nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Does flexible work make R&D employees happier? By Marit Rebane; Heili Hein; Aaro Hazak
  2. Sketching the Contours of an Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography By Hassink, Robert; Gong, Huiwen
  3. Fundamental errors in the voting booth By Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto; Edward L. Glaeser
  4. Treading a Â…fine line: (Im)possibilities for Nash implementation with partially-honest individuals By Michele Lombardi; Naoki Yoshihara
  5. The Anatomy of Sentiment-driven Fluctuations By Zhen Huo; Jess Benhabib; Sushant Acharya
  6. Stabilization of an Uncertain Simple Fishery Management Game By Engwerda, Jacob
  7. Committing the English and the Continental Way – An Experiment By Christoph Engel; André Schmelzer
  8. Culture et accumulation du capital : une étude empirique dans le contexte social haïtien By Eliccel Paul
  9. Behavioral Antitrust By Steven Martin
  10. Fair Division with Uncertain Needs By Xue, Jingyi

  1. By: Marit Rebane; Heili Hein; Aaro Hazak
    Abstract: Striving for happiness is a universal human goal, and increased happiness is regarded as a key objective in modern scientific literature on socio-economic development. Yet, the connection between happiness and the organisation of work has not received much scrutiny. In our study on Estonian creative R&D employees, we explore the effects of flexible work schedules, the option of teleworking, and other aspects of work arrangements on employee happiness. We uncover that the option to work out of the office substantially increases happiness, and this effect is further augmented by flexible working time arrangements. We also consider the inner circadian cycles of employees and find that evening type individuals (“owls”) feel significantly less joy from their daily lives than their morning type colleagues (“larks”). This is potentially due to genetic factors, but could also be partially caused by a mismatch between the innate time preferences among owls and social as well as employer expectations. Overall, the results of our study suggest that flexible working arrangements could significantly increase the happiness and well-being of creative R&D employees.
    Date: 2017–08–31
  2. By: Hassink, Robert (Kiel University); Gong, Huiwen (Kiel University)
    Abstract: Over the last twenty years, modern economic geography has been increasingly fragmented, particularly concerning its themes, on the one hand, and its schools of thought, perspectives and paradigms, on the other. Although there have been arguments in favor of engaged pluralism between the latter, what we see in reality is mainly fragmented pluralism, which is particularly problematic for the identification with the sub-discipline and the exchange with neighboring social disciplines. In order to solve this problem, in our view, we need an Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography. In this paper, we sketch the contours of such a paradigm, which consists of a core, namely economic activities in space, place and scales and their drivers, and three inter-related ontological foundations, namely networks, evolution and institutions.
    Keywords: economic geography; pluralism; paradigms; Integrative Paradigm of Economic Geography
    JEL: R10 R11
    Date: 2017–08–28
  3. By: Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto; Edward L. Glaeser
    Abstract: Psychologists have long documented that we over-attribute people's actions to innate characteristics, rather than to luck or circumstances. Similarly, economists have found that both politicians and businessmen are rewarded for luck. In this paper, we introduce this "Fundamental Attribution Error" into two benchmark political economy models. In both models, voter irrationality can improve politicians' behavior, because voters attribute good behavior to fixed attributes that merit reelection. This upside or irrationality is countered by suboptimal leader selection, including electing leaders who emphasize objectives that are beyond their control. The error has particularly adverse consequences for institutional choice, where it generates too little demand for a free press, too much demand for dictatorship, and responding to endemic corruption by electing new supposedly honest leaders, instead of investing in institutional reform.
    Keywords: Fundamental attribution error, political economy
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Michele Lombardi (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow); Naoki Yoshihara (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the robustness of Dutta and Sen’s (2012) Theorem 1 to weaker notions of truth-telling. An individual honesty standard is modeled as a subgroup of the society, including the individual herself, for which she feels truth-telling concerns. An individual i is honest when she states her true preferences as well as rankings (not necessarily complete) of outcomes that are consistent with the true preferences of individuals in her honesty standard. The paper o¤ers a necessary condition for Nash implementation, called partial-honesty monotonicity, and shows that in an independent domain of preferences that condition is equivalent to Maskin monotonicity.
    Keywords: Nash implementation, Partial-honesty, Non-connected honesty standards, Independent domain
    JEL: C72 D71 D82
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Zhen Huo (Yale University); Jess Benhabib (NYU); Sushant Acharya (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: We characterize the entire set of linear equilibria of beauty contest games under general information structures. In particular, we focus on equilibria in which sentiments-self-fullling changes in beliefs that are orthogonal to fundamentals and exogenous noise - can drive aggregate fluctuations. We show that, under rational expectations, there exists a continuum of sentiment-driven equilibria that generate aggregate uctuations. Without having to take a stance on the private information agents might possess, we provide a general characterization of necessary and sufficient conditions under which a change in sentiments can have prolonged effects on aggregate outcomes and when it can only have short-lived effects. In addition, we also provide a practical way to characterize these equilibria.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Engwerda, Jacob (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: This note analyzes in a fishery management problem the effects of relaxing one of the usual assumptions in the literature of dynamic games. Specifically, the assumption that players restrict to strategies that stabilize the system. Previous works in the literature have shown that feedback Nash equilibria can exist in which a player can improve unilaterally by choosing a feedback control for which the closed-loop system is unstable. This paper considers in some more detail the implication this setting has in the framework of a simple fishery management. It is shown that if the fishermen are not short-sighted in their valuation of future profits, the considered approach implies a division of them into two groups. One group going for maximal profits and the other group taking care of the imposed stability constraint. To see how noise might impact these results we additionally consider a framework where fishermen take into account the possibility that the fish growth might be corrupted by external factors. We consider a deterministic approach of dealing with noise in this set-up. The model predicts that the more people are involved in the group taking care of the stabilization constraint, the less active they get. Furthermore it predicts that the natural reaction of any of these persons is to increase his activities if he expects more noise. But that this activity is reduced, and partly replaced by more active control policies by group members, if the size of the group increases. Activity of fishermen going for maximal profits is not affected by noise expectations.
