Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics https://ejpe.org/journal <p>The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics (EJPE) is a peer-reviewed bi-annual academic journal located at <a href="https://www.eur.nl/">Erasmus University Rotterdam</a>. EJPE publishes research on the methodology, history, ethics, and interdisciplinary relations of economics.</p> Stichting Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics en-US Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1876-9098 Past and Future of Humanomics https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/605 <p>Paolo Silvestri interviews Deirdre Nansen McCloskey on the occasion of her latest book, <em>Bettering Humanomics:</em> <em>A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science</em> (2021). The interview covers her personal and intellectual life, the main turning points of her journey and her contributions. More specifically, the conversation focuses on McCloskey’s writings on the methodology and rhetoric of economics, her interdisciplinary ventures into the humanities, the Bourgeois Era trilogy with its history of the ‘Great Enrichment’, her liberal political commitments, and the value and meaning of liberty, equality, and solidarity. Finally, the conversation returns to McCloskey’s ‘humanomics’ approach: an economics with the humans left in.</p> Deirdre Nansen McCloskey Paolo Silvestri Copyright (c) 2021 Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, Paolo Silvestri 2021-07-07 2021-07-07 14 1 182–209 182–209 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.605 I Choose for Myself, Therefore I Am https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/470 <p>Behavioral economics and existentialism both present informative perspectives on human choice. We argue in this article that the dialogue between the two approaches can enrich the current debate about the normative implications of behavioral economics. While behavioral economics suggests that our capacity to choose is constrained by cognitive biases and environmental influences, existentialism emphasizes that we can (and should) treat ourselves as free and ‘becoming’ beings in spite of the many constraints we face. Acknowledging these two perspectives in the form of a theoretical synthesis—which we propose to call <em>existentialist behavioral economics</em>—provides us with reasons why we should protect our choices ‘as our own’ and how doing so may be more difficult than we anticipate. It also provides a framework to analyze the threat of identity-shaping social and technological developments, such as preference-altering nudges and artificially intelligent prediction algorithms.</p> Malte Dold Alexa Stanton Copyright (c) 2021 Malte Dold, Alexa Stanton 2021-05-31 2021-05-31 14 1 1–29 1–29 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.470 Mathematical Psychology https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/607 <p>This article appeared originally in 1930, in Dutch, under the title “Mathematiese Psychologie” in <em>Mens en Maatschappij</em>. Translated and annotated by Conrad Heilmann, Stefan Wintein, Ruth Hinz, and Erwin Dekker, it is accompanied—in the present issue—by the article “No Envy: Jan Tinbergen on Fairness” written by Conrad Heilmann and Stefan Wintein.</p> Jan Tinbergen Conrad Heilmann Stefan Wintein Ruth Hinz Erwin Dekker Copyright (c) 2021 Jan Tinbergen; Conrad Heilmann, Stefan Wintein, Ruth Hinz, Erwin Dekker (Translator) 2021-07-13 2021-07-13 14 1 210–221 210–221 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.607 No Envy https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/610 <p>The important ‘no-envy’ fairness criterion has typically been attributed to Foley (1967) and sometimes to Tinbergen (1946, 1953). We reveal that Jan Tinbergen introduced ‘no-envy’ as a fairness criterion in his article “Mathematiese Psychologie” published in 1930 in the Dutch journal <em>Mens en Maatschappij</em> and translated as “Mathematical Psychology” in 2021 in the <em>Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics</em>. Our article accompanies the translation: we introduce Tinbergen’s 1930 formulation of the ‘no-envy’ criterion, compare it to other formulations, and comment on its significance for the fairness literature in philosophy and economics.</p> Conrad Heilmann Stefan Wintein Copyright (c) 2021 Conrad Heilmann, Stefan Wintein 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 222–245 222–245 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.610 Galbraith’s Integral Economics (1933–1983) https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/587 Alexandre Chirat Copyright (c) 2021 Alexandre Chirat 2021-04-01 2021-04-01 14 1 258–263 258–263 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.587 Introduction https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/608 <p>In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the <em>Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics</em> (<em>EJPE</em>) invited scholars to reflect on the philosophy and economics of pandemics, in general, and on the current pandemic, in particular. The result is this special issue, comprising ten articles—four by special invitation and six through open submission.</p> The Editors Copyright (c) 2021 The Editors 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 30–32 30–32 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.608 Neighbors Help in a Pandemic https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/558 <p>The degradation of non-market relationships has rendered individuals unnecessarily vulnerable in disasters, including the global pandemic. While local networks of community-based aid that emerge in response to disasters improve the efficacy of response, they tend to be short-lived. This is unfortunate, since the existence and strength of such local networks prior to the onset of disasters not only boosts the efficacy of response but also contributes to the well-being of individuals and communities in non-disaster times. Therefore, individuals ought to establish and strengthen fair-weather local networks of non-market relationships—that is, cultivate neighbor relationships.