental economics, applications of experimental methods to behavioral public economics, and topics in which future applications should prove useful.
    Keywords: experimental methods, behavioral economics
    JEL: C9 H0 H3
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Gebhard Kirchgässner
    Abstract: First, the points of view of economists regarding falsificationism, scientific revolutions and scientific research programmes are discussed. Next, hardly debatable scientific progress regarding empirical economic research in recent decades is described. Then it is asked whether there have been scientific revolutions with respect to economic theory or the basic methodology of the economic approach. Taking this term seriously, there have been at best two revolutions since the time of ADAM SMITH. Today, economists share a common paradigm, which also builds the hard core of their scientific research programme. But while this hard core is hardly questioned, the safety belt is discussed the more. Nevertheless, most today’s economic research can be considered as being ‘normal science’. Even if this kind of research is not without problems, there is no reason to assess it as being of secondary value.
    Keywords: Paradigm; normal science; methodology of scientific research programmes; empirical economic research
    JEL: B10 B41
    Date: 2011–04
  5. By: Kirsten Ford and William McColloch
    Abstract: As existing literature attests, in spite of methodological differences Marx and Veblen draw strikingly similar conclusions regarding production, conflict, and alienation in modern existence. We here attempt to establish that similarity in conclusion stems from similarity in approach. After reviewing the existing literature on a Marx-Veblen methodological reconciliation, we recapitulate Marx’s method, making the mediated starting point the locus of discussion.From this vantage point, we then examine Veblen’s own approach to analysis in “The Theory of Business Enterprise” and the conclusions that emerge as they resemble those of Marx. In taking a kindred approach Veblen is able to arrive at an understanding of capitalism in accordance with, and complementary to, Marx’s rendering of the inverted nature of economic life in modernity.
    Keywords: Marxism, Institutionalism, History of Economic Thought: Individuals, Economic Methodology: General JEL Codes: B140, B150, B300, B400
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Muravyev, Alexander
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the current state of economic science in Russia with a particular emphasis on the role of Russian journals in accumulation and dis-semination of knowledge. We compare important quantitative characteristics of Russian and international journals in the field of economics. We also attempt to establish correspondences between the impact-factor of the Russian Science Ci-tation Index on the one hand and the impact-factors of RePEc and Web of Sci-ence databases on the other hand. Using the EconLit database we analyze publications of Russian econo-mists, who can be regarded, according to a number of criteria, as most active re-searchers, in international journals. Among our main conclusions are low quality of Russian economic journals and low recognition of them in the world, a lim-ited number of Russian economists who are actively publishing in international journals, with most of them concentrated in few institutions such as New Eco-nomic School, Central Economics and Mathematics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Higher School of Economics. Overall, our analysis confirms the widely held view that economic science in Russia is progressing rather slowly and remains poorly integrated into the world’s science.
    Keywords: Russian economic science; Russian economic journals; bibliometric rankings
    JEL: A11
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: Rainer Forst
    Abstract: This paper argues against three traditional dogmas in political theory: the thesis of the (conceptual and practical) incompatibility between democracy and justice; the idea that a context of justice only exists within the confines of a state; and the view that political democracy presupposes a demos organised within a state. Only if these dogmas are overcome can a proper conception of transnational justice and democracy be worked out. The key to this is the right picture of justice as based on a principle of discursive justification.
    Keywords: democracy; democratization; discourse; normative political theory; political science; supranationalism
    Date: 2011–04–15
  8. By: Covaci, Brindusa (Osterreichish-Rumanischer Akademischer Verein)
    Abstract: The paper is analysing which is the recently developed modalitis of econometric natural philosophy are developing financial and banking field in the context of current crisis. This field of analyse provides an analytical framework that treats the complex artifact of money establishments as an artifact of elements, or connections, that are connected to one another, through arches. This analyse shows that the system of money transactions between money establishments possess fractal artifact is similar to the observed problems in system artifacts in the natural world (such as river sinks) or the artifact of the network. Also was find that money establishments situated in the middle of the system artifact hold more arches than those establishments on the periphery of the system, implying that the formed artifact is a result of the pursuance of efficiency rather than stability. It should pay enough attention to the dynamic nature of the system artifact in order to evaluate its stability, since the system artifact of money transactions is not static in nature (the system is not based upon hardware like cables, as in the case of the network). Thus, there is a need to confirm the stability of the system artifact over time. In this respect, further holomorphic of dynamic systems is worth a try, based on the evidence shown in this paper which confirms a certain degree of robustness within the financial and banking system.
