Book: Bernt P. Stigum, Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics: Theory-Data Confrontations in Economics (Princeton University Press, 2016)

Bernt P. Stigum recently published a book entitled Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics: Theory-Data Confrontations in Economics (Princeton University Press, 792 pages).

Abstract: As most econometricians will readily agree, the data used in applied econometrics seldom provide accurate measurements for the pertinent theory’s variables. Here, Bernt Stigum offers the first systematic and theoretically sound way of accounting for such inaccuracies. He and a distinguished group of contributors bridge econometrics and the philosophy of economics–two topics that seem worlds apart. They ask: How is a science of economics possible? The answer is elusive. Economic theory seems to be about abstract ideas or, it might be said, about toys in a toy community. How can a researcher with such tools learn anything about the social reality in which he or she lives?

This book shows that an econometrician with the proper understanding of economic theory and the right kind of questions can gain knowledge about characteristic features of the social world. It addresses varied topics in both classical and Bayesian econometrics, offering ample evidence that its answer to the fundamental question is sound.

The first book to comprehensively explore economic theory and econometrics simultaneously, Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics represents an authoritative account of contemporary economic methodology. About a third of the chapters are authored or coauthored by Heather Anderson, Erik Biørn, Christophe Bontemps, Jeffrey A. Dubin, Harald E. Goldstein, Clive W.J. Granger, David F. Hendry, Herman Ruge-Jervell, Dale W. Jorgenson, Hans-Martin Krolzig, Nils Lid Hjort, Daniel L. McFadden, Grayham E. Mizon, Tore Schweder, Geir Storvik, and Herman K. van Dijk.

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Book: Philippe Grill, Enquête sur les libertés et l’égalité (Editions Matériologiques, 2015)

Philippe Grill recently published a book entitled Enquête sur les libertés et l’égalité, vol. 1, n° 1 (Editions Matériologiques, 574 pages).

Abstract: Le projet de Philippe Grill est d’enquêter sur les origines et les fondements des doctrines et théories relatives aux libertés et à l’égalité. Son approche est proprement philosophico-économique, au sens où elle s’appuie sur l’une et l’autre discipline. Cette exploration conceptuelle des théories économiques et philosophiques, des hypothèses qui les fondent, des notions qui les irriguent, ou encore des masses de données empiriques aux interprétations multiples, voire contradictoires, se révèle cruciale car c’est à partir de ces doctrines et théories que sont conçues et promues les organisations sociales et les politiques publiques qui déterminent « dans quel monde on vit », en décrétant le possible et l’impossible en ces domaines. L’ouvrage contribue ainsi pleinement aux débats actuels d’éthique sociale en fournissant les moyens de définir ce que pourrait être une organisation sociale « humaniste ».

En effet, si l’on veut changer le monde, il faut le comprendre… Sereinement, pédagogiquement, c’est notamment à cette compré­hen­sion maximale que nous invite Philippe Grill. La somme encyclopédique qu’il nous propose déploie le panorama d’une philosophie économique où sont convoqués les savoirs contemporains issus de nombreuses disciplines (outre les sciences économiques bien sûr, les autres sciences sociales, la logique, l’épistémologie, les sciences cognitives, les neurosciences, la biologie de l’évolution, etc., ainsi que les engagements ontologiques des nombreux penseurs que l’ouvrage étudie). Ici, point de simple juxtaposition de disciplines, mais une architecture des connaissances qui veut montrer que les conceptions idoines sont nécessairement connexes si l’on entend démêler l’écheveau d’un homo œconomicus authentique, renversant le modèle factice que rabâchent les propagandistes de vulgates économiques outrancièrement simplistes et irréalistes. Ainsi, ce livre est un puissant levier de ce mouvement salutaire.

Cet ouvrage de 2 400 pages se compose du tome 1, dont les volumes 1 & 2 sont à paraître respectivement en octobre  et en décembre  2015, et des 3 volumes du tome 2 à paraître courant 2016.

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Conference (call for papers): 20th Annual ESHET Conference, May 26th-28th, 2016, PHARE (Paris, France)

The 20th Annual Conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET) will take place in Paris, at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 26-28 May 2016. Proposals for papers or sessions on all aspects of the history of economic thought are welcome.

