nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒20
nineteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Isomorphic Strategy Spaces in Game Theory By Gagen, Michael
  2. Economic Thinking about Transnational Governance: Blind Spots and Historical Perspectives By Hans-Michael Trautwein
  3. Isaac I. Rubin e sua história do pensamento econômico By João Antonio de Paula; Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira
  4. Occupy the System! Societal Constitutionalism and Transnational Corporate Accounting By Moritz Renner
  5. Effective Demand: Securing the Foundations - Symposium By Olivier Allain; Jochen Hartwig; Mark Hayes
  6. Ingham and Keynes on the Nature of Money By Mark Hayes
  7. Dreams of order and freedom : debating trade management early 17th century England By Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
  8. Inovação em Celso Furtado: criatividade humana e crítica ao capitalismo By Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque
  9. The Use of Economics in WTO Appellate Body Decisions By Thomas J. Prusa
  10. Improving Nash by Coarse Correlation By Herve Moulin; Indrajit Ray; Sonali Sen Gupta
  11. Nouvelle économie institutionnelle ou socioéconomie des institutions ? By Jérôme Maucourant
  12. Discourse, power and governmentality: Social movement research with and beyond Foucault By Baumgarten, Britta; Ullrich, Peter
  13. On the Foundations of Well-Being Economics and Policy By Giuseppe Munda
  14. Cliométrie et Capital humain By Charlotte Le Chapelain
  15. A Concept of the Global to Conceive Global Governance. Four Metaphorical Proposals By Daniel Innerarity
  16. Do Control Questions Influence Behavior in Experiments? By Catherine Roux; Christian Thöni
  17. Understanding Determinants of Happiness under Uncertainty By Peter Huxley; Tapas Mishra; Bazoumana Ouattara; Mamata Parhi
  18. Les limites du capitalisme : penser la crise du néolibéralisme et les failles de la pensée économique avec Karl Polanyi By Jérôme Maucourant
  19. Quantitative Machtkonzepte in der Ökonomik By Roland Kirstein; Matthias Peiss

  1. By: Gagen, Michael
    Abstract: This book summarizes ongoing research introducing probability space isomorphic mappings into the strategy spaces of game theory. This approach is motivated by discrepancies between probability theory and game theory when applied to the same strategic situation. In particular, probability theory and game theory can disagree on calculated values of the Fisher information, the log likelihood function, entropy gradients, the rank and Jacobian of variable transforms, and even the dimensionality and volume of the underlying probability parameter spaces. These differences arise as probability theory employs structure preserving isomorphic mappings when constructing strategy spaces to analyze games. In contrast, game theory uses weaker mappings which change some of the properties of the underlying probability distributions within the mixed strategy space. Here, we explore how using strong isomorphic mappings to define game strategy spaces can alter rational outcomes in simple games . Specific example games considered are the chain store paradox, the trust game, the ultimatum game, the public goods game, the centipede game, and the iterated prisoner's dilemma. In general, our approach provides rational outcomes which are consistent with observed human play and might thereby resolve some of the paradoxes of game theory.
    Keywords: non-cooperative game theory, isomorphic probability spaces
    JEL: C02 C72
    Date: 2013–04–10
  2. By: Hans-Michael Trautwein (University of Oldenburg - Department of Economics & ZenTra)
    Abstract: The notion of 'transnational governance' refers to systems in which private actors and other non- state institutions participate in setting and enforcing norms for cross-border transactions in trade, finance and other business. While the term is modern, the co-evolution of world markets and hybrid regulation has been discussed since the times of pre-classical and classical political economy. Yet, while transnational governance is a hot issue in other disciplines, it is almost a non-theme in current economics. This paper explores the development of economic thinking about transnational governance in three steps. It starts with a description of transnationalization and a typology of transnational governance. Thereafter it relates the historical causes and analytical choices that make it difficult to deal with transnational governance in terms of modern economics. The blind spots in current frameworks of economic thinking raise the question whether more substantial reflections about transnational governance can be found in the history of economic thought, in the periods when economics as an academic discipline developed along with the emergence of nation states and the global system of markets. In the third step relevant ideas of Adam Smith, Friedrich List, Max Weber, John Hicks and many others are discussed and evaluated in the contexts of city states, trading companies, cross-border finance and self-regulation.
    Keywords: transnational governance, private ordering, co-regulation, cross-border finance, city states, trading companies
    JEL: B12 B15 B25 D02 F59 K2
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: João Antonio de Paula (Cedeplar-UFMG); Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper presents Isaak Rubin’s History of Economic Thought. After a brief description of his life and work, the paper discusses Karl Marx’s attempts to write a critical history of the political economy and, in connection with this, the paper analyses the meaning of Rubin’s History of Economic Thought.
