nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒04‒18
seventeen papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Walter Eucken on competitive order at the founding meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society 1947 By Kolev, Stefan; Horn, Karen
  2. Do economists replicate? By Fiala, Nathan; Neubauer, Florian; Peters, Jörg
  3. Thinking as an Engelsian By Royle, Camilla
  4. The "place of the Phillips curve" in macroeconometric models: The case of the first Federal Reserve Board's model (1966-1980s) By Rancan, Antonella
  5. The Economics of Education : Unkept Promises ? By Jean-Luc Demeulemeester; Claude Diebolt
  6. Categorical versus graded beliefs By Franz Dietrich
  7. Die Werttheorie von Karl Marx - neu interpretiert By Rainer Lippert
  8. Behavioral and heuristic models are as-if models too — and that’s ok By Ivan Moscati
  9. A tribute to Thierry Bréchet, an economist of the environment and of the public interest By Tulkens, Henry; Borissov, Kirill; Eyckmans, Johan; Lambrecht, Stéphane; Picard, Pierre M.; Tsachev, Tsvetomir; Veliov, Vladimir
  10. When lawmakers met progressives. Debating the American federal income tax of 1894 By Javier San Julian Arrupe
  11. Revisiting the Properties of Money By Hull, Isaiah; Sattath, Or
  12. A 'Sudden Outrcry' for Free Trade: Autonomy, Empire and Political Economy in the Irish Free Trade Campaign, 1779-1785 By Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
  13. Hacia una renovación de la teoría marxista del valor. Debates recientes By Samuel Jaramillo
  14. Why Was Keynes Opposed to Reparations and Carthaginian Peace?‎ By Elise S. Brezis
  15. Jewish Law and Ethics: The Case of the Revolving Door By Elise S. Brezis
  16. The Cold War Origins of Global IR. The Rockefeller Foundation and Realism in Latin America By Laiz, Álvaro Morcillo
  17. Male and Female Voices in Economics By Sievertsen, Hans Henrik; Smith, Sarah

  1. By: Kolev, Stefan; Horn, Karen
    Abstract: This paper provides, after a contextualizing introduction, the first-time translation of Walter Eucken's presentation during the first session of the founding meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society, April 1-10, 1947. Eucken was the only scholar based in Germany to attend the conference and took an active part already in its preparation, especially through his extensive exchange with Friedrich A. Hayek and Wilhelm Röpke. While Eucken participated in several subsequent sessions, his intervention in the session ''Free' Enterprise and Competitive Order' is of particular interest with regard to the political economy of the Freiburg School. It reveals strong parallels to Hayek's contemporaneous research program and the 'Old Chicago' School.
    Keywords: Mont Pèlerin Society,neoliberalism,ordoliberalism,Walter Eucken,Friedrich A. Hayek,Chicago School
    JEL: A11 B25 B31 B41 H11 P16
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Fiala, Nathan; Neubauer, Florian; Peters, Jörg
    Abstract: Reanalyses of empirical studies and replications in new contexts are important for scientific progress. Journals in economics increasingly require authors to provide data and code alongside published papers, but how much does the economics profession indeed replicate? This paper summarizes existing replication definitions and reviews how much economists replicate other scholars' work. We argue that in order to counter incentive problems potentially leading to a replication crisis, replications in the spirit of Merton's 'organized skepticism' are needed - what we call 'policing replications'. We review leading economics journals to show that policing replications are rare and conclude that more incentives to replicate are needed to reap the fruits of rising transparency standards.
    Keywords: Replication,research transparency,generalizability
    JEL: A11 C18
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Royle, Camilla
    Abstract: In this essay, I address the question of how Marxism influences our thought and action as radical intellectuals by focusing on Friedrich Engels’ work, Dialectics of Nature, the way it has been taken up in critical environmental studies and how Engels’ thinking has influenced me. In later life, Engels made important contributions on topics that are distinct from Marx's economic work. He attempted to apply dialectical methods to the “natural sciences” and he also used his knowledge of anthropology to produce a study of the historical origins of private property and women's oppression. In both cases he has been accused of adopting a positivist approach that lacks the emphasis on human agency found in Marx. Here, I challenge this view by showing how Engels’ work has been of use to practicing scientists – particularly to Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin in their book The Dialectical Biologist. I further argue that this understanding of dialectics is fully commensurable and actually advances an approach to Marxism that is based on human self-emancipation. As an undergraduate biology student these scientists inspired me with their approach to their subject as well as their activism. The essay concludes with some brief thoughts on the importance and limitations of adopting a Marxist method when considering socio-environmental change.
