nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒22
fifteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Introduction : Malaise dans la science économique ? By Akhabbar, Amanar
  2. The Smithian Market of Religions and its Legacy: Another Great Schism between Economics and Sociology? By Georges El Haddad
  3. Human Rights, Artificial Intelligence and Heideggerian Technoskepticism: The Long (Worrisome?) View By Risse, Mathias
  4. Dishonest Behavior: Sin Big or Go Home By Jason A. Aimone; Brittany Ward; James E. West
  5. From productive interactions to impact pathways By Reetta Muhonen; Paul Benneworth; Julia Olmos-Peñuela
  6. The Effect of Religious Priming in Pro-social and Destructive Behavior By Jipeng Zhang; Elizabeth Brown; Huan Xie
  7. Redistributive politics with target-specific beliefs By Christina Fong; Panu Poutvaara
  8. Le destin singulier de Marx dans la science économique en France By Thierry Pouch
  9. How Law and Economics Was Marketed in a Hostile World: L'institutionnalisation du champ aux États-Unis de l'immédiat après-guerre aux années Reagan By Thierry Kirat; Frédéric Marty
  10. Donald Blacks Moralsoziologie By Pies, Ingo
  11. Ser ou não ser: Reflexões sobre a crise e o futuro da União Europeia By Leonardo Costa
  12. How Cliometrics has Infiltrated Economics – and Helped to Improve the Discipline. By Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
  13. Taking ideas seriously within political settlements analysis By Tom Lavers
  14. Escape from model-land By Thompson, Erica L.; Smith, Leonard A.
  15. Title length By Yann Bramoullé; Lorenzo Ductor

  1. By: Akhabbar, Amanar
    Abstract: This is the introductive chapter to the book "Wassily Leontief and Economics", published in February 2019 (ENS editions). Economists produce their statements and forecasts from devices articulating abstract theories with mathematical models and statistical instruments of measurement. What is the empirical significance of these theories, models and instruments? We consider this question from the reflection of Wassily Leontief, 1973 Nobel Prize winner, on the role of mathematics and statistical analysis in economics. His perspective makes it possible to reconsider why, in economics, "the connection does not go by itself" between the theory and the observation, according to the expression of Alain Desrosières. We reconstruct Leontief’s methodology of economics as an empirical science. From there, we show how the input-output device paves the way to empirical and disaggregated macroeconomics.
    Keywords: economics; economic methodology; history of economic thought; Leontief; macroeconomics; input-output analysis
    JEL: B00 B21 B22 B23
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Georges El Haddad
    Abstract: Adam Smith (1776) is the first to introduce religions into a market. Our article studies Smith’s neglected contribution to secularization theories and sociological market of religions then distinguishes it from his contribution to the economic market of religions. The objective of this article is to show that sociology and economics of religion both rely on Smith. Our issue analyzes if the markets of religions in the two disciplines evolve contradictory or complementary. Our results show an interdisciplinary dissemination of Smith’s ideas between sociology and economics of religion, a (unknown/neglected) Smithian background for sociology of religion and a demand-side market of religions in sociology. We demonstrate that there is no opposition between the two disciplines, but a methodological difference between demand and supply mechanisms. Our historical work remarks a methodological schism in the markets of religion with the introduction of Becker’s rational choice into sociology. We trace a historical tree to distinguish the demand mechanism (Marx, Durkheim, Weber and traditional sociological market) from the supply mechanism (Tocqueville, Blau and Homans, Becker, and rational choice theory in sociology and economics of religion) in the evolution of Smith’s market.
    Keywords: Adam Smith, Market of Religions, Rational Choice Theory, Secularization Theories, Economics and Sociology of Religion.
