nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2018‒02‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. On the Economics of Risk and Uncertainty: A Historical Perspective By Yasuhiro Sakai
  2. Stigler on Ricardo By Kurz, Heinz D.
  3. Clower’s Dual-Decision Hypothesis is economics By Wu, Cheng
  4. Simple guilt and cooperation By Ronald Peeters; Marc Vorsatz
  5. The Institutionalist Theory of the Business Enterprise: Past, Present, and Future By Jo, Tae-Hee
  6. The global rise of patent expertise in the late nineteenth century By Sebastian David Pretel
  7. Comments on the Rao and Fuller (2017) paper By Skinner, Chris J.
  8. Economic Pluralism in the Study of Wage Discrimination: A Note By Drydakis, Nick
  9. The Rise and Fall of Unproductive Activities in the US Economy 1964-2015: Facts, Theory and Empirical Evidence By Tsoulfidis, Lefteris; Tsimis, Achilleas; Paitaridis, Dimitris
  10. Amartya Sen’s Peasant Economies: A Review with Examples By Mohajan, Haradhan
  11. Illusionen grenzenloser Globalisierung By Andreas Novy
  12. Qu'est-ce que les Trente Glorieuses ? By Dominique Lejeune

  1. By: Yasuhiro Sakai (Faculty of Economics, Shiga University)
    Abstract: The economics of risk and uncertainty has a long history over 300 years. This paper aims to systematically summarize and critically reevaluate it, with special reference to John M. Keynes and Frank H. Knight, the two giants in modern times. In our opinion, there are the six stages of development, with each stage vividly reflecting its historical background. The first stage, named the Initial Age, corresponds to a long period before 1700, the one in which statistics was firmly established by B. Pascal as a branch of mathematics but economic theory per se was not well developed. The second stage, called the "B-A" Age, covers the period from 1700 to 1880, is characterized by the two superstars, Daniel Bernoulli and Adam Smith. The third stage from 1880 to 1940 may be named the "K-K" Age because it was dominated by J.M. Keynes and F.H. Knight. The fourth stage, called the "N-M" age, eyewitnesses the birth of game theory, with von Neumann and Morgenstern being its foundering fathers. The fifth stage from 1970 to 2000, named the "A-S" Age, is characterized by several distinguished scholars with their initials "A" or "S". Finally, in 2000 and onward, while many doubts have been raised about existing doctrines, new approaches have not emerged yet, thus being named the Uncertain Age. The relationship between Keynes and Knight is both complex and rather strange. It has a history of separating, approaching, separating again and approaching again. As the saying goes, a new wine should be poured into a new bottle. We would urgently need a Keynes and/or a Knight toward a new horizon of the economics of risk and uncertainty.
    Keywords: Economics of risk and uncertainty, Bernoulli, Keynes, Knight
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Kurz, Heinz D. (University of Graz)
    Abstract: The paper scrutinises George Stigler’s interpretation of Ricardo's theory. Like many marginalists, he assesses Ricardo’s contribution in terms of marginalist theory. This confirms Piero Sraffa’s observation that by the end of the nineteenth century the analytical structure, content and genuine significance of the classical theory had been “submerged and forgotten”. However, Stigler's textual acuteness makes him see important elements of Ricardo’s analysis that resist the marginalist interpretation. His irritation can only have been increased by Sraffa’s exposition of Ricardo’s sur-plus-based theory of profits in volume I of the Ricardo edition. This contradicted mar-ginal productivity theory of profits. Stigler praises Sraffa’s edition beyond all measure, refrains however from discussing his interpretation. Things do not change after Sraffa in 1960 publishes a logically consistent formulation of the classical theory of value and distribution. Sraffa's interpretation challenged Stigler's ideological position, which, however, he did not feel the need, or possibility, to defend.
    Keywords: David Ricardo; Ideology; Piero Sraffa; George Stigler; Value and distribution
    JEL: B12 D24 D46
    Date: 2018–01
  3. By: Wu, Cheng
    Abstract: Though Wu (2017) has shown Clower’s Dual Decision Hypothesis leading to Keynes’ change in saving (and disequilibrium) conclusion, it is important to compare Clower’s budget constraint approach with other models, including those found in Hall’s consumption theorem and similar approach. In Clower, by assuming that, consumers may not satisfy the budget constraint, one cannot automatically assume Hall’s consumption theorem to hold. And, by showing how households need to optimize contingent on the satisfaction of their budget constraint, Clower was, in effect, creating a feedback mechanism.
