nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒02
seven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson, University of Manitoba

  1. Economics Imperialism and Economic Imperialism: Two Sides of the Same Coin By Ambrosino, Angela; Cedrini, Mario; Davis, John B.
  2. Agent-based Modeling and the Sociology of Money: a Framework for the Study of Coordination and Plurality By Eduardo Ferraciolli; Tanya Araújo
  3. Classical Economics: Lost and Found By Sabiou Inoua; Vernon Smith
  4. Social Processes of Oppression in the Stratified Economy and Veblenian Feminist Post Keynesian Connections By Zdravka Todorova
  5. Reclaiming the Relational Ontology of the Fiduciary and Exploring Relational Ethics By Helen Mussell
  6. Exploring Epistemic Vices in the Fiduciary: Injustice and Beyond By Helen Mussell
  7. Is there a 'new consensus' on inequality? By Francisco H. G. Ferreira

  1. By: Ambrosino, Angela; Cedrini, Mario; Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University; Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: We argue that in a core-periphery economic world economics imperialism as advanced by the postwar Chicago School and economic imperialism led by the economies of the north are two sides of the same coin. We first review the parallelism between postwar capitalism’s core-periphery expansion of the north into the south and the Chicago’s theory of economics imperialism. We then distinguish four forms of relationships between different disciplines, and using Rodrik’s augmented global capitalism trilemma argue Chicago adopts his Golden Straitjacket pathway, both for north-south capitalist expansion and core mainstream economics’ orientation toward other social science disciplines. The paper then uses Ricardo’s classic theory of rising rents to argue the Golden Straitjacket pathway is self-undermining for both, because it produces costly rising inframarginal rents in the north economies associated with financialization and in Chicago economics associated with its defense against other disciplines’ reverse imperialisms. We conclude that long-term forces operating on global economic development and the evolution of the social sciences suggest an alternative pathway for both that would produce a more pluralistic world economy and a more pluralistic economics.
    Keywords: economic imperialism, economics imperialism, Rodrik, Golden Straitjacket, Ricardo, financialization, reverse imperialism, pluralism
    JEL: A12 B41 F02
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Eduardo Ferraciolli; Tanya Araújo
    Abstract: The institution of money can be seen as a foundational social mechanism providing communities with the ability to quantify the results of economic processes and collectively regulate independent activities of production and trade – money can be said, indeed, to constitute the micro-macro link in economics. As such, investigations of money’s role in the economy can be fruitfully combined with the tools of social simulation. This paper revisits some of the main positions taken in the contested landscape of monetary theory, evaluating how they might serve as a foundation for the development of a new generation of conceptual and empirical agent-based models.We start out by presenting a comparative review of the way different intellectual traditions in mainstream economics, heterodox economics, and economic sociology attempt to specify the nature of money as an institution and clarify its role in the economy. We extract the key "concepts of money" that each approach emphasizes, paying especially close attention to the contrast between the sociology of money and the microfoundations-related traditions in economics (focusing on "money is memory" models, search-theory and mechanism design). We then review the current literature applying agent-based modeling to questions surrounding the nature of money, assessing some of the main contributions from the perspectives of generative epistemology and of the key concepts identified above. We conclude by indicating different research directions in which we believe agent-based models, in combination with the sociology of money, still have the potential to provide new answers to old questions in monetary theory: by clarifying convergence processes related to money of account, by illustrating the formation of economic structure through symbolic mediation, by constructing tools for analyses of intersubjectivity and coordination, or by providing formal generalization to the social-monetary patterns that are currently being revealed in the wealth of empirical data originating from digital complementary currencies and new histories of money.
    Keywords: monetary theory, agent-based modeling, economic sociology
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Sabiou Inoua; Vernon Smith
    Abstract: "Economists miss the boat when they act as if Arrow and Debreu's general equilibrium model accurately describes markets in the real world of constant change. In contrast, the classical view on the market mechanism offers a helpful foundation on which to add modern insights about how markets create and coordinate information."
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Zdravka Todorova
