nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2021‒07‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. How (and how much) does theory matter? Revisiting the relationships between theories and empirics in the economic controversies over the minimum wage since the 1940s By Jérôme Gautié
  2. Reconciling Normative and Behavioural Economics: The Problem that Cannot be Solved By Guilhem Lecouteux
  3. Mitopeia do empreendedor: narrativa de um mito capitalista By Rafael Galvão de Almeida
  4. The Commodification of Nature, a Review in Social Sciences By Jacob Smessaert; Antoine Missemer; Harold Levrel
  5. The International Lender of Last Resort Between Scylla and Charybdis By Flores Zendejas, Juan; Norbert, Gaillard
  6. Hayek and the Texas blackout By Littlechild, S.; Kiesling, L.
  7. Infrastructure, ontology and meaning: the endogenous development of economic ideas By Pinzur, David
  8. From Capital to Property: History and Justice in the Work of Thomas Piketty By Nicolas Brisset; Benoît Walraevens
  9. Revisiting the “Great Levelling”: the limits of Piketty’s Capital and Ideology for understanding the rise of late 20th century inequality By Paidipaty, Poornima; Ramos Pinto, Pedro
  10. From Decision in Risk to Decision in Time - and Return: A Restatement of Probability Discounting By Marc-Arthur Diaye; André Lapidus; Christian Schmidt
  11. A neo-institutional perspective on ethical decision-making By Christopher Chan; Subramaniam Ananthram
  12. Gender Differences in Peer Recognition by Economists By Card, David; DellaVigna, Stefano; Funk, Patricia; Iriberri, Nagore

  1. By: Jérôme Gautié (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2019–06–20
  2. By: Guilhem Lecouteux (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: Behavioural economics has challenged the normative consensus that agents ought to choose following their own preferences. I argue that normative economists implicitly defended a criterion of the sovereignty of the autonomous consumer, and that current debates in normative behavioural economics arise from disagreements about the nature of the threats to autonomy that are highlighted by behavioural economics. I argue that those disagreements result from diverging ontological conceptions of the ‘self’ in the literature. I distinguish between the unitary, psychodynamic, and socio-historical conceptions of the self, and show how different positive theories about preferences and the nature of the agent may determine normative positions in normative behavioural economics.
    Keywords: preference satisfaction, autonomy, welfare, reconciliation problem, sociohistorical self
    JEL: B40 D02 D60 D91
    Date: 2021–06
  3. By: Rafael Galvão de Almeida (CEDEPLAR/UFMG)
    Abstract: Literature on the rhetoric of economics and narrative economics has emphasized the roles of stories and narratives in the development of economic theory. One of the most known narratives in economic folklore is of the “hero entrepreneur”, as an individual who triumphs after a journey of adversity, bringing new products and economic development to a community. The individual focus of entrepreneurs is present in the writings of scholars of entrepreneurship and public intellectuals, such as Joseph Schumpeter, Israel Kirzner, Fritz Redlich, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, among others. Whether they wanted or not, they ended up building a mythology of the entrepreneur that manifested in the popular consciousness. Using literature from comparative mythology and on the popular views of the hero, this article applies the Joseph Campbell’s monomyth model to understand how popular views of the hero penetrated the entrepreneurship discourse, the mythopoeia (confection of a mythology) of the entrepreneur. The article also analyzes the potential problems of this narratives, especially on its legitimation of the status quo, how it does not represent the actual entrepreneurial process, and has potential harmful consequences for both entrepreneurs and the rest of society, using authors such as Roland Barthes, Milton Santos, among others. However, the article concludes that myth, independent of critique or not, will remain ubiquitous and the narrative of the entrepreneur as a hero will remain relevant, therefore future studies should work to humanize the entrepreneur so that cooperation between theory and practice be improved.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, mythology, history of entrepreneurship, heroes, cultural economics, critical theory of entrepreneurship
    JEL: B20 B29 Y9 Z10
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Jacob Smessaert (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - 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 - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development - Utrecht University [Utrecht]); Antoine Missemer (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - 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 - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Harold Levrel (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - 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 - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The commodification of nature, through privatization, marketization, monetary valuation and other associated processes, has become a central topic in social sciences to examine the conditions and effects of the economic approaches for supporting conservation policies all around the world. The aim of this contribution is to delineate the current state of knowledge, within and beyond ecological economics, and to see, with some historical perspective, how commodification has been systematized in the literature. The results are as follows: (i) studies of commodification processes remain essentially critical, with a central role played by economists, political ecologists and geographers; (ii) over the past 15 years, we have seen more fragmentation than consolidation of the field; (iii) researchers avoid analytical shortcuts, but do not always well define what they mean by commodification. The construction of visual representations -- we propose a 'commodification chain' -- and the identification of decommodification opportunities are future lines of research that would be promising, particularly for the community of ecological economists.
    Keywords: commodification,economic imperialism,privatization,market-based instruments,survey
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Flores Zendejas, Juan; Norbert, Gaillard
    Abstract: This chapter provides a historical overview of the efforts for international cooperation in pursuit of financial stability. We argue that there are two fundamental threats likely to undermine the actions of an international lender of last resort (ILOLR): debtor moral hazard and creditor moral hazard. During the Pax Britannica years, the Bank of England and the Bank of France were de facto ILOLR and managed to contain both types of moral hazard. In the interwar years, the League of Nations developed new forms of last-resort loans but failed to prevent the Great Depression because of the lack of cooperation between top capital-exporting countries. Since its establishment in 1944, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted various credit facilities conditioned on the recipient countries accepting macroeconomic stabilization. The financial globalization process that started in the 1980s has exacerbated creditor moral hazard. This issue, largely overlooked by the IMF, should be a major source of concern for policy makers.
