nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒29
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Karl Marx: An early post-Keynesian? A comparison of Marx's economics with the contributions by Sraffa, Keynes, Kalecki and Minsky By Hein, Eckhard
  2. Motivated motive selection in the lying-dictator game By Barron, Kai; Stüber, Robert; van Veldhuizen, Roel
  3. The Past and the Future of Keynesian Economics: A Review Essay By Aspromourgos, Tony
  4. Meta-Context and Choice-Set Effects in Mini-Dictator Games By Panizza, Folco; Vostroknutov, Alexander; Coricelli, Giorgio
  5. Interactive macroeconomics: A pluralist simulator By Prante, Franz J.; Barmucci, Alessandro; Hein, Eckhard; Truger, Achim
  6. St. Thomas Aquinas and the Development of Natural Law in Economic Thought By Rashid, Muhammad Mustafa
  7. The (in)elasticity of moral ignorance By Serra-Garcia, Marta; Szech, Nora
  8. Karl Polanyi and economics: Polanyi's pendulum in economic science By Kretschmer, Mark
  9. Trade Wars: What do they Mean? Why are they Happening Now? What are the Costs? By Aaditya Mattoo; Robert W. Staiger
  10. Ökonomik und Ethik wissenschaftsinterner Gutachten By Dilger, Alexander

  1. By: Hein, Eckhard
    Abstract: This paper compares Marx's economics with those by Sraffa, Keynes, Kalecki and Minsky. The paper takes an "ex post" view on the matter and rather looks at the output side of the respective authors, but not at the input side. This means no attempt is made at studying in a systematic way, if and to what extent Sraffa, Keynes, Kalecki and Minsky were individually influenced by Marx's work. First, the relationship between Marx's theory of value and Sraffa's reformulation of the classical theory of prices and distribution is reviewed. Then the relationship between Marx's and Keynes's monetary theory is examined relying on an interpretation of Marx's theory of value as a "monetary theory of value". Next, some light is shed on the Marx-Kalecki connection focusing on Marx's theory of simple and extended reproduction and the built-in, although not fully elaborated "principle of effective demand" and the related theories of distribution and accumulation. Finally, Marx's and Minsky's views on financial instability and crises are scrutinised. It is concluded that Marx should not be considered as an "early post-Keynesian" but rather as an important forerunner of modern post-Keynesianism, with certain similarities, but also some important differences, and several areas of compatibility.
    Keywords: Marx,Kalecki,Keynes,Minsky,Sraffa,comparison of economic theories
    JEL: B14 B24 B50 B51 E11 E12
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Barron, Kai; Stüber, Robert; van Veldhuizen, Roel
    Abstract: A large body of evidence suggests that people are willing to sacrifice personal material gain in order to adhere to a moral motive such as fairness or truth-telling. Yet less is known about what happens when moral motives are in conflict. We hypothesize that in such situations, individuals engage in what we term ‘motivated motive selection’, choosing to adhere to the motive that most closely aligns with their personal interest. We test this hypothesis using a laboratory experiment that induces in subjects a conflict between two of the most-studied moral motives: fairness and truth-telling. Our experimental design has the attractive features of being both parsimonious and closely related to both the classic dictator and lying games, implying comparability with a wealth of benchmark evidence. In line with our hypothesis, our results suggest that participants are more likely to adhere to the motive that is more in line with their self-interest.
    Keywords: Motivated reasoning,dictator game,lying game,motives,moral dilemma
    JEL: C91 D01 D63 D90
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Aspromourgos, Tony (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: The recently published Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes (2019) is a major new contribution to Keynes scholarship, with sixty-three participants contributing ninety-five distinct entries, in 632 pages of text proper. This review essay provides an overview and assessment of the character and content of the work. It does so also via consideration of the question of Keynes’s key theoretical achievements; the relation between Keynes’s thought and the main currents of subsequent Keynesian economics; Keynes’s policy sensibility vis-à-vis ‘Keynesian’ policy; and finally, the question as to what is of endur-ing validity and greatest importance in Keynes’s economics, for the future.
    Keywords: John Maynard Keynes; Keynesianism; Pierangelo Garegnani.
    JEL: B22 B31
    Date: 2019–04–17
  4. By: Panizza, Folco (university of trento); Vostroknutov, Alexander (General Economics 1 (Micro)); Coricelli, Giorgio (university of southern california)
    Abstract: Knowing that some action is possible in principle, even if not available, could affect behaviour. This may happen because a game is perceived as part of a larger game or ‘metacontext’ that includes its outcomes as a proper subset. In an experiment we test the effects of meta-context and specific choice sets on pro-social behaviour in a series of binary mini-Dictator games by eliciting participants’ normative evaluations, fitting a norm-dependent utility, and analysing the residuals. We find that participants’ normative evaluations in mini-Dictator games derive from the meta-context (a standard Dictator game) and explain a sizeable portion of variance in choices. Restricted choice sets of mini-Dictator games also influence participants’ decisions: they take into account dictator’s losses and recipient’s gains from choosing the prosocial action as fractions of their respective maximum payoffs. This choice-set effect correlates with individual measures of rule-following propensity supporting the idea that it is also normative. Thus, there are two types of normative reasoning that contribute to pro-social behaviour: a meta-context and a choice-set effect.
