nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2018‒01‒29
thirteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Indian Antecedents to Modern Economic Thought By Deodhar, Satish Y.
  2. Who Gets What, When, How? Power, Organization, Markets, Money and the Allocation of Resources By Martin Shubik
  4. Friedman's Presidential Address in the Evolution of Macroeconomic Thought By N. Gregory Mankiw; Ricardo Reis
  5. Tony Atkinson and his legacy By Rolf Aaberge; François Bourguignon; Andrea Brandolini; Francisco H. G. Ferreira; Janet C. Gornick; John Hills; Markus Jäntti; Stephen P. Jenkins; Eric Marlier; John Micklewright; Brian Nolan; Thomas Piketty; Walter J. Radermacher; Timothy M. Smeeding; Nicholas H. Stern; Joseph Stiglitz; Holly Sutherland
  6. Situation de gestion et agencement organisationnel Retour sur deux concepts clés de l'oeuvre de Jacques Girin By Franck Aggeri
  7. Should we Get rid of the Natural Rate Hypothesis? By Olivier J. Blanchard
  8. Institutional Economics: A Sketch of Economic Growth Policy By Walter Buhr
  9. A Previously Unpublished Correspondence between Adam Smith and Joseph Nicolas de Windischgrätz By José Menudo; Nicolas Rieucau
  10. Rebasing 'Maddison': new income comparisons and the shape of long-run economic development By Inklaar, Robert; de Jong, Harmen; Bolt, Jutta; van Zanden, Jan
  11. Henri Fayol. Performativity of his ideas and oblivion of their creator By Hervé Dumez
  12. "Geben ist seliger denn Nehmen" By Grunewald, Mara; Orth, Anja Katrin
  13. When Good Advice is Ignored: The Role of Envy and Stubbornness By Ronayne, David; Sgroi, Daniel

  1. By: Deodhar, Satish Y.
    Abstract: The history of economic thought begins with salutations to Greek writings of Aristotle and Plato. While the fourth century BCE Greek writings may have been the fount of modern economic thought that emerged in Europe starting 18th century CE, there has been a general unawareness of the economic thinking that emanated from the Indian subcontinent. Pre-classical thoughts that had appeared in Vedas dating a millennium prior to the Greek writings had culminated in their comprehensive coverage in the treatise Arthashastra by Kautilya in the fourth century BCE. In this context, the paper outlines various ancient Indian texts and the economic thoughts expressed therein, delves on the reasons why they have gone unnoticed, brings to the fore the economic policies laid down by Kautilya, shows how these policies exemplify pragmatic application of the modern economic principles, and brings out in bold relief, the contribution of this Pre-Classical literature in the history of economic thought.
    Date: 2018–01–15
  2. By: Martin Shubik (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Money is a mystery and financial institutions are often regarded as guardians and promoters of the mystery. These sketches are designed to help an individual interested in, but not technically trained in economics, understand markets, money, credit and the evolution of a mass market system embedded in the rich context of its political environment and society. The efficient functioning of a dynamic economy requires the presence of money and financial institutions. The great variety of financial institutions in any advanced economy requires that a synthetic approach is used to understand what the whole looks like. Verbal description provides an overarching view of the mixture of history, law, philosophy, social mores, and political structure that supplies the context for the functioning of the economy. This has been vividly illustrated by Adam Smith, his teacher the Reverend Francis Hutcheson and his close friend David Hume. There are two different but highly allied themes in this single slim volume. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 supply the rich context of history, society, polity and law in which every economy is embedded. Chapters 12 and 13 sketch what might lie ahead given the current state of the world. These chapters require no symbols or technical depth. In contrast Chapters 4 to 11 offers a reasonably nontechnical exposition of some of the considerable development in formal economic theory pertaining to money and financial institutions as economics struggles towards emerging as a science, balancing quantitative measures with qualifications that help to explain what the numbers mean.
