Philosophy of Economics

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Assistant editor: Jack Wright (Cambridge University)
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  1. The Power-Ownership as a Remedy From the Owner’s Power / ВЛАСТЬ-СОБСТВЕННОСТЬ КАК СРЕДСТВО ОТ ВЛАСТИ СОБСТВЕННИКОВ.Pavel Simashenkov - 2018 - Concept 9:236-244.
    The article analyzes the phenomenon of ownership in its legal, economic, political and philosophical perspectives. Ownership is considered as an opportunity and as a guarantee of sustainable development. Comparative context is used to identify the specificity of the bourgeois model of owners’ power (social state) and the domestic concept of power-ownership (including socialist state). The author draws conclusions about ways to overcome the competition between the state and the market for the human resource and proposes to explore the ideological provision (...)
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  2. The Allais Paradox: What It Became, What It Really Was, What It Now Suggests to Us.Philippe Mongin - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):423-459.
    Whereas many others have scrutinized the Allais paradox from a theoretical angle, we study the paradox from an historical perspective and link our findings to a suggestion as to how decision theory could make use of it today. We emphasize that Allais proposed the paradox as a normative argument, concerned with ‘the rational man’ and not the ‘real man’, to use his words. Moreover, and more subtly, we argue that Allais had an unusual sense of the normative, being concerned not (...)
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  3. Towards an Ontological Modelling of Preference Relations.Daniele Porello & Giancarlo Guizzardi - 2018 - In C. Ghidini, B. Magnini, A. Passerini & P. Traverso (eds.), AI*IA 2018 - Advances in Artificial Intelligence - XVIIth International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence, Trento, Italy, November 20-23, 2018, Proceedings. pp. 152--165.
    Preference relations are intensively studied in Economics, but they are also approached in AI, Knowledge Representation, and Conceptual Modelling, as they provide a key concept in a variety of domains of application. In this paper, we propose an ontological foundation of preference relations to formalise their essential aspects across domains. Firstly, we shall discuss what is the ontological status of the relata of a preference relation. Secondly, we investigate the place of preference relations within a rich taxonomy of relations (e.g. (...)
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  4. Underdetermination in Economics: The Duhem-Quine Thesis.K. R. Sawyer, Howard Sankey & Clive Beed - 1997 - Economics and Philosophy 13 (1):1-23.
    This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of auxiliary (...)
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  5. The Non-Identity Problem and the Ethics of Future People, David Boonin. [REVIEW]Silvia Milano - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32:353-381.
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  6. Can Economics Can Be a Separate Science?Lukas Beck - 2017 - Rerum Causae 9 (2):17-36.
    Mill (1872, 1874) is an early proponent of the thesis that economics has a special domain in which it can operate relatively independently of findings from other sciences. Contra Mill, I argue that this so-called separateness-thesis is best defendedunder an externalist interpretation of Rational Choice Theory (RCT). Mill’s defence is consistent with an internalist interpretation of RCT. Internalism holds that RCT depicts psychological mechanisms operating in economic agents. I argue that such a defence fails to establish separateness, because it makes (...)
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  7. The SAGE Handbook of the Philosophy of Social Sciences, Edited by Ian Jarvie and Jesús Zamora-Bonilla. SAGE Publications, 2011, Xvii + 749 Pages. [REVIEW]Brian Epstein - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (3):428-435.
    Book Reviews Brian Epstein, Economics and Philosophy, FirstView Article.
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  8. Countable Additivity, Idealization, and Conceptual Realism.Yang Liu - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy.
    This paper addresses the issue of finite versus countable additivity in Bayesian probability and decision theory -- in particular, Savage's theory of subjective expected utility and personal probability. I show that Savage's reason for not requiring countable additivity in his theory is inconclusive. The assessment leads to an analysis of various highly idealised assumptions commonly adopted in Bayesian theory, where I argue that a healthy dose of, what I call, conceptual realism is often helpful in understanding the interpretational value of (...)
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  9. Prediction Versus Accommodation in Economics.Robert Northcott - 2019 - Journal of Economic Methodology 26 (1):59-69.
    Should we insist on prediction, i.e. on correctly forecasting the future? Or can we rest content with accommodation, i.e. empirical success only with respect to the past? I apply general considerations about this issue to the case of economics. In particular, I examine various ways in which mere accommodation can be sufficient, in order to see whether those ways apply to economics. Two conclusions result. First, an entanglement thesis: the need for prediction is entangled with the methodological role of orthodox (...)
