nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2014‒03‒22
twenty-one papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The Rhetorical Structure of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (and the importance of acknowledging it) By Andreas Ortmann; Benoit Walraevens
  3. On Ricardo and Cambridge By Geoff C. Harcourt; Peter Kriesler
  4. An unexpected discovery: Johann Heinrich von Thuenen and the tragedy of the commons By Nellinger, Ludwig
  5. La critique saint-simonienne de la secte des économistes : un positionnement original By Michel Bellet
  6. Keynes, Kalecki, Sraffa: Coherence? By Neil Hart; Peter Kriesler
  7. The Truly General Theory of Employment: How Keynes Could Have Succeeded By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  8. Fair and unfair punishers coexist in the Ultimatum Game By Pablo Branas-Garza; Antonio M. Espin; Benedikt Herrmann
  9. Reputation in Repeated Moral Hazard Games By Atakan, Alp Enver; Ekmekci, Mehmet
  10. Strategic Stability in Poisson Games By Francesco De Sinopoli; Claudia Meroni; Carlos Pimienta
  11. Equilibria in secure strategies in the Tullock contest By ISKAKOV, Mikhail; ISKAKOV, Alexey; ZAKHAROV, Alexey
  12. The Nature of Corruption - An Interdisciplinary Perspective By Eugen Dimant
  13. The Bitcoin mining games By Nicolas Houy
  14. On the Core of Games with Communication Structures By Albizuri, M. Josune; Sudhölter, Peter
  15. Constructivisme social, évolution de la profession d’économiste, et projet pour sa réforme radicale By Yefimov, Vladimir
  16. How to guide the economy towards socially desirable directions ? Some institutional lessons from the 2007 financial turmoil By Faruk Ülgen
  17. Other-regarding behavior under collective action By Katerina Sherstyuk; Nori Tarui; Melinda Podor Wengrin; Jay Viloria; Tatsuyoshi Saijo
  18. Results Intelligence: The Ability of Results-Focused Self-Management By Klein, Diti
  19. God does not play dice, but people should: random selection in politics, science and society By Bruno S. Frey; Lasse Steiner
  20. Legitimacy, Communication and Leadership in the Turnaround Game By Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper; Roberto A. Weber
  21. Economics at the Federal Reserve banks By Dudley, William

  1. By: Andreas Ortmann (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South WalesAuthor-Name: Craig Freedman); Benoit Walraevens (Centre for Research in Economics and Management,Université de Caen Basse Normandie)
    Abstract: Analyzing the rhetorical structure of The Wealth of Nations (Smith WN) and its context, we make the case for the central importance of its Book V, "Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth”, which tends to be neglected in most accounts of Smith’s oeuvre (even, most recently, Phillipson 2010; see Ortmann & Walraevens 2014) but which in our reading is, rather than a general treatise on optimal taxation and spending, a book focused on the future of an empire being threatened by a Mercantilist system. The Empire in question was, of course, the British one. Book V follows Book IV, in which Smith -- after having documented the slow and unnatural progress of opulence in, among others, England and Scotland in Book III – had undertaken a “very violent attack” (Smith EPS p. 208; Smith Corr., p. 251) on those responsible for the low growth rates (“opulence”) in Scotland and, even more, England: manufacturers and merchants and those politicians who propagated Mercantilist philosophies and practices of the commercial class. Aware that those he targeted would not take kindly to the attack, Smith made his case against the Mercantilist system as well as its colonial policy by marshaling his earlier insights into rhetorical theory and practice. We explain why and how he organized his attack.
    Keywords: Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, rhetoric, rhetorical structure of The Wealth of Nations
    JEL: B10 B12 C70 C72
    Date: 2014–01
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Geoff C. Harcourt (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales); Peter Kriesler (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: David Ricardo’s key place in the history of economic thought is well established. However, both the understanding of his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation and its role in the development of economic analysis is much more controversial. Cambridge economists have contributed significantly to both of these issues. They have played an important part in two extremely divergent interpretations of Ricardo’s place in the development of economic thought. Understanding how Ricardo has been viewed in Cambridge does not result in homogeneity, but in a spectrum of interpretations. In this paper, we focus on the role of Ricardo’s Principles in the development of economics as seen by Cambridge economists.
