nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒02
eighteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. What to teach, when teaching economics as a minor subject? By Martin Kniepert
  2. The Big Push: Early Development Economics (1945-1975) By Kartika, Dwintha Maya
  3. The state, the market, and development By Joseph E. Stiglitz
  4. How much do sociologists write about economic topics? Using big data to test some conventional views in economic sociology, 1890 to 2014 By Daoud, Adel; Kohl, Sebastian
  5. Tirole's Industrial Regulation and Organization Legacy in Economics By Fudenberg, Drew
  6. Sraffa, Myrdal and the 1961 Söderström Gold Medal By Rogério Arthmar; Michael McLure
  7. The Transvaluation of the Theory of Economic Policy: The Lucas Critique Reconsidered By Katherine Moos
  8. On the "usual" misunderstandings between econophysics and finance: some clarifications on modelling approaches and efficient market hypothesis By Marcel Ausloos; Franck Jovanovic; Christophe Schinckus
  9. Religion, Economy, and State: Economic Thought of al-Mawardi in Adab al-Dunya wa-al-Din By Jaelani, Aan
  10. Equilibrium selection with coupled populations in hawk-dove games: Theory and experiment in continuous time By Benndorf, Volker; Martinez-Martinez, Ismael; Normann, Hans-Theo
  11. The Utilitarian Relevance of the Aggregation Theorem By Mongin, Philippe; Fleurbaey, Marc
  12. Social Capital: From One-Dimensional Man to One-Dimensions Economy and Economics By Ben Fine
  13. Choice - Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes By Mongin , Philippe; Baccelli , Jean
  14. Social preference under twofold uncertainty By Mongin, Philippe; Pivato, Marcus
  15. Le déchet By Yvon Pesqueux
  16. Economists behaving badly: Publications in predatory journals By Wallace, Frederick; Perri, Timothy
  17. Using Field Experiments in Accounting and Finance By Eric Floyd; John List
  18. James Robinson: ¡Dejen así! By Guillermo Maya

  1. By: Martin Kniepert (Institute for Sustainable Economic Development, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna)
    Abstract: Over the last few years, demands from student organisations for pluralism in teaching economics gave quite a stir to neoclassical economics; at least in the media, and at some selected universities. On the other hand, university teachers show considerable inertia. Sometimes they are pointing out that economic theory was not as streamlined as asserted. But mostly they insist on mainstream teaching as a basic prerequisite, possibly to be complemented later by some elective courses. While a dispute about the adequacy of this will certainly continue, it has to be stated that the typical syllabus for economics as a minor subject leaves the respective students with a very narrow notion of economics. This paper elaborates on this aspect. It outlines specific restrictions and requirements an economics-minor syllabus has to comply with in order to have a realistic chance for a wider dissemination at universities. Taking account of this, it is shown that pluralist intentions are covered to a considerable extent by the broader perspective of (new) institutional economics as developed by North, Williamson, Ostrom, and others. At the same time it allows for a coherent and commonly shared body of economic knowledge. To circumstantiate this, this paper resorts to important steps in the history of economic thinking, to its epistemological foundations, as well as to rather practical needs of mutual recognition of exams.
    Keywords: : Institutional Economics, economics-minor syllabus
    JEL: A2 B0 B5
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Kartika, Dwintha Maya
    Abstract: This article attempts to analyse the strategies, strengths and weaknesses of early development economics, commonly known as the Big Push era. The article starts with the historical analysis on what could influence the thinking of structuralist approach to development. The next section highlights the common strategies proposed by the development pioneers. This is followed by the assessment of industrialisation strategies based on their strengths and weaknesses of the strategies proposed. Finally, the conclusive comments focus on the appreciation of development economics in general.
    Keywords: development economics; economic development; big push; industrialisation; structuralist;
    JEL: O1 O10 O11 O14 O2 O20 O21 O25
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Abstract: The state has played a major role in the most important developmental successes. This paper discusses the advances in our understanding of the role of the state in the developmental process over the past thirty years, and the contribution to those advances played by changes in economics, changes in the world, and key experiences (in particular the successes in East Asia and the failures in the countries pursuing Washington Consensus policies).
