nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒27
nine papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Non nova, noviter?: Heinrich Dietzel and the last breath of classical political economy in Germany By Ian Coelho de Souza Almeida
  2. The Science of Using Science: Towards an Understanding of the Threats to Scaling Experiments By Omar Al-Ubaydli; John A. List; Dana Suskind
  3. The Late Emerging Consensus Among American Economists on Antitrust Laws in the Second New Deal By Thierry Kirat; Frédéric Marty
  4. Desenvolvimento e subdesenvolvimento econômicos: discussões teóricas da ortodoxia, da CEPAL e de Celso Furtado By Antônio Marcos de Queiroz; Cleidinaldo de Jesus Barbosa; Edson Roberto Vieira; Sabrina Faria de Queiroz
  5. MINE – Mapping the Interplay between Nature and Economy. A digital gateway to the foundations of Ecological Economics By Faber, Malte; Petersen, Thomas; Frick, Marc; Zahrnt, Dominik
  6. Identity and Redistribution: Theory and Evidence By Sanjit Dhami; Emma Manifold; Ali al-Nowaihi
  7. Conceptual and political foundations for examining the interaction between nature and economy By Faber, Malte; Frick, Marc
  8. Guiltily Indebted? How a Word Can Affect Individual Borrowing By Tamara Bogatzki; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
  9. Arrow on domain conditions: a fruitful road to travel By Salvador Barberà; Dolors Berga; Bernardo Moreno

  1. By: Ian Coelho de Souza Almeida (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: In the Germany of the last quarter of the nineteenth-century, the dispute between the German Historical School of Economics and the newly founded Austrian school dominated economic discourse. In this environment, one author stood out in his criticism of both sides: Heinrich Dietzel. Dietzel proposed a theory and method, his Sozialökonomik (social economics), as a solution for the Methodenstreit. This reformulation, while correcting the mistakes of classical political economy, nonetheless followed what he saw the same direction, i.e. of a theoretical discipline with its object of study clearly delimited within the moral/social sciences. The intention was detaching from the latest developments (such as John Stuart Mill’s) as well as from what he saw as other erroneous criticism that, at the time, existed in German-speaking countries. This paper presents Dietzel’s work as relates to all these concerns and to the idea of social science as existed at the time.
    Keywords: Heinrich Dietzel; Sozialökonomik; Social Economics; Methodenstreit; Value Theory; History of Economic Thought; Wilhelm DiltheyClassification-JEL: O3
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Omar Al-Ubaydli; John A. List; Dana Suskind
    Abstract: Policymakers are increasingly turning to insights gained from the experimental method as a means of informing public policies. Whether—and to what extent—insights from a research study scale to the level of the broader public is, in many situations, based on blind faith. This scale-up problem can lead to a vast waste of resources, a missed opportunity to improve people’s lives, and a diminution in the public’s trust in the scientific method’s ability to contribute to policymaking. This study provides a theoretical lens to deepen our understanding of the science of how to use science. Through a simple model, we highlight three elements of the scale-up problem: (1) when does evidence become actionable (appropriate statistical inference); (2) properties of the population; and (3) properties of the situation. We argue that until these three areas are fully understood and recognized by researchers and policymakers, the threats to scalability will render any scaling exercise as particularly vulnerable. In this way, our work represents a challenge to empiricists to estimate the nature and extent of how important the various threats to scalability are in practice, and to implement those in their original research.
    JEL: C9 C90 C91 C92 C93 D03
    Date: 2019–05
  3. By: Thierry Kirat; Frédéric Marty
    Abstract: This paper presents the late convergence process from US economists that led them to support a strong antitrust enforcement in the late thirties despite their long standing distrust toward this legislation. The 1945 Alcoa decision crafted by Judge Hand embodied the results of this convergence. The purpose of antitrust law enforcement does not consist in promoting economic efficiency, as today’s more economic approach advocates, but in searching for a reasonable compromise aiming at preventing improper uses of economic power. This paper presents the path from which institutionalist economists, on one side, and Chicagoan neoliberals, on the other one, have converged on supporting the President F.D. Roosevelt administration towards reinvigorating antitrust law enforcement as of 1938, putting aside their initial preferences for a regulated competition model or for laissez-faire.