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  10. Levinas, Simmel, and the Ethical Significance of Money.Christopher Buckman - 2019 - Religions 3 (10).
    An examination of Emmanuel Levinas’ writings on money reveals his distance from—and indebtedness to—a philosophical predecessor, Georg Simmel. Levinas and Simmel share a phenomenological approach to analyses of the proximity of the stranger, the importance of the face, and the interruption of the dyadic relationship by the third. Money is closely linked to the conception of totality because money is the medium that compares heterogeneous values. Levinas goes beyond Simmel in positing an ethical relation to money permitting transcendence.
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  11. Sweatshops and Consumer Choices.Benjamin Ferguson & Florian Ostmann - 2018 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (3):295-315.
    We consider a case where consumers are faced with a choice between sweatshop-produced clothing and identical clothing produced in high-income countries. We argue that it is morally better for consumers to purchase clothing produced in sweatshops and then to compensate sweatshop workers for the difference between their actual wage and a fair wage than it is for them either to purchase the sweatshop clothing without this compensatory transfer or to purchase clothing produced in high-income countries.
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  12. Team Reasoning and a Measure of Mutual Advantage in Games.Jurgis Karpus & Mantas Radzvilas - 0201 - Economics and Philosophy 34 (1):1-30.
    The game theoretic notion of best-response reasoning is sometimes criticized when its application produces multiple solutions of games, some of which seem less compelling than others. The recent development of the theory of team reasoning addresses this by suggesting that interacting players in games may sometimes reason as members of a team – a group of individuals who act together in the attainment of some common goal. A number of properties have been suggested for team-reasoning decision-makers’ goals to satisfy, but (...)
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  13. The Sixth Kondratieff Wave and the Cybernetic Revolution.Leonid Grinin & Anton Grinin - 2016 - Globalistics and Globalization Studies:337-355.
    In the present paper, on the basis of the theory of production principles and production revolutions, we reveal the interrelation between K-waves and major technological breakthroughs in history and make forecasts about features of the sixth Kondratieff wave in the light of the Cybernetic Revolution that, from our point of view, started in the 1950s. We assume that the sixth K-wave in the 2030s and 2040s will merge with the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution (which we call a phase (...)
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  14. Review: Cass R. Sunstein. Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. 304 Pp. Simon & Schuster, 2014. [REVIEW]Ori Freiman - 2016 - Spontaneous Generations 8 (1):100-104.
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  15. How to Allocate Scarce Health Resources Without Discriminating Against People with Disabilities.Tyler M. John, Joseph Millum & David Wasserman - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):161-186.
    One widely used method for allocating health care resources involves the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) to rank treatments in terms of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. CEA has been criticized for discriminating against people with disabilities by valuing their lives less than those of non-disabled people. Avoiding discrimination seems to lead to the ’QALY trap’: we cannot value saving lives equally and still value raising quality of life. This paper reviews existing responses to the QALY trap and argues that all (...)
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  16. Distributive Justice: Getting What We Deserve From Our Country, Fred Feldman. Oxford University Press, 2016, Ix + 279 Pages. [REVIEW]Huub Brouwer & Willem van der Deijl - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (1):146-153.
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  17. Discounting for Public Policy: A Survey.Hilary Greaves - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (3):391-439.
    This article is a critical survey of the debate over the value of the social discount rate, with a particular focus on climate change. The ma- jority of the material surveyed is from the economics rather than from the philosophy literature, but the emphasis of the survey itself is on founda- tions in ethical and other normative theory rather than highly technical details. I begin by locating the standard approach to discounting within the overall landscape of ethical theory, and explaining (...)
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  18. A Handbook for Social Change. [REVIEW]Ulf Hlobil - 2017 - Metascience 26 (3):459-462.
    “Philosophy isn’t useful for changing the world,” parents of philosophy students and Karl Marx tell us (at least about non-Marxist philosophy). Cristina Bicchieri’s new book Norms in the Wild provides an impressive antidote against this worry. It stands to change of social practices as Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare stands to political revolutions. Bicchieri combines hands-on advice on how to change social practices with compelling theoretical analyses of social norms. She draws heavily on her influential earlier work on norms, but the (...)
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  19. Review of William Stanley Jevons and the Making of Modern Economics. [REVIEW]D. Wade Hands - 2007 - Economics and Philosophy 23 (2):252-256.
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  20. Against Simplicity and Cognitive Individualism: Nathaniel T. Wilcox.Nathaniel T. Wilcox - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):523-532.
