nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2013‒06‒16
twenty papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Introduction [to Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics: Oxford University Press: USA]. By Geoffrey Harcourt; Peter Kriesler
  2. The traverse, equilibrium analysis and post-Keynesian economics. By Joseph Halevi; Neil Hart; Peter Kriesler
  3. Siting the New Economic Science: The Cowles Commission’s Activity Analysis Conference of June 1949 By Till Düppe; E. Roy Weintraub
  4. A Non-Autistic Approach to Socio-Economic Problems: Kathedersozialismusand the Kathedersozialismusand the Kathedersozialismus German Historical School By Wolfgang Drechsler
  5. The Monetary Theory of Kalecki and Minsky By Jan Toporowski
  6. A reproduction and replication of Engel’s meta-study of dictator game experiments. By Le Zhang; Andreas Ortmann
  7. Michal Kalecki and Rosa Luxemburg on Marx’s schemes of reproduction: two incisive interpreters of capitalism. By Geoffrey Harcourt; Peter Kriesler
  8. Homer: A Forerunner of Neoclassical Economics By Posada, Carlos Esteban
  9. Towards a revision of the theory of capital By Cavalieri, Duccio
  10. Tangible Temptation in the Social Dilemma: Cash, cooperation, and self-control By Myrseth, Kristian Ove R.; Riener, Gerhard; Wollbrant, Conny
  11. Mean-Variance and Expected Utility: The Borch Paradox By David Johnstone; Dennis Lindley
  12. Notes sur Keynes et la crise By Paulo Nakatani; Rémy Herrera
  13. The Human Right to Water and Common Ownership of the Earth By Risse, Mathias
  14. Capabilities and Human Dilemmas: How to Cope with Incompleteness By Mario Biggeri; Nicolò Bellanca
  15. On the Interpretation of Giving, Taking, and Destruction in Dictator Games and Joy-of-Destruction Games. By Le Zhang; Andreas Ortmann
  16. Research, Research Gap and the Research Problem By Dissanayake, D.M.N.S.W.
  17. Three Paradigms of Governance and Administration: Chinese, Western and Islamic By Wolfgang Drechsler
  18. Peer Discipline and the Strength of Organizations By David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
  19. Fusing Indissolubly the Cycle and the Trend: Richard Goodwin’s Profound Insight. By Geoff Harcourt
  20. Evolutionary determinants of war By Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian

  1. By: Geoffrey Harcourt (The University of New South Wales); Peter Kriesler (The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: In this Introduction, we discuss the main themes of post-Keynesian economics, and the manner in which they are dealt with by the contributors to the Handbook. In particular, the important aspects of post-Keynesian analysis are identified, and their main critiques of mainstream theory are discussed. According to Joan Robinson “post-Keynesian has a definite meaning; it applies to an economic theory or method of analysis which takes account of the difference between the future and the past”. In other words, historical time forms the basis of post-Keynesian analysis, which also stresses the importance of history, uncertainty, society and institutions in understanding economic phenomena.
    Keywords: history of economic thought, post-Keynesian, equilibrium and disequilibrium, path-dependency, hysteresis, cumulative causation and the evolutionary
    JEL: B00 B52 D5 E12
    Date: 2012–05
  2. By: Joseph Halevi (The University of Sydney); Neil Hart (The University of Western Sydney); Peter Kriesler (The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: The Traverse refers to the movement of the economy outside equilibrium. It requires a consideration of how an economy may achieve equilibrium, and how it may navigate towards a new one if conditions change. Analysis of these themes, from the classical economists onwards, leads to the conclusion that it is difficult to envisage any useful role for equilibrium theory in the absence of some evidence that there are forces in the economy which propel it to equilibrium, without influencing the position to which the economy is gravitating towards. Complicating factors, emphasised in the post-Keynesian literature, include the existence of path-dependency, hysteresis, cumulative causation and the evolutionary nature of economic change.
    Keywords: history of economic thought, post-Keynesian, equilibrium and disequilibrium, path-dependency, hysteresis, cumulative causation and the evolutionary
    JEL: B00 B52 D5 E12
    Date: 2012–05
  3. By: Till Düppe (University of Quebec at Montreal); E. Roy Weintraub (Duke University)
    Abstract: In the decades following WWII, the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics came to represent new technical standards that informed most advances in economic theory. The public emergence of this community was manifest at a conference held in June 1949 titled Activity Analysis of Production and Allocation. Our history of this event situates the Cowles Commission among the institutions of post-war science in-between National Laboratories and the supreme discipline of Cold War academia, mathematics. Although the conference created the conditions under which economics, as a discipline, would transform itself, the participants themselves had little concern for the intellectual battles that had defined prewar university economics departments. The conference bore witness to a new intellectual culture in economic science based on shared scientific norms and techniques un-interrogated by conflicting notions of the meaning of either science or economics.
