nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2013‒10‒05
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. External Influence as an Indicator of Scholarly Importance By Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Markus Schaffner; Benno Torgler; Stephen Whyte
  2. Economics 2.0: The Natural Step Towards a Self-Regulating, Participatory Market Society By Dirk Helbing
  3. "Gender Equality and the Welfare state. Debates on Marriage Law Reform in Sweden at the Beginning of the 20th Century" (in Japanese) By Christina Carlsson Wetterberg; Shunji Ishihara
  4. Complexity Economics: A Different Framework for Economic Thought By W. Brian Arthur
  5. Reassessing the Tehsis of the Monetary History By David Laidler
  7. Fearing Fear: Gender and Economic Discourse By Julie A. Nelson
  8. Unstructured Bargaining over an Endogenously Produced Surplus and Fairness Ideals – An Experiment By Andreas Orland; Michael W.M. Roos
  9. Antes de la política hidráulica. La gestión del agua bajo el Estado liberal en España (1833-1866) By Salvador Calatayud
  10. Causal Analysis after Haavelmo By Heckman, James J.; Pinto, Rodrigo

  1. By: Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Markus Schaffner; Benno Torgler; Stephen Whyte
    Abstract: The external influence of scholarly activity has to date been measured primarily in terms of publications and citations, metrics that also dominate the promotion and grant processes. Yet the array of scholarly activities visible to the outside world are far more extensive and recently developed technologies allow broader and more accurate measurement of their influence on the wider societal discourse. Accordingly we analyze the relation between the internal and external influences of 723 top economics scholars using the number of pages indexed by Google and Bing as a measure of their external influence. Although the correlation between internal and external influence is low overall, it is highest among recipients of major key awards such as the Nobel Prize or John Bates Clark medal, and particularly strong for those ranked among the top 100 researchers.
    Keywords: Academia, Scholarly Importance, Role of Economics, Social Importance of Economists, External and Internal Influence, Academic Performance, Awards.
    JEL: A11 A13 Z18 Z19
    Date: 2013–09–18
  2. By: Dirk Helbing
    Abstract: Despite all our great advances in science, technology and financial innovations, many societies today are struggling with a financial, economic and public spending crisis, over-regulation, and mass unemployment, as well as lack of sustain- ability and innovation. Can we still rely on conventional economic thinking or do we need a new approach? Is our economic system undergoing a fundamental transformation? Are our theories still doing a good job with just a few exceptions, or do they work only for “good weather” but not for “market storms”? Can we fix existing theories by adapting them a bit, or do we need a fundamentally different approach? These are the kind of questions that will be addressed in this paper. I argue that, as the complexity of socio-economic systems increases, networked decision-making and bottom-up self-regulation will be more and more important features. It will be explained why, besides the “homo economicus” with strictly self-regarding preferences, natural selection has also created a “homo socialis” with other-regarding preferences. While the “homo economicus” optimizes the own prospects in separation, the decisions of the “homo socialis” are self-determined, but interconnected, a fact that may be characterized by the term “net- worked minds.” Notably, the “homo socialis” manages to earn higher payoffs than the “homo economicus.” I show that the “homo economicus” and the “homo so- cialis” imply a different kind of dynamics and distinct aggregate outcomes. There- fore, next to the traditional economics for the “homo economicus” (“economics 1.0”), a complementary theory must be developed for the “homo socialis.” This economic theory might be called “economics 2.0” or “socionomics.” The names are justified, because the Web 2.0 is currently promoting a transition to a new market organization, which benefits from social media platforms and could be character- ized as “participatory market society.” To thrive, the “homo socialis” requires suit- able institutional settings such a particular kinds of reputation systems, which will be sketched in this paper. I also propose a new kind of money, so-called “qualified money,” which may overcome some of the problems of our current financial system. In summary, I discuss the economic literature from a new perspective and argue that this offers the basis for a different theoretical framework. This opens the door for a new economic thinking and a novel research field, which focuses on the effects, implications, and institutional requirements for global-scale network inter- actions and highly interdependent decisions.
