nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  2. Social externalities and economic analysis By Marc Fleurbaey; Ravi Kanbur; Brody Viney
  3. Anti-Meritocratic Economics in the Contemporary Era: The Issues with the Neoclassical Theory By Maxfield, Sean
  4. The game is afoot: The French reaction to game theory in the fifties By Rabia Nessah; Tarik Tazdaït; Mehrdad Vahabi
  5. Writing good economics: how texts 'on the move' perform the lab and discipline of experimental economics By Kristin Asdal; Béatrice Cointe
  6. Steve Keen's The New Economics: A Manifesto By Bichler, Shimshon; Nitzan, Jonathan
  7. The Capitalist Degree of Immortality By Bichler, Shimshon; Nitzan, Jonathan
  8. Demography’s theory and approach: (how) has the view from the margins changed? By Sigle-Rushton, Wendy
  9. World Economy: Introduction to the Profession By Agapova, Anna; Budarina, N.A.; Gladkov, A.R.; Grafova, T.O.; Grozovskaya, E.V.; Kirbitova, S.V.; Kudrova, N.A.; Lipatova, N.G.; Prihod'ko, D.V.
  10. A tribute to Milton Friedman. Club de la Libertad By Alberto Medina Méndez (Coordinator); Julio Jorge Elías; Roque Fernández; Santos Mercado Reyes; Bernard Munk; Edgardo Zablotsky
  11. The relationship between Arrow’s and Wilson’s theorems on restricted domains By Justin Kruger; M. Remzi Sanver
  12. Is the business of business business alone? The International Chamber of Commerce and the origins of global business diplomacy, 1920-1931 By Hoffer, Rewert

  1. By: Christophe Salvat (CGGG - Centre Gilles-Gaston Granger - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: This article questions the articulation between John Stuart Mill's initial project of creating a new science dedicated to the means of improving individual character, a science named "ethology," and the treatise of political economy that he published instead. My claim is that his defense of free competition as well as some of the arguments he opposes to it, and which have often puzzled his readers, actually reveal the moral agenda of his political economy and of some of his political principles, specifically his ambivalent position towards paternalism.
    Date: 2021–10–05
  2. By: Marc Fleurbaey (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Ravi Kanbur (Cornell University [New York]); Brody Viney (World Bank Group)
    Abstract: This paper considers and assesses the concept of social externalities through human interdependence, in relation to the economic analysis of externalities in the tradition of Pigou and Arrow, including the analysis of the commons. It argues that there are limits to economic analysis. Our proposal is to enlarge the perspective and start thinking about a broader framework in which can be attached the "externality" label and be scrutinized for the likely negative consequences that result from the divergence. A tentative and probably incomplete list of possible internalizing mechanisms includes: pricing and monetary incentives; altruism and solidarity; moral norms; reciprocity and mutual monitoring; centralized cooperative decision-making; and merger. There are clear reasons why the pricing mechanism is not appropriate in some cases. A more difficult question to answer is what factors determine which of the mechanisms is the appropriate one to rely on in a given sphere of relations and activities. The object of the paper is to encourage research and contributions from all the relevant disciplines of social sciences about the pervasive human interdependence that the notion of social externalities tries to capture.
    Keywords: Externalities,Commons,Human Interdpendence,Social Externalities,InternalizingMechanisms,Ethical Principles JEL Codes
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Maxfield, Sean
    Abstract: No longer does society consider the full extent of the argument and consequences or benefits of a system change. All the record-breaking economic success of the last few decades simply furthers a divide between people/organizations that have money and people/organizations that need money. However, those that can view this divide assign the capitalistic system as the culprit when in fact it is the modern mutation of capitalism that is at fault. Within modern neoclassical economies, there is no form of value-based meritocracy between people and organizations.
    Keywords: economics, econ, economic, economy, economies, neoclassical, classical, capitalism, Adam Smith, socialism, price, prices, markets, valuation, value, hierarchies, hierarchical, monetary, equity, finance, financial, financial services, exchanges, stock markets, secondary markets, businesses, inflation
    JEL: A1 A10 A11 A13 A2 A20 B0 B1 B2 B3 B4 E0 E6 G0 N0 N1 P1 P10 P12 P16 P5 P51
    Date: 2021–12–18
  4. By: Rabia Nessah (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IESEG School of Management Lille); Tarik Tazdaït (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales, ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech); Mehrdad Vahabi (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - LABEX ICCA - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP - Université de Paris - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Sorbonne Paris Nord)
    Abstract: In this paper, we are interested in exploring the history of game theory in France, and particularly the way it was received and was diffused in the fifties. It will be shown that France was the most fertile soil in the whole continental Europe for a multidisciplinary welcoming to game theory. Reviewing certain aspects of the intellectual trajectory of the mathematician Guilbaud, the ethnologist Lévi-Strauss and the psychanalyst Lacan, we show how each of them, in his own way, played a key role in advancing game theory: (1) Guilbaud for his constancy in disseminating game theory (and mathematics in general) (2) Lévi-Strauss for his original interpretation of game theory that had some impact on social sciences; and (3) Lacan for using the contributions of game theory. Lacan and Lévi-Strauss were particularly convincing since they were instructed on request about the principles of game theory by Guilbaud.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Kristin Asdal (UiO - University of Oslo); Béatrice Cointe (CSI i3 - Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: While there is a wealth of research on the history, philosophy and epistemology of economics, few studies approach economics as a practical and material endeavour in the way STS and ethnographies of science have approached natural sciences. To explore how objectivity is practically accomplished in laboratory economic experiments, we focus on a, at the face of it, modest and mundane thing: the written instructions that guide experimental subjects in the lab. In a material-semiotic perspective, these instructions can be understood as text-devices. We follow this text-device 'on the move' from its very writing, through the lab, the review process and out into the journal article. To do so, we analyse "text-author ensembles": journal articles together with practice-oriented interviews with their authors. We show that the instructions act not simply as a text, but as an experimental instrument that also performs the procedure of experimental economics. They draw together the procedural, material and rhetorical dimensions of experimental work in economics, and link the lab setting to collective validation procedures within the discipline of economics. To achieve this, experimental economists rely on qualitative writing skills refined in collective writing and reviewing practices. This particular text-device 'on the move' alert us not only to the role of writing and writing skills in the production of scientific knowledge, but to the role of texts as material and semiotic objects that can produce not only facts, but labs and disciplines too, and that are key to the accomplishment of objectivity in experimental economics.