    Keywords: Ricardo, Cambridge School, History of economic thought, short period, long period
    JEL: B12 B20 B41 E10
    Date: 2014–01
  4. By: Nellinger, Ludwig
    Abstract: William Forster Lloyd's 1833 sketch about poor cattle on the commons and the well-fed animals on the adjacent enclosures published in his 'Two lectures on the checks to population' has hitherto been assessed as one starting point of the economics of renewable resources. In the 20th century the question of the use of common property resources has initially been treated by fisheries economists, at first in unknown publications of Jens Warming in 1911 and 1931, and after a disruption of more than 40 years starting again with the contributions of Gordon and Scott in the 1950s. Important results have been the derivation and presentation of the economic criteria for the open access equilibrium case on the one hand and the private property equilibrium case on the other hand. Garrett Hardin's well known 1968 Sciences article brought a new title and increased awareness to the 'tragedy of the commons' and Elenor Ostrom's 2009 nobel prize in economics finally underlined the importance as well as the diversity of institutional rules to achieve an efficient use of the natural resources - challenging the favored liberal concept of a privatization of scarce resources. Johann Heinrich von Thuenen's contributions on the commons - hidden in an 1831 article about urban agriculture in the journal 'Neue Annalen der Mecklenburgischen Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft' and in an unpublished manuscript - have been totally neglected until now, although he published his article about the core problem of the commons two years earlier than William Forster Lloyd and almost in the clarity of the fisheries economists 80 resp. 120 years later. He not only presented the correct allocation criteria for both property rights scenarios but additionally developed a framework a) how to gain the maximal rent of a resource through an auction system - drafting the first demand table b) how to redistribute the gains to the communal property owners - developing an adequate compensation mechanism c) and finally how to establish this institutional innovation democratically - thereby applying important elements of Elenor Ostrom's Common Property Rights Framework. Due to these contributions Johann Heinrich von Thuenen deserves the title of the founder of the economics of renewable resources. Moreover, in combination with his publications on forestry, land use, soil improvement and agricultural processing industries he should also be seen as the creator of a discipline which got its name but now, the creator of bioeconomics. --
    Keywords: bioeconomics,economics of renewable resources,tragedy of commons,fisheries economics,urban agriculture,factor demand table,auction system
    JEL: B13 B15 B16 Q15 Q21 Q22 Q24
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Michel Bellet (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)
    Abstract: L'antiphysiocratie des saint-simoniens peut paraître assez naturelle. En effet, une doctrine saint-simonienne réputée pour son industrialisme utopiste ne pouvait, semble t-il, que s'opposer à ce que Smith a appelé le "système agricole". Cette interprétation, sans être totalement erronée, est une réduction abusive du point de vue saint-simonien. En effet, si, au début du XIXème siècle, les saint-simoniens peuvent être rangés dans la catégorie des "néo-smithiens" qui réfutent la thèse selon laquelle la terre est à l'origine de la richesse, ils le font à partir d'une approche spécifique, opposant oisifs et travailleurs. Cette partition modifie les débats classiques concernant le rôle des diverses classes et des revenus qui y sont associés, tout en légitimant un programme anti-physiocrate, opposé au rôle économique et politique des propriétaires fonciers. Pour autant, les saint-simoniens ne se contentent pas de cette opposition : ils soutiennent la méthode de Quesnay et sa définition de l'économie politique. Selon eux, il faut raisonner à partir d'un système, et une philosophie générale des rapports sociaux doit précéder la science des richesses. Même si la nature de cette philosophie diffère (droit naturel vs évolutionnisme historique et physiologique), cette communauté de vue revendiquée concernant la méthode et le refus d'autonomie de l'économie politique conduit les saint-simoniens à une définition et un usage originaux de leur antiphysiocratie, dans le contexte du premier tiers du XIXème siècle.
