nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2018‒11‒26
fifteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The Heckscher—Ohlin—Samuelson Trade Theory and the Cambridge Capital Controversies: On the Validity of Factor Price Equalisation Theorem By Kazuhiro Kurose; Naoki Yoshihara
  2. Choosing in a Large World: The Role of Focal Points as a Mindshaping Device By Lauren Larrouy; Guilhem Lecouteux
  3. The Evolution of money debate: functionalism versus chartalism, Schumpeterian dynamics, Gresham's fallacy, and how history constrains public finance By Thomas Palley
  4. The Economists and Monetary Thought in Interwar New Zealand: The Gradual Emergence of Monetary Policy Activism By Geoffrey Brooke; Anthony Endres; Alan Rogers
  5. The Theory of Exploitation as the Unequal Exchange of Labour By Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki
  6. qui et à quoi sert la comptabilité ? Un état de l'art et quelques réflexions théoriques pour dépasser le déterminisme des différents paradigmes By Mohamed Ali Dakkam
  7. Growth without Expectations:The Original Sin of Neoclassical Growth Models By Michaël Assous; Muriel Dal Pont Legrand
  8. Complexité organisationnelle : l'entité face aux transformations des responsabilités By Véronique Darmendrail
  9. Classical labour values – properties of economic reproduction By Zachariah, David; Cockshott, Paul
  10. Aux origines du capital : Le capital chez Luca Pacioli, entre comptabilité et économie, entre mondes ancien et Moderne By Alexandre Rambaud
  11. The I.O. of ethics and cheating when consumers do not have rational expectations By Thanassoulis, John
  12. Partially-Honest Nash Implementation: A Full Characterization By Lombardi, Michele; Yoshihara, Naoki
  13. Do we need to listen to all stakeholders?: communicating in a coordination game with private information By Cabrales, Antonio; Drouvelis, Michalis; Gurguc, Zeynep; Ray, Indrajit
  14. American Radical Economists in Mao’s China: From Hopes to Disillusionment By Isabella M Weber; Gregor Semieniuk
  15. Investing in managerial honesty By Gibson, Rajna; Sohn, Matthias; Tanner, Carmen; Wagner, Alexander F

  1. By: Kazuhiro Kurose (Tohoku University); Naoki Yoshihara (School of Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper examines the validity of the factor price equalisation theorem (FPET) in relation to capital theory. First, it presents a survey of the literature on Heckscher—Ohlin—Samuelson (HOS) models that treat capital as a primary factor, beginning with Samuelson (1953). In addition, by consulting the Cambridge capital controversies, this paper observes that the validity of the FPET relies crucially on this setting. It does no longer hold whenever capital is assumed to be a bundle of reproducible commodities. This paper also refers to the recent literature on the dynamic HOS trade theory and argues that such studies ignore the difficulties posed by the capital controversies. It thereby concludes that the FPET holds even when capital is modelled as a reproducible factor. In conclusion, the paper suggests the necessity of reconstructing basic theories of international trade without relying on the FPET.
    Keywords: factor price equalisation, global univalence, capital as a bundle of reproducible commodities, reswitching of techniques, capital reversing
    JEL: B51 D33 F11
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Lauren Larrouy (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS); Guilhem Lecouteux (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to offer a theory of coordination that considers the role of the context within which the individuals interact, and to develop a rigorous analysis of salience and focal points. This requires dealing with how agents choose in ‘large worlds’ (in Savage’s sense). We highlight the role of mindshaping in the formation of individual preferences and beliefs and show how social focal points can generate prior beliefs. We conclude by discussing normative implications of our analysis, since it suggests that agents are socially-embedded entities, whose preferences and beliefs are shaped by social dynamics and norms.
    Keywords: coordination, mindshaping, belief formation, preference formation, large world
    JEL: B41 C72 D81
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Thomas Palley
    Abstract: This paper discusses the evolution of money and the monetary system. The origins of money debate is framed in terms of functionalism versus chartalism. Endogenous Schumpeterian dynamics apply to the evolution of money and monetary systems, and those dynamics are supportive of the functionalist perspective. A functionalist Schumpeterian lens shows "Gresham's law" should be relabeled "Gresham's fallacy" because good money drives out bad. The Gresham dynamic is also supportive of the functionalist perspective. Lastly, the paper shows monetary history over the past millennium does not support chartalist public finance claims as represented by modern money theory (MMT).
