nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2022‒09‒19
ten papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Sheila Dow's Open Systems By Davis, John B.
  2. Проблема потребительского рыночного спроса в экономической теории и её разрешение: методология, теория, верификация By Gorbunov, Vladimir
  3. "We need to offer something better to the scholars of the future": Some thoughts on the "Hodgson debate" By Heise, Arne
  4. Quantifying Economic Reasoning in Court: Judge Economics Sophistication and Pro-business Orientation By Cao, Siying
  5. Introduction to The Creative Class Revisited: New Analytical Advances By Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Nijkamp, Peter
  6. On Gale's Contribution in Revealed Preference Theory By Yuhki Hosoya
  7. Environmental Policies Benefit Economic Development: Implications of Economic Geography By Seth Morgan; Alexander Pfaff; Julien Wolfersberger
  8. Causal Narratives By Chad W. Kendall; Constantin Charles
  9. Why Economic Theories and Policies Fail? Unnoticed Variables and Overlooked Economics By Victor Olkhov
  10. Algorithmic Fairness and Statistical Discrimination By John W. Patty; Elizabeth Maggie Penn

  1. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews Sheila Dow’s contributions to open systems thinking as a form of methodological argument and as an important foundation for pluralism in economics. It reviews the origins of her thinking in connection with her distinction between Cartesian/Euclidian and Babylonian thinking in the history of economics, discusses the further development of her views regarding open and closed systems in her 2002 Economic Methodology book and in connection with her ‘structured pluralism’ concept, discusses the 2005 paper co-authored with Victoria Chick, “The Meaning of Open Systems.†examines Dow’s and Chick’s view and critique of critical realism in regard to the relationship between models and theorizing and uses Piero Sraffa’s 1930s the open-closed distinction to provide a similar understanding of such boundaries and the relationship between models and theorizing, and finally comments on Dow’s contribution to openclosed systems thinking and pluralism in economics.
    Keywords: open systems, Babylonian, Euclidian, structured pluralism, critical realism, Samuels, Sraffa
    JEL: B41 B50
    Date: 2022–08
  2. By: Gorbunov, Vladimir
    Abstract: The problem of multi-product consumer demand in modern neoclassical economic theory is that this theory contains a formal normative mathematical theory of individual demand, but does not contain a positive theory of market demand– an object of real interest for economists-practitioners and governments. The consequence of this failure is the lack of a positive theory of value / price, based on the theory of economic equilibrium, and reasonable methods for analysing market demand, in particular, the calculation of economic (analytical) demand indices reflecting consumer preferences of the population. The demand problem is analysed substantively and formally within the framework of general scientific methodology. It is shown that Deaton's "aggregation over consumers" condition, introduced in Stone's heuristic analysis of market demand, is superfluous. The paper presents basics of the author’s scientific holistic theory of market demand, based on the rejection of the unrealistic theory of the individual maximizing his (ordinal) utility function, and the non-parametric method of its verification, within the framework of which analytical indexes of prices and quantities of consumption of market demand are being built. Recent articles confirming the work of the theory on real, high-dimensional data are point-ed out.
    Keywords: Economics crisis; market demand; methodological individualism; heterodox Economics, scientific methodology; verification; economic indexes
    JEL: B41 B50 C43 D11
    Date: 2022–08–19
  3. By: Heise, Arne
    Abstract: After the global financial crisis, hopes were high that there would be a pluralisation of the economics discipline and a boost for heterodox economics that challenged dominant economic models. However, mainstream economics once again proved its enormous resilience and the future of alternatives to this mainstream is anything but certain. Geoffrey Hodgson's new book on this issue has sparked fresh discussions about the stunted development of heterodox economics and proposals for possible ways forward. This article will argue that the crucial factor for the future of heterodox economics is not converging on a single unified paradigm or raising the quality of research, but rather gaining access to different kinds of capital, first and foremost professorial positions at universities. Such access is severely restricted under present conditions as a result of epistemological and ontological discrimination. Heterodox economics can only flourish if the epistemic community of economists embraces paradigmatic pluralism as part of their academic culture, or if regulations are put in place to secure access to such capital and so to academic freedom.
    Keywords: heterodox economics,pluralism,orthodox economics
    JEL: B50 B51 B52
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Cao, Siying
    Abstract: By applying computational linguistics tools to the analysis of US federal district courts' decisions from 1932 to 2016, this paper quantifies the rise of economic reasoning in court cases that range from securities regulation to antitrust law. I then relate judges' level of economic reasoning to their training. I find that significant judge heterogeneity in economics sophistication can be explained by attendance at law schools that have a large presence of the law and economics faculty. Finally, for all regulatory cases from 1970 to 2016, I hand code whether the judge ruled in favor of the business or the government. I find that judge economics sophistication is positively correlated with a higher frequency of pro-business decisions even after controlling for political ideology and a rich set of other judge covariates.
