nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒23
fifteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Ian M. McDonald: A review of his contributions to economics By Jeff Borland
  2. Marx: From Hegel and Feuerbach to Adam Smith By Eric Rahim
  3. F.A. Hayek and his rational choice of monetary arrangements By Sahoo, Ganeswar
  4. Milton Friedman's Contributions to Macroeconomics and Their Influence By David Laidler
  5. Solving Two Sided Incomplete Information Games with Bayesian Iterative Conjectures Approach By Teng, Jimmy
  6. A Unified Approach to Equilibrium Existence in Discontinuous Strategic Games By Philippe Bich; Rida Laraki
  7. Ecological Economics By David Stern
  8. Approximate Truth of Perfectness - An Experimental Test - By Siegfried K. Berninghaus; Werner Güth; King King Li
  9. Intimations of Keith Hart's 'Informal Economy' - In the Work of Henry Mayhew, P T Bauer and Richard Salisbury By John D. Conroy
  10. What Is a Solution to a Matrix Game By Martin Shubik
  11. Preserving coalitional rationality for non-balanced games By Stéphane Gonzalez; Michel Grabisch
  12. Economic Theory and Empirics: Selected Economic Papers (Vol. 3) By Heng-fu Zou
  13. Una revisión de la enfermedad holandesa a la luz de la teoría austriaca del ciclo económico By Rodríguez González, Guillermo
  14. A Reason for Unreason: Returns-Based Beliefs in Game Theory By Velu, Chander; Iyer, Sriya; Gair, Jonathan R.
  15. Foucault, Gouvernementalität und Staatstheorie By Biebricher, Thomas

  1. By: Jeff Borland
    Abstract: It is a pleasure and privilege to be able to provide this commentary on Ian McDonald’s career in economics. It’s been my good fortune to have Ian as a teacher when I was a 2nd year student; as the supervisor of my Masters thesis; as my boss when I tutored Intermediate Macroeconomics; and then as a colleague for over 20 years in the Department of Economics. So I feel I’m in a position to provide you with an informed perspective on Ian’s career; as well as being incredibly lucky to have had the benefit of his example and wise counsel over all these years.
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Eric Rahim (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the development of Marx’s thought over a period of something like fifteen months, between the spring of 1843 and the autumn of 1844. The focus of the paper is Marx’s first encounter with classical political economy as he found it in the Wealth of Nations. The outcome of this encounter was presented by Marx in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. It is argued here that in the classical theory, with which he had hitherto been largely unfamiliar, Marx found all the elements he needed to synthesise the philosophical standpoint he had developed in the preceding months with political economy. The Manuscripts represent the first crucial stage in the development of this synthesis. This first encounter of Marx with classical political economy, and his first steps in the development of his synthesis, have received hardly any attention in the literature. The present paper seeks to fill this gap.
    Date: 2012–06
  3. By: Sahoo, Ganeswar
    Abstract: This paper addresses the perspective of Hayek’s doctrine on monetary arrangements in the economy and his favorable argument for an international central bank over national central bank. I also discussed Hayek’s view on free banking (i.e. for the free issue of bank notes) that would enable the banks to provide more and cheaper credit. Furthermore, Hayek comes up with an intellectual debate on “rational choice” of monetary arrangements whether the commercial banks should have the right to issue bank notes (demand for free banking) which can be redeemable in the established national gold or silver currency or an international central bank. This paper focuses on Hayek’s overall philosophy on international money mechanism and his intellectual debate of rational choice between the two arrangements – free banking or an international central bank and his concerned over unstable arrangements in money mechanism,which, he believes, profoundly affects economic and social conditions of people and government. Therefore, to reach the conclusion, I outlined Hayek’s perspectives on central bank and government, then international gold standard, and finally, his choice between free banking and an international central banking which is central theme of this paper.
