nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒03‒26
thirteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Modeling Economic Systems as Locally-Constructive Sequential Games By Tesfatsion, Leigh
  2. Information transmission in hierarchies By Schopohl, Simon
  3. Secrecy and State Capacity: A Look Behind the Iron Curtain By Harrison, Mark
  4. Natureza da transição e tipo de capitalismo: notas sobre o fim da economia de comando na URSS e a emergência de um capitalismo dirigido pelo estado By Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque
  5. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you! Wealth, Trust and Subjective Well-being By Anne MUSSON; Damien ROUSSELIÈRE
  6. How well did facts travel to support protracted debate on the history of the Great Divergence between Western Europe and Imperial China? By Kent Deng; Patrick O'Brien
  7. Manufacturing pluralism in brazilian economics: the role of ANPEC as institutional mediator and stabilizer By Ramón García Fernández; Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
  8. Just Another Niche in the Wall? How Specialization Is Changing the Face of Mainstream Economics. By Cedrini, Mario; Magda, Fontana
  9. Uncertain acts in games By Riedel, Frank
  10. vce2way: A one-stop solution for two-way clustered standard errors By Hong Il Yoo
  11. Mapping the Dimensions of Social Capital By Katarzyna Growiec; Jakub Growiec; Bogumil Kaminski
  12. Sir Clive Granger's contributions to nonlinear time series and econometrics By Timo Teräsvirta
  13. Tribute to T. W. Anderson By Peter C.B. Phillips

  1. By: Tesfatsion, Leigh
    Abstract: Real-world economies are open-ended dynamic systems consisting of heterogeneous interacting participants. Human participants are decision-makers who strategically take into account the past actions and potential future actions of other participants. All participants are forced to be locally constructive, meaning their actions at any given time must be based on their local states; and participant actions at any given time affect future local states. Taken together, these properties imply real-world economies are locally-constructive sequential games. This study discusses a modeling approach, agent-based computational economics (ACE), that permits researchers to study economic systems from this point of view. ACE modeling principles and objectives are first concisely presented. The remainder of the study then highlights challenging issues and edgier explorations that ACE researchers are currently pursuing.
    Date: 2017–03–08
  2. By: Schopohl, Simon (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: We analyze a game in which players with unique information are arranged in a hierarchy. In the lowest layer each player can decide in each of several rounds either to pass the information to his successor or to hold. While passing generates an immediate payoff according to the value of information, the player can also get an additional reward if he is the last player to pass. Facing this problem while discounting over time determines the player’s behavior. Once a successor has collected all information from his workers he starts to play the same game with his successor. We state conditions for different Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibria and analyse the time it takes each hierarchy to centralize the information. This allows us to compare different structures and state which structure centralizes fastest depending on the information distribution and other parameters. We show that the time the centralization takes is mostly affected by the least informed players.
    Keywords: communication network, dynamic network game, hierarchical structure, information transmission
    Date: 2017–03–14
  3. By: Harrison, Mark (The University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper reviews two decades of research on the political economy of secrecy, based on the records of former Soviet state and party archives. Secrecy was an element of Soviet state capacity, particularly its capacity for decisiveness, free of the pressures and demands for accountability that might have arisen from a better informed citizenry. But secrecy was double-edged. Its uses also incurred substantial costs that weakened the capacity of the Soviet state to direct and decide. The paper details the costs of secrecy associated with “conspirative” government business processes, adverse selection of management personnel, everyday abuses of authority, and an uninformed leadership.
    Keywords: abuse of authority, adverse selection, censorship, military outlays, secrecy, state capacity, transaction costs, trust JEL Classification: N44, P37
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates contemporary Russia's variety of capitalism. This variety of capitalism - peripheric, state-led, oligarchic and with managed democracy - resulted from a transition based on shock terapies. The choice of the type of transition was conditioned by the nature of the crisis of the command economy in the 1980s. This crisis was a result of inner contradictions of the command economy built between 1929 and 1953. This command economy generated a limited catch up process, industrialized the economy with great human cost, delivering a relatively backward economy with strong military capabilities. This paper reviews four issues: the nature of the economic system between 1929 and 1985, the critical point that ended the command economy in late 1980s, the type of transition and the main features of the variety of capitalism that emerged as a consequence of those processes.
    Keywords: Russia, command economy, types of transition, variety of capitalism
    JEL: P0 P2 P5
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Anne MUSSON (ESSCA Research Lab, Angers, France); Damien ROUSSELIÈRE (SMART-LERECO, AGROCAMPUS OUEST, INRA, Angers, France / CRISES, UQAM, Montreal, Canada)
    Abstract: Social capital and especially trust are the foundation of most personal relationships and it is considered a key factor of many economic and social outcomes since Banfield (1958), Coleman (1990) and Putnam (2000). The purpose of this study is twofold. First, we investigate the role of wealth of countries in explaining trust and another proxy of social capital, the voluntary association membership. Secondly, we analyze the link between wealth, social capital and subjective well-being. This paper answer the following questions: Does living in a richer country enhance the willingness of people to trust each other? Does living in a richer country (regarding total wealth, intangible and social capital) enhance the subjective well-being? Do trust and happiness equations differ across countries, following their wealth structures? Our original empirical approach address simultaneously these three questions, using a recursive mixed-process model, with bootstrapped standard errors accounting for the sampling design. We support the idea that social capital may turn wealth into subjective happiness and can build resilience in time of crisis.
