nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒03‒18
sixteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Der spezifische Liberalismus von Hayek im Spektrum des Neoliberalismus By Quaas, Friedrun
  2. Does it have to be a sacrifice? Different notions of the good life, pro-environmental behavior and their heterogeneous impact on well-being By Binder, Martin; Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin; Guardiola, Jorge
  3. How To Make A Pie: Reproducible Research for Empirical Economics & Econometrics By Valerie Orozco; Christophe Bontemps; Elise Maigne; Virginie Piguet; Annie Hofstetter; Anne Marie Lacroix; Fabrice Levert; Jean-Marc Rousselle
  4. La gran dama: Science patronage, the rockefeller foundation, and the Mexican social sciences in the 1940s By Morcillo Laiz, Álvaro
  6. How Cliometrics has Infiltrated Economics – and Helped to Improve the Discipline By Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
  7. Debt restructuring and notions of fairness By Paterson, Sarah
  8. Narratives, Imperatives, and Moral Reasoning By Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Jean Tirole
  9. Uncertainty in cooperative interval games: How Hurwicz criterion compatibility leads to egalitarianism By Mallozzi, Lina; Vidal-Puga, Juan
  10. Everyday econometricians: Selection neglect and overoptimism when learning from others By Barron, Kai; Huck, Steffen; Jehiel, Philippe
  11. Quand les économistes traitaient de la question agraire (1972-1980) Retour sur un épisode français By Thierry Pouch
  12. 20 Years of Research in Microfinance: An Information Management Approach By Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto; Carlos Serrano-Cinca
  13. Why the Economics Profession Must Actively Participate in the Privacy Protection Debate By John M. Abowd; Ian M. Schmutte; William N. Sexton; Lars Vilhuber
  14. A bridge over troubled water: Interdisciplinarity, Novelty, and Impact By Magda Fontana; Martina Iori; Fabio Montobbio; Roberta Sinatra
  15. The Dynamics of Motivated Beliefs By Florian Zimmermann
  16. Determinants of Trust: The Role of Personal Experiences By Frederik Schwerter; Florian Zimmermann

  1. By: Quaas, Friedrun
    Abstract: Friedrich August von Hayek hat der Nachwelt ein breites theoretisches Werk hinterlassen. Ein durchgängiger Wesenszug darin ist sein spezifischer Liberalismus, der durch einen negativen Begriff von Freiheit bestimmt ist. Damit verbunden ist Hayeks ausgeprägter methodologischer Individualismus. Doch Hayek polarisiert, und zwar nicht nur zwischen Anhängern und Gegnern, sondern auch innerhalb der Vertreter des neoliberalen Spektrums. Der Beitrag geht der Frage nach, in welchem Grade Hayek selbst die Verantwortung dafür trägt, indem Inkonsistenzen in seinem Denken aufgezeigt werden. Eine Konsequenz davon ist, dass Hayek zwar für verschiedene Varianten des Neoliberalismus als Bezugspunkt dient, aber die Heterogenität des modernen Neoliberalismus noch vertieft hat. Ob Hayek ein Ordoliberaler oder ein Marktradikaler ist, bleibt eine Frage, die bestenfalls tendenziell zu beantworten ist Ein einheitliches Denkkollektiv im Anschluss an Hayek existiert jedenfalls nicht, ebenso wenig wie ein homogener Neoliberalismus.
    Keywords: Liberalismus,Neoliberalismus,Ordoliberalismus,Colloque Walter Lippmann,Österreichische Schule,Gouvernementalität,Individualismus,Freiheit,staatlicher Zwang,liberalism,neoliberalism,ordoliberalism,Austrian School of Economics,gouvernementality,individualism,freedom,state coercion
    JEL: B3 B12 B24 B25 B53
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Binder, Martin; Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin; Guardiola, Jorge
    Abstract: Our well-being is influenced by our notion of what constitutes a good life, a vital part of our identity. While pro-environmental behavior is often found to be positively related to individuals' well-being, our research delves into the extent to which this relationship is influenced by individuals' identity, measured both as green self-image and their notion of the good life in general. Using survey responses from Spanish university students (n = 640) and paying close attention to the subjective perception of what it means to be "satisfied with their lives", we find that green behavior is negatively related to life satisfaction in our sample. In contrast, green self-image is positively related to life satisfaction. Whether pro-environmental behavior is positively related to life satisfaction further depends on whether one's notion of the good life (and hence happiness) is utopian, stoicist, or based on a fulfillment- or virtueview. In addition, well-being loss from pro-environmental behavior also decreases with the available disposable income.
