Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Problem of Vague Terms: A Glossary of Clearly Stated Assumptions & Careful, Patient, Descriptions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Funk, Matt

Abstract

Coase 1930 endures through the decades as one of the most-cited papers in economics due to the fact that it highlights a fundamental and equally enduring problem: "Economic theory has suffered in the past from a failure to state clearly its assumptions. Economists in building up a theory have often omitted to examine the foundations on which it was erected. This examination is, however, essential not only to prevent the misunderstanding and needless controversy which arise from a lack of knowledge of the assumptions on which a theory is based, but also because of the extreme importance for economics of good judgement in choosing between rival sets of assumptions." In 1944 Von Neumann and Morgenstern offered the simply, yet invariably rejected solution: "In… economics the most fruitful work may be that of careful, patient description; indeed this may be by far the largest domain for the present and some time to come….Economic problems [have been and are often] not formulated clearly and are often stated in such vague terms as to make mathematical treatment a priori appear hopeless because it is quite uncertain what the problems really are. There is no point in using exact methods where there is no clarity in the concepts and issues to which they are to be applied. Consequently the initial task is to clarify the knowledge of the matter by further careful descriptive work." This paper offers a stone along the path to the solution to this problem by offering a glossary in this spirit, a glossary germain to some of the most fundamental, open problems in economics. As the fate of the human race may lay in the balance to finding solutions to these problems, this glossary may be a steop in the right direction.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/14505/
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14505.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 31 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14505

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: economic terms; methodology; scientific method; coase 1930; Von Neumann & Morgenstern 1944; definitions; careful; patient descriptions;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Vernon L. Smith, 2003. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
  2. Peter H. Pearse, 1988. "Property Rights and the Development of Natural Resource Policies in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 14(3), pages 307-320, September.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Thomas C. Schelling, 2006. "An Astonishing Sixty Years: The Legacy of Hiroshima," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 929-937, September.
  5. Aumann, Robert J., 2005. "War and Peace," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2005-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
  6. Ralph Winkler, 2006. "Now or Never: Environmental Protection under Hyperbolic Discounting," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/60, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  7. Amir, Shmuel, 1994. "The role of thermodynamics in the study of economic and ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 125-142, July.
  8. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  9. Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Manstetten, Reiner, 2006. "Relative and absolute scarcity of nature. Assessing the roles of economics and ecology for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 487-498, October.
  10. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Third-party punishment and social norms," Experimental 0409002, EconWPA.
  11. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Funk, Matt, 2008. "On the Problem of Sustainable Economic Development: A Theoretical Solution to this Prisoner's Dilemma," MPRA Paper 19025, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Jun 2008.
  13. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Social norms and human cooperation," Macroeconomics 0409026, EconWPA.
  14. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
  15. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  16. Bimonte, Salvatore, 2008. "The "tragedy of tourism resources" as the outcome of a strategic game: A new analytical framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 457-464, October.
  17. Scott Beaulier & Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Behavioral Economics and Perverse Effects of the Welfare State," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 485-507, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Funk, Matt, 2009. "On the Truly Noncooperative Game of Island Life II: Evolutionary Stable Economic Development Strategy in Brief," MPRA Paper 16771, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14505. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.