nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒04‒02
nineteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The Need for and Meaning of Socio Ecological Economics By Spash, Clive L.
  2. The Relationship between Psychology and Economics: Insights from the History of Economic Thought By Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Katselidis, Ioannis
  3. Concordian Economics: Beyond Micro and Macroeconomics By Gorga, Carmine
  4. Humans’ (incorrect) distrust of reflective decisions By Antonio Cabrales; Antonio M. Espín; Praveen Kujal; Stephen Rassenti
  5. Information Transmission in Hierarchies By Simon Schopohl
  6. Happiness at Work By Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
  7. Metamorphoses of Value.The Concept of a Commodity in Marx’s Capital. By Andrea Ricci
  8. Asymmetric information in simple bargaining games: An experimental study By Klempt, Charlotte; Pull, Kerstin; Stadler, Manfred
  9. Thomas Sargent face à Robert Lucas : une autre ambition pour la Nouvelle Economie Classique By Aurélien Goutsmedt
  10. Communication Games with Optional Verification By Simon Schopohl
  11. Robert E. Freeman et la théorie des parties prenantes en question By Yvon Pesqueux
  12. Les économies « à épithète » et les business models associés By Yvon Pesqueux
  13. Russian Industrial Statistics By Suhara, Manabu
  14. Novelty, Knowledge Spillovers and Innovation: Evidence from Nobel Laureates By Ham, John C.; Weinberg, Bruce A.
  15. Six Dimensions of Concentration in Economics: Scientometric Evidence from a Large-Scale Data Set By Glötzl, Florentin; Aigner, Ernest
  16. Environmental Values in Conservation: Ethics, Economics and Pragmatism By Clive L. Spash
  17. Introducing Virtue Ethics into Normative Economics for Models with Endogenous Preferences By Vipul Bhatt; Masao Ogaki; Yuichi Yaguchi
  18. Technology, development and economic crisis: the Schumpeterian legacy By Rinaldo Evangelista
  19. Depreciation: a Dangerous Affair By Cozzi, Guido

  1. By: Spash, Clive L.
    Abstract: Ecological economics has arisen over a period of three decades with a strong emphasis on the essential need to recognise the embeddedness of the economy in the biophysical. However, that element of realism is not matched by an equally well informed social theory. Indeed the tendency has been to adopt mainstream economic concepts, theories and models formulated of the basis of a formal mathematical deductivist approach that pays little or no attention to social reality. Similarly mainstream economic methods are employed as pragmatic devices for communication. As a result ecological economics has failed to develop its own consistent and coherent theory and failed to make the link between the social and the economic. In order to reverse this situation the social and political economy must be put to the fore and that is the aim of social ecological economics. This paper provides a brief overview of the arguments for such a development. The prospect is of unifying a range of critical thought on the social and environmental crises with the aim of informing the necessary social ecological transformation of the economy.
    Keywords: ecological economics, social economy, political ecology, political economy, social ecological transformation, biophysical reality, mainstream economics, neoliberal environmentalism
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Katselidis, Ioannis
    Abstract: Psychological ideas had always played a role on the formation of economic thought as can be seen in the works of many influential pre-classical and classical authors. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, there was almost no methodological objection regarding the incorporation of ideas from psychology into economic theories. After this period, a fundamental shift in mainstream economics took place which is also known as the Paretian turn. This conceptual change, initiated mainly by Vilfredo Pareto and completed with the emergence of the theories of choice in the first decades of the 20th century, attempted to expel all psychological notions from economic theory. However, in the last three decades, the increasing appeal of subjective well-being research and especially of the new behavioral economics, re-brought the topic onto the surface. In order to better comprehend and to contribute to the recent discussion concerning the relationship between the two disciplines, the study of relevant views found in history of economic thought is necessary. The paper starts with a brief sketch of the history of the relationship between economics and psychology, focusing also to the recent literature which points to a reconsideration of this relationship. After an examination of psychological ideas found in influential pre-marginalist writers, the paper discusses the arguments supporting the case for the interaction between the two fields. It also suggests that the work of Richard Jennings can be seen as the peak of the early interaction between economics and psychology. Finally, it considers the relevance of these arguments for the current debate concerning the relationship between economics and psychology.
    Keywords: History of Economic Thought, Economics and Psychology, Economic Methodology; Relation of Economics to other Disciplines
    JEL: A12 B00 B40
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Gorga, Carmine
    Abstract: In Concordian economics there is no distinction between micro and macro economics, because the economic process is the same for the individual person, the city, the nation, or the world, What changes is the scale, but not the structure of the process. When micro and macro economics are seen as one, it makes no sense to add monetary wealth to real wealth. It becomes then evident that monetary wealth is not wealth; monetary wealth is a legal representation of real wealth.
    Keywords: JEL: A10, B40, B59, D10, E10, K10, O10.
