nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Adam Smith's Theory of Value: A Reappraisal of Classical Price Discovery By Sabiou Inoua; Vernon Smith
  2. Standing on the shoulders of giants or science? Lessons from ordoliberalism By Feld, Lars P.; Köhler, Ekkehard A.
  3. Vision and Analysis in Schumpeter’s Theory: A Reappraisal in Economic Philosophy By Tristan VELARDO
  4. "Stan the Man": On Stanley Fischer and MIT By Olivier J Blanchard
  5. Uma Jornada pelo Tempo: Explorando a História do Pensamento Econômico By da Silva, Breno Nery
  6. Sraffa and the ‘slogans not used’ By Fratini, Saverio Maria; Ravagnani, Fabio
  7. Ethik des Kapitalismus By Pies, Ingo

  1. By: Sabiou Inoua; Vernon Smith
    Abstract: The relevance of Adam Smith for understanding human morality and sociality is recognized in the growing interest in his work on moral sentiments among scholars of various academic backgrounds. But, paradoxically, Adam Smith's theory of economic value enjoys a less prominent stature today among economists, who, while they view him as the 'father of modern economics', considered him more as having had the right intuitions about a market economy than as having developed the right concepts and the technical tools for studying it. Yet the neoclassical tradition, which replaced the classical school around 1870, failed to provide a satisfactory theory of market price formation. Adam Smith's sketch of market price formation (Ch. VII, Book I, Wealth of Nations), and more generally the classical view of competition as a collective higgling and bargaining process, as this paper argues, offers a helpful foundation on which to build a modern theory of market price formation, despite any shortcomings of the original classical formulation (notably its insistence on long-run, natural value). Also, with hindsight, the experimental market findings established the remarkable stability, efficiency, and robustness of the old view of competition, suggesting a rehabilitation of classical price discovery. This paper reappraises classical price theory as Adam Smith articulated it; we explicate key propositions from his price theory and derive them from a simple model, which is an elementary sketch of the authors' more general theory of competitive market price formation.
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Feld, Lars P.; Köhler, Ekkehard A.
    Abstract: James Buchanan would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2019. This serves as an inspiration to look at the future of public choice and the question of how much normativity public choice can bear. In our analysis we draw parallels between public choice and German ordoliberalism (and its source in the Freiburg School of Economics). We argue that the reception of ordoliberalism exemplifies easy-to-grasp pitfalls that should be taken seriously. We anchor the future agenda of public choice in a solid individualist perspective. Similar to ordoliberalism, public choice will have to clarify its relation to normative economics. The effects of rules and institutions and their working properties should be thoroughly analyzed empirically. The role of ideas is important for the normative foundation of both public choice/ constitutional economics and ordoliberalism, and is rooted in normative individualism. It provides a benchmark by which rules and institutions can be judged as favorable.
    Keywords: Public Choice, Methodology, James Buchanan, Normativity, Individualism
    JEL: B13 B26 B31 D78 E61 E63
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Tristan VELARDO (CLERSÉ - Centre Lillois d’Études et de Recherches Sociologiques et Économiques - UMR 8019 - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In order to deal with the relationship between science and ideology, Schumpeter distinguishes the Vision, an "effort of pre-analytical knowledge" which is, by definition, historically and socially located and which constitutes a necessary step of the scientific procedure on which is based what Schumpeter calls the "Analysis". The Analysis is strictly scientific work and responds, as such, to a number of rules whose objective is to provide satis- factory solutions to the problems encountered. The rules of analytical pro- cedure would be a solution to prevent the analysis from ideological contamination. Schumpeter thus develops a positive conception of science which is expressed by the elimination of ideology and philosophy by mov- ing them back to a pre-analytical moment. This paper intends to use economic philosophy, first as a tool to make a critical appraisal of the distinction between Vision and Analysis in Schumpeter's work. Indeed, rather than reconstructing a Vision, which would be prior and separate from the Analysis, economic philosophy proposes to grasp the fundamental philosophical questions of economic theories. In doing so, this paper proposes, secondly, to apply the methods of economic philosophy to Schumpeter's work in order to introduce a new entry to his work: the philosophical question running thought his work, i.e. the emergence of novelty.
    Abstract: Afin de traiter des rapports entre science et idéologie, Schumpeter distingue la Vision, cet « effort de connaissance pré-analytique » qui, par définition, est historiquement et socialement situé et qui constitue une étape nécessaire de la procédure scientifique sur laquelle se bâtit ce qu'il appelle « Analyse ». L'analyse est le travail proprement scientifique et répond, à ce titre à un certain nombre de règles dont l'objectif est de fournir des solutions satisfaisantes aux problèmes posés. Les règles de procédure analytique seraient une solution pour prémunir l'analyse contre une contamination idéologique. Schumpeter développe une conception positive de la science qui s'exprime par l'élimination de l'idéologie et de la philosophie en les reculant dans un moment pré-analytique. Cet article propose une critique de la conception de la science économique de Schumpeter. Dans un premier temps, nous utiliserons la philosophie économique comme outil pour une critique de la séparation entre Vision et Analyse chez Schumpeter. Dans un second temps, nous appliquons les méthodes de la philosophie économique à l'œuvre de Schumpeter afin d'entrevoir une nouvelle porte d'entrée dans son œuvre, celle de la question philosophique originaire qui lui sert de leitmotiv : l'émergence de la nouveauté.