    Date: 2013–06
  3. By: Christina Carlsson Wetterberg (Department of Humanities, Education and Social Science, Örebro University, Sweden); Shunji Ishihara (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: In the beginning of the 20th century marriage legislation was reformed in all the Nordic countries. Male privileges were abolished and equality was declared. Marriage was constructed as a union between two independent individuals that could be dissolved if both wanted to. It was not until the 1960s that a similar legislation was beginning to take shape in the rest of Europe. The article starts by looking into this common Nordic marriage law reform but focus later on the Swedish reform processes and debates. The analysis is guided by three main questions: why did the reform come about, which meaning/meanings were given to the concept of equality in the debates and which role did women's organisation play in the process. The paper starts with putting the question of marriage in a wider context, discussing the reform in relation to the specific Nordic path towards a modern society. The following analysis of the Swedish debates shows that the question of marriage was closely interwoven with other contemporary political debates around social conditions, population policy, and eugenics. Establishing equality between husband and wife was one important aim behind the reform, but this aim was combined with, or even seen as a prerequisite for another, namely to strengthen the family as an institution. One of the most complex questions was how to give married women who had no property or income of their own a more free and independent position. How to reach equality in a society characterized by gender difference? This was a central and difficult question for the women's organisations. Their principal approach to women's emancipation differed, but when it came to marriage reform they cooperated to influence the new legislation. In the final analysis women's organisations understandings of equality is discussed in relation to how the concept was approached in the general political debate. One of the central conclusions is that it is necessary to put concepts like equality and feminism in its historical context and another that this Swedish and Nordic marriage legislation was as much about women's rights as about the well of the nation.
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: W. Brian Arthur
    Abstract: This paper provides a logical framework for complexity economics. Complexity economics builds from the proposition that the economy is not necessarily in equilibrium: economic agents (firms, consumers, investors) constantly change their actions and strategies in response to the outcome they mutually create. This further changes the outcome, which requires them to adjust afresh. Agents thus live in a world where their beliefs and strategies are constantly being “tested” for survival within an outcome or “ecology” these beliefs and strategies together create. Economics has largely avoided this nonequilibrium view in the past, but if we allow it, we see patterns or phenomena not visible to equilibrium analysis. These emerge probabilistically, last for some time and dissipate, and they correspond to complex structures in other fields. We also see the economy not as something given and existing but forming from a constantly developing set of technological innovations, institutions, and arrangements that draw forth further innovations, institutions and arrangements. Complexity economics sees the economy as in motion, perpetually “computing” itself— perpetually constructing itself anew. Where equilibrium economics emphasizes order, determinacy, deduction, and stasis, complexity economics emphasizes contingency, indeterminacy, sense-making, and openness to change. In this framework time, in the sense of real historical time, becomes important, and a solution is no longer necessarily a set of mathematical conditions but a pattern, a set of emergent phenomena, a set of changes that may induce further changes, a set of existing entities creating novel entities. Equilibrium economics is a special case of nonequilibrium and hence complexity economics, therefore complexity economics is economics done in a more general way. It shows us an economy perpetually inventing itself, creating novel structures and possibilities for exploitation, and perpetually open to response.
    Date: 2013–03
  5. By: David Laidler (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: The economic crisis that began in 2007 and still lingers has invited comparison with the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has also generated renewed interest in Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s explanation of the latter as mainly the consequence of the Fed’s failure as a lender of last resort at its onset, and the ineptitude of its policies thereafter. This explanation is reassessed in the light of events since 2007, and it is argued that its plausibility emerges enhanced, even though policy debates in recent years have paid more attention to interest rates and credit markets than to Friedman and Schwartz’s key variable, the quantity of money.
    Keywords: Great Depression; Great Contraction; Great Recession; Keynesianism; Monetarism; Lender of Last Resort; Money; High-powered money; Monetary base; Currency; Bank reserves; Quantitative easing; Open-market operations
    JEL: B22 E32 E51 E58 N2
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Marc HENRY; Ismael MOURIFIÉ
    Abstract: We derive the empirical content of Nash equilibrium in 2×2 games of perfect information, including duopoly entry and coordination games. The derived bounds are nonparametric intersection bounds and are simple enough to lend themselves to existing inference methods. Implications of pure strategy Nash equilibrium and of exclusion restrictions are also derived. Without further assumptions, the hypothesis of Nash equilibrium play is not falsifiable. However, nontrivial bounds hold for the extent of potential monopoly advantage or free riding incentives.
