nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒17
twenty papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Wieser as a Theorist of Institutional Change By Agnès Festré; Pierre Garrouste
  2. Optimal Relevance in Imperfect Information Games By Jorge M. Streb
  3. Economía y ciencias sociales: reporte de investigación By Estrada, Fernando
  4. Capital In the 21st Century: A Review By malikane, christopher
  5. Michael Polanyi's Economics: A Strange Rapprochement By Agnès Festré; Pierre Garrouste
  6. Consumption, great and small By Prize Committee, Nobel
  7. Lucas’ Equilibrium Account of the Business Cycle: Optimizing Behavior, General Equilibrium, and Modeling Rational Expectations By Hugo C. W. Chu
  8. The ordoliberal concept of "abuse" of a dominant position and its impact on Article 102 TFEU By Behrens, Peter
  9. "Secular Stagnation or Stagnation Policy? Steindl after Summers" By Eckhard Hein
  10. Nash, el último fundador de la teoría de juegos, y la evolución del concepto de equilibrio desde Cournot By Jorge M. Streb
  11. Jack Soper: A Pioneer in Economic Education By J.R. Clark; Joshua C. Hall; Ashley Harrison
  12. « Propriété » ou « possession » : une question de sémantique…ou de paradigme ? By Pietri, Antoine
  13. To friends everything, to strangers the law? An experiment on contract enforcement and group identity By Marian Panganiban
  14. The Structure of the Models of Structural Change and Kaldor's Facts: A Critical Survey By KUROSE, Kazuhiro
  15. Truth-telling under Oath By Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Julie Rosaz; Jason F. Shogren
  16. Norms and Team Formation: Evidence from Research Partnerships By Daniel Garcia; Joshua Serman
  17. Biographical By Hansen, Lars Peter
  18. Harsanyi's theorem without the sure-thing principle: On the consistent aggregation of Monotonic Bernoullian and Archimedean preferences By Stéphane Zuber
  19. Menger contre Walras By Sandye Gloria-Palermo
  20. The Economic Properties of Information and Knowledge: An Introduction. By Antonelli, Cristiano; David, Paul

  1. By: Agnès Festré (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France); Pierre Garrouste (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France)
    Abstract: In this contribution, we provide an interpretation of Friedrich von Wieser’s contribution to economics, which pays tribute to the originality of his work, and particularly his view of how institutions interfere with individual behavior. This interaction takes place within a disequilibrium framework where social influences such as power or social class, and psychological factors such as force of habit or herd behavior, are the product of human action but also constitute constraints on further action. The section 1 stresses the institutionalist background of Wieser’s economics. We concentrate on Wieser’s general method – which we assimilate to an example of Joseph Agassi’s (1975) institutional individualism – and his analysis of the emergence and evolution of institutions via the dynamics of leaders and masses. In the section 2, we reinforce and illustrate the ‘institutionalist’ stamp of Wieser’s economics by focusing on his work on monetary economics (Wieser 1904, 1909a, 1909b, 1927b) and his analysis of the emergence of money, based on our reading of Wieser’s Social Economics (Wieser [1927a] 1967) and The Law of Power (Wieser [1926] 1983).
    Keywords: Wieser, emergence and evolution of institutions, money, economic sociology
    JEL: B15 B31
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Jorge M. Streb
    Abstract: To help incorporate natural language into economic theory, this paper does two things. First, the paper extends to imperfect information games an equilibrium concept developed for incomplete information games, so natural language can be formalized as a vehicle to convey information about actions as well as types. This equilibrium concept is specific to language games, because information is conveyed by the sender through the message’s literal meaning. Second, the paper proposes an equilibrium refinement which selects the sender’s most preferred equilibrium. The refinement captures the notion that the speaker seeks to improve its status quo, aiming at optimal relevance. Explicit coordination through verbal communication parallels the idea of implicit coordination through focal points.
    Keywords: cheap talk, signs, semantics, pragmatics, relevance, equilibrium selection
    JEL: D83 C72
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: The theoretical economy is diverse and contains frameworks and models of different research. This article proposes a body of recognized theories and methods, not only for the so-called mainstream, but more heterodox approaches. In addition to paying attention to currents and authors who have analyzed the economy from an epistemological point of view. A selective picture that also corresponds to the research conducted by the author and his exploration of methods of integrated social science analysis is offered. In short, frameworks and contents of the article are mainly the nature of a research report.
