nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
eighteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Kenneth Arrow, moral obligations, and public policies By Susumu Cato; Adrien Lutz
  2. Structural and behavioural asymmetries as the norm of market Economies By Albert Marouani
  3. On commercial gluts, or when the Saint-Simonians adopted Jean-Baptiste Say's view By Adrien Lutz
  4. More is Different ... and Complex! The Case for Agent-Based Macroeconomics By Giovanni Dosi; Andrea Roventini
  5. La conception de l'homme dans la théorie de l'Echange Composite de François Perroux : entre homo economicus et homo religiosus By Claire Baldin; Ludovic Ragni
  6. The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of) By Eszter Czibor; David Jimenez-Gomez; John A. List
  7. Note sur quelques limites de la méthodologie de Pareto et ses interprétations By Claire Baldin; Ludovic Ragni
  8. On money, debt, trust and central banking By Claudio Borio
  9. Partners or Strangers? Cooperation, Monetary Trade, and the Choice of Scale of Interaction By Maria Bigoni; Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  10. Faut-il abandonner la théorie économique de l'émergence de la monnaie ? By Nicolas Piluso
  11. Money Is More Than Memory By Maria Bigoni; Gabriele Camera; Marco Casari
  12. La monnaie : postulat ou résultat ? Une analyse à partir d'exemples de théories monétaires hétérodoxes By Nicolas Piluso
  13. Marx and Keynes: From exploitation to employment By Helmedag, Fritz
  14. Are Codes of Business Ethics Ethical? By Willy Tadjudje; Clément Labi
  15. Walls of Glass: Measuring Deprivation in Social Participation By Nicolai Suppa
  16. The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance By Serra-Garcia, Marta; Szech, Nora
  17. The Principle of Legality By Daniel Grădinaru
  18. Autour de Keynes : les équilibres multiples du marché du travail By Nicolas Piluso

  1. By: Susumu Cato (The University of Tokyo); Adrien Lutz (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Kenneth Arrow is a founder of the social choice theory as well as a main developer of modern theories of market economies. Moral obligations and social norms are at the core of Arrow's ethical considerations to understand and overcome his well-known impossibility theorem of preference aggregation. Interestingly, he thinks that moral obligations and social norms are very important to overcome failures of market economies. Also, he proposed some interaction between public policies and evolution of social norms. Here, we can find a consistent and systematic thinking of Arrow's ethical considerations, which might be overlooked in spite of its importance. We believe that Arrow has political philosophy (or a theory of justice), which is quite useful to understand recent developments of behavioral economics and theories of non-market economies. Arrow's thought is totally different from Amartya Sen and John Rawls, which are dominant in modern theories of justice. Arrow's approach can shed some new lights on the subject of social justice.
    Keywords: Efficiency,Equity,Social justice,Moral obligation,Social choice,Communitarianism
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Albert Marouani (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)
    Abstract: Standard neo-classical economic theory is based on the idea of balance and symmetry between opposing forces (supply and demand). Most situations in the field of macroeconomics, in particular, are of a structurally asymmetrical nature. The same is true about the behavior of all agents because asymmetry of information is a characteristic of any contractual relationship in any market. Classical economists, as well as other heterodox economists, also consider that asymmetry, inequality and the conflicts of power and domination are at the very heart of market relations and explain the historical dynamics of the evolution of market economies. In these circumstances, it should be considered that the asymmetrical relationship must be regarded as the norm of the market economy.
    Abstract: La théorie économique standard néo-classique repose sur l'idée d'équilibre et de symétrie, entre forces opposées, notamment l'offre et la demande. Or la plupart des situations dans le domaine de la macroéconomie notamment sont de nature structurellement asymétrique. Il en est de même au niveau de la microéconomie des comportements des offreurs et des demandeurs du fait de l'asymétrie d'information qui est une caractéristique propre à toute relation contractuelle sur n'importe quel marché. Les économistes classiques, comme sur un autre registre les économistes hétérodoxes, considèrent également que l'asymétrie, les inégalités et les conflits de pouvoir et de domination sont au coeur même des relations marchandes et de la dynamique historique d'évolution à long terme des économies de 2 marché. Il conviendrait dans ces conditions de considérer que la relation asymétrique doit constituer la norme de l'économie de marché.
