nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2018‒07‒23
twenty papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Sraffa’s Silenced Revival of the Classical Economists and of Marx. By Guglielmo Chiodi
  2. Robert J. Gordon and the introduction of the natural rate hypothesis in the Keynesian framework By Aurélien Goutsmedt; Goulven Rubin
  3. Decision Sciences, Economics, Finance, Business, Computing, and Big Data: Connections By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer; Wing-Keung Wong
  4. Analysis of Actual Discussions in the Theory of Action and Practices: Skeptical vs Anti-Skeptic Trends in Conceptualization By Vakhshtayn, Victor; Erofeeva, Maria
  5. Looking at the Bright Side: The Motivation Value of Overconfidence By Chen, Si; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  6. Efficient Market Hypothesis, Eugene Fama and Paul Samuelson: A reevaluation By Thomas Delcey
  7. Menger contre Walras By Sandye Gloria
  8. On the relation between Sion's minimax theorem and existence of Nash equilibrium in asymmetric multi-players zero-sum game with only one alien By Atsuhiro Satoh; Yasuhito Tanaka
  9. Circle of Fortune: The Long Term Impact of Western Customs Institutions in China By Gan Jin
  10. Ideology of Traditional Values: The Socio-Philosophical Analysis of the Rise of Moral Conservatism in the 21st Century By Uzlaner, Dmitry (Узланер, Дмитрий А.)
  11. [Introduction] Pour une socioéconomie engagée : monnaie, finance et alternatives By Jérôme Blanc; Isabelle Guérin; Isabelle Hillenkamp; Solène Morvant-Roux; Hadrien Saiag
  12. A discussion program to "Academic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis" By Jon Bernat Zubiri-Rey
  13. What do self - reports of wellbeing say about life - cycle theory and policy? By Angus Deaton
  14. Antiquity in the Middle Ages: Literature, Power, Law By Aurov, Oleg; Zorin, Andrey
  15. Inequality, Fairness and Social Capital By Fehr, Dietmar; Rau, Hannes; Trautmann, Stefan T.; Xu, Yilong
  16. Math, Girls and Socialism By Quentin Lippmann; Claudia Senik
  17. Using Ethical Dilemmas to Predict Antisocial Choices with Real Payoff Consequences: An Experimental Study By Dickinson, David L.; Masclet, David
  18. Trade, Inequality, and Subjective Well-Being: Getting at the Roots of the Backlash Against Globalization By Barbara Dluhosch
  19. Threats to scientific progress, past and present By Alessandro Iaria; Carlo Schwarz; Fabian Waldinger
  20. Jean Gadrey : De la commission des comptes des services à la mesure de l’utilité sociale By Edith Archambault

  1. By: Guglielmo Chiodi (Sapienza University of Rome (IT))
    Abstract: The standpoint of the old classical economists as well as of Marx “has been submerged and forgotten since the advent of the ‘marginal’ method” – to borrow Sraffa’s own words. The neoclassical (or ‘marginal’) paradigm, in fact, triumphantly dominated over the twentieth century (and is still dominating even now). A serious step towards the rehabilitation of the paradigm of the old classical economists was made by Sraffa (1951) with his remarkable ‘Introduction’ to Ricardo’s Principles, his seminal 1960 book Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (PCMC) followed a few years later, as a logical completion of his long-standing work. The paper here proposed argues that Sraffa’s 1960 contribution has so far been mainly interpreted and used as a highly powered tool for destroying the foundations of neoclassical theory from a logical point of view, with the confident belief that attacking the logical side of the theory would have been sufficient to bring about its definite dismissal, which, instead, did not happen. As a consequence of all this, the revival of the classical economists and of Marx – which is one of the most characterizing feature of Sraffa’s 1960 contribution – was automatically silenced and this very fact precluded Sraffa’s theoretical framework from being used in a constructive way as a real alternative ‘vision’ to that proposed by the neoclassical market-centered paradigm. The aim of the paper is to underscore the crucial importance of Sraffa’s revival referred to above, by emphasizing its usefulness in providing a genuine alternative perspective and a radically different representation of the economy, compared with that provided by neoclassical theory. An attempt will be made to show the main features of the Sraffian framework in providing such an alternative ‘vision’ which, it will be argued, is now much needed, not least for suggesting far more sensible alternative economic policies than those so far pursued in the ceaseless turmoil of present day world economies.