    Keywords: Money, functionalism, chartalism, Gresham’s law, Schumpeterian dynamics, modern monetary theory
    JEL: E4 E44
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Geoffrey Brooke (School of Economics, Auckland University of Technology); Anthony Endres (Department of Economics, University of Auckland); Alan Rogers (Department of Economics, University of Auckland)
    Abstract: In spite of the existence of several monetary and central bank histories, the emergence of monetary thought in New Zealand after 1914 has not been subject to extensive analysis. This paper remedies this deficit for the interwar period. The focus is upon the propagation of monetary ideas in New Zealand and their intellectual sources. We apply a heuristic in which different monetary doctrines are situated along a continuum between extreme monetary policy ‘activism’ and extreme ‘minimalism’. In the 1920s, New Zealand economists betrayed a minimalist bias across several dimensions: money supply regulation, the role of money and the international monetary transmission process in the business cycle, and the operation of bank-credit allocation mechanisms. Incipient activism in the work of Condliffe and Belshaw was countered by Niemeyer’s case for a minimalist central bank. Fisher adopted an anti-reflationist, forced savings approach to the 1930s crisis; he underscored the deleterious monetary and real consequences of Government exchange rate management after 1933. Copland, Tocker, Belshaw and Hight downplayed these consequences. Extended debate over the original Reserve Bank legislation and perennial amendments thereafter, generated new meanings for the phrase ‘monetary policy independence’; it also turned most economists against extreme activism (or the policy of monetary nationalism) that prevailed from 1938. Throughout the interwar period, New Zealand entertained a vigorous contest of monetary ideas; most of those ideas were inherited from the work of Keynes (as early as 1923), Hawtrey, Cannan, Robbins, and Hayek, though adapted to local conditions.
    Keywords: New Zealand, population policy, migration, history of thought
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki
    Abstract: This paper explores the foundations of the theory of exploitation as the unequal exchange of labour (UEL). The key intuitions behind all of the main approaches to UEL exploitation are explicitly analysed as a series of formal axioms in a general economic environment. Then, a single domain condition called Labour Exploitation is formulated, which summarises the foundations of UEL exploitation theory, defines the basic domain of all UEL exploitation forms, and identifies the formal and theoretical framework for the analysis of the appropriate definition of exploitation.
    Keywords: Exploitation, Unequal Exchange of Labour, axiomatic analysis
    Date: 2018–10
  6. By: Mohamed Ali Dakkam (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This study looks at different paradigms in accounting history to understand the emergence, development, uses and functions of accounting. Firstly, we gave an overview of the various works that have examined the question of the evolution of accounting practices and theories. This first work allowed us to elaborate a theoretical grid allowing to go beyond the reducing typologies of the research in history of the accounting. Then we looked at the possibility of mobilizing neoclassical, Foucaldian and Marxist framworks to study and explain the developmenet and uses of accounting practices. To do so we propose to use a transversal approach that allows both to mobilize the postulates of these works but without fishing in a determinism of any kind. This approach is inspired by Flichy's work, it must make it possible to grasp both the rationalist functions and the social uses of accounting. This framework of theoretical reflection on the uses and the functions of a technique proposed by Flichy obviously requires to test its heuristic capacity to study the evolution of the accounting practices within the companies and in the literature.
    Abstract: Ce travail s'intéresse aux différents paradigmes en histoire de la comptabilité pour comprendre l'émergence, le développement, les usages et les fonctions de la comptabilité. Dans un premier temps nous avons réalisé un tour d'horizon sur les différents travaux qui se sont penchés sur la question de l'évolution des pratiques et théories comptables. Ce premier travail nous a permis d'élaborer une grille de lecture théorique permettant de dépasser les typologies réductrices de la recherche en histoire de la comptabilité pour aboutir à une typologie valorisante. Ensuite nous nous sommes penchés sur la possibilité de mobiliser des explications à la fois néo-classiques, foucaldiennes et marxistes pour décrire et expliquer les pratiques comptables d'une entreprise. Pour se faire nous proposons d'utiliser une approche transversale qui permet à la fois de mobiliser les postulats de ces travaux mais sans pour autant pêcher dans un déterminisme de quelque sorte soit-il. Cette approche est inspirée des travaux de Flichy, elle doit permettre de saisir à la fois les fonctions rationalistes et les usages sociaux de la comptabilité. Ce cadre de réflexion théorique sur les usages et les fonctions d'une technique proposé par Flichy nécessite bien évidement de tester sa capacité heuristique pour étudier l'évolution des pratiques comptables au sein des entreprises et dans la littérature.