    Keywords: Moral hazard, Lender of last resort, Financial crises
    JEL: B26 F33 F34 F53 N20
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Littlechild, S.; Kiesling, L.
    Abstract: Was the Texas blackout a market failure or regulatory failure? The economist Hayek has been adduced in support of both views. Hayek would have approved the competitive Texas system, including ERCOT. His likely view on the scarcity pricing framework is less clear, and the recent regulatory implementation of the “circuit breaker†was problematic. There is now a need to revise the scarcity pricing framework in the light of recent events, and to reflect ever-changing market conditions.
    Keywords: Hayek, Texas blackout, scarcity pricing, retail electricity competition
    JEL: L94 L51 K23 D47 D82
    Date: 2021–06–24
  7. By: Pinzur, David
    Abstract: In contrast to work showing exogenous social influences on the production of economic ideas, this article asks how a market’s own infrastructure can endogenously shape practitioners’ economic perspectives. It investigates this question by comparing the evolution of opposed views on speculation across two 19th-century American futures markets. The analysis locates the origins of this divergence in features of the grading, receipting and contracting processes that linked these new derivative markets to underlying agricultural markets. This connective infrastructure both made possible new speculative practices and established market ontologies from which traders theorized the economic significance of those practices. These ontologies served as distinct cores around which incompatible constellations of ideas – including beliefs about price relations between spot and futures markets, the character of the global market and the motives and capabilities of speculators – were elaborated.
    Keywords: derivatives; infrastructure; market ontology; markets; sociology of knowledge; Sage deal
    JEL: J1 F3 G3
    Date: 2021–04–22
  8. By: Nicolas Brisset (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG, CNRS); Benoît Walraevens (Université de Caen-Normandie, France; CREM, CNRS)
    Abstract: This article reviews Thomas Piketty's latest book, Capital and Ideology (2020). We begin by placing the work in the context of the thesis developed by the author in his previous works, before pointing out a number of limitations. We first question Piketty's way of thinking about capitalism, before discussing his theory of ideology. Finally, we will try to define the scope and limits of Piketty's vision of overcoming capitalism, that is, his vision of a just society, a "participatory socialism", as it is presented in the last chapter of the book.
    Keywords: Thomas Piketty, Capitalism, Property, Ideology, Social Justice
    JEL: B4 B51 D63 N01
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Paidipaty, Poornima; Ramos Pinto, Pedro
    Keywords: Wiley deal
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Marc-Arthur Diaye (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); André Lapidus (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Économiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Christian Schmidt (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Économiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper aims at restating, in a decision theory framework, the results of some signicant contributions of the literature on probability discounting that followed the publication of the pioneering article by Rachlin et al. (1991). We provide a restatement of probability discounting in terms of rank-dependent utility, in which the utilities of the outcomes of n-issues lotteries are weighted by probabilities transformed after their transposition into time-delays. This formalism makes the typical cases of rationality in time and in risk mutually exclusive, but allows looser types of rationality. The resulting attitude toward probability and toward risk are then determined in relation to the values of the two parameters involved in the procedure of probability discounting.
    Keywords: time discounting,Probability discounting,logarithmic time perception,rank-dependent utility,rationality,attitude toward probabilities,attitude toward risk
    Date: 2021–06–10
  11. By: Christopher Chan (York University [Toronto], ACU - Australian Catholic University, IGR-IAE Rennes - Institut de Gestion de Rennes - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises - Rennes - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes); Subramaniam Ananthram (Curtin University [Perth] - PATREC - Planning and Transport Research Centre)
    Abstract: Drawing on neo-institutional theory, this study aims to discern the poorly understood ethical challenges confronted by senior executives in Indian multinational corporations and identify the strategies that they utilize to overcome them. We conducted in-depth interviews with 40 senior executives in Indian multinational corporations to illustrate these challenges and strategies. By embedding our research in contextually relevant characteristics that embody the Indian environment, we identify several institutional- and managerial-level challenges faced by executives. The institutional-level challenges are interpreted as regulative, normative and cognitive shortcomings. We recommend a concerted effort at the institutional and managerial levels by identifying relevant strategies for ethical decision-making. Moreover, we proffer a multi-level model of ethical decision-making and discuss our theoretical contributions and practical implications.
    Keywords: Neo-institutional theory,Ethical decision-making,Multinational corporations,Institutional isomorphism
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Card, David (University of California, Berkeley); DellaVigna, Stefano (University of California, Berkeley); Funk, Patricia (USI Università della Svizzera Italiana); Iriberri, Nagore (University of the Basque Country)
    Abstract: We study the selection of Fellows of the Econometric Society, using a new data set of publications and citations for over 40,000 actively publishing economists since the early 1900s. Conditional on achievement, we document a large negative gap in the probability that women were selected as Fellows in the 1933-1979 period. This gap became positive (though not statistically significant) from 1980 to 2010, and in the past decade has become large and highly significant, with over a 100% increase in the probability of selection for female authors relative to males with similar publications and citations. The positive boost affects highly qualified female candidates (in the top 10% of authors) with no effect for the bottom 90%. Using nomination data for the past 30 years, we find a key proximate role for the Society's Nominating Committee in this shift. Since 2012 the Committee has had an explicit mandate to nominate highly qualified women, and its nominees enjoy above-average election success (controlling for achievement). Looking beyond gender, we document similar shifts in the premium for geographic diversity: in the mid-2000s, both the Fellows and the Nominating Committee became significantly more likely to nominate and elect candidates from outside the US. Finally, we examine gender gaps in several other major awards for US economists. We show that the gaps in the probability of selection of new fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences closely parallel those of the Econometric Society, with historically negative penalties for women turning to positive premiums in recent years.
    Keywords: peer recognition, citations, publication record, econometric society
    JEL: J71 I23
    Date: 2021–06

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