nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2023‒03‒20
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Фридрих Хайек за международният паричен ред. Идеи и проекти от 30-те и 40 години. By Nenovsky, Nikolay; Faudot, Adrien
  2. Can a Catholic be Liberal? Roman Catholicism and Liberalism in a Political Economy Perspective (1800–1970) By Stefano Solari
  3. What would be a sustainable liberalism ? By Claude Gamel
  4. Divorcing money creation from bank loans: Revisiting the “100% money” proposal of the 1930s By Samuel Demeulemeester
  5. Home Bias in Top Economics Journals By Bethmann, Dirk; Bransch, Felix; Kvasnicka, Michael; Sadrieh, Abdolkarim
  6. Exorbitant Privilege? On the Rise (and Rise) of the Global Dollar System By Perry Mehrling
  7. The panopticon, an emblematic concept in management and organization studies: Heaven or hell? By Aurélie Leclercq-Vandelannoitte

  1. By: Nenovsky, Nikolay; Faudot, Adrien
    Abstract: Among the economists who participated in the discussions about a new international and monetary order between the two world wars was Friedrich Hayek. Although they have been the subject of attention, - his positions and proposals of the 1930s on this topic, they are relatively less studied. In this paper we set out Hayek's views on the mechanisms of the international monetary system, grouped around the issues of monetary internationalism and nationalism. Second, we present his ideas on the organization of the international monetary system, grouped around the projects of restoring and improving the gold standard (1937), the commodity basket mechanism (1943), and the ideas of monetary federation (1939).
    Keywords: international monetary system, monetary nationalism, gold standard, monetary federalism, basket currency, Friedrich Hayek, Interwar economy
    JEL: B22 B31 E5 F4 N10
    Date: 2023–02–10
  2. By: Stefano Solari (Unipd - Università degli Studi di Padova = University of Padua)
    Abstract: The philosophy of the Enlightenment and political thought of modernity found tough opposition in the Roman Catholic Church. Liberalism was associated with Free Masons and revolutionary intent. Nonetheless, liberalism and political economy stimulated some theoretical analysis and specific theoretical positions in terms of social philosophy and social economics by the Church. This paper presents an analysis of encyclical letters and other papal documents, as well as the writings of other Catholic scholars, to elaborate on the theoretical points used to contrast liberalism. Compromises, as well as turning points in the evolution of the Catholic position, are investigated. Lastly, the epistemological and historical reasons for the affinity of Roman Catholicism with ethical liberalism and the limits of this similarity are discussed. 1. Liberal and Catholic, an Italian drama
    Date: 2023–02–13
  3. By: Claude Gamel (LEST - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Sociologie du Travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In France, liberalism is not a well-known philosophy, which is even often caricatured. After more than thirty years of personal academic research, the idea of developing a "sustainable" version of liberalism came to me slowly, which finally led to a book recently published (2021). The current text outlines the four basic components of which the book is the result (I) and the perspective adopted – Rawlsian "property-owning democracy" rather than Hayekian "rules of just conduct" (II). In fact, my (socially) sustainable liberalism is a true puzzle, in so far it aims to combine pieces borrowed from four authors – Hayek and Rawls, but also Sen and Van Parijs (III). In conclusion, such a liberalism could not be a completely sustainable one, because of course it concerns justice in society, but it is not enough to deal with other important challenges to be met in the contemporary world (IV).
    Abstract: Le libéralisme est en France une philosophie mal connue et souvent caricaturée. À l'issue de plus de trente ans de recherches universitaires personnelles, l'idée de développer une version « soutenable » du libéralisme s'est peu à peu imposée, conclue par la publication récente d'un ouvrage (2021). Le présent texte expose d'abord les quatre « ingrédients » dont cet ouvrage est le résultat (I), puis l'angle d'attaque adopté-la « démocratie de propriétaires » de Rawls, plutôt que « les règles de juste conduite » de Hayek (II). Mon libéralisme (socialement) soutenable est en fait un véritable puzzle qui cherche à emboiter des pièces empruntées à quatre auteurs-Hayek et Rawls, mais aussi Sen et Van Parijs (III). En conclusion, un tel libéralisme ne pourrait être complètement soutenable, car il aborde certes la question de la justice en société, mais cela ne suffit pas pour traiter d'autres défis importants que le monde contemporain a à relever (IV).
    Keywords: rules of just conduct, property-owning democracy, labour, capabilities, basic income, règles de juste conduite, démocratie de propriétaires, travail, capacités, revenu de base
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Samuel Demeulemeester (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - IEP Lyon - Sciences Po Lyon - Institut d'études politiques de Lyon - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The 2007-2008 global financial crisis has brought strong renewed interest in the "100% money" reform proposal, inherited from the 1930s, which aims at divorcing money creation from bank lending by imposing 100% reserves on current account deposits. This reform idea, however, is frequently subject to confusion, being sometimes likened to the idea of abolishing bank intermediation, sometimes to that of setting up a currency board, or yet mistaken for the more recent "narrow banking" proposal. For this reason, this article offers to clarify its concept and objectives, by revisiting the works of the authors of this proposal in the 1930s—Henry Simons, Lauchlin Currie and Irving Fisher in particular. After briefly recalling the history of the "100% money" idea, we present its main arguments, and then discuss its implications for the payment system, bank intermediation, and the institutional framework of money issuance. We conclude on the importance of a conceptual clarification of this reform idea in respect of the ongoing discussions about it.
