nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
twenty-one papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Foley's Thesis, Negishi's Method, Existence Proofs and Computation By K. Vela Velupillai
  2. Negishi's Theorem and Method By K.Vela Velupillai
  3. Economics and psychology.Perfect rationality versus bounded rationality By Schilirò , Daniele
  4. The Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics, DSGE and the Theory of Policy - Computable & Constructive Foundations By K. Vela Velupillai
  5. Behavioural Economics: Classical and Modern By Selda (Ying Fang) Kao; K. Vela Velupillai
  6. Economic thinking and ethics: an ethical approach for economical issues By Thieme, Sebastian
  7. Origins and Early Development of the Nonlinear Endogenous Mathematical Theory of the Business Cycle: Part I - The Setting By V. Ragupathy; K. Vela Velupillai
  8. The History of Macroeconomics from Keynes’s General Theory to the Present By Michel DE VROEY; Pierre MALGRANGE
  9. Freedom, Anarchy and Conformism in Academic Research By K. Vela Velupillai
  10. Fundamental Measurements in Economics and in the Theory of Consciousness By S. I. Melnyk; I. G. Tuluzov
  11. Ursula Hicks: My Early Life (Up to The Age of 12) By John Creedy
  12. Newcomb's Paradox: a Subversive Interpretation By K.Vela Velupillai
  13. Modelling Comovements of Economic Time Series: A Selective Survey By Marco Centoni; Gianluca Cubadda
  14. On Risk Aversion, Classical Demand Theory, and KM Preferences By Leonard J. Mirman; Marc Santugini
  15. Lies and Biased Evaluation : A Real-Effort Experiment By Julie Rosaz; Marie-Claire Villeval
  16. Entrepreneurship: what's happening? By Vitor Joao Pereira Domingues Martinho
  17. The Propertisation of Science By Gabriel Galvez-Behar
  18. Computations on Simple Games using RelView By Rudolf Berghammer; Agnieszka Rusinowska; Harrie De Swart
  19. Correlated Equilibrium in Games with Incomplete Information By Dirk Bergemann; Stephen Morris
  20. Piecework versus merit pay: a Mean Fi eld Game approach to academic behavior By Damien Besancenot; Jean-Michel Courtault; Khaled El Dika
  21. Heterodox macro after the crisis By Peter Skott

  1. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: Duncan Foleyís many-faceted and outstanding contributions to macroeconomics, microeconomics, general equilibrium theory, the theory of taxation, history of economic thought, the magnificent dynamics of classical economics, classical value theory, Bayesian statistics, formal dynamics and, most recently, fascinating forays into an interpretation of economic evolution from a variety of complexity theoretic viewpoints have all left -and continue to leave - significant marks in the development and structure of economic theory. He belongs to the grand tradition of visionaries who theorise with imaginative audacity on the dynamics, evolution and contradictions of capitalist economies - a tradition that, perhaps, begins with Marx and Mill, continues with Keynes and Schumpeter, reaching new heights with the iconoclastic brilliancies of a Tsuru and a Goodwin, a Chakravarty and a Nelson, and to which Duncan Foley adds a lustre of much value. In this contribution I return to mathematical themes broached in Foleyís brilliant and pioneering Yale doctoral dissertation (Foley, 1967) and attempt to view them as a Computable Economist would.The intention is to suggest that algorithmic indeterminacies are intrinsic to the foundations of economic theory in the mathematical mode
    Keywords: Equilibrium existence theorems, Welfare theorems, Constructive proofs, Computability
    JEL: C02 C63 D58 E17
    Date: 2011
  2. By: K.Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: Takashi Negishi's remarkable youthful contribution to welfare economics, general equilibrium theory and, with the benefit of hindsight, also to one strand of computable general equilibrium theory, all within the span of six pages in one article, has become one of the modern classics of general equilibrium theory and mathematical economics. Negishi's celebrated theorem and what has been called Negishi's Method have formed one foundation for computable general equilibrium theory. In this paper I investigate the computable and constructive aspects of the theorem and the method
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium, Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics, Negishi's Method
    JEL: C63 C68 D58 D60
