nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2012‒02‒27
nine papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. When Economics Faces the Economy: John Bates Clark and the 1914 Antitrust Legislation By Luca Fiorito
  2. A Historical Note on the Beauty Contest By Christoph Bühren; Björn Frank; Rosemarie Nagel
  3. The cult of statistical signicance. What economists should and should not do to make their data talk By Walter Krämer
  4. Out of sight, out of mind: Modern economics, social interactions, and Smith’s sympathy By Andrés Álvarez; Jimena Hurtado
  5. Judgment aggregation and the discursive dilemma By Dietrich, Franz
  6. HOMO OECONOMICUS și HOMO ACADEMICUS: limite și aspecte conceptuale By Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
  7. Economics, education and religion: can western theories be generalized across religions? By Yazdani, Naveed; Mamoon, Dawood
  8. Big ideas: wellbeing and public policy By Richard Layard
  9. The Principle of Population for the 21st Century: The Never Coming Stationary State By Martin Machay

  1. By: Luca Fiorito
    Keywords: B15, B31 JEL Classification: The aim of this paper is to analyze John Bates Clark’s influence in the passing of the Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts (1914). Specifically, it is argued and documented that Clark was important in this process in two ways. First, he exercised an “indirect” influence by discussing in academic journals and books problems concerning trusts, combinations, and the necessary measures to preserve the working of competitive markets. At least as importantly, if not more so, Clark took an active role in the reform movement both contributing to draft proposals for the amendment of existing antitrust legislation and providing help and advice during the Congressional debates which led to the passing of the FTC and Clayton Acts.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Christoph Bühren (University of Kassel); Björn Frank (University of Kassel); Rosemarie Nagel (University Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Alain Ledoux, who was one of over 6,000 chess players taking part in Bühren and Frank´s (2012) online Beauty Contest experiment, turned out to be the forgotten inventor of that game. We reconstruct the birth of the Beauty Contest. In section 1 of our note, its first two authors outline the history of the game that metamorphosed into the famous guessing game experiment which was first run in the lab by Rosemarie Nagel. In section 2, Rosemarie Nagel adds further remarks and thoughts about the development of the experimental Beauty Contest.
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Walter Krämer
    Abstract: This article takes issue with a recent book by Ziliak and McCloskey (2008) of the same title. Ziliak and McCloskey argue that statistical significance testing is a barrier rather than a booster for empirical research in economics and should therefore be abandoned altogether. The present article argues that this is good advice in some research areas but not in others. Taking all issues which have appeared so far of the German Economic Review and a recent epidemiological meta-analysis as examples, it shows that there has indeed been a lot of misleading work in the context of significance testing, and that at the same time many promising avenues for fruitfully employing statistical significance tests, disregarded by Ziliak and McCloskey, have not been used.
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Andrés Álvarez; Jimena Hurtado
    Abstract: After having reviewed some of the recent advances in Economics trying to incorporate new elements in our understanding of human interactions, we aim at contributing to this line of research using Adam Smith’s system of sympathy. The features Smith attributes to the intersubjective identification mechanism of sympathy lead not only to conceive the construction of a community but also the possibility of exclusion of some of its members. The asymmetry of sympathy allows explaining emulation of those seen as more fortunate as well as the exclusion of those perceived as miserable. Through a formal representation we try to illustrate the phenomena of inclusion and exclusion present in intersubjetive relations and the construction of communities. Keywords: Adam Smith, sympathy, emulation, exclusion. JEL Codes: B12, B31, D03.
    Date: 2012–01–11
  5. By: Dietrich, Franz
    Abstract: This article gives a brief and informal introduction to the theory of judgment aggregation and to the discursive dilemma, focusing on methodology and interpretation.
    Keywords: judgment aggregation; discursive dilemma; premise- and conclusion-based voting; political philosophy; axiomatic and constructive methods
    JEL: D70 D71
    Date: 2012–02–19
  6. By: Hălăngescu, Constantin I.
    Abstract: The subject of this paper consist in theoretical study on the relationship between two models of the social-human typology in the context of globalization: homo oeconomicus and homo academicus. Reviewing some of the most approved views on theoretical and conceptual aspects and limits of the two human types presented are not exhaustive and is a starting point for further research that can asnswe to questions like: How far can go the convergence between academics and economics? There are constraints or favorite elements in the relationship between Homo Oeconomicus and Homo Academicus? The assertion of Conclusions section, that homo academicus is deeply involved in mundus academicus, while homo oeconomicus stimulates in a global manner the whole mundus academicus, generates various approaches in which the economics and the academics either mingle or dissociate, and that leads to an absolutely justified interrogation in the globalized present: Will homo academicus be able to adapt to the values of homo oeconomicus, sell its know-how and produce conveniently?
    Keywords: homo oeconomicus, homo academicus, globalisation, higher education, economics, academic reforms, knowlegdebased society, knowlegde based economy, brain-power industries
    JEL: I29 N01 A20 A12 N30
    Date: 2012–02–21
  7. By: Yazdani, Naveed; Mamoon, Dawood
    Abstract: Some of the recent empirical studies relate economic growth and prosperity with religion. This paper raises the question that if economic systems are based on individualism and selfishness, can they be related with religion? The paper also finds that the Secularization hypothesis of Western Modernity is still valid for Western cultures, Judaism and Christianity but its application is highly unlikely in case of the third monotheist religion Islam. The paper expounds the causes of this proposition keeping in view the historical, religious and economic perspectives of Islam.
    Keywords: Economics; Education; Monotheist religions; Secularization hypothesis
    JEL: B0 A13
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: Richard Layard
    Abstract: Richard Layard outlines the development of CEP research on what makes people happy and how society might best be organised to promote happiness.
    Keywords: Wellbeing, happiness, public policy
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Martin Machay (Silesian University, School of Business Administration)
    Abstract: One of the most enchanting areas in economics is the forward thinking. While Malthus and Ricardo agreed on the gloomy vision of the future, Mill described the wider stationary state and foresaw it in a more optimistic way. Space sciences and improvements in our technology provided us with the solution decades ago, although economics did not notice this possible solution of the classical stationary state until now. This article incorporates this knowledge into economics. Calories integrate the supply of means of production and the demand for means of consumption in one market. The stationary state could come only if the demand for means of subsistence grows faster than the supply of means of production. Increasing scarcity of free calories exceeding the minimal required volume of it preventing the malnutrition and death will push the calorie price up while economy will move towards the stationary state. But where to take the land when the very last piece of it – even the deserts – will be already cultivated? Increasing scarcity of land opens possibility for firms to make profit from producing land. Thus, the classical stationary state is only an illusion.
    Keywords: stationary state, terraforming, food, population growth, nutrition, space economics
    JEL: J11 Q11 Q15 Q21 Y90
    Date: 2012–01

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