    Keywords: Isaak Illich Rubin (1886-1937), Karl Marx (1818-1883), history of economic thought, critique of political economy.
    JEL: B14 B24 B31
    Date: 2013–04
  4. By: Moritz Renner (University of Bremen - Faculty of Law & ZenTra)
    Abstract: Today's most pressing constitutional question is posed by a global economic system whose expansive tendencies seem no longer controllable. The current financial/debt crisis has triggered diverse reactions in the political arena ranging from the reformist ordo-liberal approach followed by France and Germany in the context of Eurozone negotiations to the anarchist ideas of the Occupy Now movement. As different as these reactions may be, they can be clearly situated in an ideological coordinate system which has basically remained unchanged since the 1920ies. In the past century, two lines of thought have determined our conceptions of political economy: The German debate of the Weimar republic has labelled these lines of thought as Economic Democracy (Wirtschaftsdemokratie), on the one hand, and Economic Constitutionalism (Wirtschaftsverfassung), on the other. The Societal Constitutionalism approach apparently shifts the established ideological coordinates by developing a theory of self-constitutionalizating of social spheres. It seeks to combine the virtues of grassroots democracy with the sophistication of systemic social theory. Thus, its normative claim can be formulated as an oxymoron: 'Occupy the System!' The claim is an oxymoron, because it points to the apparent impossibility of critical social theory in a functionally differentiated society: How can a functional system such as the economy be 'occupied' or 'democratized'? In my contribution, I try to find the grain of truth this oxymoron contains. With a view to the concrete example of transnational standard-setting procedures in the field of corporate accounting, I examine institutional and systemic processes which enable an emerging political discourse at the core of the global economy.
    Keywords: Corporate accounting, financial reporting, IFRS, transnational law, transnational corporations, societal constitutionalism, economic constitutionalism, economic democracy
    JEL: B15 B25 F02 F23 K00 K10 K22 M40 M41 P10 P16
    Date: 2012–11
  5. By: Olivier Allain (Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne); Jochen Hartwig (KOF Swiss Economic Institute); Mark Hayes (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This Symposium consists of individual comments by three authors on papers previously published by the other two (Allain, 2009, Hartwig, 2007 and Hayes, 2007) on the topic of Keynes’s principle of effective demand as set out in The General Theory. The Symposium includes updated versions of PKSG working papers 1210, 1211 and 1212 together with an introduction by all three authors. As Allain puts it, there is a closure problem, in our understanding if not in The General Theory itself. Allain’s solution is to redefine effective demand so that it becomes the end point of a process of convergence of expectations on outcomes. Hartwig (following Chick, 1992, in particular) requires entrepreneurs to form a view about aggregate demand rather than simply their own industry price. Hayes retains Keynes’s definition of effective demand and price-taking firms but introduces a division of entrepreneurs between employers and dealers which is not explicit in Keynes’s text.
    Keywords: Keynes, effective demand, formation of expectations
    JEL: E12 B22 B31
    Date: 2013–04
  6. By: Mark Hayes (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This paper compares and contrasts the thinking of Keynes and Geoffrey Ingham, focussing mainly on The General Theory and Ingham’s The Nature of Money (2004). Two points in particular are addressed: first, the relevance of Ingham’s insistence (following Keynes, among others) on the primacy of money of account to an understanding of Keynes’s own insistence that income is intrinsically monetary and upon the importance of the wage unit as an analytical tool; and second, the subtle contrast between Keynes and Ingham in their understandings of the source of interest as a genuinely monetary and not a ‘real’ phenomenon. Where Keynes identifies uncertainty as the source of interest within a methodologically individualistic framework of analysis, Ingham offers a sociological case in terms of the struggle between the debtor and creditor interests that inevitably emerge as a result of the creation of bank money under capitalism. Taking both points together, Ingham’s work not only underpins the crucial distinction between money and ‘real’ wages for the theory of employment but also develops Keynes’s recognition of the potential opposition between the interests of finance and industry.
