nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
thirteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Modeling Economic Systems as Locally-Constructive Sequential Games By Tesfatsion, Leigh
  2. An Empirical Theory of Pure Exchange:Individual Demand and Equilibrium By Dominique, C-Rene
  3. Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries. Philosophy, Economics, Value Judgments. By Silvestri, Paolo
  4. Relative Verbal Intelligence and Happiness By Nikolaev, Boris; McGee, Jennifer
  5. Сакрален ли е неокласическият икономически модел? (Опорни точки в защитата му) By Tchipev, Plamen D
  6. An Economic Approach to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science: With an Application to the Public Goods Game By Luigi Butera; John A. List
  7. An ‘economics’ window on an interdisciplinary crisis By Erik Jones; Francisco Torres
  8. Existence value, biodiversity, and the utilitarian dilemma By Bartkowski, Bartosz
  9. Citation Patterns in Economics and Beyond: Assessing the Peculiarities of Economics from Two Scientometric Perspectives By Jakob Kapeller; Matthias Aistleitner; Stefan Steinberger
  10. Are Individualistic Societies Less Equal? Evidence from the Parasite Stress Theory of Values By Nikolaev, Boris; Boudreaux, Christopher; Salahodjaev, Raufhon
  11. A Note on "Renegotiation in Repeated Games" [Games Econ. Behav. 1 (1989) 327–360] By Günther, Michael
  12. Exclusion in the all-pay auction: An experimental investigation By Fehr, Dietmar; Schmid, Julia
  13. El modelo de Ricardo By Eduardo Antonelli

  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: 2017–04–30
  2. By: Dominique, C-Rene
    Abstract: SUMMARY: Scientists question the ‘scientificity’ of Neoclassical Economic Theory because microeconomics depends on an un-observable utility function, while the modern version of the theory requires that macroeconomics be built on microfoundations. The first step in remedying such an incongruous analytics is to use ‘naïve’ set theory to show that the utility function is indeed a misleading appendage.
    Keywords: KEYWORDS: Properties of Relations, Order Isomorphisms, Individual Demand, Equilibrium, Attractors’ Reconstruction
    JEL: B4 D5 D50
    Date: 2017–05–21
  3. By: Silvestri, Paolo (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper aims to address the following two questions: a) what is the logic of the kind of discourse that seeks to found, demarcate or defend the autonomy or the boundaries of a discipline; b) why does this discourse, whether methodological, ontological or epistemological, sometimes turn into normative, dogmatic-excommunicating wrangles among disciplines, schools or scholars? I will argue that an adequate answer may be found if we understand: 1) disciplines as institutions and, therefore, as dogmatic systems, where scholars’ discourse often takes the form of a legitimizing discourse regarding the founding Reference of their own discipline; 2) that scholars speak in the name of that very foundation, with which they closely identify; 3) that the issue of the legitimacy of a discipline cannot easily be separated from the issue of identity and, therefore, of a scholar’s legitimacy; 4) that the excommunication may arise not only when the founding Reference is absolutized, but also as a form of self-defense of a scholar’s identity-legitimacy. To understand these claims I will re-examine three paradigmatic positions: the methodological, ontological and epistemological considerations put forward by (and the debates between) Pareto, Croce and Einaudi – with specific reference to the demarcation between philosophy, economics and value-judgments.
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Nikolaev, Boris; McGee, Jennifer
    Abstract: Even though higher intelligence (IQ) is often associated with many positive outcomes in life, it has become a stylized fact in the happiness literature that smarter people are not happier than their less intelligent counterparts. In this paper, we examine how relative verbal intelligence correlates with happiness and present two main findings. First, our estimations from the General Social Survey for a large representative sample of Americans suggest a small, but positive and significant correlation between verbal intelligence and happiness. Second, we find that verbal intelligence has a strong positional effect on happiness, i.e., people who have greater verbal proficiency relative to their peers in their reference group are more likely to report higher levels of happiness. The positional effect of happiness holds even when we control for a large set of socio-economic characteristics as well as relative income.
    Keywords: Verbal Intelligence, Social Comparison, Happiness
    JEL: I26 I3 I31
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Tchipev, Plamen D
    Abstract: Paradoxically, in the course of the 2008 crisis, the defense of the neoclassical principles of the mainstream economics got ahead of the antici-pated Keynesian attack ignoring completely the criticism coming from the side of the heterodox economics. But the latter is perhaps most active today. The text presented here tries to identify through the heterodox prism, the ‘sacred’ points - those critical axioms which are so rigorously defended by the mainstream economics.
    Keywords: criticism to neoclassical economics; heterodox economics; 2008 crisis.
    JEL: B4
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Luigi Butera; John A. List
    Abstract: Novel empirical insights by their very nature tend to be unanticipated, and in some cases at odds with the current state of knowledge on the topic. The mechanics of statistical inference suggest that such initial findings, even when robust and statistically significant within the study, should not appreciably move priors about the phenomenon under investigation. Yet, a few well-conceived independent replications dramatically improve the reliability of novel findings. Nevertheless, the incentives to replicate are seldom in place in the sciences, especially within the social sciences. We propose a simple incentive-compatible mechanism to promote replications, and use experimental economics to highlight our approach. We begin by reporting results from an experiment in which we investigate how cooperation in allocation games is affected by the presence of Knightian uncertainty, a pervasive and yet unexplored characteristic of most public goods. Unexpectedly, we find that adding uncertainty enhances cooperation. This surprising result serves as a test case for our mechanism: instead of sending this paper to a peer-reviewed journal, we make it available online as a working paper, but we commit never to submit it to a journal for publication. We instead offered co-authorship for a second, yet to be written, paper to other scholars willing to replicate our study. That second paper will reference this working paper, will include all replications, and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Our mechanism allows mutually-beneficial gains from trade between the original investigators and other scholars, alleviates the publication bias problem that often surrounds novel experimental results, and accelerates the advancement of economic science by leveraging the mechanics of statistical inference.