    JEL: A10 B40 B59 D10 E10 K10 O10
    Date: 2017–03–13
  4. By: Antonio Cabrales (Department of Economics, University College London); Antonio M. Espín (Department of Economics, Middlesex University Business School); Praveen Kujal (Department of Economics, Middlesex University and Economic Science Institute, Chapman University); Stephen Rassenti (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: Recent experiments suggest that social behavior may be shaped by the time available for decision making. It is known that fast decision making relies more on intuition whereas slow decision making is affected by reflective processes. Little is known, however, about whether people correctly anticipate the effect of intuition vs. reflection on others’ decision making. This is important in everyday situations where anticipating others’ behavior is often essential. A good example of this is the extensively studied Trust Game where the trustor, by sending an amount of money to the trustee, runs the risk of being exploited by the trustee’s subsequent action. We use this game to study how trustors’ choices are affected by whether trustees are externally forced to respond quickly or slowly. We also examine whether trustors’ own tendency to stop and reflect on their intuitions (as measured by the Cognitive Reflection Test) moderates how they anticipate the effect of reflection on the behavior of trustees. We find that the least reflective trustors send less money when trustees are forced to respond “reflectively” rather than “intuitively”, but we also argue that this is a wrong choice. In general, no group, including the ones with the largest number of reflective individuals, is good at anticipating the (positive) effect of forced delay on others’ trustworthiness
    Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, beliefs, reflection, dual-process, intuition
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Simon Schopohl (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EDEEM - Université Paris 1 - EDEEM - European Doctorate in Economics Erasmus Mundus, Universität Bielefeld (GERMANY), UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)
    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: 2017–02
  6. By: Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
    Abstract: Happiness is typically defined by how people experience and evaluate their lives as a whole. Since the majority of people spend much of their lives at work, it is critically important to gain a solid understanding of the role that employment and the workplace play in shaping happiness for individuals and communities around the world. In this paper, we focus largely on the role of work and employment in shaping people's happiness, and investigate how employment status, job type, and workplace characteristics relate to measures of subjective wellbeing.
    Keywords: subjective wellbeing, employment, job type, job characteristics
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Andrea Ricci (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")
    Abstract: IThe development of the concept of a commodity is pursued from the recognition of an initial analytical moment, different from formal logic, within Marx’s dialectical thought. A consistent interpretation of Marxian categories, from substance to magnitude and measure of value, is proposed. Concepts strongly disputed in literature, like abstract labour and money, find their proper positioning, and real measure provides an operational basis to value assessment of concrete economies. The restoration of the conceptual foundations of Marx’s theory opens the way to further research on the whole theoretical edifice of Capital and analysis of today’s capitalism.
    Keywords: Commodity, Labour theory of value, Marxism, Dialectic, Abstract labour, Money.
    JEL: A12 B14 B51 E40
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Klempt, Charlotte; Pull, Kerstin; Stadler, Manfred
    Abstract: Bilateral bargaining situations are often characterized by informational asymmetries concerning the size of what is at stake: in some cases, the proposer is better informed, in others, it is the responder. We analyze the effects of both types of asymmetric information on proposer behavior in two different situations which allow for a variation of responder veto power: the ultimatum and the dictator game. We find that the extent to which proposers demand less in the ultimatum as compared to the dictator game is (marginally) smaller when the proposer is in the superior information position. Further we find informed proposers to exploit their informational advantage by offering an amount that does not reveal the true size of the pie, with proposers in the ultimatum game exhibiting this behavioral pattern to a larger extent than those in the dictator game. Uninformed proposers risk imposed rejection when they ask for more than potentially is at stake, and ask for a risk premium in dictator games. We concentrate on proposers, but also explore responder behavior: We find uninformed responders to enable proposers' hiding behavior, and we find proposer intentionality not to play an important role for informed responders when they decide whether to accept or reject an offer by an (uninformed) proposer.
    Keywords: Bargaining,Information,Experimental Games
    JEL: C72 C91 D03
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Aurélien Goutsmedt (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The article shows that Sargent's view of macroeconomics is in contrast with Lucas' one. According to the latter, assumptions in a model are un-realist, the model do not aim at representing reality. It is rather a simulation tool to enable the evaluation of different economic policies. The Lucasian ideal reflects a belief in a macroeconomist who is an engineer in charge of the production of a “software for economic policies” used by governmental authorities. And he is the one who handles the software to help policy choices on a scientific basis. Concerning Sargent, he believed that in order to replace the Keynesian paradigm, New Classical Economics had to be able to succeed in the same tasks. And one of these tasks was to advise political power by bringing some telescope to read current economic phenomenon and some intuitive ideas to debate on economic policy. Sargent sought to implement what he called the Rational Expectations Theory to some concrete cases (Poincaré Stabilization, German Hyperinflation, Thatcher and Reagan policies) to show the relevance of such a framework to think about current economic issues.
