nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒22
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Conceptualizing the formation and role of expectations before 1950: George Katona's thought. By Pierrick Dechaux
  2. Gary Becker: Model Economic Scientist By Heckman, James J.
  3. Essentials of Constructive Heterodoxy: Aggregate Demand By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  4. If Hayek and Coase Were Environmentalists: Linking Economics and Ecology By Terry L. Anderson
  5. The Winner’s Curse: Conditional Reasoning & Belief Formation By Koch, Christian; Penczynski, Stefan P.
  6. Corruption, Norm Violation and Decay in Social Capital By Ritwik Banerjee
  7. The Desire to Influence Others By Schröder, Marina; Sadrieh, Abdolkarim
  8. La place du raisonnement statistique dans les sciences sociales et dans l’analyse des comportements humains By Frédéric Teulon
  9. The Eurozone: Similitudes and differences with Keynes's Plan By Marc Lavoie
  10. Zu wenig Einfluss des ökonomischen Sachverstands? Empirische Befunde zum Einfluss von Ökonomen und anderen Wissenschaftlern auf die Wirtschaftspolitik By Justus Haucap; Tobias Thomas; Gert G. Wagner

  1. By: Pierrick Dechaux (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This article analyzes Katona's theory of expectations and compares it to that of Keynes and Hicks. It discusses the implicit and explicit debates on the introduction of psychology in economic theory. The aim of this paper is twofold: define Katona's thought and examine the impact of this work on the debate on expectations in macroeconomics. This paper shows that Katona is the only author, to our knowledge, who develops both an empirical and theoretical research program on expectations that borrows from the epistemology of Keynes. While rediscovering Katona's work, this paper contributes to highlight the forgotten methodology that initiated the construction of confidence (or sentiment) indexes. It also discusses the implicit and explicit debates on the introduction of psychology in economic theory.
    Keywords: George Katona, Keynes, Hicks, Psychology, Expectations theories, Expectations measures, Macroeconomics.
    JEL: B22 D84
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper presents Gary Becker's approach to conducting creative, empirically fruitful economic research. It describes the traits and methodology that made him such a productive and influential scholar.
    Keywords: empirical economics, human capital, discrimination
    JEL: B31 D13 J13 J24
    Date: 2015–02
  3. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: Heterodoxy has left not one stone unturned and has unraveled a plethora of errors/mistakes/contradictions of Orthodoxy. The outcome of this prolonged critical and self-critical process is that there is actually no acceptable and accepted theoretical economics. The need of a paradigm shift is irrefutable. There is less need of further debunking exercises. For Constructive Heterodoxy follows that the subjective axiomatic foundation of Orthodoxy has to be replaced. All economic conceptions have to be consistently reconstructed. What comes to mind first are phenomena like market, profit, money, employment or aggregate demand. The latter is dealt with in the following.
    Keywords: new framework of concepts; structure-centric; Structural Law of Supply and Demand; public debt; minimum profit; breakdown
    JEL: B59 E00
    Date: 2015–02–13
  4. By: Terry L. Anderson (Hoover Institution)
    Abstract: This essay argues that the focus of ecology and economics on equilibria and externalities misses the dynamic connection between humans and nature and that there is a better alternative for linking ecology with economics, one that builds on the teachings of Nobel laureates Friedrich Hayek and Ronald Coase.
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Koch, Christian; Penczynski, Stefan P.
    Abstract: We investigate the relevance of conditional reasoning and belief formation for the occurrence of the winner’s curse with the help of two experimental manipulations. First, we compare results from a very simple common-value auction game with results from a transformed version of this game that does not require any conditioning on future events. In human opponent settings, we observe significant differences in behavior across the two games. Second, we investigate subjects’ behavior when they face naïve computerized opponents and after they have faced them. We find that both strong and weak assistance in belief formation changes subjects’ play significantly in the auction game. Overall, the results suggest that the difficulty of conditioning on future events is at least as important in explaining frequent occurrences of the winner’s curse as is the challenge to form beliefs.