    Keywords: fishery management; fishing strategies; linear quadratic differential games; feedback information structure; soft-constrained Nash equilibrium; infinte planning horizon
    JEL: Q22 Q28 Q56 C61 C72 C73
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); André Schmelzer (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: On the doctrinal surface, there is a deep divide between common and continental law when it comes to the origin of contractual obligations. Under continental law, in principle a unilateral promise suffices. Common law by contrast requires consideration. When it comes to deciding cases, the divide is much less pronounced. But for the most part the law does not govern people's lives through adjudication. It matches or molds their moral intuitions. We test these intuitions in the lab. If consideration is required, participants believe that all participants make more ambitious promises. But they themselves make a more cautious promise. These two effects cancel out, so that promises are not more likely to be kept with consideration.
    Keywords: contract, obligation, promise, consideration, experiment, modified dictator game
    JEL: C91 D02 D03 D12 D64 H41 K12
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Eliccel Paul (Société Française de Génie des Procédés - SFGP - Société Française de Génie des Procédés - SFGP)
    Abstract: « Document de travail » Résumé La littérature a identifié un ensemble de facteurs expliquant l'accumulation du capital. Cependant, les travaux ne se sont que très peu intéressés à l'impact des croyances culturelles. Ce papier, relevant de la science économique, utilise des données collectées auprès de 207 entreprises du secteur formel haïtien pour élaborer et tester un modèle d'accumulation du capital intégrant des traits socioculturels, notamment la vie dans l'instant présent, le fatalisme, la primauté de l'au-delà et l'entraide mutuelle. Les résultats révèlent que la primauté de l'au-delà, la vie dans l'instant présent et l'entraide mutuelle ont des impacts négatifs et significatifs sur l'accumulation du capital. En revanche, le fatalisme a des effets positifs et significatifs sur cette variable. Mots clés. Accumulation du capital, croyances, traits socioculturels. Abstract The literature has identified a set of factors explaining the accumulation of capital. However, little attention has been paid to the impact of cultural beliefs. This paper, based on economic science, uses data collected from 207 haitian formal sector firms to develop and test a model of capital accumulation integrating socio-cultural traits, including life in the present moment, fatalism, primacy of the hereafter and mutual assistance. The results reveal that the primacy of the beyond, life in the present moment and mutual aid have negative and significant impacts on accumulation of capital. And, fatalism has positive and significant effects on this variable.
    Keywords: beliefs,socio-cultural traits ,Accumulation of capital
    Date: 2017–07–21
  9. By: Steven Martin
    Abstract: In this chapter, I review the rational economic man model and con- trast it with evidence of bounded rationality that has emerged since the last quarter of the previous century. I discuss the implications of bounded rationality for research in industrial economics, with par- ticular attention to the analysis of predation, collusion, and entry. I conclude by drawing implications for the antitrust rules toward domi- nant ?rm behavior that come out of the Matsushita and Brooke Group decisions.
    Keywords: behavioral economics; antitrust; predation; collusion; entry.
    JEL: L1 L4 D9
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Xue, Jingyi (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: Imagine that agents have uncertain needs and a resource must be divided before uncertainty resolves. In this situation, waste typically occurs when the assignment to an agent turns out to exceed his realized need. How should the resource be divided in the face of possible waste? This is a question out of the scope of the existing rationing literature. Our main axiom to address the issue is no domination. It requires that no agent receive more of the resource than another while producing a larger expected waste, unless the other agent has been fully compensated. Together with conditional strict endowment monotonicity, consistency, and strong upper composition, we characterize a class of rules which we call expected-waste constrained uniform gains rules. Such a rule is associated with a function that aggregates the two components of cost generated by an agent at an allocation: the amount of the resource assigned to him and the expected waste he generates. The rule selects the allocation that equalizes as much as possible the cost generated by each agent. Moreover, we characterize the subclasses of rules associated with homothetic and linear cost functions. Lastly, to appreciate the role of no domination, we establish all the characterizations with a decomposition of no domination into two axioms: risk aversion and no reversal. They respectively capture that a rule should not ignore the claim uncertainty, and neither should it be too sensitive to the claim uncertainty.
    Keywords: Claims Problems; Need Uncertainty; Fair Division; Waste; Expected-waste Constrained Uniform Gains Rule; Rationing; Bankruptcy
    JEL: C71 D63 D74 D81
    Date: 2017–01–03

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