nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒06
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. An attitude of complexity: thirteen essays on the nature and construction of reality under the challenge of Zeno's Paradox By Albers, Scott
  2. What Do Donors Want? Heterogeneity by Party and Policy Domain (Research Note) By Broockman, David; Malhotra, Neil
  3. From Disequilibrium to Equilibrium Macroeconomics: Barro and Grossman's Trade-off between Rigor and Realism By Romain Plassard
  4. Karl Brunner's Contributions to the Theory of the Money Supply By Nicolini, Juan Pablo
  5. Experiments On Matching Markets: A Survey By Hakimov, Rustamdjan; Kübler, Dorothea
  6. What is risk aversion? By Bradley, Richard; Stefansson, H. Orii
  7. Divided we stand? Professional consensus and political conflict in academic economics By Karl Beyer; Stephan Puehringer
  8. Behavioral Economics and the Value of a Statistical Life By Kniesner, Thomas J.
  9. Corruption: Public and Private By Pellegrini Lorenzo; Luca Tasciotti
  10. Les années noires de la "Science de l'Homme": François Perroux, la Fondation Carrel et l'appropriation de la sociologie By Nicolas Brisset; Raphaël Fèvre; Tom Juille

  1. By: Albers, Scott
    Abstract: This book is about the construction of reality. The central aim of this study is to understand how gravity works and how it may be focused and manipulated. While I do not have an answer to this question, the discoveries along the way have been worth collecting into a single volume for future reference.
    Keywords: Zeno's Paradox, Consciousness, Reality, Real GNP, Prices, Bio-Complexity, Hearsay, Russell's Paradox, Kondratiev Wave, Fibonacci Series, Phi, Golden Mean, Revolution, Crisis, Okun's Law,
    JEL: A10 A12 A13 A14 A2 A20 B4 B40 B41 B5 B50 B52 B59 C0 C00 C02 C1 C5 C6 C60 C68 E1 E10 E17 E19 E23 E27 E3 E30 E32 E37 Y1 Y10 Y8 Y80 Z1 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2019–04–17
  2. By: Broockman, David (Stanford Graduate School of Business); Malhotra, Neil (Stanford Graduate School of Business)
    Abstract: Influential theories indicate concern that campaign donors exert outsized political influence. However, little data documents what donors actually want from government; and existing research largely neglects donors’ views on individual issues. We argue there should be significant heterogeneity by party and policy domain in how donors’ views diverge from citizens. We support this argument with the largest survey of U.S. partisan donors to date, including an oversample of the largest donors. We find that Republican donors are much more conservative than Republican citizens on economic issues, whereas their views are similar on social issues. By contrast, Democratic donors are much more liberal than Democratic citizens on social issues, whereas their views are more similar on economic issues. Both parties’ donors are more pro-globalism than their citizen counterparts. We replicate these patterns in an independent dataset. These patterns can help inform significant debates about representation, inequality, and populism in American politics.
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Romain Plassard (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: During the 1970s, Keynesian macroeconomics was challenged by the New Classical Economics of Robert Lucas. This involved a battle between disequilibrium and equilibrium macroeconomics. My article contributes to explain why the equilibrium approach came to dominate. My case study is Robert Barro and Herschel Grossman. In 1971, Barro and Grossman elaborated the basic disequilibrium model. In 1976, they wrote the first book on disequilibrium macroeconomics – i.e., Money, Employment, and Inflation. However, at the end of the 1970s, they came to advocate for equilibrium models à la Lucas (1972, 1975). My article traces how and why
    Keywords: business cycle, non-neutrality of money, disequilibrium macroeconomics, equilibrium macroeconomics
    JEL: B21 B22 B23 E1 E3
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Nicolini, Juan Pablo (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
    Abstract: In this paper, I revisit some recent work on the theory of the money supply, using a theoretical framework that closely follows Karl Brunner's work. I argue that had his research proposals been followed by the profession, some of the misunderstandings related to the instability of the money demand relationship could have been avoided.
    Keywords: Money multiplier; Means of payment; Transaction services
    JEL: E51 E58
    Date: 2019–04–23
  5. By: Hakimov, Rustamdjan (WZB Berlin); Kübler, Dorothea (WZB Berlin)
    Abstract: The paper surveys the experimental literature on matching markets. It covers house allocation, school choice, and two-sided matching markets such as college admissions. The main focus of the survey is on truth-telling and strategic manipulations by the agents, on the stability and efficiency of the matching outcome, as well as on the distribution of utility.