    Keywords: Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Sraffa.
    JEL: A10 B12 B14 B24 B51
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Aurélien Goutsmedt (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, Chaire Energie et Prospérité); Goulven Rubin (LEM - Lille 2)
    Abstract: This article studies the dissemination of the Natural Rate of Unemployment Hypothesis (NRH) in macroeconomics during the 1970s, by studying the reaction of Robert J. Gordon to the argument of Milton Friedman (1968). In the early 1970s, Gordon displayed an empirical opposition to the NRH, arguing that the estimated parameter on expected inflation was below one, meaning that the adjustment of inflation in wages was not total. Confronting to new data and to the rise of inflation, Gordon adopted the NRH after 1973. Nevertheless the adoption anticipated any empirical proof of a parameter close to one. We explain that this conversion was due to Friedman's influence on Gordon, but also to the fact it did not prevent Gordon to support active stabilization policies. The article shows how a complex explanation of the 1960s and 1970s inflation was little by little replaced by the simpler accelerationist Phillips Curve. It enables to understand the dissemination of this particular Phillips Curve, relying on the NRH, as a process mainly led by economists close to the Keynesian framework
    Keywords: Expectations; Natural Rate of Unemployment; Phillips Curve; Stagflation
    JEL: B22 E12 E31
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: Chia-Lin Chang (Department of Applied Economics and Department of Finance National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan.); Michael McAleer (Department of Quantitative Finance National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan and Econometric Institute Erasmus School of Economics Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Department of Quantitative Economics Complutense University of Madrid, Spain And Institute of Advanced Sciences Yokohama National University, Japan.); Wing-Keung Wong (Department of Finance, Fintech Center, and Big Data Research Center, Asia University, Taiwan and Department of Medical Research China Medical University Hospital And Department of Economics and Finance Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong, China and Department of Economics, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China.)
    Abstract: This paper provides a review of some connecting literature in Decision Sciences, Economics, Finance, Business, Computing, and Big Data. We then discuss some research that is related to the six cognate disciplines. Academics could develop theoretical models and subsequent econometric and statistical models to estimate the parameters in the associated models. Moreover, they could then conduct simulations to examine whether the estimators or statistics in the new theories on estimation and hypothesis have small size and high power. Thereafter, academics and practitioners could then apply their theories to analyze interesting problems and issues in the six disciplines and other cognate areas.
    Keywords: Decision sciences; Economics; Finance; Business; Computing; Big data; theoretical models; Econometric and statistical models; Applications.
    JEL: A10 G00 G31 O32
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: Vakhshtayn, Victor (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Erofeeva, Maria (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the problem of the social action and its Wittgenstein re-definition. These questions are of fundamental importance to the social theory because they allow us to redefine the basic concept underlying a significant part of the sociological conceptualizations: that is the concept of social action. In the framework of this paper, we propose to consider the skeptical paradox originally formulated by S. Kripke, as applied to modern theories of action. We propose its solutions, based on the ethnomethodological reading of the paradox, which allows us to redefine the subjective subject matter underlying most theoretical approaches to action.
    Date: 2018–06
  5. By: Chen, Si (Bonn Graduate School of Economics); Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
    Abstract: The motivation value of confidence postulates that individual effort provision is increasing in beliefs on one's own productivity. This relationship also holds for overconfident individuals who have exaggerated productivity beliefs (motivation value of overconfidence). We present first empirical evidence on the existence of a motivation value of absolute overconfidence that many microeconomic models build on. Moreover, we document that debiasing information increases the accuracy of productivity beliefs of overconfident individuals but comes at the cost of diminished effort provision – a result that is of obvious relevance for many contexts such as labor relations or learning at school. As a further conceptual contribution, we offer a novel strategy for identifying significant overconfidence at the individual level.
    Keywords: overconfidence, effort provision, laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 D91
    Date: 2018–05
  6. By: Thomas Delcey (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Two main claims are associated with the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). First of all, the price changes are nearly random in the financial markets. Secondly, the prices reflect the economic fundamentals. The relation between these two claims remains unclear in the actual literature. The purpose of this article is to show that this confusion is not new but began during the theoretical construction of EMH in the 1960s. The analysis is based on the reading of their 1965 papers and on the archives of Paul Samuelson from the Paul A. Samuelson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library at Duke University.