    Keywords: economics,experiments,texts,performativity,laboratory
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Bichler, Shimshon; Nitzan, Jonathan
    Abstract: Neoclassical economics is the official scientific underpinning of capitalism as well as its main ideological defence, and according to Keen, it fails in both tasks. Contrary to received opinion, neoclassicism cannot explain capitalism – either in detail or in the aggregate – and the policies it prescribes do not support but undermine the very system it defends. It must be scrapped, says Keen, and the purpose of his book is to explain why and outline what should come in its stead.
    Keywords: banks,climate,complex systems,credit,debt,finance,macroeconomics,money,neoclassical economics,policy
    JEL: P16 E4 G21 E61 G01 G E13 Q54
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Bichler, Shimshon; Nitzan, Jonathan
    Abstract: This note offers some speculative ideas worth considering. One of the key features of all hierarchical civilizations is their rulers’ fear of death. This fear was famously narrated in the ancient myth of Gilgamesh – the Sumerian king who realized that, like all other humans, he too was destined to die and embarked on a desperate quest to annul his mortality . According to Lewis Mumford, this quest for immortality is the main reason why society’s rulers are forever obsessed with building and fortifying power hierarchies – or ‘megamachines’, as he called them. Controlling these megamachines, Mumford argued, is the rulers’ way of playing God, a futile yet all-possessive effort to conquer the future and live forever. In capitalism, the rulers finally figured out how to do it – sort of.
    Keywords: capital,capitalization,future,immortality,power
    JEL: P16 G01 G00
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Sigle-Rushton, Wendy
    Abstract: Around the time that Population Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996, Susan Greenhalgh published ‘An intellectual, institutional, and political history of twentieth-century demography’. Her contribution described a discipline that, when viewed from its margins, prompted scholars in other disciplines to ask the following questions: ‘Why is the field still wedded to many of the assumptions of mid-century modernization theory and why are there no critical … perspectives in the discipline?’ (Greenhalgh 1996, p. 27). Those questions still arise today. Similarly, Greenhalgh’s observation that ‘neither the global political economies of the 1970s, nor the postmodernisms and postcolonialities of the 1980s and 1990s, nor the feminisms of any decade have had much perceptible impact on the field’ (pp. 27–8), remains a fairly accurate depiction of research published in Population Studies and other demography journals. In this contribution, focusing predominantly on feminist research and insights, I discuss how little has changed since 1996 and explain why the continued lack of engagement concerns me. Demographers still often fail to appreciate the impossibility of atheoretical ‘just descriptive’ research. Our methods carry assumptions and so rely on (often) implicit theoretical frameworks. Not making frameworks explicit does not mean they do not exert an important influence. I end by proposing that the training of research students should be part of a strategy to effect change.
    Keywords: feminist theory; modernization theory; sex role theory; gender; situated knowledge; Wiley deal
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–12–15
  9. By: Agapova, Anna; Budarina, N.A.; Gladkov, A.R.; Grafova, T.O.; Grozovskaya, E.V.; Kirbitova, S.V.; Kudrova, N.A.; Lipatova, N.G.; Prihod'ko, D.V.
    Abstract: The tutorial covers the basic concepts of world economy and foreign economic activity, tasks, directions of activity, skills of an economist in the field of world economy and foreign economic activity. Particular attention is paid to the organization of scientific research.
    Keywords: world economy, econimics
    JEL: F0
    Date: 2021–07–05
  10. By: Alberto Medina Méndez (Coordinator); Julio Jorge Elías; Roque Fernández; Santos Mercado Reyes; Bernard Munk; Edgardo Zablotsky
    Date: 2021–12
  11. By: Justin Kruger; M. Remzi Sanver (LAMSADE - Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2021–11
  12. By: Hoffer, Rewert
    Abstract: A growing literature emphasises the importance of non-state actors, both non-governmental organisations and corporations, in international relations since the late twentieth century. It is, however, often overlooked that business diplomacy and the influence of organised private actors on international economic relations has a much longer history. Relatedly, the workings of business associations that operated globally and represented more than one chamber of commerce have so far not been adequately analysed within the historical literature on business pressure groups. This dissertation will show that the businesspeople organised within the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), founded in 1920, possessed a high degree of influence on financial and economic diplomacy in the 1920s. Key members of the Chamber participated in reparations negotiations and collaborated closely with the Economic and Financial Organisation of the League of Nations. Through these channels of influence, the ICC could become one of the most important agents of economic globalisation in the interwar period. An analysis of ICC primary sources from the 1920s will provide readers with a new interpretation of the determinants of transatlantic capital movements after the conclusion of the Dawes Plan, evidence for the early contributions of business to global governance, an actor-centred view on globalisation processes, and a more nuanced perspective on interwar business and economic history in general.
    JEL: N0 L81
    Date: 2021–12

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