    Keywords: participation games, partial identification, intersection bounds
    JEL: C25 C72 D43
    Date: 2013–10–01
  7. By: Julie A. Nelson
    Abstract: Economic discourse—or the lack of it—about fear is gendered on at least three fronts. First, while masculine-associated notions of reason and mind have historically been prioritized in mainstream economics, fear—along with other emotions and embodiment—has tended to be culturally associated with femininity. Research on cognitive "gender schema," then, may at least partly explain the near absence of discussions of fear within economic research. Second, in the rare cases where fear is discussed in the contemporary economics literature, there is a tendency to (overly-)strongly associate it with women. Finally, historians and philosophers of science have suggested that the failure to consider the full range of human emotions and experience may be itself rooted in fear: a fear of the feminine. This aversion to discussing fear—especially fear as experienced by men—may contribute to serious problems, especially in regard to financial market instability and ecological threats.
    Keywords: cognitive schema, fear, gender, risk aversion, stereotypes
    Date: 2013–09
  8. By: Andreas Orland; Michael W.M. Roos
    Abstract: Fairness considerations are important determinants of behavior in unstructured bargaining situations with equal bargaining power. If the surplus over which the bargaining takes place was created by separate, individual efforts, several entitlement-related fairness ideals might be relevant. In our experiment we first elicit subjects’ fairness ideals using a questionnaire. In the following production phase each player generates output by luck, individual effort and talent. We analyze whether the elicited fairness ideals guide subjects’ behavior in the subsequent bargaining in which the joint output is distributed among two individuals. We find that bargaining claims deviate significantly from the elicited fairness ideals and are strongly related to performance if one individual had produced more than the partner. These findings contrast the previous literature on fairness ideals and enrich the findings on self-serving fairness.
    Keywords: Fairness; unstructured bargaining; self-serving fairness; opportunism
    JEL: C91 D39 D63
    Date: 2013–08
  9. By: Salvador Calatayud
    Abstract: The regulation of the use of water in Spain went through a profound transformation during the first decades of the liberal State. Liberalism introduced institutional changes which affected all those aspects related to the use and administration of water resources. Water property rights were established and water was declared, for its most part, a public property. Priorities on the water resource use were fixed. Common organizational ways were introduced in all communities dedicated to irrigation. In this respect, the State set a wide margin of autonomy in the water management, although it kept the supervision and the rights of the Administration to intercede in the life within those communities. All irrigation systems were forced to have written regulations and those internal rules were homogenized. And, finally, the State interceded in the conflicts raised in a great amount of canals, especially in the newly created ones or in those whose construction had been interrupted during the crisis of the old regime. The outcome was a new institutional framework, developed at the same time that the Administration of the new State became established. During thirty years partial regulations were promulgated and the state's capacity to apply them was put to test. This process culminated in 1866 with the unification of these rules in a Water Law which would regulate this natural resource during more than a century.
    Keywords: Water management, Rural History, State building
    JEL: D70 N13 N53 Q25
    Date: 2013–10
  10. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Pinto, Rodrigo (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Haavelmo's seminal 1943 paper is the first rigorous treatment of causality. In it, he distinguished the definition of causal parameters from their identification. He showed that causal parameters are de fined using hypothetical models that assign variation to some of the inputs determining outcomes while holding all other inputs fixed. He thus formalized and made operational Marshall's (1890) ceteris paribus analysis. We embed Haavelmo's framework into the recursive framework of Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG) used in one influential recent approach to causality (Pearl, 2000) and in the related literature on Bayesian nets (Lauritzen, 1996). We compare an approach based on Haavelmo's methodology with a standard approach in the causal literature of DAGs – the "do-calculus" of Pearl (2009). We discuss the limitations of DAGs and in particular of the do-calculus of Pearl in securing identification of economic models. We extend our framework to consider models for simultaneous causality, a central contribution of Haavelmo (1944). In general cases, DAGs cannot be used to analyze models for simultaneous causality, but Haavelmo's approach naturally generalizes to cover it.
    Keywords: causality, identification, do-calculus, directed acyclic graphs, simultaneous treatment effects
    JEL: C10 C18
    Date: 2013–09

This nep-hpe issue is ©2013 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.