    Keywords: biology; dialectics; environment; friedrich Engels; Karl Marx
    JEL: B14 B24 P2 P3
    Date: 2021–11–03
  4. By: Rancan, Antonella
    Abstract: In the article I examine how model builders from academia and from the Federal Reserve Board confronted the Phillips curve in the construction and subsequent modifications of the Federal Reserve, MIT and University of Pennsylvania macroeconometric model. It is argued that academic debates on Friedman's and Phelps' accelerationist hypothesis, and the evolution of the macroeconomics discipline, did not affect the model building agenda at the Division of Research and Statistics of the Board over the 1970s and 1980s.
    Keywords: Phillips curve, Natural rate hypothesis, Federal Reserve-MIT-University of Pennsylvania model
    JEL: B22 B23 E12
    Date: 2022–03–29
  5. By: Jean-Luc Demeulemeester (Dulbéa - Département d'économie appliquée de l'université libre de Bruxelles - ULB - Université libre de Bruxelles, SKOPE, Economics - University of Oxford [Oxford]); Claude Diebolt (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UL - Université de Lorraine - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Humboldt University of Berlin, LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier)
    Abstract: In the introduction of the Handbook of Health Economics, Anthony Cuyler and Joseph Newhouse (2000) have contended that the economics of education was not very successful as a field and that it was comparatively lagging behind health economics. The latter had been much more active and able to accumulate much firmer results. Indeed, "whereas the economics of education seems to have atrophied, however, health economics has flourished and provided practical answers to practical questions as well as developing its own distinctive theoretical modes. Education economists have largely failed to resolve their own research agenda (the determination of earnings differentials, the contribution of education to economic growth, the social rate of return to training and education, the optimal size of schools and classes, the use of primitive outcome measures...). Blaug (1998, p.S66) comments that virtually all of the 100 articles in the 1985 International Encyclopaedia of Education devoted to the economics of education could just as well have been written in 1970 or even 1960" (Cuyler and Newhouse, 2000, p.3). Is it a provocative stance, or does it embody at least some elements of truth ? The objective of this special issue of the Brussels Economic Review is to present a series of pieces of research, both theoretical and applied, even policy-oriented, in order to let the reader judge by himself. In this very short introduction, we would like to remind the history of the field of economics of education, and then situate the various contributions in this context.
    Keywords: Economics of Education,Health economics,Education
    Date: 2022–03–24
  6. By: Franz Dietrich (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - 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, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - 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 beliefs of both types simultaneously is challenged by the lottery paradox, and more recently by a general impossibility theorem by Dietrich and List. The nature, relevance, and implications of the tension are explained and assessed.
    Keywords: impossibility theorem,lottery paradox,belief binarization,subjective probability,yes/no belief vs. graded belief,logic vs. rational choice theory,binary belief,credence
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Rainer Lippert (Departement d'économie - université de Mannheim)
    Abstract: In diesem Artikel wird die klassische Interpretation der Arbeitswerttheorie analysiert und eine zeitgemäße Interpretation vorgestellt. Es wird gezeigt, dass die Wertbildung, wie Marx sie beschreibt, vom Grundgedanken her richtig ist – der Wert basiert auf der Arbeit von Arbeitskräften. Doch im Detail weist sie Fehler auf. Das betrifft insbesondere den Ort der Wertbildung, den Marx in der Produktionssphäre lokalisiert. Es wird gezeigt, dass der Wert als ein gesellschaftliches Verhältnis zwischen Tauschpartnern erst auf dem Markt gebildet wird und nicht vorher geschöpft werden kann. Erst auf dem Markt wird der Wert den Tauschgütern zugeordnet. Es wird begründet, dass nur die Voraussetzungen für Wertbeziehungen und Werte produziert werden können – von Menschen, Maschinen und Teilen der Natur. Dazu muss die bekannte Wertformel von Marx präzisiert werden. Der Wert wird als gesellschaftlich relevante Anerkennung von Aufwendungen beschrieben und grafisch dargestellt.
    Keywords: Marx,Wert,Mehrwert,Werttheorie,Arbeitswerttheorie,Markt JEL-Klassifikation: A1,A19,E00,E11,E40,G10,P20,P22,value,surplus value,value theory,Labor Theory of Value
    Date: 2022–03–01
  8. By: Ivan Moscati
    Abstract: I examine some behavioral and heuristic-based models of individual decision making, and argue that the diverse psychological mechanisms these models posit are cognitively too demanding to be implemented, consciously or unconsciously, by actual decision makers. Accordingly, and contrary to what their advocates typically claim, behavioral and heuristic models are best understood as “as-if models†that account for the observable choices that individuals make, but do not pretend to capture the actual psychological mechanisms that generate those choices. In this respect, behavioral and heuristic models are just like neoclassical models, whose as-if status is generally acknowledged. I then sketch a local version of scientific antirealism that justifies the practice of as-if modelling in the theory of decision making. The antirealism on offer emphasizes the role that mechanistic explanations play in decision analysis, and therefore goes beyond traditional instrumentalism.
