Ülo Ennuste Economics

papers and articles in wordpress

Memo Speech

 

Memo speech on the development of national knowledge structure (draft  21January 2015)

 

 “ the politicians in the nation states

– have their own political camp, they

have their political supporters, and

they would like to adjust themselves

to the requirements and expectations

of this part of society.”András Inotai (2007)

 

Prelude

 

I would like to draw your attention to a certain most paradoxical problem in Political Economics that has, to my mind, not yet been studied thoroughly enough

Let me remind you of one peculiarity of political economics, which is especially

significant in the election campaigns (Challander and Wilkie: 2007 “Lies, Damned Lies, and Political Campaigns”) and in international economic sanctioning (Ülo Ennuste: 2014: Towards Special Methodological Problems of Macro-Optimal Sociocybernetic International Economic Sanctioning Coordination Modelling: Introductory Remarks oPreliminary Postulates and Conjectures. – Baltic Journal of European Studies Tallinn University of Technology (ISSN 2228-0588), Vol. 4, No. 2 (17), 150-158: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bjes.2014.4.issue-2/bjes-2014-0021/bjes-2014-0021.xml?format=INT).

 

Politicians’ public announcements and hidden activities about economy, which can be considered mostly rational and productive in the political field, may turn out to be mostly non-truths or distortions of truths or lies or errors from the point of view of mainstream

economics and harmful for national economy (why politicians lie – i.e. to get

elected; to get rents; to get elected in order to get rents).

 

This puzzle may be a very productive topic for further research – the design of

implementing mechanisms for political/economic truth-telling. This certainly

would be intellectually most challenging and mathematically extremely

complicated, although a cumbersome field, at least compared to the innocent

this field wouldn’t turn out to be intellectual or mathematical bubbles, such as

we have witnessed many times before (Ülo Ennuste. 2008. Synthetic Conceptions of Implementing Mechanisms Design for Public Socio-Economic Information Structure: Illustrative Estonian Examples. :http://www.ies.ee/iesp/No4/Ennuste.pdf)

 

 

Mesolude

 

“Truth is one, error is many.”Simone de Beauvoir (FT Jan 24/25 04)

 

One of the paradoxes in Political Economics is the generally noted situation in

reality, that the plethora of public open messages and announcements and perceived hidden activities concerning national economy which are considered politically as mainline absolute and rational statements and activities, may, from the perspective of mainstream economics, come to be almost certainly considered as absolute non-truths (distortions of truths/lies or elementary faults/error messages).

There is no doubt that such a phenomenon makes for rational economic

decision-making the knowledge infrastructure contradictory, uncertain, and not

convenient for learning to the actors from the message exchanges, and would

cause coordination failures and wrong or suboptimal economic solutions.

 

“There is a second world that exists side by side with the first,

unsuspected.”J.M. Coetzee (2006, Slow Man. Vintage Books, 122)

 

The trouble is that the political (say, secondary for economy) world has a

different “ends and means” system and other social desiderata and “methods

employed for their realisation” (Huxley 1938), methods that are sometimes

outside the rational world from an economic ideals viewpoint. But the messages

cascades of both subsystems of this politico-economic double system have

intersections, and they intertwine with each other; and if a society lacks the

adequate delicate mechanisms to balance and coordinate the contradictory

asymmetric information cascades, trouble will develop, and economic

breakdowns almost certainly will loom.

For example, these are some empirical contradictory political-economic

diametrically opposing “truths” presently dominating our economic policy

announcement knowledge base:

 

Political mainstream “truths” – Economics mainstream truths

 

It pays to be fuzzy logical populist – It pays to be credible knowledge based

Only few fixed indicators should be applied – An indicator is never ideal

Referenda about non-public policy issues – Competent conciliatoriness

Consistency with old policies  – Time consistency                                     

Denial of errors and criticism – Bayesian interactive learning

Informational manipulations  yes  – Distortions prohibited

Laissez faire does all  – Invisible hand is myopic

Market mechanism is almost perfect – Markets have imperfections

Free market is impeccable  – Optimally regulated market

Government can do nothing – Institutional reforms needed

Government has fixed functions  – Agendas should be reformed

Welfare states are socialists – These are civilized as a rule

Inflation is not significant, only growth rate is – Inflation is most significant