    Keywords: Methods, Models, Paradigms, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics
    JEL: B00 B1 B15 B4 B41 B5 B52
    Date: 2015
  4. By: malikane, christopher
    Abstract: This paper reviews Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty's Capital seeks to bring the issue of inequality back to the centre of social analysis and to encourage discussion about the evolution of wealth and inequality with a view to inform policy. The book uses data stretching as far back as the 1700's. The main thesis of the book is that capitalism automatically generates inequality and wealth concentration since the rate of return on capital always exceeds the growth rate of income. To resolve this problem, the book proposes a progressive tax on wealth and income. I show that Piketty's book is based on a misunderstanding of classical political economy, particularly Marx. Piketty's view of the development and phases of capitalism is inadequate. His tax proposals, though progressive, will not resolve the inequality problem. Lastly, his conclusion that modern economic growth made it possible to avoid the Marxist apocalypse is not borne out by his data.
    Keywords: Capital, inequality, wealth concentration, falling rate of profit.
    JEL: B12 B14 B16 B51 P1 P16 P26
    Date: 2015–10–09
  5. By: Agnès Festré (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis); Pierre Garrouste (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis)
    Keywords: Michael Polanyi, Hayek, Keynes, spontaneous order, State intervention, liberalism, evolutionism
    JEL: B25 B31 B41
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Prize Committee, Nobel (Nobel Prize Committee)
    Abstract: The consumption of goods and services is a fundamental part of people's welfare. The Laureate, Angus Deaton, has deepened our understanding of different aspects of consumption. His research concerns issues of immense importance for human welfare, not least in poor countries. Deaton's research has greatly influenced both practical policymaking and the scientific community. By emphasizing the links between individual consumption decisions and outcomes for the whole economy, his work has helped transform modern microeconomics, macroeconomics and development economics.
    Keywords: Consumption; Development
    JEL: D10 O10
    Date: 2015–10–12
  7. By: Hugo C. W. Chu
    Abstract: Robert E. Lucas Jr. is considered the “architect” of modern macroeconomics. His equilibrium approach to the business cycles has provoked a major change in the understanding of macroeconomic phenomena since the late 1960s. In this article we attempt to describe historically how he put together the main elements that formed the body of his theoretical framework, namely, the optimizing representative agent, the contingent-claim approach to general equilibrium analysis and the modeling of the rational expectation hypothesis. Lucas’ Expectations and the Neutrality of Money, published in 1972, is the first article containing all elements aforementioned. To reach such a result, he collaborated with Leonard Rapping in 1969 (their first article) and later developed a joint work with Edward Prescott in 1971. Furthermore, we also argue that the way Robert Lucas saw business cycles can be considered an inevitable progress in macroeconomics.
    Keywords: Robert Lucas; Business Cycles; Representative Agent; General Equilibrium; Rational Expectations
    JEL: B2 B22
    Date: 2015–10–08
  8. By: Behrens, Peter
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of ordoliberal thinking on the drafting of the prohibition of "abuse" of a dominant position in the market that was included in the competition rules of the Rome Treaty establishing the European Economic Community as well as on its interpretation by the Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Firstly, it is shown that the ordoliberal school must not be regarded as a set of ideas frozen in its formative period of 1933 to 1950 or 1957 when the "Freiburg School" was established but rather as an approach that has been dynamically developed and refined over the last 75 years (i.e. over four generations of ordoliberals) up to the present day by integrating important new insights without, however, giving up its core tenets and convictions. Secondly, it is shown on the basis of the preparatory work which lead in the 1950ies to the Rome Treaty that the adoption of the concept of "abuse" for the control of dominant undertakings was due to the strong influence of the German negotiating team that consisted of (in the meantime second generation) ordoliberals. Thirdly, it is explained how ordoliberal thinking about the "system of undistorted competition" and the protection of "residual competition against exclusionary practices" has influenced the application of the "abuse" concept in the jurisprudence of the Commission and the CJEU from the Continental Can case to the recent Intel case. This approach has come under attack from welfare-economic approaches which emphasize efficiency instead of competition and which have accused the ordoliberal approach of formalism, lack of sufficient economic analysis, preoccupation with fairness, protection of competitors instead of competition, obsession with interventionist regulation etc. This paper demonstrates that all of these characterizations are based on fundamental misunderstandings of what ordoliberal thinking originally meant and what it stands for today.
