nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2012‒12‒10
fourteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. General formal foundations of the virtuous deficit–profit symmetry and the vicious debt deflation By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  2. WP 123: “Gone Fishing” Modeling Diversity in Work Ethics By Annette Freyberg-inan; Ruya Kocer
  3. On Keynes's Z-function By Strati, Francesco
  4. The Frail Grounds of the Ricardian Dynamics By Christian Bidard
  5. Twenty Five Methodological Issues in Memory of Mark Blaug By Richard G. Lipsey
  6. Rekonstruktive Forschungsmethoden in der deutschen Volkswirtschaftslehre: Eine explorative Erhebung zugrunde liegender Repräsentationsmuster By Lenger, Alexander; Kruse, Jan
  7. Karl Marx: Herakles oder Sisyphos?Eine philosophische und ökonomische Untersuchung By Petersen, Thomas; Faber, Malte
  8. An axiomatization of the nucleolus of the assignment game By Francesc Llerena (Universitat Rovira i Virgili - CREIP); Marina Nunez (Universitat de Barcelona); Carles Rafels (Universitat de Barcelona)
  9. Common mathematical foundations of expected utility and dual utility theories By Dentcheva, Darinka; Ruszczynski, Andrzej
  10. Europa in der Welt von heute: Wilhelm Röpke und die Zukunft der Europäischen Währungsunion By Feld, Lars P.
  11. Sequential vs Collusive Payoffs in Symmetric Duopoly Games By Marco Marini; Giorgio Rodano
  12. Gliederung wissenschaftlicher Abschlussarbeiten By Ahrens, Volker
  13. The Creation of Transnational Law - Participatory Legitimacy of Privately Created Norms By Andreas Maurer
  14. Asymptotic relations in Cournot's game By Guerrazzi, Marco

  1. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: A comprehensive dynamic model of the monetary economy that produces the key characteristics of a debt deflation has been presented recently by Steve Keen as an alternative to conventional approaches. His model is based on a double-entry bookkeeping methodology but lacks an acceptable profit theory. In this respect it is not different from familiar approaches. Clearly, a deficient profit theory prevents a proper understanding of how the real world economy works. The present paper takes an entirely different route and places the core of Fisher’s debt deflation theory into the context of the consistent structural axiomatic approach.
    Keywords: new framework of concepts; structure-centric; axiom set; income; profit; distributed profit; quantity of money; credit expansion; maximum debt/income ratio; annuity; positive feedback; built-in instability
    JEL: E12 E31 E50
    Date: 2012–11–29
  2. By: Annette Freyberg-inan (AISSR, Universiteit van Amsterdam); Ruya Kocer (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In his “Anecdote Concerning the Lowering of Productivity”, written in 1963, the West-German writer Heinrich Böll humorously contrasts the mindset of an enterprising capitalist, bent on the maximization of profit, with that of a person we might call a profit “satisficer,” a maximizer of leisure or happiness, or, less politely, a bum. The anecdote is suggestive, as it leaves the reader wondering whose behavior is in fact rational, or whether we observe here a clash of two rationalities supported by different economic cultures and (un)explained by different theories of economic behavior. Motivated by the question whose behavior makes which sort of sense, we present in this paper a system of utility functions that captures both logics of action simultaneously using purely rational choice based reasoning. The three formulas are integrated into a single and simple dynamic equations system which allows us to identify key factors in the generation of utilities explaining the real-life diversity of work-leisure decisionmaking, in particular the impact of occupational dynamics, personality characteristics, and government intervention. The model sheds considerable light on the familiar yet under-investigated phenomenon of widely varying levels of what Böll calls “Arbeitsmoral,” is interestingly rendered in the English translation as “productivity,” and what has rarely been acknowledged for what it is: differences in choices on work-leisure trade-offs and economic lifestyles that pose an important challenge to mainstream microeconomic, welfare state, and development theory.