    Keywords: Antitrust,efficiency,economic power,institutional economics,Chicago School,
    JEL: B25 K21 L40 N42
    Date: 2019–05–14
  4. By: Antônio Marcos de Queiroz (PPE/FACE-UFG); Cleidinaldo de Jesus Barbosa (PPE/FACE-UFG); Edson Roberto Vieira (PPE/FACE-UFG); Sabrina Faria de Queiroz (PPE/FACE-UFG)
    Abstract: The objective of this work will be to revisit the ideas from the orthodox authors, Lewis, Nurkse and Rostow, from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and from Celso Furtado about development and underdevelopment. The first authors who discussed the themes mentioned above had a liberal approach to analysis, linking the concept of development with that of economic growth, while the CEPAL and Furtadian analysis began to consider historical, structural and, above all, social aspects within a perspective of Latin American countries. The original of Cepal thought emerged as an alternative line of discussion of development from the point of view of its own elements that were incorporated into Furtadian thought. The paper does not pretend to exhaust such discussion on such a broad theme, but rather to try to link the theme, showing the main characteristics of each line of thought
    Keywords: Development, underdevelopment, orthodoxy, Cepal, Celso Furtado
    JEL: O1 O10
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: Faber, Malte; Petersen, Thomas; Frick, Marc; Zahrnt, Dominik
    Abstract: MINE – Mapping the Interplay between Nature and Economy is a digital archive and visual map showing the intersection between nature and economy. By focusing on the interconnections between fundamental concepts e.g. of time, thermodynamics, evolution, responsibility and justice, a new concept of economic activity emerges within nature. This leads to new interpretations of current ecological, social and economic problems and, in addition, to an in-depth understanding of the modes of thought and policy needed to find sustainable solutions. On the most fundamental level, the dominant view of Mainstream Economics, which considers nature as part of the economy, Ecological Economics amends this view by the perspective that the economy in its physical side is seen as part of nature. Thus, Ecological Economics complements the strengths of Mainstream Economics on a practical level by interdisciplinary research highlighting, spots which do not receive the attention, by Mainstream Economics, they deserve. The research project that ultimately launched MINE began in the 1970s at the University of Heidelberg, conducted by an interdisciplinary group of scientists around Malte Faber, mainly economists, mathematicians, philosophers and physicists. It has contributed and can be broadly linked to the field of Ecological Economics. MINE digitally summarizes the experiences of this research and the accompanying policy-advising in Germany, the European Union, the US and China. It gives a web-based access to its publications and shapes new networks for scientists, students and practitioners. Following the Introduction (Section 1), this paper explains the MINE project (Section 2) and introduces our methodology (Section 3). In Section 4, we outline 15 concepts and heuristics for tackling the environmental problem. Finally, we provide an outlook for further work (Section 5).
    Keywords: Environmental Economics; Ecological Economics; History of Economic Thought; Homo Oeconomicus; Homo Politicus; Thermodynamics; Joint Production; Time; Irreversibility; Evolution; Ethics; Sustainability; Responsibility; Ignorance; Absolute and Relative Scarcity; Methodology; Interdisciplinarity
    Date: 2018–12–05
  6. By: Sanjit Dhami; Emma Manifold; Ali al-Nowaihi
    Abstract: We contribute to a growing literature on redistribution and identity. We propose a theoretical model that embeds social identity concerns, as in Akerlof and Kranton (2000), with inequity averse preferences, as in Fehr and Schmidt (1999). We conduct an artefactual ultimatum game experiment with registered members of British political parties for whom both identity and redistribution are salient. The empirical results are as follows. (1) Proposers and responders demonstrate ingroup-favoritism. (2) Proposers exhibit quantitatively stronger social identity effects relative to responders. (3) As redistributive taxes increase, offers by proposers and the minimum acceptable offers of responders (both as a proportion of income) decline by almost the same amount, suggesting a shared understanding that is characteristic of social norms. (4) Subjects experience more disadvantageous inequity from outgroup members relative to ingroup members.
    Keywords: Social identity, prosocial behaviour, ultimatum game, fiscal redistribution, entitlements
    JEL: D01 D03
    Date: 2019–04
  7. By: Faber, Malte; Frick, Marc
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to contribute to an innovative agenda in the field of Environmental Economics. The paper focusses on a conceptual and political perspective on the interactions between nature and economy. Section 1 states that Environmental Economics has to consider three fields: nature, justice and the role of time. To operationalize this claim, we introduce fundamental concepts such as entropy, joint production, ignorance, evolution, absolute scarcity, responsibility and homo politicus and explain them in Section 2. These concepts are applied in Section 3 using a historical example, namely the soda-chlorine industry, extending over a period of about three centuries. The lessons taken from this economic, environmental and political evolution are outlined in Section 4. In Section 5, we apply the concept of responsibility to address political aspects dealt with when examining the interplay between nature and economy. In our outlook in Section 6, we argue that these concepts and further concepts do not form a hierarchically structured system. Instead they are conceived as a network of interdependent concepts that reference each other but also remain categorically distinct from one another.
    Date: 2019–02–14
  8. By: Tamara Bogatzki; David Stadelmann; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Using World Values Survey data, we show that individuals whose primary language uses the same word for (financial) debt and (moral) guilt have a statistically significant and economically relevant lower probability of borrowing money. This relation holds even when we control for a large array of covariates, fixed effects, grammatical future tense reference, and Germanic language family.
    Keywords: economics of language; debts; borrowing; behaviour
    JEL: D14 D83 Z13
    Date: 2019–05
  9. By: Salvador Barberà; Dolors Berga; Bernardo Moreno
    Abstract: We stress the importance that Arrow attached to studying the role of domain conditions in determining the validity of his impossibility theorem, a subject to which he devoted two chapters of Social Choice and Individual Values. Then we partially survey recent results about the role of domain conditions on the possibility to design satisfactory aggregation rules and social choice functions, as a proof of the continued vitality of this subject, that he pioneered, as he did with so many others.
    Date: 2019–05

This nep-hpe issue is ©2019 by Erik Thomson. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.