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Schilirò , Daniele
    Abstract: Classical mathematical algorithms often fail to identify in time when the international financial crises occur although, as the classical theory of choice would suggest, the economic agents are rational and the markets are or should be efficient and behave also rationally. This contribution does not pretend to give a complete answer to these questions, but it will highlight some well-known limits of the classical theory of rational choice and compare this theory of choice with the approach that seeks to combine economics and psychology and that has established itself as cognitive or behavioral economics. In particular, the present paper will focus on the juxtaposition of the concepts of perfect rationality and bounded rationality. It concludes with some references to the literature of behavioral finance which has given important contributions in explaining the behavior and the anomalies of financial markets.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality; procedural rationality; rational choice; cognitive economics
    JEL: D81 B52 C00 D83
    Date: 2011–10
  4. 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). It is shown that these transformations of the ADGE - including the fountainhead - are computably and constructively untenable. The policy implications of these (negative) results, via the Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics in particular, and against the backdrop of the mathematical theory of economic policy in general, are also discussed (again from computable and constructive points of view). Suggestions for going 'beyond DSGE' are, then, outlined on the basis of a framework that is underpinned - from the outset - by computability and constructivity considerations
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium, Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium, Computability, Constructivity, Fundamental Theorems of Welfare Economics, Theory of Policy, Coupled Nonlinear Dynamic
    JEL: C02 C62 C68 D58 E61
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Selda (Ying Fang) Kao; K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: In this paper, the origins and development of behavioural economics, beginning with the pioneering works of Herbert Simon (1953) and Ward Edwards (1954), is traced, described and (critically) discussed, in some detail. Two kinds of behavioural economics – classical and modern – are attributed, respectively, to the two pioneers. The mathematical foundations of classical behavioural economics is identified, largely, to be in the theory of computation and computational complexity; the corresponding mathematical basis for modern behavioural economics is, on the other hand, claimed to be a notion of subjective probability (at least at its origins in the works of Ward Edwards). The economic theories of behavior, challenging various aspects of 'orthodox' theory, were decisively influenced by these two mathematical underpinnings of the two theories
    Keywords: Classical Behavioural Economics, Modern Behavioural Economics, Subjective Probability, Model of Computation, Computational Complexity. Subjective Expected Utility
    JEL: C61 C63 D81 D83
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Thieme, Sebastian
    Abstract: The worldwide economic crisis of 2007/2008 popularised the ethical questions within economics. Currently, few mainstream economists tackle these questions and the typical curriculum of economics often lacks input on philosophy, ethics and the history of economic thoughts. However, economists confronted with ethical questions believe themeslves capable of answering them. As a result, the popular discussion about ethics and economics becomes a discussion about regulations. In contrast to that, in the context of the “Economics and Ethics” discussion in Germany, the article shows an alternative approach, which concentrates on the question of why something is to be labelled as “moral”. On the base of Peter Ulrich's integrative economic ethics, the relevance of the right of subsistence on the ethical legitimacy of economic decisions, recommendations etc. is explained. The insights are discussed with respect to labour market theories and the German labour market reforms of 2005. Finally, the question of ethical legitimation is connected to the question of democracy and economics.