    Keywords: Physiocracy; Quesnay; Saint-Simonism; Post-Smithian Theory; System
    Date: 2014–03–06
  6. By: Neil Hart (Industrial Relations Research Centre, the University of New South Wales); Peter Kriesler (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper, in honour of John King, addresses the question raised by him in his A History of Post-Keynesian since 1936, reflected in the title. Initial surveys of post-Keynesian economics defined it in term of the Keynesian, Kaleckian and Sraffian strands. However, subsequently, it has become less clear that the Sraffian stream should be included under the ‘broad church’ known as post-Keynesian economics. Serious and irreconcilable methodological differences exist between Sraffians and post-Keynesians about the validity of comparisons of long-run equilibrium positions, the role of historical time and the importance of uncertainty.
    Keywords: Keynes, post-Keynesians, Sraffians, methodology, path determinacy, traverse
    JEL: B2 B41 B5 D4 D5
    Date: 2014–01
  7. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: There is not much use to attack standard economics because deep in his heart the representative economist long knows that he is tied to a degenerating research program. The problem is, rather, that it seems to be exceedingly difficult to build up a convincing alternative. Keynes, for one, tried and was successful – albeit not fully. Unfortunately, he got some basics wrong. The conceptual consequence of the present paper is to discard the accustomed subjective-behavioral axioms and to take objective-structural axioms as the formal point of departure for the analysis of employment as the main practical issue of economics.
    Keywords: new framework of concepts; structure-centric; axiom set; price setter; full employment; multiplier; price mechanism; profit mechanism
    JEL: B59 E12 E24
    Date: 2014–03–12
  8. By: Pablo Branas-Garza (Business School, Middlesex University London); Antonio M. Espin (GLOBE,Universidad de Granada; Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica, Universidad de Granada); Benedikt Herrmann (Behavioural Economics Team, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Joint Research Centre, European Commission)
    Abstract: Fairness norms are crucial in understanding the emergence and enforcement of large-scale cooperation in human societies. The most widely applied framework in the study of human fairness is the Ultimatum Game (UG). In the UG, a proposer suggests how to split a sum of money with a responder. If the responder rejects the proposer’s offer, both players get nothing. Rejection of unfair offers is considered to be a form of punishment implemented by fair-minded individuals, who are willing to sacrifice their own resources in order to impose the fairness norm. However, an alternative interpretation is equally plausible: punishers might actually be using rejections in a competitive, spiteful fashion as a means to increase their relative standing. This hypothesis is in line with recent evidence demonstrating that “prosocial” and “antisocial” punishers coexist in other experimental games. Using two large-scale experiments, we explore the nature of UG punishers by analyzing their behavior in a Dictator Game. In both studies, we confirm the coexistence of two entirely different sub-populations: prosocial punishers, who behave fairly as dictators, and spiteful (antisocial) punishers, who are totally unfair. Such a result is fundamental for research on the foundations of punishment behavior employing the UG. We discuss how focusing only on the fairness-oriented part of human behavior might give rise to misleading conclusions regarding the evolution of cooperation and the behavioral underpinnings of stable social systems.
    Date: 2014–01
  9. By: Atakan, Alp Enver; Ekmekci, Mehmet
    Abstract: We study an infinitely repeated game where two players with equal discount factors play a simultaneous-move stage game. Player one monitors the stage- game actions of player two imperfectly, while player two monitors the pure stage- game actions of player one perfectly. Player one’s type is private information and he may be a “commitment type,” drawn from a countable set of commitment types, who is locked into playing a particular strategy. Under a full-support assumption on the monitoring structure, we prove a reputation result for repeated moral hazard games: if there is positive probability that player one is a particular type whose commitment payoff is equal to player one’s highest payoff, consistent with the players’ individual rationality, then a patient player one secures this type’s commitment payoff in any Bayes-Nash equilibrium of the repeated game.