</p> Nora Boyd Matthew Davis Copyright (c) 2021 Nora Mills Boyd, Matthew Davis 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 33–46 33–46 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.558 Mandated Shutdowns, the Ratchet Effect, and The Barstool Fund https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/559 <p>Perhaps the most contentious part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been the decision by governments to mandate—or effectively mandate—the shutdown of certain businesses. The justification for doing so is broadly consequentialist. The public health costs of not shutting down are so great that potential benefits from allowing businesses to open are dwarfed. Operating within this consequentialist framework, this paper identifies an underappreciated set of social costs that are a product of the present public policy that pairs mandated shutdowns with government subsidies. Such policy is prone to being an instance of what Robert Higgs calls the ratchet effect. Given that ratchets tend to be both costly and sticky, it is best to avoid allowing them to come into existence. This paper identifies a way of circumventing this particular ratchet; namely, by replacing governmental subsidies with support from private charitable funds like <em>The Barstool Fund</em>.</p> Jeffrey Carroll Copyright (c) 2021 Jeffrey Carroll 2021-06-08 2021-06-08 14 1 47–57 47–57 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.559 Pandemic Windfalls and Obligations of Justice https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/550 <p>The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant economic hardships for millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, many of the world’s richest people have seen their wealth increase substantially during the pandemic, despite the significant economic disruptions that it has caused on the whole. It is uncontroversial that these effects, which have exacerbated already unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality, call for robust policy responses from governments. In this paper, I argue that the disparate economic effects of the pandemic also generate direct obligations of justice for those who have benefitted from pandemic windfalls. Specifically, I argue that even if we accept that those who benefit from distributive injustice in the ordinary, predictable course of life within unjust institutions do not have direct obligations to redirect their unjust benefits to those who are unjustly disadvantaged, there are powerful reasons to hold that benefitting from pandemic windfalls does ground such an obligation.</p> Brian Berkey Copyright (c) 2021 Brian Berkey 2021-06-04 2021-06-04 14 1 58–70 58–70 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.550 Governing Life and the Economy https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/580 <p>When comparing both GDP loss and mortality across countries, it appears that countries that have managed to save more lives during the Covid-19 pandemic have also managed to save their economies better. What accounts for these stark differences in country performances? In this article, we argue that a salient feature of economic and health performance is the degree of trust populations have in their governments. We set up a heuristic analytical framework that models this relation, under particular assumptions about what drives government and individual behavior, in order to better understand the mechanisms that may be at work. We identify three key roles that trust in government may play in enforcing social distancing policies, conveying credible information for individual decision-making, and shaping government attitudes towards risk. We argue that these implications are consistent with the empirical evidence. We also discuss the relevance of other forms of trust, namely, interpersonal trust and trust in science.</p> Joelle M. Abi-Rached Ishac Diwan Copyright (c) 2021 Joelle M. Abi-Rached, Ishac Diwan 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 71–88 71–88 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.580 How Economists Ignored the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918–1920 https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/549 <p>The current Covid-19 pandemic has attracted significant attention from epidemiologists and economists alike. This differs from the 1918–1920 Spanish influenza pandemic, when academic economists hardly paid attention to its economic features, despite its very high death toll. We examine the reasons for that by contrasting the ways epidemiologists and economists reacted to the Spanish flu at the time and shortly after the pandemic. We also explore, but less extensively, some economic and epidemiologic writings during the twenty-five years that followed.</p> Mauro Boianovsky Guido Erreygers Copyright (c) 2021 Guido Erreygers, Mauro Boianovsky 2021-05-23 2021-05-23 14 1 89–109 89–109 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.549 Three Ways in Which Pandemic Models May Perform a Pandemic https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/582 <p>Models not only represent but may also <em>influence</em> their targets in important ways. While models’ abilities to influence outcomes has been studied in the context of economic models, often under the label ‘performativity’, we argue that this phenomenon also pertains to epidemiological models, such as those used for forecasting the trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic. After identifying three ways in which a model by the Covid-19 Response Team at Imperial College London (Ferguson et al. 2020) may have influenced scientific advice, policy, and individual responses, we consider the implications of epidemiological models’ performative capacities. We argue, first, that performativity may impair models’ ability to successfully predict the course of an epidemic; but second, that it may provide an additional sense in which these models can be successful, namely by changing the course of an epidemic.