    Keywords: Evolution of money, Coordination, Division of labor
    JEL: C70 D21
    Date: 2018–01
  3. By: Giovanni Scarano
    Abstract: Economic crises are a recurrent topic in Marx’s works, but nowhere does he deal with this subject in a systematic way. Nevertheless, we do find many considerations that are consistent with a systematic and complete view of crises as dialectical moments in the movement of capitalist economies. According to Marx, the ultimate cause of all actual crises is always the contradiction between subjective and objective goals in the capitalist mode of production. But in the real world there are several direct causes of economic crises, each of which can randomly prevail over the others to trigger the phenomenon. However, the different causes are random only in prevailing as prime mover, not in terms of their presence or absence. The paper deals with the reconstruction of Marx’s dialectical view of economic and financial crises, analysing many passages in Capital and Theories of Surplus-Value, but especially in Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58 (Grundrisse).
    Keywords: economic crisis, financial crisis, business cycles, dialectics, Marxian economics.
    JEL: B14 E32 E44 B51
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: N. Gregory Mankiw; Ricardo Reis
    Abstract: This essay discusses the role of Milton Friedman’s presidential address to the American Economic Association, which was given a half century ago and helped set the stage for modern macroeconomics. We discuss where macroeconomics was before the address, what insights Friedman offered, where researchers and central bankers stand today on these issues, and (most speculatively) where we may be heading in the future.
    JEL: E5
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Rolf Aaberge (Statistics Norway); François Bourguignon; Andrea Brandolini; Francisco H. G. Ferreira; Janet C. Gornick; John Hills; Markus Jäntti; Stephen P. Jenkins; Eric Marlier; John Micklewright; Brian Nolan; Thomas Piketty; Walter J. Radermacher; Timothy M. Smeeding; Nicholas H. Stern; Joseph Stiglitz; Holly Sutherland
    Abstract: Tony Atkinson is universally celebrated for his outstanding contributions to the measurement and analysis of inequality, but he never saw the study of inequality as a separate branch of economics. He was an economist in the classical sense, rejecting any sub-field labelling of his interests and expertise, and he made contributions right across economics. His death on 1 January 2017 deprived the world of both an intellectual giant and a deeply committed public servant in the broadest sense of the term. This collective tribute highlights the range, depth and importance of Tony’s enormous legacy, the product of over fifty years’ work.
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Franck Aggeri (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: C' est un grand plaisir que de participer à une table ronde autour de ce livre de Jacques Girin qui rend hommage à une oeuvre fulgurante. Ce livre mérite tous les éloges pour sa qualité d'édition et le choix des textes qui le composent. Je remercie vivement les organisateurs de cette table ronde, Jean-François Chanlat et Hervé Dumez, pour la confiance qu'ils m'accordent en me proposant d'y participer. J'ai eu la chance d'avoir Jacques Girin comme professeur en DEA à Dauphine où il nous faisait un cours sur la théorie des organisations. Je me rappelle des lectures qu'il nous faisait de Goffman que j'ai découvert à cette occasion. Je l'ai ensuite connu comme chercheur et me rappelle très bien notamment de ses interventions dans le cadre du GDR Frog ou lors de la séance Condor où il a présenté son texte sur les agencements organisationnels que je commenterai tout à l'heure. Je considère Jacques Girin comme un des grands auteurs de gestion en langue française. On reconnaît un auteur original à trois critères : ses travaux résistent à l'épreuve du temps ; il a développé une pensée propre indépendamment des modes du moment ; il est avant-gardiste et visionnaire. Jacques Girin répond à ces trois critères. Il a développé une pensée originale sur le langage dans les organisations, les situations de gestion, les agencements organisationnels et l'épistémologie en sciences de gestion. Dès les années 1980, il s'intéresse à la question du langage en acte dans les organisations à une époque où le langage est d'abord vu comme un instrument au service d'une finalité, selon le modèle du code. L'omniprésence des recherches actuelles sur la performativité ou le sensemaking souligne le caractère précurseur de ses travaux. On pourrait dire la même chose de ses réflexions sur l'espace de travail à l'heure où l'on ne parle plus que de socio-matérialité. Une pensée cohérente On m'a demandé de discuter ses deux articles les plus cités et les plus connus, qui portent sur les situations de gestion et les agencements organisationnels. Mais avant cela, je voudrais souligner deux points qui permettent de mettre en perspective ses réflexions.
