nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
eighteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Effective Demand: Securing the Foundations By Olivier Allain
  2. Computable and Dynamical Systems Foundations of Bounded Rationality and Satisficing By K. Vela Velupillai
  3. DSGE And Beyond – Computable And Constructive Challenges By K. Vela Velupillai
  4. Resolving economic deadlock By Pfeffer, Claus-Peter
  5. The Present and Future of Game Theory By Martin Shubik
  6. Focal Points, Gender Norms and Reciprocation in Public Good Games By David Zetland; Marina Della Giusta
  7. Factores que inciden en el status epistemológico de la econometría By Maria-Carmen Guisan
  9. On the Evolution of Preferences By Astrid Gamba
  10. Behavioral Responses to Natural Disasters By Marco Castillo; Michael Carter
  11. Rewarding my Self. Self Esteem, Self Determination and Motivations By Bruno, Bruna
  12. Toward an Autonomous-Agents Inspired Economic Analysis By Shu-Heng Chen; Tina Yu
  13. Three Contributions to: Alan Turing – His work and impact By K. Vela Velupillai
  14. Quantum Financial Economics - Risk and Returns By Carlos Pedro Gon\c{c}alves
  15. Selección Natural: una visión arquitectónica By Mario Casanueva
  16. Ambiguity aversion as a reason to choose tournaments By Christian Kellner; Gerhard Riener
  17. Le travail et l'utopie. Analyse du travail dans les théories de Sismondi, Fourier, Proudhon, Marx, Engels, Godin et Lafargue By Sophie Boutillier; Abdourahmane Ndiaye; Nathalie Ferreira
  18. Knowledge in economics and economic reform : An analysis of French survey data By Vranceanu, Radu; Barthélémy, Jérôme

  1. By: Olivier Allain (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: A panel session was organised at the 5th "Dijon" Post-Keynesian Conference (Roskilde University - 13th-14th May 2011) in order to confront three recent interpretations of Keynes's principle of effective demand: that of Hartwig (2007), Hayes (2007) and Allain (2009). Allain's comments on Hartwig and Hayes articles are developed in the present contribution.
    Keywords: Keynesian economics; General Theory; macroeconomics; effective demand; short-term expectations
    Date: 2011–05–13
  2. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: Formally, the orthodox rational agentís 'Olympian' choices ([14], p.19) are made in a static framework. However, a formalization of consistent choice, underpinned by computability, suggests satisficing in a boundedly rational framework is not only more general than the model of 'Olympian' rationality; it is also consistently dynamic. This kind of naturally process-oriented approach to the formalization of consistent choice can be interpreted and encapsulated within the framework of decision problems - in the formal sense of metamathematics and mathematical logic - which, in turn, is the natural way of formalizing the notion of Human Problem Solving in the Newell-Simon sense. Casting Simon's insights and suggestions on boundedly rational, satisficing and adaptive choice in the formalisms of time computational complexity theory and algorithmic dynamics makes it possible to take some small first steps in the direction of a formal demonstration of this proposition. A more complete attempt would require the additional consideration of space computational complexity, which will be the next step in this research program. The latter consideration would allow one to go beyond the P?=NP conundrum and thereby justify the relative, implicit unimportance, Simon gave this issue
    Keywords: Bounded Rationality, Decision Problems, Satisficing, Computability
    JEL: C63 C65 C69
    Date: 2011
  3. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: The genesis and the path towards what has come to be called the DSGE model is traced, from its origins in the Arrow-Debreu General Equilibrium model (ADGE), via Scarf's Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE) and its applied version as Applied Computable General Equilibrium model (ACGE), to its ostensible dynamization as a Recursive Competitive Equilibrium (RCE). An outline of a similar nature, albeit very briefly, of the development and structure of Agent-Based Economics (ABE) is also included. It is shown that these transformations of the ADGE model are computably and constructively untenable. Suggestions for going 'beyond DSGE and ABE' are, then, outlined on the basis of a framework that is underpinned -from the outset- by computability and constructivity consideration
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium, Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium, Computability, Constructivity, Classical Behavioural Economics
    JEL: C02 C62 C68 D58 E61
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Pfeffer, Claus-Peter
    Abstract: In the introductory chapter a novel economic policy is proposed which consists of a) 'virtualizing' debt (putting it on the Central Bank balance sheet) and b) reduce the money-multiplier by an implementation of a strong minimum reserving policy. The main part shows exposes a flaw in the concept of capital in neoclassical thinking, with special reference to Tobin's q-theory. This has the implication that neoclassical thinking - Keynesian and 'classical' - overstates investment activity and the tendency to full employment. The last two chapters - on China and the Nazi-Recovery - are empirical illustrations.