    Keywords: mini-Dictator games, meta-context, choice-set effects, norms, norm-dependent utility
    JEL: C91 C92 D91
    Date: 2019–04–16
  5. By: Prante, Franz J.; Barmucci, Alessandro; Hein, Eckhard; Truger, Achim
    Abstract: The aim of our contribution is to present an innovative instrument to teach macroeconomics at the undergraduate and master level. We develop a digital learning platform to present and explore some controversies at the very foundations of macroeconomic theory. For this purpose, we explicitly present two competing paradigms, the new-Keynesian and the post-Keynesian one. Several interactive scenarios are made available where the user can take control over different economic policy instruments and is guided through a set of problems that require appropriate actions in the context of the different approaches.
    Keywords: macroeconomics teaching,simulations,pluralism,new Keynesian macroeconomics,post-Keynesian macroeconomics
    JEL: A22 A23 E12 E17 E60
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Rashid, Muhammad Mustafa
    Abstract: Building on the system of reason provided for by the Greek philosopher and specifically Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas built a comprehensive system and theory of natural law which has lasted through the ages. The theory was further developed in the Middle Ages and in the Enlightenment Ages by many a prominent philosopher and economist and has been recognized in the Modern Age. The natural law-theory and system has been repeatedly applied to the spheres of economic thought and has produced many lasting contributions such as private property rights and individual rights. In recent times with the collapses of the financial system and rapid globalization, there has been a renewed interest in the application of natural law theory to economics to counter a certain anthropology and distortion of values created by a modern economic system of self-preservation deriving its insights from the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Niccolo Machiavelli.
    Keywords: St. Thomas Aquinas, Natural Law and Economics, Scholasticism, Morality and Markets, Law and Economics
    JEL: B0 B1 K0 K4
    Date: 2019–05–19
  7. By: Serra-Garcia, Marta; Szech, Nora
    Abstract: We investigate the elasticity of moral ignorance with respect to monetary incentives and social norm information. We propose that individuals suffer from higher moral costs when rejecting a certain donation, and thus pay for moral ignorance. Consistent with our model, we find significant willingness to pay for ignorance, which we calibrate against morally neutral benchmark treatments. We show that the demand curve for moral ignorance exhibits a sharp kink, of about 50 percent, when moving from small negative to small positive monetary incentives. By contrast, while social norms strongly favor information acquisition, they have little impact on curbing moral ignorance.
    Keywords: Information avoidance,morality,unethical behavior,social norms
    JEL: D83 D91 C91
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Kretschmer, Mark
    Abstract: Since the crisis of 2008 the liberal market order has been challenged by several (populist) social movements and has become object of political regulation. Whereas in the late 70s and early 80s politics tend to deregulate the market, nowadays deregulation seem to be a synonym for the negative externalities of a free global market. Following Polanyi (The Great Transformation, 1944), societies with market market economies tend to experience a double movement - the Polanyi's Pendulum - between phases in which the policies are designed to restrict the markets or liberalize them. This paper raises the question if these indicated changes have an impact on the economic research topics. Referring to modern Varieties-of-Capitalism literature bibliometric data of the period between 1950 and 2015 are used to analyze if there is a Polanyi's Pendulum within the economic literature. Looking for specific key words, e.g. liberalization, and using correlation analyses and time-series regressions it is possible to determine changes of the topics economists worked on and to identify those economic macro-forces that have been driven these changes. The political development in recent years can be considered as a new swing of Polanyi's pendulum. Economics itself is part of the double movement. A second look at Polanyi's might be fruitful to face present challenges better equipped.
    Keywords: political economy,double movement,bibliometry,Varieties of Capitalism,economics
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Aaditya Mattoo; Robert W. Staiger
    Abstract: How should economists interpret current trade wars and the recent U.S. trade actions that have initiated them? In this paper we offer an interpretation of current U.S. trade actions that is at once more charitable and less forgiving than that typically offered by economic commentators. More charitable, because we argue that it is possible to see a logic to these actions: the United States is initiating a change from “rules-based” to “power-based” tariff bargaining and is selecting countries with which it runs bilateral trade deficits as the most suitable targets of its bargaining tariffs. Less forgiving, because the main costs of these trade tactics cannot be avoided even if they happen to “work” and deliver lower tariffs. Rather, we show that the main costs will arise from the use of the tactics themselves, and from the damage done by those tactics to the rules-based multilateral trading system and the longer-term interests of the United States and the rest of the world.
    JEL: F02 F13
    Date: 2019–04
  10. By: Dilger, Alexander
    Abstract: In diesem Beitrag werden wissenschaftsinterne Gutachten untersucht, ihr Hauptgrund, ihre Normen und Probleme. Es wird vorgeschlagen, Gutachterreputation als Anreiz einzusetzen.
    JEL: D71 D83 I23
    Date: 2019

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