nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒23
nineteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. A review of the economic theories of poverty By Miguel Sanchez-Martinez; Philip Davis
  2. New Wine in Old Flasks: the Just Price and Price-Controls in Jewish Law By Makovi, Michael
  3. The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal - Working Paper 399 By Michael Clemens
  4. Stationary Markov equilibria for K-class discounted stochastic games By Frank Page
  5. Beliefs About People’s Prosociality Eliciting predictions in dictator games By András Molnár; Christophe Heintz
  6. Top Incomes and Human Well-Being Around the World By Richard V. Burkhauser; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  7. Bidding with money or action plans? Asset allocation under strategic uncertainty By Katerina Sherstyuk; Nina Karmanskaya; Pavel Teslia
  8. Nash equilibrium uniqueness in nice games with isotone best replies By Ceparano, Maria Carmela; Quartieri, Federico
  9. Neoliberalism, trade imbalances and economic policy in the Eurozone crisis By Constantine, Collin; Reissl, Severin; Stockhammer, Engelbert
  10. Три варианта экономической политики для России By BLINOV, Sergey
  11. Friedman, Monetarism and Quantitative Easing By Olivo, Victor
  12. Free Speech in Plato’S Gorgias By Alexei Gloukhov
  13. Error Prone Inference from Response Time: The Case of Intuitive Generosity in Public-Good Games By Lise Vesterlund
  14. A Comparative Study of Views and Role of Labor in Marxian, Mainstream and Islamic Economics By Shaikh, Salman Ahmed
  15. Utilitarian Moral Judgments Are Cognitively Too Demanding By Da Silva, Sergio; Matsushita, Raul; De Sousa, Maicon
  16. Voluntary Cooperation in Local Public Goods Provision. An Experimental Study By Andrej Angelowski; Daniela Di Cagno; Werner Güth; Francesca Marazzi; Luca Panaccione
  17. Heaven Game By Aurora García-Gallego; Nikolaos Georgantzís; Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez
  18. Monopoly Capital and Capitalist Inequality: Marx after Piketty By Lambert, Thomas
  19. Les droits et libertés fondamentaux à l'épreuve de L'efficacité économique: une application à La politique de la concurrence By Frédéric Marty

  1. By: Miguel Sanchez-Martinez; Philip Davis
    Abstract: This paper critically analyses the views of poverty adopted by different economic schools of thought which are relevant to the UK, as well as eclectic theories focused on social exclusion and social capital. We contend that each of the economic approaches has an important contribution to make to the understanding of poverty but that no theory is sufficient in itself; a selective synthesis is needed. Furthermore, economics by its nature omits important aspects of the nature and causes of poverty.
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Makovi, Michael
    Abstract: The halakhah (Jewish law) includes legislation aiming at might be called “social justice.” These halakhot (pl.) include the laws of ona'ah and hafka'at she'arim / hayyei nefesh – roughly analogous to the famous Medieval “just price” laws – as well as legal restrictions on middlemen and speculators. In the light of modern economics, these Jewish laws, like all attempts at price-fixing, are shown to be self-defeating; the means conflict with the ends sought. The conflict between religion and science is not limited to cosmology and biology, but may include economics as well. It is proposed that the halakhah be modified in such a way as to preserve – as much as possible – the integrity of both the halakhah and economic science alike; when an ethical system makes certain scientific presuppositions, it is sometimes possible to preserve the ethical system by disentangling it from its non-essential scientific presuppositions.
    Keywords: price controls; price fixing; just price; jewish business ethics; religious economics
    JEL: A12 B11 D00 K20 P00 Z12
    Date: 2016–01–30
  3. By: Michael Clemens
    Abstract: Economists are increasingly using publicly shared data and code to check each other’s work, an exercise often called ‘replication’ testing. But this much-needed trend has not been accompanied by a consensus about what ‘replication’ means. If a follow-up study does not ‘replicate’ an original result, according to current usage of the term, this can mean anything from an unremarkable disagreement over methods to scientific incompetence or misconduct. This paper proposes an unambiguous definition of replication. Many social scientists already use the term in the way suggested here, but many more do not. The paper contrasts this definition with decades of unsuccessful attempts to standardize terminology, and argues that many prominent results described as replication tests should not be described as such. It argues that professional associations should formally adopt this definition, thereby improving incentives for researchers to conduct more and better replication tests.
