nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒06‒04
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Inequality as Lack of Co-operation in Economic Thought By Monica Hernandez
  2. Jevons’s Ideal Role for Labor Unions as a Form of Co-operation By Monica Hernandez
  3. Ragnar Nurkse and the international financial architecture By Barry Eichergreen
  4. Integration and Segregation By Goyal, S.; Hernández, P.; Martínez-Cánovasz, G.; Moisan, F.; Muñoz-Herrera, M.; Sánchez, A.
  5. Cooperative games and network structures By Musegaas, Marieke
  6. Agent-based modelling. History, essence, future By Hanappi, Hardy
  7. Mainstreams of Research on Institutional Change in the Multidimensional Viewpoint By Marek Piosik
  8. Concordian Economic Theory as a View of Various Sides of the Economic System By Gorga, Carmine
  9. From the Field to the Lab. An Experiment on the Representativeness of Standard Laboratory Subjects By L. Frigau; T. Medda; V. Pelligra
  10. Plurality in Teaching Macroeconomics By Rohit Azad

  1. By: Monica Hernandez (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: This study is about the notion of co-operation by economic thinkers of the 19th century in the United Kingdom. It presents a comparison and contrast of their ideas as well as an analysis of the relationship between co-operation and economic and social inequality. Two approaches of such relationship are identified. First, an economic-centered view, found in Charles Babbage and William Stanley Jevons, where the benefits of co-operation are linked to profit sharing, the increase of productivity and the expansion of the economic system. Second, Robert Owen’s and John Stuart Mill’s ideas on co-operation, even though with different implications, are mainly socially-oriented. Here, it is possible to see a broader social concern that led them to suggest reforms that could have implications in terms of social (e.g., education and gender), and not only economic inequality. Marx’s analysis of co-operation does not belong to any of these approaches. In his view, under capitalism, the effect of some forms of co-operation may generate or reinforce inequality.
    Keywords: Co-operation, inequality, Robert Owen, Charles Babbage, William Stanley Jevons, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, profit sharing, co-operatives, associations
    JEL: B1 B19 B3 B30 D6 D63 J5 J50 J51 J52 J53 J54
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Monica Hernandez (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: This research examines the ideas about labor unions found in William Stanley Jevons's works. I focus on the collaborative role Jevons envisioned for these organizations as part of a broader cooperative vision between workers and capitalists. Even though Jevons was not a supporter of labor unions and regarded them as monopolies with limited power to increase wages, on the one hand, and with great potential for generating dead losses of wages due strikes, on the other, he did not consider indispensable their elimination as long as they were guided to co-operate with business. This study concludes that there is more than one form of co-operation in Jevons’s thought. One explicit, from capitalist to workers, via profit sharing, and a second one, implicit, through the collaboration of workers to capitalists via their participation in labor organizations different than traditional labor unions. A major implication of this scheme is that both forms of co-operation have to be present for it to be beneficial for both classes. The latter, however, would not ensure that they are equally beneficiated.
    Keywords: William Stanley Jevons, trade unions, profit sharing, co-operation
    JEL: B1 B19 B3 B31 J01 J08 J5 J51 J52 J53 J54
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Barry Eichergreen
    Abstract: World-renowned economist, Professor of Economics at the University of California, and the author of several books on international economy and the monetary system, Barry Eichen­green, gave the 2017 Ragnar Nurkse memorial lecture entitled Ragnar Nurkse and the International Financial Architecture. The lecture was held at Eesti Pank on January 12th 2017. In his lecture, Professor Eichengreen gave an overview of Ragnar Nurkse’s book International Currency Experience: Lessons of the Inter-War Period that was published in 1944 and discussed whether the conclusions of the book still hold true today. The 2017 Ragnar Nurkse memorial lecture was held in honour of the 110th birth anniversary of the Estonian economist who achieved global recognition in the 1940s and 1950s. His research on monetary policy issues, international trade, international policy coordination, and development economics has provided valuable information, lessons, and guidelines. Eesti Pank started the regular lecture series dedicated to Ragnar Nurkse in 2007
    Date: 2017–05–25
  4. By: Goyal, S.; Hernández, P.; Martínez-Cánovasz, G.; Moisan, F.; Muñoz-Herrera, M.; Sánchez, A.
    Abstract: Individuals prefer to coordinate with others, but they differ on the preferred action. In theory, this can give rise to an integrated society with everyone conforming to the same action or a segregated society with members of different groups choosing diverse actions. Social welfare is maximum when society is integrated and everyone conforms on the majority's action. In laboratory experiments, subjects with different preferences segregate into distinct groups and choose diverse actions. To understand the role of partner choice, we then consider an exogenous network of partners. Subjects in the experiment now choose to conform on the action preferred by the majority. Thus, there exists a tension between two deeply held values: social cohesion and freedom of association.
