nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒09
eleven papers chosen by
Erik Thomson, University of Manitoba

  1. Review essay: The young Hayek By Ivo Maes
  2. Is Economics Self-Correcting? Replications in the American Economic Review By Ankel-Peters, Jörg; Fiala, Nathan; Neubauer, Florian
  3. The Historicity of Economic Sciences: The Main Epistemological Ruptures By Alain Herscovici
  4. Lesen und Interpretieren der Wirtschaftsphilosophie von Ibn Khaldun By Ahmed E Souaiaia
  5. Oeconstudiet og den økonomiske faggruppe ved Aarhus Universitet fra 1936 til 1965 By Svend Hylleberg
  6. Business Ethics as Ideology By Hugo Letiche
  7. Review essay: Central banking in Italy By Ivo Maes
  8. Clubs and Networks in Economic Reviewing By Carrell, Scott; Figlio, David; Lusher, Lester
  9. L'analyse dynamique et le second colloque international d'économétrie Paris 1955 et les transformations de l'analyse macrodynamique By Michaël Assous; Alain Raybaut
  10. Is There a 'New Consensus' on Inequality? By Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
  11. Managed decline? Muddling through with the sterling (dis)agreements, 1968-74 By De Bromhead, Alan; Jordan, David P.; Kennedy, Francis; Seddon, Jack

  1. By: Ivo Maes (Robert Triffin Chair, University of Louvain and Visiting Fellow, Bruegel)
    Abstract: Friedrich Hayek has been one of the dominating intellectual figures of the 20th century. Hayek, together with Gunnar Myrdal, received the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics, for “their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”. Bruce Caldwell (Duke University) and Hansjoerg Klausinger (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business), two distinguished historians of economic thought, have produced a massive (840 pages) work, covering the first five decades of Hayek’s existence. Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950 is a monumental and sympathetic biography. The book is based on painstaking archival research and shows great scholarship. The novelty is very much in bringing the person of Hayek to life, with its strengths and weaknesses.
    Keywords: Friedrich Hayek, Austrian school, biography, business cycle theory
    JEL: B20 B31 B53 E14 G28 N10 P00
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Ankel-Peters, Jörg; Fiala, Nathan; Neubauer, Florian
    Abstract: This paper reviews the impact of replications published as comments in the American Economic Review between 2010 and 2020. We examine their citations and influence on the original papers' subsequent citations. Our results show that comments are barely cited, and they do not affect the original paper's citations - even if the comment diagnoses substantive problems. Furthermore, we conduct an opinion survey among replicators and authors and find that there often is no consensus on whether the original paper's contribution sustains. We conclude that the economics literature does not self-correct, and that robustness and replicability are hard to define in economics.
    Keywords: replication, citations, meta-science
    JEL: A11 A14 B40
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Alain Herscovici (UFES - Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo)
    Abstract: The object of this work is threefold: it consists (a) in explaining and justifying, based on Foucault's concept of episteme, the epistemological foundations from which Classical Economics, Keynesian Economics and Neoclassical Economics were built; (b) in studying the nature of the epistemological ruptures that allow differentiating these schools; and (c) in defining the degree of incommensurability of these different paradigms. In the first part, I will define the main epistemological tools that allow studying the birth and evolution of science. In the second part, I will study the nature of the epistemological ruptures that characterize these evolutions and these different schools.
    Keywords: Historicity -Epistemological Ruptures -History of Economic Thought -Episteme
    Date: 2023–08–28
  4. By: Ahmed E Souaiaia (University of Iowa [Iowa City])
    Abstract: Diese Arbeit zielt darauf ab, Schlüsselkonzepte, Ideen und Ereignisse darzustellen, die sich hauptsächlich aus Ibn Khalduns Kapitel über das Wirtschaftsleben ableiten lassen, das er mit der Überschrift „Kapitel über den Lebensunterhalt" (ma`āsh) zusammenfasst. Die Rechtfertigung dieses Unterfangens ist die Bedeutung von Ibn Khalduns Beiträgen, der Mangel an Übersetzungen seiner Werke und die Abhängigkeit sekundärer Interpretationswerke von einer einzigen englischen Übersetzung. Während die Lektüre der Wirtschaftsphilosophie von Ibn Khaldun durch eine Textanalyse der Primärquellen weiterhin im Mittelpunkt dieser Arbeit steht, wird hier auch eine Auswahl der Interpretations- und Übersetzungswerke präsentiert, um den Grad der Auseinandersetzung nichtarabischer Gelehrter mit Ibn zu verstehen Khalduns Werk und als Geisteshaltung, mit der sich Wirtschaftsphilosophen und Sozialhistoriker auseinandersetzen könnten.
