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Fachliteratur:

Journal of Economic Literature Vol. 56, Issue 1

 

 

 

Morality, Policy, and the Brain
Aldo Rustichini
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A Review Essay on Social Neuroscience: Can Research on the Social Brain and Economics Inform Each Other? (#9)
Carlos Alós-Ferrer
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Book Reviews (#10)
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Annotated Listing of New Books (#11)
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JEL Classification System (#12)
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(1) Front Matter
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(2) The Science of Monetary Policy: An Imperfect Knowledge Perspective
Stefano Eusepi and Bruce Preston
This paper reevaluates the basic prescriptions of monetary policy design in the new Keynesian paradigm through the lens of imperfect knowledge. We show that while the basic logic of monetary policy design under rational expectations continues to obtain, perfect knowledge and learning can limit the set of policies available to central banks, rendering expectations management in general more difficult. Nonetheless, the desirability of some form of price-level targeting, inducing inertia in interest-rate policy, paramount under rational expectations, is robust to the assumption of imperfect knowledge.
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(3) On the Determinants of Cooperation in Infinitely Repeated Games: A Survey
Pedro Dal Bó and Guillaume R. Fréchette
A growing experimental literature studies the determinants of cooperation in infinitely repeated games, tests different predictions of the theory, and suggests an empirical solution to the problem of multiple equilibria. To provide a robust description of the literature’s findings, we gather and analyze a metadata set of experiments on infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma games. The experimental data show that cooperation is affected by infinite repetition and is more likely to arise when it can be supported in equilibrium. However, the fact that cooperation can be supported in equilibrium does not imply that most subjects will cooperate. High cooperation rates will emerge only when the parameters of the repeated game are such that cooperation is very robust to strategic uncertainty. We also review the results regarding the effect of imperfect monitoring, changing partners, and personal characteristics on cooperation and the strategies used to support it.
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(4) Citations in Economics: Measurement, Uses, and Impacts
Daniel S. Hamermesh
I describe and compare sources of data on citations in economics and the statistics derived from them. Constructing data sets of the post-publication citation histories of articles published in the „top five“ journals in the 1970s and 2000s, I examine distributions and life cycles of citations, compare citation histories of articles in different subspecialties in economics, and present evidence on the history and heterogeneity of those journals‘ impacts and the marginal citation productivity of additional coauthors. I use a new data set of the lifetime citation histories of over 1,000 economists from thirty universities to rank economics departments by various measures and demonstrate the importance of intra- and interdepartmental heterogeneity in productivity. Throughout, the discussion summarizes earlier work, including the impacts of citations on salaries and nonmonetary rewards, and how citations reflect judgments about research quality in economics and the importance of economic ideas.
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(5) Empirical Work on Auctions of Multiple Objects
Ali Hortaçsu and David McAdams
Abundant data has led to new opportunities for empirical auctions research in recent years, with much of the newest work on auctions of multiple objects, including: (1) auctions of ranked objects (such as sponsored search ads), (2) auctions of identical objects (such as Treasury bonds), and (3) auctions of dissimilar objects (such as FCC spectrum licenses). This paper surveys recent developments in the empirical analysis of such auctions.
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(6) Markets and Manipulation: Time for a Paradigm Shift?
Kaushik Basu
There is a growing appreciation in economics that people have emotional vulnerabilities, commitments to social norms, and systematic irrationalities that impact their decision making and choice in the market place. The flip side of this is that human beings are susceptible to being manipulated by unscrupulous agents single-minded about marketing their services and wares. This paper reviews George Akerlof and Robert Shiller’s Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, alongside other writings in the field, and discusses how this research agenda can be taken forward. The paper shows how this new research can shed light on the ubiquity of corruption in so many societies, and proposes ideas for controlling corruption.
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(7) A Review Essay on Howard Bodenhorn’s The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South
Allison Shertzer
In The Color Factor: The Economics of African-American Well-Being in the Nineteenth-Century South, Howard Bodenhorn investigates the origins, health, and socioeconomic performance of mixed-race people in the antebellum Southern United States. The central conclusion of the book is that mixed-race people fared better than darker-skinned blacks on nearly every dimension; however, they were still disadvantaged relative to whites. This review essay discusses the book’s valuable data contributions and relates Bodenhorn’s conclusions to the broader literature on colorism. I close with implications for future research on the economics of skin color.
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(8) Morality, Policy, and the Brain
Aldo Rustichini
The book Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them, by Joshua Greene, invites the reader to give a new look at the foundation of ethics and, by implication, to policy. Its specific strength is the systematic integration of new methods from neuroscience into a very old debate. Having something new and substantial to add in an investigation that has been at the center of the philosophical debate in Western civilization for twenty-five centuries is remarkable. While I invite everyone to read and enjoy this wonderful book, I take here the opportunity to invite economists to take the challenge. We are particularly interested in the question, „Is there a specific contribution that economics can give to this debate?“ I believe there is and this insight is now in danger of being lost. This is my attempt to indicate where the research should look now. Maybe it is not too late.
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(9) A Review Essay on Social Neuroscience: Can Research on the Social Brain and Economics Inform Each Other?
Carlos Alós-Ferrer
Social neuroscience studies the „social brain,“ conceived as the set of brain structures and functions supporting the perception and evaluation of the social environment. This article provides an overview of the field, using the book Social Neuroscience: Brain, Mind, and Society (Russell K. Schutt, Larry J. Seidman, and Matcheri S. Keshavan, editors) as a starting point. Topics include the evolution of the social brain, the concept of „theory of mind,“ the relevant brain networks, and documented failures of the social brain. I argue that social neuroscience and economics can greatly benefit from each other because the social brain underlies interpersonal decision making, as studied in economics.
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(10) Book Reviews
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(11) Annotated Listing of New Books
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(12) JEL Classification System
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