nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
sixteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Co-authorship in Economic History and Economics: Are We Any Different? By Andrew Seltzer; Daniel S. Hamermesh
  2. Chômage et pauvreté en Grande-Bretagne (1601-1931) : le recensement des chômeurs By Benedicte Reynaud
  3. Sraffa et Leontief By Yoann Verger
  4. Kenneth Arrow's contribution to economic science By von Weizsäcker, Carl Christian
  5. Moral hazard in welfare economics: on the advantage of Planner's advices to manage employees' actions. By Thibaut Mastrolia
  6. Revisiting Speculative Hyperinflations in Monetary Models By Obstfeld, Maurice; Rogoff, Kenneth
  7. She's Leaving Home: A Large Sample Investigation of the Empty Nest Syndrome By Alan Piper; Ian Jackson
  8. Lier la question sociale à la question écologique By Paul Naegel
  9. A Walrasian approach to bargaining games By Trockel, Walter
  10. An axiomatisation of Nash equilibria in economic situations By Peleg, Bezalel; Sudhölter, Peter
  11. Human Rights and Sovereign Debts in the Context of Property and Creditor Rights By Porzecanski, Arturo C.
  12. Games and incomplete information. A survey: Part II By Heuer, Martin
  13. Games and incomplete information. A survey: Part I By Wallmeier, Hans-Martin
  14. Can Everyone Benefit from Social Integration? By Josue Ortega
  15. People Are Conditional Rule Followers By Pieter Desmet; Christoph Engel
  16. Has populism reached economics? By van Staveren, I.P.

  1. By: Andrew Seltzer; Daniel S. Hamermesh
    Abstract: Over the last six decades articles published in leading economic history journals have been less likely to be co-authored than articles published in leading general economics journals. However, in both economic history and general economics journals there have been strong, monotonic increases in the number of authors per article and the fraction of co-authored papers. Economics and economic history differ in the nature of collaboration, in that co-authorships in economic history are more likely to be formed of individuals of different seniority as compared to economics generally.
    JEL: B41 N01
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Benedicte Reynaud (Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University)
    Abstract: En 1895, Hubert Llewellyn Smith, premier commissaire du travail du Board of Trade (First Commissioner for Labour) s’oppose à un recensement des chômeurs en Grande-Bretagne (TNA CAB 37/38/2, CAB37/38/10). L’objet de cet article est de mettre au jour ce point aveugle et énigmatique de l’histoire de la statistique anglaise : comment rendre compte de cette défiance à l’égard de la quantification des sans-emplois en Grande-Bretagne ? Une première partie est consacrée à l’examen des relations entre chômage et pauvreté. Nous mettrons en évidence tout d’abord à travers la présentation de la Old Poor Law de 1601 que chômage et pauvreté ne sont pas dissociés. Autrement dit le secours des pauvres inclut celui des sans-emploi. En revanche, la New Poor Law de 1834 introduit une différence fondamentale avec la Old Poor Law. En effet, nous montrerons que la New Poor Law suivant en cela les principes des économistes classiques, nie l’existence du chômage. Il n’est donc pas nécessaire de quantifier un phénomène qui n’existe pas. Une seconde partie est consacrée aux spécificités du système statistique qui expliquent le renoncement à l’élaboration d’une statistique du chômage. La troisième partie présente l’une des conditions de possibilité de la solution anglaise de 1931, à savoir la loi sur le chômage de 1905 et les lois sur l’assurance chômage obligatoire de 1911, 1916 et 1921. Cela a en effet permit de distinguer les chômeurs des pauvres.
    Keywords: Chômage. Sociologie de la quantification, Grande-Bretagne. Pauvreté. Recensement XIXe siècle
    Date: 2017–03–28
  3. By: Yoann Verger (INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique)
    Abstract: Sraffa et Leontief sont souvent présentés comme deux auteurs proches en termes de théorie économique; cet article fait le point sur cette supposée proximité, en se penchant sur l'estime réciproque que se portaient Sraffa et Leontief, et en décrivant rapidement les présupposés théoriques à la base de leurs modèles.
