nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2013‒09‒25
five papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The Evolution of German Historical School in Bulgaria (1878-1944) By Nikolay Nenovsky; Pencho Penchev
  2. Macaulay’s Problem By Marek Hudík
  3. Second Thoughts on Free Riding By Nielsen, Ulrik H.; Tyran, Jean-Robert; Wengström, Erik
  4. Quels sont les enseignements de l'histoire du fédéralisme américain pour la zone euro actuelle ? By Dominique Jacob
  5. Why Blame? By Mehmet Gurdal; Joshua B. Miller; Aldo Rustichini

  1. By: Nikolay Nenovsky; Pencho Penchev
    Abstract: In this paper we present one possible historical reconstruction of the German historical school in Bulgaria for the period 1878 – 1944. The main postulates of the historical school which claimed to be a general theoretical model for newly emerging and backward economies suited well the interests of the basic social groups and the intellectual views of the newly formed Bulgarian elites. In Bulgaria the main dominating components of the historical school followed its own evolution (old, young and youngest historical school) while also intermingling with other major components of other theoretical schools. Thus, for instance, right after the Liberation, in the theoretical views of the Bulgarian economic scholars a specific synthesis emerged with the ideas of the classical liberal thought (G. Nachovich, Ivan Evstatiev Geshov), after WWI with the postulates of monetarism and conservative public finances (?. Lyapchev, G. Danailov), and during the 1930s with the ideas of organic and directed economy (?. Tsankov, ?. Bobchev). This eclectic interaction, within which the influence of the historical school increased, brought about evolution of the character of the “Bulgarian economic nationalism” (liberal, monetary-conservative and integral, corporate). Especially significant for the Bulgarian economic thought was the warm receipt of the Russian economic historical school even if only for the fact that this school came from a Slavic and Orthodox country.
    Keywords: German historical school, Bulgarian economic though, Balkans, Bulgaria
    JEL: B15 B31 P00
    Date: 2013–06
  2. By: Marek Hudík
    Abstract: The model of economic man is either empirically testable and false, or it is non-testable and always true. The fact that neither position is entirely satisfactory is called Macaulay’s problem. This paper first reviews and criticizes various attitudes toward this problem and then argues that Macaulay’s problem is a pseudoproblem, because it assumes that the explicandum of the economic man model is individual behavior. Contrary to this assumption it is argued that the model attempts to explain changes of people’s behavior on an aggregate level in response to changes in constraints. The paper posits that all the studied attitudes pertaining to Macaulay’s problem can be reinterpreted and, to a great extent, reconciled in light of this view. It is also argued that this view helps to explain why the usual criticisms of the economic man model miss the point. A method for effective criticism is suggested
    Keywords: economic man, “as if” explanations, apriorism, rational choice, methodology of economics, empirical content of theories
    JEL: B41 D01
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Nielsen, Ulrik H. (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Tyran, Jean-Robert (Department of Economics, University of Vienna); Wengström, Erik (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: We use the strategy method to classify subjects into cooperator types in a large-scale online Public Goods Game and find that free riders spend more time on making their decisions than conditional cooperators and other cooperator types. This result is robust to reversing the framing of the game and is not driven by free riders lacking cognitive ability, confusion, or natural swiftness in responding. Our results suggest that conditional cooperation serves as a norm and that free riders need time to resolve a moral dilemma.
    Keywords: Response Time; Free Riding; Public Goods; Experiment
    JEL: C70 C90 D03
    Date: 2013–09–11
  4. By: Dominique Jacob (Larefi - Laboratoire d'analyse et de recherche en économie et finance internationales - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV : EA2954)
    Abstract: Cet article aux enseignements issus de l'Histoire américaine de la crise des dettes publiques gérée par Alexander Hamilton à la guerre de sécession. afin d'en tirer les éventuels enseignements pour une zone euro fédérale qui disposerait d'un budget commun. On montrera, ensuite, que la fragmentation monétaire américaine des années Roosevelt est plus proche de la situation de la crise actuelle de la zone euro que ne l'était celle de la guerre de sécession. Sur le plan monétaire, les travaux de König (2012), Carlson et Weelock (2013) permettent d'établir une grande similitude entre la situation non coopérative qui prévalait alors entre les banques fédérales de district et les dissensions qui prévalent actuellement entre banques centrales nationales européennes au sein du système de paiements transfrontaliers Target 2. Appel (2003) montre que l'un des buts des Banking Act de 1933 et 1935 était de mettre fin aux rivalités entre les banques de district fédérale et la Réserve Fédérale de New York, en leur interdisant d'agir pour leur compte propre et en les soumettant aux injonctions de cette dernière. Pour la zone euro, cela permet d'envisager des mesures politiques susceptibles de limiter les conflits entre Banques centrales créancières du Nord et banques centrales débitrices du Sud au sein de Target 2.
    Keywords: Pays européens, crise financière, monnaie unique, Target 2
    Date: 2013–09–11
  5. By: Mehmet Gurdal; Joshua B. Miller; Aldo Rustichini
    Abstract: We provide experimental evidence that subjects blame others based on events they are not responsible for. In our experiment an agent chooses between a lottery and a safe asset; payment from the chosen option goes to a principal who then decides how much to allocate between the agent and a third party. We observe widespread blame: regardless of their choice, agents are blamed by principals for the outcome of the lottery, an event they are not responsible for. We provide an explanation of this apparently irrational behavior with a delegated-expertise principal-agent model, the subjects’ salient perturbation of the environment. JEL Classification Numbers: C92; D63; C79. Keywords: Experiments; Rationality; Fairness
    Date: 2013

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