    Abstract: Conceptions of social stratification and oppression should be central to Post Keynesian inquiry. The article takes a Veblenian feminist view to discuss aspects of oppression in economies of stratification, and outlines connections to areas of Post Keynesian economics. The article is structured around “five faces of oppression” delineated by political theorist Iris Young: exploitation, violence, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and marginalization. The paper reframes those based on a conception of evolving social processes and diverse economic relations, and employs Veblen’s theory of surplus and stratification, which has a broad understanding of domination that goes beyond capital accumulation. The article provides illustrations of these interconnected aspects of oppression, and discusses how each is co-opted today. The article presents specific connections to Post Keynesian economic analysis and concludes by highlighting the potential of Post Keynesian economics for social justice.
    Keywords: Stratification; Oppression; Thorstein Veblen; Feminist Post Keynesian Economics; Social Processes
    JEL: B52 B54 E12 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Helen Mussell
    Abstract: Despite the omnipresence of the fiduciary in organisations, there is an omission of contemporary theorisations of this legal concept within the organisational theory literature. This is particularly surprising given the situation that the presence of ethics within the fiduciary is increasingly contested ground, with clear implications for managerial practice. This article addresses the lacuna by theorising the fiduciary using an original ontological analysis, alongside identifying a suitable ethical framework. It argues on two grounds that the ontology of the fiduciary is inherently relational. The fiduciary’s process-oriented focus is shown to indicate an open, emergent, and relational ontology at work. Secondly, historical investigation of the development of the fiduciary highlights its core relationship structure, and the interdependency and power dynamic embedded in the fiduciary are revealed. The argument is advanced that by bringing this inherent relational ontology to the fore, we can see how a relational ethical framework – the Ethics of Care – is best placed to explicate the ethics at work. The article concludes with a discussion outlining how the ontological theorisation offers utility in steering future practice of the fiduciary.
    Keywords: Fiduciary duty, Contract Law, Modern Portfolio Theory, Ethics of
    JEL: B11 B26 B54 G11 G30 G32 K12 K13
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Helen Mussell
    Abstract: The paper investigates epistemic vices in the fiduciary. Building on existing work exploring the presence of epistemic injustice embedded in the fiduciary, the paper examines the presence of another vice - epistemic hubris - and suggests how epistemic injustice acts as a capital vice within the context of the fiduciary, facilitating hubris to flourish. Three interrelated arguments are advanced. The first focuses on how the asymmetrical leader-follower dynamic within the fiduciary results in hubris. The second builds on this exploring how the lack of consultation with the beneficiary alongside deployment of specific economic epistemic goods to interpret the fiduciary results in additional hubris. The third draws the two together, arguing that as epistemic injustice creates conditions for both examples of hubris to flourish, it serves as a capital vice within the context of the fiduciary. Finally, safeguarding suggestions are outlined for how these epistemic vices could be avoided.
    Keywords: Fiduciary; Epistemic Vices; Epistemic Injustice; Epistemic
    JEL: B11 B26 B54 G30 K12 K13 L14 L21
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Francisco H. G. Ferreira (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Thirty years after the “Washington Consensus†, is there a new policy consensus that addresses the problem of inequality? This paper argues that there is widespread acceptance that multiple, interrelated and mutually reinforcing inequalities exist – in income, wealth, education, health, power, and recognition – and that these inequalities are generally “too high†. There has also been a significant shift towards a shared view that these inequalities matter, both intrinsically and because of their instrumental effects on economic efficiency and political institutions. There is much less consensus, perhaps surprisingly, on what the actual levels of income inequality are, and there are common misperceptions about their trends. In policy terms, there is something approaching aconsensus regarding the desirability of various “pre-distribution†policies, ranging from early childhood development to investment in better teaching. In certain quarters, there is also agreement that sharper antitrust regulation, freer labor unions, and more progressive taxation is needed in most countries. But much less is known about how to provide the poor with genuine opportunities to break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of disadvantage in a durable way.
    Keywords: inequality, redistribution, policy consensus
    JEL: D31 D63 H20
    Date: 2023–09

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