    Keywords: Money; Banking; Central Bank; Free Banking; Monetary Nationalism
    JEL: E31 E51 B22 E44 E42 E58 E52 E41 B53
    Date: 2012–05–02
  4. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Milton Friedman's contributions to and influence on macroeconomics are discussed, beginning with his work on the consumption function and the demand for money, not to mention monetary history, which helped to undermine the post World War 2 "Keynesian" consensus in the area. His inter-related analyses of the dynamics of monetary policy's transmission mechanism, the case for a money growth rule, and the expectations augmented Phillips curve are then taken up, followed by a discussion of his influence not only directly on the monetarist policy experiments of the early 1980s, but also less directly on the regimes that underlay the "great moderation" that broke down in the crisis of 2007-2008. Friedman's seminal influence on the development of today's mainstream, stochastic, but essentially Walrasian, macroeconomic theory, rooted in his explicit deployment of econometric theory in the analysis of forward-looking maximising behaviour in 1957, and in his later work on the Phillips curve, is also assessed in the light of his own preference, which he shared with Keynes, for a pragmatic Marshallian approach to economic theorising.
    Keywords: Friedman; macroeconomics; Keynes; Keynesianism; monetarism; money; inflation; cycle; depression; monetary policy; consumption
    JEL: B22 E20 E30 E40 E50
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Teng, Jimmy
    Abstract: This paper proposes a way to solve two (and multiple) sided incomplete information games which generally generates a unique equilibrium. The approach uses iterative conjectures updated by game theoretic and Bayesian statistical decision theoretic reasoning. Players in the games form conjectures about what other players want to do, starting from first order uninformative conjectures and keep updating with games theoretic and Bayesian statistical decision theoretic reasoning until a convergence of conjectures is achieved. The resulting convergent conjectures and the equilibrium (which is named Bayesian equilibrium by iterative conjectures) they supported form the solution of the game. The paper gives two examples which show that the unique equilibrium generated by this approach is compellingly intuitive and insightful. The paper also solves an example of a three sided incomplete information simultaneous game.
    Keywords: new equilibrium concept; two and multiple sided incomplete information; iterative conjectures; convergence; Bayesian decision theory; Schelling point
    JEL: C70 C72
    Date: 2012–03–01
  6. By: Philippe Bich (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Rida Laraki (Ecole Polytechnique - Ecole Polytechnique, IMJ - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu - CNRS : UMR7586 - Université Paris VI - Pierre et Marie Curie - Université Paris VII - Paris Diderot)
    Abstract: Several relaxations of Nash equilibrium are shown to exist in strategic games with discontinuous payoff functions. Those relaxations are used to extend and unify several recent results and link Reny's better-reply security condition [Reny, P.J. (1999). On the existence of Pure and Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria in Discontinuous Games] to Simon-Zame's endogenous tie-breaking rules [Simon, L.K. and Zame, W.R. (1990). Discontinuous Games and Endogenous Sharing Rules].
    Keywords: Discontinuous games, Nash equilibrium, Reny equilibrium, better-reply security, endogenous sharing rule, quasi equilibrium, finite deviation equilibrium, symmetric games.
    Date: 2012–06
  7. By: David Stern (The Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy)
    Abstract: Ecological economics is a relatively new interdisciplinary field concerned with the relationship between economic systems and the biological and physical world. This article covers the following topics: A discussion of views on whether ecological economics is just a field or approach within economics or a new ÒtransdisciplinaryÓ field in its own right; Origin of the name of the field; Core common principles of ecological economics; Comparison with environmental economics; Applications; History and institutions of ecological economics. The core principles are that the economy is embedded and dependent upon the ecosphere and that, therefore, models of the economy have to comply with biophysical principles. Ecological economists believe that there are limits to our ability to substitute human-made inputs and knowledge for natural resources and the environment in both production and consumption. They also argue that economic policy must consider jointly the objectives of economic efficiency, equity, and sustainability.
    JEL: Q57
    Date: 2012–05
  8. By: Siegfried K. Berninghaus; Werner Güth (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group); King King Li
    Abstract: "Approximate truth" refers to the principle that border cases should be analyzed by solving generic cases and solving border cases as limits of generic ones (Brennan et al., 2008). Our study experimentally explores whether this conceptual principle is also behaviorally appealing. To do so, we focus on perfectness (Selten, 1975) and use his example game with (no) multiplicity of (perfect) equilibria. Distinguishing three uniform perturbation levels, we check for monotonicity (all players react monotonically to the perturbation level) and then explore the behavioral relevance of "approximate truth."