    Date: 2018–05–07
  7. By: Sandye Gloria (UCA - Université Côte d'Azur , GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)
    Abstract: MENGER VERSUS WALRAS It is common to see in the rejection by Carl Menger of the use of mathematics only an anecdotal specificity which differentiates the author, on the form exclusively, from the marginalist analysis of Léon Walras. We show that, ultimately, Menger's rejection of mathematics (of a certain type) is a coherent decision perfectly justified by the vision of economic reality which the author seeks to analyse and by the methods he judges most appropriated. Some tools available today, the tools of complexity, seem well adapted to the thinking of this author and allow his renewal. We propose the broad outlines of a Neo-Mengerian program rooted in complexity economics
    Abstract: Il est courant de ne voir dans le rejet par Carl Menger de l'usage de l'outil mathématique qu'une spécificité anecdotique qui le différencie, sur la forme exclu-sivement, de l'analyse marginaliste de Léon Walras. Nous montrerons qu'en fin de compte le rejet des mathématiques (d'un certain type) par Menger est une décision cohérente parfaitement justifiée par la vision de la réalité économique que l'auteur cherche à rendre intelligible et par la méthode qu'il juge à cet effet appropriée. Certains outils aujourd'hui disponibles, les outils de la complexité, semblent bien adaptés à la pensée de cet auteur et permettent son renouvellement. Nous propo-sons les grandes lignes d'un programme néomengerien ancré dans l'économie de la complexité. .
    Keywords: Classification JEL : B13,Menger, Walras, social ontology, mathematical economics,complexity econommics
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Atsuhiro Satoh; Yasuhito Tanaka
    Abstract: We consider the relation between Sion's minimax theorem for a continuous function and a Nash equilibrium in an asymmetric multi-players zero-sum game in which only one player is different from other players, and the game is symmetric for the other players. Then, 1. The existence of a Nash equilibrium, which is symmetric for players other than one player, implies Sion's minimax theorem for pairs of this player and one of other players with symmetry for the other players. 2. Sion's minimax theorem for pairs of one player and one of other players with symmetry for the other players implies the existence of a Nash equilibrium which is symmetric for the other players. Thus, they are equivalent.
    Date: 2018–06
  9. By: Gan Jin (Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg)
    Abstract: This paper studies the persistent impact of good institutions on economic development in China. By exploiting a British-driven institutional switch in part of China's customs stations in 1902, I find that counties that were more affected by the British customs institutions are also better developed today. Moreover, I show that the institutional switch was exogenous to the pre-colonial development, and I provide different estima- tion models to reveal a robust and causal relationship between good institutions and economic development.
    Keywords: Institutions, Economic development, Treaty ports, Chinese Maritime Customs Service (CMCS), China
    JEL: N15 O10 P51
    Date: 2018–07
  10. By: Uzlaner, Dmitry (Узланер, Дмитрий А.) (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The focus of this work is the ideology of "traditional values" and, in general, "a turn to moral conservatism." This topic has gained relevance in Russia at least since 2012. Researchers have repeatedly drawn attention to the rise of moral conservatism in the past few decades. In fact, there is a transition from the economic (class) confrontation to the opposition of the moral (value). However, this turn in domestic policy is not a purely Russian phenomenon. However, it is important that all this described dynamics in the light of the processes of globalization ceases to be purely national. It acquires a transnational dimension.
    Date: 2018–06
  11. By: Jérôme Blanc (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Isabelle Guérin (CESSMA UMRD 245 - Centre d'études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Inalco - Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7); Isabelle Hillenkamp (CESSMA UMRD 245 - Centre d'études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Inalco - Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7); Solène Morvant-Roux (UNIGE - Université de Genève); Hadrien Saiag (IIAC-LAIOS - SOGIP (ERC 249236)/Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Institutions et des Organisations Sociales - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
    Abstract: Ce livre engage un dialogue sur les principaux concepts et objets de recherche développés par Jean-Michel Servet, à travers ses contributions à une socioéconomie de la monnaie, de la finance et des alternatives.