    Keywords: Sraffa,Leontief,Input-output model,Neoclassical,Distribution,Price
    Date: 2017–04–20
  4. By: von Weizsäcker, Carl Christian (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–05–11
  5. By: Thibaut Mastrolia (CMAP - Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées - Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study moral hazard problems in contract theory by adding an exogenous Planner to manage the actions of Agents hired by a Principal. We provide conditions ensuring that Pareto optima exist for the Agents using the scalarization method associated with the multi-objective optimization problem and we solve the problem of the Principal by finding optimal remunerations given to the Agents. We illustrate our study with a linear-quadratic model by comparing the results obtained when we add a Planner in the Principal/multi-Agents problem with the results obtained in the classical second-best case. More particularly in this example, we give necessary and sufficient conditions ensuring that Pareto optima are Nash equilibria and we prove that the Principal takes the benefit of the action of the Planner in some cases.
    Keywords: multi-objective optimization problems,BSDE,Moral hazard,Nash equilibrium,Pareto efficiency
    Date: 2017–04–10
  6. By: Obstfeld, Maurice; Rogoff, Kenneth
    Abstract: This paper revisits the debate on ruling out speculative hyperinflations in monetary models. Obstfeld and Rogoff (1983, 1986) argue that in pure fiat money models, where the government gives no backing whatsoever to currency, there is in fact no reasonable way to rule out speculative hyperinflations where the value of money goes to zero, even if the money supply itself is exogenous and constant. Such perverse equilibria are ruled out, however, if the government provides even a very small real backing to the currency, indeed the backing does not have to be certain. Cochrane (2011), however, argues that this result is wrong, and that fractional currency backing is a Maginot line that is insufficient to rule out hyperinflation. He goes on to claim that the fiscal theory of the price level provides a much better model of the price-level determination that avoids the multiplicity of problems that plague standard monetary models. We show here why, in fact, Cochrane's analysis is incorrect, and that the equilibrium he considers fails. Our baseline analysis uses a canonical money-in-the-utility-function setup building on Brock (1974, 1975); but following Wallace (1981), we show the same results go through in the overlapping-generations model of money. We go on to discuss why we believe that the fiscal theory of the price level simply sidesteps the problem of monetary determinacy but in no way resolves it.
    Keywords: Asset bubbles; Fiscal theory of the price level; Hyperinflation; money demand
    JEL: E31 E41 E52 E63
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Alan Piper; Ian Jackson
    Abstract: This study considers life satisfaction in relation to the empty nest syndrome, which is a situation where there are feelings of loss or loneliness for mothers and/or fathers following the departure of the last child from the parental home. In particular, the investigation considers the significance of Identity Economics when applied to parents experiencing a reduction in well-being following an extended period of child-rearing. The origins of the empty nest syndrome are first considered briefly before conducting an economic analysis of life satisfaction using the German Socio-Economic Panel. Our particular focus is the change in the subjective well-being of the individuals who become empty nesters, taking advantage of the richness of this dataset. As a result, this is the first large sample economic analysis of its kind to use identity to evaluate the effects of becoming “empty nest” parents in a systematic way.
    JEL: D64 I31
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Paul Naegel (Centre François Viète : épistémologie, histoire des sciences et des techniques - UN - Université de Nantes - UBO - Université de Bretagne Occidentale)
    Abstract: Humanity finds itself, at the beginning of the 21th century, faced with two problems: those posed by the social question and the ecological question. It's the casualisation of employment, which currently brings in the short term the social question. The ecological question - with the exception of a few pioneers – was not posed until the end of the 20th century, because associated with climate changes in the long term. These two problems are usually addressed separately, in different disciplinary fields: economic science for the social question, the science of nature and life for the ecological question. The link of the social question with economic activity of humans appeared, for a long time, as obvious. On the other hand, the ecological question does not imply only humans, even if their activities are in part responsible for climate change. To allow future generations to survive on planet Earth, it seems it's time to link social and environmental issues in a same problem, which implies both a change of paradigm and method.
    Abstract: L’humanité se trouve, en ce début de XXIe siècle, confronté à deux problèmes : ceux que posent la question sociale et la question écologique. C’est la précarisation de l’emploi qui fait ressurgir actuellement dans le court terme la question sociale. Quant à la question écologique, elle n’était - à l’exception de quelques précurseurs - pas posée avant la fin du XXe siècle, car associée à des changements climatiques dans le long terme. Ces deux problèmes sont pour le moment généralement abordés séparément, dans des champs disciplinaires différents : la science économique pour la question sociale, les sciences de la nature et de la vie pour la question écologique. Le lien de la question sociale avec l’activité économique des humains est apparu, de longue date, comme évident. Par contre, la question écologique n’implique pas seulement les humains, même si leurs activités sont pour partie à l’origine des changements climatiques. Pour permettre aux générations futures de survivre sur la planète Terre, il semble qu’il est temps de lier les questions sociales et écologiques dans une même problématique, ce qui suppose à la fois un changement de paradigme et de méthode.