    Keywords: Repeated Games, Reputation, Equal Discount Factor, Long-run Players, Imperfect Monitoring, Complicated Types, Finite Automaton
    JEL: C7 C72 C73 D0
    Date: 2014–01–01
  10. By: Francesco De Sinopoli (Department of Economics, University of Verona); Claudia Meroni (Department of Economics, University of Milano-Bicocca); Carlos Pimienta (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: In Poisson games, an extension of perfect equilibrium based on perturbations of the strategy space does not guarantee that players use admissible actions. This observation suggests that such a class of perturbations is not the correct one. We characterize the right space of perturbations to define perfect equilibrium in Poisson games. Furthermore, we use such a space to define the corresponding strategically stable sets of equilibria. We show that they satisfy existence, admissibility, and robustness against iterated deletion of dominated strategies and inferior replies.
    Keywords: Poisson games, voting, perfect equilibrium, strategic stability, stable sets
    JEL: C63 C70 C72
    Date: 2014–01
  11. By: ISKAKOV, Mikhail (V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences, Moscow); ISKAKOV, Alexey (V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences, Moscow); ZAKHAROV, Alexey (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
    Abstract: It is well known that a pure-strategy Nash equilibrium does not exist for a two-player rent-seeking contest when the contest success function parameter is greater than two. We analyze the contest using the concept of equilibrium in secure strategies, which is a generalization of the Nash equilibrium. It is defined by two conditions: (i) no player can make a profitable deviation that decreases the payoff of another player and (ii), for any profitable deviation there is a subsequent deviation by another player, that is profitable for the second deviator and worse than the status quo for the first deviator. We show that such equilibrium always exists in the Tullock contest. Moreover, when the success function parameter is greater than two, this equilibrium is unique up to a permutation of players, and has a lower rent dissipation than in a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium.
    Keywords: rent-seeking, Tullock contest, equilibrium in secure strategies, rent dissipation, non-cooperative games
    JEL: D72 D03 L12 C72
    Date: 2014–03–12
  12. By: Eugen Dimant (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Corruption has fierce impacts on economic and societal development and is subject to a vast range of institutional, jurisdictional, societal and economic conditions. Research indicates that corruption’s predominantly negative effects have arisen to a massive trans-border threat while creating high obstacles to sustainable and prospective development, ultimately impairing everybody’s life. This paper provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of existing literature on corruption and its antecedents and effects. Consequently, we bridge the gap between existing theories of different fields of research including economics, psychology, and criminology in order to draw a conclusive picture of corruption on the micro-, meso- and macro-level.
    Keywords: Bribery, Corruption, Development, Interdisciplinarity, Public Economics, Survey
    JEL: D73 H1 O17 K42
    Date: 2014–05
  13. By: Nicolas Houy (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)
    Abstract: When processing transactions in a block, a miner increases his reward but also decreases his probability to earn any reward because the time needed for his block to reach consensus depends on its size. We show that this leads to a game situation between miners. We analytically solve this game for two miners. Then, we show that miners do not play a Nash equilibrium in the current Bitcoin mining environment, instead, they should not process any transaction. Finally, we show that the situation where no transaction is ever processed would stop being a Nash equilibrium if the transaction fee was multiplied or, equivalently, the fixed reward divided by a factor of about 12.