    Keywords: analytical framework; money establishments; fractal financial and banking; artifact system
    JEL: A10
    Date: 2011–04–09
  9. By: Andrew E. Clark (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris)
    Abstract: The role of money in producing sustained subjective well-being seems to be seriously compromised by social comparisons and habituation. But does that necessarily mean that we would be better off doing something else instead? This paper suggests that the phenomena of comparison and habituation are actually found in a variety of economic and social activities, rendering conclusions regarding well-being policy less straightforward.
    Keywords: comparison ; habituation ; income ; unemployment ; marriage ; divorce ; health ; religion ; policy
    Date: 2011–04–14
  10. By: Barry Eichengreen
    Abstract: The Great Recession that started in 2008 has drawn constant comparisons with the Great Depression that unfolded in 1929. This paper documents how the response of policy makers in the current episode has been markedly different from the one observed in the 1920s and 1930s and to what extent this different behavior has followed the lessons from the historical analysis of the Great Depression. The historical account is also used to discuss probable changes to the world’s economic landscape regarding both trade and financial globalization.
    Date: 2010–09
  11. By: Alain Leroux (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)
    Abstract: Par tradition militante, mêlée à un vieux fond de culture marxiste, les défenseurs et promoteurs de l' "économie sociale" la présentent volontiers comme " une alternative au capitalisme " ! Pour rendre leur perspective crédible et montrer que la relève du "mode de production dominant " est en marche, ils ne craignent pas d'affronter la dure réalité comptable, qui donne au secteur capitaliste un poids sept fois plus élevé que celui reconnu à l' "économie sociale", dans la production des richesses (le PIB). Cette façon de militer en faveur de l' "économie sociale" est ce que nous appelons la stratégie du modèle. Autant le dire tout de suite, cette stratégie nous paraît à la fois erronée dans ses tenants et contre-productive dans ses aboutissants. Erronée, car ce qui est fondamentalement en cause n'est pas tant le capitalisme que le système de valeurs qui l'instrumentalise : l'idéologie néo-libérale. Contre-productive, parce que l' "économie sociale" peut jouer un rôle crucial dans l'émergence de la société de demain, mais à la condition expresse de l'utiliser à bon escient : en démontrant qu'il est possible d' "entreprendre autrement ", l' "économie sociale" nous aide à comprendre qu'il est certainement possible de vivre notre société différemment. C'est ce que nous appelons la stratégie de l'exemple.
    Keywords: économie sociale ; idéologie ; capitalisme ; néo-libéralisme ; Hayek ; Polanyi
    Date: 2011–04–12
  12. By: Heise, Arne
    Abstract: --
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Maroš Servátka; Steven Tucker; Radovan Vadovič (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: Should one use words or money to foster trust of the other party if no means of enforcing trustworthiness are available? This paper reports an experiment studying the effectiveness of two types of mechanisms for promoting trust: a costly gift and a costless message as well as their mutual interaction. We nest our findings in the standard version of the investment game. Our data provide evidence that while both stand-alone mechanisms enhance trust, and a gift performs significantly worse than a message. Moreover, when a gift is combined with sending a message, it can be counterproductive
    Keywords: Communication; content analysis; experimental economics; gift giving; investment game; message; trust; trustworthiness
    JEL: C70 C91
    Date: 2011–04–12
  14. By: Li Hao (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)
    Abstract: We report data from a two-stage prediction game, where the accuracy of predictions (in the first stage) regarding die roll outcomes (in the second stage) is rewarded using a proper scoring rule. Thus, given the opportunity to self-report the die roll outcomes, participants have an incentive to bias their predictions to maximize elicitation payoffs. However, we find participants to be surprisingly unresponsive to this incentive, despite clear evidence that they cheated when self-reporting die roll outcomes. These data lend support to Akerlof's (1983) suggestion that people may prefer to appear honest without actually being honest. In particular, the vast majority (95%) of our subjects were willing to incur a cost to preserve an honest appearance. At the same time, only 44% exhibited intrinsic preference for honesty. Moreover, we found that after establishing an honest appearance people cheat to the greatest possible extent. These results suggest that “incomplete cheating” behavior frequently reported in the literature can be attributed more to a preference for maintaining appearances than an intrinsic aversion to maximum cheating.
    Keywords: cheating, honest appearance, partial cheating, experimental design
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2011–03
  15. By: Jean Luc Demeulemeester (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique.); Claude Diebolt (BETA/CNRS, Université de Strasbourg, France.)
    Date: 2011

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