    Keywords: accounting,management control,history,comptabilité,contrôle de gestion,histoire,théories
    Date: 2018–05–16
  7. By: Michaël Assous (Université Lyon 2, CNRS, Triangle); Muriel Dal Pont Legrand (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France)
    Abstract: Early developments of growth theory are seen widely as the result of a two-step process – the first represented by Harrod's Essay in Dynaamic Theory, and the second by Solow's 1956 model. Harrod is considered to be the first to highlight the pervasive instability in macrodynamics, which Solow showed disappeared with the inclusion of flexible-coefficient production functions. It has been recognized since that this is a misreading (Besomi 1995, 1998, Bruno and Dal-Pont Legrand 2014). Hoover and Halsmayer (2016) examined how this "culture of misunderstanding" guided both Solow's modelling work and his reading of Harrod. Our paper pays attention to the specific issue of the introduction of an (independent) investment function in those early growth models. Using new archival material, we examine this complex issue and show how macroeconomists of that period dealt with problems related to incorporating expectations, an a priori unavoidable step in order to build robust investment functions. Those elements were indeed discussed at length, in the early 1960s, by economists such as Sen, Samuelson and Solow as shown in his correspondence with Hahn. Our paper sheds light on some hidden foundations of growth models and examines the nature of the break Solow’s model introduced in the growth research program as initially defined by Harrod.
    Keywords: : growth, expectations, investment function, (in-)stability
    JEL: B2 B22 E1
    Date: 2018–11
  8. By: Véronique Darmendrail (Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Bordeaux)
    Abstract: Faced with the development of business models that rely on legal or accounting evasion, or off-balance strategies, the legal and accounting sciences are in difficulty. A better consideration of the interaction between legal and social responsibilities by the accounting model could be potentially developed. This deals with the problem of the boundary line of the scope, as well as the control and intelligibility of the information given, on what could constitute an expansion of liabilities. We aim to summarize the literature on the definitions of the entity's scope in economic, legal and management sciences to highlight the need for a coherent evolution of the law and the accounting model.
    Abstract: Face au développement de business models qui reposent sur l'évasion légale, comptable et/ou sur des stratégies de hors-bilan, les sciences juridiques et comptables sont en difficulté. Une meilleure prise en compte des interactions entre les responsabilités juridiques et sociétales par le modèle comptable pourrait potentiellement se développer. Elle se heurte néanmoins à des problèmes de circonscription des périmètres, mais aussi de contrôle et d'intelligibilité des informations données, sur ce qui pourrait constituer un élargissement du passif. Nous nous proposons de faire une synthèse de la littérature sur les définitions du périmètre de l'entité en sciences économiques, juridiques et de gestion pour mettre en évidence le besoin d'une évolution cohérente du droit et du modèle comptable.
    Keywords: legal responsibilities,CSR,boundaries,scope,entity,responsabilité juridique,RSE,frontières,périmètre,entité
    Date: 2018–05–16
  9. By: Zachariah, David; Cockshott, Paul
    Abstract: We attempt to clarify the meaning of labour value, a concept that originated in classical political economy. Using a modern formalism, we show that labour values are understood as a field property, or equivalently a characteristic accounting property, of economic reproduction. The applicability of the concept is discussed and its relation to productivity, employment, surplus labour and unproductive activities are demonstrated.
    Keywords: classical political economy, labour theory of value
    JEL: B0 C67 P16
    Date: 2018–09–27
  10. By: Alexandre Rambaud (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Nous étudions ici la question du capital, d'un point de vue comptable et économique, dans la « Summa » de Luca Pacioli, le Père de la comptabilité moderne. Nous proposons une analyse historique du capital avant Pacioli, permettant d'expliciter certains traits saillants de cette notion à l'époque où est rédigée la « Summa ». Nous réalisons ensuite une étude, a priori inédite, du capital dans cet ouvrage : nous mobilisons en effet, dans ce but, certaines parties de la « Summa », en-dehors de la célèbre partie « Particulis de computis et scripturis » où sont présentés théoriquement pour la première fois le capital comptable et la partie double. Notre but est de voir dans quelle mesure Pacioli est un « pont entre deux mondes (ancien et Moderne) » en ce qui concerne la question du capital.