    Keywords: replication studies
    JEL: B40 C18 C80
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Frank Page
    Abstract: For a discounted stochastic game with an uncountable state space and compact metric action spaces, we show that if the measurable-selection-valued, Nash payoff selection correspondence of the underlying one-shot game contains a sub-correspondence having the K-limit property (i.e., if the Nash payoff selection sub-correspondence contains its K-limits and therefore is a K correspondence), then the discounted stochastic game has a stationary Markov equilibrium. Our key result is a new fixed point theorem for measurable-selection-valued correspondences having the K-limit property. We also show that if the discounted stochastic game is noisy (Duggan, 2012), or if the underlying probability space satisfies the G-nonatomic condition of Rokhlin (1949) and Dynkin and Evstigneev (1976) (and therefore satisfies the coaser transition kernel condition of He and Sun, 2014), then the Nash payoff selection correspondence contains a sub-correspondence having the K-limit property.
    Keywords: approximate Caratheodory selections; fixed points of nonconvex valued correspondences; measurable selection valued correspondences; Komlos limits; Komlos’ Theorem; weak star convergence; discounted stochastic games; stationary Markov equilibria.
    JEL: C7
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: András Molnár; Christophe Heintz
    Abstract: One of the most pervasive economic decisions that people have to take is whether to enter an economic interaction. A rational decision process takes into account the probability that the partner will act in a favorable way, making the interaction or the cooperative activity beneficial. Do people actually decide upon such predictions? If yes, are these predictions accurate? We describe a novel experimental method for eliciting participants' implicit beliefs about their partners' prosociality: In a modified dictator game, receivers are offered to forgo what the dictator shall transfer and take a sure amount instead. We then infer receivers' subjective probabilities that the dictator makes a prosocial decision. Our results show that people do form prior beliefs about others' actions based on others' incentives, and that they decide whether to enter an interaction based on these beliefs. People know that others have prosocial as well as selfish preferences, yet the prior beliefs about others' prosocial choices is biased: First, participants underestimate others' prosociality. Second, their predictions about others' choice correlate with their own choice, reflecting a consensus effect. We also find a systematic difference between implicit and explicit predictions of others' choices: Implicit beliefs reflect more trust towards others than explicit statements.
    Date: 2016–01–21
  6. By: Richard V. Burkhauser; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Nattavudh Powdthavee
    Abstract: The share of income held by the top 1 percent in many countries around the world has been rising persistently over the last 30 years. But we continue to know little about how the rising top income shares affect human well-being. This study combines the latest data to examine the relationship between top income share and different dimensions of subjective well-being. We find top income shares to be significantly correlated with lower life evaluation and higher levels of negative emotional well-being, but not positive emotional well-being. The results are robust to household income, individual's socio-economic status, and macroeconomic environment controls.
    Keywords: Top income, life evaluation, well-being, income inequality, World Top Income database, Gallup World Poll
    JEL: D63 I3
    Date: 2016–01
  7. By: Katerina Sherstyuk (University of Hawaii); Nina Karmanskaya (Novosibirsk State Technical University); Pavel Teslia (Novosibirsk State Technical University)
    Abstract: We study, theoretically and experimentally, alternative mechanisms to allocate assets when the future value of the asset is unknown at the time of allocation because of strategic uncertainty. We compare auctions, or bidding with money, for the right to play the minimum effort coordination game, with bidding with action (effort) proposals, where bidders with the highest proposed actions are selected as winners. Provided that the bidders commit to their proposals, bidding with action proposals eliminates strategic uncertainly and is characterized by the unique fully efficient Nash equilibrium. Allowing to revise action proposals after the assets are allocated admits both informative fully efficient, and uninformative babbling equilibria. In the experiment, bidding with action proposals with commitment consistently leads to the efficient outcome, whereas without commitment, both fully efficient and inefficient outcomes are observed. Auctioning off the right to play leads to higher actions than under random allocation, but is characterized by significant overbidding and winner losses. We further experimentally compare the mechanisms in their ability to train the players to achieve and sustain efficient coordination even after the allocation mechanism changes.