    Abstract: La crise financière mondiale de 2007-2008 a conduit à un renouvellement d'intérêt marqué pour la proposition de réforme « 100% monnaie », héritée des années 1930, qui vise à dissocier la création monétaire des prêts bancaires en imposant 100% de réserves sur les dépôts en compte courant. Cette idée de réforme est cependant régulièrement sujette à confusion, étant tantôt assimilée à l'idée d'abolir l'intermédiation bancaire, tantôt à celle d'instaurer un currency board, lorsqu'elle n'est pas confondue avec la proposition plus récente du narrow banking. Pour cette raison, cet article entreprend d'en clarifier le concept et les objectifs, en revisitant les travaux des auteurs de cette proposition dans les années 1930 – Henry Simons, Lauchlin Currie et Irving Fisher notamment. Après un bref rappel historique de l'idée de « 100% monnaie », nous en présentons les principaux arguments, puis discutons de ses implications pour le système de paiement, l'intermédiation bancaire, et le cadre institutionnel de l'émission monétaire. Nous concluons sur l'importance d'une clarification conceptuelle de cette idée de réforme au regard des débats dont elle continue de faire l'objet.
    Keywords: 100% money, money creation, Irving Fisher, Chicago Plan, narrow banking, 100% monnaie, Plan de Chicago, création monétaire
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Bethmann, Dirk (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Bransch, Felix (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Kvasnicka, Michael (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Sadrieh, Abdolkarim (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: Two of the top economics journals have institutional ties to a specific university, the Quarterly Journal of Economics (QJE) to Harvard University and the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) to the University of Chicago. Researchers from Harvard, but also nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and from Chicago (co-)author a disproportionate share of articles in their respective home journal. Such home ties and publication bias may harm, but also benefit, article quality. We study this question in a difference-in-differences framework, using data on both current and past author affiliations and cumulative citation counts for articles published between 1995 and 2015 in the QJE, JPE, and American Economic Review (AER), which serves as a benchmark. We find that median article quality is lower in the QJE if authors have ties to Harvard and/or MIT than if authors are from other top-10 universities, but higher in the JPE if authors have ties to Chicago. We also find that home ties matter for the odds of journals to publish highly influential and low impact papers. Again, the JPE appears to benefit, if anything, from its home ties, while the QJE does not.
    Keywords: publishing process, institutional ties, citations, home bias
    JEL: A11 I2 J24
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Perry Mehrling (Boston University)
    Abstract: The global dollar system, though repeatedly reported to be on its last legs-most recently in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, but most famously in the Nixon devaluation of 1971-has repeatedly instead consolidated and gone on to further geographical expansion (McCauley 2021). The key currency approach to international monetary economics, first put forward by John H. Williams in the aftermath of the 1931 devaluation of sterling, suggests that such resilience arises from the actions of market practitioners who appreciate the convenience of a global means of payment. So the question arises, why has the key currency approach remained a minority view, if not among practicing bankers then certainly among practicing academics? This paper proposes two main reasons—the discredit of monetary optimism during the depression, and the subsequent fateful adoption of Walrasian equilibrium as the frame for academic discussion after WWII.
    Keywords: key currency approach, Hahn Problem, sterling system, dollar system, exorbitant privilege.
    JEL: B2 F3 N1
    Date: 2023–01–09
  7. By: Aurélie Leclercq-Vandelannoitte (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The well-known metaphor of ‘panopticon', derived from Bentham's project and popularized by Foucault, has long informed scholarly conversations in management and organization studies (MOS). Herein, we question the power of this emblematic metaphor. Through an in-depth literature review specifying its form, principle and goal, coupled to an investigation of Bentham's original writings, we identify two readings of the panopticon. First, we disentangle the uses of this concept in MOS literature and highlight a rather uniform and negative interpretation of the panopticon as a mechanism of social control and surveillance (first reading). Beyond this dominant interpretation, we contend that the panopticon is a richer concept than MOS literature acknowledges. Going back to Bentham's initial project, entailing not only one but plural types of panopticons, we propose a more comprehensive conceptualization of the panopticon (second reading) as: (1) a rewarding functional dispositive based on freedom and autonomy (form); (2) relying on information sharing, transparency and visibility (principle); and (3) striving for harmony and efficiency as ultimate ends (goal). In doing so, we generate a new way of seeing the panopticon in MOS research. We also reveal an inherent tension between both readings, interpreted as dystopia and utopia, and show that their combination allows grasping the ambivalence of panopticism in practice in ways that can inform further research on liberal management. As a practice of freedom, panopticism in practice might indeed turn into an instrument furthering control. To conclude, we highlight some analytical paths to help MOS scholars disentangle such ambivalence.
    Date: 2023–01

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