    Keywords: Keynes; Clower; Keynesian; disequilibrium; Dual Decision Hypothesis; consumption; martingale; saving; growth; income; trade; feedback
    JEL: A10 B20 C0 D1 E2 N0 O4 P0
    Date: 2018–01–21
  4. By: Ronald Peeters (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand); Marc Vorsatz (Departamento de An´alisis Econ´omico, Universidad Nacional de Educaci´on a Distancia, Calle Senda del Rey, Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: We introduce simple guilt into a generic prisoner’s dilemma (PD) game and solve for the equilibria of the resulting psychological game. It is shown that for all guilt parameters, it is a pure strategy equilibrium that both players defect. But, if the guilt parameter surpasses a threshold, a mixed strategy equilibrium and a pure strategy equilibrium in which both players cooperate emerge. We implement three payoff constellations of the PD game in a laboratory experiment and find in line with our equilibrium analysis that first- and second-order beliefs are highly correlated and that the probability of cooperation depends positively on these beliefs. Finally, we provide numerical evidence on the degree of guilt cooperators experience
    Keywords: Psychological game theory, Guilt, Prisoner’s dilemma
    JEL: C72 C91
    Date: 2018–01
  5. By: Jo, Tae-Hee
    Abstract: This paper examines the historical developments of the institutionalist theory of the business enterprise since early 1900s. We will examine the major contributions in order to find the theoretical characteristics of the institutionalist theory of the business enterprise vis-à-vis evolving capitalism. The paper begins with a discussion of the present state of the institutional theory, looks back on the original ideas of Veblen and Commons, and goes on to later contributions, such as Gardiner Means, John Kenneth Galbraith, William Dugger, and Alfred Eichner. The paper concludes with a discussion as to what should be done for the further development of the institutionalist theory of the business enterprise.
    Keywords: Theory of the business enterprise, institutional economics, evolution of capitalism
    JEL: B50 B52 D20
    Date: 2018–01–22
  6. By: Sebastian David Pretel (Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de México)
    Abstract: This paper examines the rise of various forms of patent expertise over the course of the second industrialisation. The essential insight here is that patent agents and lawyers, as well as consultant engineers, became, in the late 19th century, critical actors in the production and transmission of patent rights and patented technologies within and among societies. This paper considers three main themes. First, the global institutionalisation of patent agents during the late nineteenth century and their growing centrality in several national systems. Second, the transnational patenting networks created during the 1880s, particularly the activities of associations of patent agents and their impact on the making of an international patent system. Third, the controversial role of patent experts as agents of corporate globalism. The most important point remains that agents’ powers, and their many services to multinational corporations, had enduring consequences on the structure of knowledge property worldwide.
    Keywords: Patents, expertise, globalisation, technology, corporations, networks
    JEL: N70 O3 F55 B1
    Date: 2018–01–26
  7. By: Skinner, Chris J.
    Abstract: This note by Chris Skinner presents a discussion of the paper “Sample survey theory and methods: Past, present, and future directions” where J.N.K. Rao and Wayne A. Fuller share their views regarding the developments in sample survey theory and methods covering the past 100 years
    Keywords: Data collection; History of survey sampling; Probability sampling; Survey inference
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2017–12–21
  8. By: Drydakis, Nick
    Abstract: Economic pluralism proposes that economists and social planners should consider alternative theories to establish a range of policy actions. Neoclassical, Feminist and Marxian theories evaluate well-grounded causes of wage discrimination. Racist attitudes, uncertainties regarding minority workers’ productivity and power relations in lower-status sectors might generate discriminatory wages. Each cause deserves corresponding policy action. Given pluralism, wage discrimination might be reduced by implementing equality campaigns, creating low-cost tests to predict workers’ productivity and abolishing power relations towards minority workers. Pluralism might be jeopardised if there is a limited desire to engage with less-dominant theoretical frameworks. Also, pluralism might be misled with rejection of dominant theories.