Inflation is mainly exogenous  – Mainly endogenous

Money illusion does good – It is completely imaginary

PPS is national purchasing parity  – May be regional deflator

Economic inequality growth is normal – In opportunities devastating

Inequality is not changing society – Inequality is changing society

Scientific persons are small players – They are important

Express your views controversially – Be consistent with studies

One person one vote – One share one vote

No formalizations in analytical narratives – Quantified large dynamic models

No calibration in comparability studies – Countries data calibration

“The Dismal Science” name repeated – Versus more mathematical etc

 

With stated above, I’m not trying to give the impression that: 1) everything that

is said in mainstream economics is true; perhaps it is searching for the truth but

economists can be ideologues/stategic/erroneus too, and that is in the following

not forgotten (how could they emit only truths as the statistics is mainly

designed for political discussions and the study objects are almost “cloud-like”

(Karl Popper), 2) also by economics mainstream, I’m referring mainly to EU

economists, and considering Estonian idiosyncratic conditions (Ennuste 2007),

understandably many items in my list would not be agreed upon by e.g. many

US mainstream economists (Gary McMahon’s remark) and 3) what is here

meant by political economics: i.e. the relationship between political decisions of

distribution and economic allocation decisions of creation of national wealth and

designing institutional evolution, thereby discussed mainly on the basis of

modern mathematical Bayesian game theories (Persson and Tabellini 2002).

 

Thus, on the basis of the turmoil of the existing conflicting and asymmetric

economic policy communication knowledgebase, decentralized rational

economic decision making is almost impossible, especially in the public

economic sphere and the knowingness of some economic agents may even

lessen in the communication.

And it seems our information coordinating/regulating and learning stimulating

mechanisms in this field are far from adequate.

Furthermore, the economic damage inflicted may depend on the

importance/power of the agent and the significance of the issue. We shouldn’t

here forget also the phenomenon of “spin-doctors”. It captures the fact when a

person is not explicitly lying but is implicitly lying by giving only selected

information and, in fact, leaving anything out that is harmful to what s/he wants

or his/her conclusions.

 

“One danger is the very

irresponsible ”mental

contamination” carried out by some

politicians in all of the new member

countries as well as in the old ones

too. This mental contamination is

much more costly than

environmental contamination.

Environmental contamination can be

eliminated. It is a question of

technology – we do have this

technology – and it is a question of

financial resources. But mental

contamination sometimes needs a

generation to be eliminated or

reduced.”

András Inotai (2007)

 

The most draconian macroeconomic “results”, certainly partially inflicted from

our “mental contamination” and therefore inadequate knowledge assets and

inadequately knowledge based informational coordinating mechanism situation,

are: high and rising inflation and economic inequality, no euro in the foreseeable

future, international investment position is worsening, huge current account

deficit, flight of labour, high loan burden of households, EU “sugar penalties”,

official statistics is not necessarily dense for a transition country, Lissabon

Agenda has fallen into oblivion, economic climate mentally contaminated etc.

And, most importantly, our socio-economic institutional systems and

mechanisms are not evolving on the knowledge base reforming, but only in a

spontaneous belief-chaotic tumble and stumble mode evolving in the directions

of civilized desideratum (Ennuste 2007).

 

BOX

Perhaps imaginary numbers would help?

In the elementary economic world the studies of truth-telling mechanism design

are rigorously and formally carried out mainly in the field of Institutional

Economics (for detail see e.g. Appendix or Ennuste 2006). Some noticeable

practical “technological” results have been achieved (Matsushima 1993, Aoyagi

1998, Ennuste 1999, 2006), especially in the case of the assumption agents’

correlated information and extensions of the models with side-payments

(Google’s definition: “bribes”).

Importantly, the epithet “side” will be justified until public knowledge creativity

and dissemination activities are not incorporated into national accounting system

and GDP as investments (Marrano et al 2007), and vice versa, distortions in the

knowledge emission as losses of the GDP.

The proof of the existence of knowledge based side payment implementing

mechanism in economic environment is expediently proved on the Cauchy-

Schwartz inequality (Aoyagi 1998).

But in the case of complex politico-economic double systems, these issues are

much more complicated, e.g., the complexity should stay in the comparison

results (quotients) explicitly: in these mechanisms the political and economic

policies should be analysed in one complex but still separately, as side payments

for political effects (probably nonmonetary) should be decided by political

coordinators and economic transfers by economic regulators.

Still, there may be a probability that the curse of complexity may be eliminated

and problems rigorously (not heuristically) solved by the help complex numbers

as there seems to be a certain affinity between complex numbers and vector

plains where Cauchy-Schwartz inequality exists, plus the phenomenon that

complex numbers are divided but vectors not. Analogously, as Arrow’s

Prisoner-Dilemma is vanishing in the Harshaniy’s Bayesian Game. But,

additionally, the imaginary unit i=sqrt(-1) may play a complicated role as

the indicator of the “other world” for the real economic world.