    Keywords: Mots-clés : Luca Pacioli,capital,Modernité,Antiquité,Moyen-Age
    Date: 2018–05–16
  11. By: Thanassoulis, John
    Abstract: I study the incentive of firms to be unethical in competitive markets, by conducting practices which illicitly harm stakeholders (consumers, workers, the environment) so as to raise profits. I offer a theoretical analysis which embeds consistent philosophical concerns (utilitarian, Kantian, and in some settings, Rawlsian) to evaluate the moral dilemma managers face of cheating stakeholders for profit in a model of competition with regulatory oversight. I characterise sufficiency conditions which apply broadly and which yield the result that more competition raises the equilibrium level of malpractice in Nash Equilibria of the competition game. If agents reason more deontologically, professing a duty-ethic, then oligopoly is linked to malpractice. I explore how firm level changes impact equilibrium malpractice drawing predictions for some aspects of FDI and for behavioural changes as firms approach the technological frontier.
    Keywords: Competition; Ethics; Malpractice; Moral Dilemma
    Date: 2018–09
  12. By: Lombardi, Michele; Yoshihara, Naoki
    Abstract: A partially-honest individual is a person who follows the maxim, "Do not lie if you do not have to" to serve your material interest. By assuming that the mechanism designer knows that there is at least one partially-honest individual in a society of n ≥ 3 individuals, a social choice rule (SCR) that can be Nash implemented is termed partially-honestly Nash implementable. The paper offers a complete characterization of the n-person SCRs that are partially-honestly Nash implementable. It establishes a condition which is both necessary and sufficient for the partially-honest Nash implementation. If all individuals are partially-honest, then all SCRs that satisfy the property of unanimity are partially-honestly Nash implementable. The partially-honest Nash implementation of SCRs is examined in a variety of environments.
    Keywords: Nash implementation, pure strategy Nash equilibrium, partial-honesty, Condition μ*
    JEL: C72 D71
    Date: 2018–10
  13. By: Cabrales, Antonio (Department of Economics, University College London); Drouvelis, Michalis (University of Birmingham); Gurguc, Zeynep; Ray, Indrajit (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: We consider an experiment with a version of the Battle of the Sexes game with two-sided private information, preceded by a round of either one-way or two-way cheap talk. We compare different treatments to study truthful revelation of information and subsequent payoffs from the game. We find that the players are overall truthful about their types in the cheap-talk phase in both one-way and two-way talk. Furthermore, the unique symmetric cheap-talk equilibrium in the two-way cheap talk game is played when the players fully reveal their information; however, they achieve higher payoffs in the game when the talk is one-way as the truthful reports facilitate desired coordination.
    Keywords: Battle of the Sexes, Private Information, Cheap talk, Coordination.
    JEL: C72 C92 D83
    Date: 2018–11
  14. By: Isabella M Weber; Gregor Semieniuk (Institute of Management Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: American radical economists in the 1960s perceived China under Maoism as an important experiment in creating a new society, aspects of which they hoped could serve as a model for the developing world. But the knowledge of ‘actually existing Maoism’ was very limited due to the mutual isolation between China and the US. This paper analyses the First Friendship Delegation of American Radical Political Economists (FFDARPE) to the People’s Republic of China in 1972, consisting mainly of Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) members, which was the first visit of a group of American economists to China since 1949. Based on interviews with trip participants as well as archival and published material, this paper studies what we can learn about the engagement with Maoism by American radical economists from their dialogues with Chinese hosts, from their on-the-ground observations, and their reflection upon return. We show how the visitors’ own ideas conflicted and intersected with their perception of the Maoist practice on gender relations; workers’ management and life in the communes. We also shed light on the diverging conceptions of the role for economic expertise between URPE and late Maoism. As the first in-depth study on the FFDARPE we provide rich empirical insights into an ice-breaking event in the larger process of normalization in the Sino- U.S relations, that ultimately led to the disillusionment of the Left with China.
    Keywords: China; socialism and capitalism; transition economics; Maoism
    JEL: B24 N15 N45 O10 P21 P32
    Date: 2018–10
  15. By: Gibson, Rajna; Sohn, Matthias; Tanner, Carmen; Wagner, Alexander F
    Abstract: Two laboratory experiments show that investors perceive a CEO to be more committed to honesty when the CEO resisted, at a personal cost, engaging in earnings management. For investment decisions, a one standard deviation increase in a CEO's perceived commitment to honesty compared to another CEO reduces the relevance of differences in the CEOs' claimed future returns by 40%. This effect is prominent among investors with a proself value orientation. To prosocial investors, their own honesty values and those attributed to the CEO matter directly; returns play a secondary role. Overall, CEO honesty matters to different investors for distinct reasons.
    Keywords: Earnings management; honesty; investor preferences; investor segmentation; protected values; social value orientation; Trust
    JEL: G0
    Date: 2018–09

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