    Keywords: Economic Pluralism,Schools of economic thought,Wages,Discrimination
    JEL: B4 B5 B54 J71
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Tsoulfidis, Lefteris; Tsimis, Achilleas; Paitaridis, Dimitris
    Abstract: The general idea about unproductive labour and the associated with it activities is that they tend to expand and by expanding reduce the investible product and the growth potential of the economy, however little is known about the determinants of their movement. In this study, we take a closer look at the US unproductive labour and activities in general during the long enough 1964-2015 period. As possible determinants of the movement of unproductive activities we consider the economy-wide average rate of profit, the real interest rate and the degree of capacity utilization. The Toda Yamamoto causality tests, as well as the ARDL econometric model, lend support to the view that the unproductive expenditures and activities are determined rather than determine the above variables. Furthermore, the error correction term indicates that a long-run equilibrium relationship exists and it is attainable after the passage of not too long time.
    Keywords: Unproductive expenditures, rate of profit, Great recession, ARDL
    JEL: B12 B13 B14 B19 B2 B22 B5 C51 D33 E11 N12 O40
    Date: 2018–01–20
  10. By: Mohajan, Haradhan
    Abstract: This article provides partial mathematical analysis of Amartya Sen’s published paper “Peasants and Dualism With or Without Surplus Labor”. This paper may provide useful illustrations of the applications of mathematics to economics. Here three portions of Sen’s paper ‘the simplest model, production for a market response and to withdrawal of labor’ are discussed in some details. Results of the study are given in mathematical formulations with physical interpretations. An attempt is taken here to make the Sen’s paper more interesting to the readers who have desire for detailed mathematical explanations with theoretical analysis.
    Keywords: Peasant economy, output, Sen, withdrawal of labor
    JEL: Q1 Q18
    Date: 2016–01–10
  11. By: Andreas Novy
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Dominique Lejeune (CPGE, Louis le Grand)
    Abstract: Avec les Trente Glorieuses (1945-1974) la France entre dans l' « ère de la consommation de masse », de la fameuse croissance, de la « société d'abondance », de l'essor des services, etc. Jean Fourastié a écrit, en définissant en 1979 la période, « ces trente années sont glorieuses » mais on verra que le point de vue de Jean Fourastié est beaucoup plus nuancé qu'on ne l'a généralement dit. Les Trente Glorieuses sont loin d'être heureuses pour tous et l'oeuvre de l'abbé Pierre est bien connue. Pas ce soir de souvenirs ni de culture en serre de la nostalgie ! Au contraire, une tentative de véritable histoire, globale, d'une nation et d'une société, dans leurs variétés, celle, par exemple, des conditions féminines, une histoire avec ses césures, ainsi le « tournant » de Mai 68. Il est proposé de réfléchir sur la vie et l'histoire de la génération du baby-boom, en un temps où la France est l'un des rares pays européens à maintenir sa démographie, à faire fonctionner une protection sociale de qualité et l'ascenseur social. Tout cela avec l'obsession rhétorique chez les contemporains du « retard français » et des « records », avec l'idée naïve d'une « croissance à la française », évitant les travers américains. Loin des usages éculés de « croissance » et « France moderne », on retrouve une France encore largement rurale, celle du film Jour de fête de Jacques Tati, mais il s'agit d'une ruralité qui se transforme à vive allure, trop vite sans doute. Dans toute la nation des inégalités sociales se renforcent, les expressions et industries culturelles illuminent comme un feu d'artifice, des transformations environnementales très importantes se produisent et une contestation écologique naît pendant les Trente Glorieuses, contrairement à ce qu'on pense souvent. Et la France de la IVe et de la Ve République, gaullienne et pompidolienne, reste inéluctablement ancrée dans le capitalisme libéral et semi-dirigé, en temps de Guerre froide, de décolonisation et de Françafrique, un temps brutalement clos par la grande dépression de la fin du siècle dernier.
    Keywords: Trente Glorieuses en France,Jean Fourastié
    Date: 2016–10–10

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