nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
four papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. The life and works of Domenico Mario Nuti, 1937–2020: an appreciation By Estrin, Saul; Uvalic, Milica
  2. Grotius Among the English Merchants: Mare Liberum and Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in the Early Seventeenth Century By Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak
  3. Altruism and Strategic Courage. Inside Buchanan's Samaritan's Dilemma By Stefano Dughera; Alain Marciano
  4. Experiments in Finance – A Survey of Historical Trends By Christoph Huber; Michael Kirchler

  1. By: Estrin, Saul; Uvalic, Milica
    Abstract: It is challenging to provide an encompassing portrait of Mario Nuti's life and works: he was an exceptional man, who made significant intellectual contributions across a wide range of fields, as well as inspiring generations of students, colleagues and the profession in general, for more than fifty years. A brilliant debater and controversialist, he was equally at home in economic theory and in giving policy advice, and over the decades he had made significant contributions to many branches of the discipline. In this memorial article, we try to give a flavour of the man and his work, hopefully reminding the conoscenti of Mario's perceptive and original work, while introducing a new generation of scholars to his distinctive take on the field of economics.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2021–06–23
  2. By: Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (The American University of Paris)
    Abstract: Hugo Grotius was a widely read and influential figure in seventeenth-century England. Whereas later generations portrayed him as a forefather to modern theories of natural and international law, the publication of Mare Liberum (1609) offered a grounded argument for free trade against the restrictions imposed by the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. But Grotius's notion of free trade, of course, was far removed from the later ideal of Richard Cobden. His model of commercial organization was firmly anchored on the chartered mercantile company, and he served as a spokesperson for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) during the Anglo-Dutch Conferences of 1613 and 1615, which sought to appease growing tensions among Dutch and English trading interests in Asia. As the diplomatic and economic relations between England and the Dutch Republic progressively deteriorated during the early decades of the seventeenth century, Grotius's rendition of the law of nations came increasingly to be regarded as a rationalization of Dutch dominance over long-distance trade routes. English commentators, who wished to emulate Dutch success but feared aggression and subordination, had to fashion a different framework of international politics to sustain their vision of an emerging English maritime empire. Tracing the uses of Mare Liberum in the mercantile literature of early Stuart England, the paper will study how this foundational work of modern international thought shaped the political economic discourse of English merchants, as well as their supporters and adversaries in the political arena. Changing attitudes toward Grotius's arguments will help us identify the origins of certain ideas about empire that later came to the fore by the time of the Navigation Acts and the Anglo-Dutch wars. We will thus explore how Grotius's version of the law of nations -- before it was retrospectively converted into a cornerstone of liberal internationalism -- was entangled in concrete disputes between rival imperial projects.
    Keywords: Hugo Grotius,Mare Liberum,free trade,British Empire,fisheries
    Date: 2022–06–15
  3. By: Stefano Dughera (UNITO - Università degli studi di Torino = University of Turin); Alain Marciano (MRE - Montpellier Recherche en Economie - UM - Université de Montpellier, UM - Université de Montpellier)
    Abstract: The Samaritan's Dilemma has largely been investigated, frequently by assuming that Samaritans help recipients out of altruism. Yet, Buchanan did not make any behavioral assumption regarding the Samaritan's motives. In this paper, we explicitly introduce this assumption in Buchanan's original model and analyze how this changes the nature of the game. We show that altruism alone does not explain the dilemma. A parameter that captures the disutility the Samaritan feels when helping someone who does not reciprocate her benevolence must be introduced to make sense of the different version of Buchanan's Samaritan's Dilemma. We also show that the Samaritan's dilemma is an evolutionary stable outcome, which confirms Buchanan's intuitions. Finally, a third important point put forward in the paper is that the more altruistic are the Samaritans, the less likely it is that they will show the kind of strategic courage envisaged by Buchanan, which is one of the most important traits Samaritans should display to avoid being trapped in a dilemma.
    Keywords: Buchanan,Samaritan's Dilemma,Altruism,Strategic Courage,Strategic Courage JEL Classification: B15
    Date: 2022–06–06
  4. By: Christoph Huber; Michael Kirchler
    Abstract: Experiments can complement other methods in identifying causal relationships and in measuring behavioral deviations from theoretical predictions. While the experimental method has long been central in many scientific disciplines, it was almost nonexistent in finance until the 1980s. To survey the development of experiments in finance, we compile a comprehensive account of experimental studies published in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Review of Finance, Journal of Quantitative and Financial Analysis, and Journal of Banking and Finance—as well as of experimental finance studies published in the Top 5 journals in economics. With this novel dataset, we identify historical trends in experimental finance. Since the first experiments where published in finance journals in the 1980s, and especially in the last 20 years, the share of experimental publications in these journals has increased strongly. We report trends towards descriptive experiments, individual decision experiments, and field experiments.
    Keywords: Experimental finance, laboratory experiments, field experiments, survey.
    JEL: B41 C90 G00 G41
    Date: 2022–09

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