    Date: 2017–05–29
  5. By: Musegaas, Marieke (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This thesis covers various research topics involving cooperative game theory, a mathematical tool to analyze the cooperative behavior within a group of players. The focus is mainly on interrelations between operations research and cooperative game theory by analyzing specific types of cooperative joint optimization problems induced by network structures. In particular, this thesis considers minimum coloring problems and one-machine sequencing situations together with its related games. Further, it studies the problem of computing the influence of a neuronal structure in a brain network.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Hanappi, Hardy
    Abstract: The currently fashionable modelling tool agent-based simulation is characterized. The first part concerns the past. It presents a selection of the major intellectual roots from which this new tool emerged. It is important for social scientists, in particular for economists, to see that two relevant impacts came from neighbouring disciplines: biology and network theory. The second part concerns the present of ABM. It aims at highlighting the essential features which are characteristic for an agent-based model. Since there are currently several different opinions on this topic, the one presented here also includes some more epistemologically oriented ideas to support its plausibility. In particular the notion of emergence is scrutinized and extended. This part ends with a short recipe stating how to build an agent-based model. In the last part some ideas on the future of agent based modelling are presented. This part follows the sequence of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The syntactic challenges, like operators for pattern recognition, will be meat by a continuing variety of software packages and programming languages tailored to support ABM. The semantic aspect of future agent-based modelling hinges on the close relationship between the tool ABM and its object of investigation, e.g. evolutionary political economy. The need to model institutional change or communication processes will imply adaptive evolution of ABM. The pragmatics of future agent-based modelling are finally characterized as the most demanding – but also as the most influential – element that the new tool will bring about.
    Keywords: Agent-based modelling, economic simulation models
    JEL: B20 B41 C63
    Date: 2017–05–23
  7. By: Marek Piosik (Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland)
    Abstract: The role of institutions in the social and economic development is widely recognized in recent literature on economics of institutions. Economic history provides many examples of bad and good institutional structures, environments, and ways of organizing the social life and relationships between individuals, which is the main reason for institutions to arise. Simultaneously diversity of institutional solutions can be perceived as cultural wealth from which societies can choose in order to find proper instruments to solve various problems in different situations. The present paper is an attempt to review main areas of research into institutional changes and synthesize them into mainstreams, which are also described in the multi-faceted viewpoint to prove the complexity and broad scope that need to be tackled by institutional economists to investigate institutional changes. The article analyses literature on institutional change and several dozen dimensions of the research areas that have a significant impact on the discussion on the mechanisms and environments of evolution of institutions. The review of the mainstreams is divided into five identified basic groups. In the last section the multidimensional perspective of the research area of institutional changes is proposed as it helps to grasp many aspects that play the fundamental role in understanding the process of institutional change, which is an indispensable step towards a development of the general theory of institutional change.
    Keywords: institutions; institutional change; theory of institutional change; evolution of the institution
    JEL: B52 D02 O17 O43
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Gorga, Carmine
    Abstract: Concordian economic theory is composed of models that observe the economic system from the perspective of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth—as well as the system as a whole. These are specialized approaches that, studied separately, have tended to create separate schools of economic thought. Concordian economic theory does not only try to recover the core of wisdom that exists in every school of economic thought; it also lays the foundation for a commonality of language that will eventually allow for communication across the divide of the schools.
    Keywords: Concordian economics, macroeconomics, methodology, Keynes, Hayek.
    JEL: A1 B1 B4
    Date: 2017–05–30
  9. By: L. Frigau; T. Medda; V. Pelligra
    Abstract: We replicate in the lab an artefactual field experiment originally run with a representative sample of the population. Our results show that, despite the many differences between university students and representative subjects from the whole population, the two samples closely follow a common behavioral pattern in a set of binary dictator games. The only exception seems to be represented by a significant difference in those situations where self-interest plays a prominent role. This gap is mainly related to the academic background of the participants - our sample of undergraduate economics students, in fact, differs in its degree of self-interested choices both from the representative group of the population and from its sub-sample of students from heterogeneous disciplines.
    Keywords: Prosocial Behavior;Methodology;External Validity;Experiments
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Rohit Azad (Department of Economics, New School for Social Research)
    Date: 2017–05

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