    Keywords: asymmetry,neoclassical economics,market,equilibrium,econometrics,macroeconomics,classical economics,evolutionary economics,structure
    Date: 2018–03–15
  3. By: Adrien Lutz (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: A standard reading in the history of economic thought sets the classical stream of economists drawing upon the influence of Adam Smith (Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, etc.) in opposition to a "black box" of social thinkers (Louis Blanc, Fourierism, Saint-Simonianism, Sismondi, Robert Owen). This article, however, argues that, in the first quarter of the 19th century, the Saint-Simonians and the liberal economist Jean-Baptiste Say can be seen to adopt convergent views during the famous controversy about commercial gluts. First, we show that the Saint-Simonians and Say both see undersupply and lack of industry as causes of gluts. Next, we assert that their intellectual affinities are also visible in their belief that increasing production remains an appropriate solution for gluts. Finally, this convergence is explained by their common belief in industrialism: Saint-Simonianism is embedded in a French industrialist tradition for which Say can be taken as representative. We argue that their common belief in industry explains their convergence.
    Keywords: Adam Smith,Laissez-faire,Commercial gluts,Jean-Baptiste Say,Saint-Simonianism
    Date: 2018–12–21
  4. By: Giovanni Dosi; Andrea Roventini
    Abstract: This work nests the Agent-Based macroeconomic perspective into the earlier history of macroeconomics. We discuss how the discipline in the 70's took a perverse path relying on models grounded on fictitious rational representative agent in order to try to pathetically circumvent aggregation and coordination problems. The Great Recession was a natural experiment for macroeconomics, showing the inadequacy of the predominant theoretical framework grounded on DSGE models. After discussing the pathological fallacies of the DSGE-based approach, we claim that macroeconomics should consider the economy as a complex evolving system, i.e. as an ecology populated by heterogenous agents, whose far-from-equilibrium interactions continuously change the structure of the system. This in turn implies that more is different: macroeconomics cannot be shrink to representative-agent micro, but agents' complex interactions lead to emergence of new phenomena and hierarchical structure at the macro level. This is what is taken into account by agent-based models, which provide a novel way to model complex economies from the bottom-up, with sound empirically-based micro-foundations. We present the foundations of Agent-Based macroeconomics and we discuss how the contributions of this special issue push its frontier forward. Finally, we conclude by discussing the ways ahead for the fully acknowledgement of agent-based models as the standard way of theorizing in macroeconomics.
    Keywords: Macroeconomics, Economic Policy, Keynesian Theory, New Neoclassical Synthesis, New Keynesian Models, DSGE Models, Agent-Based Evolutionary Models, Complexity Theory, Great Recession, Crisis
    Date: 2019–01–11
  5. By: Claire Baldin (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Ludovic Ragni (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: : Cet article réexamine les fondements, analytiques, conceptuels et philosophiques sur lesquels repose la conception de l'homme que Perroux promeut pour définir l'Echange Composite par rapport à l'homo œconomicus propre à l'Echange Pur. Une première partie montre que l'Echange Composite constitue -i- une critique du rationalisme des modèles d'Echange pur marginalistes et d'équilibre général -ii- que cette critique repose sur une série de concepts qui ont contribués à définir le système que Perroux a toujours défendu (effets de domination, luttes-concours, conflits-coopérations, coûts de l'homme, dons et transferts contraints). Une seconde partie met en évidence que ces concepts trouvent leur origine dans une philosophie spécifique à la fois spiritualiste et communautariste qui s'inscrit dans l'oecuménisme chrétien de Perroux et qui fonde sa conception de l'homme.
    Keywords: François Perroux, Marginalism, Pur Exchange, Composite Exchange, Human conception, Church's Social Doctrine
    JEL: B13 B16 B21 B40 D51 D63
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Eszter Czibor; David Jimenez-Gomez; John A. List
    Abstract: What was once broadly viewed as an impossibility – learning from experimental data in economics – has now become commonplace. Governmental bodies, think tanks, and corporations around the world employ teams of experimental researchers to answer their most pressing questions. For their part, in the past two decades academics have begun to more actively partner with organizations to generate data via field experimentation. While this revolution in evidence-based approaches has served to deepen the economic science, recently a credibility crisis has caused even the most ardent experimental proponents to pause. This study takes a step back from the burgeoning experimental literature and introduces 12 actions that might help to alleviate this credibility crisis and raise experimental economics to an even higher level. In this way, we view our “12 action wish list” as discussion points to enrich the field.
    JEL: C9 C90 C91 C92 C93 D03
    Date: 2019–01
  7. By: Claire Baldin (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Ludovic Ragni (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: : L'article évalue les limites de la méthodologie que Pareto applique à l'économie et à la sociologie. La première partie revisite les fondements sur lesquels repose la méthode logico-expérimentale et des approximations successives que Pareto propose pour les deux disciplines. La deuxième partie explicite les étapes qui définissent l'expérimentalisme de Pareto en sociologie. La troisième montre que les résultats que Pareto met en évidence impliquent qu'il n'applique pas la même méthodologie à l'économie et à la sociologie. La quatrième partie explique pourquoi les formes méthodologiques auxquelles Pareto recourt ne permettent pas la synthèse des résultats qu'il prêtant réaliser.
