nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. THE IMAGE OF THE OTHER IN EARLY MODERN IMPERIAL DISCOURSES: VENETIAN DISCOURSE ABOUT ISTRIA AND ENGLISH DISCOURSE ABOUT IRELAND By Sergey V. Baigushev; Evgeny A. Khvalkov; Feliks E. Levin; Anastasia M. Novikova; Adrian A. Selin; Aleksandra D. Shisterova; Maksim D. Shkil; Irina D. Yakovleva
  2. L’analyse physiocratique de la monnaie : une réévaluation By Maxime MENUET; Patrick VILLIEU
  3. From Regulation to Deregulation and (Perhaps) Back: A Peculiar Continuity in the Analytical Framework By McColloch, William; Vernengo, Matías
  4. From Keynes' Liquidity Preference to Gesell's Basic Interest By Ahmed Anwar
  5. Reconciling agency and impartiality: positional views as the cornerstone of Sen’s idea of justice By Antoinette BAUJARD; Muriel GILARDONE
  6. Rise of the Kniesians: The professor-student network of Nobel laureates in economics By Richard S. J. Tol
  7. Thus spake the Bank of Italy’s Governors: an analysis of the language corpus of the Concluding Remarks, 1946-2018 By Valerio Astuti; Riccardo De Bonis; Sergio Marroni; Alessandro Vinci
  8. Critique of Commutopia: On an Economic Concept of the New Left By Schimmelbusch, Heinz
  9. Legal Bubbles: A Primer in the Economics of 'Legal Creative Destruction. By Giraudo, Marco
  10. From ‘Capital and Ideology’ to ‘Democracy and Evidence’: a review of Thomas Piketty By McGaughey, Ewan
  11. De quelques préconditions à la liberté académique By Jean Luc De Meulemeester
  12. How the publish-or-perish principle divides a science: The case of economists By van Dalen, Hendrik Peter

  1. By: Sergey V. Baigushev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Evgeny A. Khvalkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Feliks E. Levin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anastasia M. Novikova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Adrian A. Selin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksandra D. Shisterova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maksim D. Shkil (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Irina D. Yakovleva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper is focused on the image of the Other in early modern European imperial discourses as exemplified by Venetian discourse about Istria and English discourse about Ireland, which have not been previously compared, in the narratives by Pietro Coppo, Fynes Moryson, John Davies and Barnabe Rich. The authors of the article have analyzed mechanisms of construction of the Image of the Other and political or rhetorical context of its instrumentalization. The examination of English imperial discourses about Ireland and Venetian discourse has demonstrated instrumentalist nature of early modern ethnographic discourses of the Other. Imperial discourse of the Other justified sovereignty of the metropole over the periphery and also communicated knowledge about the Other in order to suggest possible solutions to the problems of governance.
    Keywords: imperial discourse; early modern ethnography; Venice; Ireland; Pietro Coppo; Fynes Moryson; Sir John Davies; Barnabe Rich
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Maxime MENUET; Patrick VILLIEU
    Date: 2020
  3. By: McColloch, William (Keene State College); Vernengo, Matías (Bucknell University)
    Abstract: The rise of the regulatory state during the Gilded Age was closely associated with the development of Institutionalist ideas in American academia. In their analysis of the emergent regulatory environment, Institutionalists like John Commons opera-ted with a fundamentally marginalist theory of value and distribution. This engagement is a central explanation for the ul-timate ascendancy of neoclassical economics, and the limitations of the regulatory environment that emerged in the Progres-sive Era. The eventual rise of the Chicago School and its deregulatory ambitions did constitute a rupture, but one achieved without rejecting preceding conceptions of competition and value. The substantial compatibility of the view of markets underlying both the regulatory and deregulatory periods is stressed, casting doubt about the transformative potential of the resurgent regulatory impulse in the New Gilded Age.
