nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒10‒14
thirteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Bringing Them Alive By André Lapidus
  2. Los salarios y la fatiga acumulada: una revisión de la teoría de la oferta de trabajo By Vasco Correa, Carlos Andrés
  3. Credit mechanics: a precursor to the current money supply debate By Decker, Frank; Goodhart, C. A. E.
  4. The Economics of Energy Efficiency, a Historical Perspective By Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet; Antoine Missemer
  5. Introduction. The Women’s Status and the Economic Theories of the 19th century By Marlyse Pouchol
  6. Higher Orders of Rationality and the Structure of Games By Francesco Cerigioni; Fabrizio Germano; Pedro Rey-Biel; Peio Zuazo-Garin
  7. Post-Keynesian Controversy About Uncertainty: Methodological Perspective, Part II By Luká? Augustin Máslo
  8. Duurzame schaarste : Een kritische analyse van twee economische duurzaamheidsparadigma’s geïnspireerd door de filosofie van Dooyeweerd By van Geesbergen, Ad
  9. Taxation and Social Justice By Boyan Durankev
  10. Predictive, finite-sample model choice for time series under stationarity and non-stationarity By Kley, Tobias; Preuss, Philip; Fryzlewicz, Piotr
  11. On Latin American Populism, And Its Echoes Around the World By Sebastian Edwards
  12. Jérôme Denis. The invisible work of the data. Elements for a sociology of infrastructures By D. Desbois
  13. Currency devaluations and beggar-my-neighbour penalties: evidence from the 1930s By Albers, Thilo

  1. By: André Lapidus (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper continues an ongoing reflection on the ways we do the history of economic thought, marked some decades ago by Blaug (1990)'s canonical typology of the four "genres" in the historiography of economics. Drawing the consequences of a seminal paper by Rorty (1984) on the methodology of the history of philosophy, it offers a non-canonical typology comprising three alternative approaches, distinguished on the basis of the way they conceive of the link between statements, old and contemporary: the extensive, the retrospective, and the intensive approaches. A particularity of the intensive approach is its potential challenge to contemporary knowledge through the possible introduction of statements which do not belong to it. Yet, unlike the extensive and retrospective approaches, the very possibility of an intensive approach seems at odds with its relatively thin academic outcomes. Taking the works of Sraffa (1951; 1960) and Sen (2002) as examples, it is argued that this is a consequence of the intensive approach being heuristic which is destined to remain poised between the extensive and retrospective approaches. But, as a result, among the three available approaches, it is the intensive approach which appears as a privileged route by which the history of economic thought can begin to engage with economic theory.
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Vasco Correa, Carlos Andrés
    Abstract: Resumen: La introducción de la sicología y la economía del comportamiento por parte del economista Richard Thaler, fueron reconocidos con el premio Nobel en las ciencias económicas. Los individuos no se comportan de forma racional, de forma sistemática. Y en decisiones de consumo, pero también de trabajo, se espera que no logren decidir niveles óptimos. Este documento de trabajo busca retomar parte de estas contribuciones en este sentido, para explorar y replantear lo que hace muchos años se considera como la teoría de la oferta del trabajo desde una perspectiva microeconómica, y plantear una posible línea de investigación a futuro en este sentido. Los individuos podrían no considerar de forma dinámica su esfuerzo en el trabajo y estarían tomando mal su decisión de cantidad de oferta de trabajo, generando pérdidas sistemáticas en su nivel de bienestar, así como afectaciones en su productividad del trabajando reduciendo también los beneficios de las compañías. / Abstract : The introduction of psychology and behavioral economics by the economist Richard Thaler, were recognized with the Nobel prize in economic science. Individuals do not behave rationally, in a systematic way. Our main hypothesis is that not only in consumption, but also in job supply decisions. It is expected that they fail to decide optimum levels. This working paper seeks to resume part of these contributions, to explore and rethink what for many years is considered as the job supply theory from a microeconomic perspective, and contemplate a possible investigation line. Individuals could not be dynamically considering its work effort and they would be wrong taking its decision of job supply’s quantity and quality, generating systematic losses in their level of well-being, as well as effects on working productivity and companies’ profits.
    Keywords: Jornada de trabajo, esfuerzo óptimo, salarios, agotamiento
    JEL: J00 J22 J32
    Date: 2017–12–01
  3. By: Decker, Frank; Goodhart, C. A. E.
    Abstract: This paper assesses the theory of credit mechanics within the context of the current money supply debate. Credit mechanics and related approaches were developed by a group of German monetary economists during the 1920s-1960s. Credit mechanics overcomes a one-sided, bank-centric view of money creation, which is often encountered in monetary theory. We show that the money supply is influenced by the interplay of loan creation and repayment rates; the relative share of credit volume neutral debtor-to-debtor and creditor-to-creditor payments; the availability of loan security; and the behavior of non-banks and non-borrowing bank creditors . With the standard textbook models of money creation now discredited, we argue that a more general approach to money supply theory involving credit mechanics needs to be established.
