nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒23
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. La performativité des sciences économiques By Fabian Muniesa; Michel Callon
  2. On the Scientific Status of Economic Policy: A Tale of Alternative Paradigms By Giorgio Fagiolo; Andrea Roventini
  3. The Baltic Exchange: Mutual Influences between Economists in the German and Swedish Language Areas By Sandelin, Bo; Trautwein, Hans-Michael

  1. By: Fabian Muniesa (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris); Michel Callon (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris)
    Abstract: Provides some theoretical developments on the topic of the performativity of economics.
    Keywords: Performativity, economics, economic sociology, anthropology, science and technology studies, actor-network theory
    JEL: A11 A12 A13 A14 B20 C93 D01 D02 D40 D44 E26 E27 L10 L33 M30 M40 N00 O10 O30 O31 O33 Z13
    Date: 2008–02
  2. By: Giorgio Fagiolo; Andrea Roventini
    Abstract: In the last years, a number of contributions has argued that monetary -- and, more generally, economic -- policy is finally becoming more of a science. According to these authors, policy rules implemented by central banks are nowadays well supported by a theoretical framework (the New Neoclassical Synthesis) upon which a general consensus has emerged in the economic profession. In other words, scientific discussion on economic policy seems to be ultimately confined to either fine-tuning this "consensus" model, or assessing the extent to which "elements of art" still exist in the conduct of monetary policy. In this paper, we present a substantially opposite view, rooted in a critical discussion of the theoretical, empirical and political-economy pitfalls of the neoclassical approach to policy analysis. Our discussion indicates that we are still far from building a science of economic policy. We suggest that a more fruitful research avenue to pursue is to explore alternative theoretical paradigms, which can escape the strong theoretical requirements of neoclassical models (e.g., equilibrium, rationality, etc.). We briefly introduce one of the most successful alternative research projects -- known in the literature as agent-based computational economics (ACE) -- and we present the way it has been applied to policy analysis issues. We conclude by discussing the methodological status of ACE, as well as the (many) problems it raises.
    Keywords: Economic Policy, Monetary Policy, New Neoclassical Synthesis, New Keynesian Models, DSGE Models, Agent-Based Computational Economics, Agent-Based Models, Post-Walrasian Macroeconomics, Evolutionary Economics.
    Date: 2008–02–14
  3. By: Sandelin, Bo (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Trautwein, Hans-Michael (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg)
    Abstract: In the 19th and 20th centuries economists of the German and Swedish language areas strongly influenced each other and made significant contributions to the development and critique of neoclassical economics. In our paper, we focus on the prominent contributions of Wicksell, Cassel, Hayek and Myrdal, but consider also others, such as Lutz, Neisser, Palander and Schneider. It might look far fetched to describe their interaction as a “Baltic exchange”, since (for example) Vienna is not part of that region. But history and geographical proximity made German the scientific language for Scandinavian academics in the 19th century, helping Swedish economists to spread their ideas widely on the Continent, before they made an impact in the English language area. Much of the interaction happened indeed close to the Baltic Sea. In the paper we discuss the German influence on Swedish economics that occurred mainly before the First World War, and the Swedish influence on German economics, mainly thereafter. We provide biographical, bibliographical and textual evidence for an exchange of ideas that has stimulated the development of economics far beyond the Baltic Sea.<p>
    Keywords: Germany; Sweden; influence; history of economic thought
    JEL: B10 B20
    Date: 2008–02–15

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