    Keywords: Girin,Langage,agencement organisationnel,Situation de gestion,Pragmatisme
    Date: 2017–09
  7. By: Olivier J. Blanchard
    Abstract: 50 years ago, Milton Friedman articulated the natural rate hypothesis. It was composed of two sub-hypotheses: First, the natural rate of unemployment is independent of monetary policy. Second, there is no long-run trade-off between the deviation of unemployment from the natural rate and inflation. Both propositions have been challenged. The paper reviews the arguments and the macro and micro evidence against each. It concludes that, in each case, the evidence is suggestive, but not conclusive. Policy makers should keep the natural rate hypothesis as their null hypothesis, but keep an open mind and put some weight on the alternatives.
    JEL: E30 E31 E32 E52
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Walter Buhr
    Keywords: economic growth, growth policy, growth theory, capacity effects, endangering the future, EU-integration, biology, infrastructure, constitutional model (von Hayek), assignment of infrastructural measures
    JEL: D78 H54 J10 J24 K10 O10 P11
    Date: 2018
  9. By: José Menudo (Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Nicolas Rieucau (LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - UP8 - Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
    Date: 2017–02–28
  10. By: Inklaar, Robert; de Jong, Harmen; Bolt, Jutta; van Zanden, Jan (Groningen University)
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Hervé Dumez (i3-CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion i3 - Polytechnique - X - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Henri Fayol formulated one of the first theories of management and allows us to see how one of the first scientific approaches of management could or could not perform management practices. Therefore, Fayol is particularly interesting from the point of view of performativity (Callon, 1998, 2007, MacKenzie et al., 2007, Muniesa, 2014). The case is all the richer because it presents the rare characteristic of a direct confrontation between two rival theories, his and Taylor's, at the level of this process of performativity. In the1920s, a battle was going on in France and in Europe between the Fayol's ideas and Taylor's ones, especially at the level of public management. In the short term, Taylor won this battle of performativity and Fayol lost it. In the long term, Fayol's ideas have shaped modern management practices.
    Abstract: Henri Fayol a formulé l’une des premières théories en management, ce qui peut nous permettre d’étudier la manière dont le management peut ou non « performer » les pratiques. De ce point de vue, Fayol fournit un cas d’étude de la performativité particulièrement intéressant. Ce cas est d’autant plus riche qu’il présente la caractéristique extrêmement rare d’une confrontation directe entre deux théories rivales qui, l’une et l’autre, cherchent à modifier les pratiques managériales. En effet, dans les années 1920, une bataille s’est déroulée en France et en Europe entre la théorie de Fayol et celle de Taylor, essentiellement sur le terrain du management public. À court terme, c’est Taylor qui a emporté la lutte de performativité. À long terme, les idées de Fayol ont marqué sans doute plus profondément les pratiques managériales.
    Keywords: Taylor,management theories,performativity,felicity conditions.,Fayol , Taylor , théories managériales , performativité , conditions de félicité.
    Date: 2018–01
  12. By: Grunewald, Mara; Orth, Anja Katrin
    Abstract: Weihnachten ist die Zeit des Schenkens. Etwa jeder zweite erwachsene Bundesbürger spendet für soziale, kirchliche, kulturelle, gemeinnützige und wohltätige Zwecke. Die Glücksforschung zeigt zudem: Spenden bringt nicht nur dem Empfänger Freude, sondern auch dem Absender.
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Ronayne, David (Economics Dept.and Nuffield College, University of Oxford,); Sgroi, Daniel (Economics Dept. and CAGE, University of Warwick and Nuffield College, University of Oxford,)
    Abstract: We present results from an experiment involving 1,500 participants on whether, when and why good advice is ignored, focusing on envy and stubbornness. Participants performance in skill-based and luck-based tasks generated a probability of winning a bonus. About a quarter ignored advice that would have increased their chance of winning. Good advice was followed less often when the adviser was relatively highly remunerated or the task was skill-based. More envious advisees took good advice more often in the skill-based task, but higher adviser remuneration significantly reduced this effect. Susceptibility to the sunk cost fallacy reduced the uptake of good advice.
    Keywords: advice ; skill ; remuneration ; envy ; sunk cost fallacy
    JEL: C91 C99 D91
    Date: 2018

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