    Keywords: Keynesianism; deficit spending; public debt; capital theory; monetary theory and policy;
    JEL: E12 B22 E44 D53 E00 E40 D43 E11 E41
    Date: 2011–04–30
  5. By: Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: A broad nontechnical coverage of many of the developments in game theory since the 1950s is given together with some comments on important open problems and where some of the developments may take place. The nearly 90 references given serve only as a minimal guide to the many thousands of books and articles that have been written. The purpose here is to present a broad brush picture of the many areas of study and application that have come into being. The use of deep techniques flourishes best when it stays in touch with application. There is a vital symbiotic relationship between good theory and practice. The breakneck speed of development of game theory calls for an appreciation of both the many realities of conflict, coordination and cooperation and the abstract investigation of all of them.
    Keywords: Game theory, Application and theory, Social sciences, Law, Experimental gaming, conflict, Coordination and cooperation
    JEL: C7 C9
    Date: 2011–07
  6. By: David Zetland (Department of Economics, Wageningen University); Marina Della Giusta (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of information regarding other people’s choices on individual choice in a public good experiment with two separate treatments. In the implicit treatment, subjects do not see the average contribution of others in their group, but they can calculate it from the information available. In the explicit treatment, subjects see the average contribution of others in their group. If subjects are rational calculating agents as suggested in mainstream economic theory there should be no difference in observed behavior across treatments: agents should use all available information to make decisions. What we see instead is quite different and consistent with the presence of social norms: first, players change their behavior in response to the change in displayed information; second, changes in individual behavior produce identical group outcomes, in terms of total payoffs or efficiency across the two treatments. How does this happen? The display of the average contribution of others results in behavior consistent with a focal point (Schelling, 1960), i.e., more subjects behave as reciprocators (conditioning their contributions on the contributions of others), and fewer behave as cooperators or free-riders (unconditionally contributing a lot or a little, respectively). This change in behavior differs by gender: women behave similarly to men when they see the average contribution by others; when they cannot, they behave differently, favoring unconditional strategies of free-riding or cooperation. Men’s behavior, in contrast to women’s adaption, does not adjust to social cues, as suggested by Croson and Gneezy (2009).
    Keywords: public goods, focal points, social norms, gender, experiments
    JEL: D0
    Date: 2011–06–01
  7. By: Maria-Carmen Guisan
    Abstract: En este estudio se analizan algunos aspectos de la teoría y de la sociología del conocimiento, que son de especial relevancia para la evolución científica de la Econometría y de la Economía. Se destacan algunas contribuciones de la Econometría Aplicada al avance de la Economía y del desarrollo económico en algunos países, así como su insuficiente impacto para el desarrollo mundial, y se analizan las limitaciones internas y externas que a veces dificultan el avance de la Economía como ciencia al servicio de la sociedad. La sección 3 se refiere a las limitaciones internas, del propio ambiente de la investigación económica, teniendo en cuenta problemas de las revistas científicas, criterios de promoción de los profesores universitarios y problemas en la transmisión de conocimientos a los estudiantes de grado y postgrado. Las secciones 4 y 5 se refieren a las limitaciones externas entre las que se encuentran: 1) Políticas científicas equivocadas, emanadas de los gobiernos de varios países, que tratan de imponer incentivos distorsionantes, de forma que condicionan el enfoque de muchas investigaciones hacia la rentabilidad competitiva en vez de orientarse hacia el avance del conocimiento al servicio de la sociedad. 2) Las barreras para la comunicación pública y el impacto social de la investigación econométrica y económica. <p> We analyze some questions related with Knowledge Theory and Sociology which are relevant to understand some problems founded by econometricians and other economic researchers. This study highlights some contributions of Applied Econometrics to the advancement of Economics and Economic development in some countries, and its insufficient impact on global development, and analyzes the internal and external constraints that hinder the advancement of economics as science for society. Section 3 refers to the internal constraints in their own area of economic research, taking into account issues of journals, incentives for promoting academics and problems in the transmission of knowledge to undergraduate and graduate levels. Sections 4 and 5 refer to external constraints among which are: 1) misguided scientific policies emanating from the governments of several countries, trying to impose a policy based on rewards and punishments to scientists according to their adaptation to bureaucratic rules of competition for funding resources and the obsession to reach bureaucratic goals, which often distorts the objectives of research biasing it towards competitive promotion instead to be addressed to improve real knowledge and help for society. 2) The barriers to foster public communication and the social impact of economic and econometric research. Note: The article was originally written in Spanish and a link to an English version is included in the Annex.