In brief: The rationality connecting imaginary units with a dual world policy

regulation mechanisms may be schematically grounded on the reasoning: 1) it is

convenient to model complex policies on the bases of vector-like constructions,

2) for efficient comparison of complex policies mechanisms should carry out

division procedures of policies with vector-like quotients, 3) one such

convenient division procedure is well-defined for complex numbers.

 

And most importantly, the mechanism discreetly differentiates the political and

economic side payments. The last makes the political agents more careful to

choose populist statements and their timing: to select those that are less

confusing for economic decision making and so less harmful (less costly) and

perhaps more quickly to eat their demagogical words from there election

platforms.

 

Postlude

 

Discussion, Caveats, Apologies

 

The rationality connecting imaginary units with a dual world policy regulation

mechanism may be schematically grounded on the reasoning: 1) it is convenient

to model complex policies on the bases of vector-like constructions, 2) for

efficient comparison of complex policies mechanisms should carry out division

operations of policies producing vector-like quotients, 3) one such convenient

division operation is well-defined for complex numbers.

But provisionally the dilemma still remains: has the imaginary unit (square root

equals minus one) a clear logical economic interpretation in substance? E.g. in

our results one hypothetical intuition of imaginary unit may be as a conversion

operator of currency transfers into political prizes: price into prize.

10

If clear explanations concerning the economic essence of i should fail, the

imaginary number may still remain in economics as a convenient mathematical

technical tool, as indication operator or so, as it is found place in solving

dynamic differential models.

Also, perhaps it is useful here to remark that the catastrophe theory functions

have once already been thrown out from economics as bubbles, but recently it

was discovered than in this case the baby had been thrown out with the

bathwater (Rosser 2007), especially in the case of transition economics.

As remarked in the text many times over, the main statements should be taken as

a working hypothesis. Instead of complex numbers other models may be used.

The intuition of the above politico-economic announcement policies

comparativeness model is based entirely on the “blue-sky economics” (y*=0) for

the introductory conveniences. For more advanced discussions e.g. model

(cos( j – j*) +isin( j – j*)) r/r*

may be introduced, squared models used, the definitions of the axes changed etc.

If somebody happens to be dissatisfied with her/his position in the Table, with

the estimation her or his “infromativness footsteps” – there is always the

possibility to compose a dual table based on “political truths” as real (horizontal

axis). This should change the position situation completely.

And most importantly, the exposed estimations are based entirely on the blue-sky

economics plus my own one-man “Gallup” of the person “informed by

theory” mainly.

 

Conclusions

 

The narrative meta-synthetic deduction (Gu and Tang 2005) of rational

conceptions for implementing mechanism building of the public social

knowledge structure in the environment of the dynamic post-transformation

society is extremely complicated.

First of all, all extant definitions of the structure have their drawbacks

(Ramazzotti 2005), and more importantly, private information of the actors

in this area is an intangible invisible asset of complex values: moral and

material. So also are the preferences of the actors.

We have stressed in our discussions the importance to tackle these public

social knowledge structures as active dynamic institutions: as the quality of

these structure is not having only relationships with general social

developments, but also directly, with future developments of the

implementing mechanisms under this very study.

Consequently, the studies comprising more or less the whole system may

give only very general results. Still, as this study has proved, this kind of

wholeness analysis based on the meta-synthetic design (deductive

implementation theoretic and inductive empirical-intuitional), might be

highly justified, especially in the case of post-transformation situations. In

these cases of rapid structural changes in many social areas the rational

regulation/coordination of current beliefs, opinions, expectations, and

learning structures is extremely important.

The above abstract discussion argued that the adequate socio-economic

information structure implementing mechanisms design should have

extremely complicated configuration:

* Complex and parallel coordination networks (e.g. governmental and nongovernmental)

* Complex coordinating instruments (e.g. material and moral)

* Complex coordinating principles (e.g. incentives and constraints)

* Moral coordination should contain for actors indicators of credibility in

dissemination of messages (non-distortion, non-erroneous and clear and full

disclosure), respectfulness in absorption and forwarding others messages,

and aggregate indicator of reputation.

* Complex incentive and restriction mechanisms (e.g. my be based on

complex number models).

