nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2014‒11‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Schumpeter y la Historia del Pensamiento Económico By Estrada, Fernando
  2. Revisiting the Classical View of Benefits-Based Taxation By Matthew Weinzierl
  3. Consensus vs. Conformity in Mixed-Motive Games By Michael Naef; Alessandro Sontuoso
  4. "Economic Growth and the Natural World" By Wesson, Joseph
  5. Cities of Commerce: how can we test the hypothesis? By Guillaume Daudin
  6. Death of a Reserve Currency By Quinn, Stephen F.; Roberds, William
  7. Well-being and social development in the context of gender equality By Lapniewska, Zofi
  8. Too Much of a Good Thing: Attention Misallocation and Social Welfare in Coordination Games By Chen, Heng; Luo, Yulei; Pei, Guangyu
  9. Mercantilismo Español y Derecho Indiano. Títulos sobre tierras en la Gobernación de Popayán By Fernando Salazar Silva; Alba Liliana Cuaspud Cáliz*
  10. Doctrinal Determinants, Domestic and International of Federal Reserve Policy, 1914-1933 By Eichengreen, Barry
  11. How to divide things fairly By Brams, Steven; Kilgour, D. Marc; Klamler, Christian
  12. El libre comercio y la economía mundial según Ha-Joon Chang y Michael Spence By José A. Tapia Granados

  1. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: The History Schumpeter´s of Economic Analysis, is a tour de forcé of scholarship. The display of erudition is 'truly unbelievable. How could one man have acquired and then digested so much knowledge? Not only does the History offer two thousand years of economics, from Aristotle to Paul Samuelson, but also it ranges most expertly over all the other social sciences, history and belles lettres as well. For more than 1,100 pages the prose flows on in a way that one has come to expect from Schumpeterthe fluent style, the vivid analogy, the striking metaphor, the arresting aside. Our goal is to present the central ideas of Schumpeter on the complex relationships between Economic History and Epistemology of Science. This design has three aspects that interest us: (a) its amplitude to conceive the economy as part of the overall development of scientific knowledge; (b) its relevance applied and the examples used by the author; (c) its currently facing tremendous methodological problems facing the economy with the other sciences.
    Keywords: Schumpeter, History of economics, Epistemology, Economtric, Industrial
    JEL: B12 B13 B15 B25 B31 H5 P12 P14 P16 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Matthew Weinzierl (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: Commentary and political rhetoric on taxes in the United States have long included appeals to Smith's (1776) "classical" logic of benefit based taxation in which an individual's benefit from the state is tied to his or her income-earning ability. Modern optimal tax theory, in contrast, largely ignores the principle of benefit based taxation. This paper shows that the classical logic of benefit based taxation can be readily incorporated into the formal structure of modern theory. Moreover, by applying Lindahl's well-known methods, optimal policy according to that principle can be characterized analytically as depending on a few potentially estimable statistics. An objective for policy that gives weight to both this principle and the familiar utilitarian criterion can explain a variety of features of existing policy that are difficult to reconcile in standard theory, consistent with its apparent role in real-world normative reasoning over tax design.
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Michael Naef; Alessandro Sontuoso (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: A correlation between second-order beliefs and strategies – in social dilemmas – has been interpreted as evidence of guilt aversion (Charness and Dufwenberg [2006]). Ellingsen et al. [2010] hypothesize that such correlation might rather be due to consensus effects. Here we propose an additional explanation, conformity, which involves a similar belief-behavior correlation and we set out to tell these motivations apart by proposing a design such that: (i) we reduce the scope for guilt aversion by eliciting and transmitting beliefs about the behavior of other participants in the same role; (ii) we disentangle consensus from conformity by providing an exogenous variation in collective beliefs. The data show that consensus is present (and predominant) but is not the only force driving the belief-behavior correlation. In fact, we also observe “self-servingly conformist” behavior in that subjects choose to match their strategy to the transmitted information when it is in their interest to do so.