    Neuroeconomics illustrates our deepening descent into the details of individual cognition. This descent is guided by the implicit assumption that “individual human” is the important “agent” of neoclassical economics. I argue here that this assumption is neither obviously correct, nor of primary importance to human economies. In particular I suggest that the main genius of the human species lies with its ability to distribute cognition across individuals, and to incrementally accumulate physical and social cognitive artifacts that largely obviate the innate (...)
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  21. Your Money or Your Life: Comparing Judgements in Trolley Problems Involving Economic and Emotional Harms, Injury and Death: Natalie Gold Et Al.Natalie Gold, Briony D. Pulford & Andrew M. Colman - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):213-233.
    There is a long-standing debate in philosophy about whether it is morally permissible to harm one person in order to prevent a greater harm to others and, if not, what is the moral principle underlying the prohibition. Hypothetical moral dilemmas are used in order to probe moral intuitions. Philosophers use them to achieve a reflective equilibrium between intuitions and principles, psychologists to investigate moral decision-making processes. In the dilemmas, the harms that are traded off are almost always deaths. However, the (...)
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  22. “Book Review: Competition, Coordination and Diversity: From the Firm to Economic Integration“. [REVIEW]Peter Lewin - 2016 - Libertarian Papers 8:183-187.
    This book is a collection and reworking of research done by Pascal Salin since around 1990. Salin is an economist in the tradition of the Austrian school of economics. He emphasizes the centrality of individual choice in an uncertain world in which individual actions interact to produce spontaneous orders. But he is no mere conduit of established ideas. He also offers his own highly original insights honed after a lifetime as an economist, one who has earned the respect in which (...)
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  23. Connecting Economics to Theology.Garrick Small - 2011 - Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 1 (1):Article 2.
    Economics claims to be an independent empirical social science but empirical evidence of the last century challenges this claim. By contrast Caritas in Veritate contains a set of linkages that demonstrate that economics is related to morals, anthropology and theology. Economics is practiced in a cultural setting with a moral dimension related to the human person, which is ultimately grounded in the nature of God. Pope Benedict has focused on love and gift as human qualities reflecting the Divine nature. The (...)
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  24. Autodetermination in Microeconomics.Olaf L. Müller - 2004 - Analyse & Kritik 26 (2):319-345.
    My philosophical case study concerns textbook presentations of the theory of demand. Does this theory contain anything more than just a collection of tautologies? In order to determine its empirical content, it must be viewed holistically. But then, the theory implies false factual claims. We can avoid this result by embracing the theory's normative character. The resulting consequences will be illuminated with the new autodetermination thesis recently proposed in the philosophy of physics by Oliver Timmer. Applying his ideas to the (...)
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  25. Robert A. Millikan Meets the Credibility Revolution.Nathaniel T. Wilcox - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology.
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  26. Book Review Of: M. Skousen, The Big Three in Economics. [REVIEW]Gary James Jason - 2009 - Liberty (July):43-44.
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  27. Robert A. Millikan Meets the Credibility Revolution: Comment on Harrison , ‘Field Experiments and Methodological Intolerance’.Nathaniel T. Wilcox - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology:1-9.
    Millikan's famous oil drop experiment is scrutinized from the viewpoint of the methodological dicta of the credibility revolution.
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  28. Born Free and Equal?: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Nature of Discrimination, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen. Oxford University Press, 2014, 317 Pages. [REVIEW]Luara Ferracioli - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):486-492.
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  29. Introduction. Luigi Einaudi: Poised between Ideal and Real.Paolo Silvestri & Paolo Heritier - 2012 - In Paolo Heritier & Paolo Silvestri (eds.), Good government, Governance and Human Complexity. Luigi Einaudi’s Legacy and Contemporary Society. Leo Olschki.
    In this article we introduce the reader to the reasons that led to this collection: an interdisciplinary exploration aimed at renewing interest in Luigi Einaudi’s search for «good government», broadly understood as «good society». Prompted by the Einaudian quest, the essays – exploring philosophy of law, economics, politics and epistemology – develop the issue of good government in several forms, including the relationship between public and private, public governance, the question of freedom and the complexity of the human in contemporary (...)
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  30. The Question of Apriorism.Barry Smith - 1990 - Austrian Economics Newsletter (1/2):1-5.
    We defend a view according to which Austrian economics rests on what can most properly be called an Aristotelian methodology. This implies a realist perspective, according to which the world exists independently of our thinking and reasoning activities; an essentialist perspective, according to which the world contains certain simple essences or natures which may come together in law-like ways to form more complex static and dynamic wholes, and an apriorist perspective, according to which given essences and essential structures are intelligible, (...)