    Keywords: economic experiments; minimum effort coordination game; selection mechanisms
    JEL: C90 C72
    Date: 2016–02
  8. By: Ceparano, Maria Carmela; Quartieri, Federico
    Abstract: We prove the existence of a unique pure-strategy Nash equilibrium in nice games with isotone chain-concave best replies and compact strategy sets. We establish a preliminary fixpoint uniqueness argument, thus showing sufficient assumptions on the best replies of a nice game that guarantee the existence of exactly one Nash equilibrium. Then, by means of a comparative statics analysis, we examine the necessity and sufficiency of the conditions on marginal utility functions for such assumptions to be satisfied; in particular, we find necessary and sufficient conditions for the isotonicity and chain-concavity of best replies. We extend the results on Nash equilibrium uniqueness to nice games with upper unbounded strategy sets and we present "dual" results for games with isotone chain-convex best replies. A final application to Bayesian games is exhibited.
    Keywords: Nash equilibrium uniqueness; Chain-concave best reply; Nice game; Comparative statics; Strategic complementarity.
    JEL: C61 C72
    Date: 2015–10–05
  9. By: Constantine, Collin (Kingston University London); Reissl, Severin (Kingston University London); Stockhammer, Engelbert (Kingston University London)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the causes of the Eurozone crisis. In doing so it carefully surveys authors from different economic schools of thought. The paper discusses competing explanations for European current account imbalances. Remarkably, opposing views on the relative importance of cost developments and of demand developments in explaining current account imbalances can be found in both heterodox and orthodox economics and there is a remarkable variability of policy conclusions. Regarding the assessment of fiscal and monetary policy there is a clearer polarisation, with heterodox analysis regarding austerity as unhelpful and most of orthodox economics endorsing it. We advocate a post-Keynesian view which holds that current account imbalances are not a fundamental cause of the sovereign debt crisis. Rather, the economic policy architecture of the Eurozone, which aims at restricting the role of fiscal and monetary policy, is the key to understanding the crisis in Europe.
    Keywords: Euro crisis; neoliberalism; European economic policy; financial crisis; sovereign debt crisis; current account balance
    JEL: B50 E60
    Date: 2016–02–17
  10. By: BLINOV, Sergey
    Abstract: Key discussions regarding Russia's economic policy are now taking place between the two camps of economists. The foremost proponent of the ideas in the first camp is Alexey Kudrin, former Vice-Prime Minister, PhD in Economics. The second camp has crystalized itself around Sergey Glaziev, Advisor to the President of Russia, Doctor of Economics, Academician. Both options of economic policy which are proposed by these two schools of thought mean a lot of pain to produce any gain. The first part of this article analyzes the weaknesses of these two options. The second part of the article offers an alternative analysis of the causes responsible for the ups and downs of the Russian economy. An action plan is put forward which, within a few months, would allow the Ruble exchange rate to be stabilized and would ensure that the Russian economy grows regardless of the world market prices for major goods of the Russian primary materials exports.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy, Central Banking, Interest Rates, Quantitative Easing (QE), Economic Growth, Money Supply
    JEL: E31 E32 E40 E43 E50 E51 E52 E58 E65 G01 N10 O11
    Date: 2016–01–15
  11. By: Olivo, Victor
    Abstract: This paper argues that the theoretical origin of QE programs, as a general concept, clearly links to Friedman’s (and monetarist) ideas, but that the specific implementation of QE operations to cope with the 2008 financial crisis does not comply with key principles developed by Friedman. Based on Friedman’s work during the sixties, I contend that his monetary framework links to QE through what he (and Anna Schwartz) called the “monetary” effects of monetary policy and not the portfolio balance effect highlighted by Nelson (2011) and Bernanke (2012). The combination of the “monetary” effects and the stabilizing role of monetary policy should produce QE programs with a path of the monetary base (central bank assets) and M2 that differs dramatically from what transpired under the 2008-2014 QE arrangements based on the portfolio balance effect.
    Keywords: Monetary policy,monetarism,quantitative easing,open market operations, financial crisis, monetary effects, portfolio balance effect
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2015–06–17
  12. By: Alexei Gloukhov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: As this new reading of Plato’s Gorgias shows, four distinct positions with regard to freedom of speech are introduced in this classical text on the relations between philosophy and rhetoric: two realistic and two logical. The realism of rhetoric poses the key political problem of incommensurability between freedom and justice. The realism of philosophy is able to solve this problem, but only through a mediatory differentiation of two purely logical stands, which might have found direct counterparts in the two dominant forms of political philosophy in the 20th century. One of them is political liberalism, which corresponds to the ‘geometric’ way of argumentation in ‘Gorgias’ and inevitably passes into a theory of normative justice. Another is the mainstream ‘continental’ philosophy, which corresponds to the ‘erotic’ way of argumentation in Gorgias and explores the possibilities of the positive freedom.