    JEL: A1 B4
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Frédéric Canard (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR6227 - Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis)
    Abstract: W. Edwards Deming aims to contribute to the transformation of management systems which he considers responsible for losses caused the decline of our Societies. His latest book highlights the system of thought called "System of Profound Knowledge" which must lead to this transformation. The aim of our research is to explain the implicit assumptions of Deming's System of Profound Knowledge about ethics and sustainability and argues that they are related to the philosophy of pragmatism. We show how his recommendations on the role of individuals and the transformation of management systems can promote socially and sustainable responsible behaviour. Our guiding principle is the following. Finding connections between main pioneers of the classical American pragmatism movement to Deming, arguing pragmatism is an appropriate paradigm for some sustainable issues, and finally establishing a link between the System of Profound Knowledge and sustainability.
    Keywords: Deming;Quality; Management; Ethics; Pragmatism; Sustainability
    Date: 2011–03–22
  9. By: Astrid Gamba (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: A common feature of the literature on the evolution of preferences is that evolution favors nonmaterialistic preferences only if preference types are observable at least to some degree. We argue that this result is due to the assumption that in each state of the evolutionary dynamics some Bayesian Nash equilibrium is played. We show that under unobservability of preference types, conditional on selecting some self-confirming equilibrium as a rule for mapping preference into behavior, non-selfish preferences may be evolutionarily successful.
    Keywords: evolution of preferences, altruism, learning, self-confirming equilibrium
    JEL: A13 C72 D64 D83
    Date: 2011–07–04
  10. By: Marco Castillo (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Michael Carter (Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California - Davis)
    Abstract: Catastrophic events can dramatically alter existing social and economic relationships. The consequences can be long-lasting and give rise to heterogeneity of behavior across populations. We investigate the impact of a large negative shock on altruism, trust and reciprocity in 30 small Honduran communities diversely affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. We conduct a survey of communities and behavioral experiments three and four years after the event. We find that the mean and variance of behavior are nonlinearly related to the severity of the weather shock affecting the community. Also, there is a substitution away from formal local organizations to informal arrangements.
    Keywords: noncooperative games, experimental economics, norms
    JEL: C72 C92 C93
    Date: 2011–06
  11. By: Bruno, Bruna
    Abstract: The paper presents a model where the self esteem and the self determination mechanisms are explicitly modelled in order to explain how they affect the intrinsic motivation and its impact on individual choices. The aim is to reconcile different explanations (and consequences) of the motivation crowding theory in a unique theoretical framework where the locus of control is introduced in a one period maximisation problem and the intrinsic motivation is assumed as an exogenous psychological attitude. The analysis is based on the different effect of the self esteem mechanism on intrinsic motivation input oriented or output oriented. Results show that crowding out of intrinsic motivation depends on the self determination sensitivity and the individual belief about one’s own self.
    Keywords: intrinsic motivation; crowding out; self-esteem; self-determination.
    JEL: D11 D64 J22
    Date: 2011–07–13
  12. By: Shu-Heng Chen; Tina Yu
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates the potential role of autonomous agents in economic theory. We first dispatch autonomous agents, built by genetic programming, to double auction markets. We then study the bargaining strategies discovered by them, and from there an autonomous-agent-inspired economic theory with regard to the optimal procrastination is derived.
    Keywords: Agent-Based Double Auction Markets, Autonomous Agents, Genetic Programming, Bargaining Strategies, Monopsony, Procrastination Strategy
    Date: 2011
  13. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Carlos Pedro Gon\c{c}alves
    Abstract: Financial volatility risk is addressed through a multiple round evolutionary quantum game equilibrium leading to Multifractal Self-Organized Criticality (MSOC) in the financial returns and in the risk dynamics. The model is simulated and the results are compared with financial volatility data.
    Date: 2011–07
  15. By: Mario Casanueva
    Abstract: Este documento analiza la influencia de las ideas económicas de Adam Smith y otros autores sobre la teoría de la evolución, puesta de manifiesto por Stephen Jay Gould, historiador y arquitecto de teorías evolutivas.