    Keywords: Peter Ulrich; integrative economic ethics; discourse; ethical legitimation; Karl Polanyi; Subsistence; Viablity; Right of Subsistence
    JEL: B52 P48 B59 Z13 B00
    Date: 2011–10–25
  7. By: V. Ragupathy; K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: We study the emergence of the nonlinear, endogenous, theory of the business cycle, in mathematical modes, within the framework of a macroeconomic theory, which was itself going through its own formal 'birth pangs' at the same time, in the same years. The first part of the story begins in 1928 and ends, with the publication of Yasui's classic on Kaldor, Hicks and Goodwin, in 1953, and Hudson's classic of 1957. But there were other classics in the 1930s, even within some theories of the business cycles of the time - particularly the Austrian and that which may now be called the 'time-to-build' tradition, which originates in Marx and Aftalion, independently, and reaches its nonlinear formalization origins in Tinbergenís work of 1931, followed by Kalecki's theories of the business cycle, substantially influenced also by Tinbergen's classic for mathematical method. There is also what may, for want of a better name, be called the 'cobweb' tradition, on the one hand, and the tradition of Swedish Sequence Analysis, on the other (especially in the 1937 classic work of Lundberg, summarising the Swedish discussion on business cycle theory). The former having its origins, partly, in Austrian inspired search for an integration of dynamic method with equilibrium economic theory (especially represented by a series of classics by Rosenstein-Rodan, from about 1929); and partly in the well known phenomenon of lagged responses in the supply-demand interactions in agricultural and commodity markets, particularly elegantly formalised by Leontief in 1934. From the point of view of economic theory, they were all part of the emerging consensus on the need to incorporate money and áuctuations in nontrivial ways as intrinsic components of orthodox equilibrium economic theory which was characterised as static theory. The implication was that the search was for a synthesis of dynamic method with traditional static equilibrium economic theory. The origins of macroeconomic theory, generally attributed to the post-depression development of monetary theory, business cycle theory and the theory of policy, could be traced to this particular search for a synthesis and was brilliantly summarised by Kuznets in a series of pioneering contributions in 1929/30. The story we try to tell is of mathematical business cycle theory in its non-linear modes, and how it emerged from one strand of macroeconomic theory, which, as just mentioned, was itself being forged, ab initio, dynamically
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Michel DE VROEY (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Pierre MALGRANGE (CEPREMAP, Paris)
    Abstract: This paper is a contribution to the forthcoming Edward Elgar Handbook of the History of Economic Analysis volume edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz Kurz. Its aim is to introduce the reader to the main episodes that have marked the course of modern macroeconomics: its emergence after the publication of Keynes’s General Theory, the heydays of Keynesian macroeconomics based on the IS-LM model, disequilibrium and non-Walrasian equilibrium modelling, the invention of the natural rate of unemployment notion, the new classical attack against Keynesian macroeconomics, the first wave of new Keynesian models, real business cycle modelling and, finally, the second wage of new Keynesian models, i.e. DSGE models. A main thrust of the paper is the contrast we draw between Keynesian macroeconomics and stochastic dynamic general equilibrium macroeconomics. We hope that our paper will be useful for teachers of macroeconomics wishing to complement their technical material with a historical addendum.
    Keywords: Keynes, Lucas, IS-LM model, DSGE models
    JEL: B E E E
    Date: 2011–06–30
  9. By: K. Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: In this paper I attempt to make a case for promoting the courage of rebels within the citadels of orthodoxy in academic research environments. Wicksell in Macroeconomics, Brouwer in the Foundations of Mathematics, Turing in Computability Theory, Sraffa in the Theories of Value and Distribution are, in my own fields of research, paradigmatic examples of rebels, adventurers and non-conformists of the highest caliber in scientific research within University environments. In what sense, and how, can such rebels, adventurers and non-conformists be fostered in the current University research environment dominated by the cult of 'picking winners'? This is the motivational question lying behind the historical outlines of the work of Brouwer, Hilbert, Bishop, Veronese, Gödel, Turing and Sraffa that I describe in this paper. The debate between freedom in research and teaching, and the naked imposition of 'correct' thinking, on potential dissenters of the mind, is of serious concern in this age of austerity of material facilities. It is a debate that has occupied some of the finest minds working at the deepest levels of foundational issues in mathematics, metamathematics and economic theory. By making some of the issues explicit, I hope it is possible to encourage dissenters to remain courageous in the face of current dogmas
    Keywords: Non-conformist research, economic theory, mathematical economics, 'Hilbert's Dogma', Hilbert's Program, computability theory
    Date: 2011
  10. By: S. I. Melnyk; I. G. Tuluzov
    Abstract: A new constructivist approach to modeling in economics and theory of consciousness is proposed. The state of elementary object is defined as a set of its measurable consumer properties. A proprietor's refusal or consent for the offered transaction is considered as a result of elementary economic measurement. Elementary (indivisible) technology, in which the object's consumer values are variable, in this case can be formalized as a generalized economic measurement. The algebra of such measurements has been constructed. It has been shown that in the general case the quantum-mechanical formalism of the theory of selective measurements is required for description of such conditions. The economic analogs of the elementary slit experiments in physics have been created. The proposed approach can be also used for consciousness modeling.