    Keywords: nature of money – nature of income – theory of interest
    JEL: B22 B31 E01 E42 E43
    Date: 2012–09
  7. By: Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The catharsis produced by the early 1620’s trade crisis had a significant impact on the way economic themes were regarded by public opinion in England. As a result, those who analyze the ideas put forward in the documents written during that period – be they printed pamphlets or official memoranda – are left with the impression that an adequate supply of money was the undisputed primary concern as regards economic administration. However, as already stressed by Barry Supple, monetary administration only occupied a prominent position in the political agenda of early 17th century England during times of crisis – that is, when the kingdom was faced with a perceived threat of demonetization. This paper tries to show that, during the first two decades of the 17th century, concern with an inflow of bullion and a positive balance of trade was only of secondary importance, being normally overshadowed by a more fundamental aim: promoting a well-ordered structure for the economic relations of the kingdom, according to specific views of what constituted proper trade management. This approach encompassed both foreign and domestic activities, and found its most evident manifestation in the debates about free trade and monopolies which permeated the whole of James I’s reign.
    Keywords: free trade; monopoly; mercantilism; 17th century; Stuart England.
    JEL: B14 B24 B31
    Date: 2012–04
  8. By: Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper investigates Celso Furtado's elaboration on innovation. His book Criatividade e dependência na civilização industrial is the reference for this investigation. Furtado's approach on innovation is an opportunity to search his views about capitalism at the center of the system. Industrial civilization, led by the advanced capitalist countries, restraints creativity: this may be the starting point for Furtado's criticism of advanced capitalist societies. Therefore, from this interpretation of Criatividade e dependência na civilização industrial emerges an author that criticizes capitalism at its center - and this criticism might illuminate how the overcoming of underdevelopment should proceed.
    Keywords: innovation, capitalism, Celso Furtado
    JEL: O30 P10
    Date: 2013–04
  9. By: Thomas J. Prusa
    Abstract: While WTO disputes involve legal rights and obligations, economics often can help the Appellate Body (AB) make sense of the dispute and the implications of ambiguous language in the Agreements. This paper reviews three examples of where the economics could have provided a clearer basis for the AB’s decision. I begin by looking at the question of whether countervailing duties can continue to be imposed subsequent to privatization of state-owned enterprises. I next review the question of how antidumping margins are calculated and whether the zeroing methodology is consistent with the fair comparison requirement. Finally, I examine the question of whether the simultaneous application of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from non-market economies constitutes double remedy. In each of these examples I argue that standard economic theory provides the basis for clear and logic interpretation of the relevant WTO provisions.
    Keywords: non-recurring subsidies, zeroing, double remedy, countervailing duties, antidumping
    Date: 2013–03
  10. By: Herve Moulin; Indrajit Ray; Sonali Sen Gupta
    Abstract: We consider a class of symmetric two-person quadratic games where coarse correlated equilibria - CCE - (Moulin and Vial 1978) can strictly improve upon the Nash equilibrium payoffs, while correlated equilibrium - CE - (Aumann 1974, 1987) cannot, because these games are potential games. We compute the largest feasible total utility in any CCE in those games, and show that it is achieved by a CCE involving only two pure strategy profiles. Applications include the Cournot duopoly and the game of public good provision, where the improvement over and above the Nash equilibrium payoff can be substantial.
    Keywords: Coarse correlated equilibrium, Quadratic games, Duopoly models, Public good
    JEL: C72
    Date: 2013–03
  11. By: Jérôme Maucourant (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - CNRS : UMR5206 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Lyon - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne)
    Abstract: L'émergence et l'affirmation, dans les années 1970-80, d'une " nouvelle économie institutionnelle " , branche de l'économie dominante, peut sembler paradoxale. Voilà près de trente ans que prolifère ce mot d' " institution " dans la littérature professionnelle des économistes. Le présent article se veut une contribution à l'éclaircissement de ce problème, qui conduit à une conclusion négative : le traitement de la question institutionnelle que nous propose l'économie orthodoxe est un échec. Cette façon de poser la question des institutions, en effet, n'est que la conséquence, pour l'essentiel, d'une offensive visant à annexer les autres savoirs, tout en tentant de combler les contradictions interne de l'économie dominante. Comme tout empire, l'empire économique tente de masquer et de dépasser ce qui le mine par une extension déraisonnable de ses prétentions. Mais, que ce soit en ses marches ou en son cœur, cet empire a développé tant de difficultés, voire d'apories, qu'il est souhaitable de renouer avec l'idéal de l'économie politique comme une science empirique, riche des autres développements disciplinaires. En ce sens la socio-économie des institutions, comme logique propre d'une économie politique du XXIème siècle, serait une façon de dépasser le néoinstitutionnalisme et ses équivoques. En bref, les questions posées par North pourraient être déplacées avantageusement grâce aux problématiques de Marx, Weber et Polanyi, repensées pour le monde d'après 2008, d'après la première grande crise de ce siècle neuf.