    Keywords: balances mechanics; bank credit; money creation; credit creation; credit mechanics; money supply theory
    JEL: E40 E41 E50 E51
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech, ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech); Antoine Missemer (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Energy efficiency can be considered as a central pillar of global warming mitigation, with important co-benefits, including productivity gains, resource conservation or national security. It is also a subject of controversy between engineers and economists, who have divergent conceptions of the notion of optimality that delineates energy efficiency potentials. Modern surveys hardly go back beyond the 1970s and do not fully explore the reasons and conditions for the persistent differences between economists' and engineers' views. This paper provides such a historical account, investigating the positioning of economic analysis in contrast to the technical expertise on key energy efficiency topics – the rebound effect, the energy efficiency gap, and green nudges, from the 19th century to the present day. It highlights the permanence and evolution in the relationship that economists have had with technical expertise. An extension of the current conceptual framework is finally provided to connect our historical findings with avenues for future research.
    Keywords: engineering,nudge,history of economic thought,energy efficiency,market barriers and failures
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Marlyse Pouchol (URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, CLERSE - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille - ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Keywords: interwar period,clearing agreements,John Maynard Keynes,Clearing Union,foreign exchange controls,compensation bancaire,période de l’entre-deux-guerres,contrôle des changes,accords de clearing
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Francesco Cerigioni; Fabrizio Germano; Pedro Rey-Biel; Peio Zuazo-Garin
    Abstract: Identifying individual levels of rationality is crucial to modeling strategic interaction and understanding behavior in games. Nevertheless, there is no consensus on how to best identify levels of higher order rationality, and the identification of an empirical distribution remains highly elusive. In particular, the games used for the task can have a huge impact on the identified distribution. To tackle this fundamental problem, this paper introduces an axiomatic approach that singles out a simple class of games that minimizes the probability of misidentification errors. It then shows that the axioms are empirically meaningful in a within subject experiment that compares the distribution of orders of rationality across different games, including standard games from the literature. The games singled out by the axioms exhibit the highest correlation both with the distribution of the most frequent rationality level a subject has been classified with and with an independent measure of cognitive ability. Finally, there is no evidence in our sample of within subject consistency of identified rationality levels across games.
    Keywords: rationality, higher-order rationality, revealed rationality, levels of thinking
    JEL: C70 C72 C91 D01 D80
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Luká? Augustin Máslo (University of Economics, Prague)
    Abstract: In this paper, the author follows a discussion of two post-Keynesian economists, Paul Davidson and Rod O?Donnell, about the nature of uncertainty in economics. The author focuses on two points of this discussion: a controversy about possibility/impossibility of such a proof and a criticism of Davidson?s allegedly split definition of ergodicity. In a controversy about possibility/impossibility, the author puts O?Donnell to criticism for the latter?s reduction of proving to providing empirical evidence and, in effect, omission of extra-empirical cognition. The author accepts O?Donnell?s argument of Davidson?s split definition and infers his own conclusion: the reason why Davidson keeps ignoring the incompatibility of both definitions of ergodicity is that he does not distinguish cumulative and theoretical probability. The author contends that Davidson?s claim about predetermination of long-run outcomes in ergodic processes draws its persuasiveness from the ambiguity of the concept ?long run?: according to the author, Davidson perceives ?long-run? in the meaning of ?finitely long? while O?Donnell perceives ?long-run? in the meaning of ?limit infinity?.
    Keywords: ergodicity, uncertainty, probability
    JEL: B41 D80
    Date: 2019–10
  8. By: van Geesbergen, Ad (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Duurzaamheid staat hoog op de Nederlandse, Europese en mondiale politieke agenda. Bij het analyseren van de effecten van het duurzaamheidsbeleid worden economische theorieën gebruikt. Deze thesis analyseert de rol van levensovertuiging in dergelijke theorieën. Daartoe worden twee economische duurzaamheidsparadigma’s geanalyseerd met behulp van de filosofie van Herman Dooyeweerd: het environmental economics paradigma van Pearce en Turner en het ecological economics paradigma van Daly en Farley. De analyse toont aan dat wetenschap en levensovertuiging in deze paradigma’s verweven zijn en dat het onderkennen van de levensbeschouwelijke component interne spanningen in de paradigma’s vermindert. De studie wil een bijdrage leveren aan het ontsluiten van het wetenschappelijk debat over duurzaamheid naar een zinduidingscontext door een plaats te creëren voor levens- en wereldbeschouwelijke opvattingen in dat debat.