An abstract of about 400 words for a paper and 600 words for a session should be submitted on the conference website (Submission & Registration http://www.eshet.net/conference/2016) no later than January 18th, 2016. Note that:

a) published papers are not eligible for submission;
b) only one conference presentation is allowed per person (but more than one submission may be accepted, if involving co-authors who are also presenting);
c) session proposals must conform with a standard format (3 papers, 90 min).

Particularly welcome are proposals of papers and sessions that fall into the ESHET 2016 conference theme: “Inequalities in Economic Thought”. However, papers may be on any topic relevant to the history of economic thought, and are not restricted to the conference theme. Inequalities in Economic Thought Recent controversies over the growing degree of inequality in contemporary societies have brought the topic to the fore in economics. The history of economic thought shows, however, that for a long time economists have taken inequalities into account, debating at length their causes, their nature, their potentially positive or negative influence and the possible ways to overcome them. The issues of inequalities confirm the ESHET’s firm belief that the study of the history of economic thought should in no way be disconnected from current issues in economics and beyond, and could in fact help provide historical perspectives on standard views about the subject. Special attention is granted to proposals that have come across economic thought concerning inequalities throughout its history. Such debates include for example:

  • Issues on discrimination related to sex/age/race
  • The relations between inequalities and justice
  • Inequalities and efficiency
  • Inequalities and efficiency
  • Inequalities and economic development
  • Historical perspectives on the measure of inequalities

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Conference (Call for papers): 16th international conference of the Charles Gide Association, April 14th–16th, 2016, BETA (Strasbourg, France)

The 16th international conference of the Charles Gide Association for the Study of Economic Thought will take place at the University of Strasbourg, 14–16 April 2016. This conference is organised by the laboratory Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA).

This international conference will propose sessions on the theme “expectations, conjectures and coordination”, although any other proposal in the fields of the history of economic thought and philosophy of economics is also welcome. 

Expectations, conjectures and coordination

Contemporary economic analysis was born with the study of strategic interactions between individuals. At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, Boisguilbert placed the issue of the available information and of expectations at the core of his explanation of economic fluctuations. For Boisguilbert, expectations of future prices formed by agents on agricultural markets can prove either stabilising or destabilising, depending on whether the economy is in a situation of free trade or prohibition.

Later, Smith warned us about market exchange: “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest”. Here, the issue is about an interpersonal relationship: a consumer who would count on the acquisition of a good thanks to the benevolence of a producer is most likely to see his conjecture invalidated. Satisfying one’s needs through market exchange thus requires accurate forecasting of the behaviour of other agents, which is to forecast their own conjectures.
Nearly a century later, but from a quite similar perspective, Cournot’s law of demand raised the issue of price expectations in the functioning of markets. He established an empirical relation between the price of a good and its demand function: “a commodity is usually more demanded when it is less expensive”. Cournot even went further: not only does each seller anticipate the reactions on the side of the buyers, but he also needs to conjecture about actions on the side of the other sellers. With Cournot, information and expectations henceforth became at the centre of individual decisions. What ensues from this is a conception of market equilibrium as the result of interactions between strategic behaviours established by each other.
With Keynes’s parable of the beauty contest, the coordination mechanism not only applies to the results of other agents’ behaviour, but calls into question the very foundation of these results: how does an individual anticipate that the other individuals will form their own expectations?
Last, with the rational expectations approach launched by Lucas, the issue of strategic interactions has been extended to the coordination between public authorities and private agents.

With this theme, we propose to raise the issue of conjectures and expectations along complementary lines of research. A first line of inquiry, for example, would question the way economists suppose economic agents shape their forecasts. On which basis of knowledge? And which kind of behaviour on the part of the other individuals do they conjecture? A second line of research could investigate how the question of market equilibrium has been addressed in different times and places. How have these expectations led to a specific market result? And how do individuals coordinate themselves in favour of any particular equilibrium? A third line of inquiry, which directly ensues from the previous ones, would address the issue of state intervention. How is the state able to influence the market equilibrium resulting from the interactions between individual decisions in transforming the way these forecasts are elaborated and coordinated?