    Abstract: This work aims to present key concepts, ideas, and events that can be derived mainly from Ibn Khaldun's chapter on economic life, which he captures with the heading, Chapter on Making a Living (ma`āsh). Justifying this undertaking is the significance of Ibn Khaldun's contributions, the scarcity of translations of his work, and the dependency of secondary interpretive works on a single English translation. While a reading of Ibn Khaldun's economic philosophy through a textual analysis of the primary sources remains the focus of this work, a sampling of the interpretive and translation works is also presented here in order to understand the level of engagement of non-Arabic scholars with Ibn Khaldun's work and as a frame of mind with which economic philosophers and social historians might engage.
    Abstract: Cet ouvrage vise à présenter des concepts, des idées et des événements clés qui peuvent être dérivés principalement du chapitre d'Ibn Khaldun sur la vie économique, qu'il capture sous le titre Chapitre sur Gagner sa vie (ma`āsh). Cette entreprise est justifiée par l'importance des contributions d'Ibn Khaldun, la rareté des traductions de son œuvre et la dépendance des travaux d'interprétation secondaires à une seule traduction anglaise. Bien qu'une lecture de la philosophie économique d'Ibn Khaldun à travers une analyse textuelle des sources primaires reste au centre de ce travail, un échantillon des travaux d'interprétation et de traduction est également présenté ici afin de comprendre le niveau d'engagement des érudits non arabes avec Ibn Khaldun. Khaldun et comme état d'esprit dans lequel les philosophes économiques et les historiens sociaux pourraient s'engager.
    Keywords: The economic philosophy of Ibn Khaldun, Theories of Work, Systems Thinking, Islamic social history, philosophy of economics, Economics theories, Ibn Khaldun, Urbanization and Civilization
    Date: 2023–08–25
  5. By: Svend Hylleberg (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)
    Abstract: The paper contains a description and an analysis of the first thirty years of the existence of the study of economics at Aarhus University. Economics is now one of the more successful studies at Aarhus University with a track record of very high employment of its candidates in important positions, good international research standing in several subfields of economics and a valuable contribution to the public debate of important economic problems in Denmark. In this paper we present the “flying†start of the oecon study and the research in economics from 1936 to the late forties and onwards until 1965, and we describe the development of the study and the research both in general and by the individual contributions of the people employed by the economics departments.
    Keywords: Økonomiens sociologi
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2023–09–20
  6. By: Hugo Letiche (Business University Nyenrode - Nyenrode Business Universiteit, LITEM - Laboratoire en Innovation, Technologies, Economie et Management (EA 7363) - UEVE - Université d'Évry-Val-d'Essonne - Université Paris-Saclay - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris], IMT-BS - DEFI - Département Droit, Economie et Finances - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris] - IMT-BS - Institut Mines-Télécom Business School - IMT - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris])
    Abstract: In The Ungorvernable Society; A Genealogy of Authoritarian Liberalism (2021) [La société ingouvernable (2018)] Grégoire Chamayou makes the claim that business ethics has served as an ideological smoke screen for globalized hyper-capitalism. Business ethics has fostered 'knowledge' in the service of power and supported generalized obedience to managerial prerogatives. Instead of applying moral philosophy to business, it has created an ideology of entrepreneurship, TINA profit maximization and shareholder value. Academics, and business supported thinktanks, paved the way for neo-liberal hegemony. Chamayou claims that his study is a genealogy in Foucault's tradition. First, I will summarize his position; and second, I will contest his methodological claim. Whatever the merit of his attack on business ethics, Chamayou I will argue, has not produced a genealogical text, nor are his claims to be defended from a Foucaultian position. Chamayou calls out 'fire' in the theater of business ethics; but his own text is methodologically just as mythic and ideological (i.e. tendentious) as the texts he attacks.
    Abstract: Dans La société ingouvernable (2018), Grégoire Chamayou affirme que l'éthique des affaires a servi d'écran de fumée idéologique à l'hyper-capitalisme mondialisé. L'éthique des affaires a favorisé le « savoir » au service du pouvoir et soutenu l'obéissance généralisée aux prérogatives managériales. Au lieu d'appliquer la philosophie morale aux entreprises, elle a créé une idéologie de l'esprit d'entreprise, de la maximisation des profits TINA et de la valeur pour les actionnaires. Les universitaires et les groupes de réflexion soutenus par les entreprises ont ouvert la voie à l'hégémonie néolibérale. Chamayou affirme que son étude est une généalogie dans la tradition de Foucault. Dans un premier temps, sa position sera résumée et, dans un second temps, son affirmation méthodologique est contestée. Quel que soit le mérite de son attaque contre l'éthique des affaires, Chamayou, selon nous, n'a pas produit de texte généalogique et ses affirmations ne peuvent être défendues à partir d'une position foucaldienne. Chamayou crie « au feu » dans le théâtre de l'éthique des affaires, mais son propre texte est méthodologiquement tout aussi mythique et idéologique (c'est-à-dire tendancieux) que les textes qu'il attaque.