    Abstract: L'idée est de montrer que la vision de la macroéconomie de Sargent contraste avec celle de Lucas. Pour Lucas, les hypothèses d'un modèle sont « a-réalistes », le modèle ne vise pas à représenter la réalité. Il est un outil de simulation qui doit permettre de simuler différentes politiques économiques. L'idéal « lucassien » est celui d'un macroéconomiste qui a donc vocation à devenir un ingénieur chargé de fournir un « logiciel de politiques économiques » aux autorités publiques, logiciel qu'il manipule afin d'aiguiller les choix de politiques sur une base scientifique. Sargent, quant à lui, considère que pour suppléer le paradigme keynésien, la nouvelle économie classique doit être capable de remplir les mêmes tâches, et l'une de ces tâches est de conseiller le pouvoir en lui fournissant une grille de lecture des phénomènes économiques et des outils intuitifs pour d&eaute;battre des politiques économiques à mettre en place. Sargent cherche à appliquer ce qu'il nomme la théorie des anticipations rationnelles à un ensemble de cas concrets (stabilisation Poincaré, hyperinflation allemande, politique de Thatcher et Reagan) pour montrer la pertinence de ce cadre d'analyse pour penser les problèmes économiques contemporains.
    Keywords: Rational Expectations,New Classical Economics,Macroeconomics History,Histoire de la macroéconomie,Nouvelle Economie Classique,Anticipations rationnelles
    Date: 2017–02
  10. By: Simon Schopohl (EDEEM - Université Paris 1 - EDEEM - European Doctorate in Economics Erasmus Mundus, Universität Bielefeld (GERMANY), CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: We consider a Sender-Receiver game in which the Sender can choose between sending a cheap-talk message, which is costless, but also not verified and a costly verified message. While the Sender knows the true state of the world, the Receiver does not have this information, but has to choose an action depending on the message he receives. The action then yields to some utility for Sender and Receiver. We only make a few assumptions about the utility functions of both players, so situations may arise where the Sender's preferences are such that she sends a message trying to convince the Receiver about a certain state of the world, which is not the true one. In a finite setting we state conditons for full revelation, i.e. when the Receiver always learns the truth. Furthermore we describe the player's behavior if only partial revelation is possible. For a continuous setting we show that additional conditions have to hold and that these do not hold for “smooth” preferences and utility, e.g. in the classic example of quadratic loss utilities.
    Keywords: cheap-talk,communicaation,costly disclosure,full revelation,increasing differences,Sender-Receiver game,verifiable information
    Date: 2017–01
  11. By: Yvon Pesqueux (LIRSA - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Sciences de l'Action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: La théorie des parties prenantes formulée par R. E. Freeman en 1984 est paradoxalement convoquée dans le champ de l'éthique des affaires et de la RSE. Elle a donnée lieu à de nombreuses discussions achevées aujourd'hui, sa convocation dans ce champ des sciences des organisations allant « de soi » bien que son champ d'application d'origine (la stratégie) soit le plus souvent oublié, malgré les démentis de son fondateur. C'est en cela que la théorie des parties prenantes peut être qualifiée d'approche interactionniste de la stratégie là où elle vaut comme théorie relationnelle dans le champ des théories des organisations. C'est aussi une des théories des organisations oubliées par les manuels du domaine.
    Keywords: Théorie des parties prenantes
    Date: 2017–01–10
  12. By: Yvon Pesqueux (LIRSA - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Sciences de l'Action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: éco-conception, écologie industrielle, consommation collaborative, économie circulaire, économie contributive (ou économie de la contribution), économie coopérative, économie de la fonctionnalité, économie distributive, économie participative, économie positive, économie quaternaire, économie sociale et solidaire, économie symbiotique, économie verte, freeware, freemium, logiciel libre, matériel libre, FabLab, travail collaboratif, crowdfunding, innovation frugale, du modèle collaboratif comme business model, du business model circulaire, du business model symbiotique
    Keywords: formes d'organisation
    Date: 2016–12–15
  13. By: Suhara, Manabu
    Abstract: Historical Russian statistics on industry are discussed in this paper. Russia attained impressive economic development in the century from the emancipation of Russian serfs to around 1960, although growth was interrupted by the October Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II. The mainspring of Russia’s advancement was industrial growth. The mainly agrarian economy, in which the rural population accounted for about 80% of the total at the end of the 19th century, underwent a complete change in economic structure. This Russian success, however, came to an end at the end of the 1950s and beginning of the 1960s. The mining and manufacturing industries, which until then had led the economy, lost vigor, and the industrial economy as a whole withered. This deterioration led to the collapse of the Soviet Union by the end of the 20th century and the start of systemic transformation to capitalism. In this paper we look back at the history of Russia from the viewpoint of industrial statistics. In the first section, we adopt a general view of industrial statistics in Russia under the Tsarist regime. Some estimates of production indices for the industry of the Russian Empire are presented and compared. Then in the second section, production, labor, and capital statistics for Russian industry in the Soviet era are discussed, followed by the third section, in which changes in industrial statistics for Russia’s new era are summarized.
