nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
fifteen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Do Old Habits Die Hard? Central Banks and the Bretton Woods Gold Puzzle By Eric Monnet; Damien Puy
  2. The Complementary Nature of Trust and Contract Enforcement By Björn Bartling; Ernst Fehr; David B. Huffmann; Nick Netzer; David B. Huffman
  3. The Kuznetsian paradigm for the study of modern economic history and the Great Divergence with appendices of literature review and statistical data By Deng, Kent; O'Brien, Patrick
  4. Desempeño Posgrados en Economía IPN 1983- 2000 By Villalobos Lopez, Jose Antonio
  5. A socialist price system: answering the Austrians By McMullen, David
  6. "OEconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones" and Catholic Finance : A reading attempt from Merton's functions By Lemeunier, Sébastien
  7. The Education Sector and Economic Growth: A First Study of the Uzawa Model By Kazuyuki Sasakura
  8. An Analysis of Resilience in Complex Socioeconomic Systems By Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Kourtit, Karima
  10. Recipes and Economic Growth: A Combinatorial March Down an Exponential Tail By Charles I. Jones
  11. The Remarkable Growth in Financial Economics, 1974-2020 By G. William Schwert
  12. Trade and geography By Stephen J. Redding
  13. Intertemporal Altruism By Chopra, Felix; Eisenhauer, Philipp; Falk, Armin; Graeber, Thomas W
  14. Business concerns regarding environmental responsibility By Halkos, George; Nomikos, Stylianos
  15. Macroeconomic and Financial Policies for Climate Change Mitigation: A Review of the Literature By Signe Krogstrup; William Oman

  1. By: Eric Monnet; Damien Puy
    Abstract: Why did monetary authorities hold large gold reserves under Bretton Woods (1944–1971) when only the US had to? We argue that gold holdings were driven by institutional memory and persistent habits of central bankers. Countries continued to back currency in circulation with gold reserves, following rules of the pre-WWII gold standard. The longer an institution spent in the gold standard (and the older the policymakers), the stronger the correlation between gold reserves and currency. Since dollars and gold were not perfect substitutes, the Bretton Woods system never worked as expected. Even after radical institutional change, history still shapes the decisions of policymakers.
    Keywords: Gold;Gold reserves;International reserves;Currencies;Banking;WP,Bretton Woods system,gold standard exposure,unit of currency,exchange rate,gold standard practice
    Date: 2019–07–24
  2. By: Björn Bartling; Ernst Fehr; David B. Huffmann; Nick Netzer; David B. Huffman
    Abstract: Under weak contract enforcement the trading parties’ trust, defined as their belief in the other party’s trustworthiness, appears important for realizing gains from trade. In contrast, under strong contract enforcement beliefs about the other party’s trustworthiness appear less important, suggesting that trust and contract enforcement are substitutes. Here, we show, however, that trust and contract enforcement are complements. We demonstrate that in a weak contract enforcement environment trust has no effect on the gains from trade, but when we successively improve contract enforcement, larger effects of trust emerge. We also document that improvements in contract enforcement lead to no, or only small, increases in gains from trade under low initial trust, but generate high increases in gains from trade when initial trust is high. Thus, the effect of improvements in contract enforcement is trust-dependent, and the effect of increases in trust is dependent on the strength of contract enforcement. We identify three key ingredients underlying this complementarity: (1) heterogeneity in trading partners’ trustworthiness; (2) strength of contract enforcement affecting the ability to elicit reciprocal behavior from trustworthy types, and screen out untrustworthy types; (3) trust beliefs determining willingness to try such strategies.
    Keywords: trust, contract enforcement, complementarity, equilibrium selection, causal effect, screening, belief distortions, institutions
    JEL: C91 D02 D91 E02
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Deng, Kent; O'Brien, Patrick
    Keywords: Kuznetsian paradigm; GDP; Great Divergence Debate; Eurocentrism; backward extrapolations; margins of error
    JEL: B41 C80 N01 O47
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Villalobos Lopez, Jose Antonio
    Abstract: The birth of the postgraduate degree in Mexico is linked to two major public institutions: the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) from 1932 and the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) since 1936. Efforts to evaluate the country's postgraduates systematically began in 1984, leading CONACYT with these policies. In 1991, the Graduate of Excellence Programs and in 2001 the National Quality Postgraduate Program (PNCP) was released The Graduate Section of the Higher School of Economics (ESE) of the IPN was founded in 1970, offering a master's degree in economic sciences with three specialties: industrial economy, international trade and economic development. At the beginning of 1986, the doctorate in economics was offered for the first time at the institution. There is a late situation in the administrative procedures of the professional certificates of the first students who took an exam of that academic degree, the first certificate is obtained in 1993, taking on average up to fifteen years to obtain it and the last generations until 2000, took on av-erage 8.6 years to count on that certificate issues the Directorate-General for Professions of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) The master's and doctorate in economic sciences offered by ESE-IPN's Graduate Studies and Research Section are recognized by CONACYT's National Graduate Quality Pro-gram, both degrees with research orientation.