    Keywords: experimental games, trembling hand perfectness, perturbed strategies
    JEL: C70 C72 C91
    Date: 2012–07–11
  9. By: John D. Conroy
    Abstract: This paper considers the idea of informality in market exchange, as introduced into the economic development literature by Keith Hart in the 1970s. In addition to Hart (1971, 1973) it will discuss three writers who may be considered his intellectual forerunners. Each, to a greater or less degree, anticipated the idea of informal economic activity and described it in a particular historical period and place. They are the mid-Victorian journalist Henry Mayhew (London, c.1850), the libertarian economist P. T. Bauer (British West Africa, c.1948) and the economic anthropologist R. F. Salisbury (colonial New Guinea, c.1952-1963). The principal texts relied upon are Mayhew's monumental London Labour and the London Poor (4 vols, 1851-61), Bauer's Economics of Under-Developed Countries (1957) and Salisbury's From Stone to Steel (1962) and Vunamami: Economic Transformation in a Traditional Society (1970).
    Keywords: informal economy, informal sector, Keith Hart, Henry Mayhew, P. T. Bauer, Richard Salisbury
    JEL: B20 B25 B31 J40 J49 O10 O17 Z10
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: These notes are provided to describe many of the problems encountered concerning both structure and behavior in specifying what is meant by the solution to a game of strategy in matrix or strategic form. In the short term in particular, it is often reasonable for the individual to accept as given, both the context in which decisions are being made and the formal structure of the rules of the game. A solution is usually considered as a complete set of equations of motion that when applied to the game at hand selects a final outcome. There are many different theories and conjectures about how games of strategy are, or should be played. Several of them are noted below. They are especially relevant to the experimental gaming facility noted in the companion paper.
    Keywords: Matrix games, Solution concepts, Experimental gaming
    JEL: C7 C9
    Date: 2012–07
  11. By: Stéphane Gonzalez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne); Michel Grabisch (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: In cooperative games, the core is one of the most popular solution concept since it ensures coalitional rationality. For non-balanced games however, the core is empty, and other solution concepts have to be found. We propose the use of general solutions, that is, to distribute the total worth of the game among groups rather than among individuals. In particular, the k-additive core proposed by Grabisch and Miranda is a general solution preserving coalitional rationality which distributes among coalitions of size at most k, and is never ampty for k ≥ 2. The extended core of Bejan and Gomez can also be viewed as a general solution, since it implies to give an amount to the grand coalition. The k-additive core being an unbounded set and therefore difficult to use in practice, we propose a subset of it called the minimal bargaining set. The idea is to select elements of the k-additive core minimizing the total amount given to coalitions of size greater than 1. Thus the minimum bargaining set naturally reduces to the core for balanced games. We study this set, giving properties and axiomatizations, as well as its relation to the extended core of Bejan and Gomez. We introduce also the notion of unstable coalition, and show how to find them using the minimum bargaining set. Lastly, we give a method of computing the minimum bargaining set.
    Keywords: Cooperative game, core, balancedness, general solution.
    Date: 2012–04
  12. By: Heng-fu Zou
    Date: 2012–05–20
  13. By: Rodríguez González, Guillermo
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to review the phenomenon has been called Dutch disease in the light of Austrian business cycle theory. To this end we will see the history of Austrian business cycle theory from its roots in Wicksell ([1898] 2000) to the extension of the theory in open economies with fiat currencies in Cachanosky (2012). We will review the concept of Dutch disease and the positions of its nature negative, neutral or positive in terms of growth, along with the problem of real exchange rate and its possible relationship with the long term growth, and taking into account the relevant differences between the economies that emit fiat currencies used as reserves and economies that import those currencies as reserves to issue their money, finally we postulate that the Dutch disease, as the economic malaise, it´s simply a variant specific and peripheral, of the distortions in the inter-temporary structure of capital by bad investments, extensively studied in the Austrian business cycle theory.