</p> Philippe van Basshuysen Lucie White Donal Khosrowi Mathias Frisch Copyright (c) 2021 Philippe van Basshuysen, Lucie White, Donal Khosrowi, Mathias Frisch 2021-07-06 2021-07-06 14 1 110–127 110–127 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.582 Uncertain Policy Decisions During the Covid-19 Pandemic https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/561 <p>The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world. It has presented us with a series of new challenges, but the policy response may be difficult due to the severe uncertainty of our circumstances. While pressure to take timely action may push towards less inclusive decision procedures, in this paper I argue that precisely our current uncertainty provides reasons to include stakeholders in collective decision-making. Decision-making during the pandemic faces uncertainty that goes beyond the standard, probabilistic one of Bayesian decision theory. Agents may be uncertain not just about factual properties of the world, but also about how to model their decision problems and about the values of the possible consequences of their options. As different stakeholders may have irreconcilable disagreement about how to resolve these uncertainties, decision-making procedures should take everybody’s perspectives into account. Moreover, those communities that are hit harder by the pandemic are also those that are typically excluded from knowledge production. Thus, in the face of Covid-19 uncertainty, both democratic and epistemic considerations highlight the importance of stakeholders’ inclusion in policy decision-making.</p> Malvina Ongaro Copyright (c) 2021 Malvina Ongaro 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 128–137 128–137 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.561 How to Handle Trade-Offs in Pandemics https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/609 <p>Pandemics and other similar crises force us to make difficult moral trade-offs. It is tempting to think that this challenge should be met by invoking fundamental moral principles. This is a mistake. Instead, we need to work hard at designing institutions that enable the officeholders to make reasonable decisions under both fundamental ethical disagreement and empirical/evaluative uncertainty. It is argued that this is best done by supplementing the ethical-cum-legal platforms already in use with an ethical framework inspired by social welfare theory.</p> Krister Bykvist Copyright (c) 2021 Krister Bykvist 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 138–151 138–151 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.609 Collective Responses to Covid-19 and Climate Change https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/548 <p>Both individuals and governments around the world have willingly sacrificed a great deal to meet the collective action problem posed by Covid-19. This has provided some commentators with newfound hope about the possibility that we will be able to solve what is arguably the greatest collective action problem of all time: global climate change. In this paper we argue that this is overly optimistic. We defend two main claims. First, these two collective action problems are so different that the actions that individuals have taken to try to solve the problem posed by Covid-19 unfortunately provide little indication that we will be able to solve the problem posed by climate change. Second, the actions that states have taken in response to Covid-19 might—if anything—even be evidence that they will continue to fail to cooperate towards a solution to the climate crisis.</p> Andrea S. Asker H. Orri Stefánsson Copyright (c) 2021 Andrea, Orri 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 152–166 152–166 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.548 Vaccine Refusal Is Not Free Riding https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/555 <p>Vaccine refusal is not a free rider problem. The claim that vaccine refusers are free riders is inconsistent with the beliefs and motivations of most vaccine refusers. This claim also inaccurately depicts the relationship between an individual’s immunization choice, their ability to enjoy the benefits of community protection, and the costs and benefits that individuals experience from immunization and community protection. Modeling vaccine refusers as free riders also likely distorts the ethical analysis of vaccine refusal and may lead to unsuccessful policy interventions.</p> Ethan Bradley Mark Navin Copyright (c) 2021 Ethan Bradley, Mark Navin 2021-06-12 2021-06-12 14 1 167–181 167–181 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.555 Review of Massimiliano Vatiero’s The Theory of Transaction in Institutional Economics: A History. New York, NY: Routledge, 2021, 104 pp. https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/592 Douglas W. Allen Copyright (c) 2021 Douglas W. Allen 2021-04-21 2021-04-21 14 1 246–250 246–250 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.592 Review of Hélène Landemore’s Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the Twenty-First Century. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2020, xviii + 243 pp. https://ejpe.org/journal/article/view/611 Erica Yu Copyright (c) 2021 Erica Yu 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 14 1 251–257 251–257 10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.611