    Keywords: EU competition law,Rome Treaty,preparatory work,travaux préparatoires,monopoly problem,competition rules,abuse of a dominant position,ordoliberalism,Freiburg School,system of undistorted competition,protection of residual competition,exclusionary practices,predatory pricing,refusal to deal,essential facility,exploitation,efficiency,fairness,effects on competition
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Eckhard Hein
    Abstract: The current debate on secular stagnation is suffering from some vagueness and several shortcomings. The same is true for the economic policy implications. Therefore, we provide an alternative view on stagnation tendencies based on Josef Steindl's contributions. In particular, Steindl (1952) can be viewed as a pioneering work in the area of stagnation in modern capitalism. We hold that this work is not prone to the problems detected in the current debate on secular stagnation: It does not rely on the dubious notion of an equilibrium real interest rate as the equilibrating force of saving and investment at full employment levels, in principle, with the adjustment process currently blocked by the unfeasibility of a very low or even negative equilibrium rate. It is based on the notion that modern capitalist economies are facing aggregate demand constraints, and that saving adjusts to investment through income growth and changes in capacity utilization in the long run. It allows for potential growth to become endogenous to actual demand-driven growth. And it seriously considers the role of institutions and power relationships for long-run growth--and for stagnation.
    Keywords: Secular Stagnation; Stagnation Policy; Distribution and Growth; Steindl
    JEL: B22 E11 E12 E65 O11
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Jorge M. Streb
    Abstract: Nash recibió el premio Nobel de economía por dos aportes fundamentales: la distinción entre juegos cooperativos y no cooperativos, y el concepto de solución básico para juegos no cooperativos. Myerson indica que este equilibrio es el concepto de solución básico de teoría de juegos dado que, como señala Nash, los juegos cooperativos se pueden reducir a un juego no cooperativo más amplio agregando la negociación previa. El equilibrio de Nash puede verse también como equilibrio de Cournot-Nash porque fue originalmente formulado por Cournot en un modelo de oligopolio, aunque al ser una aplicación específica esto es discutido. El problema fundamental, sin embargo, fue que el análisis de Cournot llevó a polémicas interminables sobre cómo se llega al equilibrio. Otro aporte fundamental de Nash, en mi opinión, es resolver esto con su interpretación racionalista, donde los jugadores conocen la estructura del juego y usan la solución para predecir el equilibrio. Nash introduce así las expectativas racionales. Alternativamente, ofrece una interpretación adaptativa cuando los jugadores no conocen la estructura de juego pero ajustan sus estrategias para maximizar sus pagos, algo anticipado por Cournot al analizar la elasticidad de demanda. La teoría de juegos evolutiva desarrolla esta segunda interpretación. En suma, Nash no solo fue extraordinario como matemático sino como economista.
    Date: 2015–10
  11. By: J.R. Clark (The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga); Joshua C. Hall (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); Ashley Harrison (The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga)
    Abstract: John “Jack†Soper passed away on August 9, 2013. A prolific researcher who retired as the John J. Kahl Sr. Chair in Entrepreneurship at John Carroll University, Soper was a leading light in the field of economic education. His scholarship in the 1970s and 1980splayed a very important role in establishing the field. In this educational note, we summarize and highlight his contributions to the measurement of economic literacy and the modelling of student learning in the collegiate and precollege classrooms.
    Keywords: economic education; private enterprise; education production
    JEL: A20 A21 A22
    Date: 2015–07
  12. By: Pietri, Antoine
    Abstract: This paper deals with the debate between “property” and “possession”, hosted by the Journal of Institutional Economics since early 2015. According to Hodgson, economists conflate these two terms involving important consequences on the discernment of the analysis and on the general scope of the economics of property rights. In the same journal, Allen and Barzel only concede semantics significance to the Hodgson’s critics. We analyze the whys and wherefores of this debate and discuss its paradigmatic dimension.
    Keywords: Droits de propriété, Hodgson, Possession, Propriété.
    JEL: D23 K11 P14
    Date: 2015–09–30
  13. By: Marian Panganiban (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn, and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena)
    Abstract: Although the role of formal and informal institutions in promoting economic growth and sustaining exchange relations is now well established, explaining and differentiating how informal and formal rules affect individual behavior remain a challenge. This study aims to distill the essential characteristics of formal and informal institutions and disentangle their effects on trust and performance in exchange relations through a laboratory experiment. Formal institutions are modeled as third-party contract enforcement while informal institutions are represented as shared group identity. Results show that trust choices increase as contract enforcement increases but are not affected by shared group identity. However, performance is more likely to occur in interactions with in-group members than out-group members.