    JEL: Z12 B12 A12 P16 B41
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Risse, Mathias (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: My concern is with the impact of Artificial Intelligence on human rights. I first identify two presumptions about ethics-and-AI we should make only with appropriate qualifications. These presumptions are that (a) for the time being investigating the impact of AI, especially in the human-rights domain, is a matter of investigating impact of certain tools, and that (b) the crucial danger is that some such tools--the artificially intelligent ones--might eventually become like their creators and conceivably turn against them. We turn to Heidegger's influential philosophy of technology to argue these presumptions require qualifications of a sort that should inform our discussion of AI. Next I argue that one major challenge is how human rights will prevail in an era that quite possibly is shaped by an enormous increase in economic inequality. Currently the human-rights movement is rather unprepared to deal with the resulting challenges. What is needed is greater focus on social justice/distributive justice, both domestically and globally, to make sure societies do not fall apart. I also argue that, in the long run, we must be prepared to deal with more types of moral status than we currently do and that quite plausibly some machines will have some type of moral status, which may or may not fall short of the moral status of human beings (a point also emerging from the Heidegger discussion). Machines may have to be integrated into human social and political lives.
    Date: 2019–02
  4. By: Jason A. Aimone; Brittany Ward; James E. West
    Abstract: Economic agents face many different types of economic incentives when making financial and moral decisions. We provide experimental data from a population that uniquely responds to incentives to lie compared to previously studied populations. We conduct a standard 6-sided die rolling lying study within a population that believes that God has knowledge of all their actions. Within this population, we find that those who attend church frequently appear to refrain from lying while those that do not frequently attend church do lie, but do not disguise their lies like more secular populations. We further explain how our data fits into the theoretical work on lying.
    JEL: C91 D91 Z12
    Date: 2019–04
  5. By: Reetta Muhonen; Paul Benneworth; Julia Olmos-Peñuela
    Abstract: Impact is increasingly important for science policy-makers; science policy studies has reacted this heightened urgency by studying these policy-interventions meaning that policy has developed more quickly than theory. This has led to the prevalence of a ‘common sense’ impact definition: research’s societal impact are direct economic effects, such as income generated by licenses, patents and spin-out companies. These indicators are recognised as weak proxies for research’s societal benefits, and in response, science policy has undertaken a huge descriptive effort to more precisely define impact. SSH disciplines have been highly active in this because economic metrics are very poor measures of their societal impact. One interesting theoretical development describing diversity was Spaapen and Van Drooge’s ‘productive interactions’ concept. In this paper we seek to realise the potential that Spaapen & Van Drooge’s productive interactions concept offers, but which we argue has been lost through its operationalisation as ‘counting interactions’. We address the wider conceptual framework for describing SSH pathways to societal impact by paying attention not only to productive interactions but to the changes they mediate. Drawing on a comparative analysis of 60 examples of SSH impact, we develop a typology of SSH pathways to societal impact. We conclude by arguing the usefulness of the extended conceptual framework and propose policy measures to stimulate and support impact processes.
    Keywords: entrepreneurial university, regional innovation system university, performance, internal structure, region
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Jipeng Zhang; Elizabeth Brown; Huan Xie
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the behavioural impact of religious priming by showing participants religious words in a scrambled sentence task before a dictator game and a joy-of-destruction game. We also elicited data on individual religiosity and religious affiliation using a questionnaire. Priming religious words significantly increased pro-social behaviour in the dictator game, and the effect was especially striking among those reporting no religion, atheists and agnostics. The religious prime has no significant effect in mitigating destructive behaviour or own expectations of the other's destruction choice, but both destructive behaviour and expectations correlate positively with the multi-dimensional religiosity measure.
    Keywords: Religious Priming,Pro-Social Behaviour,Dictator Game,Joy-of-Destruction Game,
    JEL: D64 C91 Z12
    Date: 2019–04–15
  7. By: Christina Fong; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: Forty-two percent of Americans give different answers when asked, respectively, about the reasons for being rich and the reasons for being poor. We develop and test a theo-ry about support for redistribution in the presence of target-specific beliefs about the causes of low and high incomes. Our theory predicts that target-specific beliefs about the poor matter most for preferences about transfers to the poor, and target-specific beliefs about the rich matter most for preferences about taxation of the rich. Survey evidence from the United States and Germany and experimental evidence on giving money to real welfare recipients supports our theory. We also find, in theory, the ex-istence of a moral release equilibrium in which the rich choose high taxes on lower income classes to discourage effort and create an unworthy poor class, thereby escap-ing moral pressure to support the poor.