    Keywords: Auctions , Winner’s curse , Conditional Reasoning , Beliefs
    JEL: D44 D81 D82
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Ritwik Banerjee (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: The paper studies the interplay between corruption and social trust, using data from a lab experiment. Subjects play either a harassment bribery game or a strategically identical but differently framed ultimatum game, followed by a trust game. In the second phase, the trust game is followed by the bribery game. We also use the design to study the association between behavior in trust game and response to the World Value Survey trust question. Our results show that a) there is a negative spillover effect of corruption on trust, but not vice-versa, and the effect increases with a decrease in social appropriateness norm of the bribe demand; b) lower trust in the bribery game treatment is explained by lower expected return on trust; c) surprisingly, for both the treatments, social appropriateness norm violation engenders the decay in trust through its adverse effect on belief about trustworthiness; d) the WVS-trust question captures expectations about others’ trustworthiness, however, response to the WVS-trust is stable while behavior in the trust game is susceptible to short term fluctuations.
    Keywords: Corruption, Social Capital, Social Norm, Trust Games
    JEL: C91 C92 D03
    Date: 2015–11–02
  7. By: Schröder, Marina; Sadrieh, Abdolkarim
    Abstract: We introduce the give-or-destroy game that allows us to fully elicit an individual s social preference schedule. We find that about one third of the population exhibits both pro-social and anti-social preferences that are independent of payoff comparisons with those who are affected. We call this type of preference a desire to influence others. The other two thirds of the population consist to almost equal parts of payoff maximizers and pro-socials. Furthermore, we find that full information and experimenter demand may increase the extent of pro-social preferences, but do not affect the extent of anti-social preferences or the distribution of social types in the population.
    JEL: A13 C90 D63
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Frédéric Teulon
    Abstract: Les enjeux liés à l’utilisation des statistiques en sociologie sont présentés au travers d’une revue de la littérature. La sociologie positiviste et empirique a conféré aux enquêtes et aux chiffres une place centrale. Cette place est inscrite dans les différentes étapes du raisonnement sociologique. L’utilisation démultipliée des statistiques fait de cette pratique un fait social et révèle el fonctionnement d’une société basée sur la production et la manipulation de chiffres.
    Keywords: sciences sociales, objectivité, statistiques, suicide.
    Date: 2015–02–10
  9. By: Marc Lavoie
    Abstract: The eurozone is often considered to be the brainchild of Robert Mundell, who has often bragged about his paternity. In reality, the Eurozone setup, most specifically the TARGET2 settlement system, has several characteristics that look alike the plan for an international currency union that Keynes proposed in the early 1940s. The main objective of the paper is to show the similitudes and the differences between the Eurozone currency union and Keynes' Plan. The paper will also discuss some of the confusions that have arisen from the analysis of the TARGET2 system and the decision of the German constitutional court; and it will deal with the question of whether or not the European financial crisis of the GIIPS countries was akin to a balance-of-payments crisis as argued by some authors and denied by others.
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Justus Haucap; Tobias Thomas; Gert G. Wagner
    Abstract: Das Papier zeigt, dass die seit Jahrzehnten andauernde Klagen wissenschaftlich tätiger Ökonomen,dass Öffentlichkeit und Politik nicht genug auf Ergebnisse der ökonomischen Forschung hören,zumindest für Deutschland im Quervergleich zu anderen Wissenschaften in Bezug auf das medialeInteressen an ökonomischen Erkenntnissen nicht gerechtfertigt sind. Es wird in bemerkenswerterWeise von der Resonanz kontrastiert, die Ökonomen in Deutschland im Vergleich zu anderenWissenschaftlern in den Medien genießen. Auch in Kreisen wirtschaftspolitischerEntscheidungsträger finden Ökonomen deutlich mehr Gehör als Nicht-Ökonomen. Keine andereWissenschaft erreicht in den Medien und bei Wirtschaftspolitikern auch nur annährend die gleicheAufmerksamkeit wie die Ökonomie. Die empirische Evidenz zeigt zugleich aber auch, dass Aussagenwissenschaftlicher Experten in den Medien in der Regel nur etwa ein bis zwei Prozent aller Aussagenausmachen. Damit bleiben nahezu alle Experten unterhalb der Wahrnehmungsschwelle für dasbreitere Publikum und entfalten so kaum öffentliche Wirkung.
    Keywords: Politikberatung, Ökonomen, Nicht-Ökonomen, Medien, Entscheidungsträger,Institutionen
    JEL: A11 A14 Z18
    Date: 2015

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