    Keywords: Industrial policy, Manufacturing
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Daoud, Adel; Kohl, Sebastian
    Abstract: Sociological self-understanding is that the frequency of economic topics in sociology has peaked twice: first during the classical era between 1890 and 1920 and second after Mark Granovetter's most cited 1985 article. This paper tests this established view using all JSTOR sociology articles from 1890 to 2014 (142,040 articles, 157 journals). Combined topic and multilevel modeling found strong evidence for the first peak but the proportion of economics topics has also been decreasing over the past century. The rise of a New Economic Sociology as a subdiscipline of sociology came with the increasing focus on general economic issues but also with a topic mix of organization and social-theory research. The paper shows that this specific topic mix began to increase from 1929 peaking by 1989 and suggests that the New Economic Sociology, rather than marking the beginning of a second peak, is more a product of the other general currents of organization sociology and social theory. The paper also finds that this subdiscipline is internally diverse in topics and rather male dominated.
    Abstract: Im soziologischen Selbstverständnis gab es zwei Hochphasen in der Häufigkeit der Behandlung von ökonomischen Themen im Rahmen soziologischer Forschung: zunächst in der Zeit der Klassiker zwischen 1890 und 1920 und dann wieder nach Mark Granovetters vielfach zitiertem Artikel von 1985. Das Discussion Paper prüft diese Behauptung unter Verwendung aller bei JSTOR verfügbaren Volltextsoziologieartikel (142.040 Artikel, 157 Zeitschriften). Mithilfe von Topic- und Multilevelmodeling konnten deutliche Belege für die erste Hochphase erbracht werden, wobei der Anteil ökonomischer Themen im Verlauf des vergangenen Jahrhunderts gesunken ist. Das Entstehen der Neuen Wirtschaftssoziologie als Teildisziplin der Soziologie steht sowohl in Zusammenhang mit dem verstärkten Augenmerk auf allgemeine ökonomische Themen als auch mit der Vermischung von Organisationsforschung und Sozialtheorie. Das Paper zeichnet Aufkommen und Verbreitung dieser spezifischen Themenvermischung von 1929 bis zur Hochphase im Jahr 1989 nach und kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Neue Wirtschaftssoziologie eher aus allgemeinen Strömungen von Organisationssoziologie und Sozialtheorie entstanden ist, als dass sie ein Zeichen für den Beginn einer zweiten Hochphase darstellt. Darüber hinaus wird aufgezeigt, dass die Wirtschaftssoziologie intern themenheterogen ist und tendenziell von männlichen Autoren bearbeitet wird.
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Fudenberg, Drew
    Abstract: Jean Tirole was awarded the 2014 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his analysis of market power and regulation. This paper provides an overview of some of that work, and of his related contributions to game theory.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Rogério Arthmar (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo); Michael McLure (Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: This paper reconstructs the awarding of the 1961 Söderström Gold Medal to Piero Sraffa by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It explains why the prize was created and highlights Gunnar Myrdal’s nomination of Sraffa for the award overseen by the Academy. Primary historical documents are used to establish the amicable relationship between these two economists and to point out their differences and affinities on issues relating to the history of economic thought, particularly in connection with Ricardo’s economics. In addition, Sraffa's activities in Stockholm are detailed, including his contact with Swedish economists and his attendance at the award ceremony. Contemporary reactions in Sweden and Italy to the awarding of this prize to Sraffa are reviewed. The final remarks offer some reflection on the significance of the 1961 Söderström Gold Medal for the history of economics as a field of study.
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Katherine Moos (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: This paper entertains two distinct hypotheses about the meaning and effect of the Lucas critique. The first is that the Lucas critique represents advancement in the theory of economic policy. To accept this interpretation, we will have to find evidence that the Lucas critique is empirically valid, ontologically rigorous, and theoretically sound. In search of such evidence, we will review the writings of economists both within and outside the profession’s mainstream that engage the Lucas critique on these criteria. The alternative hypothesis considered in this paper is that in denouncing the traditional theory of economic policy, Lucas sparked an ideational shift in how macroeconomists understand the meaning and value of policy. By considering macroeconomics as a moral science with a specific ontology, we can understand the philosophical implications of the Lucas critique. This paper entertains the idea that the Lucas critique altered the aspirations of economists and policymakers by undermining belief in the ability of economists to make meaningful interventions in the economy and therefore infusing implicit policy nihilism into macroeconomics.