    Keywords: redistribution, fairness, taxation, political economy, moral release equilibrium, target-specific beliefs
    JEL: D63 D72 H21 H24
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Thierry Pouch (REGARDS - Recherches en Économie Gestion AgroRessources Durabilité Santé- EA 6292 - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne)
    Date: 2018–04
  9. By: Thierry Kirat (Université Paris-Dauphine; PSL Research Universit; IRISSO CNRS); Frédéric Marty (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: Cet article met en relief l'implication des fondations d'entreprises dans le développement de la Law and Economics aux Etats-Unis des lendemains de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale aux années Reagan. Il s'appuie notamment sur l'analyse de trajectoires individuelles ou collectives, qu'il s'agisse des programmes de recherche menés à l'université de Chicago par Aaron Director autour de l'antitrust, des programmes de formation des juges portés par Henry Manne ou encore des travaux académiques et du parcours administratif de Robert Bork. Il met l'accent sur le rôle de fondations d'entreprises pro-marché dans l'essor de la Law and Economics et sur son impact sur les manières de juger.
    Keywords: Economie du droit, Antitrust, Originalisme, Conservatisme
    JEL: B21 B31 K21 N42
    Date: 2019–04
  10. By: Pies, Ingo
    Abstract: Mit diesem Artikel soll die Moralsoziologie von Donald Black in ihren Grundzügen einem deutschsprachigen Publikum zugänglich gemacht werden. Die Rekonstruktion stützt sich auf eigens entwickelte Graphiken, mit denen sich die wesentlichen Überlegungen leicht(er) nachvollziehen lassen und die Systematizität des Blackschen Ansatzes klar(er) vor Augen tritt. Zudem werden einzelne ausgewählte Thesen der Blackschen Moralsoziologie pointierend hervorgehoben. Insgesamt will dieser Artikel dazu beitragen, die Relevanz des Blackschen Ansatzes für die ethische Grundlagenforschung generell sowie für die Theoriebildung innerhalb der Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik kenntlich zu machen.
    Keywords: Moralsoziologie,Ethik,Reflexionstheorie der Moral,soziale Geometrie,reine Soziologie,Moderne,sociology of morality,ethics,reflective theory of morality,social geometry,pure sociology,modernity
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Leonardo Costa (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School and CEGE)
    Abstract: Neste artigo discutimos a crise e o futuro da União Europeia (UE). O método consiste num diagnóstico e análise críticos daquilo que tem sido a crise europeia e na subsequente discussão de duas propostas para o futuro, com vista a recuperar uma Europa com um rosto humano. Os resultados mostram que a visão económica que transparece da atuação das Instituições Europeias (IE) padece de fortes limitações. Ao fim de uma década, a UE ainda não conseguiu ultrapassar os problemas levantados pela crise financeira de 2008. A crise europeia é mais profunda e tem as suas origens na globalização financeira dos anos 1970’s, na unificação da Alemanha e no fim da guerra fria, em 1989 e 1991, no tratado de Maastricht e no aparecimento do Euro (no âmbito da União Económica e Monetária) nos anos 1990’s. A Área do Euro (AE) não é uma zona monetária ótima e completa. A crise financeira de 2008 atingiu fortemente a banca do centro e norte da Europa, sendo que as IE converteram o problema numa crise das dívidas soberanas e moral dos Estados Membros (EM) da coesão e da Itália (PIIGS/GIPSI) e do orçamento da UE. Entrando em linha de conta com as transferências por via do mercado único, a posição líquida que países como a Alemanha e Portugal têm, no que refere ao orçamento europeu, inverte-se, sendo a Alemanha beneficiária líquido da UE e Portugal um contribuinte líquido. Duas alterações ajudariam a UE a refundar-se com um rosto humano e a parar a afirmação dos nacionalismos populistas e xenófobos no continente: o orçamento da UE passar a ser pago exclusivamente com recursos próprios (impostos europeus); a UE adotar aproximações territoriais (“place-based”) em todas as suas políticas.