    Keywords: Pro-environmental behavior,subjective well-being,good life,identity,green self-image,conceptual referent theory,life satisfaction
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Valerie Orozco (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics); Christophe Bontemps (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics); Elise Maigne (US ODR - Observatoire des Programmes Communautaires de Développement Rural - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Virginie Piguet (CESAER - Centre d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales Appliquées à l'Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroSup Dijon - Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, de l'Alimentation et de l'Environnement); Annie Hofstetter (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - INRA Montpellier - Institut national de la recherche agronomique [Montpellier] - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Anne Marie Lacroix (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique); Fabrice Levert (SMART - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AGROCAMPUS OUEST); Jean-Marc Rousselle (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - INRA Montpellier - Institut national de la recherche agronomique [Montpellier] - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: Empirical economics and econometrics (EEE) research now relies primarily on the application of code to datasets. Handling the workflow linking datasets, programs, results and finally manuscript(s) is essential if one wish to reproduce results, which is now increasingly required by journals and institutions. We underline here the importance of "reproducible research" in EEE and suggest three simple principles to follow. We illustrate these principles with good habits and tools, with particular focus on their implementation in most popular software and languages in applied economics.
    Keywords: workflow,replication,literate programming,software,reproducibility
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Morcillo Laiz, Álvaro
    Abstract: The literature on the development of Mexican social sciences during the twentieth century has rarely considered universities as part of the state. If we do, then universities are characterized by traits similar to those of the state, such as clientelism. This plausible hypothesis has never been fully unexamined. Another trait of the literature that impairs our knowledge of the Mexican social sciences is the neglect of external actors, in particular by US philanthropies. In this manuscript I argue that the Rockefeller Foundation patronised liberal scholarship, practiced according to formal rational criteria, as an alternative to what foundation officers perceived as clientelism and amateurism at universities. While in the long run foundations were extremely consequential for Latin American social sciences, and therefore frequently considered part of a US imperialistic drive towards cultural hegemony in Latin America, they were not unitary actors and frequently failed to predict the actual impact of their grants.
    Keywords: intellectual history,sociology of science,history of sociology,international political sociology,cultural diplomacy,U.S.-Latin American relations,Mexico,Rockefeller Foundation,José Medina Echavarría,Daniel Cosío Villegas,El Colegio de México,Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales (UNAM),Wissenschaftssoziologie,Soziologiegeschichte,Internationale politische Soziologie,Kulturdiplomatie,Wissenschaftsförderung,US-lateinamerikanische Beziehungen,Mexiko,Rockefeller Stiftung
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Maté Fodor; Jean Luc De Meulemeester; Denis Rochat
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it provides a balanced account of both theoretical and empirical debates on the link between education and growth since World War 2. We point out the lack of a clear-cut consensus.On the other hand, we question the traditional measurements of human capital, and assess their fit to various theoretical models of growth. Subsequently, we provide a new and arguably more appropriate proxy. Using it, we document crude correlations in line with the literature, pointing out that education may not be an appropriate instrument to accelerate growth.
    Keywords: Education; Growth; Human capital; Education policy
    JEL: E24 O40 B22 B23 I25
    Date: 2019–03–06
  6. By: Claude Diebolt (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France); Michael Haupert (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse)
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Paterson, Sarah
    Abstract: This article examines concern for fairness in the way in which loss is distributed when a company or financial institution facing financial difficulties is restructured. It shows how this concern is often grounded in loose notions of fairness, or generalisations from one situation to another, rather than in detailed analysis. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, it builds an analytical frame for the fairness debate in debt restructuring. It shows why rigour is important in identifying fairness concerns, in weighing them against other considerations, and in applying concerns which arise in one scenario to another, and illustrates the types of policy mistake or policy incohernece which can arise if this is not done.
