nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
eleven papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. What Are Reflexive Economic Agents? Position-Adjustment, SLAM, and Self-Organization By Davis, John B.;
  2. The Economic Surplus, the Baran Ratio, and Long Wave Cycles By Lambert, Thomas
  3. O que aprender do espírito de Gesell hoje? Sobre o programa não-marxista de Keynes By Everton Sotto Tibiriçá Rosa; Tiago Camarinha Lopes
  4. Health Capital and Health Wealth By Julia M. Puaschunder
  5. Behavioral International Law: Law-in-books vs. Law-in-action, Resembling the Neoclassical Economics vs. Behavioral Economics Debate By Julia M. Puaschunder
  7. Behavioral Advantages of Diversity: Strategies to make Inclusivity work in the Age of Corporate Social Justice By Julia M. Puaschunder
  8. Digital Inequality: A Research Agenda By Julia M. Puaschunder
  9. Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May By Bankovsky, Miriam
  10. Review of “Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought” by Emily Erikson By Mottironi, Henri-Pierre
  11. Review of “Law and the Invisible Hand: A Theory of Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence” by Robin Paul Malloy By Medema, Steven G

  1. By: Davis, John B. (Department of Economics Marquette University); (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: If mainstream economics and its view of economic agents is designed for a world in which reflexivity and feedback processes in the economy are ‘tamed’ and predictable, how are we to understand economic agents in a world in which reflexivity is ‘untamed’ and economies regularly exhibit unexpected fluctuations and significant nonlinearities? In a nonlinear world, economies evolve and undergo critical phase transitions from one form of organization to another. It seems, then, that we should also expect economic agents to evolve and undergo critical phase transitions from being one type of agent to another just as we observe that economies evolve and undergo phase transitions from being one type of economy to another. Minsky’s analysis of how economies evolve in financial crises and how firms as agents evolve as their financial status changes seems a clear example of this. But then we would need a new conception of what economic agents are. This chapter offers such a conception in the idea of reflexive economic agents, both to redevelop an evolutionary, complexity account of what agents must be and also to forestall complexity researchers from falling back upon the standard utility conception of individuals. The chapter builds its reflexive agents conception around Herbert Simon’s complexity thinking about quasi-independence. It describes reflexive economic agents in what it call position-adjustment terms, and focusing on the ‘reflexive moment’ when agents find they need to revise and adjust their positions in regard to what they are doing. To explain how we can understand adjustment, the chapter employs the thinking behind recent ‘simultaneous localization and mapping’ (SLAM) research in robotics engineering to explain how agents understood in position-adjustment terms can be attributed a form of mobility understood as a capacity for self-direction reliant on a kind of locational self-awareness. The chapter then frames the reflexive individual conception that results in terms of Simon’s quasi-independence, evaluates this conception in identity terms, and then returns to the issue of why complex economic systems made up of utility maximizing agents cannot function as evolutionary systems. The chapter closes with a discussion of complex systems seen to evolve through phase transitions.
    Keywords: reflexive agents, complex systems, position-adjustment, SLAM robotics research, phase transitions, Minsky, Simon
    JEL: B41 B52 D91
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Lambert, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper briefly outlines the idea and development of the economic surplus concept at the macroeconomic level as opposed to the one in microeconomics often labeled as a Marshallian surplus. Of special interest and focus is the concept as developed and used by heterodox economists. The notion of a residual amount of output or income over and above what is necessary for a society’s consumption (education, housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation, and other necessities of life) that can be used either for further consumption by an elite class, used for reinvestment in productive activities, and/or wasted on unproductive efforts is one that has been and continues to be taught and used in heterodox and neo-Marxian economics. The relevancy of the economic surplus view to modern and recent US economic growth is examined especially in light of new ways that have been created to apply the economic surplus concept. Applications using the Baran Ratio and long wave cycles theory are demonstrated, and it appears that the Baran Ratio is a useful concept to help predict long wave movements that are based on the economic surplus.