    Keywords: Grégoire Chamayou, Foucaultian genealogy, CMS, Business Ethics, Neo-con ideology, Généalogie foucaldienne, Ethique des affaires, Idéologie néo-conservatrice
    Date: 2023–06–23
  7. By: Ivo Maes (Robert Triffin Chair, University of Louvain and Visiting Fellow, Bruegel)
    Abstract: Gianni Toniolo was one of Italy’s, and Europe’s, foremost economic historians. Unfortunately, he suddenly passed away in November 2022, a few weeks after he had presented in Rome his newest book, the first volume of his history of the Bank of Italy, Storia della Banca d’Italia. Tomo I. Formazione ed evoluzione di una banca centrale, 1893-1943 (History of the Bank of Italy. Part I. Formation and evolution of a central bank, 1893-1943). Toniolo’s history of the Bank of Italy illustrates very well many issues which are at the heart of the literature on central banking. What emerges very well is the gradual transformation of the Bank of Italy, from an emission bank to a central bank, with a growing public character of the Bank. The early relationship between the Bank of Italy and the commercial banks was often one of business rivalry and competition. Through time, the Bank of Italy gained the monopoly of the emission of banknotes but had to stop its commercial activities, while being entrusted with responsibilities in the supervision of the commercial banks. Toniolo’s book covers a turbulent period in Italian monetary history, with several banking crises. Monetary policy was dominated by the issue of the reconciliation of two contrasting objectives: the exchange rate of the lira and the stability of the banking system. A distinguishing feature of the Italian experience of central banking is how the development of the Bank of Italy was embedded in the process of nation-building. In other countries, where the nation-state was established before the central bank, this was very much a process of extending the network of branches. In Italy, where the process of unification was later, it implied the merger of emission banks, a much more delicate political issue.
    Keywords: central banking, Bank of Italy, banking crises, financial stability, Italian lira
    JEL: E42 E58 G28 N10
    Date: 2023–09
  8. By: Carrell, Scott; Figlio, David; Lusher, Lester
    Abstract: We study how author-editor and author-reviewer network connectivity and "match" influence editor decisions and reviewer recommendations of economic research at the Journal of Human Resources. Our empirical strategy employs several dimensions of fixed effects to overcome concerns of endogenous assignment of papers to editors and reviewers. Authors who attended the same PhD program, were ever colleagues with, are affiliates of the same National Bureau of Economic Research program(s), or are more closely linked via coauthorship networks as the handling editor are significantly more likely to avoid a desk rejection. Likewise, authors from the same PhD program or who previously worked with the reviewer are significantly more likely to receive a positive evaluation. We also find that sharing "signals" of ability, such as publishing in the "top five", attending a high ranked PhD program, or being employed by a similarly ranked economics department, significantly influences editor decisions and/or reviewer recommendations. We find some evidence that published papers with greater author-editor connectivity subsequently receive fewer citations.
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Michaël Assous (TRIANGLE - Triangle : action, discours, pensée politique et économique - ENS de Lyon - École normale supérieure de 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); Alain Raybaut (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (1965 - 2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)
    Date: 2023–06–08
  10. By: Ferreira, Francisco H. G. (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 a consensus 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
  11. By: De Bromhead, Alan; Jordan, David P.; Kennedy, Francis; Seddon, Jack
    Abstract: How do policy makers manage the decline of an international currency? This paper examines British policy towards the pound sterling's international role in the years 1968-74. Using previously uncited government archival sources, we revisit the view that the 'sterling agreements' of 1968-74, bilateral contracts made between the UK and governments holding sterling, formed a successful paradigm shift in British policy, towards deliberately managing sterling's international 'retirement'. Our research indicates that there was no settled consensus or strategic direction to British policy in this period, a case of 'muddling through'. Indeed, when feasible options presented themselves, British officials sought to maximise, not reduce, international sterling holdings.
    Keywords: Sterling Area Agreements, international currency, sterling policy, disintegration
    JEL: N10 F02 F22 F33
    Date: 2023

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