    Keywords: John Commons; George Stigler; Regulatory Capture; Deregulation
    JEL: B13 B15 B25 K20 L51
    Date: 2020–12–16
  4. By: Ahmed Anwar
    Abstract: In his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes devotes a section in chapter 23 on the theories of Silvio Gesell, best known for the proposal to use stamped money. Although the account is generally favourable, Keynes finds key defects in Gesell’s proposed monetary reforms. We look carefully at this section together with Keynes’ own theory of liquidity preference which Keynes considers a completion of Gesell’s imperfect insights. We will argue that Keynes was in fact mistaken on these defects and that although both Keynes and Gesell identify the same theoretical problem, a special role that money plays in preventing the optimal accumulation of capital, it is only Gesell’s reform that in theory provides a solution.
    Date: 2020–12
  5. By: Antoinette BAUJARD (Université Jean Monnet, Université de Lyon, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne CNRS); Muriel GILARDONE (Université de Caen Normandie, UNICAEN, CREM CNRS)
    Abstract: Our paper offers a novel reading of Sen’s idea of justice, going beyond two standard prisms that we have identified as obscuring the debate: 1) welfarism, i.e.the focus on one definition of individual welfare; and 2)transcendentalism, i.e.resting on external normative criteria. Instead we take seriously Sen’s emphasis on personal agency,and we focus on his original contribution to the issue of positional objectivity.Firstly, we demonstrate that Sen’s idea of justice, with the notion of “positional views” at its core, is more respectful of persons’agency than any theory based on individual preference or capability could be. Secondly, we argue that Sen’s conception of positional views considers that both information and sentiments are relevant. Such an alternative approach to both objectivity and subjectivity in their standard meanings allows the formation of more impartial views through collective deliberation and a better consideration of justice by agents themselves. This paper contributes to better articulating Sen’s constructive proposal regarding justice and clarifying its anti-paternalistic nature.
    Keywords: individual preferences, positional objectivity, sentiments, public reasoning, agency, justice, welfarism, transcendentalism, impartiality, anti-paternalism
    JEL: A13 B31 B41 D63 I31
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Richard S. J. Tol
    Abstract: The paper presents the professor-student network of Nobel laureates in economics. 74 of the 79 Nobelists belong to one family tree. The remaining 5 belong to 3 separate trees. There are 350 men in the graph, and 4 women. Karl Knies is the central-most professor, followed by Wassily Leontief. No classical and few neo-classical economists have left notable descendants. Harvard is the central-most university, followed by Chicago and Berlin. Most candidates for the Nobel prize belong to the main family tree, but new trees may arise for the students of Terence Gorman and Denis Sargan.
    Date: 2020–11
  7. By: Valerio Astuti (Bank of Italy); Riccardo De Bonis (Bank of Italy); Sergio Marroni (Tor Vergata Univerity of Rome); Alessandro Vinci (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to construct and analyse the language corpus of the Concluding Remarks (CF from now on), using the texts from 1946 to 2018. The first part of the paper summarizes the characteristics of the dataset, which contains around 850,000 words. The second part analyses the topics addressed by the Bank’s Governors over seventy years of Italian economic history. The third section provides a linguistic analysis of the CF, focusing in particular on the use of some types of subordinate clauses. The topics covered in the CF have been influenced by events, but also by each Governor’s personal point of view. The CF reached their maximum length in the 1970s and then became shorter. The length of the sentences increased in the 1950s and then declined, with the shortest sentences dating to the end of the 1990s. Our linguistic analysis shows that, up until the time of Baffi, the Governors concentrated on presenting economic trends. Over the last 25 years, however, the CF have focused on drawing up action programmes for Italy’s economy.
