Fifth Toss

3 September 2009

Last night, I finished the clean-up of a LAΤΕΧ version of my paper on incomplete preferences. From remarks by a person more knowledgeable about ΤΕΧ than I, it seemed that my best option in dealing with the under-sized angle brackets was to just fall back to using only parentheses, square brackets, and braces for taller delimiters. And most width problems were resolved by expressing formulæ over more lines. Unfortunately, these changes leave the formulæ harder to read than in the original.

This after-noon, I completed the submission process to one of the two specialized journals recommended by the advising editor who rejected it at the previous journal to which I submitted it. The submission process for this latest journal required that I name the other journals to which I'd submitted the paper. As simultaneous submissions are disallowed, basically they were asking for a list of which journals has rejected the paper. I gave it. (I didn't tell them that the third had been suggested by the second, nor that theirs had been suggested by the fourth.)

Anyway, I'm back to waiting for a response.

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2 Responses to Fifth Toss

  • Dogface Pete says:

    You stole my idea to reconcile the "Cardinal vs. Ordinal" utlity debate between the Austrians and the Neo-Classics!

    But Seriously....doesn't this reconcile the "Cardinal vs. Ordinal" utlity debate between the Austrians and the Neo-Classics?

    • Daniel says:

      I'm not sure what you mean by reconcile, unless it is resolve. My work doesn't lead to a harmonization of these conceptions, nor could any other work.

      I think that theoretical work more important to debate between the Austrian School and neoclassical economics on utility was in The Austrian Theory of the Marginal Use and of Ordinal Marginal Utility by Hu McCulloch, which appeared in Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie v 37 back in '77. Specifically, McCulloch formally showed that no quantification could be fit to some orderings that conformed to conventional axiomata of economic rationality, including a total ordering of preferences. (I don't agree with some of the changes in the lexicon proposed thereïn by McCulloch, but that's another matter, and really just notation.)

      We can only talk about marginal utility in reference to objects of choice that are related by strict preference or by an equivalence relation, albeït that these objects might be elements of a larger set that is not totally ordered. My work is not so much a defense of one notion of marginal utility as it is a caution against assuming that we can in every case use any conception. I'm not sure that there is any new argument to be made for the Austrian School conception from my work; I'm not now insisting that none is there, but I don't see it (and I'm frying other fish).

      Although Böhm-Bawerk raised what we would now call bounded rationality arguments, rejecting the assumptions that preferences of real persons were totally ordered (and that choices were made costlessly), I'm not aware of any work within the Austrian School doing much with those arguments beyond informally noting that some of the results of neoclassical economics are artefacts of unreälistic assumptions; and, of course, opponents of the Austrian School would make similar claims about assuming too much human action on the part of real humans.

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