    Keywords: Economic methodology, Economic Thought, Sociology, Epistemology, Pareto, J-S Mill, Concrete Deductive Method, Logico-experimental method
    JEL: B13 B41 B15 B16 B31
    Date: 2019–01
  8. By: Claudio Borio
    Abstract: This essay examines in detail the properties of a well functioning monetary system - defined as money plus the mechanisms to execute payments - in both the short and long run, drawing on both theory and the lessons from history. It stresses the importance of trust and of the institutions needed to secure it. Ensuring price and financial stability is critical to nurturing and maintaining that trust. In the process, the essay addresses several related questions, such as the relationship between money and debt, the viability of cryptocurrencies as money, money neutrality, and the nexus between monetary and financial stability. While the present monetary system, with central banks and a prudential apparatus at its core, can and must be improved, it still provides the best basis to build on.
    Keywords: monetary system, money, debt, payments, trust, monetary stability, financial stability, central bank
    JEL: E00 E30 E40 E50 G21 N20
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Maria Bigoni (University of Bologna and IZA); Gabriele Camera (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University and University of Bologna); Marco Casari (University of Bologna and IZA)
    Abstract: We show that monetary exchange facilitates the transition from small to large-scale economic interactions. In an experiment, subjects chose to play an Òintertemporal cooperation gameÓ either in partnerships or in groups of strangers where payoffs could be higher. Theoretically, a norm of mutual support is sufficient to maximize efficiency through large-scale cooperation. Empirically, absent a monetary system, participants were reluctant to interact on a large scale; and when they did, efficiency plummeted compared to partnerships because cooperation collapsed. This failure was reversed only when a stable monetary system endogenously emerged: the institution of money mitigated strategic uncertainty problems.
    Keywords: Coordination, endogenous institutions, repeated games
    JEL: C70 C90 D03 E02 E40
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Nicolas Piluso (CERTOP - Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Travail Organisation Pouvoir - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPS - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - INU Champollion - Institut national universitaire Champollion - Albi)
    Abstract: Nombreux sont les économistes à avoir tenté de rendre intelligible l'origine de la monnaie. La théorie de la valeur (approches classique, néoclassique ou marxiste) et l'approche chartaliste se sont longtemps opposées. De nouvelles approches ont émergé, aussi bien du côté de l'approche néoclassique standard que des approches hétérodoxes (avec, par exemple, la théorie d'Aglietta-Orléan ou la théorie post-keynésienne). Nous prenons dans cet article deux exemples de théories récentes, à savoir les modèles de prospection monétaire et la théorie né-chartaliste, pour donner un élément de réponse à la question de savoir s'il est utile ou non de chercher à rendre compte de l'origine de la monnaie au sein de la théorie économique.
    Date: 2017–06–01
  11. By: Maria Bigoni (University of Bologna & IZA); Gabriele Camera (Chapman University & University of Bologna); Marco Casari (University of Bologna & IZA)
    Abstract: Impersonal exchange is the hallmark of an advanced society and money is one key institution that supports it. Economic theory regards money as a crude arrangement for monitoring counterparts’ past conduct. If so, then a public record of past actions—or memory—should supersede the function performed by money. This intriguing theoretical postulate remains untested. In an experiment, we show that the suggested functional equivalence between money and memory does not translate into an empirical equivalence: money removed the incentives to free ride, while memory did not. Monetary systems performed a richer set of functions than just revealing past behaviors.
    Keywords: Cooperation, intertemporal trade, experiments, institutions, social norms.
    JEL: C70 C90 D03 E40
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Nicolas Piluso (CERTOP - Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Travail Organisation Pouvoir - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPS - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - INU Champollion - Institut national universitaire Champollion - Albi)
    Abstract: Tandis qu'Orléan-Aglietta et Benetti-Cartelier jugent indispensable l'adoption d'un postulat de la monnaie comme fondement de l'analyse économique, Wray tente de faire de la monnaie un résultat de l'analyse économique. Nous essayons de montrer que toutes ces théories économiques de la monnaie, qu'elles le revendiquent ou non, doivent recourir recours à un postulat de la monnaie et abandonner l'idée de faire de la monnaie un résultat de la théorie économique.
    Keywords: Cantillon's rule,imbalance,theory of value,State,Money
    Date: 2018–12–06
  13. By: Helmedag, Fritz
    Abstract: Marx's and Keynes's analyses of capitalism complement each other well. In a rather general model including the public sector and international trade it is shown that the labour theory of value provides a sound foundation to reveal the factors influencing employment. Workers buy "necessaries" out of their disposable wages from an integrated basic sector, whereas the "luxury" department's revenues spring from other sources of income. In order to maximize profits, the wage good industry controls the level of unit labour costs. After all, effective demand governs the volume of work. On this basis, implications for economic policy are outlined.