    JEL: A1 B4
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Christian Kellner (University of Bonn); Gerhard Riener (University of Jena and Max-Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: We test the implications of ambiguity aversion in a principal-agent problem with multiple agents. When output distributions are uncertain, models of ambiguity aversion suggest that tournaments may become more attractive than independent wage contracts, in contrast to the case where output distributions are known. We do so by presenting agents with a choice between tournaments and independent contracts, which are designed in a way that under uncertainty about output distribution (that is, under ambiguity), ambiguity averse agents should typically prefer tournaments, while ambiguity neutral agents prefer independent contracts, independent of their degree of risk aversion. This is the case, because the tournament removes all ambiguity about the equilibrium wages. We compare the share of participants who choose the tournament under ambiguity with the share of participants choosing the tournament in a control treatment, where output distributions are know. As the theory predicts, we find indeed that under ambiguity the share of agents who choose the tournaments is higher than in the case of known output distributions.
    Keywords: Ambiguity aversion, tournaments, Ellsberg urn, contract design
    JEL: D01 D81 M55
    Date: 2011–07–11
  17. By: Sophie Boutillier (UMR 8019 CLERSE - Université du Littoral - UMR CLERSE); Abdourahmane Ndiaye (ADES - Aménagement, Développement, Environnement, Santé et Sociétés - CNRS : UMR5185 - Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux III - Université Victor Segalen - Bordeaux II); Nathalie Ferreira (IGS - Institut de Gestion Sociale - Institut de Gestion Sociale)
    Abstract: Depuis la nuit des temps, le travail est synonyme de torture et de contrainte dans nombre de sociétés humaines. Chez les Grecs de l'antiquité il était réservé aux esclaves. Symbolisé par des activités généralement manuelles, le travail engendrait aussi une forme de dégradation physique, à l'image d'Héphaïstos, dieu des forgerons et des artisans dans le panthéon grec. Quelques siècles plus tard, Thomas More dénonce les déboires d'une société industrielle en gestation. Il imagine dans Utopia (1516) une société reposant sur l'abondance matérielle et l'égalité où en l'absence de discriminations sociales, tout le monde travaille. La participation de tous à la production des richesses favorise une nette diminution du temps de travail qui n'était plus que de six heures par jour et par personne. L'État s'y substitue au marché et assure par un système de planification et de redistribution des richesses d'après le mode du " à chacun selon ses besoins ". A partir du XIXe siècle, alors que la révolution industrielle contribue à démultiplier la force productive des individus, les utopistes - Jean Charles Léonard Simon de Sismondi, Karl Marx et Friedrich Engels, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Charles Fourier, Jean-Baptiste André Godin et Paul Lafargue - prédisent une société nouvelle reposant sur l'abondance de biens et où le travail (contraint) ne constituerait qu'une infime part de l'existence des individus. L'idée fondamentale qui unit ces différents penseurs réside dans les espoirs qu'ils placent dans le progrès technique. Un jour, les machines se substitueront aux hommes. Ce seront-elles qui peineront à leur place. Mais, pour que le temps libre soit synonyme de loisirs et non de chômage, il convient d'opter pour un autre modèle social et politique. L'économie sociale et solidaire (ESS) peut-elle alors être considérée comme un espace spécifique de reconfiguration du salariat ou tout du moins du rapport salarial dominant ? Dans quelle mesure ces représentations peuvent-elles insuffler un autre modèle de société, un nouveau contrat social ? L'objectif de cette contribution est de montrer à partir des travaux de quelques auteurs utopistes clés quels ont été les projets de transformations sociales, et quelle était pour eux la place que devait tenir le travail, en nombre d'heures, mais aussi de répartition des tâches entre les individus d'une manière générale. Les enseignements que l'on pourrait en tirer aujourd'hui dans un contexte de remise en cause de la loi sur les 35 heures. En revenant sur les analyses de ces auteurs pionniers, quelles idées utiles à la réflexion au regard de la situation contemporaine peut-on en prélever ?
    Keywords: Travail ; Utopie ; Répartition des richesses ; Contrat social ; Économie sociale et solidaire
    Date: 2011–06–15
  18. By: Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School); Barthélémy, Jérôme (ESSEC Business School)
    Abstract: The coexistence of a predominantly poor opinion of free markets and lack of education in economics are two documented features of France. In this paper, we use data collected through an Internet-based survey conducted in December 2009 in order to test whether this situation is more than a mere coincidence. A first regression model allows us to study how personal characteristics, general and economics education, occupation and personal interest in economics affect knowledge in economics. We then apply factor analysis in order to build an aggregate indicator of opinion on promarket reforms. This opinion indicator becomes the dependent variable in a second multiple regression model; it turns out that knowledge in economics contributes by 3.5% to explain the favorable opinion on pro-market reforms.
    Keywords: Economic knowledge; Policy reform; Survey methods; France
    JEL: A11 A14 A20
    Date: 2011–07–11

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