    Keywords: Cowles Commission, activity analysis, linear programming, general equilibrium theory, von Neumann, Koopmans, Dantzig, fixed point theorems
    JEL: B2 C0
    Date: 2013–06
  4. By: Wolfgang Drechsler
    Abstract: The by now highly alternative, barely even heterodox economics that dominated Germany, and in fact Continental Europe and much of the world, between the late middle of the 19th Century and the early 20th and that is at the basis both of the Social Market Economy and of much of the modern Welfare State, is particularly interesting once we realize that this is a particularly non-autistic approach to economic problems. Here, the clear recognition of fundamental and pressing social issues . what was called the ´Social Question¡ . gave rise to the realization, by economists and many other intellectuals, that both the analysis of the problem and the suggestion for remedies depend on method, and that method is never neutral. Method shapes how we see reality; it determines the policy outcome . or at least it is employed and promoted by those who want certain outcomes. And some methods, then as now (they are actually by and large the same), preserve the status quoby calling any investigation of what exists, what is wrong, and what should change, unscientific, futile, and impossible. By doing so, one need not openly oppose reform and development . it is enough if one creates a system within which dealing with the real problems is delegitimized. The late 19th century political attitude towards the Social Question, ´Kathedersozialismus¡, by and large led the economists involved to focus on realism (rather than abstraction), on relevance over precision, which by then had become a choice to be made.
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Jan Toporowski (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: The monetary theory of Kalecki and Minsky is usually placed within the Post-Keynesian tradition, deriving from the monetary analysis of John Maynard Keynes. The paper argues that Kalecki and Minsky shared a common inheritance in Swedish and German monetary theory, rather than the Marshallian tradition. Thus the monetary analysis of Kalecki and Minsky emphasises the endogeneity of money through capitalist reproduction, rather than through the mechanisms connecting central bank money to credit creation in the banking system. This provides the link between the monetary theory of Kalecki and Minsky and modern circuit theory.
    Keywords: Keynes, Kalecki, Minsky, Money
    JEL: B30 E12 E51
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Le Zhang (University of New South Wales); Andreas Ortmann (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: In this paper, we reproduce Engel’s (2011) meta-study of dictator game experiments using his data, and then replicate it using our own data. We find that Engel’s (2011) meta-study of dictator game experiments is quite robust. We show that meta-analyses of dictator game experiments depend to an extent on the definition of independent variables and consistent coding of studies. This insight pertains in particular to the take-option, which has produced important questions (Bardsley 2008; List 2007; Guala and Mittone 2010) about the epistemological inferences one can draw from dictator game experiments.
    Keywords: dictator game experiments, meta-analysis, meta-regression, reproduction, replication
    JEL: C24 C91 D03
    Date: 2012–11
  7. By: Geoffrey Harcourt (The University of New South Wales); Peter Kriesler (The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: Both Rosa Luxemburg and Michal Kalecki utilised Marx’s scheme’s or reproduction as the starting point of their analysis of economic dynamics. However, Luxemburg did not realise that they were not meant to serve as models of capitalist growth, but rather to show that the conditions for stable growth were unachievable. Luxemburg was an early proponent of the stagnationist thesis which was popularised by Kalecki, Steindl, Baran and Sweezy. She argued that capitalist economies were doomed to stagnate unless markets outside the capitalist arena could be utilised, although she also acknowledged the importance of government expenditure on armaments. Kalecki, while acknowledging some of the limitations of her analysis, was able to extend it to incorporate the main elements of modern capitalist growth.
    Keywords: reproduction schema, Marxian economics, economic growth, economic cycles, effective demand, imperialism
    JEL: B14 B24 B51 E11 E12
    Date: 2012–08
  8. By: Posada, Carlos Esteban
    Abstract: Homer clearly expressed the economic problem of choosing the best option among several alternatives given a certain set of restrictions. In the Odyssey he specifically wrote about the minimum cost choice. This kind of problem, as is well known, is at the heart of the neoclassical economics. We can therefore consider Homer a forerunner of this school of thought. This hypothesis contrasts with those of Trever (1916), Schumpeter (1954) and Schefold (1997).