Submissions of papers or proposals for sessions

Proposals for papers will take the form of an abstract of about 500 words, submitted through the website: charlesgide2016.sciencesconf.org

Proposal for sessions are also welcome, whether they are directly connected with the theme of the conference or not. Contributions will either take place in French or in English; parallel sessions will be organised accordingly.

Deadlines

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 15 November 2015
Notification to the authors: 20 December 2015
Deadline for the sending of contributions: 20 March 2016

Conference website: http://gide2016.sciencesconf.org

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Workshop (programme): Original Fictions, Hypothetical States and Historical Conjectures in Economic Thought, In Honor of Shirine Sabéran, November 13th-14th, 2015, PHARE & LED (Paris, France)

On November 13th-14th, The Charles Gide Association organises a workshop on “Original Fictions, Hypothetical States and Historical Conjectures in Economic Thought” (In Honor of Shirine Sabéran).

The programme of this event is now available.

Argument:

From Plato’s ideal city to Rawls’ original position, including the state of nature of contractualist philosophers or Adam Smith’s primitive state, the use of fictions crosses the history of economic thought. These fictions had long fed into the argument of many authors taking various forms: imaginary states, hypothetical living conditions, conjectures on past history and its progress… Far from being anecdotal, their persisting use raises several questions which concern: – The role of fictions: how and why are authors led to make use of fictions? How do they integrate fictions in their argument? Do fictions serve a descriptive or a normative discourse? – The evolution of fictions: How did they evolve in their forms and their functions? How were fictions the same kind used and adapted for different purposes? – The epistemological status of fictions: do fictions oppose experimentation? Is their use consistent with a historical or a factual analysis? Does it allow to reach a specific form of knowledge, distinct from the usual theoretical abstraction in economics? – The status of economic theory: What do we learn from the use of fiction about our discipline and its relations with other fields of knowledge? Does the ambition of scientificity in economics lead the discipline to disqualify the use of fiction, in contrast with political philosophy which willingly makes use of them? The scientific committee expects contributions in history of economic thought both from economists and philosophers. These contributions could deal with the following topics (indicative and non-exhaustive list):

– Plato’s ideal city in The Republic;
– Thomas More’s Utopia;
– The state of nature in contractualist philosophies;
– The primitive state of Adam Smith;
– The « robinsonades » from economists;
– The conjectural history of economic stages;
– The open society of Popper and Hayek;
– The rawlsian hypothesis of the veil of ignorance.

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Seminar: Caterina Marchionni & Till Grüne-Yanoff, November 2nd, 2015, TINT (Helsinki, Finland)

On November 2nd, Caterina Marchionni & Till Grüne-Yanof (University of Helsinki) will present one of their works in the Research seminar of TINT (from 2.00 to 4.00 pm, University of Helsinki, Snellmaninkatu 12, room 210). The title of their presentation will be “The Ecological Rationality of Behavioural Policies: How to Choose between Boosts and Nudges“.

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Seminar: Michel de Vroey, November 5th, 2015, CES (Paris, France)

On November 5th, Michel de Vroey (University of Louvain, Belgium) is invited in the Cercle d’épistémologie économique organised by the economic epistemology department of the Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne (from 6.00 to 8.00 pm, 106-112 Bd de l’hôpital, Maison des Sciences Économiques, room of the 6th floor, Paris). The title of his presentation will be Le pluralisme en économie: une mise en perspective“.

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Job position: Tenure track or tenured full time position in economic and social ethics, Hoover Chair (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

The Université catholique de Louvain invites applications for a tenure track or tenured  full time position in economic and social ethics
The successful candidate

• must hold a PhD degree in philosophy or in another discipline that overlaps with economic and social ethics;

• must possess a good knowledge of both spoken and written French and English. If this is not the case, the applicant accept to learn French and/or English in order to be able to teach in French and English within 2 years, fluency in other languages being an additional advantage;

• will carry out research in the field of economic and social ethics, i.e. political philosophy understood as a normative discipline concerned with all aspects of social institutions and social life, with special emphasis on the economic dimension;

• will need to contribute actively to the twofold mission of the Hoover Chair of economic and social ethics, namely (1) to stimulate ethical reflection in the research and teaching of the Faculty of economic, social, political and communication sciences of the University  and (2) to contribute to a clear and well informed public debate, in Belgium and beyond, about the ethical issues that arise in our society in the various areas covered by the Faculty’s disciplines.