    Keywords: Employment,Marx,Keynes,Surplus value
    JEL: E11 E12 E24
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Willy Tadjudje (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Belgium); Clément Labi (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Belgium)
    Abstract: In response to a quickly evolving legal environment and more generally to changing conceptions about the role and responsibilities of the corporation and its executives, many firms have adopted codes of ethics whose legal relevance is uncertain, and whose relation to actual ethics is largely problematic. First, it is necessary to analyze the theoretical model of these codes, as business environments tend to be assessed in terms of “business ethics†, which is conceptually difficult not to discount, since ethics should possess a universalist vocation, hence the necessity to seek whether there could be a variety of ethics which could bear the same validity. More generally, can individuals (or corporations) bestow upon themselves any set of chosen ethical rules? We propose that ethical codes actually mimic and anticipate what legislators or judges have (or will have) considered as ethical behaviors. Since the law is itself an imitation of ethical rules, codes of business ethics are therefore imitations of imitations. The works of Kant and Levinas, in particular, will serve as points of reference.
    Keywords: ethics, business ethics, ethical codes, corporate governance
    Date: 2018–11
  15. By: Nicolai Suppa
    Abstract: This paper proposes a measure for deprivation in social participation, an important but so far neglected dimension of human well-being. Operationalisation and empirical implementation of the measure are conceptually guided by the capability approach. Essentially, the paper argues that deprivation in social participation can be convincingly established by drawing on extensive non-participation in customary social activities. In doing so, the present paper synthesizes philosophical considerations, axiomatic research on poverty and deprivation, and previous empirical research on social exclusion and subjective well-being. An application using high-quality German survey data supports the measure’s validity. Specifically, the results suggest, as theoretically expected, that the proposed measure is systematically different from related concepts like material deprivation and income poverty. Moreover, regression techniques reveal deprivation in social participation to reduce life satisfaction substantially, quantitatively similar to unemployment. Finally, questions like preference vs. deprivation, cross-country comparisons, and the measure’s suitability as a social indicator are discussed.
    Keywords: Social participation, capability approach, deprivation, life satisfaction, multidimensional poverty, SOEP
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Serra-Garcia, Marta; Szech, Nora
    Abstract: We investigate the elasticity of preferences for moral ignorance with respect to monetary incentives and social norm information. We propose a model where uncertainty differentially decreases the moral costs of unethical behavior, and benchmark the demand curve for moral ignorance against a morally neutral context. In line with the model, selfishness is a main determinant of moral ignorance, and the demand curve for moral ignorance is highly elastic when information shifts from being costly to incentivized. Moral ignorance is considered morally inappropriate. Providing this information increases moral behavior but does not shift the demand curve for ignorance.
    Keywords: information avoidance,morality,unethical behavior,social norms
    JEL: D83 D91 C91
    Date: 2018
  17. By: Daniel Grădinaru (Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University)
    Abstract: The principle of legality, in criminal law, means that only the law can define a crime and prescribe a penalty (nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege). It also embodies, that the criminal law must not be extensively interpreted to an accused′s detriment, for instance by analogy. According to that principle, an offence must be clearly defined in the law. The concept of law comprises written as well as unwritten law and implies qualitative requirements, notably those of accessibility and foreseeability. The requirements are satisfied where the individual can now from the wording of the relevant provision and, if need be, with the assistance of courts′ interpretation of it, what acts and omissions will make him criminally liable. The principle of legality also includes the rule which prohibit the retrospective application of the criminal law to an accused′s disadvantage. That principle is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries as well as in the most important international convention that protects human rights.
    Keywords: accessibility, criminal law, foreseeability, legality, retrospective application
    Date: 2018–11
  18. By: Nicolas Piluso (CERTOP - Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Travail Organisation Pouvoir - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPS - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - INU Champollion - Institut national universitaire Champollion - Albi)
    Abstract: Les travaux de Keynes sur la question du chômage ont donné lieu à de multiples développements théoriques. Parmi eux, le modèle WS-PS est l'aboutissement d'une recherche des fondements microéconomiques du chômage involontaire. Son échec à rendre compte de façon pertinente des situations de chômage dans les différents pays développés a conduit les économistes à renouveler l'analyse en termes de défauts de coordination et d'équilibres multiples. De leur côté, les postkeynésiens ont développé un modèle de chômage involontaire qui se veut plus fidèle aux écrits de Keynes mais qui exhibe également des équilibres multiples.
    Date: 2018–12–06

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