    Keywords: linguistic analysis, economic history, text mining, Bank of Italy, The Governor's Concluding Remarks
    JEL: B20 N01
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Schimmelbusch, Heinz (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise)
    Abstract: This study is an analysis of Commutopia, a theoretical economic system. Commutopia has never existed anywhere. The system was planned to be set up in the Federal Republic of Germany by a revolution, which was propagated by the Socialist German student organization SDS. The revolution never took place. The SDS dissolved in 1969, after its revolutionary appeal was echoed only at some German universities. Commutopia is a model of a planned economy. The plan is worked out by the highest soviet and determines the input-output-relations for all communes. The communes are production cooperatives of universally educated individuals. The plan is legitimated within a concept of a kind of Soviet-democratic centralism. The high stage of educational development of the people in Commutopia is guaranteed by a permanent rotation of all individuals through all social positions. Even if a German revolution under the leadership of the SDS had taken place, Commutopia would not have been set up in the Federal Republic. It can be shown, that every attempt to reach Commutopia within a highly industrialized world is bound to end in secular dictatorship by the revolutionaries. It can also be shown that the immanent laws of the commutopic production technique lead to the destruction of Commutopia, once the heroic assumption is made that Commutopia exists. For these reasons Commutopia is no alternative
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Giraudo, Marco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: A legal bubble is a notion that applies to the making of the legal foundations of innovative services. There is a legal bubble when economic agents plan their economic actions with respect to a new resource, in the light of property rights solutions provisionally backed by courts, in the belief they are stable. That gives rise to a period of accumulation of expectations about the possibility to secure robust property rights over the newly discovered resource, which in turn fuel further investments. In fact, courts' backing is only temporary and economic agents' expectations turn to be wrong, because early property rights have been supplied by courts out of haste and ignorance as to the implications of the new activities in terms of hierarchically superior rights – e.g. fundamental rights. Once courts learn about the actual implications of the newly emerged activity they start revising the balance between commodification claims and competing hierarchically superior rights. The burst of legal bubbles comes as a result of courts' hindsight attempt to re-adapt the legal foundations to the actual legal implications that previously were ignored. The economic fallout of the revision of early property rights solutions can generate investment debasement and economic disarray in ways similar to speculative bubbles. In fact, entrepreneurs discover their investments have been made in the light of still in-adapted property rights solutions doomed to be – often retroactively – reversed with potential demise of an whole industry.
    Date: 2020–12
  10. By: McGaughey, Ewan (King's College, London)
    Abstract: Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology (2020) is a major, encyclopaedic and data-driven contribution to the effort of constructing a better human civilization. This review summarises the main argument: a positive thesis that in every society, ideology feeds laws and institutions that create inequality, and inequality then bolsters ideology; a normative thesis that we need a better ideology, including ‘participatory socialism’, to solve our biggest challenges. The review then complements and critiques three central issues in the argument, that (1) the true concentration of economic power, the votes in the economy, is even more extreme than inequality of wealth and income, (2) the legal construction of markets, through property, contract, corporate, or human rights law, can ‘pre-distribute’ income and wealth to a vast extent before tax, and (3) social justice means expanding (not merely correcting or re-distributing) everyone’s opportunity, creative capacity, and human potential, and helps everyone to develop their personality to the fullest. Social justice is an unparalleled force, and is still the best answer to far-right, authoritarian or other failed ideologies, which have escalated inequality and driven climate damage. Perhaps the greatest achievement of Piketty’s work could be to bring economics firmly back to the values in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (2020) Oeconomia.
    Date: 2020–12–14
  11. By: Jean Luc De Meulemeester
    Abstract: In this paper we assess both the benefits of academic freedom and the conditions required for its existence. We propose a long run historical sketch to put forward the institutional and financial characteristics of the Humboldtian model that stressed the very idea of academic freedom. We show how this model influenced the later developments of higher education, both in Europe and the USA. We stress how the post-WW2 massive expansion of higher education led to more utilitarian considerations by the State funding the institutions. The crisis of the 70s and the rise of neoliberalism since the early 80s led to the emergence of a new vision of higher education as a tool for economic performance. In this new and anti-Humboldtian perspective, higher education institutions are monitored from above (regulated competition, selective funding, output-based rather than input-based) and transformed internally into firm-like organizations. We question the potential dangers for academic freedom.
    Keywords: Higher Education; Academic Freedom; Conditions; History
    JEL: I28 I23
    Date: 2020–12–16
  12. By: van Dalen, Hendrik Peter (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Date: 2020

This nep-hpe issue is ©2021 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.
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