Journal of Economic Literature
Vol. 36, No. 3, September 1998

Contents

Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons from Evolutionary Game Theory
George J. Mailath      1347

How Foundations Came to Be
Paul A. Samuelson      1375

Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics
Victor R. Fuchs, Alan B. Krueger and James M. Poterba      1387

Urban Spatial Structure
Alex Anas, Richard Arnott and Kenneth A. Small      1426

Introduction to the Economics of Religion
Laurence R. Iannaccone      1465

Archiving the History of Economics
E. Roy Weintraub, Stephen J. Meardon, Ted Gayer, and H. Spencer Banzhaf   
1496

Book Reviews in pdf format (AEA members only)


Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons from Evolutionary Game Theory
George J. Mailath

Evolutionary game theory provides an answer to two of the central questions in economic modeling: when is it reasonable to assume that people are rational? And, when is it reasonable to assume that behavior is part of a Nash equilibrium (and if it is reasonable, which equilibrium)? The traditional answers are not compelling, and much of evolutionary modeling is motivated by the need for a better answer. Evolutionary game theory suggests that, in a range of settings, agents do (eventually) play a Nash equilibrium. Moreover, evolutionary modeling has shed light on the relative plausibility of different Nash equilibria.

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How Foundations Came to Be
Paul A. Samuelson

On the fiftieth birthday of my Foundations of Economic Analysis, a deluxe edition of it was embalmed in the German Klassiker der Nationalokonomie series alongside of Adam Smith, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, Irving Fisher, and many other illustrious suspects. With it, as customary, was published a slim volume in German, a Vademecum, with review essays by Jurg Niehans, Carl-Christian von Weizsacker, and a foreword by the editor Bertram Schefold. By invitation, like Tom Sawyer at his own funeral, I provided for German translation my own recollections under the title "How Foundations Came to Be." Here is the English original, slightly abridged; for some technicalities, readers are referred to the full German text. I remembered much, and, with the perspective of time, learned not a little.

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Economists' Views about Parameters, Values, and Policies: Survey Results in Labor and Public Economics
Victor R. Fuchs, Alan B. Krueger and James M. Poterba

Specialists in labor economics and public economics at 40 leading research universities provided opinions of policy proposals, quantitative best estimates and 95-percent confidence intervals for economic parameters, and answers to values questions regarding income redistribution, efficiency versus equity, and individual versus social responsibility. Their positions on policy are more closely related to their values than to their estimates of relevant economic parameters. Average best estimates of the economic parameters agree well with the relevant literature, but individual best estimates are usually widely dispersed. The individual 95-percent confidence intervals are much narrower than the substantial cross-respondent variation in estimates would warrant.

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Urban Spatial Structure
Alex Anas, Richard Arnott and Kenneth A. Small

Urban structure is increasingly characterized by decentralization, dispersion, and multiple employment centers. Much is known empirically about such patterns, and about how the interplay between agglomerative and dispersive forces generates spatial structures that are complex and prone to multiple equilibria and dynamic path-dependence. These forces operate at different spatial scales; many entail unpriced interaction, and external scale economies deriving from product differentiation and endogenous technical change appear particularly important. Because these forces interact in complex ways, inefficiencies in urban structure are resistant to simple policy interventions.

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Introduction to the Economics of Religion
Laurence R. Iannaccone

After a very long hiatus, economists have begun again to study the relationship between economics and religion. This article seeks to summarize and evaluate the principal themes and empirical findings that have appeared in some 200 recent papers on the economics of religion. Although some of the research concerns the economic consequences of religiosity, most applies standard economic theory to the study of individual religious activity, the characteristics of religious groups, and the impact of regulation and competition on religious markets.

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Archiving the History of Economics
E. Roy Weintraub, Stephen J. Meardon, Ted Gayer, and H. Spencer Banzhaf

Archival materials offer a rich source of information for understanding the history of economics. The correspondence, lecture notes, unpublished reports and drafts, and oral histories contained in the archives of prominent economists offer a valuable glimpse into the training of economists, as well as the process by which research agendas develop. The paper provides an overview of such resources, taking the Duke University Special Collections Library's Economists' Papers Project as an exemplar. The authors also offer guidance for those economists interested in preserving their collected papers for repositories.

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