    Keywords: Schumpeter (Joseph A.), Vision, Analysis, Economic philosophy, Novelty, Schumpeter, Analyse, Philosophie économique, Nouveauté
    Date: 2021–12–01
  4. By: Olivier J Blanchard (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: Stanley Fischer has had two careers: one as an academic, first at the University of Chicago and then at MIT, and the other as a policymaker--as chief economist of the World Bank, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, governor of the Bank of Israel, and, finally, vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board. His influence on economic policy, through his writings, his various positions, and especially his extensive cohort of MIT students and advisees, is unparalleled in our profession, writes Olivier Blanchard.
    Date: 2023–06
  5. By: da Silva, Breno Nery
    Abstract: Este artigo oferece um panorama abrangente da história do pensamento econômico, explorando as diferentes escolas de pensamento desde os tempos antigos até as teorias contemporâneas. São analisadas as contribuições de figuras proeminentes, como Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes e Friedrich Hayek, examinando suas teorias e ideias fundamentais. Além disso, são explorados os debates, controvérsias e influências políticas, sociais e tecnológicas que moldaram o pensamento econômico ao longo do tempo. O artigo discute as abordagens teóricas para explicar fenômenos econômicos, incluindo o liberalismo clássico, o marxismo, a economia neoclássica, a economia comportamental e outras correntes contemporâneas. Também são examinadas as maneiras pelas quais as ideias econômicas influenciaram as políticas públicas e os desdobramentos econômicos ao longo da história. Em suma, este artigo oferece uma visão panorâmica da história do pensamento econômico, destacando os principais pensadores, teorias e debates que moldaram a disciplina ao longo dos séculos. Ao demonstrar como essas ideias continuam a influenciar a economia moderna, busca-se fornecer uma compreensão abrangente e atualizada do pensamento econômico.
    Date: 2023–06–22
  6. By: Fratini, Saverio Maria; Ravagnani, Fabio
    Abstract: The two ‘slogans’ written by Sraffa in an early draft of the preface to his book (Sraffa Papers D3/12/43:1(3)) can be seen as the synthesis of a wider reasoning that he outlines in some manuscripts composed in 1955 and 1956. We rationalise this reasoning by three statements: A. The rate of profits manifests itself in the Standard system as the ratio of two well-defined quantities of Standard commodity; B. The rate of profits can be identified in the Standard system before knowing the prices of commodities; and C. The rate of profits emerging from the Standard system cannot be altered by ‘manipulations of prices’ and, for this reason, can be regarded as a non-price phenomenon. By discussing these statements in depth, we aim at shedding new light on the precise meaning of Sraffa’s slogans.
    Keywords: Sraffa; rate of profits; Standard commodity
    JEL: B24 B51 D33 D46
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Pies, Ingo
    Abstract: Kapitalismus sieht sich seit je her drei moralisch artikulierten Vorwürfen ausgesetzt: Er führe (a) zur Verelendung der Arbeiter, (b) zur Zerstörung der Umwelt und (c) zum Verfall der Sitten. Zieht man empirisch Bilanz, sind nicht alle dieser Vorwürfe berechtigt, ganz im Gegenteil: (a) Im Kapitalismus werden die Menschen, und hier insbesondere die Arbeiter, kontinuierlich reicher und leben länger, gesünder und glücklicher. (b) Mit zunehmendem Reichtum steigt die Nachfrage nach Umweltschutz, während neue Technologien die Kosten dafür sinken lassen. (c) Kapitalismus fördert Kooperationsbereitschaft und Weltoffenheit. Er stärkt das Vertrauen in Institutionen und reduziert Xenophobie. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es wichtig, zwischen berechtigter und unberechtigter Kapitalismus-Kritik zu unterscheiden und tatsächliche Missstände ordnungspolitisch anzugehen, d.h. mit einer Reform des institutionellen Ordnungsrahmens, um Märkte durch verbesserte Leistungsanreize funktionsfähig(er) zu machen - und für die gesellschaftliche Verwirklichung moralischer Anliegen besser in Dienst zu nehmen.
    Keywords: Kapitalismus, Markt, Ordnung, Wettbewerb, Wirtschaftsethik, Capitalism, Market, Order, Competition, Economic Ethics
    JEL: A12 M14 O10 O38 P12 P17
    Date: 2023

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