nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2019‒11‒04
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Building social networks under consent: A survey By Robert P. Gilles
  2. Hermeneutical Resemblance in Rudolf Bultmann and Thich Nhat Hanh By Joel J.T. Young
  4. A Happy Choice: Wellbeing as the Goal of Government By Andrew E. Clark; Paul Frijters; Christian Krekel; Richard Layard
  5. Biases in Beliefs By Bauer, Dominik; Wolff, Irenaeus
  6. New Ecological Paradigm meets behavioral economics: On the relationship between environmental values and economic preferences By Ziegler, Andreas

  1. By: Robert P. Gilles
    Abstract: This survey explores the literature on game-theoretic models of network formation under the hypothesis of mutual consent in link formation. The introduction of consent in link formation imposes a coordination problem in the network formation process. This survey explores the conclusions from this theory and the various methodologies to avoid the main pitfalls. The main insight originates from Myerson's work on mutual consent in link formation and his main conclusion that the empty network (the network without any links) always emerges as a strong Nash equilibrium in any game-theoretic model of network formation under mutual consent and positive link formation costs. Jackson and Wolinsky introduced a cooperative framework to avoid this main pitfall. They devised the notion of a pairwise stable network to arrive at equilibrium networks that are mainly non-trivial. Unfortunately, this notion of pairwise stability requires coordinated action by pairs of decision makers in link formation. I survey the possible solutions in a purely non-cooperative framework of network formation under mutual consent by exploring potential refinements of the standard Nash equilibrium concept to explain the emergence of non-trivial networks. This includes the notions of unilateral and monadic stability. The first one is founded on advanced rational reasoning of individuals about how others would respond to one's efforts to modify the network. The latter incorporates trusting, boundedly rational behaviour into the network formation process. The survey is concluded with an initial exploration of external correlation devices as an alternative framework to address mutual consent in network formation.
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Joel J.T. Young (Global Center for Advanced Studies: College Dublin, IE)
    Abstract: Over the last several decades, academic theology in America has seen a resurgence of interest in the 20th century German-speaking theological movement known as “dialectical theology.†While primarily focusing on the theology of Swiss Reformed theologian, Karl Barth, there has also been a revival of curiosity in Barth’s academic rival, Rudolf Bultmann, who cultivated the controversial program of “demythologization.†Though the recovery of Bultmann’s work in English-speaking circles is historically valuable to our understanding of how modern theology progressed, the question still stands as to how it might aid our dialogue in an increasingly pluralistic world. Unpacking one such opportunity is the aim of this paper. Through dialogue with the Zen Buddhism of Thich Nhat Hanh, I show how different contours of Bultmann’s thought can aid us in understanding and approaching interreligious discourse through hermeneutical consistencies and resemblance. While this paper discusses several different aspects of Bultmann’s and Nhat Hanh’s religious thought, the consistencies and resemblance between the two individual thinkers are, no doubt, emblematic of greater Familienähnlichkeit between their respective faith traditions – a topic to be taken up at a later time.
    Keywords: Rudolf Bultmann, Thich Nhat Hanh, Demythologization, Zen Buddhism, Christianity, Dialectical Theology, Hermeneutics, Interreligious Dialogue
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Neboj?a Jani?ijevi? (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Economics)
    Abstract: Institutional theory of organizations, population ecology theory and organizational culture theory are three newer theories that represent alternative and challenge to rationalistic and objectivistic research paradigm in the theory of organization. After a relatively long period in which rationalist and objectivist theories of organizations prevailed, during the second half of the twentieth century three theories emerged that explained the structuring and functioning of organizations from a completely opposite viewpoint. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the dominant theoretical explanation of the structure and processes of all organization types, especially business organizations, was based on the assumption that objective factors and the rationality of decision makers had an impact on organizations. Thus, the contingency theory of organizations explained that the structuring and functioning of organizations resulted from the impact of objective, external factors (contingencies) such as environment, technology, stage of an organization?s life cycle and strategies. The process of organizations? structuring and of shaping the processes within them was treated as a rational decision-making process, in which the organization?s leader played a key role. The result of such an approach is a configurational perspective of organizations, according to which the organizational structure is actually a configuration of internally consistent components that are congruent to external factors. However, since the 1980s, three very interesting theories have emerged, representing an antipode to the prevailing rationalist and objectivist theories: institutional theory of organizations, population ecology theory and organizational culture theory. All three theories explain the structuring and shaping of processes within organizations in terms of interpretivism and social interactions, and not rational decision making. Unlike the rationalist and objectivist theories of organizations, the organizational culture theory, population ecology theory and institutional theory of organizations, find the ultimate source of organizational structure and functioning in the meaning of the reality that has been socially constructed. The process of organizational structuring is, in all three theories, a subjective process of creating meanings through social interactions. Accordingly, the focus of the institutional, population ecology and cultural theories of organizations is no longer as much on formal organizational structure, as was the case with the contingency theory of organizations, as it is on behavioral patterns, regularities in organizational functioning and the models of interaction within organizations.
    Keywords: OrganizationContingency theoryInstitutional theoryPopulation ecologyOrganizational culture
    JEL: M10 M14
    Date: 2019–07
  4. By: Andrew E. Clark; Paul Frijters; Christian Krekel; Richard Layard
    Abstract: In this article, we lay out the basic case for wellbeing as the goal of government. We briefly review the history of this idea, which goes back to the ancient Greeks and was the acknowledged ideal of the Enlightenment. We then discuss possible measures on which a wellbeing orientation could be based, emphasising the importance of acknowledging the political agency of citizens and thus their own evaluations of their life. We then turn to practicalities and consequences: how would one actually set up wellbeing-oriented decision-making and what difference should we expect from current practice? We end by discussing the current barriers to the adoption of wellbeing as the goal of government, both in terms of what we need to know more about and where the ideological barriers lay.
    Keywords: subjective wellbeing, life satisfaction, public policy, political economy, social welfare
    JEL: D60 D70 H11 I31
    Date: 2019–10
  5. By: Bauer, Dominik; Wolff, Irenaeus
    JEL: C72
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Ziegler, Andreas
    JEL: Q50 A13 C93 D91 Q57
    Date: 2019

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