    Keywords: conformist preferences, consensus effects, guilt aversion, social norms, trust, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Wesson, Joseph
    Abstract: This is a survey of some ideas relating to the theory of economic growth and how economic growth impacts the natural world.
    Keywords: Growth environment population
    JEL: O1 O10 O3 O30 O33 O4 O47 Q01 Q56
    Date: 2014–10–20
  5. By: Guillaume Daudin (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL, SciencesPo, OFCE, Paris, France)
    Abstract: This paper discusses Gelderblom’s hypothesis that urban competition (including a large number of competing cities, footloose foreign traders and municipal autonomy) was central to the rise of inclusive trade institutions in Europe. The first part discusses the precise behaviour of traders, town authorities and sovereigns underlying Gelderblom’s explanatory framework. The second part presents some challenges to the generalisation of the book’s thesis to the history of Europe, including Italy and Britain. The last part advances a short econometric exercise to check this generalisation. Urban competition combined with starting institutional quality does not emerge as a positive factor for the growth of European cities in general: this is interpreted as a call for more research rather a decisive counter-argument. _________________________________ Cet article discute l’hypothèse de Gelerblom selon laquelle la compétition urbaine (incluant un grand nombre de villes concurrentes entre elles, des négociants se déplaçant facilement, et l’autonomie urbaine) a été centrale pour la généralisation d’institutions de commerce ouvertes à tous en Europe. La première partie examine le comportement précis des négociants, autorités municipales et souverains qui sont au coeur du schéma explicatif de Gelderblom. La deuxième partie présente quelques difficultés qui s’opposent à la généralisation de la thèse de l’ouvrage à l’ensemble de l’histoire européenne, notamment en Italie et en Grande-Bretagne. La dernière partie propose un petit exercice économétrique pour tester cette généralisation. La compétition urbaine combinée à des institutions de bonne qualité n’apparaît pas comme un facteur de croissance pour les villes urbaines dans leur ensemble : ce résultat est interprété plus comme un appel à plus de recherche qu’un contre-argument décisif.
    Keywords: Europe, modern history, urbanisation, institutions, Histoire Moderne, Urbanisation.
    JEL: N13 N23 N94
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Quinn, Stephen F. (Texas Christian University); Roberds, William (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: The Dutch bank florin was the dominant currency in Europe during much of the 17th and 18th centuries. The florin, a fiat money, was managed by an early central bank, the Bank of Amsterdam. Using a new reconstruction of the Bank of Amsterdam's balance sheet, we analyze the florin's loss of reserve currency status during the period 1781–92. The reconstruction shows that by 1784, accommodative policies rendered the Bank of Amsterdam "policy insolvent," meaning that its net worth would have been negative under continuation of its policy objectives. Policy insolvency coincided with the Bank of Amsterdam's loss of control over the value of its money.
    Keywords: central banks; reserve currency; policy insolvency
    JEL: E58 F33 N13
    Date: 2014–09–01
  7. By: Lapniewska, Zofi
    Abstract: This paper concentrates on the three major fields listed in its title: the notion of well-being, the understanding of social development and efforts for gender equality. Due to the complexity and diversity of approaches, all of them are shown in the light of different theories, which to some extent I try to reflect in this paper. Additionally, to meet the goal of the "Gender equality and quality of life" project, that is construction of a new indicator, I summarise the existing indexes on well-being and gender and juxtapose them in tables. This provides readers with a clear picture of the focus areas and development trends of these measures, followed by the message they send. Critical reflection on the presented models and the final discussion might help in future work on quality of life and gender equality issues as well as their measurement and interpretations.
    JEL: I31 J16 B54 Z13
    Date: 2014–10–22
  8. By: Chen, Heng; Luo, Yulei; Pei, Guangyu
    Abstract: This paper examines the welfare properties of “beauty contest†games with rationally inattentive agents. Agents allocate attention between private and public signals to reduce the uncertainty about observation noises. In this setting, social welfare may not necessarily increase with the capacity to process information, and can actually decrease as a result of attention misallocation. Strikingly, social welfare can be even higher when agents possess a finite amount of capacity than when they have an infinite amount of capacity. We derive sufficient and necessary conditions under which multiple equilibria emerge and study the implications of equilibrium multiplicity for macroeconomic policies.