    Keywords: postgraduate economics, Mexican postgraduate degrees, master's degree in economics, doctorate in economics
    JEL: A23 I25
    Date: 2021–01–28
  5. By: McMullen, David
    Abstract: According to the Austrian economists, even with everyone’s best efforts, a system based on social ownership of the means of production could not effectively deploy a decentralized price system. An examination of the key writings on the question by Mises, Hayek and Lavoie reveals that this view rests on very shaky ground.
    Date: 2021–01–13
  6. By: Lemeunier, Sébastien
    Abstract: The Church has published a text of reference related to finance titled "OEconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones," which aims to point out the weaknesses of the financial system and propose solutions. In order to test these remarks, we distributed them in Merton’s (1995) functions for the financial system and verified whether these critiques actually challenge them. We found that the Church focuses its criticisms on the functions of risk management and conflicts of interest, and recommends being vigilant about the information function. Finally, by grouping the solutions, there emerges a coherent and complementary approach to the financial system based on the transparency of information.
    Keywords: Financial Economics ; Religion ; Welfare economics Code JEL : P 43 ; G18 ; Z12 ; D6
    JEL: D6 D64 G28 P43 Z12
    Date: 2021–01–13
  7. By: Kazuyuki Sasakura (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: The Uzawa-Lucas model is a benchmark model in endogenous growth theory. But Lucas (1988) is so influential that the Uzawa-Lucas model is virtually the Lucas model. This paper distinguishes between the Uzawa (1965) model and the Lucas model, and examines the Uzawa model in detail. It is certain that the two models have much in common. However, there are also important differences. Economically the Uzawa model assumes full employment, whereas the Lucas model admits unemployment. Mathematically the maximum growth rate must be smaller than the rate of time preference in the former, whereas the opposite must hold in the latter.
    Keywords: Education Sector; Economic Growth; Uzawa-Lucas Model
    JEL: E13 O41 O43
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Kourtit, Karima
    Abstract: The notion of resilience originated in the ecology literature in the modern or post-World War II era. Even so, this term has now found widespread use in the social sciences in general and in regional science in particular. Although this expansion in the use of resilience is welcome, it is important to recognize that there is some ambiguity and confusion in the extant regional science literature about foundational issues and hence also about the nature of policy when resilience is a factor to contend with. Given this state of affairs, in this chapter, we provide a detailed discussion of three foundational and two policy related issues concerning the use of resilience in regional science. The three foundational issues are about definitions, whether resilience is a process, and whether resilience is always a good thing. The two policy issues concern multiple stable states and the connection between the twin notions of resilience and sustainability. The chapter concludes with some retrospective and prospective remarks.
    Keywords: Complex System, Dynamic, Process, Resilience, Static, Sustainability
    JEL: Q57 R11 R58
    Date: 2021–01–03
  9. By: Christophe Schmitt (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: This special issue of Projectique does not resemble the previous journal issues in many respects. In fact, this issue is intended to be unique because it aims not only to celebrate in 2019 the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Sciences of the Artificial, translated into French by Jean-Louis Le Moigne, but also to honor the memory of its author, Herbert A. Simon (1916–2001).
    Abstract: Ce numéro de Projectique, à bien des égards, ne ressemble pas aux autres numéros de la revue. En effet, ce numéro se veut original dans la mesure où il s'agit non seulement de célébrer en cette année 2019 le cinquantième anniversaire de la parution de l'ouvrage Les Sciences de l'artificiel (The Science of the Artificial), traduit en français par Jean-Louis Le Moigne, mais aussi d'honorer la mémoire de son auteur, Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001).
    Date: 2019–09–18
  10. By: Charles I. Jones
    Abstract: New ideas are often combinations of existing goods or ideas, a point emphasized by Romer (1993) and Weitzman (1998). A separate literature highlights the links between exponential growth and Pareto distributions: Gabaix (1999) shows how exponential growth generates Pareto distributions, while Kortum (1997) shows how Pareto distributions generate exponential growth. But this raises a "chicken and egg" problem: which came first, the exponential growth or the Pareto distribution? And regardless, what happened to the Romer and Weitzman insight that combinatorics should be important? This paper answers these questions by demonstrating that combinatorial growth in the number of draws from standard thin-tailed distributions leads to exponential economic growth; no Pareto assumption is required. More generally, it provides a theorem linking the behavior of the max extreme value to the number of draws and the shape of the tail for any continuous probability distribution.