    Keywords: Odyssey, minimum cost choice, neoclassical economics
    JEL: B13 B3
    Date: 2012–05
  9. By: Cavalieri, Duccio
    Abstract: This is a proposal to restate the theory of capital along critical Marxian lines aimed at providing a better integration of the theory of capital with the theory of money and finance. The time value of money must be properly accounted for. An analytical method is proposed to accomplish this task. The fundamental Marxian problem of the origin of profit is treated with reference to a specific price index, the monetary expression of labour value (MEV), which accounts for both explicit and implicit cost components, including the financial cost of capital. MEV should not be confused with MELT, the ‘New Interpretation’ money expression of living labour time, which does not consider the opportunity-cost of capital and, following the erroneous net value equality, focuses on the money value of the living labour time commanded by commodities at a given wage rate, rather than on the money value of total abstract labour time embodied in commodities, inclusive of both living and past labour.
    Keywords: Value, capital, labour, profit, Marx, neo-Marxism, accounting, MEV, MELT
    JEL: B12 B13 B22 B5 B51 D46 E22 E4 E41
    Date: 2013–06
  10. By: Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Riener, Gerhard (DICE, University of Düsseldorf); Wollbrant, Conny (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The social dilemma may contain, within the individual, a self-control conflict between urges to act selfishly and better judgment to cooperate. Examining the argument from the perspective of temptation, we pair the public good game with treatments that vary the degree to which money is abstract (merely numbers on-screen) or tangible (tokens or cash). We also include psychometric measures of self-control and impulsivity. Consistent with our hypothesis, we find in the treatments that render money more tangible a stronger positive association between cooperation and self-control—and a stronger negative association between cooperation and impulsivity. Our results shed light on the conditions under which self-control matters for cooperation.
    Keywords: Self-control; Pro-social behavior; Public good experiment; Temptation
    JEL: D01 D03 D64 D70
    Date: 2013–06–07
  11. By: David Johnstone; Dennis Lindley
    Abstract: The model of rational decision-making in most of economics and statistics is expected utility theory (EU) axiomatised by von Neumann and Morgenstern, Savage and others. This is less the case, however, in financial economics and mathematical finance, where investment decisions are commonly based on the methods of mean-variance (MV) introduced in the 1950s by Markowitz. Under the MV framework, each available investment opportunity ("asset") or portfolio is represented in just two dimensions by the ex ante mean and standard deviation $(\mu,\sigma)$ of the financial return anticipated from that investment. Utility adherents consider that in general MV methods are logically incoherent. Most famously, Norwegian insurance theorist Borch presented a proof suggesting that two-dimensional MV indifference curves cannot represent the preferences of a rational investor (he claimed that MV indifference curves "do not exist"). This is known as Borch's paradox and gave rise to an important but generally little-known philosophical literature relating MV to EU. We examine the main early contributions to this literature, focussing on Borch's logic and the arguments by which it has been set aside.
    Date: 2013–06
  12. By: Paulo Nakatani (UFES - Université Fédérale de Espirito Santo); Rémy Herrera (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Ce cahier de recherche propose une analyse - d'un point de vue d'inspiration marxiste - des relations entretenues par John Maynard Keynes avec l'économie dominante à son époque (première partie), puis présente les éléments théoriques sur la crise qu'il développa lui-même (deuxième partie), et s'interroge enfin, dans le contexte de la crise actuelle, sur l'opportunité d'un retour aux politiques dites " keynésiennes " (troisième partie).
    Keywords: Keynes; crise; marxisme; économie dominante; capitalisme
    Date: 2013–05
  13. By: Risse, Mathias (Harvard University)
    Abstract: The human rights to water and sanitation have come up for a fair amount of discussion in the last 15 years, especially among lawyers, social scientists, and human rights activists. Relatively little foundational normative work has been done in support of such human rights. The present paper provides philosophical foundations for human rights to water and sanitation, resorting especially to ideas of humanity's common ownership of the earth.
    Date: 2013–02
  14. By: Mario Biggeri; Nicolò Bellanca (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to discuss the role of evaluative incompleteness in the work of Amartya Sen. In section 2, we consider Sen’s distinction between optimising or perfect choices and maximising or acceptable choices, showing it is based on a restrictive interpretation of incompleteness. In section 3, we argue that this distinction does not take into account a third crucial category of human choices, the dilemmas, and we show they are based on the concept of incompleteness in a strict sense. Section 4 discusses the reason why in Sen’s theoretical approach dilemmas and incompleteness appear to be somehow neglected. Then, in section 5 we advance an attempt to analyse human choices – both in the form of dilemmas or not – in conditions of incompleteness, while in section 6 we suggest a definition of freedom able to embrace also these dilemmatic choices. Finally, section 7 concludes.