Deadline for applications: 23 November 2015. Job starting on 1 September 2016.

Further information

About the job: Doyen ESPO <doyen-espo@uclouvain.be> or Président ISP <president-isp@uclouvain.be>

About the Hoover Chair: www.uclouvain.be/chaire-hoover

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Job position: Assistant Professor, EIPE (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Assistant Professor Philosophy of Economics (fulltime)

Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

AOS: Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy of Social Science

AOC: Philosophy of Science, Social or Political Philosophy

Deadline for application: November 15, 2015

The Erasmus University Rotterdam invites applications for an assistant professor in Philosophy of Economics in the Faculty of Philosophy and the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE).

Faculty of Philosophy

The Faculty of Philosophy has about 500 students and 40 staff members. Programmes in philosophy and in philosophy of particular disciplines (such as economics, law and other social sciences) are taught at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Of special interest for the job opening is the two-year Research Master in Philosophy and Economics. The Faculty also hosts EIPE, the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics, which runs a PhD programme in Philosophy of Economics. The Research Master in Philosophy and Economics and the PhD programme together host some 25 graduate students in Philosophy of Economics.

Job description

The candidate is expected to:

Research

  • carry out internationally oriented research and publish in established international refereed journals;
  • contribute actively to the development of the Faculty’s research in the field of philosophy of economics;
  • contribute to the Faculty’s national and international research connections;
  • help attract research funding from national and international funding agencies and other organizations;

 

Teaching

  • perform teaching and supervising tasks for the Research Master programme in Philosophy and Economics,
  • contribute to service teaching for the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) and the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM);
  • contribute to other educational programmes offered by the Faculty at both undergraduate and postgraduate level;

Service

  • contribute to the management tasks of the Department;
  • take an active part in relevant national and international academic networks and organizations;
  • develop and maintain close contacts with relevant organizations and professionals in the field of philosophy and economics.

Requirements

The successful candidate considers it a challenge and a privilege to contribute to the development of research and graduate teaching in philosophy of economics at EIPE. The candidate has:

  • a PhD in philosophy, preferably in the field of philosophy of economics, social science or science;
  • a strong research track record, including publications in international refereed journals;
  • the potential to attract research funds from national and international funding agencies and to supervise Research Masters and PhD students in philosophy of economics;
  • prior teaching experience with the proven ability to inspire students from undergraduate to postgraduate levels, apparent from positive assessments by students and peers. Candidates who do not possess a formal teaching qualification, are expected to acquire it within two years (according to the standards of the so-called Basis Qualifications for Teaching (BKO)).
  • the ability and willingness to teach a wide range of topics in the field of philosophy of science, especially in interdisciplinary settings;
  • enthusiasm, an entrepreneurial attitude, strong communication and organizational skills, and the ability to work closely together with others in a team environment;
  • proficiency in spoken and written English. Non-English speakers have to meet the C1-standards of the Common European Framework (CEF).

Conditions of employment

Employment starts in April 2016 at the latest. Contracts will be running for a fixed term of two years, with a possible extension. Depending on their track-record and performance, candidates may be invited to enter Erasmus University’s tenure track programme, which offers them the possibility to qualify for a tenured position as Associate Professor (UHD).

The conditions of employment correspond with the CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten (CAO NU). Salary is subject to training and experience and corresponds to either Scale 11 or Scale 12 CAO NU, with a maximum of € 5.171,- gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract. In accordance with the CAO NU a placement in a starting grade (Scale 11 CAO NU, with a maximum of € 4.551,- gross per month on a 38 hour per week contract) is possible for the maximum duration of two years. Starting salaries tend to be near the lower end of the scale.

Contract type: Temporary, for maximum duration of two years.