    Keywords: Bitcoin; mining; crypto-currency; game
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Albizuri, M. Josune (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration); Sudhölter, Peter (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: It is well-known that the core on several domains of cooperative transferable utility (TU) and nontransferable utility (NTU) games is characterized by various combinations of axioms containing some versions of the reduced game property, of its converse, or of the reconfirmation property with respect to the Davis-Maschler reduced game. We show that these characterizations are still valid for games with communication structures a la Myerson when using the notion of the reduced communication structure that establishes a new link between two inside players if they can communicate via outside players. Thus, it is shown that, if communication structures are present, the core may still be characterized on balanced TU games, on totally balanced TU games, on NTU games with a nonempty core, on the domains of all TU or NTU games, and on several other interesting domains of TU and NTU games. As a byproduct we construct, for any NTU game with communication structure, a certain classical NTU game with the same core that may be regarded as its Myerson restricted NTU game.
    Keywords: TU and NTU game; Solution; Communication structure; Core
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2014–03–10
  15. By: Yefimov, Vladimir
    Abstract: This paper proposes to reconsider the methodology (in the first part of the paper) and the history (in the second part of the paper) of economics on the basis of the constructivist institutionalism practiced at present in political science. In the third part of the paper a project for the economics profession is presented, which I call discursive troika. Economics, as Discursive Troika, is an inquiry, a policy development activity and a social philosophy. All of them must be based on discursive ontology, so economics, as an investigative activity, represents discourse/text analysis, and this is the first element of the discursive troika. The second element of the discursive troika is policy development activity in the framework of discursive or deliberative democracy. The necessary condition of the efficiency of this type of policy development is argumentational integrity of participants, which is linked with the third element of the discursive troika called discourse ethics. Without deliberative democracy there is no demand by the public for non-deviated inquiry and no large-scale supply of research by economists, as they will not be given the opportunity to conduct their research-investigation. Neither discursive inquiry nor deliberative democracy is possible without discourse ethics.
    Keywords: constructivist institutionalism, discursive troika, discourse/text analysis, deliberative democracy, discourse ethics
    JEL: A11 A13 A14 B0 B4
    Date: 2014–02–10
  16. By: Faruk Ülgen (CREG - Centre de recherche en économie de Grenoble - Université Pierre-Mendès-France - Grenoble II : EA4625)
    Abstract: This article maintains that capitalist market economies have a threefold composite characteristic (the central role of money and financial relations, the crucial role of institutional patterns, and the macro nature of stability and viability concerns) that makes social control a consistent way of designing an efficient macro environment. Institutional economics precisely relies on such a triptych and reveals to be an appropriate theoretical and practical reference to deal with today's major economic issues such as the 2007-08 systemic crisis. Therefore the article suggests an institutional analysis that points to the role of institutional-regulatory framework and the rationale of social control principles in the stabilization of the working of capitalist finance. It then advocates for an alternative organization of the banking and financial system in order to ensure systemic sustainability and to guide the economy towards socially efficient directions.
    Keywords: capitalist market economy ; financial instability ; institutions ; money ; regulation ; social control
    Date: 2014–01–03
  17. By: Katerina Sherstyuk (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Nori Tarui (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Melinda Podor Wengrin (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Jay Viloria (California Institute of Technology); Tatsuyoshi Saijo (Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: In many collective action settings, such as decisions on public education or climate change mitigation, actions of a group have welfare consequences for themselves as well as their followers. We conduct laboratory experiments with two-stage predecessor-follower prisoners' dilemma and coordination games with dynamic externalities to study whether concerns for the followers' welfare affect the predecessors' behavior. We find that predecessors often give up own payoffs to avoid imposing negative externalities on the followers, but not to generate positive externalities for the followers. A concern for the followers aligned with own group payoff maximization motive helps to resolve socialdilemma and coordination problems; yet, a conffict in motives greatly exacerbates both free-riding and coordination on the payoff-inferior equilibrium. We also find strong evidence of social learning: the followers tend to blindly mimic their own predecessor, but act opposite to their match's predecessor, no matter whether these actions are welfare-improving or not.
