nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Of Coase, Cattle, and Crime: Why the Becker Model is Compatible with a Moral Theory of Criminal Law By Thomas J. Miceli
  2. Categorical versus graded beliefs By Franz Dietrich
  3. Diskursversagen durch moralische Vor- und Fehl-Urteile: Die ordonomische Perspektive By Pies, Ingo
  4. Industrial Feudalism and Wealth Inequalities By Hanna Szymborska; Jan Toporowski
  5. Inequality and growth: a review on a great open debate in economics By Enea Baselgia; Reto Foellmi
  6. Prof. Dr. Steve H. Hanke and John Greenwood's Exclusive Joint Interview with Petia Minkova, Deputy Editor in Chief of 168 Hours By Hanke, Steve; Greenwood, John

  1. By: Thomas J. Miceli (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The economic model of crime is often portrayed (and criticized) as being contrary to a moral theory of criminal law. This paper advances the opposing view that the two theories are in fact potentially compatible with one another. The basis for this claim is that, whereas the Becker (1968) model is useful in prescribing a theory of optimal enforcement of the law, I will argue that it does not, and indeed cannot, provide a definitive prescription for its content. The reason is the reciprocal nature of harm in situations involving incompatible rights, a principle first identified by Coase (1960) in the general context of externalities. The paper develops this argument, offers a formal demonstration of it, and draws out some of its implications. JEL Classification: K14, K42 Key words: Criminal law, externalities, the Coase Theorem, moral theory of law
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Franz Dietrich (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 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, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This essay discusses the difficulty to reconcile two paradigms about beliefs: the binary or categorical paradigm of yes/no beliefs and the probabilistic paradigm of degrees of belief. The possibility for someone to hold both types of belief simultaneously is challenged by the lottery paradox, and more recently by a general impossibility theorem. The nature, relevance, and implications of the tension are explained and assessed. A more technical elaboration can be found in Dietrich and List (2018, 2021).
    Keywords: logic vs rational choice theory,yes/no belief vs subjective probabilities,lottery paradox,general impossibility theorem
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Pies, Ingo
    Abstract: Dieser Artikel zeigt auf, wie das ordonomische Forschungsprogramm moralische Vorund Fehl-Urteile, insbesondere in Form intentionalistischer und moralistischer Fehlschlüsse, konstruktiv kritisiert und damit - als Ethik - konstruktive Beiträge liefert, einem Diskursversagen mit überlegenen Argumenten entgegenzutreten.
    Keywords: Ordonomik,Wachstum,De-Growth,Klimapolitik,Moralparadoxon der Moderne,Diskursversagen,ordonomics,growth,de-growth,climate politics,moral paradox of modernity,discourse failure
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Hanna Szymborska (Birmingham City University); Jan Toporowski (SOAS, University of London)
    Abstract: The possibility, first raised by Rudolf Hilferding, of stabilizing a capitalist economy through the operations of a 'general cartel', leaving only social and political 'contradictions' to disturb the functioning of the system, gave rise to a discussion among Marxists not only on whether such a stabilization was at all possible, but also on the nature and scope of those contradictions. This discussion had been anticipated in the 1890s in the work of the Polish Marxist Ludwik Krzywicki (1859 - 1941). He put forward the idea that, in a capitalist economy stabilized in this way, a state of 'industrial feudalism' would prevail, in which society would become stratified into social classes without the possibility of mobility between those classes. This analysis was extended in 1940s by Oskar Lange (1904-1965) as he attempted to make sense of the American New Deal and rediscovered in the 1950s by Tadeusz Kowalik (1926-2012). This paper explains the concept of industrial feudalism and argues that the main mechanism for such a stratification today is the unequal distribution of wealth, in the context of declining welfare provision.
    Keywords: Industrial feudalism; social mobility; wealth distribution; Ludwik Krzywicki; Oskar Lange; Tadeusz Kowalik
    JEL: B14 B15 N3 P1 P16
    Date: 2022–01–18
  5. By: Enea Baselgia; Reto Foellmi
    Abstract: What is the relationship between inequality and growth? This question has occupied and fascinated social scientists for more than a century. This article critically reviews the recent empirical and theoretical literature on the complex interplay between inequality and economic growth. Inequality might come in many forms: (top) incomes, wages, wealth, land, or opportunities. At the same time, growth performance could be measured as average growth rates, variability of growth, or the potential for growth to 'take off'.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Inequality, Redistribution, Evidence, review
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Hanke, Steve (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise); Greenwood, John (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise)
    Abstract: This paper is the transcription of interview with Prof. Steve H. Hanke and John Greenwood, conducted by Petia Minkova. The interview was published in 168 Hours in Sofia, Bulgaria.
    Date: 2021–12–20

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