nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
eleven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Theories of value in the history of economic thought, from objective theory of value to the subjective one : Analysis and diagnostic By Aniss Mennoune
  2. Don't reduce Amartya Sen to a single identity! By Antoinette Baujard
  3. Change in and Changing Economics By Davis, John B.
  4. A talk with a Nobel Laureate Prof. Oliver Hart on “Voice vs. Exit” By Ayesha Atique
  5. H. David Evans, 1941-2022: Progenitor of Computable General Equilibrium Modelling in Australia By Peter Dixon
  6. Have We Passed Peak Capitalism? By Fix, Blair
  7. Testing the Hayek hypothesis: Recent theoretical and experimental evidence By Brian Albrecht; Omar Al-Ubaydli; Peter Boettke
  8. Journal of Economic Literature codes classification system (JEL) By Heikkilä, Jussi T. S.
  9. Arif Nizami Memorial Webinar – The legacy must go on…! By Moona Umar
  10. Souveraineté économique : entre ambitions et réalités By Emmanuel Combe; Sarah Guillou
  11. Norms as Obligations By Leonard Hoeft; Michael Kurschilgen; Wladislaw Mill; Simone Vannuccini

  1. By: Aniss Mennoune (Université Mohammed V)
    Date: 2022–06–22
  2. By: Antoinette Baujard (UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne], GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper reviews Amartya's Sen autobiography, Home in the World. A Memoir (Penguin Press, published08/07/2021, 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
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: Change in economics has likely always been a subject of discussion in economics and political economy. That discussion may have languished in the first post-World War II decades when neoclassicism was ascendent and dominated economics, but the emergence of game theory, more recently behavioral economics, and a variety of other new fields and approaches in economics since the 1980s has re-invigorated interest in the subject so that now there are many views on it. Yet systematic investigation of what change in economics involves has advanced little. Change is clearly always on-going in any discipline, but when it is said there is or is not ‘change in economics’ something more significant beyond this is usually intended. How, then, can this more significant sort of change be identified and explained? I begin by discussing the issue of method for analyzing change in economics.
    Keywords: change, boundaries, interdisciplinary, core-periphery, research practices, world values survey, open-closed systems
    JEL: A12 A13 A14 B20 B41 B50
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Ayesha Atique (GCUF Alumna)
    Abstract: The debate commenced with a question which has recently become a hot topic in the U.S and Europe; what could be the suitable objective of a public company. In this regard, almost half a century ago, one of the most famous economists, Milton Friedman, asserted in the New York Times that corporations have just one social responsibility that is to make money for their owners. However, many people do not agree with this point of view of Milton Friedman.
    Keywords: Talk, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Oliver Hart,
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Peter Dixon
    Abstract: David Evans was an Australian who completed a path-breaking Ph. D. thesis at Harvard in 1968 under the supervision of Wassily Leontief. The thesis set out Australia's first computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, with an application to an analysis of Australia's then policy of high tariffs. David returned to Australia in 1968 but left in 1973 and spent the rest of his career in the UK. Despite his relatively brief time working in Australia, David was a major contributor to Australian economics. In this paper, I start with a few personal reminiscences about David. Then I explain how the Evans model worked, and its limitations. This is followed by a description of what happened in Australian CGE research in the 1970s, post Evans. Since then, Australia has become well known in this field. The international reach of Australian CGE modelling is described briefly in the final part of the paper.
    Keywords: H David Evans, Linear programming, Computable general equilibrium modelling, Australian tariff policy
    JEL: C68 C61 B32
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Fix, Blair
    Abstract: Among leftists, predicting the end of capitalism is a favorite parlor game. For example, as a graduate student in the 2010s, I remember discovering the 1976 edition of Marx’s Capital and being struck by the introduction. Written by the Belgian Marxist Ernest Mandel, the foreword concluded that it was ‘most unlikely’ that capitalism would survive another half-century. This prediction (and many like it) did not age well. What capitalism’s critics often misunderstand is that social orders rarely ‘die’. More often, they fade into irrelevance. Just as no one can point to the end-date of feudalism, it seems unlikely that capitalism will have a decisive ‘finish’. But what it may have is a peak. The goal of this post is to chart the rise (and potential peak) of ‘capitalism’ … as I understand it. This caveat is key. To study a social system, we must first define it. To many people, capitalism is a ‘mode of production’ (a definition inherited from Marx). The view that I take here, however, is that capitalism is primarily an ideology — or what Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler call a ‘mode of power’. Capitalism is a set of ideas that justify the modern social order. Although there are many ways to chart the rise of capitalism, what interests me here is that it was the first major ideology to have spread during the era of mass publication. That means capitalism’s rise (and potential peak) should be visible in the word frequency of written language. For example, as capitalism spread, we’d expect that capitalist jargon — words like ‘market’ and ‘price’ — should become more common. And feudal jargon — words like ‘fief’ and ‘vassal’ — should become less common. Now, I’ve chosen these specific words as an illustration. But for my actual analysis, I do not ‘choose’ the jargon words. Instead, I choose a corpus of text that I believe encapsulates the ideology in question (capitalism or feudalism). And from there, I let the jargon of the text speak for itself. The basic idea is that jargon words are those that are both frequently used in a text corpus and overused relative to mainstream English. The first step of the analysis, then, is to select a corpus of ideological texts. To capture feudal ideology, I use a sample of 22 modern English bibles. I use modern translations because I don’t want text that contains archaic words (like ‘thou’). And I use the Bible because christian theology formed the backbone of European feudalism.1 To capture capitalist ideology, I use a sample of 43 introductory economics textbooks. My claim is that these textbooks deal mostly in capitalist metaphysics; they describe a fantasy world of self-equilibrating markets in which each person earns what they produce.2 With my sample of biblical and economics text, I first isolate the jargon words of each corpus. Then I use the Google English corpus to measure how the frequency of this jargon has changed over time. (As a consistency check, I also analyze the text in paper titles on the Sci-Hub database and book titles in Library Genesis.) I find that over the last several centuries, biblical jargon became less popular and was slowly replaced by economics jargon. I also find evidence that the popularity of economics language peaked during the 1980s, and has since declined. Ominously, this peak coincides with an uptick in the popularity of biblical language. In simple terms, it seems that we (anglophones) are in the midst of an ideological transition.
