nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
four papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Don't reduce Amartya Sen to a single identity! By Antoinette Baujard
  2. Hayekian economic policy By Feld, Lars P.; Nientiedt, Daniel
  3. Licit and illicit risks in Thomas Aquinas's De emptione et venditione ad tempus By Pierre Januard
  4. Monetary solidarity in Europe: can divisive institutions become ‘moral opportunities’? By Schelkle, Waltraud

  1. By: Antoinette Baujard (Univ Lyon, UJM Saint-Etienne, GATE UMR 5824, F-42023 Saint-Etienne, France)
    Abstract: This paper reviews Amartya's Sen autobiography, Home in the World. A Memoir (Penguin Press, published 08/07/2021, 480 pages.ISBN: 9781846144868), focused on his thirty first years of life. I show that the book emphasizes how Sen values discussions and reason, the voice of each human being in their plurality, and their capacity to act in and on the world. I also support that, in this memoir, Sen succeeds in circumventing the standard misunderstandings of his major contributions, by taking seriously the different potential interpretations of the thinkers who influenced his line of thinking, and defending the one he considers valid. I illustrate this claim with five cases which, by highlighting his multiple identities, avoid associating Sen to a misguided tag.
    Keywords: Amartya Sen, Welfare, Discussion, Reason, Identities, Memoir
    JEL: B31 D63 D71 I31 I32
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Feld, Lars P.; Nientiedt, Daniel
    Abstract: What is the appropriate role of the state in economic policy-making? This paper shows that Friedrich Hayek, who is often considered a proponent of laissez-faire liberalism, offers three different answers to this problem. First, Hayek argues that the state should provide a legal framework for competitive markets. Second, he proposes to employ the rule of law criteria - generality, equality, and certainty - to distinguish permissible from non-permissible state interventions. Third, he rejects deliberate legislation and moves closer to the Misean idea of a minimal state. The paper considers these answers in light of Hayek's analysis of the knowledge problem. We suggest that a Hayekian approach to economic policy-making should focus on improving the framework of general rules that guide individual behavior, thereby enabling spontaneous ordering processes and reducing the epistemological burden placed on policy-makers.
    Keywords: Friedrich Hayek,Rule-based economic policy,Spontaneous order,Knowledge problem,Cultural evolution
    JEL: B31 D78 P16
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Pierre Januard (PHARE - Philosophie, Histoire et Analyse des Représentations Économiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In De emptione et venditione ad tempus, a brief early letter on forward selling, Thomas Aquinas presents a risk of usury inherent in the intertemporal dimension of exchange, but inherent also in licit expenses such as transport, and illicit ones such as borrowing costs or expenses incurred without attention or unwisely, which the merchant may or may not pass on via the price. These expenses appear as risks which are described here for the case of forward sale, but are properly inherent to any commercial activity. While transport is a part of the merchant's activity and represents the paradigm of licit risk, imprudence characterises two stages of failure in his management, namely negligence and mismanagement, and hence leads to illicit risk.
    Keywords: Thomas Aquinas,risks,expenses,transport,Prudence
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Schelkle, Waltraud
    Abstract: How does the inherent norm of integration, notably to share risks among its members in good faith, become a self-sustaining practice? I address this question generally and for a critical case of a divisive institution, i.e. the evolution of sovereign bailout funding in the Euro Area since 2010. Community building between states is a potential outcome of solidaristic practices, reinforced by positive feedback processes. Inspired by Deborah Stone’s [Stone, D. A. (1999). Beyond moral hazard: Insurance as moral opportunity. Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, 6(1), 12–46] work on insurance, I demonstrate that there are social mechanisms at play that favour the secular expansion of risk sharing between states.
    Keywords: crisis; Euro area; insurance; moral hazard; risk-sharing; solidarity; European Research Council under the Synergy Grant number ERC_SYG_2018 Grant no. 810356; as part of the project SOLID – Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics. Sovereignty; Solidarity and Identity in the EU post 2008.
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2022–02–26

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