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Strati, Francesco
    Abstract: This paper is intended to give a general, but rigorous view about what is the Z-function and what are the hidden relations of the Keynes’s General Theory. In Section 1 I shall depict the concept of probability and that of the weight of argument, in Section 2 I shall introduce quite an important definitions such as the Z-function is different from the Z∗-curve, and some paramount notions. The Section 4 is intended to grasp the importance of the chapters 20-21 of the General Theory, whereas in Section 5 I shall comment, very quickly, some properties of Z∗ in a topological view.
    Keywords: Keynes; Z-Function
    JEL: E12 B16
    Date: 2012–11–29
  4. By: Christian Bidard
    Abstract: The Ricardian dynamics study the evolution of distribution when demand increases. The successive marginal methods in agriculture are determined by means of a rule which has never been stated explicitly by Ricardo's commentators. But the rule also allows us to point at two limits of Ricardo's construction, first in his attempt to get rid of rent in the analysis of distribution, second in the working of the dynamics themselves. Similarly, the identification of a productivity and a profitability criterion is at the basis of Sraffa's mistake in his reconstruction of the theory of rent, whereas post-Sraffian formalizations have abandoned Ricardo's dynamic approach.
    Keywords: Rent, Ricardian dynamics, Ricardo, Sraffa
    JEL: B12 C61 D30
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Richard G. Lipsey (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: This paper discusses twenty five methodological issues covering selected areas of both micro and macroeconomics. Included on the micro side are issues related to modelling the price system, assessing its efficiency, competing models of competition, modelling technological change and economic growth, dealing with risk and uncertainty, and policies related to R&D support, picking winners, and support of infant industries. Included on the macro side are issues related to the alleged refutation of old fashioned Keynesian economies by the stagflation of the 1970s, the use of the Dixit Stiglitz model of monopolistic competition in macro models, the current imperative that all the micro behaviour underling macro relations be based on dynamic inter-temporal optimization, the downplaying of fluctuations in aggregate demand as a driver of cyclical fluctuations, and the interpretation of the economy’s recent behaviour.
    Keywords: methodology, welfare economics, micro economic policy, Keynesian economics, New Classical economics
    JEL: B41 D01 D04 D60 O30
    Date: 2012–11
  6. By: Lenger, Alexander; Kruse, Jan
    Abstract: Die Zweckmäßigkeit qualitativer bzw. rekonstruktiver Forschungsmethoden ist in sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächern seit langem anerkannt, entsprechend wird diese Methodik in der Forschungspraxis umfassend eingesetzt. Im wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Feld hingegen spielen qualitative Methoden, wie z. B. leitfadengestützte Interviews oder teilnehmende Beobachtungen, praktisch keine Rolle. Vor dem Hintergrund, dass eine Mehrzahl deutscher Ökonomen Interesse und Kenntnisse in empirischen Forschungsmethoden für sehr wichtig halten, sollte es umso mehr überraschen, dass qualitative bzw. rekonstruktive Forschungsmethoden in wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Publikationen so gut wie keine Verwendung finden. Um uns diesem Phänomen auf empirische Weise anzunähern, haben wir eine qualitative Befragung unter deutschsprachigen Ökonomen durchgeführt, um mehr über den Stellenwert und die Repräsentationsmuster qualitativer Forschungsmethoden herauszufinden. Ursache für die systematische Ablehnung des qualitativen Forschungsparadigmas - so unser Befund - sind die unzureichenden Kenntnisse über die Logik und den Nutzen qualitativer Forschungsansätze, der fehlende Umgang mit qualitativen Verfahren sowie eine unzulässige Methodenfixierung auf quantitative bzw. mathematische Designs. Entsprechend gilt es herauszuarbeiten, welche Gründe und Entwicklungen für eine solch rigorose Ablehnung qualitativer Forschungsmethoden in der Volkswirtschaftslehre verantwortlich sind. Es ist das Ziel des vorliegenden Beitrags, die fachspezifische Einstellung und das allgemeine Wissenschaftsverständnis deutscher Ökonomen darzustellen sowie Aussagen über Bedeutung, Relevanz und insbesondere Potentiale qualitativer und auch rekonstruktiver Forschungsmethoden für ökonomische Fragestellungen herauszuarbeiten. -- The usefulness of qualitative research methods has gained much recognition in the disciplines of Social Sciences. Consequently, its methods are implemented frequently in the practical course of research. Contrary to this, in economics, qualitative methods, such as semistructured and group interviews or participant observation, have no significance. Considering the fact that a majority of German economists have a vast knowledge and interest in empirical research methods it is very surprising that qualitative research methods are not applied for research in economic publications. To become more familiar with these phenomena on an empirical level, a qualitative census with German economists is conducted, in order to find out more about the significant values and representational samples of qualitative research methods. According to our results, the cause of the systematic disaffirmation of the qualitative research paradigm is the result of insufficient knowledge on the logic and accounts of qualitative research appendage. Moreover, the cause is also due to the missing association with qualitative procedures as well as an existing fixation of methods of quantitative or mathematical designs. Consequently, the causes and developments being responsible for such a rigid rejection of qualitative research methods in the field of economics are elaborated. It is the aim of the paper to present the specific attribution of German economists and to lay out the potential of qualitative research methods for economic reasoning.