    Keywords: Decision theory; Expected Utility theory; Cumulative Prospect Theory; Priority Heuristic model; Scientific antirealism; Mechanistic explanation
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Tulkens, Henry (Université catholique de Louvain, LIDAM/CORE, Belgium); Borissov, Kirill (European University at St. Petersburg); Eyckmans, Johan (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); Lambrecht, Stéphane (Université Polytechnique des Hauts de France); Picard, Pierre M. (University of Luxembourg); Tsachev, Tsvetomir (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences); Veliov, Vladimir (Technische Universität Wien)
    Abstract: In this obituary we evoke a few of the many areas in which he worked, focusing on results and his personal contributions. In the last section we review the main stages of his career.
    Date: 2022–01–01
  10. By: Javier San Julian Arrupe (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: In 1894 the American Congress passed a 2% tax on incomes over 4,000 US dollars, as part of a bill seeking to reduce tariffs. Transformations in the American society after the Civil War triggered an increasing role of the State, calling for a tax reform. Concerned for tax justice, progressive economists sponsored a tax system grounded on ability to pay, demanding an income tax. Farmers and the working class joined this demand, feeling that American tax system was harmful to them. The decade of 1890 consolidated this opinion, leading a majority of lawmakers at the House to embrace the idea of a federal income tax. Even if struck down by the Supreme Court, the federal income tax of 1894 was an economic milestone in the Progressive Era, mirroring new social concerns. This paper examines the debates on the income tax in the House, with a twofold conclusion. First, representatives accepted the arguments of progressive economists for tax reform and used them in the discussion. Second, political economy played a central role in the debate as an instrument to confer legitimacy and reputation to representatives’ arguments for the income tax, and crucially aided in the building of consensus for the reform.
    Keywords: Tax policy, income tax, progressive era, progressivism.
    JEL: B15 H20 H71 N11
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Hull, Isaiah (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden); Sattath, Or (Department of Computer Science)
    Abstract: The properties of money commonly referenced in the economics literature were originally identified by Jevons (1876) and Menger (1892) in the late 1800s and were intended to describe physical currencies, such as commodity money, metallic coins, and paper bills. In the digital era, many non-physical currencies have either entered circulation or are under development, including demand deposits, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), in-game currencies, and quantum money. These forms of money have novel properties that have not been studied extensively within the economics literature, but may be important determinants of the monetary equilibrium that emerges in forthcoming era of heightened currency competition. This paper makes the first exhaustive attempt to identify and define the properties of all physical and digital forms of money. It reviews both the economics and computer science literatures and categorizes properties within an expanded version of the original functions-and-properties framework of money that includes societal and regulatory objectives.
    Keywords: Money; CBDC; Digital Currencies; Quantum Money; Currency Competition
    JEL: E40 E42 E50 E51
    Date: 2021–11–01
  12. By: Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (The American University of Paris - The American University of Paris)
    Abstract: In November 1779, the group of Irish militias known as the Volunteers rallied around a statue of King William III in Dublin protesting for free trade between Ireland and Britain. The episode kickstarted a series of political negotiations around the topic that culminated in the abortive proposal for the establishment of a free trade area in 1785. From the Irish perspective, free trade was regarded as a strategy for eliminating the restrictions and regulations, emanating from London, which had so far stifled the development of local industry. In Britain, however, the proposal faced hostilities due to the expected dislocations for established manufacturing interests. Newly appointed prime minister William Pitt tried to justify the case for free trade with Ireland before the British public by appealing to its beneficial effects for a unified and coherent imperial trade policy. This, in turn, proved unacceptable to Irish politicians and agitators, who regarded free trade as a step in the route to more -- not less -- political autonomy. Exploring public arguments on this topic, the paper investigates the economic and political meanings associated with free trade during the later decades of the 18th century, while discussing how these notions related to the literature on political economy circulating at the time.