    Keywords: Free speech, freedom, justice, liberalism, rhetoric, philosophy, politics, logic, myth, analytic-continental divide
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Lise Vesterlund
    Abstract: Higher contributions by fast decision-makers in public-good games may not resultfrom greater generosity but from mistakes. In several public-good games we vary the location ofthe unique dominant strategy equilibrium. In games with interior equilibria the correlationbetween response time and contributions is negative when the equilibrium lies below themidpoint of the strategy space, but positive when it lies above the midpoint. Fast decisionmakersare also found less generous in simple constant-return public-good games with a fullprovisionequilibrium. In all investigated public-good games fast decision-makers are largelyinsensitive to incentives and more often make mistakes.1
    Date: 2015–01
  14. By: Shaikh, Salman Ahmed
    Abstract: In this paper, we comparatively analyze the views and role of labor in Marxian, mainstream and Islamic economics. We argue that Marxian view of labor undermines the role of entrepreneur. Indeed, the slave trade, industrialization and Colonialism resulted in exploitation of the labor. But, to correct matters, undermining the role of entrepreneur to the extent of abandoning private property rights is not the right solution either as it was also proved in the later part of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, mainstream economics too is unable to create an equitable balance between the capitalists and the labor class, especially in the presence of extractive institutions like interest based earnings on accumulated wealth and incapacitated wealth redistribution mechanisms. These extractive institutions perpetuate the dominance of wealthy capitalists by making their accumulated wealth immune to entrepreneurial risks. This also results in concentration of wealth, increase in income inequality and low levels of capital formation. Indeed, the recent evidence of jobless growth, high youth unemployment despite high per capita income and high income inequality supports this view. In Islamic economic framework, prohibition of interest encourages productive enterprise and capital formation. These factors boost the labor demanded by the firms. In the microeconomic decisions in consumption-leisure choice framework, Islamic institutions positively boost the labor supply. In an Islamic economy, wealth redistribution through Zakat and inheritance laws ensures circulation of wealth. Prohibition of interest closes the door for riskless non-labor income on money capital. This increases the cost of leisure and encourages the person to supply more labor and/or invest money capital in productive enterprise. Finally, we discuss the impact of Islamic work ethics on dealing with the problems of moral hazard, labor shirking and rigidity in the labor market due to efficiency wages and insider-outsider relationships.
    Keywords: Labor Economics, Labor Market, Labor Value, Marxian Economics, Islamic Economics, Wage Inequality
    JEL: J22 J23 J24 J31
    Date: 2015–04–04
  15. By: Da Silva, Sergio; Matsushita, Raul; De Sousa, Maicon
    Abstract: We evaluate utilitarian judgments under the dual-system approach of the mind. In the study, participants respond to a cognitive reflection test and five (sacrificial and greater good) dilemmas that pit utilitarian and non-utilitarian options against each other. There is judgment reversal across the dilemmas, a result that casts doubt in considering utilitarianism as a stable, ethical standard to evaluate the quality of moral judgments. In all the dilemmas, participants find the utilitarian judgment too demanding in terms of cognitive currency because it requires non-automatic, deliberative thinking. In turn, their moral intuitions related to the automatic mind are frame dependent, and thus can be either utilitarian or non-utilitarian. This suggests that automatic moral judgments are about descriptions, not about substance.
    Keywords: Cognitive Reflection, Utilitarianism, Moral Judgments
    JEL: B41
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Andrej Angelowski (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Daniela Di Cagno (LUISS Guido Carli, Rome); Werner Güth (Luiss Guido Carli, Rome; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt; Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, Bonn); Francesca Marazzi (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata); Luca Panaccione (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: In a circular neighborhood with each member having a left and a right neighbor, individuals choose two contribution levels, one each for the public good shared with the left, respectively right, neighbor. This allows for general free riders, who do not contribute at all, and general cooperators, who contribute to both local public goods, as well as for differentiating contributors who contribute in a discriminatory way. Although the two-person local public good games are structurally independent, we investigate whether intra- as well as interpersonal spillover effects arise. We find that participants do not behave as if they are playing two separate public good games, hence that both inter-personal and intrapersonal behavioral spillovers occur. To investigate more clearly motives for voluntary cooperation via analyzing individual adaptations in playing two structurally independent games, we design treatments differing in cooperation incentives (i.e. different MPCR) and structural (a)symmetry of local public goods. We find that when the MPCR is asymmetric, free-riding occurs less, and contributions are more stable over time. We also find that contributions in the asymmetric treatment when MPCR is low are higher than contributions in symmetric treatments with higher MPCR.