    Keywords: Lucas critique, macroeconomic policy evaluation, nihilism, theory of economic policy
    JEL: E17 E61 C54
    Date: 2016–05
  8. By: Marcel Ausloos; Franck Jovanovic; Christophe Schinckus
    Abstract: In line with the recent research and debates about econophysics and financial economics, this article discusses on usual misunderstandings between the two disciplines in terms of modelling and basic hypotheses. In the literature devoted to econophysics, the methodology used by financial economists is frequently considered as a top-down approach (starting from a priori "first principles") while econophysicists rather present themselves as scholars working with a (empirical data prone) bottom-up approach. Although this dualist perspective is very common in the econophysics literature, this paper claims that the distinction is very confusing and does not permit to reveal the essence of the differences between finance and econophysics. The distinction between these two fields is mainly investigated here through the lens of the Efficient Market Hypothesis in order to show that, in substance, econophysics and financial economics tend to have a similar approach implying that the misunderstanding between these two fields at the modelling level can therefore be overstepped.
    Date: 2016–06
  9. By: Jaelani, Aan
    Abstract: The relation between religion, economy and the country became a major topic in the development of public welfare systems. Humans are political creatures that have the potential to realise the level of moral conscience to meet the needs of a better life, but humans as spiritual beings must have a balance between religious morality and economic morality. With economic ethics are supported by religious morality, the welfare system can be realised systemically if the state, communities and individuals can realise the six-dimensional form: religious observance, good governance, justice, national security, the prosperity of society and the nation's vision.
    Keywords: religion, economy, state, ethics, welfare state
    JEL: B3 I3 N3 P5 Z12
    Date: 2016–06–01
  10. By: Benndorf, Volker; Martinez-Martinez, Ismael; Normann, Hans-Theo
    Abstract: Standard one- and two-population models for evolutionary games are the limit cases of a uniparametric family combining intra- and intergroup interactions. Our setup interpolates between both extremes with a coupling parameter k. For the example of the hawk-dove game, we analyze the replicator dynamics of the coupled model. We confirm the existence of a bifurcation in the dynamics of the system and identify three regions for equilibrium selection, one of which does not appear in common one- and two-population models. We also design a continuous-time experiment, exploring the dynamics and the equilibrium selection. The data largely confirm the theory.
    Keywords: evolutionary game theory,experiment in continuous time,hawk-dove game,replicator dynamics
    JEL: C62 C73 C91 C92
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Mongin, Philippe; Fleurbaey, Marc
    Abstract: Harsanyi invested his Aggregation Theorem and Impartial Observer Theorem with utilitarian sense, but Sen described them as "representation theorems" with little ethical import. This critical view has never been subjected to full analytical scrutinity. The formal argument we provide here supports the utilitarian relevance of the Aggregation Theorem. Following a hint made by Sen himself, we posit an exogeneous utilitarian ordering that evaluates riskless options by the sum of individual utilities and we show that any social observer who obeys the conditions of the Aggregation Theorem evaluates social states in terms of a weighted variant of this utilitarian sum.
    Keywords: Utilitarianism; Aggregation Theorem; Impartial Observer Theorem; Cardinal utility; VNM utility; Harsanyi; Sen
    JEL: D63 D71 D81
    Date: 2015–09–03
  12. By: Ben Fine (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: The evolution to dominance of neoclassical economics is reviewed in light of Marcuseís One-Dimensional Man in the wake of the fiftieth anniversary of the classicís first publication.
    Keywords: Economics Imperialism, Neoclassical economics, Marcuse
    JEL: B13 B50
    Date: 2016–06
  13. By: Mongin , Philippe; Baccelli , Jean
    Abstract: We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and distinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions as representing preference differences, while being nonetheless empirically related to choices. We highlight the originality, promises and limits of this choice-based cardinalism.
    Keywords: Ordinal utility; Cardinal utility; Preference differences; Representation theorems; Suppes; Ordinalism; Cardinalism
    JEL: B21 B31
    Date: 2016–01–04
  14. By: Mongin, Philippe; Pivato, Marcus
    Abstract: We investigate the conflict between the ex ante and ex post criteria of social welfare in a novel axiomatic framework of individual and social decisions, which distinguishes between a subjective and an objective source of uncertainty. This framework permits us to endow the individuals and society not only with ex ante and ex post preferences, as is classically done, but also with interim preferences of two kinds, and correspondingly, to introduce interim forms of the Pareto principle. After characterizing the ex ante and ex post criteria, we present a first solution to their conflict that amounts to extending the former as much possible in the direction of the latter. Then, we present a second solution, which goes in the opposite direction, and is our preferred one. This solution combines the ex post criterion with an objective interim Pareto principle, which avoids the pitfalls of the ex ante Pareto principle, and especially the problem of "spurious unanimity" discussed in the literature. Both solutions translate the assumed Pareto conditions into weighted additive utility representations, and both attribute common individual probability values only to the objective source of uncertainty.