    Keywords: exclusion, Jean-Michel Servet, communs, économie solidaire, partage, réciprocité, financiarisation,Pratiques monétaires, pratiques financières
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Jon Bernat Zubiri-Rey (CREG - Centre de recherche en économie de Grenoble - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes, UPV/EHU - Universidad del Pais Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea)
    Abstract: This contribution is structured in three sections. In the first section I will synthesize the most important ideas of the Irish colleagues' article, with a critical commentary to their contribution. Then, I will provide, founded on my own academic labor and social struggle experiences, the same evidences about the commercialization of universities and the declining autonomy and freedom of their staff in the reforms imposed in the French, Spanish and the Basque university systems1. In the third and last part of this exposition I will discuss some critical ideas and questions to contribute to the political transformation of the university institution's way.
    Keywords: higher education , university , commercialisation , academic freedom
    Date: 2016–06–18
  13. By: Angus Deaton (Princeton University and University of Southern California)
    Abstract: I respond to Atkinson's plea to revive welfare economics, and to considering alternative ethical frameworks when making policy recommendations. I examine a measure of self-reported evaluative wellbeing, the Cantril Ladder, and use data from Gallup to examine well-being over the life-cycle. I assess the validity of the measure, and show that it is hard to reconcile with familiar theories of intertemporal choice. I find a worldwide optimism about the future; in spite of repeated evidence to the contrary, people consistently but irrationally predict they will be better off five years from now. The gap between future and current wellbeing diminishes with age, and in rich countries, is negative among the elderly. I also use the measure to think about income transfers by age and sex. Policies that give priority those with low incomes favor the young and the old, while utilitarian policies favor the middle aged, and men over women.
    JEL: A20 D60
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Aurov, Oleg (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Zorin, Andrey (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The work is devoted to the problem of forms and methods of reception of ancient heritage in medieval Western and Eastern Europe. In the first case, the medieval states of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly Castile and Leon) act as the object of study, in the second - the Russian state from the era of Ancient Russia to the Moscow Kingdom of the XVI - XVII centuries. The presentation of the material is organized according to a chronological and historical-geographical principle. Four sections of the work are devoted to the role of the Roman heritage in the formation of medieval Castilian historiography during the reign of King Alfonso X of the Wise (section 1), analysis of the forms of interpretation in the domestic historiography of the role of the ancient heritage and its influence on the formation of medieval forms of social and political organization on the example of the scientific heritage of the outstanding Soviet medievalist Alexander Rafailovich Korsunsky (1914-1980) (section 2), the problems of the influence of the ancient heritage on the formation of the medieval literature as in the Latin West (section 3) and the study of the religious and cultural perspective of the formation and development of medieval Russian statehood (from Ancient Russia to the Moscow Kingdom), taking into account the wide external historical, cultural and legal context (section 4).
    Date: 2018–06
  15. By: Fehr, Dietmar; Rau, Hannes; Trautmann, Stefan T.; Xu, Yilong
    Abstract: We study the impact of unjust inequality on social trust and trustworthiness, and its separate effect on the economically successful and the unsuccessful, in a controlled economic experiment. We find evidence for a negative effect of unfair economic inequality on social interactions. Probing the boundaries of this effect, we document that this erosion of social capital critically depends on the context: if a well-off person is not directly responsible for the outcome of the worse-off person, then we observe no negative effects on trust and trustworthiness in the aggregate. Moreover, our data do not support the view that higher status or wealth leads to an erosion of pro-social attitudes: the successful are always more generous; groups of unsuccessful persons are least efficient and least generous in the trust game.
    Date: 2018–07–12
  16. By: Quentin Lippmann (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Claudia Senik (PSE - Paris School of Economics, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper argues that the socialist episode in East Germany, which constituted a radical experiment in gender equality in the labor market and other instances, has left persistent tracks on gender norms. We focus on one of the most resilient and pervasive gender gaps in modern societies: mathematics. Using the German division as a natural experiment, we show that the underperformance of girls in math is sharply reduced in the regions of the former GDR, in contrast with those of the former FRG. We show that this East-West difference is due to girls' attitudes, confidence and competitiveness in math, and not to other confounding factors, such as the difference in economic conditions or teaching styles across the former political border. We also provide illustrative evidence that the gender gap in math is smaller in European countries that used to be part of the Soviet bloc, as opposed to the rest of Europe. The lesson is twofold: (1) a large part of the pervasive gender gap in math is due to social stereotypes; (2) institutions can durably modify these stereotypes.
