nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2023‒03‒06
six papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Straussian Grounded Theory: An Evolved Variant in Qualitative Research By Mohajan, Devajit; Mohajan, Haradhan
  2. THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF CAPITALISM. An Investigation of Adam Smith Pessimism By Roberto Censolo
  3. Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz’s Errors and a Reliable Solution to the Marxian Problem of Transformation in Direct and Inverse Formulation By Kalyuzhnyi, Valeriy
  4. Economics and Measurement: New measures to model decision making By Ingvild Almås; Orazio Attanasio; Pamela Jervis
  5. Six Decades of Economic Research at the Bank of England By Juan Acosta; Beatrice Cherrier; François Claveau; Clément Fontan; Aurélien Goutsmedt; Francesco Sergi
  6. Fritz John's Equation in Mechanism Design By Alfred Galichon

  1. By: Mohajan, Devajit; Mohajan, Haradhan
    Abstract: Grounded theory (GT) has emerged on the basis of different ontological and epistemological assumptions and is considered as a popular research approach in many branches of social science. Two American social scientists; Barney Galland Glaser (1930-2022) and Anselm Leonard Strauss (1916-1996) have founded it in 1967. Since the start of grounded theory in social science researches in 1967; more than 50 years have passed, and it has been using in many branches of social science, such as in nursing, healthcare, physiotherapy, education, economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, etc. Straussian grounded theory is a very well-known qualitative analysis in the world, and it explores dynamic and new phenomena. Straussian grounded theory researchers do not build their research on prearranged hypotheses; instead they develop theory of wellbeing for the humanity from the collected data of the reality. In this article an overview and significance of Straussian grounded theory for the qualitative research method has been discussed. This article also provides an understanding about the Straussian grounded theory approach for the novice researchers.
    Keywords: Qualitative research, grounded theory, Straussian version, ontology, epistemology
    JEL: A14 B41 B54 I23 I31
    Date: 2022–10–12
  2. By: Roberto Censolo
    Abstract: Smith’s ideal vision of capitalism envisages a virtuous loop between social prudence and macroeconomic performance that outlines a “progressive state†of society. The trickle down of wealth strengthens the confidence in the future and a steady adherence to prudent behaviour. At the same time, this reinforcing character of prudence encourages liberal virtues needed for growth. However, a path of perpetual growth is not conceivable in Smith analysis, considering both a moral and an economic perspective. Indeed, Smith’s pessimism about the future of commercial society relates to the intrinsic inability of capitalism to sustain social prudence in the long run due to an internal contradiction in its development process. In the progress of division of labour, the industry of labourers is progressively substituted with the industry of machines. Therefore, the development process, which is initially sustained by “the industry of mankind†, endogenously expels those liberal virtues that grounds a progressive state of society, with crucial social and political implication.
    Date: 2023–02–16
  3. By: Kalyuzhnyi, Valeriy
    Abstract: The paper argues that economists still regard the solution to the problem of the transformation of values into prices of production, got by L. von Bortkiewicz, as belonging to Marx himself. After all, it was allegedly “correctly corrected” by the said author in 1907. Bortkiewicz based his solution on several erroneous interpretations’ theory of Marx. Because of Bortkiewicz’s errors, the representatives of the mainstream see no connection between the “value system” and the “production price system”. They claim that the transformation problem itself results from impossibility and that Marxist value theory is, at best, irrelevant and irremediably inconsistent. The paper shows that the solution to the transformation issue exists in both the direct and inverse formulation. We used for this purpose the Tugan-Baranowsky—Bortkiewicz three-sector model. These results are consistent with the concept of Marx within the dualistic approach. They coincide with the results generated by the author in his previous work (see In the present paper, we introduce methods and examples of transformation, including iterative and based on solving systems of simultaneous equations. We prove again with their help that at equilibrium prices, profit arises from surplus value, or more precisely, from the newly created value generated by workers’ labour and from no other source. We also show that a dualistic approach to transformation allows us to see the advantages of value prices, which, unlike production prices, do not limit the growth of the productive power of labour when enterprises introduce new machines. Value prices are in demand under socialism.
    Date: 2022–03–01
  4. By: Ingvild Almås; Orazio Attanasio; Pamela Jervis
    Abstract: Most empirical work in economics has considered only a narrow set of measures as meaningful and useful to characterize individual behavior, a restriction justified by the difficulties in collecting a wider set. However, this approach often forces the use of strong assumptions to estimate the parameters that inform individual behavior and identify causal links. In this paper, we argue that a more flexible and broader approach to measurement could be extremely useful and allow the estimation of richer and more realistic models that rest on weaker identifying assumptions. We argue that the design of measurement tools should interact with, and depend on, the models economists use. Measurement is not a substitute for rigorous theory, it is an important complement to it, and should be developed in parallel to it. We illustrate these arguments with a model of parental behavior estimated on pilot data that combines conventional measures with novel ones.
    JEL: A1 D1
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Juan Acosta; Beatrice Cherrier (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, X - École polytechnique); François Claveau; Clément Fontan; Aurélien Goutsmedt; Francesco Sergi
    Abstract: This paper discusses the transformation of the content, role, and status of economic research at the Bank of England in the past 60 years. We show how four three factors (the policy functions and missions of the Bank, the attitude of its executives towards economics, and its organizational structure) shaped the evolution of in-house economic research at the Bank during three distinctive periods (1960-1991; 1992-2007; 2007-2014). Our account relies on a broad set of sources and methods (the Bank's publications, archives, interviews with current and former Bank's economists, bibliometric, prosopography, and topic modeling).
    Keywords: Bank of England, Monetary Policy, Central Banks
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Alfred Galichon (NYU - New York University [New York] - NYU - NYU System, CIMS - Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences [New York] - NYU - New York University [New York] - NYU - NYU System, ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We show the role that an important equation first studied by Fritz John plays in mechanism design. Dedicated to Nicholas Yannelis on his 65th birthday.
    Keywords: Implementability, Mechanism design, John's equation, Kevin Roberts' theorem
    Date: 2021–08–24

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