    Date: 2017–03
  14. By: Ham, John C.; Weinberg, Bruce A.
    Abstract: Using a new identification strategy and unique, rich data on Nobel laureates, we show that being in new or multiple locations, as measures of exposure to novel combinations of ideas, and the number of other local important innovators, all increase the probability that eventual Nobel laureates begin their Nobel prize winning work. Strikingly, and consistent with our identifying assumptions, we find that none of these measures increase the probability of doing Nobel prize winning work. Our results strongly suggest that spillovers affect the generation of ideas, and help us understand the weak spillover effects previously estimated in the economics literature.
    Keywords: Knowledge spillovers,Innovation,Nobel Prize,Duration models
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Glötzl, Florentin; Aigner, Ernest
    Abstract: This paper scientometrically investigates concentration in economics between 1956 and 2016 using a large-scale data set. It is revealed that economics is highly concentrated along six dimensions: articles, journals, regions, institutions, authors, and paradigms. North America accounts for half of all published articles and three quarters of all citations, while the top twenty academic institutions reap a share of 42 percent of all citations. The top 100 authors alone receive a share of 15 percent. Five journals account for 27.7 percent of all citations and only 8 percent of all articles, and 3 percent of all citations may be attributed to heterodox schools of thought. The overall Gini coefficient for the distribution of citations among articles is 0.72. Generally, concentration is found to increase towards the top of the discipline and to be higher and more persistent on the level of citations than on the level of articles. Concentration has increased over the last few decades, with the strongest increases occurring already until the 1970s.
    Keywords: concentration, economics, scientometrics
    Date: 2017–03
  16. By: Clive L. Spash
    Abstract: Conservation today is facing the challenges of neoliberal world political forces dominated by bankers, financiers and multinational corporations who care little for protecting anything that does not pay them a personal reward. The standard counter to such a utilitarian economic philosophy is to point out alternative ethical approaches, which have for sometime been central to conservation arguments. However, in recent times, environmental non-governmental organisations, including conservation biologists, have increasingly pushed a narrow economic rhetoric, and converted themselves into allies of the ‘economic growth at any cost’ school of thought, in an attempt to win the favour of corporations under a new environmental pragmatism and New Conservation. This discussion paper critically analyses these topics as given in a lecture to the international conservation community. Presented here is the full transcript of the plenary presentation given to 2000 conservation biologist at their international meeting in Montpellier in 2015. The talk received an unprecedented standing ovation from the audience. It was given as a counter position to that of Peter Kareiva who presented immediately preceding this lecture, and was followed by a debate between Kareiva and Spash. The central topic was the New Conservation being championed by Kareiva and his boss, Mark Tercek, at The Nature Conservancy. As this lecture notes, this is part of a broader ideological move towards neoliberalism in conservation biology, and more generally the environmental movement, in the guise of a pragmatic use of economics. The arguments presented here are more fully understood when accompanied by the original presentation overheads (available online from However, the transcript on its own makes clear the bias, flaws and contradictions in the logic being presented as New Conservation. The structure of argument covers: the motivations behind the increasing use of economic valuation and policy instruments, the economics of optimal extinction that lies behind this, the implications that appealing to individual preferences for creating money numbers, why this does not provide protection or lead to conservation, how corporations are using the environmental movement for their own ends, and the implicit ideology of the New Conservation as a conservative technocracy. Some references have been added to the transcribed talk.
    Keywords: Conservation biology, economic valuation, environmental values, ethics, corporate power, biodiversity offsetting, species preservation, public preferences, environmentalism of the poor, technocracy, neoliberalism, new environmental pragmatism, Tony Juniper, New Conservation, Peter Kareiva, Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Vipul Bhatt; Masao Ogaki (Faculty of Economics, Keio University); Yuichi Yaguchi
    Date: 2017–03
  18. By: Rinaldo Evangelista (University of Camerino)
    Date: 2015–06
  19. By: Cozzi, Guido
    Abstract: What if the statutory fiscal depreciation of buildings was higher than their effective economic depreciation? This would imply that markets would value buildings more than their social fundamental value. I prove that this would allow house price bubbles to emerge and open the door to sudden crashes. This paper provides an example of how a misaligned fiscal policy measure could generate potentially destabilizing self-fulfilling prophecies even in an economy with fully rational and forward-looking individuals.
    Keywords: House price bubbles; Fiscal depreciation; Sunspot equilibria.
    JEL: E3 E6 R3
    Date: 2017–02

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