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Boyan Durankev
    Abstract: The link between taxation and justice is a classic debate issue, while also being very relevant at a time of changing environmental factors and conditions of the social and economic system. Technologically speaking, there are three types of taxes: progressive, proportional and regressive. Although justice, like freedom, is an element and manifestation of the imagined reality in citizens minds, the state must comply with it. In particular, the tax system has to adapt to the mass imagined reality in order for it to appear fairer and more acceptable.
    Date: 2019–10
  10. By: Kley, Tobias; Preuss, Philip; Fryzlewicz, Piotr
    Abstract: In statistical research there usually exists a choice between structurally simpler or more complex models. We argue that, even if a more complex, locally stationary time series model were true, then a simple, stationary time series model may be advantageous to work with under parameter uncertainty. We present a new model choice methodology, where one of two competing approaches is chosen based on its empirical, finite-sample performance with respect to prediction, in a manner that ensures interpretability. A rigorous, theoretical analysis of the procedure is provided. As an important side result we prove, for possibly diverging model order, that the localised Yule-Walker estimator is strongly, uniformly consistent under local stationarity. An R package, forecastSNSTS, is provided and used to apply the methodology to financial and meteorological data in empirical examples. We further provide an extensive simulation study and discuss when it is preferable to base forecasts on the more volatile time-varying estimates and when it is advantageous to forecast as if the data were from a stationary process, even though they might not be.
    Keywords: forecasting; Yule-Walker estimate; local stationarity; covariance stationarity; EP/L014246/1
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2019–10–01
  11. By: Sebastian Edwards
    Abstract: In this paper I discuss the ways in which populist experiments have evolved historically. Populists are charismatic leaders that use a fiery rhetoric to pitch the interests of “the people” against those of banks, large firms, multinational companies, the IMF, and immigrants. Populists implement redistributive policies that violate the basic laws of economics, and in particular budget constraints. Most populist experiments go through five distinct phases that span from euphoria to collapse. Historically, the vast majority of populist episodes end up with declines in national income. When everything is over, incomes of the poor and middle class tend to be lower than when the experiment was launched. I argue that many of the characteristics of traditional Latin American populism are present in more recent manifestations from around the globe.
    JEL: D71 D72 D74 D78 E52 E62 N16
    Date: 2019–10
  12. By: D. Desbois (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech)
    Abstract: Cet ouvrage part d'une impuissance à décrypter que beaucoup d'entre nous éprouvent dans leur quotidien en manipulant des informations écrites et plus encore chiffrées sans avoir le loisir ni les moyens de soupeser l'impact des conditions de leur production et de leur circulation : ce que l'on tient pour « données » l'est-il vraiment ? Comment s'agencent les infrastructures matérielles et logicielles qui peuplent nos mondes numériques pour faire advenir des informations au statut de « données », puis en organiser la diffusion ?
    Abstract: This work starts from an inability to decrypt that many of us experience in their daily lives by manipulating written information and more quantified without having the leisure or the means to weigh the impact of the conditions of their production and circulation: what is held for "data" is it really? How do the hardware and software infrastructures that populate our digital worlds fit together to bring information to the status of "data" and then organize its dissemination?
    Keywords: Labor Issues,Digitalization
    Date: 2018–12
  13. By: Albers, Thilo
    Abstract: The currency devaluations of the 1930s facilitated a faster recovery from the Great Depression in the countries depreciating, but their unilateral manner provoked retaliatory and discriminatory commercial policies abroad. This article explores the importance of the retaliatory motive in the imposition of trade barriers by gold bloc countries during the 1930s and its effects on trade. Relying on new and existing datasets on the introduction of quotas, tariffs, and bilateral trade costs, the quantification of the discriminatory response suggests that these countries imposed significant beggar‐my‐neighbour penalties. The penalties reduced trade to a similar degree that modern regional trade agreements foster trade. Furthermore, the analysis of contemporary newspapers reveals that the devaluations of the early 1930s triggered an Anglo‐French trade conflict marked by tit‐for‐tat protectionist policies. With regards to global trade, the unilateral currency depreciations came at a high price in political and economic terms. These costs must have necessarily reduced their benefit to the world as a whole.
    Keywords: 1350161
    JEL: F3 G3
    Date: 2019–04–30

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