    Keywords: institutions; économie
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Baumgarten, Britta; Ullrich, Peter
    Abstract: In this article some ideas will be outlined, on how protest research can be stimulated, enriched and reformulated by (post-)Foucaultian thinking. We argue that Foucault and his very concepts of discourse and power provide a perspective on social movements that avoids too simple rational actor concepts, is more long-term oriented and pays more attention to the diverse aspects of the context of social movement action than does mainstream social movement research. We focus on four types of processes that can be analysed from a Foucaultian perspective. 1. Discourses define the boundaries for what can be thought of and communicated at a given point of time in a given society. These boundaries also apply for social movement actors. 2. Within these boundaries of the generally unthinkable we can analyse the framing of social movements and how they contribute to discourses. 3. Further, there are internal communicative practices of movement knowledge generation. These can be viewed as a set of (productive as well as restrictive) discursive regularities. 4. Discourses shape the subjectivity of the people, and thus impact on the mobilizing potential of social movements. Referring to governmentality studies we show how changing rationalities may influence the likelihood of social critique and protest. -- Foucault und die vielen theoretischen und empirischen Arbeiten, die auf seinen Gedanken aufbauen, erfreuen sich momentan innerhalb der Sozialwissenschaften großer Resonanz. Aus diesem Grund ist es sehr verwunderlich, dass dies bisher kaum Einfluss auf den Mainstream der Bewegungs- und Protestforschung hatte. Wir stellen hier einige Ideen vor, wie die bewegungs- und Protestforschung durch (post-)foucault'sche Konzepte und Gedanken bereichert und verändert werden könnte. Wir argumentieren, dass Foucault, insbesondere seine Konzepte von Diskurs und Macht, eine Perspektive auf soziale Bewegungen und Protest nahelegt, die vereinfachende Konzepte von rationalen Akteuren vermeidet, stärker an langfristigen Entwicklungen interessiert ist und bestimmte Kontextbedingungen von Aktivismus stärker berücksichtigt als der bisherige Mainstream der Bewegungsforschung. Wir betrachten in diesem Artikel vier Zusammenhänge von sozialen Bewegungen und Diskursen aus einer Foucault'schen Perspektive: 1. Diskurse bestimmen die Grenzen des in einer bestimmten Gesellschaft zu einer bestimmten Zeit Denk- und Sagbaren. Diese Grenzen gelten auch für Akteure sozialer Bewegungen. 2. Innerhalb dieser Grenzen des generell Denk- und Sagbaren können wir die Rahmungs- bzw. Deutungsprozesse sozialer Bewegungen analysieren und betrachten, wie diese wiederum Einfluss auf Diskurse ausüben. 3. Es lassen sich interne Kommunikationspraktiken innerhalb von Bewegungen analysieren, durch die Bewegungswissen entsteht. Diese können als Set von (ermöglichenden und begrenzenden) diskursiven Regeln betrachtet werden. 4. Diskurse prägen Subjekte und beeinflussen damit das Mobilisierungspotential von sozialen Bewegungen. Angelehnt an die Gouvernementalitätsforschung zeigen wir, welchen Einfluss Wandlungen der Regierungsweisen auf die Möglichkeit von Sozialkritik und Protest haben.
    Keywords: social movements,protest,discourse,Foucault,governmentality,power,knowledge,framing,Soziale Bewegungen,Protest,Diskurs,Foucault,Gouvernementalität,Macht,Wissen,Deutungsmusteranalyse
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Giuseppe Munda (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: When one wishes to implement public policies, there is a previous need of comparing different actions and valuating and evaluating them to assess their social attractiveness. Recently the concept of well-being has been proposed as a multidimensional proxy for measuring societal prosperity and progress; a key research topic is then on how we can measure and evaluate this plurality of dimensions for policy decisions. This paper defends the thesis articulated in the following points: 1. Different metrics are linked to different objectives and values. To use only one measurement unit (on the grounds of the so-called commensurability principle) for incorporating a plurality of dimensions, objectives and values, implies reductionism necessarily. 2. Point 1) can be proven as a matter of formal logic by drawing on the work of Geach about moral philosophy. This theoretical demonstration is an original contribution of this article. Here the distinction between predicative and attributive adjectives is formalised and definitions are provided. Predicative adjectives are further distinguished into absolute and relative ones. The new concepts of set commensurability and rod commensurability are introduced too. 3. The existence of a plurality of social actors, with interest in the policy being assessed, causes that social decisions involve multiple types of values, of which economic efficiency is only one. Therefore it is misleading to make social decisions based only on that one value. 4. Weak comparability of values, which is grounded on incommensurability, is proved to be the main methodological foundation of policy evaluation in the framework of well-being economics. Incommensurability does not imply incomparability; on the contrary incommensurability is the only rational way to compare societal options under a plurality of policy objectives. 5. Weak comparability can be implemented by using multi-criteria evaluation, which is a formal framework for applied consequentialism under incommensurability. Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation, in particular, allows considering both technical and social incommensurabilities simultaneously.