    Keywords: Qualitative Forschung,Rekonstruktive Methoden,Empirische Befragung,Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Feld,Methodologische Fragen,Qualitative Research Methods,Semi-Structured Interviews,Economic Field,Methodological Issues
    JEL: B41 C18 C80
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Petersen, Thomas; Faber, Malte
    Abstract: Die Diskussion um Karl Marx ist lange Zeit nur ideologisch positionell geführt worden. Wer sich nicht als Gegner oder Befürworter der Marxschen Lehre erklärte, hatte es schwer, in dieser Diskussion Gehör zu finden. Im letzten Viertel des vorigen Jahrhunderts hat jedoch sowohl in philosophischer als auch wirtschaftswissenschaftlicher Hinsicht eine neue Art der Auseinandersetzung mit den Werken von Karl Marx begonnen. Dabei haben die Kontrahenten sowohl auf marxistischer als auch auf nichtmarxistischer Seite viel ideologischen Ballast beiseite geräumt, und in manchen Positionen hat man sich auch in inhaltlicher Hinsicht angenähert. Trotzdem ist die Diskussion in einem wichtigen Aspekt fragmentarisch geblieben. Auch wenn marxistische und nichtmarxistische Ökonomen nun eine gemeinsame Sprache gefunden haben, so gilt das weit weniger für Philosophen und Ökonomen. Charakteristischerweise zeigt sich das an der Rolle Hegels. Während viele Philosophen dazu neigen, Marx von Hegel her zu verstehen, tendieren Ökonomen und auch der Ökonomik nahestehende Philosophen dazu, Hegel zu vernachlässigen oder ihm allenfalls eine verwirrende oder störende Rolle im Marxschen Denken zuzugestehen. In unserem Essay wollen wir daher herausarbeiten, dass der Bezug zu Hegel und zu der Tradition der Philosophie überhaupt ein konstitutiver Bestandteil der Marxschen Theorie und gerade auch ihres ökonomischen Teils ist. Dabei versuchen wir nichts weniger als eine Gesamteinschätzung der Marxschen Lehre und ihrer oft verwirrenden Vielschichtigkeit zu geben. Im Einzelnen werden wir auf Marx’ Hegelbezug und den historischen Materialismus mit seinen Grundbegriffen, den Produktivkräften und Produktionsverhältnissen eingehen. Von daher werden wir eine Einschätzung von Marx’ Analyse der kapitalistischen Produktionsweise geben und dabei versuchen, ihre qualitativen und quantitativen Aspekte gesondert herauszuarbeiten. Zentrale Aussagen der Marxschen Ökonomik wie die Arbeitswertlehre und das Gesetz vom tendenziellen Fall der Profitrate werden wir im Licht der modernen Wirtschaftswissenschaften diskutieren. Dabei werden auch wichtige Einsichten von Marx hinsichtlich der Umwelt- und Rohstoffprobleme, vor denen wir heute stehen, zur Sprache kommen. Nicht zuletzt gehen wir auf die Konsequenzen ein, die sich aus Marx’ Ansatz für das Problem der Gerechtigkeit und der Einkommensverteilung ergeben. Und schließlich wollen wir erklären, woher bei Marx das notorische Defizit einer politischen Theorie rührt.