    Keywords: Gender Gap in Math,Institutions,German Division,Gender Sterotypes
    Date: 2018–05
  17. By: Dickinson, David L. (Appalachian State University); Masclet, David (University of Rennes)
    Abstract: Anti-social behaviours are costly to organizations, and the ability to identify predictors of such behaviours can be valuable. In this paper, we used a within-subjects laboratory design to study choices in the well-known (hypothetical) Trolley problem as well as in a real payoff money-burning experiment that can inform our understanding of moral preferences and antisocial behavior. Choices in both environments respond to incentives (i.e., the relative price of the ethical decision). Trolley problem decisions are consistent with previously known results – individuals prefer no action over action, and they prefer to avoid direct over indirect responsibility when negative consequences would be similar in either instance. In analyzing the determinants of anti-social money burning, our data identify money burning due to inequality aversion, but we also find evidence of pure nastiness (burning money of others to increase one's advantageous inequality). Importantly, we find that willingness to commit ethically dubious acts in the Trolley problem significantly predicts money burning and, more specifically, nastiness. We conclude that choices in hypothetical environments can predict consequential and inefficient antisocial behaviours. Also, utilitarian behaviour in the Trolley dilemma is not linked to antisocial money burning, which contrasts with conclusions in the literature.
    Keywords: experiments, money burning, ethical dilemmas, anti-social behavior, trolley problem
    JEL: C90 C91 Z10
    Date: 2018–06
  18. By: Barbara Dluhosch
    Abstract: Many countries in the Western hemisphere are currently experiencing a backlash against globalization. Most of the research examining the issue has concentrated on international specialization and within-country income inequality as main drivers of the backlash. Doing so, the discussion has primarily revolved around the question whether and to what extend the income distribution has widened and whether trade is responsible indeed. However, political trends may be more grounded in perceptions than facts, thus giving rise to inappropriate populist policies. The difference matters all the more as the former may be accentuated by (social) media. Drawing mainly on subjective well-being (SWB) data from theWorld Values Survey (WVS) and income statistics from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), this paper shows in an international cross-section analysis that income inequality is perceived very differently depending on openness to trade. The relevance of perceptions has wider politico-economic implications in that it carries the risk of costly anti-trade policies, without necessarily narrowing the income distribution.
    Keywords: -Subjective Well-Being, International Trade, Income Distribution, Inequality, Identity
    JEL: F13 D63 D31
    Date: 2018–06
  19. By: Alessandro Iaria; Carlo Schwarz; Fabian Waldinger
    Abstract: A US boycott of Chinese researchers, as threatened by the Trump administration, could stifle scientific progress and technological innovation. That is the concern of Alessandro Iaria, Carlo Schwarz and Fabian Waldinger, whose research looks at the period between 1914 and 1926, when Allied scientists were cut off from their peers in Central countries - with damaging consequences for world science. Their study reveals how the interruption of international knowledge flows, as a result of the First World War and its aftermath, led to stark declines in the production of research deemed worthy of a Nobel prize nomination. Barriers to international scientific co-operation slow down the production of basic science and its application in new technologies. In contrast, policies that widen access to frontier research could benefit society beyond the confines of science itself.
    Keywords: frontier knowledge, scientific production, international knowledge flows, WW1
    JEL: O3 N3 N4 O31 O5 N30 N40 J44 I23
    Date: 2018–07
  20. By: Edith Archambault (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Ce chapitre d'un ouvrage à paraître en l'honneur de Jean Gadrey montre son apport à la définition des services marchands et au périmètre de la Commission des comptes des services dans un premier temps. Dans un second temps ce papier s'attache à la définition de l'utilité sociale des organisations de l'économie sociale et solidaire pour laquelle Jean Gadrey a également synthétisé un vaste programme de recherche et inspiré la définition de la loi ESS de 2014
    Keywords: services marchands, comptabilité nationale,utilité sociale
    Date: 2018–02–16

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