    Keywords: Value Theory, Incommensurability, Public Policy, Sustainability, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Multiple Criteria Evaluation, Complexity Theory
    JEL: A13 C44 D46 E01 H43 Q58
    Date: 2013–04
  14. By: Charlotte Le Chapelain (Université Lyon III, CLHDPP et BETA)
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Daniel Innerarity
    Abstract: This paper suggests four metaphors to correct our habitual way of thinking about globalization. It begins with the idea that the world can be understood more effectively based on the properties of gases, rather than liquids; secondly, it analyzes the properties and effects of the excessive exposure in which we find ourselves when interdependency is in force; It maintains that our world lacks outlying areas, in the sense that nothing, in fact, remains outside, peripheral or completely isolated, and as a normative principle, we cannot consider anything absolutely exterior; and finally, It presents the idea that we live in a world belonging to everyone and to no one, where piracy holds great explanatory force.
    Keywords: Globalization, global governance, interdependence, piracy
    Date: 2013–03
  16. By: Catherine Roux; Christian Thöni
    Abstract: Outcomes and strategies shown in control questions prior to experimental play may provide subjects with anchors or induce experimenter demand effects. In a Cournot oligopoly experiment we explore whether control questions influence subjects' choices in initial periods and over the course of a repeated game. We vary the framing of the control question to explore the cause of potential influences. We find no evidence for an influence of the control question on choices, neither in the first period nor later in the game.
    Keywords: Control questions; Experimenter demand effects; Anchoring; Experimental design
    JEL: B41 C72 C91
    Date: 2013–03
  17. By: Peter Huxley (Mental Health Research Team, Swansea University, UK); Tapas Mishra (Department of Economics, Swansea University, UK); Bazoumana Ouattara (Department of Economics, Swansea University, UK); Mamata Parhi (Department of Economics, Swansea University, UK)
    Date: 2013
  18. By: Jérôme Maucourant (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - CNRS : UMR5206 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Lyon - École Normale Supérieure - Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne)
    Abstract: Extrait remanié de la postface d'Avez-vous lu Polanyi, Flammarion, 2011 : en 1991, l'URSS quittait la scène et la Chine acceptait de s'intégrer dans ce qu'on dénommera " globalisation ". Polanyi, qui fut un critique de la première société de marché, celle qui meurt entre 1918 et 1933, offre une perspective toujours féconde pour comprendre la signification de la deuxième, qui naît au début des années 1980. Ainsi, nous discuterons d'abord de la crise actuelle selon un point de vue inspiré par Polanyi ; nous évoquerons, ensuite, une approche institutionnelle concurrente ; nous conclurons à un nécessaire retour à l'historicité dans le monde d'après.
    Keywords: Polanyi
    Date: 2012–10
  19. By: Roland Kirstein (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Matthias Peiss (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)
    Abstract: Macht ist ein zentraler Bestandteil sozialer Interaktion. Obgleich eine Vielzahl gebräuchlicher Anschauungen und Begriffsdefinitionen zum Thema Macht existiert, erfordert ein wissenschaftlicher Umgang mit dem Konzept der Macht deren quantitative Operationalisierung. Der vorliegende Beitrag untersucht die ökonomische Bedeutung des Machtkonzeptes und konzentriert sich dabei auf Möglichkeiten der Quantifizierung von Macht unter Berücksichtigung ihrer vielfältigen Erscheinungsformen. Hierfür werden einerseits unterschiedliche Konzepte der Machtmessung in der Ökonomik vorgestellt und im jeweiligen Kontext motiviert, so etwa im Rahmen verschiedenartiger Transaktionsbeziehungen, in (nicht-)kooperativen Interaktionssituationen, oder im Bereich der kollektiven Entscheidungsfindung. Zum anderen erfolgt eine Einschätzung darüber, welche der vorgestellten Analyse- und Messkonzepte Macht im Sinne bekannter Machtdefinitionen erfassen und operationalisieren können.
    Date: 2013–02

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