    Keywords: Marxsche Philosophie; Marxsche Ökonomik; Historischer Materialismus; Dogmengeschichte; Arbeitswertlehre
    JEL: Q P E11 D3 B31 B24 B10 A31 A1
    Date: 2012–01–30
  8. By: Francesc Llerena (Universitat Rovira i Virgili - CREIP); Marina Nunez (Universitat de Barcelona); Carles Rafels (Universitat de Barcelona) (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: On the domain of two-sided assignment markets, the nucleolus is axiomatized as the unique solution that satisfies derived consistency (Owen, 1992) and complaint mono- tonicity on sectors size. As a consequence, we obtain a geometric characterization of the nucleolus by means of a strong form of the bisection property that characterizes the inter- section between the core and the kernel of a coalitional game in Maschler et al (1979).
    Keywords: core, assignment games, nucleolus, cooperative games
    JEL: C71 C78
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Dentcheva, Darinka; Ruszczynski, Andrzej
    Abstract: We show that the main results of the expected utility and dual utility theories can be derived in a unified way from two fundamental mathematical ideas: the separation principle of convex analysis, and integral representations of continuous linear functionals from functional analysis. Our analysis reveals the dual character of utility functions. We also derive new integral representations of dual utility models.
    Keywords: Preferences; Utility Functions; Rank Dependent Utility Functions; Separation; Choquet Representation
    JEL: C0
    Date: 2012–03–01
  10. By: Feld, Lars P.
    Abstract: Wilhelm Röpke war ein Verfechter des Freihandelsgedankens und gegen jede Form des Kollektivismus, aber auch ein überzeugter Europäer, dem in ferner Zukunft das Ordnungsmodell des Schweizer Föderalismus als Zielvorstellung für Europa vorschwebte. In Währungsfragen war er skeptisch gegenüber Währungsunionen, in denen deren Disziplinierungswirkung über völkerrechtliche Verträge und die Bereitschaft der Länder, diese einzuhalten, sichergestellt werden muss. Vor dem Hintergrund von Röpkes Werk zur europäischen Integration werden in diesem Beitrag das ordnungspolitische Konstrukt der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion analysiert und Lösungsansätze für die gegenwärtige Schuldenkrise abgeleitet. [Überarbeitete und erweiterte schriftliche Fassung der sechsten Wilhelm-Röpke-Vorlesung, gehalten unter dem Titel Dezentralität im Bundesstaat und im Staatenverbund: Wilhelm Röpke, Europa und der Föderalismus am 9. Februar 2012 am Wilhelm-Röpke-Institut in Erfurt. Eine gekürzte frühere Version ist erschienen als: Europa in der Welt von heute, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Nr. 41 vom Freitag, 17. Februar 2012, S. 10.] --
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Marco Marini (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Giorgio Rodano (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
    Abstract: In many strategic settings comparing the payo¤s obtained by players under full cooperation to those obtainable at a sequential (Stackelberg) equilibrium can be crucial to determine the nal outcome of the game. This happens, for instance, in repeated games in which players can break cooperation by acting sequentially, as well as in merger games in which rms are allowed to sequence their actions. Despite the relevance of these and other applications, no fully-edged comparisons betwen collusive and sequential payo¤s have been performed so far. In this paper we show that even in symmetric duopoly games the ranking of cooperative and sequential payo¤s can be extremely variable, particularly when the consuete linear demand assumption is relaxed. Not surprisingly, the degree of strategic complementarity and substitutability of playersactions (and, hence, the slope of their best-replies) appears decisive to determine the ranking of collusive and sequential payo¤s. Some applications to endogenous timing are discussed.