    Keywords: evaluative incompleteness; Amartya K. Sen; dilemmas; freedom;
    JEL: A13 B59 D01 D63 I30 O10
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Le Zhang (University of New South Wales); Andreas Ortmann (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: The literature on dictator [D] games seems to demonstrate that some people are quite altruistic (nice), whereas the literature on joy-of-destruction [JoD] games shows that some people may be quite nasty. We study to what extent these behaviors are context dependent: If people are nice or nasty, are they consistently so? Or are niceness and nastiness dependent on circumstances? What are some of these circumstances? And what role does efficiency play in this context? We study these issues in a counter-balanced within-subject design of one-shot D and JoD games across three treatments (between-subjects). We find that people’s niceness, and nastiness, are indeed choice set, and context, dependent. When take-options and add-options (mirror images of give-options in standard D games and destruction options in standard JoD games) were added, we find considerable heterogeneity in types but relatively little behavior that can be considered clearly inconsistent, i.e., both nice and nasty. Consistent with previous evidence, we also find that subjects pay considerable attention to efficiency considerations. Mach-IV scores and other demographic characteristics have larger – but not large – effects on niceness (giving decision) than nastiness (destruction decision) where they, in our setting, essentially make no difference. Importantly, the order of decision elicitation implicit in our counter-balanced within-subject design, and, intriguingly, the definition of the relevant reference point (especially for giving decisions), matter for the interpretation of the results.
    Keywords: Dictator game, Joy-of-Destruction game, Money burning, Altruism, Nastiness, Efficiency considerations, Mach-IV test
    JEL: A13 C79 D03 D64
    Date: 2012–12
  16. By: Dissanayake, D.M.N.S.W.
    Abstract: Mainly, due to new scientific inquiries and technological advancements Knowledge becomes obsolete. So it creates a dilemma where the applicability of so called theories and models which we learnt in class can still be applied to solve problems? Thus, the scholars bring the notion of RESEARCH as a definite solution which enriches the existing understanding of a phenomenon. This can be either a theory testing or a theory extension (theory building) approach. In fact, gap identification and formulating a research problem are vital for a research project. The note details two approaches to identify research gap and thereby to formulate a research problem.
    Keywords: Research, Research Gap, Research Problem
    JEL: Z0
    Date: 2013–06–10
  17. By: Wolfgang Drechsler
    Abstract: The title of this essay is programmatic: I will attempt to suggest and tentatively conceptualize and that there are (at least) three paradigms of governance and especially public administration (PA). Briefly put, this means that there is not one global best (practice of) PA, but that what we call global PA is actually Western PA . and, today, that means to a large extent Anglo-American PA. If we follow Bouckaertÿs (2011) suggestion that PA has two dimensions, equity (goals) and performance (mechanics), inextricably linked though they may often be, we call this global PA ´good PA¡ if it is both ´working¡ and ´ethical¡. With paradigms, I first of all mean the potentiality and theory . we may also say possible epistemes . rather than reality and practice as we observe it today of forms of what we can call Non-Western PA (NWPA). It is the availability of the potential that, in light of the reality as it exists, may make this topic relevant.
    Date: 2013–04
  18. By: David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
    Date: 2013–06–03
  19. By: Geoff Harcourt (School of Economics, University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: none.
    Keywords: none.
    JEL: E00
    Date: 2012–05
  20. By: Konrad, Kai A.; Morath, Florian
    Abstract: This paper considers evolutionarily stable decisions about whether to initiate violent conflict rather than accepting a peaceful sharing outcome. Focusing on small sets of players such as countries in a geographically confined area, we use Schaffer's (1988) concept of evolutionary stability. We find that players' evolutionarily stable preferences widen the range of peaceful resource allocations that are rejected in favor of violent conflict, compared to the Nash equilibrium outcomes. Relative advantages in fighting strength are reflected in the equilibrium set of peaceful resource allocations. -- Diese Arbeit untersucht evolutionär stabile Entscheidungen, ob in Konfliktsituationen ein friedlicher Kompromiss akzeptiert oder eine gewaltsame Lösung gesucht wird. Wir nutzen dabei das Konzept der evolutionären Stabilität von Schaffer (1988) und fokussieren auf eine kleine Anzahl von Spielern, wie z. B. Länder eines geographisch begrenzten Gebietes. Es wird gezeigt, dass - verglichen mit dem Nash-Gleichgewicht - die evolutionär stabilen Präferenzen der Spieler die Menge der friedlichen Ressourcenallokation vergrößern, die zugunsten gewaltsamer Konfliktlösungen zurückgewiesen werden. Relative Vorteile hinsichtlich der Kampfstärke spiegeln sich im Gleichgewicht friedlicher Ressourcenallokation wider.
    Keywords: Conflict,Contest,Endogenous fighting,Balance of power,Evolutionary stability
    JEL: D72 D74
    Date: 2013

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