    Keywords: Debt restructuring; reorganization; corporate insolvency; corporate bankruptcy; fairness.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2017–07–13
  8. By: Roland Bénabou; Armin Falk; Jean Tirole
    Abstract: By downplaying externalities, magnifying the cost of moral behavior, or suggesting not being pivotal, exculpatory narratives can allow individuals to maintain a positive image when in fact acting in a morally questionable way. Conversely, responsibilizing narratives can help sustain better social norms. We investigate when narratives emerge from a principal or the actor himself, how they are interpreted and transmitted by others, and when they spread virally. We then turn to how narratives compete with imperatives (general moral rules or precepts) as alternative modes of communication to persuade agents to behave in desirable ways.
    Date: 2019–02
  9. By: Mallozzi, Lina; Vidal-Puga, Juan
    Abstract: We study cooperative interval games. These are cooperative games where the value of a coalition is given by a closed real interval specifying a lower bound and an upper bound of the possible outcome. For interval cooperative games, several (interval) solution concepts have been introduced in the literature. We assume that each player has a different attitude towards uncertainty by means of the so-called Hurwicz coefficients. These coefficients specify the degree of optimism that each player has, so that an interval becomes a specific payoff. We show that a classical cooperative game arises when applying the Hurwicz criterion to each interval game. On the other hand, the same Hurwicz criterion can be also applied to any interval solution of the interval cooperative game. Given this, we say that a solution concept is Hurwicz compatible if the two procedures provide the same final payoff allocation. When such compatibility is possible, we characterize the class of compatible solutions, which reduces to the egalitarian solution when symmetry is required. The Shapley value and the core solution cases are also discussed.
    Keywords: Cooperative interval games; Hurwicz criterion; Hurwicz compatibility
    JEL: C71
    Date: 2019–03–12
  10. By: Barron, Kai; Huck, Steffen; Jehiel, Philippe
    Abstract: In this paper, we design an investment game which allows us to study the influence of selection when learning from others. Using the theoretical study of selection neglect in Jehiel (2018) as a guide, we test (i) for the presence of selection neglect in this investment context, and (ii) some comparative static predictions of the model. We find strong evidence for selection neglect—even though subjects are fully informed about the data generating process. As theoretically predicted, the degree of bias due to selection neglect increases when other decision makers become more informed, or become more rational. It decreases when signals are correlated.
    Keywords: selection neglect,beliefs,overconfidence,experiment,survivorship bias,bounded rationality
    JEL: C11 C90 D80 D83
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Thierry Pouch (REGARDS - Recherches en Économie Gestion AgroRessources Durabilité Santé- EA 6292 - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne - SFR Condorcet - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne - UPJV - Université de Picardie Jules Verne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2017–12–07
  12. By: Begoña Gutiérrez Nieto; Carlos Serrano-Cinca
    Abstract: In the last 20 years, microfinance has moved from a promise to reality, although with ups and downs. This paper reviews 1,874 papers published from 1997 to 2017 to perform a scientometric analysis of the microfinance field. The literature review is based on bibliometric data: keyword co-occurrence networks and citation networks were exploited for knowledge mapping. Data analysis shows the two research traditions: papers focusing on clients (welfarists) and papers focusing on microfinance entities themselves (institutionalists). Institutionalism, which had little presence in the early research in microfinance, now exhibits great strength. A chronological analysis reveals the evolution of the topics most interesting to researchers: the first stage described the innovations of the microcredit practices and their impact; the second and very expansive stage in which microfinance institutions’ peculiarities were analyzed; and nowadays the sector is mature but with negative aspects arising, such as mission drift. The keywords analysis discovers emerging research topics, shows the use of sophisticated techniques, and recognizes an emerging trend of the sector: achieving financial inclusion.