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  31. Le principe de rationalité et l'unité des sciences sociales.Philippe Mongin - 2002 - Revue Economique 53 (2):301-323.
    The paper revisits the rationality principle from the particular perspective of the unity of social sciences. It has been argued that the principle was the unique law of the social sciences and that accordingly there are no deep differences between them (Popper). It has also been argued that the rationality principle was specific to economics as opposed to the other social sciences, especially sociology (Pareto). The paper rejects these opposite views on the grounds that the rationality principle is strictly metaphysical (...)
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  32. On the Duty of Altruism.Peter Vallentyne - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):118-120.
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  33. TheInvisible Handviewed and Reviewed.Edna Ullmann-Margalit - 2010 - Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (1):77-81.
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  34. The Rationality Principle Idealized.Boaz Miller - 2012 - Social Epistemology 26 (1):3-30.
    According to Popper's rationality principle, agents act in the most adequate way according to the objective situation. I propose a new interpretation of the rationality principle as consisting of an idealization and two abstractions. Based on this new interpretation, I critically discuss the privileged status that Popper ascribes to it as an integral part of all social scientific models. I argue that as an idealization, the rationality principle may play an important role in the social sciences, but it also has (...)
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  35. Quantum Analog of the Black- Scholes Formula(Market of Financial Derivatives as a Continuous Weak Measurement).S. I. Melnyk & I. G. Tuluzov - 2008 - Electronic Journal of Theoretical Physics (EJTP) 5 (18):95–104.
    We analyze the properties of optimum portfolios, the price of which is considered a new quantum variable and derive a quantum analog of the Black-Scholes formula for the price of financial variables in assumption that the market dynamics can by considered as its continuous weak measurement at no-arbitrage condition.
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  36. The Dynamics of Stock Exchange Based on the Formalism of Weak Continuous Quantum Measurement.S. I. Melnyk & I. G. Tuluzov - 2010 - Journal of Physics 238 (012035):1-9.
    The problem of measurement in economic models and the possibility of their quantum-mechanical description are considered. It is revealed that the apparent paradox of such a description is associated with a priori requirement of conformity of the model to all the alternatives of free choice of the observer. The measurement of the state of a trader on a stock exchange is formally defined as his responses to the proposals of sale at a fixed price. It is shown that an analogue (...)
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  37. Introduction.C. Mantzavinos - 2009 - In Chrysostomos Mantzavinos (ed.), Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Philosophical Theory and Scientific Practice. Cambridge University Press.
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Areas of Economics
Microeconomics
  1. Carbon Fee Fail-Safe and Safeguard.P. Olcott - manuscript
    The fail-safe makes sure the fee is high enough to meet carbon emission reduction targets. The safeguard keeps the fee from getting any higher than needed. -/- One of the ways that we could account for the unpredictability of the price elasticity of demand for carbon would be to provide a fail-safe mechanism to ensure that we definitely stay on the carbon reduction schedule. If we keep Energy Innovation Act (HR 763) essentially as it is and scale up the annual (...)
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  2. Risk Attitudes in Axiomatic Decision Theory: A Conceptual Perspective.Jean Baccelli - 2018 - Theory and Decision 84 (1):61-82.
    In this paper, I examine the decision-theoretic status of risk attitudes. I start by providing evidence showing that the risk attitude concepts do not play a major role in the axiomatic analysis of the classic models of decision-making under risk. This can be interpreted as reflecting the neutrality of these models between the possible risk attitudes. My central claim, however, is that such neutrality needs to be qualified and the axiomatic relevance of risk attitudes needs to be re-evaluated accordingly. Specifically, (...)
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  3. Social Preference Under Twofold Uncertainty.Philippe Mongin & Marcus Pivato - forthcoming - Economic Theory.
    We investigate the conflict between the ex ante and ex post criteria of social welfare in a new framework of individual and social decisions, which distinguishes between two sources of uncertainty, here interpreted as an objective and a subjective source respectively. This framework makes it possible to endow the individuals and society not only with ex ante and ex post preferences, as is usually done, but also with interim preferences of two kinds, and correspondingly, to introduce interim forms of the (...)
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  4. Do Bets Reveal Beliefs?Jean Baccelli - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3393-3419.
    This paper examines the preference-based approach to the identification of beliefs. It focuses on the main problem to which this approach is exposed, namely that of state-dependent utility. First, the problem is illustrated in full detail. Four types of state-dependent utility issues are distinguished. Second, a comprehensive strategy for identifying beliefs under state-dependent utility is presented and discussed. For the problem to be solved following this strategy, however, preferences need to extend beyond choices. We claim that this a necessary feature (...)