Applications

Deadline for application: November 15, 2015

Qualified applicants should send the following documents to secretariaat@fwb.eur.nl, subject: Application Ass. Prof. Philosophy of Economics:

(1) one PDF that contains an anonymised cover letter,

(2) one PDF with an anonymised CV (including details of teaching experience, and contact details of up to three references),

(3) one PDF with an anonymised writing sample (preferably unpublished; in addition, no journal or publisher name (if the paper is submitted / under revision / accepted / published) should be included in the file).

The candidate’s name should thus only appear in the body of the email, and not in any of the application materials sent in the files. Only applications that are complete and follow these instructions can be taken in consideration.

Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be scheduled for December 15 or 16, 2015.

For further questions, prospective applicants can contact Dr. Conrad Heilmann, Email: heilmann@fwb.eur.nl.

Organisation

The expertise of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is concentrated in the fields of  Business Administration, Economics, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Social Sciences, History, Culture and Communication, and Philosophy. In addition to the initial degree programmes and scientific research, the University offers specific postgraduate study programmes and courses. Erasmus University has around 25,000 students and some 2,700 staff members.

Erasmus University provides excellent education to students and is part of the international top in certain research areas. Erasmus University is not only an internationally oriented university, it is also well embedded in the city of Rotterdam and the region.

Rotterdam is a pleasant and lively harbor city with 600,000 inhabitants located in the west of the Netherlands, which provides attractive living conditions, also for international faculty. The use of English in daily life poses no problem. Air, road, and railway connections with major European and U.S. cities are excellent. The standards of healthcare and education in the Netherlands are high, while the costs are low relative to Anglo-Saxon countries.

Searching for talents

For all positions within Erasmus University we look for employees who find professionalism, integrity and involvement very important. We are searching for talents who would like to contribute to realizing our strategic goals. Erasmus University has formulated substantial ambitions in 2013, the year that our university has celebrated its 100 year anniversary.

 

Meaningful and versatile

We offer meaningful and versatile work. Scientific staff with a background in Philosophy, Economics and Management, Medicine and Health or Law, Culture and Society can deepen their knowledge at Erasmus University. In addition, we have several opportunities for support staff as well. As support staff you make sure that our primary processes develop as optimal as possible.

Career and development

Above all, Erasmus University finds the development of her employees of great importance. With our career-development policies and several educational possibilities we support and stimulate you to actively shape your own career. All this combined with our attractive employment conditions is what makes Erasmus University an interesting employer for you.

Diversity – a key objective

Erasmus University ultimately seeks to provide excellent education and research which is innovative, internationally oriented and can be applied in society. Achieving this ambition is intrinsically linked to the quality, efforts and passion of our employees. Talent diversity is invaluable in this respect. The more diverse the views, cultures, knowledge and experience, the more innovative and creative education and research at EUR will be. EUR has therefore defined diversity as a key strategic objective, pursing a diverse workforce in the broadest sense. Erasmus University furthermore undertakes to create equal opportunities for everyone and a culture in which the diverse talents feel at home and can excel. Erasmus University explicitly encourages applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities, and nationalities.

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Journal: Philosophical economics, vol. VIII, Issue 2 (Spring 2015)

The latest issue of the Journal of Philosophical Economics has been published (online as usual). You can find herein the table of contents (Vol. VIII/2):

Articles:
Olivier OUZILOU, “Collective beliefs and horizontal interactions between groups: the case of political parties“,
Richard SOBEL,Work, recognition and subjectivization: some remarks about the modernity of Kojève’s interpretation of Hegel“,
Walter E. BLOCK,Expiration of private property rights: a note”,
Anca PECICAN, “‘Ups’ and ‘downs’ in metaphor use: the case of increase / decrease metaphors in Spanish economic discourse“,
Mariusz MAZIARZ, “A review of the Granger-causality fallacy“,
Carmen Elena DOROBĂŢ, “A brief history of international trade thought: From pre-doctrinal contributions to the 21st century heterodox international economics“.

Book reviews:
Şerban BREBENEL, Review of Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, New York, Verso, 1st edition, 2013“,
Valentin COJANU, “Review of Abdul Azim Islahi, History of Islamic Economic Thought: Contributions of Muslim Scholars to Economic Thought and Analysis, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK), 2014“.

Further information concerning this issue :
http://www.jpe.ro/?id=revista&p=410

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