* Complex sequentially interacting mechanisms should be preferred,

especially in the field of reduction super-uncertainties (coordinating agents’

strategies), and also for reducing fundamental uncertainties.

The results of the survey revealed the importance of taking into

consideration significant current idiosyncrasies of the societies under the

study, e.g.:

* Types of political systems (e.g. partocratic democracy may be interested in

disseminating dominantly populist messages to the public and at nonrational

closure of national statistics).

* Linguistic heterogeneities of the population (e.g. part of the newly arrived

population may communicatively belong more or less to some other

society).

* Weight of academic community in the society.

An extremely interesting phenomenon revealed by the survey and deductive

speculations was that in the current Estonian context, enhancements and

extensions of non-governmental soft (based mainly on moral indicators and

self analyses) coordinating networks and institutions was by the bulk of

experts, especially among academic people and high-ranking politicians,

strongly supported. The noteworthy exceptions in this point have been the

opinions of some governmental officials.

In general the study revealed that in the current Estonian context the

reputation factors of the actors in the public socio-economic structure

building should be more highly appreciated. Importantly, building the track

for flexible mechanism changes and adaptation in Estonia in this area should

aim toward measures, by adding complementary elements, not obstructing

the work of the established credible respective institutions and introducing

new uncertainties, and should aim at introducing first of all these policies

which are connected with increasing institutional credibility.

 

 

Acknowledgements

The author has benefited from comments by Gary McMahon, Knut Sydsæter, Ilari Tyrni, Pekka Ahitiala, Tõnu Puu, Jouko Yla-Liedenpohja, Ants Aasma, Alari Purju, Aksel Kirch, Madis Aben, Kersti Linask and discussants at the EAEPE 2005 conference in Bremen.

The remaining errors are my own. My apologies for being beyond measure technical.

 

References and related publications

 

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HARMONIZATION WITH THE WESTERN ECONOMICS: Estonian Developments and

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Ennuste, Ü. 2001. Quasi-Implementing Design Mechanisms and Primary Determinants:

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Convergence: A Collection for the Analysis of Estonian Socio-Economic and

Institutional Evolution, Tallinn Technical University, 325-361.

Ennuste, Ü. 2003. A Linear Planning Analysis of Institutional Structure in the Economy.

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Tallinn Technical University, 265-279.

Ennuste, Ü. 2006. Meta-synthesis Approach to Economic System Implementation

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Ennuste,Ü. 2014. Towards Special Methodological Problems of Macro-Optimal Sociocybernetic International Economic Sanctioning Coordination Modelling: Introductory Remarks oPreliminary Postulates and Conjectures. – Baltic Journal of European Studies Tallinn University of Technology (ISSN 2228-0588), Vol. 4, No. 2 (17), 150-158: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bjes.2014.4.issue-2/bjes-2014-0021/bjes-2014-0021.xml?format=INT

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Economy? ICT, Intangible Investment and Britain’s Productivity Record Revisited.

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Mechanisms with Budget Balance. – Journal of Economic theory, 79,

142-151.

d’Aspremont, C., Crémer, J. and Gerard-Varet, L.-A. 2004. Balanced

Bayesian Mechanisms. – Journal of Economic Theory, 115, 2, 385-

395.

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Behavior, 27, 38-63.

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Campaigns. – Games and Economic Behavior, 60, 262-86.

Chakraborty, A. and Yilmaz, B, 2004. Informed Manipulations. – Journal

of Economic Theory, 114, 132-52.

Chambers, C. 2004. Virtual Repeated Implementation. – Economic Letters,

83, 263-268.

Eliaz, K. 2002. Fault Tolerant Implementation. – Review of Economic

Studies, 69, 589-610.

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Ennuste and Lisa Wilder (eds.) Harmonization with the Western

Economics: Estonian Developments and Related Conceptual and

Methodological Frameworks, Tallinn, 343-359.

Ennuste, Ü. 2001. Quasi-Implementing Design Mechanisms and Primary

Determinants: Estonian Empirical Illustrations. In: Ü. Ennuste and L.

Wilder (Eds.) Factors of Convergence: A Collection for the Analysis

of Estonian Socio-Economic and Institutional Evolution, Tallinn

Technical University, 325-361.

Ennuste, Ü. 2003. A Linear Planning Analysis of Institutional Structure in

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Transformation Economics. Tallinn Technical University, 265-279.

Ennuste, Ü. 2006. Meta-synthesis Approach to Economic System

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Conference, Apr. 28 2006, Tallinn, 60-126.

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January 22, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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