    Keywords: Coordination game, social welfare, rational inattention
    JEL: C72 D60 E58
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Fernando Salazar Silva; Alba Liliana Cuaspud Cáliz*
    Abstract: Resumen: La reflexión que a continuación se presenta gira alrededor de las implicaciones que la competencia política tuvo en la organización de la propiedad de la tierra en la Gobernación de Popayán. Desde el punto de vista del uso monopólico de la ley que tuvo la Corona, como fuente de legitimación, se muestra la desarticulación de la economía racional con los requerimientos de orden social en los territorios conquistados. La sobredimensión institucional a través de la presencia de títulos sobre la tierra se interpuso al funcionamiento de la competencia económica.
    Keywords: Mercantilismo; Arbitrismo; Propiedad; Competencia política; Competencia económica; Derecho indiano.
    JEL: A10 A12 A19 N96
    Date: 2013–12–16
  10. By: Eichengreen, Barry (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: This paper describes the doctrinal foundations of Federal Reserve policy from the establishment of the institution through the early 1930s, focusing on the role of international factors in those doctrines and conceptions. International considerations were at most part of the constellation of factors shaping the Federal Reserve’s outlook and policies even in the high gold standard era that ended in 1933. However, neither was the influence of international factors absent, much less negligible. Nor were the Fed’s policies without consequences for the rest of the world. Having described the doctrinal foundations of Federal Reserve policy, I analyze how the doctrines in question influenced the central bank’s actions and shaped the impact of monetary policy on a number of key occasions, focusing in particular on episodes where the international economy and the rest of the world played an important role.
    JEL: E4 E5
    Date: 2014–10–01
  11. By: Brams, Steven; Kilgour, D. Marc; Klamler, Christian
    Abstract: We analyze a simple sequential algorithm (SA) for allocating indivisible items that are strictly ranked by n ≥ 2 players. It yields at least one Pareto-optimal allocation which, when n = 2, is envy-free unless no envy-free allocation exists. However, an SA allocation may not be maximin or Borda maximin—maximize the minimum rank, or the Borda score—of the items received by a player. Although SA is potentially vulnerable to manipulation, it would be difficult to manipulate in the absence of one player’s having complete information about the other players’ preferences. We discuss the applicability of SA, such as in assigning people to committees or allocating marital property in a divorce.
    Keywords: Fair division; indivisible items; envy-freeness
    JEL: C72 C78 D6 D61 D63 D7 D74
    Date: 2014–09–06
  12. By: José A. Tapia Granados
    Abstract: Resumen Se comenta la visión del comercio y de la economía mundial de dos autores representativos de corrientes significativas del pensamiento económico actual, Ha-Joon Chang y Michael Spence, y se presenta un bosquejo de una visión alternativa. En la visión poskeynesiana de Chang, la política comercial de cada país ha de subordinarse a sus intereses nacionales. Michael Spence presenta una visión más conforme con la ortodoxia predominante, afirmando del consenso de Washington que se trata de orientaciones con gran apoyo en la experiencia de desarrollo y en el análisis económico, que han resultado sin embargo controvertidas y disputadas como consecuencia de la forma en que fueron interpretadas e implementadas. Frente a las perspectivas de Chang y de Spence se propone una visión que ve el proteccionismo o el libre comercio como políticas para defender intereses que no son los de la población general asalariada, a menudo sometida al desempleo o a la necesidad de emigrar en busca de trabajo.
    Keywords: Economía mundial, desarrollo, industria, proteccionismo, economía postkeynesiana, global economy, development.
    JEL: F13 F15 D20
    Date: 2013–06–27

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