    Keywords: Microfinance; Microcredit; Literature review; Scientometrics; Welfarism; Institutionalism
    JEL: B21 C83
    Date: 2019–03–05
  13. By: John M. Abowd; Ian M. Schmutte; William N. Sexton; Lars Vilhuber
    Abstract: When Google or the U.S. Census Bureau publish detailed statistics on browsing habits or neighborhood characteristics, some privacy is lost for everybody while supplying public information. To date, economists have not focused on the privacy loss inherent in data publication. In their stead, these issues have been advanced almost exclusively by computer scientists who are primarily interested in technical problems associated with protecting privacy. Economists should join the discussion, first, to determine where to balance privacy protection against data quality; a social choice problem. Furthermore, economists must ensure new privacy models preserve the validity of public data for economic research.
    Date: 2019–03
  14. By: Magda Fontana (Despina Big Data Lab, and Dept. of Economics and Statistics, University of Turin); Martina Iori (Dept. of Economics and Statistics, University of Turin); Fabio Montobbio (DISCE, Università Cattolica - BRICK, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin - ICRIOS, Bocconi University, Milan); Roberta Sinatra (Dept. of Network & Data Science, and Dept. of Mathematics, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary - Center for Complex Network Research, Northeastern University, Boston, USA - Complexity Science Hub, Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between novelty, interdisciplinarity and impact of scientific research. We discuss the limitations of the established indicators of novelty and interdisciplinarity (Variety, Disparity and Balance) and how they overlap. We correct the biases with normalized indicators that exploit a Configuration Null Model and we propose a protocol to verify the reliability of the indicators and standardize the measurement. The proposed methodology and new indicators are illustrated exploiting 231450 articles in Physics, their references and citations, from 8 Journals of the American Physical Society (APS) from 1985 to 2015. We show that Novelty à la Uzzi et al. (2013) is highly correlated with Disparity and Novelty à la Wang et al. (2017) is deeply affected by the properties of the articles’ citation network. We show the importance of taking into account the specific definition of the knowledge space and considering separately the different dimensions of interdisciplinarity. Using the new unbiased indicators we show that Variety has a positive effect on the articles’ Impact while Disparity and Balance have a negative effect. Previous results tend to underestimate the negative Impact of Disparity and overestimate the positive effects of Novelty.
    Keywords: measurement of interdisciplinarity, detection of novelty, impact, normalization of measures, Physics
    JEL: I23 O31 O33 O38
    Date: 2018–09
  15. By: Florian Zimmermann
    Abstract: A key question in the literature on motivated reasoning and self-deception is how motivated beliefs are sustained in the presence of feedback. In this paper, we explore dynamic motivated belief patterns after feedback. We establish that positive feedback has a persistent effect on beliefs. Negative feedback, instead, influences beliefs in the short-run, but this effect fades over time. We investigate the mechanisms of this dynamic pattern, and provide evidence for an asymmetry in the recall of feedback. Finally, we establish that, in line with theoretical accounts, incentives for belief accuracy mitigate the role of motivated reasoning.
    Keywords: Motivated Beliefs, Feedback, Self-Deception, Overconfidence, Selective Recall, Memory, Polarization, Experiments
    JEL: C91 D03 D12 D83
    Date: 2019–03
  16. By: Frederik Schwerter; Florian Zimmermann
    Abstract: Social interactions pervade daily life and thereby create an abundance of social experiences. Such personal experiences likely shape what we believe and who we are. In this paper, we ask if and how personal experiences from social interactions determine individuals’ inclination to trust others? We implement an experimental environment that allows us to manipulate prior social experiences— either being paid or not being paid by a peer subject for a task—and afterwards measure participant’s willingness to trust others. We contrast this situation with a control condition where we keep all aspects of the prior experiences identical, except that we remove the social dimension. Our key finding is that after positive social experiences, subjects’ willingness to trust is substantially higher relative to subjects who made negative social experiences. No such effect is obtained in the control condition where we removed the social aspect of experiences. Findings from a difference-in-difference analysis confirm this pattern. Our results cannot be explained by rational learning, income effects, pay or social comparison related mood, disappointment aversion and expectations-based or social reference points. Delving into the underlying mechanisms, we provide evidence that non-standard belief patterns are an important driver of experience effects.
    Keywords: Determinants of Trust, Experiences, Beliefs, Non-standard Learning, Experiments
    JEL: C91 D03 D81
    Date: 2019–03

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