    JEL: A11 C92 H4 D64
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: Erik Jones; Francisco Torres
    Abstract: The euro area crisis cannot be understood without combining insights from a variety of disciplines — economics and political science first and foremost. This introduction aims at explaining how the essays in this collection map onto a number of important debates in political science. We sketch four well-known areas for the political science community: the framework for multilevel governance, the role of ideas in policymaking, the interaction between power politics and distributive bargaining, and the challenge of popular legitimation. These critical themes in the current crisis are important areas of overlap in economic and political analysis. Hence, the aim of this introduction is to show how these themes emerge in the essays that follow.
    Keywords: economics and politics; multilevel governance; the role of ideas; power politics and distributive bargaining; popular legitimation
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Bartkowski, Bartosz
    Abstract: Existence value has been argued to be a significant part of the total economic value of some ecosystems. However, its compatibility with the welfare economic foundations of economic valuation is very limited - it is difficult to logically conceive of changes in existence. Moreover, when applied to biodiversity, the concept of existence value gives rise to an instance of a more fundamental problem of economic valuation, termed here the utilitarian dilemma: it can be argued conceptually that biodiversity cannot have existence value; yet the results of empirical studies suggest that people in stated preference studies can be expected to assign existence value to it. The utilitarian dilemma arises as the analysing economist must deal somehow with 'erroneous' preferences. There seems to be no simple solution to the dilemma, but deliberative monetary valuation has the potential to alleviate it.
    Keywords: axiology,biodiversity,economic valuation,existence value,utilitarianism
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Jakob Kapeller (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Matthias Aistleitner (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Stefan Steinberger (Department of Mathematics, Yale University, US)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore three claims concerning the disciplinary character of economics by means of citation analysis. The three claims under study are: (1) economics exhibits strong forms of intellectual stratification and, as a byproduct, a rather pronounced internal hierarchy, (2) economists strongly conform to institutional incentives and (3) modern mainstream economics is a highly self-referential intellectual project mostly inaccessible to disciplinary or paradigmatic outsiders. The validity of these claims is assessed by means of an interdisciplinary comparison of citation patterns aiming to identify the peculiar characteristics of economic discourse. In exposing and discussing these peculiarities of economics, we emphasize the availability of two competing scientometric perspectives for assessing and interpreting our findings.
    Keywords: citation patterns, economics, interdisciplinary, scientometrics, sociology of economics
    JEL: A10 A12 A14
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Nikolaev, Boris; Boudreaux, Christopher; Salahodjaev, Raufhon
    Abstract: It is widely believed that individualistic societies, which emphasize personal freedom, award social status for accomplishment, and favor minimal government intervention, are more prone to higher levels of income inequality compared to more collectivist societies, which value conformity, loyalty, and tradition and favor more interventionist policies. The results in this paper, however, challenge this conventional view. Drawing on a rich literature in biology and evolutionary psychology, we test the provocative Parasite Stress Theory of Values, which suggests a possible link between the historical prevalence of infectious diseases, the cultural dimension of individualism-collectivism and differences in income inequality across countries. Specifically, in a two-stage least squares analysis, we use the historical prevalence of infectious diseases as an instrument for individualistic values, which, in the next stage, predict the level of income inequality, measured by the net GINI coefficient from the Standardized World Income Inequality Database (SWIID). Our findings suggest that societies with more individualistic values have significantly lower net income inequality. The results are robust even after controlling for a number of confounding factors such as economic development, legal origins, religion, human capital, other cultural values, economic institutions, and geographical controls.
    Keywords: Inequality, Individualism-Collectivism, Two-Stage Least Squares
    JEL: D63 O1 O17
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Günther, Michael (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Abstract: In Farrell and Maskin (1989), the authors present sufficient conditions for weakly renegotiation-proof payoffs in their Theorem 1 (p. 332). We show that a step in the proof of this theorem is not correct by giving a counterexample. Nevertheless, the sufficient conditions remain true, and we offer a correction of the proof.
    Keywords: (Weak) Renegotiation-Proofness, Infinitely Repeated Games
    Date: 2017–04–12
  12. By: Fehr, Dietmar; Schmid, Julia
    Abstract: Contest designers or managers who want to maximize the overall revenue of a contest (relative performance scheme) are frequently concerned with a trade-off between contest homogeneity and inclusion of contestants with high valuations. In our experimental study, we find that it is not profitable to exclude the most able bidder in favor of greater homogeneity among the remaining bidders, even if the theoretical exclusion principle predicts otherwise. This is because the strongest bidders are willing to give up a substantial part of their expected rent and prefer a strategy that ensures a lower but secure pay-off.
    Keywords: all-pay auction,contests,heterogeneity,superstars,experiments
    JEL: C72 C92 D84
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Eduardo Antonelli
    Abstract: El trabajo propone una modelación del planteo de Ricardo de la determinación de la producción y distribución del ingreso, partiendo de una efectuada por Pasinetti (1984), la cual es reconsiderada por considerar que no se corresponde exactamente con algunos supuestos críticos de Ricardo.
    Keywords: Ricardo; Modelación matemática; Distribución; Tasa de ganancia; Acumulación;Crecimiento.
    JEL: A0
    Date: 2016–12–28

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