    Keywords: Ex ante social welfare; ex post social welfare; objective versus subjective uncertainty; Pareto principle; separability; Harsanyi social aggregation theorem; spurious unanimity.
    JEL: D70 D81
    Date: 2016–06–05
  15. By: Yvon Pesqueux (LIRSA - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Sciences de l'Action - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: D'un point de vue étymologique, le mot de « déchet », dérivé du verbe déchoir, signifie, à partir du Moyen-âge, la part qui est perdue. Au début du XIX° siècle, le mot caractérise également une personne dégénérée. Il faut en souligner la proximité avec la notion d'obsolescence. Comment ne pas mentionner non plus La part maudite de G. Bataille. Il est possible de considérer le déchet comme étant un des analyseurs possibles du fonctionnement d'une société dans la mesure où ils sont représentatifs de rapports sociaux, de différences de classes, de la dualité hommes / femmes (les déchets masculins peuvent être substantiellement différents des déchets féminins), des différences culturelles entre société (cf. l'archéologie des poubelles du paléolithique) ou encore des conceptions de l'hygiène venant fonder la différence entre le propre et le sale, le sale étant la première étape d'une sorte de cycle de vie du déchet. Le rapport au déchet peut de plus être considéré comme étant un enjeu de construction institutionnelle (1975 en France avec l'apparition du Ministère de l'Environnement). Il pose aussi la question des rapports entre société biologique (l'univers de la famille et ses déchets domestiques), société civile (économique avec les déchets industriels, non économique avec le débat sur la place des ONG dans la thématique du déchet) et société politique (existence d'un Ministère en charge de la question, des politiques publiques exprimées tant en termes de subvention que d'incitations que pour l'alternative qui vaut entre la collecte et ce qui se passe après au regard du thème de la protection de l'environnement).
    Keywords: Développement durable, Déchet
    Date: 2016–04–27
  16. By: Wallace, Frederick; Perri, Timothy
    Abstract: The extent of publishing in predatory journals in economics is examined in this paper. A simple model of researcher behavior is presented to explore those factors motivating an economist or other academic to publish in predatory journals as defined by Beall (2015). Beall’s lists are then employed to identify predatory journals and publishers included in the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) archives. Once identified, the affiliations of authors publishing in these outlets are determined in order to identify the characteristics of those publishing in such outlets. The geographic dispersion of authorship is widespread. A very small subset of authors is registered on RePEc. Slightly more than forty percent of registered authors who publish in predatory journals in the data set have six or fewer publications, and hence might be considered inexperienced. A surprising number of authors who are in the RePEc top 5% also published in predatory journals in 2015.
    Keywords: Predatory Publications, RePEc
    JEL: A10 I2 I20
    Date: 2016–06–01
  17. By: Eric Floyd; John List
    Abstract: The gold standard in the sciences is uncovering causal relationships. A growing literature in economics utilizes field experiments as a methodology to establish causality between variables. Taking lessons from the economics literature, this study provides an "A-to-Z" description of how to conduct field experiments in accounting and finance. We begin by providing a user's guide into what a field experiment is, what behavioral parameters field experiments identify, and how to efficiently generate and analyze experimental data. We then provide a discussion of extant field experiments that touch on important issues in accounting and finance, and we also review areas that have ample opportunities for future field experimental explorations. We conclude that the time is ripe for field experimentation to deepen our understanding of important issues in accounting and finance.
    Date: 2016
  18. By: Guillermo Maya
    Abstract: El profesor de Harvard University James Robinson, coautor del libro Por Qué Fracasan Los Países (2012), escribió una columna en El Espectador “ ¿Cómo modernizar a Colombia?” (2014), que generó una polémica nacional1, en donde plantea que los colombianos se deben olvidar de la restitución de tierras y jugársela con la educación.
    Keywords: James Robinson; problema agrario, Colombia ; desigualdad rural.
    Date: 2015–12–30

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