    Keywords: capitalism,economics,idelology,language,religion
    JEL: Z12 P16 Z13 Z1 A
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Brian Albrecht; Omar Al-Ubaydli; Peter Boettke
    Abstract: Economists well understand that the work of Friedrich Hayek contains important theoretical insights. It is less often acknowledged that his work contains testable predictions about the nature of market processes. Vernon Smith termed the most important one the 'Hayek hypothesis': that gains from trade can be realized in the presence of diffuse, decentralized information, and in the absence of price-taking behavior and centralized market direction. Vernon Smith tested this prediction by surveying data on laboratory experimental markets and found strong support. We extend Smith's work first by showing how subsequent theoretical advances provide a theoretical foundation for the Hayek Hypothesis. We then test the hypothesis using recent field experimental market data. Using field experiments allows us to test several other predictions from Hayek, such as that market experience increases the realized gains from trade. Generally speaking, we find support for Hayek's theories.
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Heikkilä, Jussi T. S.
    Abstract: The Journal of Economic Literature codes classification system (JEL) published by the American Economic Association (AEA) is the de facto standard classification system for research literature in economics. The JEL classification system is used to classify articles, dissertations, books, book reviews, and working papers in EconLit, a database maintained by the AEA. Over time, it has evolved and extended to a system with over 850 subclasses. This paper reviews the history and development of the JEL classification system, describes the current version, and provides a selective overview of its uses and applications in research. The JEL codes classification system has been adopted by several publishers, and their instructions are reviewed. There are interesting avenues for future research as the JEL classification system has been surprisingly little used in existing bibliometric and scientometric research as well as in library classification systems.
    Keywords: economics,JEL codes,classification systems,classifications,bibliometrics,scientometrics
    JEL: A10 A14
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Moona Umar (MPhil Scholar, PIDE)
    Abstract: Nadeem ul Haque felt very proud to call him brother. As PIDE plays the role of a think tank of Pakistan, PIDE has made a point to celebrate personalities like him who contribute so much to Pakistan. Previously PIDE has celebrated I. A. Rehman, Asma Jahangir, and now Arif Nizami. PIDE organized this webinar to celebrate Arif Nizami's life, to remember the person who set a high journalist standard. We have some of the best people here to celebrate his journey in life.
    Keywords: Arif Nizami, Memorial,
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Emmanuel Combe; Sarah Guillou (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: La pandémie de Covid-19 a conduit à un retour au premier plan de la question de la souveraineté économique, tout particulièrement en France. L'enjeu est de savoir quel contenu exact donner à cette notion. Cet exercice apparaît doublement nécessaire, car il permet tout à la fois d'éviter les écueils d'une politique de repli massif et de définir les contours d'une politique réaliste et efficace de souveraineté. Dans une acception maximaliste, la souveraineté économique conduirait à préconiser un retour à une certaine autarcie : pour ne dépendre de personne, un pays devrait en quelque sorte se mettre « hors du monde ». Nous montrons qu'une telle politique conduit à une impasse et qu'elle est même quasiment impossible. Une politique d'inspiration mercantiliste, qui viserait à réduire les importations, aurait quant à elle des effets opposés à ceux recherchés. En définitive, autarcie comme mercantilisme peuvent jouer contre les performances de l'économie et se révéler contradictoires avec un objectif de souveraineté économique. Dès lors que l'on écarte ces deux visions, la souveraineté économique consiste pour l'essentiel à s'assurer de la disponibilité de certaines productions jugées essentielles. Elle peut justifier, sous certaines conditions, de mener des politiques actives de relocalisation de produits jugés stratégiques, mais aussi d'engager une politique industrielle de rattrapage technologique.
    Keywords: souveraineté économique,pandémie de Covid-19,autarcie,mercantilisme,politique industrielle,rattrapage technologique
    Date: 2022–06–28
  11. By: Leonard Hoeft (Humboldt University to Berlin); Michael Kurschilgen (Technical University of Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business); Wladislaw Mill (University of Mannheim); Simone Vannuccini (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Economists model legal compliance as the process of maximizing utility while weighing the consequences from norm violation against other (monetary and non-monetary) considerations. Legal philosophers, on the other hand, believe that norms provide exclusionary reasons, i.e. that people apply the norm precisely to make a choice without weighing up on other issues. We test and compare both models in a controlled online experiment. We conduct a modified dictator game with partially unknown yet ascertainable payoffs, and vary between treatments the presence and content of authoritative norms. Our experimental results show that – in the presence of a norm – participants follow norms without searching for information that they deem important in the absence of a norm. This pattern is independent of the specific content of the norm. Our results are consistent with the legal model of norm compliance.
    Keywords: Norms, Information, Authority, Willful Ignorance, Dictator Game, Legal Theory, Experiment
    JEL: C91 D63 D81 D83 K10
    Date: 2022–07

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