nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2013‒05‒11
nine papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Why Marx Still Matters By Jon D. Wisman
  2. On pure strategy equilibria in large generalized games By Riascos Villegas, Alvaro; Torres-Martínez, Juan Pablo
  3. Equilibrium Theory under Ambiguity By Wei He; Nicholas C. Yannelis
  4. Quantile Kernel Regression for Identifying Excellent Economists By Richard S.J. Tol
  5. Subjective Well‐Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation? By Stevenson, Betsey; Wolfers, Justin
  6. Why business historians need a constructive theory of the archive By Schwarzkopf, Stefan
  7. Marc Barbut au pays des médianes. By Bernard Monjardet
  8. Fairness norms can explain the emergence of specific cooperation norms in the Battle of the Prisoners Dilemma By Fabian Winter
  9. Delusions of Success: Comment on Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman By Bent Flyvbjerg

  1. By: Jon D. Wisman
    Abstract: This article explores why a deep understanding of Marx's project is essential for developing an adequate science of society. The imperative to re-examine Marx's project has been made evident not only by the incapacity of the fragmented contemporary social sciences to grasp the causes and necessary responses to capitalism's current crises, but more urgently what is arguably humanity's greatest challenge -- avoiding ecological devastation and perhaps even ecocide. Due to space limitations, this article cannot address these pressing issues directly. Instead, it focuses on how Marx's approach offers the most promising scope and method for addressing challenges such as these. Marx viewed humanity's struggle to overcome nature's scarcity as causally and dynamically related to social organization and social consciousness. Critical to this breadth, and what is yet more alien to the Anglo-American social science tradition, Marx unfolded a theory of our self-creation, the manner in which products of our manual and intellectual labor act back upon us to create us socially and intellectually. To the extent that we lose consciousness of this authorship, we are unfree. We are controlled by our own creations, frequently in harmful manners. Our full freedom, and therefore our capacity to come to terms with contemporary challenges requires a social science with the breadth of Marx's that enables us to recover awareness of our authorship of our social creations and thereby be empowered to control them, as opposed to being their victims.
    Keywords: freedom, dialectics, materialist history, methodology
    JEL: B3 B4 B51
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Riascos Villegas, Alvaro; Torres-Martínez, Juan Pablo
    Abstract: We consider a game with a continuum of players where at most a finite number of them are atomic. Objective functions are continuous and admissible strategies may depend on the actions chosen by atomic players and on aggregate information about the actions chosen by non-atomic players. When atomic players have convex sets of admissible strategies and quasi-concave objective functions, a pure strategy Nash equilibria always exists.
    Keywords: Generalized games; Non-convexities; Pure-strategy Nash equilibrium
    JEL: C72 C62
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Wei He; Nicholas C. Yannelis
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: Quantile kernel regression is a flexible way to estimate the percentile of a scholar’s quality stratified by a measurable characteristic, without imposing inappropriate assumption about functional form or population distribution. Quantile kernel regression is here applied to identifying the one-in-a-hundred economist per age cohort according to the Hirsch number.
    Keywords: quantile kernel regression; Hirsch number; economics
    JEL: A11
    Date: 2013–04
  5. By: Stevenson, Betsey (University of Michigan); Wolfers, Justin (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Many scholars have argued that once "basic needs" have been met, higher income is no longer associated with higher in subjective well-being. We assess the validity of this claim in comparisons of both rich and poor countries, and also of rich and poor people within a country. Analyzing multiple datasets, multiple definitions of "basic needs" and multiple questions about well-being, we find no support for this claim. The relationship between well-being and income is roughly linear-log and does not diminish as incomes rise. If there is a satiation point, we are yet to reach it.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, satiation, basic needs, Easterlin paradox
    JEL: D6 I3 N3 O1 O4
    Date: 2013–04
  6. By: Schwarzkopf, Stefan
    Abstract: Archival records are a constitutive element of business historical research, and such research, in turn, is fundamental for a holistic understanding of the role of enterprise in modern capitalist societies. Despite an increasing debate within business history circles about the need to theorize the historian as author and creator of narratives, a fuller reflection on the uses and limitations of the archive in business historical research has not yet taken place. This article takes its lead from theories of organisational epistemology, and asks to what extent business historians are trapped by an outdated, realist methodology and epistemology which is in danger of ignoring the multiple roles that archives play in their knowledge production.
    Keywords: Business History; Methodology; Epistemology; Archives; Organizational Epistemology; Sociology of Knowledge
    JEL: B00 B4 N01 N80
    Date: 2013–01
  7. By: Bernard Monjardet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne et CAMS-EHESS)
    Abstract: The notion of median originally appeared in Statistics was introduced more later in Algebra and Combinatorics. Marc Barbut was the first to develop the link between these two notions of median. I present his precursory works linking the metric medians and the algebraic medians of a distributive lattice and using these links within the framework of the "median procedure" in data analysis. I also give a short survey on the development of the – more general – theory of "median spaces" and I mention some problems about the median procedure.
    Keywords: Distributive lattice, majority relation, median graph, median procedure, median semilattice, metric space.
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Fabian Winter (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: Cooperation norms often emerge in situations, where the long term collective benefits help to overcome short run individual interests, for instance in repeated Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) situations. Often, however, there are different paths to cooperation, benefiting different kinds of actors to different degrees. This leads to payoff asymmetries even in the state of cooperation, and consequently can give rise to normative conflicts about which norms should be in place. This norm-coordination problem will be modeled as a Battle of the Sexes game (BoS) with different degrees of asymmetry in payoffs. We combine the PD and the BoS to the 3×3 Battle of the Prisoners Dilemma (BOPD) with several asymmetric cooperative and one non-cooperative equilibria. Bame theoretical and "behavioral" predictions are derived about the kind of norms that are likely to emerge under different shadows of the future and degrees of asymmetry and tested in a lab-experiment. Our experimental data show that game theory fairly well predicts the basic main effects of our experimental manipulations, but "behavioral" predictions perform better in describing the equilibrium selection process of emerging norms.
    Keywords: Social norms, normative conflict, Prisoner's Dilemma, coordination, experiment
    JEL: Z13 C92 C72 D31
    Date: 2013–04–24
  9. By: Bent Flyvbjerg
    Abstract: Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman must be commended for their clear identification of causes and cures to the planning fallacy in "Delusions of Success: How Optimism Undermines Executives' Decisions" (HBR July 2003). Their look at overoptimism, anchoring, competitor neglect, and the outside view in forecasting is highly useful to executives and forecasters. However, Lovallo and Kahneman underrate one source of bias in forecasting - the deliberate "cooking" of forecasts to get ventures started.
    Date: 2013–04

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