    Keywords: écologie, chômage, révoluion industrielle,travail, emploi, transdiciplinarté, systémique
    Date: 2017–03–22
  9. By: Trockel, Walter (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–05–15
  10. By: Peleg, Bezalel (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University); Sudhölter, Peter (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–05–15
  11. By: Porzecanski, Arturo C.
    Abstract: Post-War conceptions of human rights have evolved independently of long-established theory and practice of property and creditor rights, to the detriment of the development and implementation of human rights law. This chapter attempts to build a first bridge between these two fields of law. It begins by recalling the strikingly different origin and implementation of ‘human’ versus property and creditor rights, because the differences have significant implications. Human rights laws are more honoured in the breach than in the observance in most parts of the world, principally because states accepted international standards governing the treatment of their own nationals in their own territory while reserving to themselves the sovereign right to enforce those rights as they saw fit. In sharp contrast, when it comes to property and creditor rights, there are few gaps between principled intentions, legal mandates, and actual enforcement. Property and creditor rights are important for the attainment of other human rights, especially those of an economic nature, and many human rights are connected to, and are rather inseparable from, broadly conceived property rights. There follows a discussion of the still wide gap between aspirational human rights and economic reality. The time has come for human rights scholars to ratchet down their expectations to match the very limited capacity of low-income and formerly communist countries most prone to human rights deficiencies to import the Western European welfare state model. The final section focuses on the poorly understood interconnections between sovereign debts and human rights. Neglect of property and creditor-rights considerations has led many contemporary human rights advocates down an infertile, if not inappropriate, intellectual and policy path. Speculation that contracts governing cross-border debts and investments may not be sufficiently compelling, at least relative to human rights commitments, is unwarranted and counterproductive.
    Keywords: Human rights; property rights; creditor rights; sovereign debt; HIPC
    JEL: F3 F34 F35 H63 K11 K12 K33 K39
    Date: 2017–05–01
  12. By: Heuer, Martin (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–05–11
  13. By: Wallmeier, Hans-Martin (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–05–11
  14. By: Josue Ortega
    Abstract: There is no matching mechanism that satisfies integration monotonicity and stability. If we insist on integration monotonicity, not even Pareto optimality can be achieved: the only option is to remain segregated. A weaker monotonicity condition can be combined with Pareto optimality but not with path independence, which implies that the dynamics of social integration matter. If the outcome of integration is stable, integration is always approved by majority voting, but a non-vanishing fraction of agents always oppose segregation. The side who receives the proposals in the deferred acceptance algorithm suffers significant welfare losses, which nevertheless become negligible when societies grow large.
    Date: 2017–05
  15. By: Pieter Desmet (TU Delf); Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: Experimental participants are more likely to follow an arbitrary rule the more of their peers do so as well. The difference between unconditional and conditional rule following is most pro-nounced for individuals who follow few rules unconditionally.
    Keywords: conditional rule following, deontological motives, conditional cooperation, experiment
    JEL: A13 C91 D03 D63 K42
    Date: 2017–05
  16. By: van Staveren, I.P.
    Abstract: This paper attempts to understand why we generally feel that some normative empirical concepts in economics are unproblematic whereas others feel uncomfortable or misleading. I develop criteria to distinguish between the two on the basis of two notions from the philosophy of science: positional objectivity and thick concepts. I operationalize these with the help of two recent guidelines on good scientific practice that have been developed in debates around scientific integrity. This leads to two criteria: unavoidability and global evaluation. Following this discussion, the paper will present a case study on "ethnic fractionalization", popular in empirical research on the social determinants of economic growth. Throughout the paper I will make use of examples of other normative empirical concepts to further the understanding of the various ways in which such concepts violate the criteria that I have suggested.
    Keywords: Economics, normative concepts, scientific integrity, populism, ethnic fractionalization
    Date: 2017–05–01

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.