    JEL: O40
    Date: 2021–01
  11. By: G. William Schwert
    Abstract: Academic finance has grown and evolved in the 46 years since the Journal of Financial Economics (JFE) began publishing papers. This paper uses detailed data on the 2,858 papers written by 3,152 different authors published in the JFE from 1974-2019. Cumulatively, these papers have received 278,018 citations from other published papers as reflected in the Social Science Citation Index. Increasing computing power and electronic communication have likely resulted in trends toward more empirical work, more co-authorship, and more complex papers. Growth in the demand for finance faculty has driven up faculty salaries, and therefore the demand for journal services.
    JEL: G10 G20 G30
    Date: 2020–12
  12. By: Stephen J. Redding
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent research on geography and trade. One of the key empirical findings over the last decade has been the role of geography in shaping the distributional consequences of trade. One of the major theoretical advances has been the development of quantitative spatial models that incorporate both exogenous first-nature geography (natural endowments) and endogenous second-nature geography (the location choices of economic agents relative to one another) as determinants of the distribution of economic activity across space. These models are sufficiently rich to capture first-order features of the data, such as gravity equations for flows of goods and people. Yet they remain sufficiently tractable as to permit an analytical characterization of the properties of the general equilibrium and facilitate counterfactuals for realistic policy interventions. We distinguish between models of regions or systems of cities (where goods trade and migration take center stage) and models of the internal structure of cities (where commuting becomes relevant). We review some of key empirical predictions of both sets of theories and show that they have been remarkably successful in rationalizing the empirical findings from reduced-form research. Looking ahead, the combination of recent theoretical advances and novel geo-coded data on economic interactions at a fine spatial scale promises many interesting avenues for further research, including discriminating between alternative mechanisms for agglomeration, understanding the implications of new technologies for the organization of work, and assessing the causes, consequences and potential policy implications of spatial sorting.
    Keywords: trade, geography, local labor markets
    JEL: F1 J4 R1 R4
    Date: 2020–09
  13. By: Chopra, Felix (University of Bonn); Eisenhauer, Philipp (University of Chicago); Falk, Armin (briq, University of Bonn); Graeber, Thomas W (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: Standard consumption utility is linked in time to a consumption event, whereas the timing of prosocial utility flows is ambiguous. Prosocial utility may depend on the actual utility consequences for others – it is consequence-dated – or it may be related to the act of giving and is thus choice-dated. Even though most prosocial decisions involve intertemporal trade-offs, existing models of other-regarding preferences abstract from the time signature of utility flows, limiting their explanatory scope. Building on a canonical intertemporal choice framework, we characterize the behavioral implications of the time structure of prosocial utility. We conduct a high-stakes donation experiment that allows us to identify non-parametrically and calibrate structurally the different motives from their unique time profiles. We find that the universe of our choice data can only be explained by a combination of choice- and consequence-dated prosocial utility. Both motives are pervasive and negatively correlated at the individual level.
    Keywords: altruism, donation, intertemporal decision-making, time inconsistency
    JEL: C91 D12 D64 D90
    Date: 2021–01
  14. By: Halkos, George; Nomikos, Stylianos
    Abstract: The United Nations introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, aiming to tackle economic, social and environmental problems that exist in the world and to promote the concept of sustainability and sustainable development. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review regarding the background of sustainable development and each one of the 17 SDGs; an in-depth analysis of the problems addressed in each goal is provided and these problems’ impacts in the world are identified. The importance of achieving each goal is highlighted, while recent data regarding the targets included in each goal are provided, as well as the mean changes of these data for the past few years, based on a trend analysis that we performed. An evaluation of the achievement of various targets is discussed; we highlight the need of improvement of various SDGs’ progress, including the 4th, 11th and 13th SDG.
    Keywords: GRI; Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Energy; Trend analysis.
    JEL: M00 Q01 Q40 Q5 Q50 Q56
    Date: 2021–01
  15. By: Signe Krogstrup; William Oman
    Abstract: Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of this century. Mitigation requires a large-scale transition to a low-carbon economy. This paper provides an overview of the rapidly growing literature on the role of macroeconomic and financial policy tools in enabling this transition. The literature provides a menu of policy tools for mitigation. A key conclusion is that fiscal tools are first in line and central, but can and may need to be complemented by financial and monetary policy instruments. Some tools and policies raise unanswered questions about policy tool assignment and mandates, which we describe. The literature is scarce, however, on the most effective policy mix and the role of mitigation tools and goals in the overall policy framework.
    Keywords: Climate change;Carbon tax;Climate policy;Greenhouse gas emissions;Public investment and public-private partnerships (PPP);WP,government failure,policy authorities,Policy tool,mitigation policy,monetary policy tool,Policy instrument
    Date: 2019–09–04

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