    Keywords: Public goods, experiments, voluntary contribution mechanism
    JEL: C91 C72 H41
    Date: 2015–12
  17. By: Aurora García-Gallego (LEE-Ec. Dpt., U. Jaume I (Spain)); Nikolaos Georgantzís (Agriculture Policy and Development, University of Reading (UK) &LEE & Economics Dept., Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain)); Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: We present an experiment on the Heaven game, a generalization of the dictator game. The heavendictator player chooses between increasing, decreasing and maintaining the earnings of the passive player, without incurring any cost or profit. Thus, we avoid the experimenter demand effect. Based on the psychological literature on music as mood inductor and on the effects of mood on helping behavior, we also study the effect of exposure to different types of music on the heaven-dictator choices. We find that the overwhelming majority of subjects choose to increase their partners’ earnings and no general effect of music over the heaven-dictator choices, except for classical music that seems to foster helping-indifference behavior.
    Keywords: experimental economics, behavioural economics, other-regarding preferences, musicinduced mood, dictator game
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2015–12–07
  18. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper proposes that one major explanation of growing inequality in the United States (US) is through the use of the concept of economic surplus. The economic surplus is a neo-Marxian term which combines the traditional Marxian tenet of surplus value with other ways that surplus value can be invested in a mature, advanced capitalist economy. A rising economic surplus that is not absorbed through growing consumer spending, luxury spending or government spending results in stagnant wages and growing inequality via higher levels of underemployment and greater monopoly and monopsony power among a decreasing number of huge, powerful corporations. Therefore, the politics surrounding the growth of inequality in the US has to be understood first by understanding over accumulation of the economic surplus by those at the top of the US capitalist class. This research note gives estimates of the rising economic surplus over the last several decades in the US as well as how these correlate with the level of inequality. The growth of the economic surplus gives rise and form to the politics of inequality and austerity. As time goes by, the politics of inequality and austerity in the US will be manifested by greater corporate influence in the political system, greater political polarization, less government effectiveness, and more debates about welfare spending, corporate taxation, taxes on upper income households, and taxes on wealth.
    Keywords: alienation, economics, fascism, inequality, monopoly capital, occupy movement, political science, socialism, tea party
    JEL: B51 B59
    Date: 2016–01
  19. By: Frédéric Marty (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)
    Abstract: The increasing influence of economic analysis on case law, even in matters of constitutional litigation, raises the issue of its impacts on fundamental rights and liberties. Within the European Union competition law field, the implementation of the “more-economic approach” (named the effects-based approach) and the growing use of negotiated practices (often grounded on procedural efficiency concerns) provide us with a striking example of how the decisional practice may not only challenge property rights and economic freedoms but also impair the judicial control. This example leads us to interrogate the economic treatment of these two fundamental rights. We insist on the diversity of the theoretical approaches, confronting the economic analysis of law with old institutionalism and Austrian economics.
    Abstract: Les opinions exprimées dans la série des Documents de travail GREDEG sont celles des auteurs et ne reflèlent pas nécessairement celles de l'institution. Les documents n'ont pas été soumis à un rapport formel et sont donc inclus dans cette série pour obtenir des commentaires et encourager la discussion. Les droits sur les documents appartiennent aux auteurs. The views expressed in the GREDEG Working Paper Series are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the institution. The Working Papers have not undergone formal review and approval. Such papers are included in this series to elicit feedback and to encourage debate. Copyright belongs to the author(s).
    Keywords: fundamental rights,law and economics,old institutionalism,constitutional law,EU competition law,droits fondamentaux,économie du droit,vieil institutionnalisme,droit constitutionnel,droit de la concurrence de l’Union Européenne
    Date: 2016–02–08

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