    Keywords: Aproximações territoriais, crise, contribuintes líquidos, financiamento, mercado único, orçamento, União Europeia
    JEL: E02 E58 F15 H10
    Date: 2019–03
  12. By: Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
    Abstract: Fenoaltea (2019) argues that cliometricians have failed as economists, historians, and economic historians. His argument is based on what he sees as a failure to appreciate the fine art of data gathering and what he perceives to be the lax attitude towards measurement. He embodies these complaints in the history of the creation of national income statistics, and the unforgiveable sin of economic historians who attempt to take those measurements backward in time. He concludes his polemic with his dream, that “cliometricians can take history and the humanities as seriously as we take economics, and lead us to the promised land.” (2019: 12) We are unsure of exactly what the “promised land” might be, but argue that any recent issue of Cliometrica, and any article in the Handbook of Cliometrics will provide ample evidence that cliometrics is alive and well, takes both history and economics very seriously, and does so with a careful and critical eye toward context (clio) and measurement (metrics). Herewith we defend the accomplishments and current robust health of cliometrics.
    Keywords: Cliometrics, Economic History, Economics, History.
    JEL: A12 B00 N00 N01
    Date: 2019
  13. By: Tom Lavers
    Abstract: Recent work on the politics of development and, in particular, the role of political settlements in shaping development outcomes has provided important insights into the types of power relations that can contribute to developmental successes and failures. However, important questions remain regarding how political settlements are formed and maintained over time, as well as the extent to which political settlements determine particular policy choices in particular policy domains. This paper considers the role that ideas can play in studying the politics of development and the extent to which an analytical focus on ideas might address some of these gaps. Work on political settlements has, for the most part, emphasised explanations based on material interests, paying little to no attention to the causal role of ideas. This paper first examines the compatibility between Khan’s political settlements framework and theoretical work on ideas, arguing that taking ideas seriously requires questioning some of the core ontological assumptions underpinning the political settlements framework. The paper then proposes an adapted framework that seeks to respond to this challenge and, drawing on three of ESID’s comparative projects, highlights how a focus on ideas can deepen our understanding of the dynamics within particular political settlements and policy domains.
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Thompson, Erica L.; Smith, Leonard A.
    Abstract: Both mathematical modelling and simulation methods in general have contributed greatly to understanding, insight and forecasting in many fields including macroeconomics. Never-theless, we must remain careful to distinguish model-land and model-land quantities from the real world. Decisions taken in the real world are more robust when informed by our best estimate of real-world quantities, than when "optimal" model-land quantities obtained from imperfect simulations are employed. The authors present a short guide to some of the temptations and pitfalls of model-land, some directions towards the exit, and two ways to escape.
    Keywords: modelling and simulation,decision-making,model evaluation,uncertainty,structural model error,dynamical systems,radical uncertainty
    JEL: C52 C53 C6 D8 D81
    Date: 2019
  15. By: Yann Bramoullé (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Lorenzo Ductor (Middlesex University [London])
    Abstract: We document strong and robust negative correlations between the length of the title of an economics article and different measures of scientific quality. Analyzing all articles published between 1970 and 2011 and referenced in EconLit, we find that articles with shorter titles tend to be published in better journals, to be more cited and to be more innovative. These correlations hold controlling for unobserved time-invariant and observed time varying characteristics of teams of authors. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Keywords: Title length,Journal quality,Citations,Novelty
    Date: 2018–06

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