    Date: 2011–10
  11. By: John Creedy
    Abstract: Ursula Hicks (nee Webb) is well known for her contributions to public finance and development economics, and in her role as founding editor of Review of Economic Studies. After a brief introduction to Ursula Hicks’s complex family background, this paper reproduces, with editorial material, the autobiographical sketch of her early life in Dublin. This sketch, written late in her life, is of considerable interest,not only for the light it shows on her own background, but for the glimpse it gives of life in Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. In particular, there is much discussion of the wide circle of the Religious Society of Friends, more generally known as Quakers,which played such a large part in the life of her family.
    Date: 2011
  12. By: K.Vela Velupillai
    Abstract: A re-interpretation of the asymmetric roles assigned to the two agents in the genesis of Newcomb’s Paradox is suggested. The re-interpretation assigns a more active role for the 'rational' agent and a possible Turing Machine interpretation for the behaviour of the demon (alias 'being from another planet, with an advanced technology and science,..,etc.'). These modifications, while introducing new conundrums to an already diabolical interaction, do allow the 'rational' agent, as a computably behavioural agent, to make a clear decision, if any decision is possible at all. This latter caveat is necessary because in the Turing Machine formulation, the computably behavioural agent might have to face algorithmic undecidabilities
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Marco Centoni (LUMSA University); Gianluca Cubadda (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: Modelling comovements amongst multiple economic variables takes up a relevant part of the literature in time series econometrics. Comovement can be defined as "move together", that is as movement that several series have in common. The pattern of the series could be of different nature, such as trend, cycles, seasonality, being the results of different driving forces. As a results, series that comove share some common features. Common trends, common cycles, common seasonality are terms that are often found in the literature, different in scope but all aimed at modeling common behavior of the series. However, modeling comovements is not only a statistical matter, since in many cases common features are predicted by economic theory, resulting from the optimizing behavior of economic agents.
    Date: 2011–10–26
  14. By: Leonard J. Mirman; Marc Santugini
    Abstract: Building on Kihlstrom and Mirman (1974)’s formulation of risk aversion in the case of multidimensional utility functions, we study the effect of risk aversion on optimal behavior in a general consumer’s maximization problem under uncertainty. We completely characterize the relationship between changes in risk aversion and classical demand theory. We show that the effect of risk aversion on optimal behavior is determined not by the riskiness of the risky good, but rather the riskiness of the utility gamble associated with each decision. We also discuss the appropriateness of an (alternative) approach to study risk aversion suggested by Selden (1978), which has been widely popularized in the field of macroeconomics through the parametric model of Epstein and Zin (1989) (henceforth, the Selden-EZ approach). We show that the Selden-EZ approach cannot disentangle risk aversion from tastes, and, thus, cannot be used to isolate the effect of risk aversion.
