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The ASSA conference: some institutional papers

Summary:
Some (institutional) stuff from the ASSA conference, the first one with nice definitions of trust and control (but there might be more empirical stuff). The second one on the role of the ideology of judges in economic cases when there are no clear legal rules. More tomorrow. Claudius Gräbner, Johannes Kepler University-Linz Wolfram Elsner. To trust or to control: Informal value transfer systems and computational analysis in institutional economics Here, the PPT This paper illustrates the usefulness of computational methods for the investigation of institutions. As an example, we use a computational agent-based model to study the role of general trust and social control in informal value transfer systems (ITVS). We find that, how and in which timeline general trust and social control

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Some (institutional) stuff from the ASSA conference, the first one with nice definitions of trust and control (but there might be more empirical stuff). The second one on the role of the ideology of judges in economic cases when there are no clear legal rules. More tomorrow.

Claudius Gräbner, Johannes Kepler University-Linz Wolfram Elsner. To trust or to control: Informal value transfer systems and computational analysis in institutional economics

Here, the PPT

This paper illustrates the usefulness of computational methods for the investigation of institutions. As an example, we use a computational agent-based model to study the role of general trust and social control in informal value transfer systems (ITVS). We find that, how and in which timeline general trust and social control interact in order to make ITVS work, become stable and highly effective. The case shows how computational models may help (1) to operationalize institutional theory and to clarify the functioning of institutions, (2) to test the logical consistency of alternative hypotheses about institutions, and (3) to relate institutionalist theory with other paradigms and to practice an interested pluralism

Anton Spithooven. The Legal-economic Nexus From the Perspective of the New Institutional Economics and Original Institutional Economics

The dominant approach to law and economics gives priority to the price mechanism for the allocation of resources. Starting from a given allocation of property rights, it assumes that rational maximizing individuals or organizations bargain an efficient outcome as long as benefits are higher than the costs. However, if transaction costs are higher than benefits, then law matters and, depending on the goals that legislators pursue, might either increase or decrease efficiency. In any case, if there are transaction costs, lawmakers and lawyers should aim to minimize them. Conversely, original institutional economists acknowledge the primacy of relevance of the price mechanism as the focal point of analysis but give priority to the assignment of property rights for the allocation of resources. They approach law and economy not in terms of efficient decision-making but as a function of each other. Within this legal-economic nexus, judges interpret the law to settle conflicts. They assess and interpret laws on the contingent and historic concept of reasonable value, at which it is acknowledged that members of organizations may pursue different goals. By referring to their interpretation of possible precedencies, they rule upon the constitutionality of economic legislation, notwithstanding that the U.S. Constitution does not include any economic theory. The assessment of reasonable values and the interpretation of precedencies reflect the dominant ideology among judges. If the latter is at odds with the dominant ideology in Congress, then judges are likely to rule against choices by legislators on highly ideologically contested economic issues.

Merijn T. Knibbe
Economisch historicus en statisticus, wadloopgids, docent, vader en blogger

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