    Keywords: institutions, exchange relations, contract enforcement, group identity, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D81
    Date: 2015–10–09
  14. By: KUROSE, Kazuhiro
    Abstract: Although structural analysis was one of the central subjects in economics, its importance fell by the wayside, especially after aggregate macroeconomic growth models became popular in the 20th century. However, structural analysis has been revived recently and a new research agenda has emerged: to examine whether structural change can be reconciled with Kaldor's facts. This is an interesting agenda from both the theoretical and empirical point of view. Since Kaldor's facts are thought of as a sort of balanced growth path, this concept is extended so as to reconcile structural change with Kaldor's facts. In this study, we review the multi-sectoral models in which structural change can be reconciled with Kaldor's facts. We demonstrate that the common feature of all reviewed multi-sectoral models of structural change is that they are regarded as natural extensions of the one-sector model of growth and then somehow transformed into the one-sector model. However, we assert that it is not an adequate treatment of multi-sectoral models when structural change is focused. The transformation of multi-sectoral models into the one-sector model assumes a homogeneous capital but capital consists of heterogeneous commodities in modern capitalist economies. It reminds us of the lessen of the Cambridge capital controversies that the properties obtained by the one-sector model do not necessarily hold in multi-sectoral models when capital consists of heterogeneous commodities and the choice of techniques is allowed. From the empirical point of view, it is one of the important characteristics that the change in the composition of physical capital is systematically related to income growth. However, the models in which only homogeneous capital is included cannot focus on the characteristic. Whether or not structural change can be reconciled with Kaldor's facts in the models with heterogeneous capital is still an open question.
    Keywords: structural change, Kaldor's facts, balanced growth path, Cambridge capital controversies, heterogeneous capital
    JEL: B24 E12 O14 O41
    Date: 2015–10–05
  15. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (Paris School of Economics and BETA - Université de Lorraine); Stéphane Luchini (GREQAM-CNRS - Université de Marseille); Julie Rosaz (LAMETA - Université de Montpellier 1); Jason F. Shogren (Department of Economics and Finance - University of Wyoming)
    Abstract: A growing experimental literature has explored how monetary incentives affect truth-telling and lying behavior. We extend this literature to consider how to non-monetary incentives–a loaded environment and commitment through a truth-telling oath–affect truth-telling and lying behavior. For a loaded environment, we revise the standard lying experiment by making it explicit and clear to the person that “a lie is a lie”. We then combine the lying experiment with a solemn oath procedure, by which subjects commit themselves to tell the truth before entering the laboratory. Both non-monetary incentive devices affect a person's willingness to tell the truth: subjects lie slightly less frequently in the loaded environment, and drastically less after they signed the solemn oath. Interestingly, the loaded environment and oath have distinct effects–the oath changes the incentive to lie only when truthfulness is made meaningful through the loaded environment
    Keywords: Deception; lies; truth-telling oath; experiments
    JEL: C92 D03 D63
    Date: 2015–07
  16. By: Daniel Garcia; Joshua Serman
    Abstract: Scientific, artistic, and professional work is increasingly performed in groups. In this study, we seek to understand the extent to which norms influence the composition of such groups. In particular, we analyze the effect of the alphabetical norm in academic citations on the composition of research teams in economics. First, we present a model of endogenous team formation given the alphabetical norm and analyze the effect of the norm on the desirability of any two individuals to conduct a joint project. We then examine the last names of co-authors from nearly 100 academic journals and find a significant difference between the matching behavior of authors who obey the alphabetical norm relative to authors who violate the norm. We interpret this finding as evidence that the alphabetical norm results in distortion of the composition of research teams.
    JEL: A11 A13 J70 Z13
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Hansen, Lars Peter (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: My name sounds very Nordic. Seven of my great-great-grandparents were born in Denmark and two more in Sweden. My first name comes from my Swedish great-great-grandfather, Lars Toolson, whose son also had the first name Lars. My middle name is from my great-grandfather Peter Hansen, who was born in Denmark. Fifteen of my sixteen great-great-grandparents, emigrating from Denmark, England, Sweden and Wales in the mid-nineteenth century, settled in Cache Valley, Utah.
    Keywords: Asset pricing;
    JEL: G12
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Stéphane Zuber (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the extension of Harsanyi's theorem (Harsanyi, 1995) in a framework involving uncertainty. It seeks to extend the aggregation result to a wide class of Monotonic Bernoullian and Archimedean preferences (Cerreia-Vioglio et al., 2011) that subsumes many models of choice under uncertainty proposed in the literature. An impossibility result is obtained, unless we are in the specific framework where all individuals and the decision-maker are subjective expected utility maximizers sharing the same beliefs. This implies that non-expected utility preferences cannot be aggregated consistently
    Keywords: Harsanyi's theorem; Pareto principle; Monotonic Bernoullian and Archimedean preferences; Subjective Expected Utility
    JEL: D71 D81
    Date: 2015–09
  19. By: Sandye Gloria-Palermo (GREDEG CNRS; University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France)
    Date: 2015–10
  20. By: Antonelli, Cristiano; David, Paul (University of Turin)
    Date: 2015–10

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