nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2021‒12‒20
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The Old Institutional School and Labour Market Functions and Policies By Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Katselidis, Ioannis
  2. Economic Interests, Worldviews, and Identities: Theory and Evidence on Ideational Politics By Elliott Ash; Sharun Mukand; Dani Rodrik
  3. A time for action on climate change and a time for change in economics By Stern, Nicholas
  4. Capitalism needs a new social contract By Shafik, Minouche
  5. What Future Happiness Research? By Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
  6. Appropriating the returns of patent statistics: Take-up and development in the wake of Zvi Griliches By Sandro Mendonca; Hugo Confraria; Manuel Mira Godinho

  1. By: Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Katselidis, Ioannis
    Abstract: The significant role of institutional and non-market factors in the functioning of an economic system was a core theme of the old institutional economists. They also criticised the narrow conception of economic welfare only in terms of efficiency and satisfaction of consumer interests. Instead, they focused on issues related to justice, human self-development and labourers’ welfare. Their conception of the labour market functions is an indicative example of the uniqueness of their approach. In contrast to the standard approach, labour market functioning does not depend only on the price mechanism, but is also affected by other key factors and parameters such as the social norms, several psychological factors and various labour institutions. This chapter seeks to examine and highlight the contribution of the old institutional economics towards labour market functions and policies. After presenting the origins and method of the School, it briefly compares old Institutionalism and early Neoclassical economics focusing on labour market issues. It also discusses the old institutional approach with respect to the collective action and labour market policy. The chapter concludes with Ross-Dunlop debate on labour unions and the case of minimum wages policy in order to emphasize the relevance of early institutional ideas in analysing contemporary labour market issues.
    Keywords: Institutional School; Economic Policy; Labour Policy; Labour Market Institutions
    JEL: B15 B25 J08
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Elliott Ash; Sharun Mukand; Dani Rodrik
    Abstract: We distinguish between ideational and interest-based appeals to voters on the supply side of politics, and integrate the Keynes-Hayek perspective on the importance of ideas with the Stigler-Becker approach emphasizing vested interests. In our model, political entrepreneurs discover identity and worldview “memes” (narratives, cues, frames) that shift beliefs about voters’ identities or their views of how the world works. We identify a complementarity between worldview politics and identity politics and illustrate how they may reinforce each other. Furthermore, we show how adverse economic shocks may result in a greater incidence of ideational politics. We use these results to analyze data on 60,000 televised political ads in U.S. localities over the years 2000 through 2018. Our empirical work quantifies ideational politics and provides support for the key model implications, including the impact of higher inequality on both identity and worldview politics.
    JEL: D72 D78
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Stern, Nicholas
    Abstract: In this paper, Nicholas Stern argues that the COVID-19 and climate crises, and the weaknesses that produced them, should be tackled together and that the response must be a new sustainable, resilient and inclusive approach to growth and development. The paper explores relevant policies and actions and then turns to the changes to economics necessary to pursue these ideas and imperatives. The core finding of The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review – that the costs of inaction on climate change are much greater than the costs of action – was compelling when the Review was published in 2006; 15 years on it is even stronger. While greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise and the impacts of climate change have manifested faster and with greater intensity than expected, the costs of clean energy technologies have been falling further and more quickly than anticipated. Any reasonable estimate of the costs of inaction would be still higher now, and the costs of action lower, than in 2006. The deeper understanding of the problem that we now have, the paper argues, implies that we must shift the focus of our economic analyses towards the dynamics of change, the fostering of investment and innovation necessary, the management of disruption, and the great opportunities that lie in a new form of development.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2021–10–26
  4. By: Shafik, Minouche
    Abstract: Capitalism needs a new social contract to better manage the consequences of technology and an increasingly diverse and flexible workforce. That social contract should retain the benefits of flexibility but do a better job of providing security in the form of mandatory benefits, putting a floor on incomes, and investing far more in helping workers adapt to economic shocks and rising automation. It also means a new deal with business that would achieve a more level playing field in how capital and labour are taxed.
    Keywords: capitalism; social contract; labour markets; taxation of capital; OUP deal
    JEL: P00 J08 I38 A13
    Date: 2021–12–01
  5. By: Bruno S. Frey; Anthony Gullo
    Date: 2021–09
  6. By: Sandro Mendonca; Hugo Confraria (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School, University of Sussex); Manuel Mira Godinho
    Abstract: Three decades after the publication of Zvi Griliches’ (1990) influential survey on “Patent statistics as economic indicators†, the uses and limitations of patent statistics remain a core issue in the field of innovation studies. This paper follows through Griliches’ seminal work to understand how the literature using patents as an empirical resource developed over time. How has this indicator been adopted and how has it been adapted to different research challenges? We address this question by examining the citation tree of nearly 2000 articles published in almost 400 journals found to refer to Griliches’ seminal contribution between 1990 and 2019. We combine bibliometric techniques and qualitative analysis to provide a close-up moving picture of patents as a data resource: growth and variety of usage, impact on disciplines and journals, driving institutions and geographies, major topics and research issues. We find that five main themes emerge: 1) Economic growth; 2) Geography of innovation; 3) Innovation management/performance; 4) Pat-methods; and 5) Green innovation. Shouldered by these findings, we discuss potential pathways for future patent-based research.
    Keywords: patents, innovation indicators, bibliometrics, survey, Zvi Griliches
    Date: 2021–11

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