    Keywords: Enfermedad holandesa; macroeconomía del capital; teoría austriaca del ciclo; dinero fiduciario
    JEL: E50 F31 B53
    Date: 2012–07–09
  14. By: Velu, Chander (University of Cambridge); Iyer, Sriya (University of Cambridge); Gair, Jonathan R. (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Players cooperate in experiments more than game theory would predict. In order to explain this, we introduce the 'returns-based beliefs' approach: the expected returns of a particular strategy in proportion to the total expected returns of all strategies. Using a decision analytic solution concept, Luce's (1959) probabilistic choice model, and 'hyperpriors' for ambiguity in players' cooperability, our approach explains empirical observations in classic games such as the Prisoner's Dilemma. Testing the closeness of fit of our model on Selten and Chmura (2008) data for completely mixed 2x2 games shows that with loss aversion, returns-based beliefs explain the data better than other equilibrium concepts.
    Keywords: subjective probabilities, decision making, cooperation
    JEL: D01 D03
    Date: 2012–07
  15. By: Biebricher, Thomas
    Abstract: Im Mittelpunkt des vorliegenden Working Papers steht eine Gegenüberstellung der durch Michel Foucault sowie die an ihn anschließenden Governmentality Studies geprägten Gouvernementalitätsperspektive auf den Staat mit den etablierten Herangehensweisen in der Staatstheorie. Zu diesem Zweck werden in einem ersten Schritt die werkimmanenten theoretischen Verschiebungen rekonstruiert, die den Staat seit Ende der 1970er Jahre erstmals explizit zum Gegenstand von Foucaults Denkens werden lassen und die sich mit der Formel 'Von Disziplin zu Regierung' zusammenfassen lassen. In einem zweiten Schritt wird die Entstehung der Forschungstradition der Governmentality Studies nachgezeichnet um zu klären, warum sich hier erst in jüngster Zeit eine Debatte um die genuin staatstheoretischen Aspekte der Gouvernementalitätsperspektive abzeichnet. Das theoretisch-analytische Begriffsinstrumentarium dieser Perspektive auf den Staat bildet dann den Gegenstand des folgenden Abschnitts. Im daran anschließenden zentralen Kapitel werden nun die verschiedenen Aspekte der Foucaultschen Perspektive unter anderem mit neo-marxistischen und neo-institutionalistischen Theorien des Staates konfrontiert, um herauszuarbeiten, inwieweit Foucaults Staatsanalytik originelle Elemente und Überlegungen enthält, die nicht schon in einer anderen Tradition zu finden sind. Diese Gegenüberstellung verfolgt jedoch keine polemischen Ziele, sondern ist vielmehr daran interessiert, eine Debatte zwischen den Governmentality Studies und den etablierten Herangehensweisen in der Staatstheorie zu initiieren, der bis jetzt von beiden Seiten und letztlich auch zu beiderseitigem Nachteil aus dem Weg gegangen wurde. Die Studie endet mit der Einschätzung, dass die Gouvernementalitätsperspektive noch weiterer argumentativer Unterfütterung zur Stützung ihres Anspruchs auf eine eigenständige und innovative Herangehensweise an die staatstheoretische Problematik bedarf. -- The argumenative core of this Working Paper is a juxtaposition of the governmentality perspective as it is developed by Michel Foucault and the Governmentality Studies on the one hand and the more established frameworks of state theory on the other. The paper begins with an examination of the various shifts (from discipline to government) in Foucault's work that enable him to make the state an explicit focus of his work for the first time at the end of the 1970. The second step investigates the emergence of the so-called Governmentality Studies in order to find out why it is only very recently that the genuinely state-theoretical content of the governmentality lectures has become the subject of debate. The following section offers an outline of the basic premises and the conceptual vocabulary of the governmentality perspective on the state. Based on these preparatory steps, the core section of the paper then compares the various aspects of the governmentality perspective to alternative approaches from Neo-Institutionalism to Neo-Marxism, in order to identify what might be unique and original about the governmentality perspective. The juxtaposition has no polemical purposes; rather the aim of this comparative examination is to initiate a debate between Foucaultians and proponents of other more established state-theoretical frameworks about strengths and limits of the respective approaches. Both sides have foregone this opportunity so far - to the detriment of both. The study concludes that its many merits notwithstanding, the governmentality perspective still is in need of further elaboration in order to redeem its claim to an original and innovative view on the state-theoretical problematic.
    Date: 2012

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