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  5. Simon, Stigler et les théories de la rationalité limitée.P. Mongin - 1986 - Social Science Information 25 (3):555-606.
    This article reviews Herbert Simon's theory of bounded rationality, with a view of deemphasizing his "satisficing" model, and by contrast, of emphasizing his distinction between "procedural" and "substantive" rationality. The article also discusses a possible move from neo-classical economists to respond to Simon's criticisms, i.e., a reduction of bounded rationality to a special case of second-optimization, using Stigler's search theory. This move is eventually dismissed.
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  6. Umweltmanagement und Rationalität. Der Schatten von VW: Betrieblicher Umweltschutz auf dem Prüfstand.Kay Herrmann - 2017 - WiSt 4 (2017):47-49.
    Economic pressures, mounting environmental, security and health requirements, are all critical factors that shape economic action. With regard to environmental protection, an economic entity acting as homo oeconomicus finds himself in a situation resembling a prisoner’s dilemma. Signposts for a possible resolution of this dilemma include an environmental management system, a system of environmental law based on the principles of environmental ethics, and a new conception of human nature.
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  7. Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes.Jean Baccelli & Philippe Mongin - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288.
    We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and dis- tinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions (...)
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  8. Mark Blaug on the Normativity of Welfare Economics.D. Wade Hands - 2013 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):1-25.
    Abstract: This paper examines Mark Blaug's position on the normative character of Paretian welfare economics: in general, and specifically with respect to his debate with Pieter Hennipman over this question during the 1990s. The paper also clarifies some of the confusions that emerged within the context of this debate, and closes by providing some additional arguments supporting Blaug's position that he himself did not provide.
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  9. Reason-Based Choice and Context-Dependence: An Explanatory Framework.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):175-229.
    We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. It captures the idea that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose motivationally salient properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations allow us to distinguish between two kinds of context-dependent choice: the motivationally salient properties may (i) vary across choice contexts, and (ii) include not only “intrinsic” properties of the options, but also “context-related” properties. Our framework can accommodate boundedly rational (...)
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  10. On the Confirmation of the Law of Demand.Philippe Mongin - manuscript
    The paper applies confirmation theory to a famous statement of economics, the law of demand, which says that ceteris paribus, prices and quantities demanded change in opposite directions. Today's economists do not accept the law unless definite restrictions hold, and have shown little interest in deciding whether or not these restrictions were satisfied empirically. However, Hildenbrand (1994) has provided a new derivation of the law of aggregate demand and used this theoretical advance to devise a test that may be the (...)
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  11. Modèle rationnel ou modèle économique de la rationalité?Philippe Mongin - 1984 - Revue Economique 35 (1):9-63.
    This article critically discusses the concept of economic rationality, arguing that it is too narrow and specific to encompass the full concept of practical rationality. Economic rationality is identified here with the use of the optimizing model of decision, as well as of expected utility apparatus to deal with uncertainty. To argue that practical rationality is broader than economic rationality, the article claims that practical rationality includes bounded rationality as a particular case, and that bounded rationality cannot be reduced to (...)
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  12. Why Macroeconomics Does Not Supervene on Microeconomics.Brian Epstein - 2014 - Journal of Economic Methodology 21 (1):3-18.
    In recent years, the project of providing microeconomic foundations for macroeconomics has taken on new urgency. Some philosophers and economists have challenged the project, both for the way economists actually approach microfoundations and for more general anti-reductionist reasons. Reductionists and anti-reductionists alike, however, have taken it to be trivial that the macroeconomic facts are exhaustively determined by microeconomic ones. In this paper, I challenge this supposed triviality. I argue that macroeconomic properties do not even globally supervene on microeconomic ones. This (...)
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  13. How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Resolving the Efficiency- Equity Trade-Off in Minimum Wage Legislation.Nikil Mukerji & Christoph Schumacher - 2008 - Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 19:315-340.
    Minimum wages are usually assumed to be inefficient as they prevent the full exploitation of mutual gains from trade. Yet advocates of wage regulation policies have repeatedly claimed that this loss in market efficiency can be justified by the pursuit of ethical goals. Policy makers, it is argued, should not focus on efficiency alone. Rather, they should try to find an adequate balance between efficiency and equity targets. This idea is based on a two-worlds-paradigm that sees ethics and economics as (...)
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1 — 50 / 625