    Keywords: Sequential Payoffs; Collusion; Duopoly Games
    Date: 2012–06
  12. By: Ahrens, Volker
    Abstract: Praxisleitfäden zur Anfertigung wissenschaftlicher Abschlussarbeiten erscheinen bei der Frage, wie solche Arbeiten zu gliedern sind, ebenso ratlos wie Dozentinnen und Dozenten, die dazu Lehrveranstaltungen anbieten. Im Kern heißt es regelmäßig, eine Gliederung bestehe aus einer Einleitung, aus einem Hauptteil und aus einem Schluss (vgl. z. B. Brauner/ Vollmer 2008, 19, 53, 81; Esselborn-Krumbiegel 2008, 148ff; Franck/ Stary 2009, 148). Dass dazu angesichts einer zweitausendjährigen wissenschaftlichen Tradition angeblich keine detaillierteren Aussagen gemacht werden können, sollte zu denken geben. Nun kann man Texte im Allgemeinen durchaus auf verschiedene Weise gliedern. Doch dabei gibt es leichtere und schwerere Varianten. Und gerade angehenden Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern sollte man nicht zu schweren Varianten raten. Daher soll im Folgenden die einfachste Möglichkeit zur Gliederung wissenschaftlicher Abschlussarbeiten erläutert werden. Diese Möglichkeit besteht darin, den Erkenntnisprozess nachzuzeichnen. Insofern beinhaltet die folgende Empfehlung zur Gliederung gleich zweierlei: die Gliederung einer wissenschaftlichen Abschlussarbeit und die Strukturierung der Vorgehensweise bei der wissenschaftlichen Bearbeitung einer Aufgabe. --
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Andreas Maurer (University of Bremen - Faculty of Law)
    Abstract: The notion of a transnational law has been under dispute for several decades. After Philip Jessup in his widely-known Storrs Lecture on Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School had coined the phrase in 1956, it has been used in numerous contexts. One of the most influential narratives of transnational law is the one that equates transnational law with a "New Law Merchant". In this context, transnational rules are seen as a source of law for cross border trade law which exists as a third form of law besides national and international law. It is created by arbitrators but also by internationally acting private rule- and standard-setting organizations such as the international chamber of commerce (ICC), that creates and administers standard terms such as the International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) or the Uniform Customs and Practice for documentary credits (UCP). There are a number of organization which Ð just like the ICC Ð create rules and standards that in some cases are more important for cross-border trade than national or international laws. Legal scholarship, however, has always faced problems conceptualizing such rules and standards. Whereas many legal scholars have tried to explain "private lawmaking" in different ways, others have just rejected the possibility of privately created law at all. Adherents of a theory of transnational law claim that privately created norms have the same effects of law and therefore are "functional equivalents" (Luhmann) of law. Critics of the concept of transnational law, however, have always pointed out differences between state law and transnational law. Especially the lack of (democratic) legitimization of transnational law has been a focal point of severe critique. I will elaborate on the observation that participation seems to play an important role in the creation of transnational law. I will also argue that participation can be a source of legitimacy and normativity in the realm of transnational lawmaking. My thesis is that privately created norms in the transnational field can be as normative as national law if those who will be affected by a norm have the opportunity to participate in the process of its formation.
    Keywords: transnational law, contract law, standard contract terms, standard clauses, maritime law, maritime industry, legal theory, international law, global law, globalization
    JEL: K12 K40 K49 N40
    Date: 2012–11
  14. By: Guerrazzi, Marco
    Abstract: In this note, I derive the asymptotic relation verified by oligopolists' iso-profit curves within Cournot's game. Thereafter, I provide an economic rationale for such a mathematical relation. The results of this exploration suggest that for each firm the asymptotes of the iso-profit curves convey the boundaries beyond which output competitors become net purchasers of the good supplied in the market.
    Keywords: Cournot's Game; Nash Equilibrium; Asymptotes
    JEL: C72
    Date: 2012–11

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