    Keywords: free trade,protection,British Empire,Ireland,Josiah Tucker,Adam Smith
    Date: 2022–02–23
  13. By: Samuel Jaramillo
    Abstract: Este texto se inscribe en los debates suscitados por el nuevo y creciente interés por las tesis económicas de Carlos Marx y, en especial, por su Teoría del Valor Trabajo. La noción que anima este texto sostiene que las múltiples objeciones que se han formulado sobre ella en realidad apuntan a versiones y formalizaciones que corresponden más a las elaboraciones de Ricardo. Marx consideraba que su versión sobre la teoría del valor no solo era distinta, sino mucho más avanzada y rigurosa que la de su predecesor. En este texto se plantea que las nuevas exploraciones sobre la teoría del valor, muy prometedoras para una interpretación crítica del capitalismo, se apoyan de manera decisiva en reinterpretaciones de Marx en las que se rescatan elementos de su reflexión que han sido eliminados por pensadores posteriores, tanto partidarios como contradictores, y su elaboración y desarrollo para épocas presentes. El texto consiste en una reconstrucción sucinta los principales hitos de la Teoría del Valor Trabajo, interpretados desde esta óptica, lo que suscita versiones diferentes a las más extendidas. Así se examinan las formulaciones de esta teoría elaboradas por Smith, Ricardo y Marx. Se analizan desde una perspectiva actual los cuestionamientos planteados alrededor del debate sobre la Transformación de Valores en Precios principalmente por Bortkiewicz y más tarde por Sraffa y la Escuela Neoricardiana. Se incluye una reflexión sobre las concepciones al respecto dominantes en el marxismo del siglo XX, que aquí se sostiene que de facto están más cercanas a Ricardo que a Marx. Se examinan dos corrientes neo-marxistas contemporáneas, la "Nueva Aproximación" y los "secuencialistas" (del Sistema Temporal Único) que pretenden precisamente elaborar nuevos desarrollos a partir de reinterpretaciones de las tesis de Marx. El texto termina con la presentación de algunos planteamientos originales que tienen esta misma perspectiva, que se apoyan parcialmente en las fromulaciones neomarxistas, pero también en re-elaboraciones de distintos momentos de esta tradición y que apuntan a la formulación de una Teoría del Valor Trabajo Abstracto.
    Keywords: teoría del valor trabajo, marxismo, economía marxista
    JEL: B51
    Date: 2022–03–03
  14. By: Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: The Economic Consequences of the Peace was first published in 1919, and since then, changed the economic discourse surrounding reparations and Carthaginian peace. This paper specifies how three elements hinted at in the introduction of the Economic Consequences of the Peace – social classes, national sovereignty, and the international political system – can explain Keynes’ assessment of Carthaginian peace. The paper analyzes the optimality of reparations in the context of these three elements. I show that in the situation of a hegemonic country, all classes - the working class as well as the elite - opt for no reparations. But, in a balance of power context, wherein no single actor on the international scene possesses hegemonic status, the working class will choose harsh reparations, while the transnational elite and Keynes will not.
    Keywords: Balance of Power, Carthaginian Peace, Hegemony, Reparations, National Sovereignty.
    JEL: B17 B27 E12 F30
    Date: 2022–03
  15. By: Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: What is ethics and how is it related to the legal system and to economics? Are there ethical values in Jewish Law, and could it be that we find in the writing of Hazal [the sages] an interest in job turnover? The purpose of this paper is to answer to those questions by focusing on a specific element of our economic life: the revolving door.
    Keywords: corruption; ethics; legal system; revolving door; social norms.
    JEL: H10 H70 O11 O43
    Date: 2022–03
  16. By: Laiz, Álvaro Morcillo
    Abstract: The literature on global international relations (IR) has argued that the discipline develops in the footsteps of world politics, but no sustained at- tention has been given to more immediate causes such as the funders that pay for IR teaching and scholarship. These donor–recipient relations have only attracted the attention of authors interested in cultural hege- mony and those contributing to the recent historiography of IR. Among the latter, some have studied how during the Cold War the Rockefeller Foundation attempted to buttress classical realism in the United States and Western Europe. This article connects and moves forward IR histori- ography and the global IR literature by shedding light on philanthropic foundations’ attempts to further a specific IR theory—classical realism— and area studies in the global south. The article argues that world poli- tics influenced global IR, but this influence was mediated by highly con- tingent events. Even a proximate cause like science patronage, let alone “world politics,” is not a sufficient cause capable of determining IR the- ories and disciplinary boundaries. Donors may achieve some impact but only under specific circumstances such as the ones explored here, that is, the donor is a unitary actor determined to advance its agenda by resorting to conditionality, alternative donors and funding are scarce, the discipline is either poorly or not institutionalized, and the recipient perceives the donor’s preferences as legitimate. The article uses previously untapped, fine-grained, primary sources to unravel philanthropy’s impact on Latin America’s first IR center. Because science patronage is exposed to many sources of indeterminacy and to contingency, donors cannot determine scholarship, which makes cultural hegemony all but impossible. Still, IR scholars need to study their patrons to understand their discipline, in and outside Europe and the United States.
    Date: 2022–02–28
  17. By: Sievertsen, Hans Henrik (University of Bristol); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: Women's voices are likely to be even more absent from economic debates than headline figures on female under-representation suggest. Focusing on a panel of leading economists we find that men are more willing than women to express an opinion and are more certain and more confident in their opinions, including in areas where both are experts. Women make up 21 per cent of the panel but 19 per cent of the opinions expressed and 14 per cent of strong opinions. We discuss implications for the economics profession and for promoting a genuine diversity of views.
    Keywords: gender, economics profession
    JEL: A11 J16
    Date: 2022–03

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