    Keywords: experiments; matching markets; survey;
    JEL: C92 D83
    Date: 2019–04–30
  6. By: Bradley, Richard; Stefansson, H. Orii
    Abstract: According to the orthodox treatment of risk preferences in decision theory, they are to be explained in terms of the agent's desires about concrete outcomes. The orthodoxy has been criticized both for conflating two types of attitudes and for committing agents to attitudes that do not seem rationally required. To avoid these problems, it has been suggested that an agent's attitudes to risk should be captured by a risk function that is independent of her utility and probability functions. The main problem with that approach is that it suggests that attitudes to risk are wholly distinct from people's (non-instrumental) desires. To overcome this problem, we develop a framework where an agent's utility function is defined over chance propositions (that is, propositions describing objective probability distributions) as well as ordinary (non-chance) ones, and argue that one should explain different risk attitudes in terms of different forms of the utility function over such propositions. 1 Introduction 2 Risk Attitudes in the von Neumann-Morgenstern Framework 2.1 Conceptual challenges 2.2 Empirical challenges 3 Risk-Weighted Expected Utility Theory 3.1 Risk-weighted expected utility versus expected utility 3.2 Problems with risk-weighted expected utility theory 4 Risk Attitudes in the Jeffrey Framework 4.1 Linearity, chance neutrality, and risk aversion 4.2 Distinguishing risk attitudes 4.3 Ambiguity and the four-fold patter 5 Conclusion.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2019–03–01
  7. By: Karl Beyer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Stephan Puehringer (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria)
    Abstract: In this paper we address the issue of the role of ideology and political preferences of publically engaged economists and contribute to the debate on consensus in economics. To do so, we conduct a social network analysis on the signatories of economist petitions, which we identify as one channel for economists to exert public influence. We base our analysis on a sample of 77 public policy petitions and presidential anti-/endorsement letters from 2008-2017 in the United States with more than 6,400 signatories and check the robustness of our results with six sub-networks. Our contribution is twofold: On the one hand we provide an extended empirical basis for the debate on consensus in economics and the role of politics and ideology in economics. On the other hand we provide a viable tool to trace the ideological leaning of (prospective) economist petitions and economists based on the social structure of petition networks.
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: Kniesner, Thomas J. (Claremont Graduate University)
    Abstract: There are many possible connections between VSL and behavioral economics. A list of topics includes endowment effects, risk salience, ambiguity aversion, present bias, reference groups, reference points, and experienced versus decision utilities. There are also nudges that connect to estimating or using VSL in government decisions and cousins of behavioral economic research including interpersonal heterogeneity, experiments, neuroeconomics, and beauty or personal attractiveness. Current evidence suggests that VSL and behavioral economics best connect via (1) possible multi-attribute reference group effects and (2) a possible distinction between decision utility and experienced utility.
    Keywords: VSL, behavioral economics, WTP, WTA, reference dependence, benefit-cost analysis, nudge, internality
    JEL: D61 D91 J17 J31
    Date: 2019–04
  9. By: Pellegrini Lorenzo; Luca Tasciotti (Department of Economics, SOAS University of London, UK)
    Abstract: Corruption is recognised as a major stumbling block to development and is associated with injustice and abuse of power. The consensus on the detrimental effects of corruption stands in contrast with the lack of agreement on the set of phenomena that fall under the heading ëcorruptioní and there is little discussion on whether the economics of corruption should also include corruption in the private sector. This question is relevant since different foci will have different theoretical bases and policy ramifications. We analyse the issue from two complementary perspectives: whether the impacts of corruption are limited to corruption in the public sector and whether a large public sector is associated with more corruption. First, we review theoretical and empirical perspectives on corruption, showing how concern over corruption in the private sector has a long history, dating back to Marshall and Coase. Second, we analyse corruptionís determinants using a panel data approach. The econometric analysis demonstrates how our indicator of government involvement in the economy is a poor predictor of corruption prevalence. Finally, the paper highlights the policy implications of the one-sided focus on corruption in the public sector and proposes an explicit acknowledgment of the role of corruption in the private sector.
    Keywords: corruption, public sector, private sector, pooled analysis
    JEL: D7 H50 M20
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Nicolas Brisset (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Raphaël Fèvre (University of Cambridge; POLIS); Tom Juille (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: le présent article étudie l'inscription du régime de Vichy dans l'histoire de la mise en forme et de l'institutionnalisation des sciences sociales autour d'une "science de l'Homme". Le modèle d'une science sociale unifiée est en particulier porté par la Fondation française pour l'étude des problèmes humains et son secrétaire générale, François Perroux. Cette institution, financée directement et de manière substantielle par le Régime, s'inscrit non seulement dans l'histoire longue de l'émergence des sciences sociales en France , mais constitue également une rupture importante dans ce processus. L'article montrera qu'un point de vue particulier relatif à l'organisation et au contenu des sciences sociales va s'y imposer par effet d'homogénéisation du champ scientifique.
    Keywords: Fondation Carrel, régime de Vichy, François Perroux
    JEL: B29 B30
    Date: 2019–04

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