nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒22
four papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The return of vulgar economics: A Rejoinder to Colander, Holt and Rosser By Matías Vernengo
  2. Keynes’s missing axioms By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  3. The Possibility of a Welfare Policy in a World of Emotion-Driven Individuals: A Humean Point of View By André Lapidus
  4. Tastes, castes, and culture : the influence of society on preferences By Fehr, Ernst; Hoff, Karla

  1. By: Matías Vernengo
    Abstract: This paper provides a rejoinder to Colander, Holt and Rosser (2010) strategy to win friends and influence mainstream economics. It is suggested that their strategy is counter-productive, and while it might gain them friends, it will not lead to increased influence of heterodox ideas within what they term the cutting edge of the profession. It is argued that their failure to understand the nature of heterodoxy, and the reason for the eclecticism of the mainstream, associated to the rise of vulgar economics, undermines their arguments.
    Keywords: Methodology, Heterodox Economics JEL Codes: B49, B59
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: Between Keynes’s verbalized theory and its formal basis persists a lacuna. The conceptual groundwork is too small and not general. The quest for a comprehensive formal basis is guided by the question: what is the minimum set of foundational propositions for a consistent reconstruction of the money economy? We start with three structural axioms. The claim of generality entails that it should be possible to prove that Keynes’s formalism is a subset of the structural axiom set. The axioms are applied to a central part of the General Theory in order to achieve consistency and generality.
    Keywords: New framework of concept; Structure-centric; Axiom set; Full employment; Intermediate situation; Emergent money; Singularity; System immanent risk; Distributed profit; Saving; Investment; Allais-Identity
    JEL: E12 E25 E31 E24 E40 B41
    Date: 2011–05–14
  3. By: 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: Based on Hume's major philosophical works and on some of his Essays, this paper discusses formally the feasibility, from a Humean point of view, of a welfare policy which would aim at promoting the highest individual happiness whereas individual decisions, like individual happiness, are determined not only by allocations of goods, but also by an emotional state. It is shown that both the intertemporal structure of the problem and the role that Hume granted to the ‘calm passion' allow solving the problem, at least in principle.
    Keywords: Hume;happiness;decision;pleasure;belief;emotion;violence of the passion;welfare policy
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Fehr, Ernst; Hoff, Karla
    Abstract: Economists have traditionally treated preferences as exogenously given. Preferences are assumed to be influenced by neither beliefs nor the constraints people face. As a consequence, changes in behaviour are explained exclusively in terms of changes in the set of feasible alternatives. Here the authors argue that the opposition to explaining behavioural changes in terms of preference changes is ill-founded, that the psychological properties of preferences render them susceptible to direct social influences, and that the impact of"society"on preferences is likely to have important economic and social consequences.
    Keywords: Biodiversity,Labor Policies,Economic Theory&Research,Cultural Policy,Gender and Social Development
    Date: 2011–08–01

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