    Keywords: Recursive Mixed-Process Model, Subjective Well-Being; Social Capital; Trust; Voluntary Association Membership; Wealth
    JEL: C35 I31 Z13
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Kent Deng; Patrick O'Brien
    Abstract: With the ongoing debate of the Great Divergence since 2000, a wide range of works have been published to compare economic performance of Western Europe with that of China. The upsurge in the divergence scholarship has however been dogged by an issue of reliability and compatibility of ‘facts’. A reason is that non-Chinese speaking academics tend to accept stylised facts from Chinese sources too readily without checking, which makes, more often than not, the Chinese part of the story a liability rather than an asset. We here challenge that well-circulated notion that ‘any number is better than no number’: No number does not make any number right.
    Keywords: Great Divergence; information quality; information reliability
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Ramón García Fernández (Universidade Federal do ABC-UFABC); Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: Brazilian academic economics has been traditionally characterized by its openness to different strands of economic theory. In contrast to the standards prevailing in most of Europe and North America, economics in Brazil can be justly described as pluralistic, with competing schools of thought enjoying relatively secure institutional positions. One of the reasons frequently ascribed for this outcome is the role played by ANPEC, the Brazilian economics association, in mediating conflicts among graduate programs affiliated to different research traditions. A crucial episode in this respect took place in the early 1970s, when the recently born association chose to adopt an inclusive stance towards its membership, welcoming the filiation of the strongly heterodox program at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) even against threats of withdrawal from one of its most prestigious members, the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV). Using a host of primary sources related to the early years of Brazilian academic economics, the paper uncovers the processthat led ANPEC, with strong support from the Ford Foundation, to adopt an inclusive and ‘pluralistic’ attitude, and how it related to the political context prevailing in Brazil during the 1970s.
    Keywords: pluralism, ANPEC, FGV, Unicamp, Ford Foundation, sociology of the economics profession.
    JEL: B20 A14 A23
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Cedrini, Mario; Magda, Fontana (University of Turin)
    Abstract: There is considerable discussion on so-called ‘mainstream pluralism’, that is, on the co-presence of a variety of research programmes in today’s mainstream economics that: 1. significantly deviate from the neoclassical core; 2. are pursued by different, often separate communities of researchers; 3. have their origins outside economics. The literature tends to regard mainstream pluralism as a transitory state towards a new, post-neoclassical, mainstream. This paper advances a new interpretation: it suggests that the changing and fragmented state of mainstream economics is likely to persist over time under the impact of specialization (as a self-reinforcing mechanism) and the creation of new specialties and approaches, also through collaboration with researchers from other disciplines.
    Date: 2017–03
  9. By: Riedel, Frank (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: This text reviews a recent approach to modeling "radically uncertain" behavior in strategic interactions. By rigorously rooting the approach in decision theory, we provide a foundation for applications of Knightian uncertainty in mechanism design, principal agent and moral hazard models. We discuss critical assessments and provide alternative interpretations of the new equilibria in terms of equilibrium in beliefs, and as a boundedly rational equilibrium in the sense of a population equilibrium. We also discuss the purification of equilibria in the spirit of Harsanyi.
    Keywords: Knightian Uncertainty in Games, Strategic Ambiguity, Ellsberg Games, Purification
    Date: 2017–03–15
  10. By: Hong Il Yoo (Durham Business School)
    Abstract: Using ereturn repost, it is possible to write a simple eclass program which adjusts an existing command’s standard errors for two-way clustering. This approach works with any command which allows vce(cluster varname) as an option, and the results are compatible with the command’s postestimation tools making use of e(V). A new command vce2way automates this approach.
    Keywords: st0001, vce2way, ivreg2, cmgreg, two-way clustering, robust inferenceSeries: DBS Working Papers in Economics and Finance
    Date: 2017–03
  11. By: Katarzyna Growiec; Jakub Growiec; Bogumil Kaminski
    Abstract: We provide a novel survey dataset of a representative sample of the Polish population (n = 1000), allowing for a detailed quantification of Bourdieu's (1986) definition of social capital as the aggregate of resources accessible to individuals through their social networks. Based on this data, we create an empirical 'map' of four distinct dimensions of social capital: network degree (number of social ties), network centrality, bridging social capital (ties with dissimilar others), and bonding social capital (ties with similar others, primarily with kin). Construction of the 'map' is based on mutual correlations among the four social capital dimensions as well as their diverse links with immediate outcomes – individuals' social trust and willingness to cooperate - and ultimate outcomes: individual incomes, life satisfaction and happiness.
    Keywords: social capital, social network structure, social trust, willingness to cooperate, new survey dataset
    JEL: D85 J31 Z13
    Date: 2017–03
  12. By: Timo Teräsvirta (Aarhus University and CREATES, C.A.S.E., Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
    Abstract: Clive Granger had a wide range of reseach interests and has worked in a number of areas. In this work the focus is on his contributions to nonlinear time series models and modelling. Granger's contributions to a few other aspects of nonlinearity are reviewed as well. JEL Classification: C22, C51, C52, C53
    Keywords: cointegration, nonlinearity, nonstationarity, testing linearity
    Date: 2701
  13. By: Peter C.B. Phillips (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Professor T.W. Anderson passed away on September 17, 2016 at the age of 98 years after an astonishing career that spanned more than seven decades. Standing at the nexus of the statistics and economics professions, Ted Anderson made enormous contributions to both disciplines, playing a significant role in the birth of modern econometrics with his work on structural estimation and testing in the Cowles Commission during the 1940s, and educating successive generations through his brilliant textbook expositions of time series and multivariate analysis. This article is a tribute to his many accomplishments.
    Keywords: T. W. Anderson, Cowles Commission, Limited information maximum likelihood, Multivariate analysis, Time series
    JEL: A14 B23
    Date: 2016–12

This nep-hpe issue is ©2017 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.