    Keywords: economic experiments; other-regarding behavior; collective action
    JEL: C90 C73
    Date: 2014–03
  18. By: Klein, Diti
    Abstract: What Is Results Intelligence and Why Does It Have the Most Influence on Success? The research of human intelligence includes a broad range of theories and a variety ofdifferent answers regarding most of the fundamental questions in the field, including thefollowing questions: What is the nature of intelligence? Is it a constant innate cognitive traitor is it a skill that can be improved? Is intelligence a single uniform entity or is it amultiplicity of independent abilities? What is the intelligence that most influences the degreeof success and in what fields?. The responses of most of the researchers depend largely on thetype of intelligence studied, as a result of a variety of approaches and schools –developmental, cognitive, psychometric, emotional-social, practical, and so on. In contrast,the starting point of this study is the success itself, with the goal to examine whether there isone ability that is shared by all those who succeed over time and whether and how it can beimproved - Since on the one hand, people with completely different abilities succeed inattaining significant achievements and on the other hand, only some people with similarabilities achieve lasting success. The main conclusion as examined during a decade ofcounseling and support of more than five hundred different people is that all those whoachieve ongoing success have a good level of ability in results-focused self-management –and this is results intelligence. The study shows that every individual has a different profile ofintelligences that includes his main abilities – and results intelligence is the ability to manageall the other abilities in favor of the achievement of the maximum results of success desiredover time. Since results intelligence is fundamentally a management ability and managementaddresses ways of thinking and doing and includes the ability to plan and implement a varietyof actions so as to achieve different goals, it exists in everybody, even if at different levels ofawareness, skill, or maximization. On the basis of the theory of management by objectivesfrom the approach of Professor Peter Drucker (as presented in the continuation) in life, as inbusiness, management is the factor that most influences the degree of success over time – andmanagement can be learned. Thus, it is possible to learn how to develop the level of resultsintelligence and thus to significantly improve the chances of reaching the maximum ofsuccess in a variety of areas of life. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to create the modelof the development of results intelligence so as to enable individuals to identify their mainabilities and to learn how to leverage them and manage themselves, for the benefit of theachievement of their desired success and goals.
    Keywords: Intelligence, Results, Success, Abilities, Self-Management
    JEL: M53
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Bruno S. Frey; Lasse Steiner
    Abstract: This paper discusses and proposes random selection as a component in decision-making in society. Random procedures have played a significant role in history, especially in classical Greece and the medieval city-states of Italy. We examine the important positive features of decisions by random Mechanisms. Random processes allow representativeness with respect to individuals and groups. They significantly reduce opportunities to influence political decisions by means of bribery and corruption and decrease the large expenses associated with today’s democratic election campaigns. Random mechanisms can be applied fruitfully to a wide range of fields, including politics, the judiciary, the economy, science and the cultural sector. However, it is important that random selection processes are embedded in appropriately designed institutions.
    Keywords: Random selection, lot, democracy, representativeness, corruption
    JEL: D72 D73 P16 H10
    Date: 2014–03
  20. By: Jordi Brandts; David J. Cooper; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We study the effectiveness of leaders for inducing coordinated organizational change to a more efficient equilibrium, i.e., a turnaround. We compare communication from leaders to incentive increases and also compare the effectiveness of randomly selected and elected leaders. While all interventions yield shifts to more efficient equilibria, communication from leaders has a greater effect than incentives. Moreover, leaders who are elected by followers are significantly better at improving their group’s outcome than randomly selected ones. The improved effectiveness of elected leaders results from sending more performance-relevant messages. Our results are evidence that the way in which leaders are selected affects their legitimacy and the degree to which they influence followers. Finally, we observed that a combination of factors— incentive increases and elected leaders—yield near universal turnarounds to full efficiency.
    Keywords: leadership, job selection, coordination failure, experiments, communication
    JEL: C72 C92 D83
    Date: 2014–03
  21. By: Dudley, William (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Remarks at the American Economic Association 2014 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Keywords: Research Group; prudential policy; GSE reform; macroeconomic policy; triparty repo reform; reference rate reform; Markets Group; microeconomic policy
    JEL: E00
    Date: 2014–01–04

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