    Keywords: Baran Ratio, economic surplus, investment, Kondratiev waves, monopoly capital
    JEL: B22 B24 B51 B52
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Everton Sotto Tibiriçá Rosa (FACE-UFG); Tiago Camarinha Lopes (FACE-UFG)
    Abstract: As teorias econômicas de Keynes e Marx possuem muitas similaridades considerando o padrão do pensamento econômico neoclássico mainstream. Mesmo que ambos os autores entendam o papel central do dinheiro e do capital em um sistema econômico, eles divergem nitidamente no campo político. Para fazer uma comparação adequada entre Marx e Keynes é necessário relembrar a obra de Silvio Gesell, economista da virada do século 19 para o século 20 pouco lembrado na história do pensamento econômico. Este artigo questiona o que se poderia aprender do espírito de Gesell hoje como maneira de apreender o entendimento de Keynes sobre o Marxismo e o sistema econômico que deriva dessa doutrina. Keynes discordava principalmente da teoria do dinheiro de Marx, pois ela não seria construtiva no sentido de uma reforma monetária para controlar o movimento de acumulação do capital. Concluímos que as propostas de política econômica de Keynes funcionam como uma reforma sistêmica para atingir um sistema econômico não-Marxista, o que difere da linha de Gesell de buscar um caminho de transformação econômica e social que pode ser caracterizado como anti-Marxista.
    Keywords: Keynes, Gesell, Marx, moeda, juros, teoria do capital
    JEL: B00 E11 E12
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
    Abstract: We live in the age of responsible investment. The time for a reset of finance after the 2008 World Financial Recession and the 2020 global pandemic has come. In the aftermath of two major economic crises, the societal call for responsible market behavior has reached unprecedented momentum. As the novel Coronavirus hit the world, the external economic shock has widespread implications for finance and economics. In the eye of a worldwide healthcare crisis impacting economics on a massive scale, the need for understanding the connection between health and capital on the individual, nuclear family level, corporate community standards and conduct as well as the overall economy became blatant. Interestingly, in the individual finance and investment literature, personal expenses due to sickness and work impairments due to chronic diseases are hardly mentioned. On the family level, unhealthy individual dynamics may lead to additional cognitive complexity that deters from reaching full productive potential as well as may cause critical life events, such as divorce, which can have drastic financial outcomes with long-term implications. On the corporate level, COVID-19 has opened the gates for corporations focusing on the overall health status of employees fostering prevention and health safety precautions as never before in the history of industrialization. Lastly, over entire populations, there is a strong connection between health levels and productivity, which directly influences the Gross Domestic Product of countries. Despite all the mentioned connections, hardly any economic literature concerns the dependence of health on the Keynesian multiplier. Governmental money spent on healthcare may have a multiplied multiplier effect on the overall economy but – to this day – economic literature remains scarce on the economic effect of healthcare-dependent multipliers. Attention to the importance of health and well-being for individual financial success, familial functioning as well as entire populations and overlapping generations may innovatively leverage health capital and health wealth into a category of Socially Responsible Investment and Sustainable Finance in the post-COVID-19 era.
    Keywords: Banking, Economics, Finance, Healthcare, Investment, Money, Multiplier, Precaution, Prevention, Socially Responsible Investment
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, USA)
    Abstract: International Law historically stems from a collection of international rules and principles to regulate international conduct of nation states towards another. The International Law Commission (ILC) is a gremium of international law experts voted by the United Nations in order to help develop the theory, codification and practice of international law and its wider range into legal diplomacy. The ILC discusses and debates emerging topics of relevance in international law in the pursuit of developing international legal principles and setting out global standards of nation state conduct towards another. A contemporary effort of the International Law Commission is the scientific investigation of the gap between law-in-books and law-in-action. Law-in-books describes all written-down laws, regulations and written legal customs. Contrary to legal writing in law, treaties, statues and cases, law-in-action is a legal theory that examines the role of law how it is actually applied and practiced in society. Law-in-action scholars often draw from observations about the actual behavior exhibited by executives in legal institutions, courts and jurisprudence officials. Law-in-action is also concerned with the effect of laws on actual people in the real world as well as the impact of legal frameworks and societal interpretations of the rule-of-law. The noticed gap between the law as written in books and the law in reality is currently subject to scrutiny by the current ILC in the quest to derive insights about successful environments to help improve efficiency in legal conduct, stability in international law making as well as combat societally-harmful discrepancies, e.g., such as corruption but also human decision making fallibility and preference reversals. In this fairly novel endeavor of the ILC, the wealth of insights derived from the behavioral economics revolution that undermined the neoclassical economic rational choice theory could be tapped into. International Law scholars may derive inferences from the history, methods and applied behavioral insights how to close the gap between stylized aspirational efficiency goals and actual decision making and actions of real-world people. International law may also benefit from the newest critique of the macroeconomic efficiency maximization in the behavioral Post-Keynesian opening for the integration of political, societal, environmental and historical facets as influence factors on the success of macroeconomic measures. In all these endeavors, closing the gaps between scientific aspirational goals and legal models with real-world relevant applied law practice and policy outcomes promises to instigate optimality in scientifically-led ways how to legally rule the world but also to help research understand better what actual real-world actors do when being exposed to different legal choice architectures and policy frameworks.
    Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Behavioral International Law, Behavioral Macroeconomics, Behavioral Law and Economics, Choice, Impact, International Law Commission, Economics
    Date: 2022–06
  6. By: Calcagno, Adriana
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the intellectual path through which Raúl Prebisch placed industrialization at the center of his economic thought and policy recommendations. It shows how the changing international context of the 1930s and 1940s made him depart from laissez-faire and adopt counter-cyclical policies, gradually abandoning the agrarian export-led growth model and finally embracing industrialization as the new growth strategy for Argentina and Latin America.
    Date: 2023–05–15
  7. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
    Abstract: We live in the age of Corporate Social Justice. After decades of advancements in behavioral economics and finance leadership, the time has come to highlight behavioral advantages of diversity. When people make decisions behaviorally with biases and quick error-prone irrationality, diversity can grant implicit means to overcome decision-making anomalies from rational choice. In particular, the present bias can be averted in opting for diversity, which is one of the most future-oriented choices as inclusivity is an innovatively-vibrant field of societal advancement in the age of Corporate Social Justice. Diversity preference for something new curbs repetitive choices and sunk cost fallacies when opting for inclusiveness of the new. Similarity preference biases that lead to suboptimally-limited choice ranges and inflexible considerations of already-known preferences as well as long-term formation of stereotypes and discrimination can be avoided by choosing what is new and different from the given in diversity implementation. Diversity management can also lower harmful social and cultural influences that imply conformity groupthink errors and tunnel vision leading to suboptimal choices and harmful consequences. In order for diversity to work and to reap the multifaceted behavioral benefits of inclusivity, this article also draws attention to three implementation strategies to make diversity flourish and foster meaningful inclusivity: (1) Bundling extremely diverse groups within networks and enhancing constructive exchange between representatives of diverse groups to foster the benefits of cross-pollination and creative ideas generation, (2) Diversification of human capital to profit from complementary skills enhancement, (3) Qualitative and quantitative diversity quality checks to ensure the authenticity of diverse representations within corporations in order to contribute to meaningful and positive societal change that diversity and inclusiveness are – in the end – foremost about.
    Keywords: Authenticity, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Ethics, Behavioral Insights, Behavioral Advantages, Corporate Social Justice
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
    Abstract: We live in the age of digitalization. Digital disruption is the advancement of our lifetimes. Never before in the history of humankind have human beings given up as much decision-making autonomy as today to a growing body of artificial intelligence (AI). Digitalization features a wave of self-learning entities that generate information from exponentially-growing big data sources that are encroaching every aspect of our daily lives. Inequality is one of the most significant pressing concern of our times. Ample evidence exists in economics, law and historical studies that multiple levels of inequality dominate the current socio-dynamics, politics and living conditions around the world. Social inequality stretches from societal levels within nation states to global dimensions but also intergenerational inequality domains. While digitalization and inequality are predominant features of our times, hardly any information exists on the inequality inherent in digitalization. This paper breaks new ground in theoretically arguing for inequality being an overlooked by-product of innovative change – featuring concrete examples in insights and applications in the digitalization domain. A multi-faceted analysis will draw a contemporary digital inequality account from behavioral economic, macroeconomic, comparative and legal economic perspectives. This paper targets at aiding academics and practitioners in understanding the advantages but also the potential inequalities imbued in digitalization. It sets a historic landmark to capture the Zeitgeist of our digitalization disruption heralding unexpected inequalities stemming from innovative change. The article may open eyes to understand our times holistically in its advantageous innovation capacities but also potential societal, international and intertemporal unequal gains and losses perspectives from digitalization.
    Keywords: AI, Artificial Intelligence, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Macroeconomics, Big Data, Big Data Insights, Coronavirus crisis
    Date: 2022–06
  9. By: Bankovsky, Miriam
    Abstract: Review of “Gender and the Dismal Science: Women in the Early Years of the Economics Profession” by Ann Mari May.
    Date: 2023–05–15
  10. By: Mottironi, Henri-Pierre
    Abstract: Review of “Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought” by Emily Erikson.
    Date: 2023–05–15
  11. By: Medema, Steven G
    Abstract: Review of “Law and the Invisible Hand: A Theory of Adam Smith’s Jurisprudence” by Robin Paul Malloy.
    Date: 2023–05–15

This nep-pke issue is ©2023 by Karl Petrick. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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