    Keywords: law and economics,judicial decision making,text as data
    JEL: K0 L5 Z1
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: In this introductory chapter, we contextualize and briefly describe the intellectual contributions of the different chapters in this book. Following this chapter, which comprises Part I of the book, there are eleven chapters and each of these chapters addresses a particular research question or a set of questions about the creative class. Part II of this book consists of two chapters and this part focuses on alternate conceptual approaches to the creative class. Part III also contains two chapters and this part concentrates on analytics. Part IV consists of five chapters and this part sheds light on a variety of regional perspectives on the creative class. Finally, the two chapters that make up part V takes a retrospective and a prospective look at research on the creative class. In the concluding section of the present chapter, we offer some reflections on the cornerstones of creative class theory as advocated by Richard Florida two decades ago.
    Keywords: Creative Class, Definition, Measurement, Modeling, Research
    JEL: R11 R12 R50
    Date: 2022–06–03
  6. By: Yuhki Hosoya
    Abstract: We investigate Gale's important paper published in 1960. This paper contains an example of a candidate of the demand function that satisfies the weak axiom of revealed preference and that is doubtful that it is a demand function of some weak order. We examine this paper and first scrutinize what Gale proved. Then we identify a gap in Gale's proof and show that he failed to show that this candidate of the demand function is not a demand function. Next, we present three complete proofs of Gale's claim. First, we construct a proof that was constructible in 1960 by a fact that Gale himself demonstrated. Second, we construct a modern and simple proof using Shephard's lemma. Third, we construct a proof that follows the direction that Gale originally conceived. Our conclusion is as follows: although, in 1960, Gale was not able to prove that the candidate of the demand function that he constructed is not a demand function, he substantially proved it, and therefore it is fair to say that the credit for finding a candidate of the demand function that satisfies the weak axiom but is not a demand function is attributed to Gale.
    Date: 2022–08
  7. By: Seth Morgan; Alexander Pfaff; Julien Wolfersberger (UMR PSAE - Paris-Saclay Applied Economics - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: For over a century, starting with the work of Alfred Marshall (and including in resource economics), economic geography has emphasized the productivity of dense urban agglomerations. Yet little attention goes to one key policy implication of economic geography's core mechanisms: Environmental policies can aid economic development, per se—not hurting the economy to help the environment but advancing both objectives. We review mechanisms from economic geography which imply that environmental policies can deliver such win-wins: influences upon agglomeration of long-standing natural conditions, like usable bays, which long were perceived as fixed yet now are being shifted by global environmental quality; agglomeration's effects on other influential conditions, like urban environmental quality; and the effects of rural nvironmental quality on the flows to cities of people and environmental quality. Finally, we consider a geographic policy typology in asking why society leaves money on the table by failing to promote environmental policies despite the potential win-wins that we highlight.
    Keywords: economic geography,development,environment,natural resources
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Chad W. Kendall; Constantin Charles
    Abstract: We study the generation, transmission, and effects of causal narratives - narratives which describe a (potentially incorrect) causal relationship between variables. In a controlled experiment, we show that exogenously generated causal narratives manipulate the beliefs and actions of subjects in ways predicted by theory. We then show how to ‘grow’ these types of narratives organically by asking subjects who observe a dataset of variables to advise future subjects on what actions to take. Subjects have a strict preference to share their homegrown narratives with other subjects, who are then persuaded by them. Finally, we show that factual, statistical information does not eliminate the power of causal narratives.
    JEL: D03 D90
    Date: 2022–08
  9. By: Victor Olkhov
    Abstract: Accuracy of economic theories and efficiency of economic policy strictly depend on the choice of the economic variables and processes mostly liable for description of economic reality. That states the general problem of assessment of any possible economic variables and processes chargeable for economic evolution. We show that economic variables and processes described by current economic theories constitute only a negligible fraction of factors responsible for economic dynamics. We consider numerous unnoted economic variables and overlooked economic processes those determine the states and predictions of the real economics. We regard collective economic variables, collective transactions and expectations, mean risks of economic variables and transactions, collective velocities and flows of economic variables, transactions and expectations as overlooked factors of economic evolution. We introduce market-based probability of the asset price and consider unnoticed influence of market stochasticity on randomness of macroeconomic variables. We introduce economic domain composed by continuous numeric risk grades and outline that the bounds of the economic domain result in unnoticed inherent cyclical motion of collective variables, transactions and expectations those are responsible for observed business cycles. Our treatment of unnoticed and overlooked factors of theoretical economics and policy decisions preserves a wide field of studies for many decades for academic researchers, economic authorities and high-level politicians.
    Date: 2022–08
  10. By: John W. Patty; Elizabeth Maggie Penn
    Abstract: Algorithmic fairness is a new interdisciplinary field of study focused on how to measure whether a process, or algorithm, may unintentionally produce unfair outcomes, as well as whether or how the potential unfairness of such processes can be mitigated. Statistical discrimination describes a set of informational issues that can induce rational (i.e., Bayesian) decision-making to lead to unfair outcomes even in the absence of discriminatory intent. In this article, we provide overviews of these two related literatures and draw connections between them. The comparison illustrates both the conflict between rationality and fairness and the importance of endogeneity (e.g., "rational expectations" and "self-fulfilling prophecies") in defining and pursuing fairness. Taken in concert, we argue that the two traditions suggest a value for considering new fairness notions that explicitly account for how the individual characteristics an algorithm intends to measure may change in response to the algorithm.
    Date: 2022–08

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