    Keywords: Classical Demand Theory, Consumer Choice, Epstein-Zin preferences, Risk Aversion, Selden Preferences
    JEL: D01 D81 D91
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Julie Rosaz (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Marie-Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a laboratory experiment in which workers perform a real-effort task and supervisors report the workers’ performance to the experimenter. The report is non verifiable and determines the earnings of both the supervisor and the worker. We find that not all the supervisors, but at least one third of them bias their report. Both selfish black lies (increasing the supervisor’s earnings while decreasing the worker’s payoff) and Pareto white lies (increasing the earnings of both) according to Erat and Gneezy (2009)’s terminology are frequent. In contrast, spiteful black lies (decreasing the earnings of both) and altruistic white lies (increasing the earnings of workers but decreasing those of the supervisor) are almost non-existent. The supervisors’ second-order beliefs and their decision to lie are highly correlated, suggesting that guilt aversion plays a role.
    Keywords: lies, deception, self-image, guilt aversion, lie-aversion, evaluation, experiments
    JEL: C91 D82 M52
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Vitor Joao Pereira Domingues Martinho
    Abstract: Much has been said lately about entrepreneurship, so it seems important to leave here some personal analysis on this topic. The issues outlined here result from a work in about a year in which because a personal and professional obligations it was doing some research on these issues. This is an interesting topic that has not yet expired and on which there is much to research, do it is an area where there are many challenges.
    Date: 2011–10
  17. By: Gabriel Galvez-Behar (IRHiS - Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion - CNRS : UMR8529 - Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III)
    Abstract: For thirty years scientific institutions have been engaged in a process of propertisation through the strengthening of intellectual property in science. In fact, the relationship between science, intellectual property rights and the economic spheres have ever been neither stable nor continuous. Therefore a historical inquiry is necessary to understand the meaning and the practice of scientific property from the middle of 19th century to WW II. In this paper, the relationship between scientific authorship and property appears as a mean to promote the scientific work and its professionalization. Moreover, through the study of the French case, the place of science in the patent system is taken into account in order to understand, at last, the international controversy about scientific property during the interwar period.
    Keywords: Propertisation ; Science ; Intellectual Property ; History ; Scientific Authorship
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Rudolf Berghammer (Institut für Informatik - Universitat Kiel); Agnieszka Rusinowska (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Harrie De Swart (Faculteit Wijsbegeerte-Logica en taalanalyse - Universiteit van Tilburg)
    Abstract: Simple games are a powerful tool to analyze decision-making and coalition formation in social and political life. In this paper we present relational models of simple games and develop relational algorithms for solving some game-theoretic basic problems. The algorithms immediately can be transformed into the language of the Computer Algebra system RelView and, therefore, the system can be used to solve the problems and to visualize the results of the computations.
    Keywords: relational algebra ; RelView ; simple games
    Date: 2011
  19. By: Dirk Bergemann; Stephen Morris
    Date: 2011–10–20
  20. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII - CNRS : UMR7234); Jean-Michel Courtault (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII - CNRS : UMR7234); Khaled El Dika (LAGA - Laboratoire d'Analyse, Géométrie et Applications - CNRS : UMR7539 - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII)
    Abstract: This paper applies the Mean Fi eld Game approach pioneered by Lasry and Lions (2007) to the analysis of the researchers' academic productivity. It provides a theoretical motivation for the stability of the universaly observed Lotka's law. It shows that a remuneration scheme taking into account the researchers rank with respect to the academic resume can induce a larger number of researchers to overtake a minimal production standard. It thus appears as superior to piecework remuneration.
    Keywords: Mean Field Game, Academic production, incentives, Lotka's law.
    Date: 2011–10–13
  21. By: Peter Skott (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: Macroeconomics is in crisis and this creates openings for alternative perspectives. The dominant heterodox traditions, however, have shortcomings that need to be addressed, both to improve our understanding of the real world and to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the irrelevance of most mainstream macro. This paper discusses three examples of areas that need attention: (i) investment functions (where popular specifications lack behavioral and empirical support), (ii) income distribution (where key developments have received little attention) and(iii) the relation between income inequality and financial markets (where extensions of existing models may help explain financial instability) JEL Categories: E12, E21, E22
    Keywords: investment, earnings inequality, financial instability
    Date: 2011–10

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